How to cut laminate with a jigsaw smoothly. Tool Features
What and how to saw laminate flooring
Laminate is loved by many customers who are impressed by its beauty, practicality, durability and reasonable price. The main problem faced by people in the process of independent installation of laminate flooring, is the correct cutting of boards. It is always necessary to cut the laminate panels during installation, at least at the end of each row.
This article discusses the basic tools and techniques for accurately sawing laminate flooring. Of course if you are planning to install it yourself it is preferable to choose a high quality lock product, e.g. laminate flooring from the Norwegian manufacturer Alloc.
What affects the accuracy of the cut
In order for the cut to turn out even, it is necessary to choose an electric device that is suitable for the material to be processed. Let’s list what you need to consider.
- Equipment capacity. The higher it is, the less effort is required to cut. Less vibration, less risk of saw blade bending and sliding sideways.
- RPM or stroke frequency. Low values are chosen for hard metal, e.g. steel, and high values for soft wood.
- Saw length. The wider the workpiece, the longer the blade must be. Discrepancy between these dimensions causes vibration, peak performance. Often the seam is broken. uneven edges and chips are formed, its width increases.
- blade thickness. Determines its hardness. The thicker the element, the better it keeps perpendicularity with respect to the workpiece, the better the quality of the cut, the less the risk of “drifting” to the side.
- Width of blade. The wider the workpiece, the easier it is to maintain cutting direction. Wide plates are used for straight cuts, narrow plates for curved cuts.
- Tooth pitch. Matched to the type of material. For example, a pitch up to 1 mm is intended for metal, in the range of 2-3 mm. for furniture boards, laminate or parquet board, in the range of 3-6 mm. for rough treatment of wood.
The blade material can be different. This affects its rigidity, strength and sharpness of the teeth. Saw blades are available with different characteristics for working with metal, wood, ceramics, plastic.
Armed with an electric jigsaw
It is good if you have an electric jigsaw at home, equipped with a saw for wooden surfaces.
Using this tool is the best option.
Before sawing, with a pencil mark the line for the trimmer of the cut, and then with a knife or awl cut through the film of the laminate coating. Now clamp the board tightly (face down).
The rotational speed of the power tool should be high. You should try to saw smoothly enough, without jerking the jigsaw, so as not to cause chipping. Having become accustomed, it is possible to quickly and accurately saw laminate boards. And both crosswise and lengthwise sawing produce excellent results. It seems that the answer to the question, what is better to saw laminate, is clear. of course with the electric jigsaw.
Everyone who has faced such a problem understands that for sawing laminate boards it is necessary to use a special tool that preserves the internal structure of the material.
What to pay attention to when choosing a jigsaw for cutting laminate
To understand what jigsaw file is good for sawing laminate, one should keep in mind that this material is made of wood and its derivatives, which means that a jigsaw blade is required for “wood”. In general, the jigsaw was originally created to work with wooden materials, so the main part of the saws is designed specifically for wood.
All consumables can be conditionally divided by purpose, for what type of cut:
There are cases when while working with wood the speed of cutting is more important than its accuracy. To increase productivity there are saws for fast cutting with certain characteristics: length of blade. not less than 60 mm; large teeth. up to 6 mm; high arbor. about 1 mm.
When it is not speed that matters but namely quality of work: accuracy and smoothness of cut. saw blades with other characteristics are used: teeth not more than 3 mm in average, insignificant cutting edge.
In these cases it is practically impossible to use files with a wide blade. Here it is necessary to use a special file with the following characteristics: narrow band saw blade. not wider than 4 mm; fine teeth. up to 2 mm; short length. not more than 40 mm; back side is beveled.
How To Cut Laminate Flooring With A Jigsaw
Main criteria of saws choice: teeth shape, width and thickness
To answer the question of which saw is best for sawing particle board (wood) with an electric jigsaw, you should keep in mind that most cutting blades have the teeth pointing in the direction of the jigsaw. For maximum accuracy of cut, absence of chips and other things, saws with reversed direction of teeth are used (to work with such tool is much more difficult). If these are not available, then the product to be sawed should be placed backwards towards yourself.
Also when choosing a saw it is important to pay attention to whether it corresponds to the clamping device in the jigsaw.
On sale it is possible to meet and sets which are completed at once with different kinds of blades. This is convenient, because then you probably do not need to buy an additional saw to work with laminate.
There are many factors to consider when buying consumables: raw material, intended use, shape, tooth pitch, pitch, etc. п. Using separate saws makes cutting easier, much more comfortable and precise.
Important! Special saws with 2 rows of teeth allow you to cut the laminate flooring most accurately, avoiding chips.
There are the following basic types of saws suitable for cutting laminate:
Saw blade material: metal marked HCS. Teeth. in the upward direction. Pendulum motion: the saw returns to the jigsaw and the material to be sawn through, both upwards and forwards, so the material is pressed against the bottom of the jigsaw.
Saws laminate quickly, minimizing splintering. Here it must be remembered that marks must be made on the reverse side of the laminate board, which can be very difficult for beginners at first. This is a relatively inexpensive type of saw, but will blunt rather quickly.
T101Br: not very easy to use. Teeth are in the lower direction. Beats strongly when the pendulum is swung. Can sometimes be used for precisely cutting out complex contours on top of a laminate.
Length of about 75 cm, which does not affect the sawing process. Small teeth that make for a smooth cut.
Important! Very low sawing speed, so it is not appropriate for standard work.
Suitable for cutting curved contours, e.g. when circumventing domestic heating systems, etc. Jigsaw speed for curved cuts is recommended to be medium.
Made of durable bimetal that results in a long service life. The teeth do not have a defined direction and are evenly arranged.
Suitable for cutting laminate flooring on both front and back sides. A fairly straight cut. Speed is relatively good. For those who are planning to install laminate panels themselves without much experience, this type of saw is the best choice.
Different types of saws available
Types of coating
The choice of tools for cutting laminate panels depends to a large extent on the type of lamellas used. If you intend to lay the floor yourself and without the help of specialists, it is better to pay attention to the soft types of laminate.
It is not too difficult to saw soft cork or two-ply vinyl laminate at home. These types of laminated panels are highly resistant to wear and moisture, and can be laid quickly.
To cut this kind of lamellas will not need a special tool, it will be enough to be armed with an ordinary ruler, a pencil or pen and a construction knife. First, the line for the trimmer of the cut is marked with a pencil or pen, and then it should be held by a knife. Afterwards you just need to bend the blade. If you want to make a curved cut, you can use scissors of large size for this action.
However, when sawing other types of laminate panels that consist of high-strength wood-fiber board or chipboard, you have to use much more serious tools.
Laminate saw blade T101B
My partner and I use this type of saw blade T101B and I will explain why. With this type of blade the teeth look upwards. Modern jigsaws have a pendulum motion system. The saw’s return to the tool bed and the material to be sawn off is forward and upward at the same time. That’s how the T101B in HCS grade metal presses the board to the bottom of the jigsaw and the workpiece doesn’t strike the worktable. Here is an article about the right tool for installing laminate flooring.
Sawing laminate with this type of blade is fast, as much as possible without any chips, but the marking lines of the cut should be made on the back side of the laminate boards. What for the novice craftsman can cause difficulties. This type of blade is relatively inexpensive, but dulls quickly enough. It is better to set the jigsaw speed for cutting laminate as high as possible. this will prevent chipping.
Electric jigsaw and peculiarities of working with it
Electric jigsaw refers to the most preferred type of tool, as with it you can get a high-quality smooth cut that has no chips, burrs and other damage on its surface.
Important! When working with thin laminate, you can use an inexpensive jigsaw, It can be used to cut wood up to 7 mm thick. Sawing thicker laminate will require a more serious tool with up to 750 watts of power and
The jigsaw allows you to saw laminate quickly and efficiently
If this kind of work is done on a regular basis, it is better to immediately buy a more expensive, but reliable tool. The table below shows the average cost of electric jigsaws as of July 2018.
Table 1. Average cost for jigsaws
Choosing a jigsaw
To obtain an even and smooth cut on the end of the laminate lamella, it is not enough to buy a high-quality tool. the result depends on a properly selected saw. Some producers complete the tool with several kinds of saws. It may happen that it is not necessary to buy additional saw for work with laminate. it will be complete with the tool.
What sets this laminate saw blade apart from the others is its characteristic peculiarities. The shape, pitch, tooth pitch and blade material have to be taken into account when buying a saw. For example, laminate saws from the well-known tool manufacturer Bossh are flexible and durable, because a bimetal blade is used for its manufacture.
Bosch laminate saw “Special for laminate”
By and large, if for some reason you could not find a saw with the marking that says that it is designed to work directly with laminate, you can pick up another one that has fine teeth and a thin blade. You can get different results:
- The saw with a wide blade allows to obtain a qualitative straight cut.
- For curved or curved cuts choose a thin saw blade.
- A neat edge on the front side of the laminate is obtained if the cut is made from the outside.
- To make a straight cut on the face side a saw with backward-toothed saw blade is chosen.
Laminate circular saw set with backsplash
How to work with a jigsaw
The following rules will allow you to get a quality cut when cutting the laminate and simplify the trimming process itself:
- When sawing the laminate boards the tool should be at its maximum rpm.
- Make the cut in one single cut at a time along the marked line. If you slow down the cutting element or suspend the work, small irregularities, chips and other damages can form on the surface of the cut.
- When cutting laminate, the pendulum mechanism of the tool should be disengaged.
Before sawing the laminate, mark a cutting trimmer line on the surface of the laminate
Important! Many laminate manufacturers give information on the packaging about how to trim the lamellas. on the front or back side.
When using an angle grinder, place the laminate flooring face up, because the movement of the teeth is from top to bottom. This prevents cracks and chips. Which side to saw the laminate determines the direction of movement of the teeth. Among the disadvantages of cutting with a circular saw:
3 Best Tools for Cutting Laminate Vinyl Floor| Laminate cutter Jigsaw Small Saw MrYoucandoityourself
Generation of dust and noise; smell of burning wood; lack of skill.
When using any tool for cutting laminate it is important to correctly calculate the applied force. Excessive pressure can lead to cracks or chips on the surface of the panel. Proper calculation of the required amount of material allows you to cut the laminate with minimal waste.