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A laminate saw is used to cut laminate flooring. Typically a high-speed saw with a high tooth count, the saw is designed to eliminate rough cut edges and provide a quick cutting ability. Commonly used saws are compound miter saws, table saws and circular saws. It is not unusual to use a smaller than usual saw blade with a high tooth count on any of these laminate saw models. Many saws can be used for cutting laminate flooring, however, there are purpose-built, laminate saw designs that offer high-quality cutting with ease of operation.
Laminate flooring is comprised of multiple layers of different materials that can cause difficulties for the average cutting tool. A common compound used in laminate flooring is aluminum oxide, which is the same material used in the manufacture of sand and abrasive paper. The blade of a laminate saw is usually dulled and damaged in short order as opposed to cutting through wood alone. A titanium-tipped saw blade is often used on a laminate saw, however, even this type of blade must be resharpened prior to beginning a new job. Typically, the width of the flooring material will dictate the type of saw used to cut the laminate.
While a miter saw will work in most cases, for a wider laminate, the compound miter saw will allow for cutting wider boards. A laminate handsaw is often used to make fine adjustments or when fitting a piece of laminate flooring into a tight corner. Resembling a very fine-toothed handsaw, this style of laminate saw makes it possible to trim small amounts of material from tight-fitting areas while still providing a smooth cut. Jigsaws are also used to make these fine adjustments while taking advantage of using a power tool.
Even when using a job-specific type of laminate saw, one method used to provide a smooth cut without the splinters or chaffing of the finished side of the laminate is to turn the flooring material over and cut it from the backside. In turning the laminate over, the finished side becomes the backside and the splintering that commonly accompanies cutting laminates is effectively reduced or eliminated. This is also the reasoning behind using a high tooth count-type blade, as the fine-tooth blade offers a much smoother finished cut. The use of a high-speed laminate saw will often cause the materials to slightly burn if the user attempts to force the tool through the material.