Completing a flooring project with your own skill and expertise is something to be proud of, but trying to tackle a laminate flooring job without the right saw blade can quickly get expensive when you have to replace the chipped and damaged material. Laminate has a protective wear layer that is infused with aluminum oxide chips that can rapidly wear down a cutting blade. For perspective, these chips are commonly used to create tough, coarse sandpaper.
To get a clean cut without replacing the blade repeatedly, it’s important to find a product with a thin blade width, or kerf. The best saw blade for cutting laminate flooring also should have a carbide, titanium, or diamond tip to help the blade move through the rough material. To get a better idea of the blades most suitable for laminate, take a look at the products below and features to consider when shopping for the best saw blade for cutting laminate flooring.
- BEST OVERALL: Makita A-93681 10-Inch 80 Tooth Micro Polished Blade
- RUNNER-UP: Concord Blades WCB0538T040HP 5-3/8-Inch 40 Teeth TCT
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bosch T503 3-Piece Hardwood/Laminate Flooring T-Shank
- UPGRADE PICK: Freud D12100X 100 Tooth Diablo Ultra Fine Circular
- BEST LASER-CUT BLADE: Freud 10″ x 80T Thin Kerf Ultimate Plywood & Melamine
- BEST MITER SAW BLADE: Bosch DCB1080 Daredevil 10-Inch 80-Tooth Saw Blade
- BEST JIGSAW BLADE: Bosch T128BHM3 3 Pc. 3.62 In. 14 TPI Carbide Teeth
- BEST WITH DIAMOND TOOTH: Norske Tools NCSBP284 12″ 8 Tooth Polycrystalline
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Saw Blade for Cutting Laminate Flooring
Whether you’re removing an old laminate floor or installing new laminate flooring, having the appropriate saw blade is necessary for clean cuts and to prevent chipping. Before choosing a new saw blade, consider the type of blade, whether it is compatible with your current saw, and the blade measurements, including diameter, arbor size (the shaft that holds the blade), and the number of teeth.
Several different types of saws work with laminate flooring, including a miter saw, circular saw, jigsaw, and rotary tool. Each of these tools has a unique saw blade design, except for miter and circular saws, which both use a round cutting disc.
- Miter saws have the benefit of being stationary, so it is easier to make straight or angled cuts with precision accuracy. For working with laminate, these saws use a blade that is shaped like a round cutting disc and typically has between 80 and 100 teeth that make smooth, fine cuts.
- Circular saws can produce the same type of cut as a miter saw because they use a similar cutting blade. These saws are portable and can be carried to stationary material. However, they can be difficult to use for fine, precision cuts without a saw guide or track.
- Jigsaws have a vertical blade that is easier to use for curves and rounded shapes in the material. However, they are like circular saws when it comes to trying to make straight cuts completely freehand. Invest in a carbide-tipped blade when working with laminate to help reduce wear on the teeth and the blade.
- Rotary tools can work with laminate. They are ideal for making small precision cuts, but rotary tools lack the power required for working extensively with laminate flooring.
Before deciding on a saw blade to tackle a laminate flooring project, it’s important to check the compatibility of the saw with the blade. For instance, a really great set of laminate blades for a jigsaw won’t work if the blades have a smaller or larger arbor hole that keeps them from fitting securely in the saw, if they fit at all.
It is often possible to interchange miter saw and circular saw blades. However, before deciding to use a blade on a different tool, be certain that it has been designed for this purpose. Otherwise, the blade might not fit properly or it could break while in use, throwing pieces of the broken blade into the workshop or garage. Always check to make sure the blade is the right size, fits securely on the saw, and that it is safe to use with the current tool.
Blade Diameter and Kerf
Blade diameter is not a consideration for jigsaw blades, but the round disc cutting blades used on miter and circular saws need to be the right size to fit. Circular saw blades come in a wide range of sizes from just 6.5 inches in diameter to 12 inches. Miter saws typically use 10-inch or 12-inch blades, though they can accommodate larger blades for longer cuts or small blades for more precision.
Another consideration is the blade kerf or thickness. Look for a thin kerf when working with laminate to make clean, precise cuts. Wide blades tend to pull at the sides of the laminate while cutting, which can create large chips in the material that are difficult to hide.
Number of Teeth
Saw blades typically have at least four teeth to catch and cut through the target material. Diamond-tipped blades that are made for laminate and fiber cement usually have a low number of teeth to reduce the dust produced by cutting cement. However, typical circular and miter saw blades that are used for laminate will have 80 to 100 teeth for fine, precision cutting.
The higher the number of teeth, the cleaner the cut, but these blades also put more strain on the tool’s motor because there are more friction points to slow the rotation of the blade. Blades with fewer teeth don’t sacrifice power, so they are a great option for broad applications like ripping through old laminate flooring.
Circular saw and miter saw blades are typically supported at their center by a shaft or spindle that protrudes from the tool’s assembly to form what is known as the arbor. For this reason, the hole in the middle of the blade is called the arbor hole. The hole must match the size of the saw’s arbor or the blade will either not fit or will be too loose to be safe or effective.
The size of the arbor hole tends to change with the size of the blade, so it’s important to know the standard arbor size for the most common blade diameters:
- 3-inch saw blades typically have ¼-inch arbor holes.
- 6-inch saw blades are suited for larger tools, so the arbor hole is also larger at ½ inch.
- 7¼-inch to 10-inch saw blades have a standard arbor hole size of ⅝ inch.
- 12-inch to 16-inch saw blades are the largest blades generally used with laminate and have an arbor hole size of 1 inch.
Our Top Picks
The products below were chosen using several criteria, including the important factors mentioned above as well as the price and overall quality. Check the list for help discovering the best saw blade for cutting laminate flooring.
The Makita A-93681 miter saw blade is made with durable hardened steel that will resist bending or warping, even after extensive use. The saw blade is 10 inches in diameter and features an incredibly thin kerf that measures only .091 inches thick, allowing the blade to cut through flooring materials such as laminate with little resistance or strain on the saw’s motor.
This saw blade has 80 carbide-tipped teeth that have a slight 5-degree angle to reduce the likelihood of chipping and to help extend the blade’s life. It also has five laser-cut heat expansion slots. When a saw blade heats up, it expands and can become warped and inaccurate, but the expansion slots give the metal a gap into which it can expand so that the cut remains straight. This blade has a ⅝-inch arbor.
The small 5⅜-inch diameter of this Concord Blades WCB0538T040HP blade is excellent for making precision cuts with a circular saw because the blade doesn’t cause as much resistance as a larger circular saw blade. This supports better control of the saw to the user. This saw blade has 40 teeth, which might seem like a low number, but this is just because the blade is about half the diameter of a standard 10-inch miter or circular saw blade.
The blade is designed for cutting through strong materials like laminate flooring, hardwood, and engineered wood flooring with its 40 tungsten carbide teeth that resist heat and abrasion damage. The thin kerf allows the blade to cut through laminates without a lot of material waste, and a lower hook angle on the teeth make the cut smoother. However, its thin profile can increase the amount of pressure required to cut through laminate flooring. The blade has a ⅝-inch arbor.
Users can rely on these Bosch T503 saw blades for hardwood and laminate flooring projects. The affordable set comes with two hardwood blades and one laminate blade with each blade measuring 3¼ inches long. The laminate blade has 40 carbide-tipped teeth that cut smoothly through high-pressure laminates, while the hardwood blades have 35 teeth and a piercing tip to help start cuts on flat surfaces.
The jigsaw blades are made with bimetal construction and they have an aggressive tooth pattern that cuts easily through tough material like laminate or deck boards. While these blades can make straight cuts, they are better suited for making curved cuts or small precision cuts in larger flooring projects.
There are few things more frustrating at the end of a DIY project than having a cheap saw blade break just a few cuts away from completion. This high-quality Freud D12100X circular saw blade costs a bit more than a bargain purchase, but it will last longer. The blade has a Parma-Shield nonstick coating that is designed to protect it from heat, gumming, and corrosion.
The saw blade has 100 teeth for a smooth cut and a 1-inch arbor hole, which is standard for 12-inch blades. A thin kerf and a set of stabilizer vents that are intended to reduce vibration while the saw is in use further refine cuts. The carbide-tipped teeth are shock resistant, so the blade is better able to deal with nails, screws, or other hardware it might hit.
This Freud 10-inch miter saw blade has a standard ⅝-inch arbor hole, so it can fit most miter saws and circular saws. The thin kerf helps create a clean cut without a lot of waste, and the laser-cut blade has anti-vibration slots that can reduce the vibration through the blade and prevent it from jumping or shifting while cutting. It measures 10 inches in diameter and has 80 carbide-tipped teeth.
This blade has heat expansion slots to help dissipate built-up heat during use and a nonstick coating that protects the teeth from heat, gumming, and corrosion. The teeth have a high alternate top bevel design made up of many small teeth that face in alternating directions for a cut that is free of splinters and chipping.
Get out the miter saw to handle the next flooring project with this Bosch DCB1080 Daredevil 10-inch blade designed for working with laminates. The saw blade has four laser-cut expansion slots and an extra-thin kerf for faster cuts with less material waste. It’s made with hard, durable steel that resists warping and bending so that the blade remains accurate over its entire life.
This Bosch blade has 80 carbide-tipped teeth that resist impact and abrasion, helping it remain sharp for a longer time even while working with tougher materials like laminate flooring. The teeth on the saw blade have a negative hook design that doesn’t tear at the side of the laminate, so there is less risk of chipping.
Punch down into the center of a piece of laminate flooring without breaking these durable BOSCH T128BHM3 jigsaw blades, each with a pointed tip and strong steel body. The set comes with three jigsaw blades that are specially designed for cutting through high-pressure laminate materials. Each saw blade measures 3.62 inches long and has 14 teeth per inch, or 36 teeth per blade.
The carbide teeth have a high resistance to heat buildup and have been arranged with a combination of aggressive small teeth and larger teeth. The teeth at the front of the blade angle back, while the teeth at the back angle forward. This counter-directed formation and the thin blade kerf reduce material extraction and make it easier for the blade to move smoothly through laminate flooring.
The eight diamond-tipped teeth on the Norske Tools NCSBP284 miter saw blade are ideal for getting through hard materials like concrete and the abrasive wear layer of laminate flooring. The 12-inch laser-cut blade resists abrasion and features anti-vibration slots to help prevent the blade from jumping and reduce sideways movement while cutting.
The large gullets on the blade scoop up the cut material and clear it away without producing a lot of dust. The saw blade also has expansion slots at the base of each gullet to help dissipate built-up heat. The strength and durability of the diamond teeth are ideal for tearing out old laminate or making rough cuts in new laminate. However, the blade might cause chipping and tearing, so it isn’t the best option for fine cuts.
FAQs About Saw Blades for Cutting Laminate Flooring
Working with laminate flooring can be a challenge, but with the right saw blade, a little skill, and a lot of knowledge, it can be a rewarding process that looks great when the project is complete. Read the most commonly asked questions and their answers below to learn more about choosing and using the best saw blade for cutting laminate flooring.
Q. Do I need a special blade to cut laminate?
Laminates are infused with aluminum oxide chips that can wear down blades that aren’t designed to cut through this material. Look for thin kerf blades that have between 80 and 100 carbide-tipped teeth, or consider using one with just a few diamond teeth that make quick work of hard materials like fiber cement and the wear layer of laminates.
Q. Can I use a reciprocating saw to cut laminate flooring?
Yes, a reciprocating saw technically can cut through laminate flooring, but the results will likely be rough at best. This is because a reciprocating saw needs to bite into the material to create a clean cut, and laminate is a smooth surface that tends to just get scratched up by reciprocating saw blades. It’s better to use a miter saw, circular saw, or a jigsaw for laminate.
Q. Will a Dremel tool cut laminate flooring?
A Dremel tool or another brand of rotary tool with the appropriate cutting wheel can cut through laminates, plywood, hardwood, and a variety of other materials. These are best for making small cuts.
Q. How can I cut laminate without chipping it?
To avoid chipping laminate, use a blade with a thin kerf and a high number of carbide-tipped teeth. You also can lay masking tape or painter’s tape along the cutline to help minimize chipping.