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Thread: Saw blade for hardwood flooring

  1. #1

    Saw blade for hardwood flooring

    I am getting ready to install some pre-finished engineered flooring in my house and I have heard that the aluminum-oxide finish they use can really eat up a saw blade, even carbide tipped.

    Any recommendations for an inexpensive blade that will give a decent cut? I want to get a 12" for the CMS and a 10" for the table saw.

    Thanks in advance for any info you can give me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Wakefield, MA
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    You're right about the finish dulling the blade. I used my Forrest Duraline HI/AT to install a floor in my attic. I had to get it sharpened right afterward because it got so dull. Something to consider: you will probably be putting molding over the edges of the flooring. You need that expansion gap all around, and it has to be covered for cosmetic reasons. Therefore, since the edges won't be showing, a little chip-out won't matter.

    In that case any reasonably decent combination or crosscut blade will do the trick. You can probably get a good deal on some medium quality blades. For example, right now Amazon is having a sale on blades. A two-pack of DeWalt 10" blades is $27.99 + shipping. Even Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware store may have some decent prices. I have a $10 Harbor Freight 50-tooth blade that's not bad. I would use it if I ever did another laminate floor and then throw it away.

    Don't use a ripping blade for crosscutting or ripping if you have to narrow a section of flooring. There's no real grain structure to the stuff, so a crosscut or combo blade is what you need.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    Ignore what I said about not using a ripping blade. I think you are talking about the real wood flooring, not the Pergo-type stuff. If it is a floating floor though, you still need to cover the expansion gap all around the room.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Spear View Post
    Ignore what I said about not using a ripping blade. I think you are talking about the real wood flooring, not the Pergo-type stuff.
    He said "engineered flooring". This is usually basically plywood with the top ply being the advertised species. A combo blade would work just fine, and a ripping blade wouldn't be suitable.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Benbrook, TX
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    I dunno what "engineered" means, but if it's the laminate, which is HDF, you are absolutely correct. Laying a single, 150SF room with 7mm laminate dulled the stock blade on my 12" Makita CMS to where it started burning hardwoods.

    I'm still looking for someone local to sharpen it, in the meantime, Amazon had a sale on 80T 12" Hitachi blades, so picked up one of them for around $20.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hammond, IN
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    94

    use a different saw?

    i toasted a fairly decent 12 inch blade(which belonged to my employer and i was doing a side job) after about 4-5 cuts when i installed some of the ultra cheap stuff(3/16" thick fiber board with what seemed like melamine/foil surfaces)-- the sparks coming off the blade should have been a cue to stop after the first cut, but i didnt... ( )

    after i couldnt use that blade anymore, i began using a jigsaw(with a moderately agressive blade-i dont recall the exact one) to make the cuts, and it worked suprisingly well.. it was an expensive lesson though..

    plus-- a jigsaw weighs about 50 lbs less than a choppy and the blades are exponentially less expensive, so theres that extra benefit as well..

    if i ever have to lay that crap again, ill be getting jiggy with it..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Lafayette, IN
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    Engineered hardwood is not the same as laminate. While engineered hardwood is "laminated", it is essentially plywood with a hardwood veneer on the top. A ripping blade would be needed for any areas where the pieces run parallel to the wall but are too wide, otherwise, a regular "fine finish" miter saw blade would be appropriate for any cuts to length. Laminate is compressed garbage with some fake printed junk on top. (Can you tell what I think of the stuff?). This junk will dull most any round saw blade in a hurry. To install it, I'd buy a couple of the cheapest miter saw blades I could find and just count them as part of the cost. The last time I installed some laminate, I actually used my Sawzall quite a bit with a metal-cutting blade in it. That worked extremely well, though a jigsaw with the same type of blade might have been a little safer and easier to control...

    I can't say I'm real fond of engineered hardwood, either. Often, the plywood underneath is pine or poplar, thus very soft, so even with a hardwood veneer, it dents easily. Because of that, its service life is quite short. For roughly 50-100% more, you could have full-on 3/4" hardwood, which generally can last 100 years or more, easily 4-10 times the service life of any other flooring material, save for tile, stone and their cousins.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Loudonville, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Ferrarini View Post
    I am getting ready to install some pre-finished engineered flooring in my house and I have heard that the aluminum-oxide finish they use can really eat up a saw blade, even carbide tipped.

    Any recommendations for an inexpensive blade that will give a decent cut? I want to get a 12" for the CMS and a 10" for the table saw.

    Thanks in advance for any info you can give me.
    I have put over 1400sf of the stuff throughout my house. I used the 36-tooth carbide blade that came with my Ryobi table saw for all of it. Yes its pretty dull now, but I don't use it for any wood cutting.

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