Vinyl plank flooring is widely recognized for its durability and elegantly crafted tongue and groove fittings. Its strength is significantly enhanced by the high-quality and sturdy materials like vinyl resins, thus contributing to its overall durability and stability.
Also, this flooring type is often used for DIY tile installation.
However, to ensure success, it’s necessary to have the appropriate vinyl plank flooring cutting tools and sufficient knowledge to trim them skillfully.
That said, below are the best tools to cut vinyl plank flooring. You might have one of them in your toolbox but are unaware of it.
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Composition and Characteristics of Vinyl Planks
Vinyl plank flooring, such as luxury vinyl plank, is made from materials such as PVC resins and plasticizers laminated to form a replica of a wood slab.
The combination of these materials makes the vinyl plank resistant to water and ideal for high-moisture environments.
The vinyl flooring consists of four strong layers.
- The first layer acts as a protective shield, guarding the plank against scratches.
- The second layer consists of a top-notch vinyl print that closely replicates the appearance of a hardwood plank.
- The third layer is a rigid core made from a stone-plastic composite.
- The last layer adds a touch of comfort to the flooring, providing a soft feel and effectively absorbing sounds.
Best Tools to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring
When it comes to cutting vinyl planks, you can choose between two options: use manually operated tools or power-operated tools.
1. Manually-operated Tools
The manual tools category includes equipment that does not require electricity to function. However, although these types of equipment are handy and can be used anywhere with bare hands, they consume a considerable amount of time and physical energy cutting the planks.
Here are the best manual vinyl plank cutter:
- Hand Saw
Cutting vinyl planks with a hand saw is one of the simplest and safest ways to have clean plank edges. This tool does not require expertise, only a firm grip to handle the saw for accurate trimming.
Also, the saw blade must be very fine and exceed 12 teeth every inch to handle thick materials. Using a regular wood saw with large teeth may lead to unwanted chipping and other problems during installation.
- Utility Knife
Yes, the thin and sharp utility knife can penetrate the intricate layers of vinyl plank when enough pressure is applied. This tool is used not as the major cutting instrument but for minor marks, especially around objects and indents to fit in the corners of the planks.
Utmost accuracy is a must for the precise cutting of vinyl planks with a utility knife. Otherwise, the knife’s sharpness may inadvertently leave a permanent mark on the surface of the slab. Also, never duplicate the plank slicing, as it may mess with the first cut you just made.
- Laminate or Vinyl Tile Cutter
Laminated or vinyl tile cutters are heavy-duty manual snap cutters that can penetrate wood, cement, and many materials. The most suitable one for the vinyl plank is the cutter with a guillotine-style blade. It is made with a lever, a sharp blade, and a flat surface where the plank settles before being chopped.
They are best for making crossed and angled cuts on vinyl planks, depending on the width capacity of the design. Plank edges separated by these cutters are crisp and clean, like a brand-new piece from the shop. However, they cannot perform vertical trims on the vinyl as they have braces on both sides.
In addition, refrain from using a ceramic tile cutter when working with vinyl flooring. The diamond edge blade of this tool does not sink entirely into the plank, leaving you with either broken slabs or half-done cuts.
2. Power-operated Tools
Power-operated tools are the other option for vinyl flooring, and they rely on electricity instead of manual effort. These types of equipment are mostly made with oscillating tool and blades to cut the vinyl planks. For sizable projects, it is advisable to use these equipment as they boost efficiency in comparison to manual ones.
Some of the best power tools you can have are listed below:
A jigsaw, which is also called the saver’s saw, is one of the satisfying power-operated tools for cutting vinyl planks. It has versatile cutting blades that create various forms and shapes from plain rectangular planks.
Also, it can easily cut vinyl corners and any protruding objects that hinder the installation of the vinyl planks.
When using this tool, you must select a fine tooth blade to produce a crisp edge that fits the sides of the other already installed plank.
- Table Saw
A table saw is the best equipment to cut thick vinyl plank flooring as it has built-in support to perform the operation. It can also perform rip cuts, which is very difficult to do when using other types of mechanical equipment.
It would be best if you were particular with the blade when using a table saw, as it affects the quality of the trims. Use a saw blade with higher TPI (tooth per inch) for smooth cut edges. The blade rake angle should also be negative to minimize aggressive cutting, which results in rough corners.
- Circular Saw
A circular saw is one of the portable and efficient power tools that work for cutting vinyl planks. It works faster in cutting compared to a jigsaw. Simply push the circular saw through the planks, and the cutting is done in no time.
Due to its handy nature, this tool can do crossed trims along the width and rip-cuts along the vinyl plank length. Also, a circular saw is more affordable than a miter and table saw, all of which use the same blades.
Besides that, this equipment comes in different sizes. There is the larger circular saw which is used for large-scale projects. The mini version is handheld and has the same function with added portability.
- Miter Saw
A miter saw, sometimes called a chop saw, is among the precision cutting tools used to trim vinyl plank flooring. It has a circular blade securely mounted on a fixed hinge and punctures the planks in a controlled manner.
This saw is best for making identical angled and bevel cuts in bulk without repeated measuring. It also features safer handling and more accurate trims compared to circular saws.
However, miter saws are more expensive and cannot perform rip cuts.
A Dremel is a handheld power tool that operates at high speeds and is known for its precision and compact size. A well-known model used in cutting vinyl planks is the Dremel Trio.
It consists of one core tool and extra accessories that are ideal for accurately cutting, grinding, and honing edges.
The Dremel Trio is particularly advantageous for following unusual shapes around obstacles. Nevertheless, its potential is somewhat restricted due to its petite shank size.
Dremel tools can cut vinyl plank flooring precisely without chipping on corners. They perform splendidly despite their small size, and they can compete with larger equipment.
Cutting Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide
The cutting of vinyl plank flooring usually employs the score and snap technique.
A score is a partial trim of plank flooring to give way for bending or snapping to tear the blocks into two. Meanwhile, the three different board cuttings are the rip cut, crosscut, and notch cut.
- When making a rip cut, the blade goes along the length of the board, following the grain of the vinyl. This cut is ideal when the board needs to be fitted on the end of the flooring.
- On the other hand, a crosscut goes across the board’s width, perpendicular to the grain, which makes it easier and faster to puncture the board.
- Finally, notch cuts are made to remove small sections to install vinyl flooring around obstacles such as door jambs and pipes.
For seamless snapping, it is crucial that the scoring of the plank is done deeply using sharp blades. Furthermore, when doing the vertical scoring, use table and woodworking clamps to secure the plank in place.
You should also use a Sharpie to mark the trim lines and a level to guide the cuts.
The ability of vinyl flooring to withstand water damage and wear and tear makes it a popular choice for flooring projects. Homeowners can effortlessly install this tile using the best tools to cut vinyl plank flooring without the need for professional assistance.
Having a good understanding of the proper technique, various cutting methods, and the appropriate tools for cutting vinyl plank flooring is crucial. Once you acquire this knowledge, you can confidently select the ideal tool that suits your requirements, whether a manual option or a power tool.
Hi, I am Roseanne Jones, an aspiring home designer that wants to make you feel more at home with your new house.With nearly five years of redecorating old residents and arranging new ones, I am confident that I can give you the best advice on your lovely place.