Handsaw, jigsaw, crosscut saw...opinions?

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  #1  
Old 09-30-05, 10:35 AM
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Handsaw, jigsaw, crosscut saw...opinions?

I am planning on installing laminate wood floors (floating) and just wanted an opinion on those that have experienced using these tools (handsaw, jigsaw, crosscut saw). I have never used any of these tools for anything (I'm a single mom who mows the lawn, clean the house, do the laundry... and just got into DIY fixing, replacing, painting things...so now I'm getting my hands onto some new tools..!)

Which is easier and better to use? I'm thinking the jigsaw would be the easiest plus the fastest and cleaner cut? I'm planning on doing 1200 sqft of the laminate so maybe just the handsaw won't do? Any opinions?

Thanks again everyone...in advance!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-30-05, 11:16 AM
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I recently did a 1450sq.ft main floor & bedrooms in red oak common #1. I would not consider using anything but a chop saw (cut-off saw). Easier, faster and accurate. I can't imagine laminate would require less cuts but I would be open to correction fromanyone who has done an area that size using laminate.
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-05, 11:38 AM
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Being that I've never used any of the tools...nor have any of 'em...after a few searches...the chop saw is the most expensive of the 4...right? Thinking of buying or borrowing one/any of these tools...If I buy I can't imagine what I'd do with any of the tools in the future so I don't know if the cost is worth it? Or is it? This is a one time thing...hopefully!
 
  #4  
Old 09-30-05, 11:48 AM
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That was my first thought when I bought my first chop saw (too many years ago to ponder) "When will I ever use this thing again?" That said I can't thing of a project that I have undertaken in the last few years where I did not use my chop saw.
Framing a basement, building a shed, building some shelving...though you walk through the valley of darkness you will fear no evil, for you are now a DIY'er!!


besides you can rent them
 
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Old 09-30-05, 11:53 AM
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You're prob. right. Bought my first hammer (whoowho!) years ago and I think I got my monies worth...hee hee Hmmm...chop saw sounds good so far. So which blade would you recommend? It's easy to handle right? I don't want to accidentally cut off my arm er something...so far I've been able to handle a hammer, a small hand saw, electric sander, etc. but nothing bigger and electrical like that...it scares me.
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-05, 03:01 PM
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Very easy to handle once you set it up on a table. I haven't cut anything off yet (at least not completely) that hasnen't grown back

You don't need to get anything really fancy. A base model Delta has lasted me 5 years and looks good for another couple anyway. As far as a blade is concerned I would not go with a particularly high end blade because the laminate material, I understand, is fairly hard on blades. Save your good blades for finer work like baseboard cuts ot trim work. I would ask one of the older guys in the tool department of the box stores (you know the guys that have that weathered 'been-there' look on their face) and ask them for a blade recommendation.
 
  #7  
Old 09-30-05, 03:46 PM
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I've been laying floors for over 20 years and have long considered my jigsaw the most versitile saw I own, and I own them all. A chop saw is no good for cutting wall rips, a table saw will do most things but there is the problem of a round blade cutting square inside corners and it is a dangerous tool. You could use a hand saw to clean that corner though. The jigsaw will be a little slower, but it is the safest. A good one is crucial, the Bosch sets the standards at $140.
You can always rent tools too, the chopper is handy and quick for end cuts. Just my own opinion.
 
  #8  
Old 09-30-05, 04:41 PM
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Thanks guys...whew...why can't they just make one saw that does everything? Most likely won't rent b/c if it's by the hour or days I'll feel pressured to finish. Might take me a while since I'm a first timer and I want to get it done right so renting is out of the question. Maybe my dad will have all the tools. Maybe he'll have all the tools stated and I can play around w/them all and see what I can "handle" and works well. So far he's had all the tools I've need to fix up the house. This is gonna be fun! If I get it all done right...I can't wait to show you guys...may be months from now though.

You guys are the best!
 
  #9  
Old 09-30-05, 11:29 PM
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I've just started installing laminate last week. I bought a chop saw before I started and have been very happy I did. I just got the least expensive one at Home Depot ($86 Ryobi).
I purchased an extra blade with a high tooth count that was supposed to be for plywood and plastics. It ended up causing alot of smoke that set off the smoke alarms . I ended up just going back to the blade that came with the saw and that has been working just fine. I'm doing about 1200 sf of laminate and also replacing the baseboards so this saw is going to help with all of the mitered cuts.
Good luck
 
  #10  
Old 10-01-05, 11:09 AM
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The results are in... and a decent chop saw is the clear cut winner....

I've got to agree... I'm finishing up a 600sq.ft basement addition at the moment (trim time)... and ------ while I remove/add different power tools from the scene - the compound miter saw (chop saw) stays in the same spot. I use it for framing/trim/plumbing (cutting pvc straight). Mine is an old (5 - 8yrs) Sears Craftsman unit - probably less than $100. It's been used for projects on a regular basis over the years and I absolutely don't know how I got along without it....

As an "add-on"... it comes with a laser guide that shows exactly where the cut is going to be.... eliminating the "just a hair more" double cuts.....
 
  #11  
Old 10-02-05, 08:58 AM
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If it were me I would go the compound miter saw route as well. I just seem to use it the most and it really speeds the process up. With that said though I usually bring a table saw and a jigsaw to all jobs and usually use them all at one point or other. Sometimes issues tend to creep up when you least expect it. I am not sayin you NEED all three by any meens though. I do agree with Marco1 wholeheartedly with his mention of a nice jigsaw. It really is worth its' weight in gold and has gotten me out of tough jams. I think if I were you I may think about going with both the miter saw and a jigsaw. The Bosch he mentions is a great machine. All in all you will probably wind up spending about 300$ for 2 decent tools. They are also tools you will undoubtably use again and again. Renting is always a good viable option too.
 
  #12  
Old 10-03-05, 07:48 AM
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Finished 700 sq ft of laminate in the basement and I needed both a compound mitre and jig saw. Completed the job in 12 hours.
 
  #13  
Old 10-03-05, 11:17 AM
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Thanks everyone! Just bought me a jigsaw and chopsaw! Can't wait to use 'em!
 
  #14  
Old 10-13-05, 09:35 AM
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Wooesme! I bought the wrong chop saw!!! I ordered online b/c I don't like going into stores and didn't read correctly!!!Are there different types of chop saws or what??? Guess I'll use this tool for something else cuz it cuts steel and says not to use on wood and not to change the blade...should've shopped at the store and asked questions...my fault. Anyway I'm sure my dad has the compound miter saw or something or other..

Anyway...so are there different types of chop saws? I thot "chop saw" are "chop saw" and nothing different.

Boo hoo!
 
  #15  
Old 10-13-05, 07:33 PM
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A compound miter saw! A chop saw is for steel fabrication. Some call a compound miter saw a chop saw, and people in the trades know that they are talking about a compound miter saw. Now around the welding shop, a chop saw is just, "here, cut this..."
 
  #16  
Old 10-13-05, 09:42 PM
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A *compound* miter saw is overkill for a standard install. It is awful handy for some base jobs and all crown molding, but you will not need to cut a piece of flooring two angles at one time. You can save money with just a basic miter saw.
 
  #17  
Old 10-14-05, 12:10 AM
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My opinion is that you can't do a laminate job with just a chop-saw.
You will need at least a jigsaw and a chopsaw.
However you can do an entire job with just a jigsaw.
Personally, I use my tablesaw, mitersaw and jigsaw. So if you were looking to buy just one tool for laminate, go with the jigsaw. Actually I use the table saw to cut the ends and virtually all corners etc. I find it slices through laminate whereas my chopsaw struggles unless I keep putting on new blades. The only thing I use the jigsaw for is heat vents (when doing laminate).
If you can't return the chopsaw, I would try and use it on the laminate. NOt sure what kind of blades you can buy but if you are stuck with the saw, why not try to use it?
Miter saws are so cheap these days, if you can afford it, you will use it again.
When I use my miter saw, I always say its the best tool I ever bought, but I say the same thing when I need the jigsaw or the table saw or my dremmel or my air nailer or
 

Last edited by mjd2k; 10-14-05 at 12:27 AM.
  #18  
Old 10-14-05, 06:25 AM
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If you can return the saw then return it and buy a good quality hand saw.

You should only need one cut per width of room as the off cutt is used at the other end. Count the number of runs accross the room and that will be the number of cuts. Doubt that you will find it to be too many to do. The quality of the cut should not be too important as it should be hidden under what ever you use to hide the expansion gap.

The handsaw will also allow you to cut the bottoms of the door frames to slide the flooring under and will also allow you to cut the odd shapes you may require that the chop saw cant do.

Can't beat a good hand tool
 
  #19  
Old 10-14-05, 09:14 AM
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Thanks all...tried using the chop saw on a piece of laminate and it worked but burned the wood a little. I think it's workable but a little overkill for the job. My dad has a miter saw so I'm going to just find the correct blade for it and I have the jigsaw so it'll do for now 'til I get all the laminate delivered and ready to actually install. My dad likes the chop saw so I think he's going to buy it from me whoo hoo! Thanks for all the info...I'm not too familiar with tools so I just bought what was told...u know...get a "chop saw" so I looked for "chop saw". Gotta start learning the language I guess. Hee hee

You all are brilliant!
 
  #20  
Old 10-14-05, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k
You will need at least a jigsaw and a chopsaw.
However you can do an entire job with just a jigsaw.
People have a hard time with this, but the jigsaw is the only one that will do everything all the others will. If you can have only one saw, the jig is it.
 
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