Which is Best for Installing Wood Floor, a Table or Miter Saw? (In-Depth Comparison)

which is best for installing wood floor a table or miter saw

When you install wood flooring properly, it makes a ton of difference if you have the right tools for the job. 

Not only does installation become easier but it also becomes a whole lot quicker and more efficient. 

Quick Summary

In this post, we will compare the ease, utility, and performance of a saw table compared to a miter saw specifically during wood flooring installation. 

We will discuss their pros and cons so you can figure out for yourself which tool would suit you best. 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Table Saws

A table saw (or a saw table) is pretty much what one would expect from the name: It’s a table that has a rotating saw fitted onto it. 

The blade of the saw typically juts out of the table and rotates so you can move your wood piece on it in order to cut it. The placement of the blade on the table itself will vary depending on the model and manufacturer. 

Table saws make it extremely easy to perform rip-cuts. That’s because the wood is fully supported as you feed it and move it into the saw. If you don’t know what a rip-cut is, it’s when a cut is made throughout the entire length of a wood piece. 

While table saws are great for rip-cuts, where they do falter are more precise cuts as well as angled cuts. Unless you have some extra tools for measurement and support, it can get quite difficult to make smaller, angled cuts with a table saw. 

Table saws require a bit of practice to properly operate as well. This is true even if you are using the table saw to just make complete rip-cuts through pieces of wood. Extreme dexterity is required as you move the piece through the blade. 

If you make any sudden movements or move the piece accidentally, it can cause uneven, jagged cuts which are something you definitely don’t want. If that happens, you will have wasted a completely usable piece of wood. 

Of course, when you are cutting wood to use as wood flooring, you don’t want those jagged edges at any cost. Jagged edges like that can make the job look extremely unpolished and amateurish. 

Miter Saws

Of course, miter saws work very differently compared to saw tables. Instead of feeding the wood into the blade, you lower the blade into the wood in order to make the cut. 

Miter saws are much smaller than saw tables and they are tools that you can hold in your hand to use. Miter saws are great when you are performing cross-cutting. Cross-cuts refer to when you are cutting across the grain of the wood.

It would mean that you are cutting the plank of wood and making it shorter. The great thing about miter saws is that they can perform precise and angled cuts quite well. This is something you don’t get with saw tables.

Only the most experienced craftsmen can make precise cuts with saw tables but with miter saws, you don’t have to be an expert. They are simple to use and make it very easy for the user to perform bevel cuts, angled cuts, etc.

Hence, if you’re worried about jagged edges and your wood flooring looking amateurish, then a miter saw is definitely worth considering. 

One thing to keep in mind with miter saws, however, is the fact that they cannot make cuts that are longer than the width of the blade. If you are working with wider material, make sure to get a miter saw that can accommodate bigger blades. 

These bigger blades will be the key to you making the cuts you need.

Another great thing about miter saws is the fact that they’re much more portable compared to saw tables. You can easily store them away or carry them around to any job site you need. 

Which Saw Should You Use?

Which Saw Should You Use?

Now that you know what both saws can do, you must be wondering which one would be better for your project. 

Well, when it comes to installing hardwood flooring that is standard, we feel that the saw table would actually work better. That’s because it makes it extremely easy to cut wood alongside the grain. 

With wood flooring, of course, you will need that. As long as you buy planks of wood that are the correct size, you will not need to cut them against the grain anyway. You may only have to make a few cuts against the grain for planks that will go into the corners. 

You can cut against the grain of the wood using a table saw. It just requires extra care and precision. 

Since you won’t have to make a lot of such cuts, we don’t have any trouble recommending the saw table for your needs. 

However, if you want to add some unique flooring that may require some precise cutting, then a miter saw might be the better option. 

Miter saws make it extremely easy for you to make measured, precise cuts. They’re much better at cutting against the grain compared to saw tables. Hence, if you feel you will need that for your wood flooring project, then a miter saw is definitely worth considering. 

However, remember that a miter saw cannot cut deeper than the width of its blade. Hence, remember to use planks for the flooring that is not thicker than the width of the blade of your miter saw. 

As long as you keep that factor in check, you should have no trouble using a miter saw for your wood flooring project. 

As you can see, both saws can definitely work for wood flooring projects. It’s all about knowing what type of wood flooring you want and what types of cuts will be involved with the project. 

Once you’ve identified the types of cuts, you can choose the right saw for your needs.

Wrapping Things Up…

As you can see, there’s no one answer here. 

Both saws can work for the same project but one cuts against the grain better while the other cuts alongside it better. 

Hence, you need to first identify what you need and then buy a saw accordingly. 

Do you have any questions? Please reach out to us in the comments below. 

For better comparison check out our page.

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