Flooring Saw vs. Table Saw: Which to Use?

Flooring Saw vs. Table Saw: Which to Use?

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If you are planning to build or renovate your own house, then you will definitely need some good power tools. Of course, you will absolutely require some good saws. Two types of saws that you may very well require include flooring and table saws. So, what are they?

Let’s figure that out as well as explore the similarities and differences they share. Let’s figure out which one you need.

Flooring Saws and Table Saws: The Basics

Before we can talk about the similarities and differences between flooring saws and table saws, we first need to figure out what both of them are.

What Is a Flooring Saw?

Flooring Saw First, we have the flooring saw, which is a portable type of power saw that is designed specifically for cutting and installing wooden and laminate flooring. These saws feature a rectangular metallic base which everything sits on, complete with little feet so they can be easily kept on the ground beside where the flooring is being done.

These saws feature relatively small circular blades that move at very high speeds. They look kind of like a small hypoid circular saw with a large base underneath. The blade is generally attached to a guide rail that can only slide back and forth, thus ensuring that floorboards are always cut straight.

Most high-quality flooring saws also have miter functions to cut angles and corners into floorboards as well.

What Is a Table Saw?

Table Saw Next, we have the table saw, one of the most basic and popular woodworking tools out there. These saws feature fairly large and circular blades that are mounted to an arbor, which sits below the table. (You can learn more about table saw parts here.) On a table saw, the blade protrudes upwards from the table.

All good table saws come with fences as guides, and some may also even allow for mitering, although this depends on the model in question.

Keep in mind that you have small portable table saws (benchtop table saws), hybrid models, and very large stationary cabinet table saws too. Although table saws are designed primarily for cutting wood, with the right blade, they can also cut sheet plastic, sheet brass, and sheet aluminum.

Similarities of Flooring Saws and Table Saws

Now that we know what both of these saws are, let’s figure out what similarities they share.

1. Both Have a Table

One basic similarity that both of these tools share is that they both have a table for the material being cut to rest on. This is unlike other types of saws, such as circular saws or jigsaws, which do not have a table for the material to rest on.

2. Both Have Circular Blades

Another basic similarity that both of these saw types share is that they both have circular blades with very sharp teeth. Now, the blades themselves do differ from one saw to the next, but they are circular in nature.

3. Both Are Meant for Wood

Technically speaking, both of these types of power saws are designed primarily for cutting wood. Sure, both of these saws can handle other materials, but wood is the number one material that they are both made for.

4. They Share Many of the Same Guidance Features

Although this will depend on the exact saw in question, both flooring saws and table saws do usually come with fences, and usually miter guides as well. These are features designed to help keep cuts straight and lined up.

5. Both Require Electricity

The other basic similarity that both of these saws share is that they do usually require AC power in order to function. They usually don’t come in battery-operated models, because they use too much power.

Flooring Saw in Use

Differences Between Flooring Saws and Table Saws

Now that we know what the similarities between flooring saws and table saws are, let’s figure out what the differences between them are.

1. Blade Position

One of the most fundamental differences between both of these saw types is that with a table saw, the blade is positioned underneath the table and protrudes upwards, whereas, with a flooring saw, the blade sits on top of the table.

2. Blade Size

Another fundamental difference between these two types of saw has to do with the size of the blade. Table saws generally have much larger blades than flooring saws. Most table saws have 10-inch blades, whereas flooring saw blades may be half as large, or even smaller.

3. Blade Movement

Yet another fundamental difference here that has to do with the blades is that with the table saw, the blade is stationary and does not change its position, whereas, with a flooring saw, the blade is affixed to a guide that can move back and forth.

4. Size of Workpiece

What is important to note is that flooring saws are designed just for floorboards, which means that the material they can handle can only be so large. However, if you have a full-size table saw, you can cut full pieces of plywood with ease. Full-size table saws can handle much larger stock than a small flooring saw.

5. Miter Cuts Are Easier with a Flooring Saw

Although most table saws do have features that allow you to make miter cuts, as well as angled cross cuts, the fact of the matter is that it is much easier to do so with the flooring saw, especially when it comes to floorboards. Table saws are best used for rip cuts and crosscuts.

Table Saw Detail

Flooring Saw vs. Table Saw: Which of the Two Should You Use?

It really just all comes down to what your specific purpose is here. If you are installing floorboards, whether out of real wood or laminate, then it is a flooring saw that you need. However, for everything else, it’s a table saw that you will want to use. Flooring saws are designed specifically for flooring and nothing else.

Summary

Now that you know everything there is to know about the similarities and differences between flooring saws and table saws, you can choose the one that works best for your specific situation.