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What is a Laminate Cutter?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
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A laminate cutter is a device used for cutting laminate flooring planks. Rather than use a standard saw, installers rely on a laminate cutter to trim floor planks more quickly, which can greatly reduce the duration of the project. Laminate cutting tools are available for rent or purchase at most major home improvement and hardware stores.

There are two basic types of laminate cutters, and they are categorized by the technology used for cutting the laminate. Pneumatic models apply high pressure to the laminate at a specific point, causing the laminate to break without the use of a blade. Bladed models resemble a giant paper cutter, and use a carbide-tipped blade. These blades must be replaced often to maintain their sharp cutting edge. Either of these two types may be electric or manual depending on the thickness and strength of the material being cut.

When choosing a laminate cutter, it's important for installers to choose the best unit for the job. The cutter should be matched to the thickness of the laminate planks, as well as the type of material used to create the plank. Some cutting devices can only cut short sections of laminate, while others can rip a plank along its entire length. Built-in guides and measurements help users make more accurate cuts, while special attachments can be used for making angle cuts or notches.

Laminate cutting tools offer a number of advantages over traditional circular or table saws. They create very little dust, which means they can be used in the room where the laminate is being installed. This saves installers from going back and forth to cut laminate outdoors and install it inside. Cleanup is easier, as there is less sawdust and splintering. A laminate cutter is also capable of more precise, even cuts than most saws. There are fewer jagged edges to deal with and less damage to the finished surface of the board.

At the same time, buyers must understand the limitations of a laminate cutter. These tools are not typically designed to cut curves, which can make it difficult to fit laminate flooring around pipes and other rounded objects. They are also fairly heavy, and can be difficult to move. Many manual cutting machines require significant strength from the user in order to apply sufficient cutting pressure. This often means that users with less physical strength should choose electric or pneumatic models rather than difficult-to-operate manual cutters.

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Discussion Comments

By MrSmirnov — On Nov 27, 2011

If you want to save money on household renovations it is a good idea to invest in laminate pieces that are a smaller size. The Roberts 10-35 laminate cutter is only around $60 and can really help you with smaller pieces of laminate.

We purchased laminate planks that were 8 inches wide and 12 mm thick and we were able to cut it just fine with this inexpensive cutter. It was dust free and really speeded up our work.

We did four bedrooms in our home with laminate flooring and this inexpensive cutter is still sharp, though the edge of the plank can be a bit rough. If you put it up against a wall though, it shouldn't bother you.

By drtroubles — On Nov 26, 2011

@popcorn - You can definitely rent a laminate cutter, and I would suggest checking online for a rental agency near your area, or asking at one of the large home improvement stores near your home. When we were doing our floors we got a Roberts laminate cutter for the weekend for $50 and they also let us borrow a smaller laminate trimmer at no extra cost. We ended up renting from a smaller family owned business though, so that is probably why everything is so cheap.

Also, if you are using wood laminate, make sure you don't accidentally get the plastic laminate cutter, as they aren't usually as strong. My cousin made that mistake and had to take their cutter back, as it was too small and weak, which wasted a lot of time.

By popcorn — On Nov 26, 2011

My husband and I are pretty big on the DIY projects and are wondering if it is possible to rent a laminate floor cutter?

We are going to be installing our own laminate wood floors in the living room and would like to have access to a good laminate wood cutter without having to drop a small fortune on one. All the ones we have seen so far cost from around $250 to well over $600. If we have to spend that on a laminate cutter it will defeat the purpose of us doing the project ourselves to save on cash.

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