What Is the Best Tool to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?

What Is the Best Tool to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring

When it comes to installing vinyl plank flooring, choosing the right cutting tool is crucial for achieving a seamless and professional-looking finish. Vinyl plank flooring, known for its durability and versatility, requires a specialized cutting tool due to its unique composition. So, what is the best tool to cut vinyl plank flooring?

In this comprehensive article, we’ll discuss vinyl plank flooring installation tools, exploring the various options, from manual to power tools and weighing their pros and cons. From the classic utility knife to the heavy-duty guillotine shear, each tool has its strengths and limitations. 

You’ll clearly understand the best tool to cut vinyl plank flooring, ensuring precision and efficiency throughout your installation process. Let’s start!

What Is the Best Tool to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?

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What Is the Best Tool to Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?

The best tools for cutting vinyl plank flooring are a utility knife and a vinyl plank cutter. These tools ensure precise cuts, making installation neat and efficient. 

A utility knife is great for straight cuts and is versatile for various flooring types. On the other hand, a vinyl plank cutter is specifically designed for vinyl flooring, giving clean edges without splintering. 

Whether you need to fit planks around obstacles or trim along walls, both options are user-friendly and effective for achieving a professional finish. We’ll explore these tools and others in detail below.

Utility knife

A sharp utility knife is the simplest and most economical tool for cutting vinyl planks, especially for straight cuts. Using the score-and-snap method, you first score the plank’s surface along the desired cut line with the knife. This shallow cut lets you gently bend the plank and snap it cleanly along the scored line. 

The method is quick, efficient, and requires minimal setup, making it ideal for DIY projects. It ensures precise cuts without splintering or jagged edges, producing a professional finish for your vinyl flooring installation.

Utility knife

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Vinyl cutter

The vinyl cutter is specifically designed to precisely and efficiently cut vinyl plank flooring. Its sharp blade effortlessly slices through the material, ensuring clean and precise cuts with minimal effort. 

This highly adaptable tool can easily make simple straight cuts and intricate patterns. Its solid base, built-in guides, and excellent maneuverability enable it to handle cutting tasks effortlessly.

Moreover, it operates cleanly, producing minimal dust and debris, which helps maintain the integrity of the vinyl planks and reduces the risk of fraying or chipping along the cut edges. This feature makes it particularly suitable for installations in confined spaces or areas where keeping the area tidy is crucial.

Vinyl cutter

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Jigsaw

A jigsaw is the go-to tool for intricate cuts in vinyl plank flooring. With its versatility, it handles complex shapes and obstacles effortlessly. Its precise reciprocating blade ensures accuracy, even in tight spots. Unlike other tools, it excels in these challenging areas.

For clean cuts without chipping, we suggest you opt for fine-tooth blades designed for vinyl materials. These specialized blades provide a smoother cut, minimizing any risk of damage.

Additionally, the jigsaw excels at navigating obstacles and crafting curves. This makes it perfect for installations around pipes, fireplaces, or irregular spaces. It’s also ideal for creating smooth transitions between rooms with curved edges.

Jigsaw Vinyl cutter

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Circular saw

A circular saw is a great choice for cutting multiple vinyl planks simultaneously, saving time and effort, especially on larger projects. To cut laminate or vinyl materials effectively, it’s important to use a fine-tooth blade designed specifically for this purpose. These blades have closely spaced teeth that produce smoother, cleaner cuts, reducing chipping or tearing.

Furthermore, you should operate the circular saw at a low-speed setting to avoid generating excessive heat that could melt or deform the vinyl planks. While it may not be suitable for intricate or curved cuts, a circular saw is excellent for making long, straight cuts in vinyl plank flooring. 

So, its sturdy base and guided blade ensure precise and consistent results. This makes it invaluable for trimming planks along walls or creating straight edges.

Circular saw

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Miter saw

A miter saw is an indispensable tool for achieving precise straight and angled cuts, making it invaluable for woodworking projects and DIY tasks. Its rotating circular blade and adjustable miter angles allow for clean, accurate cuts on materials like wood, trim, and moldings.

When it comes to installing vinyl plank flooring, a miter saw shines in cutting planks to fit around corners, doorways, and tight spaces. By adjusting the miter angle, you can create perfectly mitered corners.

This ensures a seamless, professional-looking finish. It enhances the overall appearance of your flooring project. With its versatility and precision, a miter saw is an essential tool for any DIYer or woodworker seeking flawless results.

Miter saw

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Choosing the Right Tool

When tackling vinyl plank flooring installation, choosing the right tool is crucial for achieving a seamless and professional-looking finish. So, what do you use to cut vinyl plank flooring, and how do you choose it?

The selection process for installing vinyl planks involves assessing the project’s scope and complexity. This includes factors like the quantity of planks and whether there are intricate patterns or obstacles to navigate.

Projects with precise cutting needs, such as intricate patterns or obstacles, benefit from tools like a miter saw or a specialized vinyl plank cutter. These tools offer adjustable miter angles for accurate cuts, ensuring a tight fit around corners.

Using these tools saves time and produces consistent, high-quality results. They also help prevent the planks from chipping or tearing during cutting. By carefully considering the project requirements and available tool options, you can choose the right tool for a successful vinyl plank installation.

Tips for Successful Vinyl Plank Cutting

Here are some practical tips to ensure successful vinyl plank cutting:

  • Measure twice, cut once: Double-check your measurements before cutting to avoid mistakes. Accuracy is key to achieving clean cuts.
  • Mark clear-cut lines: Use a pencil or marker to mark where you intend to cut clearly. This guideline helps ensure your cuts are straight and precise.
  • Proper support: Place the vinyl plank on a stable surface or workbench when cutting. Ensure it is fully supported underneath to prevent bending or warping during cutting, which can lead to chipping or uneven cuts.
  • Use the right tools: Use a sharp utility knife or a vinyl plank cutter designed specifically for this purpose. A dull blade can tear or fray the vinyl, resulting in rough edges.
  • Cutting technique: Apply firm and consistent pressure when cutting. Start from one end of the plank and move steadily towards the marked line to maintain control and achieve a smooth cut.
  • Safety first: Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, to protect yourself during cutting.

Conclusion

What is the best tool to cut vinyl plank flooring? You can make decisions that suit your needs and achieve a flawless installation by exploring the various options, from manual utility knives to power tools like guillotine shears.

Remember, choosing the right cutting tool for vinyl plank flooring is crucial for precision, efficiency, and a polished final result. Whether you prioritize affordability, maneuverability, or speed, there is a tool that can meet your requirements.

With our provided options and tips, you can confidently tackle your vinyl plank flooring project. This ensures a beautiful and long-lasting outcome that enhances the aesthetics of your space.

Mark is a seasoned home services contractor and now serves as the Director of Market Research for Services Curated.