How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Hardwood Flooring

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Cuts on hardwood flooring planks range from straight cuts for shortening the length, to detailed cutouts and notches to accommodate door trim, floor vents and other obstacles. A circular or miter saw makes quick work of simple straight cuts, but a jigsaw is better for the smaller cuts that require more precision. The blade choice for the jigsaw affects how well the cuts turn out. You want a smooth cut without splintering the board so the finished floor looks professionally installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Wood pencil
  • Wood blade
  • Drill
  • Tape
  • Clamps
  • Measure the cutout you need to make on the wood flooring plank. Put the wood plank in place to make marks if possible. For example, on a floor vent, put the wood plank in position so you can determine the location of the cuts for the vent notch. Measure the depth of the cutout needed between those two end points to finish the notch.

  • Mark the cutout on the piece of wood flooring using a wood pencil. Measure the cutout onto the board and draw with the pencil to outline the notch.

  • Drill a hole at the corners of the notches. The drilled holes make it easier to cut the 90-degree angles, which are difficult to do with a jigsaw. Place the drill hole so it stays inside the cutout area. If it goes past the line into the area of the wood plank, you will have a gap or larger cutout than needed.

  • Fit the jigsaw with a wood cutting blade. Place masking tape over the cutting lines to protect the wood as you cut.

  • Clamp the board to the work surface to hold it securely in place while cutting. Cut along the marked lines slowly to follow the lines and get straight cuts.

  • Put your flooring plank in place to determine if the cuts are correct. Make adjustments to the cuts as needed to fit properly.

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