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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I'm pretty new here to the site and I'm looking for opinions from some flooring guys out there. Basically I keep 2 sets of laminate installation tools, so that I can be on a job, and a team can be on a job at the same time.

Since I started each team has had a simple hand saw for undercuts and they don't seem to be too much trouble, I don't really spend more then a minute or so per door jam making a nice clean cut. Every time I look at undercut saws they are like $500, the money isn't the issue but I'm a rational spender and I have a hard time convincing myself that $1000 is going to make my life so much easier.

Anyone out there spend the money on an undercut saw? if so was it worth the money? do you notice cleaner cuts? faster cuts? if so by how much? basically if anyone want to spend the time giving me a bit of a product review that would be awesome. Thanks for reading ! :)
 

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There are also the circular saws that you can set up with the depth adjustment in addition to the reciprocating finish saws. If you are doing a lot of flooring, I would buy one of these or the reciprocating saws. If you are only doing a couple jobs a month, I would just stick with a japanese flush cut and a piece of wood. After you get the tool and plug in the cord you aren't saving that much time. I could definitely see where doing several rooms in a house on a regular basis could pay though.

Josh Jaros
 

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i do a decent amount of flooring and my roberts undercut saw got stolen a while back but i have not replaced it b/c i own a FMM and a bosch power handsaw. both work just as well but it depends on the amount of flooring your doing.

if your doing it day in day out by and undercut. however i don't like the router style. i prefer the grinder style.
good luck which whatever you choose. where undercuts really shine is cutting baseboard in place.

BTW if your not doing a lot on a regular basis rent it at your rental yard around here they are a $25 a day. when i do a big job i will rent one otherwise my FMM or Bosch works just fine.

i can cut a jamb with my FMM in about half the time as hand cutting it. an undercut may be a tad faster but i hate the way they cut into the baseboard. plus you are taking on more liability if your guys can't handle it.
 

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Just buy one to start out with. No point in spending money on two if you are doing fine with hand saws. You can always take it to one job on one day, and another on another day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone! I had considered the idea of a reciprocating saw but It seemed I might be forced to cut the jambs at an angle sometimes due to the bulk of the saws handle.

I did consider the increased liability but I have these guys signed off on using jigsaws and table saws I'm sure this isn't any different.

I actually hadn't considered the possibility of other applications (ie. baseboard) but that might come in handy, I see differing opinions on the baseboard idea, what was it you didn't like about how it cut the baseboard donato?

It's funny I noticed some google ads when I came back to visit my thread here and I found some grinder style jamb saws for around $300 looks like us Canucks are getting hosed, I might order one up from the states lol.
 

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I'm suprised that you don't already have one, must be a young guy. Us older guys try to spend as little time bent over as possible. If they had them when I was younger my back wouldn't be the wreck that it currently is although I really blame it on setting tile and stone.
 

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to me the grinder style are easier to handle and see the cut line.

as for the baseboard issue. when you cut the jamb with a round blade it will not get into the very corner of the casing unless you over cut into the baseboard. most of the time that nick in the baseboard would be okay and covered up by quarter round. but it just annoyed me. with the bosch or FMM you can get a square cut with out having to nick the baseboard.

now you can cut the baseboard if your installing laminate and the customer doesn't want the quarter round look. its easier and a cheaper option to offer customers then removing the baseboard and putting it back. i have done a few jobs where we needed to do that and i just rent a router style to do that. however the grinder style is pretty decent at it but my personal preference is i prefer the roberts(grinder) for jambs and crain(router) for baseboard. if i was to buy only one again i would get a roberts.

try looking at http://www.tools4flooring.com/jamb-saws-c-74.html maybe they can ship to you.

i find the FMM easier to control then the bosch - again just a personal preferance ;-) when i first started the bosch was all i could afford and i used it for 4 years with no need for something better. the only reason i bought the roberts was my lead installer requested it and it made him happy. i still used the bosch on my jobs and was always in my truck till i bought my FMM. now the bosch is just a backup when we need it or the one i loan to friends.

one thing i have to add as a flooring installer i use the FMM for many other jobs during the job... its almost faster then a jig saw on some cuts and can be kept right next to you as you install. i also prefer it for plunge cutting flooring registers - if needed. i would never have attempted this with the bosch.

honestly if you have a few crews buy a undercut saw and let it roam from crew to crew as needed. if you want one on each crew i would go with the bosch. but i would also consider keeping the FMM in the back of your mind as a future purchase.


side note:
honestly if you want to speed up jobs look into the bullet tools magnum flooring cutters.
http://www.pre-floor.com/bullettools.html
i have bought from these guys before and they are great. i don't know if they will ship to canada.

i do more hardwood then laminate but i have an L9 with the super blade for hardwoods. i just upgraded from the E9 and have yet to use it on solid wood. the E9 i used on a bunch of condo jobs where a miter saw would have been too messy. i loved that thing. i can honestly say that would improve your production hands down if your currently running outside to make cuts.

good luck
 

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Carpe Diem
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I like the Bosch because it does the job of 2 of the Crains; jamb cuts and toe kick cuts:

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Much cheaper for ONE Bosch instead of TWO Crains.
Replacement blades are relatively cheap.

I'm not saying the Crain is bad, I just feel the Bosch is better bang for the buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm suprised that you don't already have one, must be a young guy. Us older guys try to spend as little time bent over as possible. If they had them when I was younger my back wouldn't be the wreck that it currently is although I really blame it on setting tile and stone.
Haha I'm definitely a young guy, only in the industry a few years now :p


Anyway, thank you Donato for the informative post. I will continue to weigh the options and probably grab a couple different rentals and see what I like.

The bullet Tools Laminate Shear seems like an absolute must for my business I can't believe I have't heard about it sooner, I will probably have to get one of those right away! :D

thanks again to everyone who took the time to give a new guy some info :thumbsup:
 

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Pompass Ass
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Undercutting casing properly, squarely and the right height is very important, if done improperly as it is done most of the time it will make the job look like crap.

I have had to retrim houses because the tile installed hacked the casing.

If my tile subs hack the casing, they pay the trim carpenter to redo it and the painter to paint it.
 
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