Many homeowners are looking into different ways to save money while doing construction projects. And that includes installing composite decking. With so many guides on the internet on how to do it, one can accomplish it without any professional help. But one of the many concerns when building a deck is the preparation of the materials, especially the decking boards. So, what is the best way to cut composite decking boards?
What Type of Saw Do You Need?
When cutting composite decking boards, you will need some tools to do it. What are some saws that you can use? Like cutting wood, you can use different types of saws depending on the cut you want. What are some examples?
Like wood, you can use a conventional hand saw to cut composites. But it’s not efficient and will take a lot of time. You also need to make sure that it’s sharp. So if you are a beginner when it comes to building, now may be the best time to start investing better tools.
A better option for cutting composites is by using a circular saw. It’s a handheld saw capable of cutting wood, plastics, and composites smoothly. However, it does take a certain amount of skill and experience to handle it by itself. The material you’ll be cutting should be held down by clamps to avoid any accidents. As far as cutting goes, it’s usable, but not the best, especially for more precise cuts.
Aside from handheld circular saws, you can also use table saws. Table saws consist of a circular blade fitted under a workbench. Wood, plastic, and composite decking boards are then pushed towards the protruding saw blade, making clean and controlled cuts. It’s the most versatile among all types of saws that you can use for cutting composite decking.
Lastly, there’s the mitre saw. It consists of an adjustable saw blade that can cut precise angle cuts. It’s the best type of saw to use to make cross-cuts. Furthermore, it also has the most cutting accuracy among all mentioned saw types. However, you won’t be able to use this type of saw if you plan on ripping wood or composites.
Best Way to Cut Composite Decking
So the question is, what is the best way to cut composite decking? It depends on what type of cut you are aiming for your deck. For instance, if you want fast and efficient cuts for multiple boards, a table saw would be perfect for the job. Many also use this tool to cut decking boards, both wood and composites, along the grains.
Of course, when installing decks, you may also have to do more precise and angled cuts. For this purpose, you can use a table saw, or a circular saw to an extent. However, if you want the best way to cut the boards, you’ll want to use a mitre saw.
Another concern is what type of blade to use. But for this, you may want to look into your boards’ manufacturers. They can give you specific instructions regarding what type of saw blades to use. But in general, blades with more teeth count produce smoother cuts, while fewer mean faster sawing. For general purposes, a medium-duty blade with medium to high tooth count works well.
In general, similar to wood, you can cut composite decking pretty much how you want it. As long as you have the proper tools and know what you’ll be doing, you can create excellent decking board cuts.
How to Cut Decking Boards?
Cutting composites is similar to cutting wood. First, you will need to mark the composites where you like to cut it. Next, depending on the type of cut you want, use the appropriate saw. Make sure to observe safety at all times. For the deck edge, you may want to leave a few inches of allowance. If you do this, you can mark and cut the edge of the entire deck for a smoother and easier cut.