Repair & Care
Toe Kick Saws
Toe kick saws are not a required tool. However they work ideally if existing flooring, or plywood being removed runs under cabinets or drywall. Additionally, toe kick saws are used for underlayment removal often found in kitchens that may have vinyl floors installed above. The saw will cut flush up the walls or baseboard on a 90 degree angle. Maximum clearance of this tool under toe kicks is 3 1/2 inches combined with a maximum cut depth of 3/4 inch.
In earlier days the only solutions for removal that this wonderful power tool provides, was either removal of cabinets or painstaking hammering and chiseling to remove the underlayment. Now if they just invented a tool to remove staples in one quick flash!
Can They Be Rented? Cost To Buy?
In our latest check (May 2013), finding a place to rent these great gizmos will require some in depth research as they are a tool with limited visibility nor do people know they exist. Times do change. After all, when we first discussed jamb saws (another specialty tool) on this site back in 2002 no home improvement store handled them. Since that time many stores have offered them in their rental departments.
Several online companies that deal specifically in professional flooring tools do offer them for sale. Expect to pay $300 for a top name brand in the likes of Crain. Naturally with the growing influx of knockoffs in seemingly every industry, Harbor Freight has a product selling under $75 but does not offer the power compared to the Crain. It may work well for small projects and thin material but don't expect it to last on larger sized jobs. Your mileage may vary.
Words of Caution
This is not a tool to be taken lightly. Kick back can occur if you don't have a firm grasp or are unfamiliar with it's capabilities Our suggestion would be to experiment with it at first and always pay heed to tool safety.
From Our Readers:
Subject: Tool For Cutting Tile Under Cabinets
Question: I'm trying to take out the tile in our kitchen and want to make a nice clean cut at the cabinets so I can install some wood flooring. The tile was installed over the whole floor before the cabinets were put in. I've looked at your toe kick saw, but can't find the proper blade to cut ceramic tile. Any help?
Reply: I've seen some new products come on stream for this purpose. Crain has just added a special diamond blade that works on their saw shown above. I wish that beauty was available when I was an active installer! Sure makes for a nice clean cut around the cabinets. Before it was always a hammer and chisel, a problem existed if you took too much tile from underneath the cabinets. The cabinets could sag. This method leaves the tile alone.
Subject: Cutting Out Underlayment In Corners
Question: The toe kick saw works great for ripping out old underlayment except for the zillions of staples the guys put in the floor. What's the best method for cutting into the corners?
Reply: It's either hand chiseling or if you want to add another cool tool to the toolbox try the Fein Multimaster. Check out the video demo at the link.