I am cutting out a hole in my old oak hardwood floor where I am installing a laundry chute. I'm a newbie at woodworking and power tools so bear with me. The one tool I have that I think would work best is my jigsaw. But I must not have the right blade because it's just killing me trying to get it to cut through this wood floor. Any help/suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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    When you say it's killing you to get it to cut through the wood, how are you doing it? Did you start with a pilot hole, and then are struggling to cut from there? Or are you trying to make a plunge cut somehow? It might help if you post pictures of the progress you've made so far. That would help us see where you're struggling. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 6:02
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    Other considerations: You will have to cut through the hardwood flooring, and also the plywood underlayment, which is itself on a thick subfloor. So there are probably at least three layers there. Are you trying to cut through all three layers in one shot? Also, have you double-checked to make sure you're not running into a floor joist? I assume you probably have checked this, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 6:09

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways you could do this:

  • Drill starter holes and then use a jigsaw. You'll need a pretty beefy jigsaw and a long blade to cut through the flooring, underlayment, and subfloor. I wouldn't recommend trying to turn the blade at the corners. Drill multiple starter holes instead.
  • Drill starter holes and then use a reciprocating saw. You'll need to drill much bigger starter holes, but this is probably the way I'd go.
  • Use a plunging track saw. This is much safer than a circular saw, but still has some issues (minimum cut length, overrun to ensure cutting through all layers.)
  • Use an oscillating multi-tool to cut through one layer at a time. A wood blade on an oscillating tool should have no problem going through 3/4" of material at a time, and it will let you control the cut pretty well. This would probably be my second choice.

Best Tool would be a circular saw in order to cut through the flooring completely and not have issues with the floor joists. Second choice would be a reciprocating saw (Sawzall, Tigersaw are some trade names). This is basically a much larger version of your jigsaw that will have a longer blade so you can definitely cut through all layers of the flooring. Joists will be an issue though. If possible do not sacrifice a floor joist for a laundry chute.

  • A circular saw will require you to do a plunge cut, which it is not really suited for. You have to tip it up and lower it into the material while the blade is running. It also has a fairly large minimum cut distance due to the circular blade. The short sides of a laundry chute are maybe 4-6", and I'm not sure you can cut that short with a circular saw. It will also require significant "overrun" on the show surface to ensure the full dimensions are cut through the bottom of the subfloor. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:49
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    I'd be nervous to make a plunge cut with a circular saw myself. I think I could do it, but I'd want to be very careful and plan the cut thoughtfully. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who identifies themselves as a novice. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 19:41
  • I retract the circular saw pocket cut and heartily endorse the oscillating multitool ( I didn't think of it at the time) this would be the best tool to control depth of cut and would be a very affordable tool to acquire.
    – Chuck S
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 0:56

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