What Is a Toe Kick Saw? The Purpose of Toe Kick Saw

Published on: June 16, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

A toe kick saw is a sort of power instrument developed for a specific application: the blade is angled to cut old flooring below cupboards and other low, overhanging constructions. The blade extends outward from the tool’s handles, allowing the operator to position it below the cabinet or in the so-called toe kick region. 

When removing flooring in preparation for the installation of a new floor, carpenters are likely to utilize a toe kick saw, as this instrument substantially reduces the time it takes to rip up old materials.

what is a toe kick saw (1)

A toe kick saw blade is round and significantly smaller than a standard circular saw’s blade. It is situated perpendicular to the device’s body and motor housing, while the handle is frequently parallel to the blade itself, allowing the user to easily push or pull the unit along the length of the toe kick. 

To produce cutting force, the toe kick saw motor spins the blade at a fast speed, and the action is controlled by a trigger positioned on the handle. In most circumstances, a shield or casing will be installed above the blade to assist prevent debris and sawdust from being sprayed.

Toe Kick Saws – Cuts Plywood and Flooring Under Cabinets

Toe kick saws aren’t necessary. They operate best if the previous flooring or plywood being removed runs beneath cabinets or walls, as seen in the video on this page. Toe kick saws are also used to remove underlayment, which is common in kitchens with vinyl flooring put above. On a 90-degree angle, the saw will cut flat up the walls or baseboard. 

[amazon link=”B005WL34PK” title=”This tool’s” /] maximum clearance under toe kicks is 3 1/2 inches, with a maximum cut depth of 3/4 inch. Previously, the two options for removing the underlayment were to remove cabinets or to hammer and chisel away at the underlayment using this fantastic power tool. If only they could build a gadget that could remove staples in a flash!

What Is the Purpose of a Toe-kick Saw?

what is the purpose of a toe kick saw

As previously stated, the toe-kick saw’s primary function is to cut flooring material without the need to move cabinets, built-in furniture, or other similar items. While it may be used for other things, this is the main reason to rent or buy a toe-kick saw.

Toe-kick or flush-cut saws are very specialist instruments because this isn’t something you do all that often (unless you’re a devoted contractor). Most individuals can get by without having to spend a lot of money on one.


The benefits and drawbacks of this sort of instrument should be very evident by now. The benefit of having a toe-kick saw is that it may make a normally difficult task (cutting through subflooring) a lot easier. 

It eliminates the need to remove items from your kitchen such as cabinets, which may significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to renovate a kitchen. It also saves you a significant amount of time and money in the long run.


The disadvantages of this saw stem from the fact that once you leave the tool’s specialization, it actually doesn’t excel at anything. While a toe-kick saw may be used outside of its specified niche, there isn’t much need to do so. This is why renting this gadget is so popular, because it isn’t something you need on hand all of the time.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Toe Kick Saw?

A toe kick saw, also known as a flush cut saw, is a specialized type of saw that is used for cutting flush with the surface of a material. The benefits of using a toe kick saw include:

  1. Precision: A toe kick saw allows for precise cuts, as the blade is set at a fixed depth and can be adjusted to cut flush with the surface.
  2. Versatility: The saw can be used for cutting a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and metal.
  3. Ease of use: The small size and compact design of the saw make it easy to maneuver and control.
  4. Safety: The toe kick saw allows you to make cuts in tight spaces that would be difficult or dangerous to cut with a larger saw.
  5. Time-saving: Using a toe kick saw can save time compared to using other tools or methods to make flush cuts.
  6. Great for tight spaces: The small size and compact design of the saw make it easy to maneuver and control, making it perfect for tight spaces where other saws can’t go.

What Are the Safety Precautions to Take When Using a Toe Kick Saw?

When using a toe kick saw, it is important to take the following safety precautions:

  1. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and ear protection.
  2. Make sure the saw blade is sharp and properly installed before using the saw.
  3. Check the work area for any potential hazards, such as electrical wires or water pipes.
  4. Keep your hands and fingers away from the saw blade at all times.
  5. Use a steady, firm grip when operating the saw, and keep a firm footing to maintain control.
  6. Use the saw only on a stable surface and make sure the surface is level.
  7. Make sure the saw is unplugged or turned off before adjusting or cleaning it.
  8. Do not use the saw to cut materials that are not designed to be cut with that specific saw.
  9. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using the saw, and follow all safety precautions outlined in the manual.

Toe-Kick Saw FAQs

Here are some of the most often-asked questions about how to use this saw.

What Good Is a Toe Kick Saw if You Don’t Know What It’s for?

Toe-kick saws are most commonly used to cut through flooring beneath a cabinet overhang near the floor, known as a toe-kick. A toe-kick saw’s little blade protrudes from the side of the device, allowing it to fit where a regular saw cannot. 

Many contractors use toe-kick saws for all flooring removal because they are obliged to remove flooring under toe-kicks and because they are more than capable of cutting through wood or tile.

Can You Cut Tile With a Toe Kick Saw?

can you cut tile with a toe kick saw

Yes. To cut a tile, you must use the appropriate blade for the material. A carbide-tipped wheel may be used on softer materials like wood floors, while a diamond blade can be used on tougher tiles.

What Saw Can Cut Close to the Wall?

The tool’s blade can reach behind cabinets and cut flat against the toe kick’s vertical surface thanks to its long, narrow neck. These saws are capable of cutting flat against any vertical surface, even the subfloor adjacent to a wall while being designed for toe kick installation.

How Do You Adjust a Toe Kick Saw?

If you’ve just received a brand-new toe-kick saw and are unsure how to use it, don’t panic; this is a pretty typical problem. In this section, you’ll learn how to use your flush-cut saw like an expert utilizing the tactics outlined in this section.

Step 1:

Place the saw blade at a 45-degree angle under the toe-kick and lower the unit to the floor.

Step 2:

Connect the power wire to a wall socket.

Step 3:

Place your left hand on the forward handle and your right hand near the trigger on the back handle. The safety button on the side of the handle should be pressed with the thumb of your right hand.

Step 4:

At the same moment, press in and hold the safety button and the trigger. Release the safety button after the motor has started to run. When the motor achieves maximum speed, tilt the saw to the right until the depth required for the cut is reached. To finish the cut, slowly press the saw forward. The saw blade has made contact with the concrete if you hear a grinding sound. Tilt the device to the left to raise the blade.

Step 5:

When the cut is finished, let go of the trigger. Wait until the blade has stopped moving before disconnecting and uninstalling the saw.


So now you know that if you’re ever performing substantial house improvements that need you to cut through subflooring, you should dump everything else and invest in a nice toe-kick saw instead. Whether you rent or purchase, you will thank yourself when your work (and hence your life) is made a lot simpler as a result of using it.

Read more:

Rate this post

About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Leave a Comment