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I don't find any specific blades, however no explicit recommendation not to cut short pile carpet tiles with a table saw. That's however no base to assume that I should try it.

For starters, I'm not so much concerned with the result of the cut, but with my safety, as I'm willing to try it and don't mind loosing a part of a tile or two. However, if it's impossible to do proper cuts due to a material damage, I'm grateful for an explanation as well.

I prefer a table saw if possible because I need much less force than with a knife. And I can reach precision trivially on the table whereas cutting with a knife with one plank for a straight line and another for protection of the floor seems unnecessarily complicated and improvised if I have a high precision power tool nearby.

I'm not seeking advise how to optimize cutting carpet with a knife. The post is to collect input on the specific question.

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    I hope someone with actual experience weighs in, but my intuition tells me that the pile will unravel and bind up the blade. – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 29 '20 at 22:02
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    Opinion, but I wouldn't do it. If the threads aren't fully cut thru and get sucked into the blade it could jam things up very fast and a pain to clean out. But more importantly is this could happen extremely quickly and suck your hands right into the blade as well. If you want to use a power tool, there are power shears or possibly a reciprocating Dremmel that would be much safer. As others have mentioned, scoring the back side and then cutting thru is the safest. – George Anderson Nov 29 '20 at 23:52
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    Why do you think cutting carpet tiles with the tablesaw is better (or a good idea for that matter ) than the time proven method of a straight edge and a razor knife. Why do you want to do this? – Alaska Man Nov 30 '20 at 2:12
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    your precision probllems are from wrong technique, a knife should give more precision with less effort than the saw. – Jasen Nov 30 '20 at 11:20
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    This sounds like an injury waiting to happen. I worked with a guy that lost a finger when he was drilling holes in a metal/rubber bushing. He had a glove on and the bit pulled it right in. That seems similar to me. – Evil Elf Nov 30 '20 at 12:51
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Can you? Sure, but as noted in the comments, it's probably not the best idea. Even with a zero clearance insert in your table saw, you're likely to get threads caught in a tooth, instead of being cut, and those threads will wind around the saw arbor, bind it up and destroy your carpet square. On the bright side, the ZCI should prevent the carpet itself from being pulled into the saw.

You're cutting carpet tiles, so they're pretty small.

  • Drop a piece of plywood, larger than your tiles, on the floor as your cutting station.

    • Use a workbench if you want, but on the floor means you can put your upper body weight on it, not just your arm.
  • Measure & mark each tile

    • You could screw down a straight piece of 2x4 as a guide to hold the edge.
  • Hold a steel rule on top as a guide

    • If the tiles are all to be cut to the same dimension, pre-measure and put marks on the 2x4 to align the rule to.
    • Go all out and drive a couple of screws/nails to slide the rule against as a stop for even greater speed in aligning everything.
    • If you're very careful, you could put the screw/nail right at the edge of the carpet tile so you've got the tile held between the 2x4 and the 2 nails, drop the rule on the correct side and everything is set up and ready to cut with no effort to do the alignment, and the square mostly held in place for you.
  • Have at with a sharp blade. You'll be quite pleased at how quickly it cuts.

The plywood is big enough that you don't have to worry about aligning the cut over it, it'll support the whole piece of carpet.

When the cutting gets tough, replace the blade.

Just as fast and safer than trying with a power tool.

The only power tool I'd actually consider trying would be powered shears which work like a pair of scissors. A table or band saw risks drawing fibers into the mechanism, potentially binding it, while a scroll-saw, even with the heaviest blade you could find, would probably snap blades faster than it cut the carpet.

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I feel your pain -- I hate cutting carpet tiles with a knife.

When I need to cut carpet tiles, I mark the backing with a Sharpie, then use a set of tin snips with straight blades. Works great, and you can do it while comfortably seated or standing.

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As already noted in a comment, this is likely to end in quite a mess. And could be a bit dangerous too.

A quick search confirms my hunch about the right way: score the back and cut with a utility knife. A new knife and a pack of blades cost very little.

Reminds me of a cute anecdote in a DIY magazine I saw once about someone ending up with dust everywhere from cutting drywall with a circular saw. Who then found out that everyone else just scores and cuts with a utility knife. Carpet tile may be a little tougher, but it is not the type of hard material that a saw cuts well (and that a knife doesn't cut at all).

In response to the latest question edit:

I'm not seeking advise how to optimize cutting carpet with a knife. The post is to collect input on the specific question.

The simple answer is: Yes you could, but please don't!

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