Best Tile Saws: Trim and Shape Various Types of Tiles
Use any of these top tile saws for a simpler cutting experience
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON October 9, 2019
Without the right cutting tool, you may end up ruining the shape of your tiles and spending more in replacements. The best ceramic tile saws can be used to cut through marble, porcelain, granite, stone, and glass. Consider using the following tile saws for cutting through tiles of various shapes and sizes.
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Benefits of Tile Saws
- Make accurate cuts. Precision is important when you're tackling a tile project. Ideally, you should use a wet tile saw with a sharp and efficient blade for clean, straight, and accurate cuts.
- Great for larger jobs. If you're working on a large project, wet tile saws have a good amount of power to get the job done, even if the material is hard.
- Versatile. A lot of wet tile saws have a beveling option. That allows you to cut different shapes and not only straight lines. They are also able to cut various types of materials.
Types of Tile Saws
Recirculating Pump Saw
This type of wet tile saw features a reservoir that provides the water a wet tile saw requires. It features a filtering system that removes debris during the cutting process and provides clean water in return. Users must regularly check and refill the reservoir because it loses water due to splashing.
Fresh Water Saw
This type of wet tile saw does not have a reservoir. Instead, you must attach the saw to a faucet in order to access clean water. The benefit of this type of saw is that you don't need to clean any filters or refill the reservoir. Its biggest drawback is that it isn’t very portable.
Porter-Cable, a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, was founded in 1906 and is currently based in Jackson, Tennessee. The company designs a variety of power tools, including belt sanders, band saws, and circular saws. We recommend the PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw.
SKIL Power Tools
Electric power tool and accessories company SKIL Power Tools was founded in 1924 and is based in Naperville, Illinois. Chervon (HK) Ltd. in Nanjing, China, bought the SKIL brand in 2016. SKIL designs a variety of products, such as circular saws, drills and drivers, belt sanders, jigsaws, lasers and measuring tools, and the SKIL Wet Tile Saw.
Delta Power Equipment Corporation
Based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, DELTA has been in the woodworking business since 1919. It manufactures a variety of products, such as table saws, band saws, radial arm saws, scroll saws, drilling machines, lathes, and grinders. We recommend the Delta 7" Cruzer Wet Tile Saw.
Tile Saw Pricing
- $100-$200: There are plenty of good-quality options in this price range. You will find many entry-level machines with the ability to cut through slimmer tiles. These units won't have as much power as more expensive options.
- $200 and up: You can spend several hundred dollars on a high-end tile saw. They are more powerful and heavy-duty than cheaper alternatives and can cut larger-size tiles and those made of stone and concrete.
A wet tile saw's power is indicated by either its watts or horsepower. Entry-level machines are typically 400 watts and are good for small jobs and tiles that are up to 1.5-inches thick. Mid-range saws are usually 600 watts and can cut nearly all types of tiles. High-end units, which are favored by professionals, are 900 watts and are capable of cutting concrete and stone.
Good-quality saws are sturdily constructed with strong frames. Ideally, they are built of rust-resistant steel or aluminum. Flimsier machines have a tendency to vibrate a lot, which can cause problems if you want to make sharp cuts. Try to avoid units with a lot of plastic parts because they won't be as strong or stable.
Wet tile saws use diamond-coated blades, but some are better quality and more durable than others. For example, those with a synthetic diamond coating are often stronger and have a longer lifespan. The size of the blade is also important. Seven-inch blades are good for thinner wall tiles, while 8-inch blades can cut tiles that are 2 inches thick.
- Safety Features: If you want to ensure that the saw works smoothly and will not harm you when in use, look for units with a protective casing. In addition, check to see that it has an overheat guard so that it will shut off if it gets too hot. This will keep the motor from getting damaged.
- Portability: If you want a machine that you can move around a job site or your home, then look for a unit that's not too large or heavy. Also, it's a good idea to find a saw with a stand so that you can use it in areas where there is no other type of accessible support.
- Drain: It's really convenient to have a drain when you're using a wet saw. Instead of being forced to pour water out of the machine, you simply have to pull the plug to remove excess water. This makes the process a lot quicker, so you save time when completing a project.
- Extra Features: Some saws have features that set them apart from other brands. If you're a serious DIYer, look for options such as beveling, extra horsepower, and special locking mechanisms. It's also helpful to have a machine that minimizes dust buildup. These additions can make a big difference if you use a tile saw frequently.
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- Be sure to secure the tile on the cutting table before you turn on the saw. If the tile isn’t secured, it can lead to bad cuts or shatter if it falls.
- You should regularly inspect your tile saw for any flaws in the mechanism every time you complete a cutting job. Be sure to repair the damage.
- Lubricate the saw and use cooling oil on the motor to preserve the life of the tool and prevent overheating when working.
- Never use water to clean a tile saw. Instead, use a soft cloth or a dust blower to remove dust from the internal parts. Do not wipe the blades with a wet cloth; they may go dull and rust.
- Remember to wear eye goggles and a set of heavy-duty gloves to protect your eyes from flying debris and injuries on your hands.
Q: Can a tile saw be used at a Jobsite?
A: If there is an electrical outlet at the job site, then you can use a tile saw to achieve more accurate cuts. You will also be able to cut more tiles than if you use a ceramic tile cutter, which can be exhausting.
Q: How do I know that my tile saw is operating efficiently?
A: A well-functioning tile saw will operate at a slow speed when starting and pick up to a full blade rotating speed. Also, the tile slides continuously, and there shouldn’t be too many particles flying around the cutting area. Jams and kickbacks are a sign of a malfunctioning tile saw.
Q: Can I use a basic entry-level tile saw for shaping larger tiles?
A: Most entry-level sawing tools are typically small, and you'd have a hard time fitting a large tile on the saw table. You may be able to do a little detailing around the edges, but it will be difficult to make a diagonal cut on the tile. Also, the saw may overheat since it takes a longer time to cut through a large piece.
Our pick for the best tile saw is the PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw. It's easy to use, has a corrosion-resistant stainless steel top, and does an accurate job of cutting tile without leaving much dust behind.
If you would like a simple and cheap tile saw for home DIY projects, consider the SKIL Wet Tile Saw.