So you’ve got a wood saw and probably an extra general purpose one and when you imagined you are done buying saws, you realize you may just be needing an extra one for tiles!
So much with the cutting, but bottom-line is the right tool gets the job done right. So do your general-purpose saw some justice and get the best tile saw.
Tile saws are designed specifically for tiles and this is the only application they can handle perfectly. So now you know that saws too have niches. The best tile saw will cut hard and brittle tiles to precision and with much ease.
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You may be wondering which tile saw to pick for your task. Well, our review today goes beyond spotting the best of the best.
We have taken time to research about tile saws in detail so be sure to read through our buyer’s guide for some valuable information.
However, first we take you through the most preferred and top performing tiles in the market according to their different categories.
- 1 Top Tile Saws – Comparison Table
- 2 Best Tile Saw Reviews in 2017
- 3 The Best Wet Tile Saws
- 4 SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
- 5 SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile saw
- 6 DEWALT D24000 1.5-Horsepower 10-Inch Wet Tile Saw **Editor’s Choice**
- 7 2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial Tile/Brick Saw
- 8 Best Dry Tile Saw
- 9 Makita 4100NHX1 4-3/8 Inch Masonry Saw
- 10 Best Wet/Dry Tile Saw
- 11 MK Diamond Brick Paver Saw
- 12 Choosing the Best Tile Saw –Ultimate Buyers’ Guide
- 12.1 Why you need Tile Saws
- 12.2 Types of Tile saws
- 12.3 Tile Cutting: Wet versus Dry Cutting
- 12.4 Powering Tile Saws
- 12.5 Unusual Tile Saw Applications
- 12.6 Some Tile Saw Accessories
- 12.7 Tile Saw Operation Tips
- 12.8 Safety Tips
- 12.9 Factors to Consider when Selecting a Tile Saw
- 12.10 Consider the following:
- 13 Frequently asked questions
Top Tile Saws – Comparison Table
|Tile Cutter||Type||Integrated Miter||Motor / RPM||Weight||Max Depth of Cut||Integrated Miter||Blade Diameter|
|SKIL 3540-02||Wet Saw||0-45 Degrees||2HP/3600||17.7lbs||1-3/8 inches||0-45 Degrees||7 Inches|
|SKIL 3550-02||Wet Saw||45 & 22.5 Degrees||2HP/3600||24 lbs||3/4 Inches||45 & 22.5 Degrees||7 Inches|
|DEWALT D24000||Wet Saw||45 & 22.5 Degrees||1.5HP/4200||69lbs||3-1/8 Inches||45 & 22.5 Degrees||10 Inches|
|CHICAGO ELECTRIC Tile Saw||Wet Saw||45 & 22.5 Degrees||2.5HP/3800||79.05lbs||3-1/2 Inches||45 & 22.5 Degrees||10 Inches|
|MAKITA 4100NHX1||Dry Saw||45 & 22.5 Degrees||5.1HP/13000||6.5lbs||1-3/8 inches||45 & 22.5 Degrees||4Inches|
|MK 153203 MK-1080||Wet/Dry Saw||0-45 Degrees||1.5HP/6000||98lbs||3-3/4 inches||0-45 Degrees||10 Inches|
The Best Wet Tile Saws
SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
With the 3540, 7- inch blade, Wet Tile Saw you will get your tiling projects completed fast and easy. Thanks to its modifiable rip Fence with miter gauge that guide you to make straight cuts to precision. A stainless steel top will keep you going for several years because it is tough and corrosion resistant.
- Stainless Steel and Corrosion Resistant top
- Supports tiles up to 12×12-inch
- Modifiable Rip Fence with Miter Gauge
- 0 to 45o Bevel for a Varied Range of Cuts
- Cooling Water Reservoir to cool the Blade and Reduce Dust and Debris
- 7- inch Diamond Blade for quick and Even Cutting
- 4.2 AMP, 1.4 HP Motor operating at 7000RPM
One of the main advantages of the SKIL 3540-02 120-Volt 4.2 Amp 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw is the ability of the blade to continue cutting well even after a long time of use.
The cooling system together with the water reservoir keeps dust and debris at bay while cooling the blade when it heats. On the other hand, the heat and friction are a good way of keeping the blade sharp.
This multipurpose unit can cut through different types of tiles of up to 12×12-inches without the tiles or its blade crumbling under the pressure.
The 0 to 45o Bevel makes it quite versatile for cutting out a range of intricate tile designs or end pieces.
SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile saw
The New Skil 3550-02 7” Tile Saw with HydroLock System has a powerful 5 Amp motor to offer power during the tough jobs.
This professional tile saw consists of the HydroLock System and a modern upper and lower guard devised to keep water confined near the blade and minimize clean-up time.
It also consists of a Sliding Side Extension offering support for tiles up to 18” x 18”.
- Hydro Lock System is a modern upper and lower guard device that retains water close to the blade, eases cleaning, letting you to cut tiles where they are fitted.
- Sliding Side Extension also offers support for tiles of up to 18 in. x 18 in. and can be used on either side of the saw.
- Aluminium table top is rust-resistant and long lasting
- Adjustable rip fence with miter gauge offers exact straight and miter cuts
- Bevel cuts tile at 00, 22.50 and 450 offering flexibility for different types of cuts.
- Keeps blade cool and reduces dust and debris
You can now have your tile projects done faster and easier since you have the freedom to cut tiles in the room of installation. With the innovative Hydro Lock System, you will have reduced clean-up time and confined water for less mess.
You can also work on larger tiles up to 18×18-inch on either side of the saw thanks to the aluminium table top and an extension that is rust- resistant.
It also features a rip fence and a miter gauge to ensure you have accurate straight and miter cuts making this unit one of the best wet tile cutters.
The bevel allows you greater flexibility with your tiles as it allows cuts at angles of 00, 22.50 and 450.
DEWALT D24000 1.5-Horsepower 10-Inch Wet Tile Saw **Editor’s Choice**
The D24000 Wet Tile Saw by Dewalt comes with the capability to make accurate stone and tile cuts with its 10 in. diameter blade. This blade comes with an inbuilt water cooling system to cool it automatically when it heats up during operation.
- Cantilevering Rail or Cart System with a huge ripping capacity of approximately 24” of material.
- Lightweight at 60lbs
- Integrated 45 to220 Miter Feature to enable quick angled cuts with ease
- Plunge: the unit enables you to make easy plunge cuts both for A/C registers and electrical outlets.
- Adjustable dual water nozzles for maximum water placement on the blade to reduce mist and over spray
- Rubberized top to prevent slipping and sliding
- Cutting capacity at 26-inch rip and 18 3/8″ diagonally
Both the DIY enthusiast and the flooring expert have one thing in common. They both need a great tile-cutting performer with convenient features, which will deliver the best results. the DEWALT D24000 is certainly the best electric tile cutter.
A 1.5HP motor operating at 4200RPM is quite a powerhouse making this unit cut through your hard and brittle tiles fast and with precision.
Ideal for v-cap tiles and pavers, this unit cuts to a depth of 3-1/8-inches thanks to its 10-inch diamond blade.
In addition, its stainless steel rail apart from offering durability is integrated into the saw frame to deliver accuracy.
This unit also features a rubberized top so that your work pieces are firmly positioned during cutting. For plunge cuts, this unit comes with a plunge feature to enable you shape pieces meant for electrical outlets and A/C registers.
Quite unique is that this water saw features a cantilevering design on the saw rail, which you will appreciate when making diagonal cuts on tiles.
It lets you rip up to 24-inches which means, it can tackle 18-inch tiles well enough. In addition its miter, works at 45o and 22.5o stops.
This along with the edge guide will let you cut clean corners on your tiles. Its versatile plunge feature allows you to make quick plunge cuts when shaping pieces to accommodate electrical outlets, A/C registers, and more.
Other remarkable features in this unit include an adjustable dual water nozzle for keeping the blade and tile cool during cuts, rear and side attachments to prevent water from spilling over. This water is held in a 5-gallon water pan that you can set up easily.
2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial Tile/Brick Saw
The Chicago Electric Industrial Tile/Brick Saw definitely makes a good bet for heavy duty tasks. It is quite utilitarian with an ability to cut almost all varieties of bricks from the softest to the most brittle of porcelain tiles.
It is sturdily built with oversized steel frames to tackle large capacity tasks making it among the most popular professional tile saws.
- Oversized steel frame and accurate linear bar system for ease of operation
- Powerful dual capacitor motor with overload protection and sealed bearings to prevent thermal overload.
- Head Pivot capable of making bevel cuts on tiles at angles of 450 and 22.40
- Adjustable cutting head to enable you to cut up bricks up to 3½ inches thick
- Incredible cutting capacity of up to 24”
- Heavy duty cast column and the cutting head designed to minimize vibrations
With the Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower, Tile/Brick Saw you will have attained maximum utility and a great performance on your work pieces too. Because it is highly versatile, use it for brick cutting or making a designer veneer among other tasks.
Its amazing motor power at 2.5HP and speed at 3800RPM makes it a most wanted among constructors and professional tile cutters.
Its modifications and output accuracy are commendable thanks to its Head Pivot that’s capable of making bevel cuts on tiles at angles of 450 and 22.40 in addition to a ripping capacity of up to 24 inches.
Because it is heavy duty, its design takes into account minimum vibration for a comfortable working environment.
Best Dry Tile Saw
Makita 4100NHX1 4-3/8 Inch Masonry Saw
The Makita 4-3/8” Masonry tile cutting saw with a diamond blade of 4in (model 4100NH) is a powerful cutting solution ideal for a variety of cutting applications including stone, concrete, and tiles.
This Saw is driven by a 12 AMP motor, with 14,500 RPM and a cutting capacity of 1-3/8”.
- Powerful 12 Amp motor for tile, masonry, stone, and concrete cutting
- Increased Cutting capacity of up to 1-3/8”
- Compacted design at only 8-5/8” long and is 6.5 lbs. heavy for easy operation.
- High power-weight ratio with 13,000 RPM
- Easily adjustable depth gauge for accuracy cutting
- Lock-off button helps avoid accidents at the start
- Flat back side of motor housing permits easy blade changes
- Double insulated
The Makita 4100NHX1 comes with an inbuilt motor which provides 12 Amps for cutting stone, concrete, and tile all using one too, so you don’t need to carry different saws for different woodworking tasks.
The Makita saw has increased 1-3/8” cutting capacity. It also has a more compact design at only 8-5/8” long and weighs only 6.5 lbs for easy operation and transportation. It also has a lock-off button that helps avert accidental starts.
Best Wet/Dry Tile Saw
MK Diamond Brick Paver Saw
MK Diamond 153203 MK-1080 1-1/2 Horsepower 10” Brick Paver Saw is one of the outstanding product you can purchase online. This saw is a lightweight and portable brick saw with power to cut hard brick and pavers thanks to its high torque, 1-1/2 Hp motor that offers a lot of power.
- Heavy duty 1-1/2 hp belt driven motor.
- Recoil spring counterbalanced head for easy plunge cutting.
- Reinforced zinc-plated steel frame has carrying handlebars for easy transportation.
- Hinged blade guard with stainless steel offers optimum depth of cut at any head height
- Heavy-duty blade shaft with inbuilt, sealed and lubricated bearings.
- Top Cutting table moves on steel roller wheels to offer exact cutting
- Open-back design enables the cutting of materials of up to 16 inches long.
You can now easily handle any job to do with the brick, paver, or masonry cutting, the MK Diamond MK-10801-1/2-Horsepower 10” Wet-Cutting Masonry Saw has a fully confined, air-conditioned, high- spin,1-1/2-horsepower electric motor for maximum performance.
You can use it for cutting tile and stone of various types and sizes, additionally; it can also handle other tough materials like marble and glass using optional accessory blades though not included.
Our Best Pick!
So which tile saw is the best?
The best unit obviously will depend on the application you intend to put it into and the size of your budget.
However, the Skil 3540 tile saw has proved to be popular among those considering long-term use and precision in their cuts. If you are looking for the best tool for large tiles, the Skil 3550 tile saw will be most ideal.
Overall, we pick DEWALT D24000 as our top performer based on its motor power and high RPM. It also has a long cutting blade and offers quite a good range of cutting depths. Its only con is that it might be a little heavier than other tile saws.
Choosing the Best Tile Saw –Ultimate Buyers’ Guide
A tile saw is a saw that cuts through tiles without damaging them. That means you can’t trim tiles with just any saw.
Their blades are powerful yet not sharp so that tiles are not damaged in the process of being cut. Most tile saws will have diamond lined edges to enable them grind through tiles efficiently and with precision without causing damage.
Why you need Tile Saws
While there are other tools that can be used to cut tiles, tile saws present a good option based on their performance and most wet tile saw reviews.
This is because they have been designed specially to cut tiles. Here is why you need a tile saw;
No damage or wastage – Tile saws unlike other saws with sharp teeth, use a special diamond blade for cutting tiles. This blade delivers clean cuts without chipping the edges of your tiles or breaking the tiles all together.
They cut with precision – most tile saws have an edge guide that will help you cut your tiles accurately.
They are easy to use – these power tools are easy to use compared to the manuals. So whether you are a first-timer or an expert, you can do it right any time.
Versatile tools – A tile saw cuts through glass, porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles well enough.
Types of Tile saws
While tile saws are a niche category, within this niche are three different types of tiles.
Wet tile saws – Wet tile or water saws will grind through tiles using a diamond power-coated blade. There are two types of wet tile saws, those with a re-circulating pump and those without a pump. The cutting wheel is placed in a water source.
The purpose of the water is to act as a lubricant which minimizes tile breakage. Secondly, it cools the blade which can break from too much heat produced during friction.
Lastly it prevents any dust production. The best wet tile cutter will deliver precision and are ideal for big tiling projects hence it is the most preferred. .
Handheld saws – these have often been referred to as masonry saws. Handhelds present the best option for small to medium tile cutting jobs that involve thin materials.
It is easy to curve tiles with this type of saw and their small size makes them quite portable.
Unlike wet saws that need to be hooked to a water supply, no much setting is required with the handheld saws. Simply power plug and you are good to go.
Two things you should know about handheld saws is that one, they are not accurate but with practice, you should be able to make precise cuts and two, they are a little messy to work with so they are best used outdoors.
Tile grinders- If you thought handheld saws are small, tile grinders will surprise you. These are the tiniest units of the three yet they are quite handy.
They are also very affordable and perfect for DIY home projects. One thing you will love about them is that they are cordless meaning they use rechargeable batteries making them some of the handiest portable tile saws.
Tile Cutting: Wet versus Dry Cutting
While wet saws seem to have taken over the tile saw market as evidenced by wet tile saw reviews, some would be left wondering if there is any benefit, if at all, in dry saws.
The distinct factor between the two is that wet saws make use of water to cool off the blade after friction heats it up, to prevent damage of both the blade and the tile.
Dry saws on the other hand have a mechanism that fights off this heat without the use of water.
Dry tile cutting has been out of favour mainly because a lot of dust and noise are produced in the process, creating an almost unbearable environment not only for the cutter but for his neighbours too. However, it does have some pros.
- Dry cutting is ideal for smaller neat cuts on a low RPM, hence mostly handheld saws are dry cutters.
- Dry cutting would also be suitable for small decorations characterized by intermittent and shallow cuts.
- Dry cutting eliminates the hassle of having to connect your tool to a water source while working. This makes them good portable tile saws for travel.
Conversely, wet cuts are the most common obviously because it eliminates dust while working and also cools the blade in the process.
Therefore, you are assured of a continuous cut without having to stop to cool the blade. While wet cuts deliver precision to larger tasks and are deemed much safer, they have their downside.
- They are a little messier with a mix of water and dust involved.
- With wet saws, you need to exercise more caution especially if you’re handling porcelain because this tile tends to chip over a rushed cut. In this case, an adjustable blade makes an ideal as it allows you to slide the tile slowly against the blade.
Powering Tile Saws
The two common tile saws based on their fuel types are the gas powered tile saws and the electric powered tile e a saws
Gas powered tile saws are ideal for outdoor cutting where electric supply is not available.
Electric tile saws on the other hand, are the most convenient and make a good option where electric power is available. The best electric tile cutter are quieter compared to other types and do not produce any fumes.
Unusual Tile Saw Applications
So while we are at using the right tool for the job, I was amazed at how much a tile saw can do beyond the conventional tile cutting. Here are some applications you’d never imagine putting a tile saw into.
- As a great art companion: artists and hobbyists have discovered that a tile saw could actually be an expression tool. These units work great on carbon fibre and glass to deliver unique curves.
- Great plywood sheath trimmer: Doors, windows, walls, roofs and other opening somehow have a way of getting your plywood rugged at the edges. A tile saw is a great toll for achieving neat edges, simply trim it off.
- Demolition! : I found this one completely hilarious. Do you have surfaces with unwanted glass, tiles or other materials? Slit them off into pieces and get rid of them! A handheld saw will just be great for this task.
Some Tile Saw Accessories
For all power tools, accessories make operation a lot easier. The following parts and accessories make up a tile saw:
- A motor – The motor is the power behind a tile saw. Without a motor there is no operating it. Motor power range generally from 1HP to 5HP for most tile saws with the industrial ones having greater motor power.
- Rear and side water attachments – these help a great deal with containing water so you will not have water spilling all over as you work. They are rightly placed on the sides and the rear as water will most likely spill from these areas as you work.
- A blade – a blade is the most important part of a tile cutting saw because it’s the one that cuts. Most if not all saws have their edges lined with diamond because this material is tough enough to cut through different tile materials without damaging them. Blades come in varying lengths.
- Water Reservoir – Water is important especially for wet tile saws. Because friction resulting from cutting tiles can cause heat to damage both the blade and the tile, water acts as a coolant. This water is stored in reservoirs or water pans integrated in the saw. Apart from this, water clears dust released during tile-cutting which may be dangerous to the user. With water readily available, you will not have to stop and wait for your tool and work piece to cool first before you can continue cutting.
- Removable tables – tables are the cutter’s work station. Some tile saws come attached with a work table. A removable table is the best because it is easy to clean.
- Miter Gauge – this unit helps you position your work piece at the desired angle during cutting. Just hold your tile and the gauge together using your hand and move it across the work table against the blade.
- Edge Guide – edge guides are handy accessories for precision cuts. They help you position your work piece for an accurate cut. However, some people have opted to work without them.
Tile Saw Operation Tips
To the professional tile saws shouldn’t be difficult to operate. However, it is always a good idea to consult its manual before you begin using it. Here are some important operation tips that will help you use your unit the right way.
- The first thing you need to do is mark the point you want to cut on your tile and rule. You will need a permanent marker because as you already know, water is involved in the process and you don’t want your mark being washed off.
- Secondly, align the marked point with the carriage marker.
- Next, turn your machine on and as you do this you will notice the water jet and blade too are turned on.
- Carefully push your tile into the blade making sure you follow the point you had marked.
- If making a cut out, you should also mark where the angle starts at the back and cut.
- Once the piece is out, clean with sandpaper in case of any rough edges.
During any work, there are certain standards of safety that must be observed to avoid accidents. When working with a tile saw, follow these safety tips:
- Always wear eye protection especially when dealing with ceramic to avoid eye injury. This is even more important if you are working with a dry tile saw.
- Protect your hands too from any possible cuts by wearing thick gloves.
- Cover all sharp edges with a tile stone too to avoid any accidents.
- A NIOSH mask rated N-95 or higher is the best to protect you from inhaling silica particles from ceramic.
- It is always good to have more than one mask because wearing the same one very day can expose you to the same silica particles if not washed.
- A lot of power is needed to run a tile saw. You need a good quality cord that won’t melt when working
- As you already know, water is involved in the grilling process. Electricity is also required which can be a hazard if the two meet. To prevent this, you need a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- Buying brand electric equipment is always the best way to go. When hunting for the best tile saw, make sure you go for the top brands in the market. It saves you money and the need for frequent repairs.
- The blade should always be tested before cutting.
- Have your first aid kit around at all times in case of an accident.
- The blade guard should always face down when at work
- Don’t forget some ear muffs.
Maintenance tips/How to Store
- As you cut through the tiles, solid waste is bound to get stuck and cover the blade. This can greatly reduce its effectiveness.
To clean it, unplug the saw from the power source, remove the blade and use a sponge to get rid of the dirt and this should be done after every use to prevent the debris from permanently sticking on your blade.
- Sometimes, dirt may not come off with a mere sponge. In such cases, scrub using a plastic scrapper, then use the same sponge dipped in detergent water or rub with alcohol then rinse well with clean water.
- Conduct regular inspections on the blade. Check for sharpness as a blunt one overworks the motor leading to damage. You can always replace with a new one or sharpen it.
- The mountain screws and arbor nut should be tightly screwed. Always check to see if they are loose.
- The motor and other electrical features should not be exposed to water for long periods. They should be wiped as many times as possible.
- After all the work is done, clean all dirt from all outer surfaces.
- The guide bars and rollers on the cutting table should be spotless too.
- For effortless travel of the linear guide assembly, some machine oil should be applied on the guide bar.
- Ensure that your cords are free from any cuts. Additionally, do not alter it in any way as this could render your warranty void.
Factors to Consider when Selecting a Tile Saw
Power tools are not always the easiest to select. To get the best one in the market, there is a lot you have to keep in mind which is why we have simplified the search for you with our review and also with the factors listed below.
Consider the following:
Motor size: As the saw drives through the hard, porcelain or ceramic tiles, you need a motor strong enough to get the job done without much friction. Usually, the greater the motor power the better.
Blade size: The diameter and depth of your tile determines the kind of saw you need. Most professional saws come with a 10 inch diameter which is best if working with thick tiles measuring 20+ inches. Ordinary ones measure 7 inches which is sufficient for most DIY home projects.
Saw capacity: This simply means the size of tile that needs sawing. Standard size tiles don’t need a big saw, unless you just need one that will cut all sizes, big and small. However, if the job involves something more brittle such as stone, ordinary should not be anywhere close to your vocabulary.
Tile Material: It goes without saying that the harder the tile is, the tougher the cutting process. It could be ceramic or even granite which by the way are the toughest, requiring more than just a powerful saw. A 12 inch ceramic tile can be cut using a manual saw while a rigid one can only be cut using 7+ inch saws.
Budget: Even as you shop for the best tile saw in 2017, you need to check what your account balance reads. If you are tiling a small area such as the bathroom or kitchen countertop, a manual tile saw ranging $30-$40 should suffice.
Anything beyond e.g. bench tops should cost you about $50-$100 to get the job done. A contractor with pending home projects requires something bigger and better; perhaps a saw weighing over 150 lbs and a 7 inches blade size. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere between $200 and $500 on such tile saws.
Frequently asked questions
How long will my tile saw serve me before replacing them?
There isn’t a specific period as this greatly depends on a number of factors such as the quality, materials of what you are cutting, whether it’s a wet or dry cut, and pressure exerted when cutting and most importantly how well you take care of your saw.
What can I do to make the blade last longer?
For starters, it has to be a quality blade that it designed for the application you intend to put it into. Secondly, the bond in the diamond pieces should be strong and the material being cut shouldn’t be too abrasive.
When should I replace the blade?
There are several tell tale signs that show its time to change your tile saw blade. They include slow cutting speed, unusual thumbing sound, vibrations when cutting, and worn out diamond and bonds. Remember that the condition of the blade greatly impacts the efficacy of your tool.
What is the right way of dressing/sharpening a blade?
A special kind of stone is used to dress a blade. They are thick and narrow with a different kind of abrasiveness that doesn’t wear out the diamonds when sharpening.
Which is the best place to buy a tile saw?
The only place you should buy a tile saw if from the manufacturer or Amazon. Most times Amazon has better, discounted prices than the manufacturer but it all depends with your preference. Always compare prices first before making your decision.
I believe that given this tile cutter review and buyers’ guide, you are well equipped to buy the best tile saw for your needs.