Tiles are an essential part of any home. They are common in kitchen and bathroom areas. However, architects use tiles to decorate the patio and deck areas of homes. And if you’re thinking of redoing any area with tiles on the walls or floor, you need a tile saw.
By the name itself, you can say a lot about the tool. It is a saw designed specially to cut tiles. But then, there’s a lot more to the tool than just cutting and trimming. And today you’re about to find out everything about tile saw. What is the tool, how does it work, and its type? Just keep reading and by the end of the article, you’ll gather enough information to pick the best tile saw for your remodeling projects.
What is a Tile Saw?
Just like any other saw on the market, a tile saw also uses a blade to cut through various tile materials. It is basically an electric tool equipped with a water-cooled blade to cut through the hardest of materials the tile.
This machine uses clean water while cutting tile for a smooth cut. A good quality tile saw has a proper water inlet and drainage spaces for a better cutting experience. However, you need to change the water after certain cuts to maintain sharp cutting. Changing water is pretty easy, thanks to the modern design of tile saws.
How does it work? – Mechanism
Tile saws are useful while making straight and angled cut. It depends on the working of the tile saw. If your model supports a bevel angle to a side then you can easily carry out angled cut on tiles. But you must first know the working of a tile saw.
The tool comes uses a carbide blade with diamond edges. So first you need to properly install the blade to cut the tile. Once the blade is set, turn on the power and let the water flow through the blade smoothly. Let the blade reach its full potential before taking it down to make the cut.
A sharp diamond edge blade cuts through the tile material smoothly. At the same time, the water pours over the tile surface, making the material soft and easy to cut. It also helps to keep the blade cool to carry out multiple cuts simultaneously. In addition to cooling the blade, that little water “fountain” also keeps dust and debris at a minimum.
Types of Tile Saw
Different projects demand a different type of tile cutting. And there are basically two types of tile saws, dry and wet tile saws. Further, the wet tile saws are classified into various types according to their working which you’ll find out below.
- Dry Tile Saws
- Handheld Dry saw(Masonry Saw)
- Wet Tile Saws
- Handheld wet masonry saw
- Fixed Tile Saw
- Table Top Tile Saw
- Sliding Table Tile Saw
1. Dry Tile Saws
They are good for trimming and light-duty cutting work due to the absence of water. Mostly, dry handheld tile saws are used for finishing work. They have limited usage as the blade gets hot after a few cuts. Therefore, they are good for small DIY projects and finishing jobs.
2. Wet Tile Saws
Wet tile saws use water as a coolant or lubricant to keep the blade cool and wet the cutting material. They are versatile and good for both home and commercial use. Below are popular types of wet tile saws along with their uses.
Handheld Wet Saw
This is a small tool with a circular saw on the front. You can connect the tool with your garden hose for water cooling. The water passes through pipes and falls on the blade. Such a tool is ideal for carrying out small tile cutting jobs. It is highly portable and powerful enough to cut through various tile materials.
Fixed Tile Saw
Imagine this tool as a standard table saw with a fixed blade on the center of the table. Here, you need to hold and pass the tile towards the blade to make the cut. It is easy to use and a great tool to make fixed cuts on tiles. Good for home renovation work.
Tabletop Tile Saw
Get highly accurate cuts with a tabletop tile saw with a rolling tray. You keep the tile on the rolling tray which you can slide forward and backward for a highly accurate cut. They are ideal for large tile cutting jobs as you can cut multiple blocks twice as fast as a fixed saw.
Sliding Table Tile Saw
Instead of a blade on the bottom of the table, a sliding table tile saw has a blade mounted above. It uses a large-diameter blade that is good for cutting big, thick tiles and stones. You can adjust the depth of the cut for different tiles and stones. Plus, angled tile cuts are easy with this type of wet saw.
How to cut with a Tile Saw (Step By Step Guide for Beginner)
Using any new tool can be quite challenging. But if you know the basics and the right way to use it, you can ace any project. And below is a detailed guide on how to use a tile saw. This will help you understand and operate the tool better and safer.
1. Prepare the work area
The first thing to do is to clear the work area from all unnecessary objects. Use a cloth to clean the tabletop. Clean the floor and make sure there is no dust or debris flying around. Use the right floor or electrical coverings if required.
2. Set the tool
Place the tool on an even floor, near an electric outlet. If the electric source is far, then you can use GFCI certified extension. This ensures safe working. And while using a wet tile saw, you also need to take care of clean water feed and extraction. So plan to keep your tool accordingly to save time and energy.
3. Fill the reservoir with clean water
The most important step while using a wet tile saw is to use clean water. Fill the reservoir with clean water up till the maximum mark. Make sure not to underfill or overfill the water reservoir.
4. Prepare for Cut
Mark the line of cut and position the tile accordingly. Cutting accuracy is high while using a sliding table tile saw. However, you can also use an L-shaped cutout to pass the tile in case there is no sliding table.
To make an angle cut, adjust the tile saw to the right degrees. Adjust the tool’s miter gauge for accurate cuts every time. Once everything is set, it is time to make the final cut.
5. Cut the Tile
Turn on the motor and let the blade spin to maximum speed. Ensure the water is sprayed properly onto the blade properly. Now slowly pass the tile towards the rotating blade using the right equipment. Pass it carefully when reaching the end as this is where breakage and chipping occur most of the time. Replace the water when it gets dirty for clean cuts every time.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Good maintenance of the tool makes it lasts for a long. And below are some maintenance and cleaning tips that will help to keep your tile cutter up to date.
- Clean the tabletop with a microfiber cloth.
- Keep the rails free from oil stains.
- Tighten the loose arms or joints of the tool.
- Only use the right blade for the tile material. You might need a strong carbide blade with a diamond edge for cutting stone and similar materials.
- You must use clean water with a wet ceramic tile cutter. Also, replace the water after cutting a couple of tiles for better accuracy.
- Use GFCI-certified extension cords for user and tool safety.
Safety Tips for Tile Saw
Safe handling of the tool is beneficial to both user and the tool itself. And below are a few safety tips to keep in mind while operating a tile saw.
- Let the blade reach its full potential before making the cut and let it stop completely before cutting the tile.
- Place the tool on an even surface.
- Use clean water only.
- Fill the water up to the maximum mark.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Apply anti-rust oil to rails if it has been a while using the saw.
- Wear eye and ear protection.
- There are various types of tiles, namely, porcelain, glass, marble, granite, ceramic, natural stone, etc. Attach the right blade for each of the tile types.
The main use of a tile saw is for the accurate cutting of multiple tiles. Wet tile saws are more versatile and good for making hard cuts due to the continuous praying of water on the tool and material. You can spot a large ceramic tile cutter at a construction site. However, many DIY enthusiasts invest in a good-quality tile saw for redoing their kitchen, bathroom, or pool. And now that you’ve got a good idea about the tool, it would be easy for you to pick the best type of tile saw for your projects.