Tiles can be very delicate when trying to cut, resize or shape them. Coming in different materials like porcelain, stones, ceramics and glass, they can easily break as they are hard. That’s why, when cutting them or resizing and shaping them, you need the best tile saw that money can buy.
A tile saw is a unique and special tool that is designed to cut tiles precisely and efficiently. A tile saw is likely to take off all the burden from your shoulders as it works efficiently. There are two main types of tile saws; handheld saws and the table saws.
Handheld Tile Saws
Handheld saws, as the name suggests, can work while held by your hands. These are smaller tile saws compared to the table saws. They have smaller blades with and are efficient when cutting smaller tiles.
Handheld saws are portable and you can use them in external operations. You can walk with them as they are light.
However, they are not the best choice if you want to cut larger tiles or deep cuttings. When using them on smaller tiles, you need to ensure that the tiles are properly secured by clamping them down. You also need to manually mark the tiles before you start cutting them, both of which need sufficient preparation before you finally start the cutting.
Handheld tile saws can either be dry, wet or dry wet. Dry handheld saws lack a motor hence will in most cases overheat when performing multiple or deeper cuts.
The wet handheld saw on the other hand requires water flow to operate while a dry wet handheld saw operates on both conditions. It is important to note that these saws require expertise and extra carefulness hence you should only buy if you are a professional in handling tile saws.
Table Tile Saws
Table tile saws are large, with huge blades that make it the best option when performing cuts. They provide extra smoothness, deep cuts in thick tiles and can be used to make multiple cuts.
To achieve specialty cuts using these type of saws, you need some other add-ons like miter tool or bevel. Although these saws (Table tile saws) are considered expensive, the money you spend on one is worth it as you will see in the reviews below.
Dry, Wet or Dry-Wet Tile Saws?
A wet tile saw is the simplest saw and the best choice for any beginner. It is easy to use, operate and provides some seamless operations with some of the best cuts you’ll ever see.
It is known as wet because it uses water to cool its blade down. Due to repeated cuts that go for a long time, this tile saw is likely to overheat and damage, hence the essence of water. The water cools down the blade, lubricates the tiles and helps keep the dust away.
Buying the Best Wet Tile Saw, Considerations
A good tile saw should be able to cut both hard and fragile tiles with all angles, without causing the least damage to them. But how do you pick the best wet tile saw? What are the features that you need to look out for?
There are so many wet tile saws in the market right now. Choosing the best of them, you’ll have to consider the following;
- Water source. A wet tile saw needs water to continue working and in most cases, it reuses water or draws it from some source, mostly a water hose. Both of these types of wet tile saws have benefits and deficits. A wet tile saw that reuses water will allow you to work away from a water source, hence your movement won’t be limited. It has a pump with an interconnections that ensures used water goes back to the pump for reuse, while the water will surely get dirty and dirtier. On the other hand, a wet tile saw with a hose will limit you to be a given distance away from a water supply, but the water will be clean and cold. You need to consider your water source, and what will work for you.
- Blade type. For your information, blades differ on applications. Some blades are meant for dry/handheld tile saws while the rest are for wet tile saws. The latter need constant supply of water to work, the former don’t. You need to be sure of the blade.
- Blade capacity. This is a feature determining the ability of the cutting head to hold different blades with different sizes. It’s recommended that you go for a wet tile saw whose blade capacity is broad, with a versatility that will be applicable in the different projects you might come through.
- Blade adjustment. Different tile projects require different adjustments, with most of them requiring beveled and mitered cuts. Look at the different types of adjustments that the blade can allow.
- Blade size and power. A big blade will most definitely cut big tiles with ease. The size determines the depth and the diameter. While most of them range between 4.5” to 10”, the recommended size of a blade is 7. The blade power is the torque provided by the horsepower to cut that tile. This is what decides whether the tile saw will cut large or small tiles.
- Thermal overload protection. With the motor working non-stop, the possibility of overheating and even burning up is very high. To avert this, most of these tile saws come with a thermal overload protection. The motor is direct drive and with little help from water to cool it down, the protection ensures total safety.
Before you buy a wet tile saw, ensure to check all these factors, otherwise you’ll buy a tile saw only to be disappointed later. But hey, let’s make it easy for you. Here are the best five wet tile saws at the market currently, reviewed to make it easy for you to make a choice;
DEWALT D24000 Wet Tile Saw
With this 10-inch wet tile saw you will get reliable and accurate results faster and more efficiently. Manufactured by the legendary Dewalt, this saw integrated rail system not only helps ensure precise cutting but also allows you rip tiles and handle the diagonal cuts quickly.
This is also due to the integrated miter which allows you to cut the bevels accurately. You will handle even the toughest materials on the site using this saw, thanks to its 1.5 hp motor.
The tile saw has a 3 1/8 inch cut depth and a 24 inch ripping capacity. The integrated rail system is made of stainless steel with a dual, adjustable water nozzles giving you perfect water control. This is the fastest cutting tile saw, versatile with a powerful design.
The cutting cart is removable, making the cleaning of this tile saw easier, and the whole tile saw is compact, making its storage easy. Besides, one person can transport and set it up as it is only 69 lbs.
When you buy the Dewalt D24000 wet tile saw, you get a 3 year warranty, a year of free service and a three month money back guarantee. To stop it from sliding and slipping as you cut, this tile saw comes with a rubber top.
If you are on a shoestring budget but still want to get the best wet tile saw, this is the best option. Rated as the best on Amazon, SKIL 3540 is made of corrosive resistant stainless steel which is equally strong that it can support tiles up to 12” x 12” thanks to its sliding extensions on the sides.
It is also very flexible, allowing 0- 450 bevel for a wide range of cuts. There is also an adjustable rip fence with a miter gauge to ensure accuracy and straight miter cuts.
The surface, which is stainless steel, is very durable. A small reservoir system with which it comes cools the blade which runs through it. As the blade spins below the water, it sprays the cooling water which in turn cools down the dust.
The 4.2A motor is adequate and with this tile saw you will cut through any strong material without difficulty, and it comes with a 7” blade. As a result it doesn’t use a pump to cool the blade, but a splash system. This reservoir however is so small that it needs to be refilled occasionally.
Its cross capacity cut is 7.75” while the diagonal capacity cut is 7.25”. SKIL 3540 weighs 17.7 lbs, making it light and very portable.
Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial Tile/Brick Saw
Manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools, this tile saw is some type of diamond in the rough. It has not been well marketed, neither does it look very fancy but it does thrice what a tile saw its price should do.
This tile saw comes with a ultra-powerful capacitor motor with a thermal overload protection plus sealed bearings. Its cutting head is two-position, allowing you to adjust the blade for various types of materials with their varying thickness, up to 3.5”.
A steel frame precision linear bar makes it bigger in size than most tile saws. The blade is furnished with a heavy duty cast alloy and cutting head to reduce vibrations during cutting.
Besides the robustness of this tile saw’s body, you can’t fail to notice the inbuilt 3 gpm water pump and the high-impact water tub which is not only removable but easy to clean as well. You can also pivot the head between 22.50 and 450 for bevel cuts. However, this tile saw doesn’t come with a blade like the rest.
What we loved about this tile saw;
- The tile saw comes with a powerful dual capacitor, thermal protection $ sealed bearings.
- Compared to other tile saws, this one is bigger in size
- The saw blade is equipped with heavy duty cast alloy and cutting head which reduces vibrations when cutting
- The cutting head can be pivoted between 22.50 and 450.
- This tile saw comes with a water pump and a removable easy-to-clean water tub
What we did not like about this tile saw;
- The big size can be troublesome if you want to store and travel with it
- Unlike other tile saws, this one doesn’t come with a blade.
SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw with HydroLock System
This top rated tile saw is designed to give you confidence and professionalism in tiling at an incredibly cheap price. Its upper and lower guard design keeps the water near and limited to the blade minimizing the clean-up time.
The aluminum table is durable and rust-resistant, while the sliding side extensions can support tiles measuring up to 18”. With the bevel, you can perform different types of cuts at 00, 22.50 and 450. The accuracy of these cuts is made easier with the adjustable rip fence with miter gauge. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
What we loved about this tile saw;
- The hydrolock system saves water by limiting it to the blade and minimizes the clean-up time
- The aluminum table is rust-resistant and durable
- It is light, weighing 24 pounds making sawing easy
- It easy cheap, compared to other wet tile saws
- It has out-of-the-box features unavailable in other wet tile saws
What we did not lock about this tile saw;
- This tile’s blade guard is plastic, which questions its durability
- This motor is not powerful enough to handle bigger projects
QEP 650XT 22650Q 3/4 HP Tile Saw
For beginners, this is the best tile saw. Primarily designed to cut ceramic and porcelain materials, QEP 650XT’s 7” continuous diamond rim saw blade can still cut through granite, marble and stone tiles. Its ¾ hp motor can generate 3,600 RPM which can help in various task completion. Its frame is rectangular-shaped, with an adjustable cutter and stopper. This is the most silent tile saw in this list when cutting.
What we liked about this tile saw;
- It is easy to set up and operate for beginners as well as experts
- The ¾ hp motor generates 3,600 RPM enough to complete any task
- The cutter and stopper are adjustable
- It is very silent, compared to other tile saws
What we did not like about it;
- It needs extra care when using it to cut delicate tiles as it requires stability
Choosing a wet tile saw is not an easy task, but we hope we have made it easier for you. Consider your personal needs and the environment where you’re going to use it. Wet tile saws are the best option when buying saws as we saw above, but they come in many styles. Read through the above information, make the right choice and go for it.