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Top 4 Best Tile Cutters of 2018

Best tile cutter reviews 2018

Best-in-class
Montolit 63P3

Montolit 63P3 24 Inch Manual Tile Cutter

The best multifunctional tile cutter

A self-adjustable scoring system assists the precise cutting and splitting of most tile materials.

Montolit 63P3 Review

The Montolit 63P3 is perhaps the best tile cutter on the market, manufactured for the powerful precision cutting of all types of tiles. Built for professional use, the tile cutter can easily handle materials up to 22mm thick and performs both large protractor square and diagonal cutting. Designed with cutting efficiency in mind, the unit is equipped with a cut-off device made of high-quality non-scratching plastic and a titanium scoring wheel which is specially built for porcelain tiles.

Fairly lightweight for a tool made of die-cast aluminum and steel, the tile cutter is also easy to transport and store thanks to a patented foldable design. No doubt the best in its class, the Montolit 63P3 is engineered for precision cutting of all tiles and lightweight enough to carry and handle with ease.

Best value
Ishii JW-650STWAM

Ishii JW-650STWAM Big Clinker Tile Cutter

An industry standard

Heavy-duty capabilities encompassed in a convenient solution.

Ishii JW-650STWAM Review

The Ishii 650STWAM shares many similar features with our best-in-class pick but comes at a more convenient price, two reasons that gained it the best-value title. Just like the tile cutter above, the Ishii 650STWAM comes with a robust die-cast aluminum and steel construction and can cut tiles up to ¾-inch thick.

With a rip cut capacity of 25.5 inches and a max diagonal cut capacity of 18 inches, this tool can handle whatever the workbench is throwing at it. This tile cutter is perfect for multiple tasks, including cutting through sheet mounted mosaic tiles thanks to its adjustable titanium scoring wheel. A wide heavy-duty base provides cutting stability while the side arm extensions help support larger tiles. Ideal for a wide range of projects and reasonably priced for its capabilities, the Ishii 650STWAM is the best tile cutter your money can buy.

Also great
Brutus 10800

Brutus 10800 Professional Porcelain Tile Cutter

Ideal for ceramic and porcelain tiles

Reliable tile cutter comes with a strong titanium-coated cutting wheel but can only handle tiles up to 0.5 inches thick.

Brutus 10800 Review

The Brutus 10800 presents itself as a reliable alternative to our favorite pick and it even beats it at some points. But its scarcer performance regarding the thickness of the tiles it can handle cuts off its versatility.

Nevertheless, this tile cutter can still handle all porcelain and ceramic wall and floor tiles up to 20 inches in diagonal. Its ergonomic design with a large grip handle reduces fatigue and increases performance, while the titanium-coated tungsten carbide cutting wheel is replaceable and adjustable to four different heights. Moreover, the tile cutter comes with heavy-duty rubber pads. Suitable to handle ceramic and porcelain tiles up to 0.5 inches thick, the Brutus 10800 makes a great second best-value pick for the homeowner looking for a reliable tool.

Best budget
QEP 10630Q

QEP 10630Q 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter

Amateur tile cutter

Low-cost tile cutter ensures smooth and durable scoring and is perfect for home use and light professional demands.

QEP 10630Q Review

For the homeowners trying to upgrade the tiles in their home, the QEP 10630Q comes as a reliable solution that won’t break the bank. This tile cutter doesn’t have industrial capabilities and can only handle smaller and thinner tiles, yet it impresses with its cutting precision on porcelain and ceramic.

Ideal for straight line and diagonal cuts, the tool comes with a 7/8-inch titanium-coated cutting wheel and dual chrome-plated rugged steel rails. Like the models above, the cutter boasts a wide aluminum base, side arm extensions, and sturdy rubber pads, but it can only handle tiles up to 24-inch. Reliable and inexpensive, the QEP 10630Q is a great choice for the amateur or beginner committed to light-duty work.

2. Types of tile cutters

A tile cutter is a great alternative to a tile saw in a DIYers arsenal. Simple and inexpensive, this tool is perfect for small projects that require straight cuts.

Manual vs. electric tile cutters

  • Manual tile cutters: Are simple tools provided with a scoring wheel and a sturdy base; they are designed to cut most types of tiles quickly and easily. They are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry in a toolkit. But since cutting tiles manually can be exhausting, they are more suitable for smaller and lighter-duty jobs.
  • Electric tile cutters: Also known as tile saws, come in various styles and sizes and are used by professionals for heavy-duty tasks. Capable of cutting faster and better through thick tiles and tough materials, these cutters are ideal for high-volume demands but are harder to transport from a job site to another.

3. Push or pull tile cutter?

Manual tile cutters come with either a push or a pull handle.

Push manual cutters

Are perhaps the most popular due to their ergonomic design. They are easy to operate and come with a series of advantages, such as:

  • They give the operator the possibility to manage the incision power and perform a linear and fluid arm movement. This is particularly useful on a rough surface or hard tiles.
  • The incision handle splits the tile at the end of the cut without asking to reposition the handle.
  • It’s easier to handle the wider cuts and bigger tiles as the handle becomes a natural extension of the arm.

Pull manual cutters

Are very similar in design with the push cutters but require the operator to perform an unnatural cutting movement by pulling the handle towards them instead of pushing it. This reduces the incision strength and also requires to reposition the incision handle after the cut to break the tile.

4. Tile cutter scoring wheels

Perhaps the most important component of the tile cutter is the scoring wheel, as this is the element responsible for cutting. Scoring wheels come in a wide range of styles and sizes, each type being suitable for a certain tile.

Scoring wheel types

The scoring wheels can be classified based on the materials employed in their construction into three categories:

  • Tungsten carbide wheels: The most inexpensive but also the least resistant. They provide maximum precision on softer materials like ceramic and porcelain but don’t have an impressive performance on harder tiles like stone or concrete.
  • Titanium-coated tungsten carbide wheels: Are slightly costlier due to their titanium coating but have a longer lifespan and provide a better cutting precision. They are designed specifically for ceramic and can handle both rough and smooth surfaces.
  • Gold wheels: Are the most expensive but also the most resistant. These wheels can handle all tiles, including the granulated and hard-to-cut tiles.

Scoring wheel sizes

Materials apart, the wheel size is also important. Scoring wheels come in four standard sizes; smaller and larger variants are available from some manufacturers though. The standard sizes include:

  • 6mm wheels: Ideal for ceramic and glazed tiles. These wheels are perfect for superficial cutting of the thin tiles and are only capable of producing a shallow line. Deeper cuts can easily damage the tile causing cracks or chipping.
  • 8mm wheels: Preferred by the pros for porcelain and floor tiles due to their narrower blade capable of cutting deeper.
  • 10mm wheels: Typically used for ceramic, porcelain, and rough floor tiles and are usually used on more textured surfaces. They still give a shallow cut similar to the 6mm ones, but the cutline is slightly wider, making the material easier to snap.
  • 18mm wheels: Perfect for rough ceramic or hard-to-cut tiles are designed to provide a deeper and wider cut on textured surfaces. Due to their minimal deviation, these wheels are perfect to use in projects that require multiple scoring, therefore they are perfect for the thicker tiles.

5. Cutting capacity

The cutting capacity of a tile cutter determines the tool’s suitability for your project. Most tile cutters on the market can handle tiles of at least 25 inches, but this isn’t a rule.

  • Low-end tile cutters constructed for amateur and light-duty use typically have a rip cut capacity up to 24 inches and 16 inches diagonal capacity.
  • Most mid-range tools boast at least 25 inches rip cut capacity and 18 inches in diagonal.
  • Higher-end units have larger rip cut capacities of 27 or more inches and 20 inches in diagonal.

Besides the size of the tile, you should also check its thickness. Almost all tile cutters come with adjustable scoring systems that can cut through tiles up to 0.75 inches thick, depending on the tool’s cut capacity and performance.

6. Tile cutter breaker

Another essential component of a tile cutter is the breaker, which can be either fixed or mobile. While the mobile breaker is more versatile, it isn’t necessarily needed, depending on the type of cuts you want to perform.

  • The fixed breaker: Is fixed in a single point and always applies pressure from only one end of the tile. This type of breaker is perfect for rip cut operations but is unsuitable for diagonal cuts as its breaking power could be negligible in this case.
  • The mobile breaker: Gives the operator the possibility to apply breaking pressure at any point between the cutter’s guides and is perfect for diagonal or intricate cuts.

Choosing one breaker over the other is a matter of needs and preference. We recommend investing in a tool with a mobile breaker if you aim for versatility.

7. Other features to consider

Besides all the above, there are a few other things to consider before making your decision:

  • The tile cutter power is an important feature to look for before buying, as it determines how suitable the tool is for a certain project. High-end tile cutters can exert over 1,000 lbs of force when breaking the tile, and they can easily handle all tile materials and thicknesses.
  • A rubber mosaic pad is necessary if you want to make intricate cuts or create tile art.
  • An interesting accessory is also the baseboard reference system that allows cutting precise tile strips for boarding.
  • The side arm extensions are also important if you want some support for the larger tiles. These arms are usually foldable for convenient transport and storage.
  • You should also check the overall robustness of the tile cutter. The most reliable tools are made of die-cast aluminum and steel, two metals renowned for their resistance and durability.
  • Investing in a unit with a replaceable scoring wheel is crucial if you don’t want to change the entire tool every time the wheel wears out. As odd as it may seem, not all tile cutters come with this feature.
  • The tile cutter you buy must be easy to clean and maintain. The best tile cutters on the market can be easily cleaned with water and detergent and only require periodical lubrication.
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