Best tile saw reviews 2018
DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile SawA high-end ultra-powerful and portable machine
An outstanding tool perfect for professionals and enthusiast DIYers alike. The quality rolling plate and plenty of miter adjustments guarantee fast and precise cuts.
DEWALT D24000S Review
The D24000S by DEWALT is hands down the best wet tile saw in its class. This versatile product incorporates a stainless steel rail system for accurate, smooth cuts and a 10-inch diamond coated blade that rips through porcelain, stone, and other materials. Allegedly expensive for a homeowner’s workshop, the D24000S’ performance is worth every dime. A stable rubber-matted cart, the 25-inch rip cut capacity, and a superior water containment are the defining features of this quality machine while the frame constructed in rigid aluminum withstands the toughest jobsite environments. The D24000S comes complete with a foldable stand which provides a neat workspace and is portable.
SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile SawExceptional quality amateur tile saw
The SKIL 3550-02 strikes with a superior performance and convenient portability. Built for domestic use, it is also acclaimed by professionals.
SKIL 3550-02 Review
If you’re after a reliable tile cutting tool that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but that can still deliver sharp performance, the SKIL 3550-02 could be your best bet. This machine impresses novices and experts alike with its innovative Hydro Lock system developed to keep water contained and reduce splash. An apparently undersized motor conveys sufficient power to the 7-inch diamond blade, allowing it to cut seamlessly through all common tile materials. You’ll also like the sliding side extension that supports tiles up to 18 inches while the different miter adjustments ensure flexibility for different cuts. With its rust-resistant aluminum table top and sturdy construction, the SKIL 3550-02 undoubtedly is the best wet tile saw for the money.
Chicago Pneumatics 2.5 HP Industrial Tile & Brick SawA powerful middle-range wet saw
This is one of the most powerful machines in its class. It’s powered by a 2.5HP motor that delivers industrial power at your home.
Chicago Pneumatics Tile Saw Review
The 10-inch Tile/Brick Saw from Chicago Pneumatic is an inexpensive product geared towards the skilled homeowners. It has a less robust construction that won’t withstand a harsh industrial environment but is perfect for the casual DIYers who want to upgrade the tile work in their homes. This machine uses a 10-inch diamond coated blade strong enough for cutting through the hardest tiles and bricks. A great cutting ability is also ensured by the adjustable head with a cutting depth up to 3.5 inches and a cutting capacity of up to 24 inches. The heavy-duty cast aluminum construction is engineered to reduce vibrations and provide sharp, consistent results.
SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile SawA budget-friendly tool for hobbyist renovators
Compact, portable, and easy to operate. A wet tile saw perfect for small renovations and DIY crafts.
SKIL 3540-02 Review
The SKIL 3540-02 is perhaps the best tile saw for the hobbyists willing to compromise on cutting capacity but not on performance. Like its higher-end counterparts, the SKIL 3540-02 uses a solid diamond-coated blade that ensures smooth cutting on tiles up to 12×12 inches. Precision is guaranteed by an adjustable rip fence with miter gauge while the bevel provides flexibility for different cut types. This tile saw is an overall outstanding entry-level unit despite having a smaller-than-average cooling water reservoir. The sturdy construction is completed by a corrosion-resistant stainless steel top while the unit comes equipped with a 7-inch diamond coated blade, a blade guard, and blade wrenches.
2. Why invest in a tile saw?
Cutting tiles is a delicate matter even for an experienced decorator and the job requires a specific tool, either a rail cutter or a tile saw. These tools come equipped with diamond coated blades developed specifically to grind through tiles, and unlike the blades used for metal or wood, they are not sharp.
However, a rail cutter is only adequate for tiny cuts. For extensive or complex works, a tile saw comes with important extra features. For instance, it’s powered by a motor – a feature that increases the cutting precision and lowers fatigue.
What makes tile saws special?
Unlike traditional saws, tile saws use water to cool the grinding action. This peculiarity gives them the nickname of wet tile saws and that’s why you can’t just use a tile saw blade on a traditional circular saw.
The water not only prevents the tile from cracking under extreme heat but it also captures most of the dust, minimizing messes and keeping the blade cleaner.
3. Types of tile saws
Tile saws can be broken down into two categories:
- Recirculating pump saws: Are equipped with a water reservoir that supplies water to the tool during use. A filtering system retains all grinding debris and returns clean water back to the reservoir for subsequent use. However, due to water loss caused by splashes, the reservoir has to be checked and refilled regularly.
- Fresh water saws: Do not have a reservoir but attach instead to a faucet which supplies clean water. You won’t have to clean filters and replenish the reservoir but portability is limited.
4. Understanding the wet tile saw blades
The blade is the key element of a tile saw. Poor quality blades deliver inconsistent outcomes and perhaps distorted cuts. They can also damage the motor and drive components due to overheating.
While all wet tile saws use diamond coated blades, assessing the blade’s quality is essential if you want to achieve consistent results. High-end blades are usually expensive but they can save you quite a lot in terms of durability and maintenance.
Why use diamond blades?
Diamond blades consist of a metal core covered by a diamond rim made from synthetic diamond crystals and bonding metal powders. These blades are not intended to cut in the true meaning of the word, but they rather grind hard materials such as porcelain and ceramic tiles, brick, stone, and other masonry constituents.
Synthetic vs. natural diamon coating
Synthetic diamonds are preferred to natural ones due to their stronger structure but the concentration and size of the crystals ultimately define the quality of the blade. A blade with many big crystals has a longer lifespan and provides sharper cuts than a blade with a few thin crystals.
Another important component is the bonding matrix. It consists of blended metal powders and its main purpose is to disperse and support the crystals but it also serves other vital functions, such as:
- Distributes the workload on the diamonds
- Controls wear during diamond protrusion
- Disperses heat
The bonding matrix’s role is to expose new diamond crystals by outwearing during the grinding action. This provides fresh cutting points and increases the cutting precision, while the varying quantities of metal powders that compose the matrix determine its outwearing rate.
Bonding matrixes containing a higher level of soft metals wear out quicker and are perfect for cutting through hard materials like marble and stone. Those with a higher level of hard metals instead, wear our more slowly and are engineered to cut through softer materials like porcelain, slate or glass.
5. Types of wet saw blades
There are three different types of wet saw blades.
- Continuous rim blades: Are developed specifically for wet saws. Water is used to cool down the blade and prolong its lifespan but also to reduce debris and lessen the friction in the cutting area. These blades are the slowest in their range but produce the best cuts. They are suitable to use on either soft materials like slate, porcelain and ceramic or on hard materials like marble and granite.
- Turbo rim blades: Are perfect for wet or dry applications due to small segments on the rim that let the air pass through and cool the blade even in the absence of water. These turbo segments also push the material out faster and they seamlessly cut through brick, concrete, limestone tiles and other hard materials that require a stronger blade.
- Segmented rim blades: Also called dry cutting blades, are characterized by marked cut-outs designed to cool the blade with air alone. They can still be used with a tile saw to minimize debris but they provide rough cuts and are majorly used to cut concrete pavers, masonry blocks or limestone slabs.
6. What blade size is the best?
The blade size refers to the diameter of the blade. This is an important measurement to consider as it determines the maximum cutting depth – or the maximum tile thickness the saw can handle. The standard diamond blade sizes include:
- 7-inch blades: Have an approximate cutting depth of 1.5 inches and are perfect for thin wall tiles.
- 8-inch blades: Can cut through tiles up to 2 inches thick.
- 10-inch blades: Are perfect for most floor and wall tiles including thicker stone pavers. They have a cutting depth of up to 2.6 inches.
7. Tile saw build
Two other important considerations concern the structure of the machine and its power.
A sturdy structure and quality build guarantee the tool will live up to the expectations. Tiles are usually heavy, so the model you choose must have a strong frame, preferably constructed in rust-resistant steel or aluminum.
A robust construction also lowers the level of vibrations. This translates into a smoother operation and sharper cuts.
If possible, avoid the machines with plastic parts which may compromise the unit’s strength and stability.
8. Tile saw power
The power of a wet tile saw is usually expressed in watts, albeit some manufacturers prefer to disclose the motor’s power instead, which is expressed in HP. Knowing either the wattage or the horsepower of the machine is important to assess its performance.
- Entry-level wet saws: Stand in the 400-watt range; they are ideal for small jobs and can handle ceramic, porcelain, and glass tiles up to 1.5 inches thick.
- Mid-range tile saws: Perhaps the best tile saws for enthusiast hobbyists or students. With powers in the 600-watt range, they are powerful enough to cut almost all tiles, including thicker paving slabs, limestone, and granite.
- High-end tile saws: Are characterized by powers of 900 watts or over and can handle all tiles and masonry materials like concrete and stone. Although the most expensive, these machines are often the go-to tile saws of the pros.
9. Other tile saw features to consider
- Feed rate: A constant feed rate ensures precise and clean cuts. An adjustable feed rate ensures you can achieve clean cuts on all materials. In broad terms, the thicker the material the slower the feed rate should be.
- Adjustable side guide: Keeps the tile firm while cutting to guarantee straight cuts.
- Side extension: Is an important feature on the smaller machines if you want to cut wider tiles.
- Bevel: Allows you to cut at an angle and shape curved and rounded edges or cut awkward corners.
- Protective casing: An essential safety feature that lowers hazards and ensures a smooth operation.
- Overheat guard: Another essential feature in terms of safety. Sensors shut off the unit if it overheats, preventing motor damage.
- Portability: Working on a busy worksite sometimes require a lot of moving around, so a low heft is critical to transport the unit. A stand is a nice accessory when you want to work outdoors or when there is no other support available.
- Spare parts: Even the components of the best wet tile saw are subject to wear and tear. Diamond blades, cutting heads, and splash guards are just some of the parts that have to be replaced periodically. Investing in a unit manufactured by a notorious brand usually guarantees spare parts availability.