Almost no house or apartment renovation is complete without laying tiles. No matter what exactly you are doing (bathroom, floor, or kitchen backsplash), you will definitely have to cut tiles. Ceramics, glass, natural stone, and other materials are rather fragile, so you cannot use the first tool you find to cut them. If you are interested in the recommendation on a particular model, check out a comprehensive tile saw review from a professional. In this article, we have collected useful information on how to choose the perfect device for home use.
About Tile Saws
As the name implies, these saws are designed for cutting tiles from any material. Their main distinguishing feature from other saws is a water supply system that cools the blade and prevents dust from flying in different directions. Some models can be equipped with a vacuum cleaner. Also, these saws have a case that is reinforced and protected from dust and stone chips. Visit this woodworking buyer’s guide and see which is the best tile saw on the market today.
Besides, they give an ideal even cut, without chips and cracks, which is very important for cutting tiles. Of course, even the best tile saw will not perform perfectly without the right blade. Only diamond-tipped blades can cut tiles without any problems. Since these tools are quite specialized, they can be expensive. However, considering all their advantages, the price does not seem overpriced.
Tile Saw Types
At the moment, you can find two types of such tools on the market: handheld and stationary. Each has several advantages and some disadvantages.
This option is considered more suitable for home use and for any light-duty tasks when the work with tiles is done from time to time. Its main advantages are lightweight, compactness, maneuverability, and ease of use. Moreover, with its help, you can make not only straight cuts but also curved ones.
Hand saws are suitable for most household tasks. However, this mobility has its drawbacks. When using a hand tool, there is always the possibility of making a not perfectly straight cut, especially if a guide is not used. This means that it will not work well with large sheets. And for it to withstand heavy loads when cutting hard materials, you need to look for a model with a motor with an increased power reserve.
This type is more suitable for professional tasks because the quality of work with it is much higher than when using a hand saw. However, such a device’s cost will also be higher. Among stationary saws, two subtypes are distinguished: with a lower and an upper position of motors.
The former is more compact and can even fit on a table. Its saw blade is fixed, but the work surface can be tilted for bevel cuts. Cooling water is in the lower reservoir, and the disc is always partially submerged in it. The latter is more accurate, powerful, and efficient, and, therefore, expensive. They are generally heavier and larger than the lower engine models.
Specs to Consider
When you’ve decided which type of saw is best for your application, take a look at the following tool specifications.
For such a device, the main parameter is its power. If you buy a stationary model, it is worth taking one with a sufficiently large power reserve, since, in case of the lack of it, the quality of work and productivity will deteriorate. So for professional tasks, you should choose an instrument with a power of at least 2000W / 16Amp. For simpler work, hand tools up to 1500W / 12.5Amp are enough.
Another indicator of power is speed, which is measured in RPM. For home use, regardless of the complexity of tasks, choose models that give about 3000 RPM.
The blade diameter affects the cutting depth. The choice of this parameter directly depends on what materials you work with. For example, you will need a model with a blade about 5 inches in diameter to cut paving slabs, stone, and granite. Of course, you can choose a smaller blade for ceramic tiles. The main thing is that the model you have picked has the option to adjust the cutting depth. If the blade protrudes too much, it can damage a sheet’s edge and even the tool itself.
It would seem that cooling the disc with water is a must for tile saws. However, not all models are equipped with such a system. It is vital for large volumes of work when you need to cut a sheet without interruption, and especially thick materials. When purchasing, make sure the tool you choose is water-cooled.
When using water, vacuuming is an optional but very convenient feature. If you have a small amount of work to do, water cooling may not be the most suitable option. It can lead to a mess in a room. For this, some tools have a nozzle for connecting a vacuum cleaner hose. Since you plan to work for a short time, your saw will not have time to overheat, but the vacuum cleaner will collect all the dust and stone chips, leaving the working area clean.
Cutting guides are simple and useful tools to help you make an even cut. They are often implemented as additional fasteners, but now models with a laser guide have become popular. It projects a straight beam along the cutting line so that you can see exactly where the blade will go. Such a constructive element is incredibly convenient for beginners, while professionals can do without it.
Each company implements defense mechanisms in their models differently. Among the most common ones, it is worth noting the protection against kickback and overloads, emergency shutdown, and quick locking of control buttons. Besides, any tool should have solid construction and reliable elements that will not break at the most inopportune moment.
Best Tile Saw for Perfect Renovation
Summing up the above, it should be said that there is no definite answer to which saw is the best of all. When choosing a tool, you should, first of all, be guided by the tasks you have to perform with it. For minor repairs in a house or apartment, a handheld device is enough. If you plan to lay a large number of large-sized floor tiles, it is better to take a lower disc feed stationary machine. You should buy a potent saw with an upper disc feed for paving stones and porcelain stoneware.