Updated: November 2017
Tile Saw Reviews:
- What is a tile saw?
- Benefits of using a wet tile saw
- How much do tile saws cost? Which should I buy?
A tile saw or tile cutter is a key piece of machinery used everyday for people who lay tile for a living. They need to carry portable tile saws or masonry saws to job sites because all the tile needs to be custom cut on the job to make for a perfect fit. There are also tile saws designed for DIY homeowners that might want to take on a few tile projects around the house but don't require a professional wet tile saw. One of the best tile saws for basic projects is the SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw that features a diamond saw blade and you can cut through marble, ceramic, porcelain, slate, granite, terra cotta, and vitrified tiles.
A great tile saw for homeowners or contractors is The MK-145 portable tile saw. It is compact, versatile, and lightweight. When cutting ceramic tile, you will need a wet tile saw, which should leave a clean and smooth edge. The wet tile saw uses a circular blade and a water pump and hose to constantly wet the cutting surface with water to cool the area being cut and reduce friction. The best wet tile saw we found through reviews was the Lackmond WTS2000LN Beast 10 inch wet saw. You get clean and accurate cuts, great for diagonals, miter cuts, narrow slivers, corners, and plunge cutting. Read more reviews below.
The video below shows the basic functions of the DeWalt DW24000 so you know what to expect:
Tile Saw Buying Guide
Handheld Wet Tile Saws - You will see these types referred to as masonry saws. They are similar in look and feel to circular saws except they don't tear or rip when cutting, they grind through tile instead. One good example of a saw of this type is the DEWALT DWC860W 4-3/8-Inch Wet/Dry Masonry Saw. Great for small projects when needing to make specialty or touch up cuts. We've seen them used when contractors are cutting through countertops or stone. They are easy to carry and very portable. You will see them in corded and cordless models. They are available as dry hand held saws, wet handheld tile saws, and wet/dry saws.
If you need to make a cut that uses water to cut down on friction, hook up the hose to a water source and fire it up. When making dry cuts, keep in mind that dust might be an issue so wear a dust mask to protect yourself. Also, the dry hand held tile saws can overheat if overloaded. We like handheld tile saws, but they are not as accurate as tabletop models since you bring human error into the equation.
Table Top Tile Saws - The most common style of tile saw we've seen with tile professionals are the tabletop versions. You'll see models like the SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw, QEP 22650Q, and the RIDGID 7" Portable Job Site Wet Tile Saw. All are priced below $200 and offer enough features for small tile cutting jobs. They look like table saws and function similarly. You push the tile across the table and a diamond blade (mounted below the table) cuts the tile. There is a reservoir of water down below so the wheel is continually being cooled as it spins through the water and cuts.
Dust is kept to a minimum with the bladed wheel staying wet. A few things to think about on these tabletop tile saws. You generally get a small depth of cut, so things like paver stones are not an option with these saws. Accuracy is not as good as on you'll find on the overhead wet tile saws simply because the line of sight to the cutting wheel from the cut line isn't always exact. Also, smooth cutting can be difficult when putting pressure on the tile as it goes across the tabletop. Look for rust resistant tabletop surfaces that are larger (can handle bigger tiles) and drain plugs for the water.
Overhead Motor Wet Tile Saws - Examples of these saws are the DEWALT D24000, Lackmond WTS2000LN Beast, and the MK Diamond 169612. They will offer come with a stand. These are perfect for tile setters that are cutting tile daily and need precise cuts. They are designed with rail systems so the tiles smoothly go through the cutting wheel which is above the tile on these saws. Lining up your cutting wheel with the cut line is much easier on these saws than with the tabletop versions. Submersible pumps or delivery systems for water are commonplace and keep the blade wet and cool. Lasers and LED lights give you near perfect accuracy with every cut. Look for saws with a beveling or plunging head when making specialty cuts. Some assembly is required on these saws.
Power Cutter Saws - Power Cutters are built for heavy duty cutting of stone, asphalt, concrete, steel etc. The machines have raw-strength engines and a high, smooth torque, even when using large cutting discs or cutting deep. They also efficiently reduce vibration and have a three-stage air-filter system which effectively filters away the cutting dust from the intake air. The Porter-Cable 1500 Wet-Cutting Tile Saw ($374) rated very high by users with its ease of use, great precision cuts, and the ability to rip cut 14-inch tile. Another feature of note was the Dual-track sliding table for accurate cutting.
The leading brands like Skil, MK Diamond, DeWalt, Northern Industrial, Grizzly, Felker, QEP, Target, and Plasplugs. Often Home Depot or Lowes will have in-store demonstrations of these saws and we highly recommend attending one of these showings to get an idea of how these work (especially if you plan on renting a tile saw). Popular Mechanics did an article on tools that are best for buying versus renting and the tile saw was near the top of that list. They are very reasonable in cost these days, so buying is the better option. For a list of the best selling tile saws online go here.
Best Tile Saw:
After reading reviews by actual owners of tile saws and masonry saws, we compiled a list of other top brands and models that received high ratings. They are the MK Diamond 158252 MK-145 1/2-Horsepower 4-1/2-Inch Wet Tile Saw, MK Diamond 157222 MK-170 1/2 Horsepwer 7-Inch Bench Wet Tile Saw, Felker TM-75 Portable Tile Saw with Cutting Kit, and the Plasplug DWW185US Master Tiler 1 Horsepower 7-Inch Tile Wet Saw. If you want to research tile saws online, we suggest going to Amazon.com. They offer a complete rundown on manufacturers, they carry tile saws, wet saws, tile cutters, ceramic tile saws, ceramic tile cutters, and blades and bits.
Another favorite of ours is the Lackmond WTS2000LN Beast which features a 15amp motor with a laser guide so precision cutting is never a problem. Get a 24 inch rip and 18 inch diagonal cut. We agree with most owners that the tilting motor housing that lets you stop at 22.5 and 45 degrees is a priceless feature for bevel cutting. Although expensive (similar in price to the DeWalt below) the Lackmond performs so well you'll never know how you lived without it.
To check out how to use a tile saw effectively - click the image below to go to video.
Top Rated Wet/Dry Masonry Saw:
The DeWalt DW861W Heavy-Duty 4.5-Inch Wet/Dry Masonry Saw is top rated on Amazon with a high power 12.5 amp motor which cuts right through porcelain and granite. The masonry saw comes equipped with a 13 foot water line for wet cutting. Has a 0 to 45 degree bevel feature and shoe so all your angled cuts will be done with precision. At 6 lbs it light enough so you can work for hours without too much fatigue. The 4 1/2" Diamond blade cuts to a depth at 3.3 cm - the ideal depth for granite slab countertops.
Reviews are more than positive for this saw on Amazon and other top masonry saw websites. RECOMMENDED - We suggest taking a look at the Skil 3510-02 4-Amp 3/8-Inch Tile Saw which rates quite high with owners. At less than $100 it "seems like a bargain" says one reviewer. Skil may not have the same name recognition as DeWalt, but the 3510 tile saw does an excellent job.
Heavy Duty Wet Tile Saw:
The DeWalt D24000S Heavy-Duty 10 inch Wet Tile Saw with Stand is a top rated tile saw. The D24000S 10 inch saw is also sold without the stand on Amazon for slightly cheaper. The benefit to the stand is that it offers a cantilevering rail/cart so you can rip to 24" and 18" tile cuts on diagonal. There is an integrated 45/22.5 degree miter feature for quick angled cuts and the plunge feature lets the operator make plunge cuts for A/C registers and electrical outlets.
The dual water nozzles on this DeWalt wet tile saw are adjustable so the water stays on the blade. The 1.5 HP motor lets you cut through porcelain and stone and the edge guide allows for accurate corner cuts. Owner reviews are incredibly positive and they say "this is the last tile saw you will ever buy". We know several professional tile contractors in our area and both use the DeWalt simply because it's durable. Having gone through cheaper tile saws, they figured it was easier to buy a DeWalt once and get superior results.
More videos and resources are here on our Tile Saw Resource Page.
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