Which tile saw is best?
Tile saws, as their name suggests, are used to cut and trim tiles of various materials so they can be properly installed. There are several types of tile saws, each with pros and cons that can make them perfect for specific tasks — or make them expensive mistakes.
The best tile saw is the DeWalt 10-Inch Wet Tile Saw with Stand. It’s hard to beat the power of its motor and range of features.
What to know before you buy a tile saw
Hand-held tile saws
There are two types of hand-held tile saws: those for cutting masonry and those for cutting glass. Both kinds are ultra-portable — especially if they’re battery-operated — and perfect for small jobs. However, you still need tools to hold the tile you’re cutting, and they’re still expensive despite their size.
- Masonry saws look similar to circular saws. They have 4- or 5-inch blades and can be used dry or wet. They struggle with precision work.
- Glass saws look like a combination of a circular saw and an angle grinder. They have 3-inch blades and also can be used both dry or wet.
Table tile saws
Table tile saws are the standard model. They have a bevy of potential features, can handle almost any task, are highly accurate and can be stunningly affordable. That said, they’re also heavy. Many need to be used before you set out for the job site, so if there’s a mistake, you can’t fix it until you go back to the shop. Additionally, professional-grade models can be prohibitively expensive.
Rail tile saws
Rail tile saws place the spinning circular blade on rails. These saws are typically meant for commercial-grade use, which means they have the most powerful motors, the largest working areas and the most features. However, they are less precise than table models can be, usually require additional equipment to be used wet and cost thousands of dollars.
What to look for in a quality tile saw
Wet vs. dry cutting
Wet cutting is better than dry cutting in all situations. It makes for cleaner cuts, and it lowers, if not eliminates, the risk of overheating. Most wet tile saws include what you need to operate them, but some require additional equipment.
The table material needs to be water- and corrosion-resistant if you plan on operating the saw wet. Most tables are made of stainless steel for this reason, but zinc is popular as well.
The best wet-operated tile saws have some system to empty water, and that system is usually a drain plug. Otherwise, you need to tip the entire machine over or upside-down to drain it.
How much you can expect to spend on a tile saw
Tile saws cost $100-$2,000 or more. Hand-held and small table tile saws can cost $250 or less. The better table saw models will start at $250 and rise quickly. Rail models frequently cost $2,000 or more.
Tile saw FAQ
What’s the difference between electric tile saws and manual tile cutters?
A. Electric tile saws slice through tiles from top to bottom, while manual tile cutters only score the surface of the tile so you can then snap it off. It takes more time and skill to use a manual tile cutter, but even with both of those aspects on your side, there’s still a risk of the snapped edges being uneven or the tile’s surface becoming damaged. This is on top of the fact that some materials, including glass, may not be able to be scored at all.
What size tile saw should I get?
A. That depends on the size of your job and how often you’ll be using the saw. Small and one-off jobs don’t need much more than a small hand-held or portable table saw. Large table and stand-mounted tile saws are only worth the money if you’re working on an entire home or if you own a construction business.
Does the tile saw blade really matter?
A. Generally speaking, an average diamond-tipped blade is all you need. However, hard-to-handle materials, such as marble and glass, may require specialty blades.
What’s the best tile saw to buy?
Top tile saw
What you need to know: It is powerful and can capably handle almost any task.
What you’ll love: Your purchase includes the saw and matching blade, a stand, a water pump, a water pan and two water trays, two kinds of wrenches and a side extension. The table is rubberized to help keep your tiles stable, and the motor offers up to 1.5 horsepower.
What you should consider: It’s among the more expensive models. It can struggle to make precision cuts for intricate plans, and it takes up a large amount of space.
Top tile saw for the money
What you need to know: It’s perfect for the occasional small job.
What you’ll love: It’s easily portable, so you can cut tiles right at the job site. The tabletop is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and it can hold tiles up to 1 by 1 foot in size. The bevel can be adjusted from 0 to 45 degrees.
What you should consider: The water reservoir is not removable — to empty it, you need to tip over the entire saw. Some customers suggested replacing the included blade.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Not only is this model powerful, but it’s also affordable when compared with similar saws.
What you’ll love: It has a powerful 13-amp motor and includes a cutting wheel that can chew through stone as thick as 2.375 inches. The table can hold tiles up to 24 inches long diagonally. It uses a 12-bearing sliding rail system for accuracy.
What you should consider: A few purchasers received bent screws and bolts, which means they couldn’t complete the initial setup. Others disliked its water management system.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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