When you are planning to lay tiles on floors or walls, there’s no better tool than an excellent tile saw. Fast, accurate, and easy to use, a tile saw is the perfect solution for the DIY or professional tiler.
We’ve compiled a list of the best tile saws for the money which include: Handheld tile saws, Table tile saws and of course Rail tile saws to choose from.
Picking the right one, however, can be a challenge. There are different variations in size, portability, power, and, of course, price. Unless you know what you’re doing, you could end up with an unsatisfactory made, low-quality tile saw or an expensive tool you never use.
Best rated tile saws guide
Bestpowerandhandtools is here to guide you through the pitfalls and choose precisely the right tile saw for the job. We do it by reviewing only the best products, consulting experts, and evaluating customer feedback.
We never accept free products from manufacturers. The result is an unbiased guide for the best tile saws for the money.
Best diy tile saws
The five tile saws above made the final cut, if you know what we mean. They provide quality and value for a range of different DIY jobs. If you’re ready to invest, we’d recommend choosing one on the list.
If you’d like to know more about tile saws in general and the features you should look for, please take your time and read the shopping guide below.
Whatever kind of tile saw you operate, cutting slows the blade. Always make sure the blade is running at full capacity before you start the first cut. Let the blade cut at its own momentum; never force it.
Types of tile saws
There are various types of tile saws available, each tailored to different ways of working.
There are three basic categories:
- Handheld tile saws;
- Table tile saws;
- Rail tile saws.
Handheld tile saws
Handheld tile saws come in two designs. Many of the manufacturers of these tile saws will be recognized by woodworkers and DIY’ers.
Tile/masonry saws: The first type of handheld tile saw features a cutting disk at the end of a powerful, horizontally mounted electric motor, a molded handle on top, and a guide plate at the bottom. It looks much like a circular saw.
- Dry- and wet-cutting units;
- Four- or five-inch blade;
- Cutting table with some models (extra cost);
- Can usually cut bevels up to 45°, as well as 90°;
- Harder to make precision cuts.
Tile/glass saws: The second type of handheld tile saw is much smaller and looks a little like a combination between a circular saw and an angle grinder.
- Dry- and wet-cutting models (small water bottle);
- Three-inch blade;
- Can usually cut bevels up to 45°, as well as 90°;
- Some cordless models.
Two hands give you better control when using a tile saw, so it’s recommended that you use clamps with soft jaws to hold the tile on the bench.
- Its portable (particularly cordless models);
- Extremely lightweight;
- More than enough power (motors range from 4 to 12 amps);
- Excellent tool for detailed work and repairing small areas.
- Short battery life power;
- Needs accessories like a bench and/or clamps to support the tile;
- Unsuitable for tiling large areas.
Wet tile cutting can be dirty. Water mixes with the tile powder to create semi liquid mixture, which the spinning blade can spray around. It’s a good idea to wear an overall and to work outside when practical.
Table tile saws
Table tile saws look like a woodworker’s table saw, and several familiar manufacturers make both. With a handheld tile cutter, you push the blade to the tile.
With a table tile saw, you make the cuts by driving the tile into the blade. Table tile saws have some of the following features.
- A water bath cools the blade while it’s in operation.
- Table tile saws include a seven- or ten-inch thick blade.
- The guard above the blade is a safety mechanism, but it also keeps the saw from spraying slurry everywhere.
- Fences allow you to make direct and uncomplicated measurements.
- Miter guides make it convenient to cut diagonals.
- These saws offer various bevel cutting levels (some with presets at 22.5° and 45°).
Basic table tile saws are bench-top models, usually with a 7 inch blade. You can use them on the floor, but that can get uncomfortable if you’re working for long periods.
More expensive models usually come with a folding stand and a ten-inch blade. They are comfortable to work at and convenient to move. Several also have the ability to plunge cut, enabling you to cut square or rectangular holes within the tile area, where you might otherwise have to first cut a tile in two.
When using a table tile saw, keep a dry cloth handy to wipe away the excess water. If it builds up, it conceals the measuring guides and can cause the tiles to slip when you’re cutting.
- Large, stable working platform;
- Greater accuracy;
- Excellent for big tiling jobs;
- Good value for the money (even some budget models).
- Heavy (20 to 90 pounds);
- Too small to cut pavers (less-expensive models);
- Expensive (professional quality).
Your hands can get cold working with a wet tile saw, and wearing gloves isn’t practical. If your fingers getting numb, accidents will happen, so it’s a good idea to stop from time to time and warm up.
Rail tile saws
A rail tile saw is almost like a circular saw on rails. Two parallel beams support a powerful motor and a ten-inch blade, which run back and forth over a large tabletop.
Those types of saws are designed for commercial use.
- Powerful motor;
- Larger work area (excellent for large tiles);
- Comfortable work height;
- Robust and durable;
- Removable table for transport;
- Plunge cutting;
- Cuts bevels;
- Cuts stone (some models).
- Heavy; not as portable;
- May require additional water pump;
- Not for delicate work;
FOR YOUR SAFETY
Never use a wet tile saw without water running over the blade. It will overheat quickly, and it could shatter in severe cases.
What to look for in the best tile saws for the money
- Wet or dry blades: For irregular detailed work or small repairs, dry is fine. For everything else, wet blades produces a cleaner cut with no danger of the tile saw overheating. Dry blades can be used wet, but wet blades should never be used without water.
- Motor power: This varies noticeably, from 4 amps on small handheld tile saws to 2 horsepower on some rail tile saws. Manufacturers do a good job of providing adequate motors, whichever model you go with. Sometimes, a tile saw motor will stall, but that’s more likely to be a question of the type of material used or technique and not a weakness in the motor.
- Cut depth: This is essential, and it varies a great deal from one tile saw to another. If you’re cutting floor tiles, which can be much thicker than wall tiles, make sure that the depth of cut, surpass the tile thickness by at least 1/16 of an inch, or you can get chipped tiles at the end of the cut, damaging the tile.
- Cutting capacity: Cutting capacity (maximum tile size) varies tremendously with table tile saws. Cheap tile saws might give around seven inches of cross cutting and the exact same length of diagonal cutting. Note that a typical six-inch wall tile is more than eight inches on the diagonal. Large table tile saws can handle between 18- or 24-inch tiles.
- Table material: For table tile saws, water flows across the machine continuously, so you want to invest in a table that won’t corrode or rust. Zinc and stainless steel are the best options.
- Guides: To make cut-line alignment easier, pick a high-end table tile saw with built-in LED or laser guides.
- Drain plug: Table tile saws that feature drain plugs are much easier to empty when the job is finished.
- Blades: All tile saw blades are diamond powder-coated blades, but not all blades performs the same. Many consumers complain about poor performance concern using the wrong blade for a specific tile.
When cutting a tile diagonally, damage occurs most likely at the end of the cut, when small pieces can split off. Decreasing the spinning rate helps prevent this.
Tile saw prices
Tile saws come in a broad range of prices. That’s great news if you’re looking to invest in one because there are enough choices for every budget.
- $100 to $150: You’ll pay on average this much for a small tabletop tile saw with a seven-inch blade or a portable tile saw with a three- or four-inch blade. A handheld cordless tile saw will be about this price, too, but note that often the batteries is not included in the retail package.
- $250 to $2,000: 10-Inch tile saws, either tabletop or stand-mounted, fall in this price tag. The extra cost pays for better quality and additional features. It’s important to read the specifications carefully. There is no point in paying for capabilities that you won’t be using.
- $2,000+: Rail tile saws can easily cost more than $2,000.
When cutting small pieces of tiles on a tile saw table, we advise you to use a spare piece of tile or scrap wood as a “push-stick” to keep your fingers out of reach of the blade.
- Small, handheld tile saws are very useful for intrigued work like cutting notches to go around doorways or other moldings.
- When dry cutting, do so for short periods, such as ten second intervals at a time, to prevent the blade from overheating. Operating the blade at full speed away from the tile helps with cooling.
- The potential to plunge cut adds great versatility to your tile cutting jobs, allowing you to cut holes for vents, sockets, or drains. Square holes are often adequate for things that are actually round, such as toilets. The toilet base is far bigger than the required drain hole, so it will easily cover the hole.
- If you’re jobs entitles you to cut both floor and wall tile, think carefully about the depth of cuts. Remember that if you need to cut bevels, you’ll need greater depth than if you are only cutting at 90°.
Always wear eye protection when operating a tile saw. Keep your hands as far away from the rotating blade as possible.
Q. What size tile saw should I invest in?
A. It all depends on the type of jobs you do. Portable tile saws are easy to transport and great for modest jobs and small repair work. Tabletop and stand-mounted saws offer you a convenient, stable platform and a larger blade. If you’re big rooms or a lot of floor work, they are the best option. Make sure that they have the correct depth of cut you need and can accommodate your maximum tile size.
Q. Should I be worried about which tile saw blade to use?
A. Almost all tile saws come with a general-purpose diamond blade. They’re usually very good at cutting standard ceramic tile. Glass, marble, masonry, and mixed material tiles can be difficult to cut, and they can chip or crack extremely fast. A specialist blade is recommended for these types of materials, and there are many choices available on the market.
Q. There are various types of cheap manual tile cutters around. Do I really need an electric tile saw?
A. If you are an expert, it’s possible to produce almost identical results with a manual tile cutter on ordinary ceramic tiles. However, manual devices don’t actually cut. They groove the surface of a tile, which you then manually break. It takes practice, and it can cause surface damage and uneven edges. If you are working with masonry, glass, or marble tiles, or any material with inclusions, the manual cut “score and snap” method will not work at all.