Any tiled room, whether it’s the bathroom or kitchen, is going to have those weird spots. Whether it’s where the wall outlet is or some odd angle that makes you wonder what the architects were thinking, there’s usually something that prevents you from putting the tiles in place as they were purchased. But getting tiles that perfectly line up doesn’t have to be something that you leave to the pros. There are a few different kinds of tools for cutting tile that will make it easy to get your bathroom or kitchen project done in time.
Two of the best specialized tools for cutting tile are wet tile saws and manual tile cutters. A wet tile saw is so named because it uses water to cool a diamond blade as it cuts through tile. This helps keep the diamond blade from overheating. They function similarly to a table saw — you feed the tile through as the saw is spinning to get a clean and even cut. The diamond tile cutting saw has a smooth, non-serrated blade.
Manual tile cutters excel at creating straight lines, and they’re generally less expensive than a wet saw. Manual tile cutters use a scoring wheel to create a mark in the tile, and it is then snapped along that line. This will require a little more elbow grease than the wet saw. If you’re working on a project where you expect to cut a lot of tile or tile that is made out of stone, a wet saw might be better for you. But if you need to cut through pieces of ceramic and don’t mind that it will take a little longer, then a manual cutter will likely do the trick. They’re also less messy because there isn’t water involved. In either case, we’ve picked out some of our favorite tile cutting tools.
1. SKIL 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
Just because wet tile saws are more expensive than a manual tile cutter, that doesn’t mean they have to cost too much. This wet tile saw is made by the German power tool company SKIL, which has been around since the 1920s. The table is large enough to cut tile that is up to 1’x1′. The cutting surface can also be tilted, allowing you to work at a better angle for more difficult pieces. The rip fence is adjustable, which helps ensure straight and even cuts.
Pros: Easy to use, reasonably priced, creates even cuts.
Cons: Although it’s listed to be able to cut 12″ x 12″ tiles, it may be difficult to get a tile that large to cut.
2. QEP 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter
This manual tile cutter from QEP is well suited to cutting larger pieces of tile; it can cut up to 24″ straight or 16″ when cutting diagonally. QEP’s cutter is designed to be suitable for porcelain and ceramic tile. The cutting wheel is made out of tungsten carbide, giving it durability and helping to ensure a smoother cut. Plus, the padded grip makes for more comfortable cutting when you need to cut more tile. It’s as expensive as some wet saws, but it has the performance to comfortably and accurately cut a lot of tile.
Pros: Made with premium components like a tungsten-carbide cutting wheel and chrome-plated steel guide rails. Well suited to cutting larger tiles.
Cons: Expensive for a manual cutter.
3. QEP 14″ Tile Cutter with 1/2″ Cutting Wheel
This cutter from QEP is lower-priced than the other option, and it’s intended for cutting smaller tile. It can cut tile that is up to 14″ that is cut straight or 10″ when cutting diagonally. Like the larger QEP option, this cutter is made from high-quality materials including linear ball bearings for a smoother cut, chrome-plated steel rails that will resist rusting, and comfortable rubber-padded handle.
Pros: Effective tool for cutting tile that is up to 14″ when cutting straight or 10″ diagonally.
Cons: Won’t work for larger tile.
4. SKIL 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw with HydroLock
This saw from SKIL is similar to our top pick but it can accommodate larger sized tiles; this one cuts up to 18″ x 18″ compared with the other option’s 12″ x 12″. If you need to work with larger tile or just want a larger surface to work with, this could be a better option for you. The thing that really sets it apart is the water containment system. Working with a wet saw can be a messy business, but this saw helps keep splashing to a minimum. That makes working indoors much more manageable.
Pros: Water-containment system that keeps splashing from wet saw to a minimum. Works with larger tile-sizes.
Cons: Considerably more expensive than the other SKIL pick.
5. DEWALT Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw with Stand
Serious tile-workers or anyone tackling a big job will need a more heavy-duty option. This pick from DeWalt is expensive, but it’s ideal for situations where you need to quickly cut a lot of tile. DeWalt’s wet saw can accommodate larger tile; it can cut pieces that are up to 24″ when they’re placed straight or 18″ if placed diagonally. This particular option also includes a stand and a saw blade.
Pros: Good option for professional applications. Sturdy and heavy-duty while still being portable enough for one person.
Cons: Very expensive.
6. Goldblatt Glass Tile Nippers With Pro-Grip Handle
If you’re working with glass tile, taking care is obviously important. But that doesn’t mean you need an expensive or difficult-to-use tool. These handheld glass tile nippers have the familiar shape of pliers, but they are designed to be able to gently cut and shape glass tile. Each end of the tips has a scoring wheel. The wheels are made out of durable tungsten carbide, and the padded grip is comfortable and reduces slippage.
Pros: Affordable. Comfortable grip. Easy to cut through glass tile without too much strain.
Cons: Limited jaws mean it may not be able to cut very thick or very thin glass.
7. VonHaus Manual Tile Cutter
This pick from VonHaus is reasonably priced and made with high-quality materials. The cutting wheel is tipped with tungsten carbide which is durable and sharp. And since the old will eventually wear out, an extra cutting wheel is included with the order. It’s capable of cutting larger tile, too — up to 24″ long. The entire cutter is portable and lightweight and it has a comfortable padded grip. It’s also designed to be easy to use for beginners.
Pros: Reasonably priced, suitable for cutting larger tiles. Tungsten carbide-tipped scoring wheel, and an extra one is included.
Cons: Can require a little care to ensure the scoring wheel is properly lined up.