You know what they say -- you need to have the right tool for the right job. If you're working on a tiling project at home, a saw that you'd use to cut wood just isn't going to cut it. You need a tile saw, which is considerably different. We've done the research and have found the best tile saw, broken down by price, features, and job type.
The best wet tile saw differs from a saw used for wood in a few ways. First, the blade is different. Tile saw blades don't have teeth. Second, the blade needs to be kept wet, which eases friction, giving you a cleaner cut. Water also helps to reduce dust when cutting.
Admittedly, a tile saw isn't the only tool you can use if you need to cut tile. There's also something called a snap cutter. Snap cutters work by scoring a line across the surface of the tile. You can then "snap" or break the tile along the line to cut it.
While a snap cutter can be adequate when the edges of the tile are covered up by a baseboard or other material, it doesn't produce the cleanest of cuts. You are also limited to only making straight lines with a snap cutter, while the best tile cutting saw lets you cut curves and other shapes.
You can divide tile saws into two main product categories: Tabletop tile saws (including free-standing saws and saws with their stands) and hand-held tilesaws. When you're trying to find the best tile saw, you first need to identify which type of tile saw you need.
One of the most significant benefits of a hand-held tile saw, or portable tile saw, is that the tool is pretty easy to transport. If you need to bring it to someone's house for a project or move it around to different rooms of your own home when tiling, you do so with ease.
Another benefit of a hand-held saw is that you can often use the tool either wet or dry. A portable tile saw usually has either an onboard container for water or a hose that connects the saw to a water supply. You can detach the tank or tube if you want to make a dry cut.
While a hand-held saw can be ideal if you need to move around a lot, they do have a few drawbacks. If the tile saw is cordless, you might not as much power as you'd like from the tool. You may find yourself spending more time charging the saw than using it.
If it's corded, you might find yourself limited by cord length. While some models do have a sufficiently long cord, others have very short cables, just six feet or so. Since you can always guarantee that a power outlet will be less than six feet away from where you're working, you're likely to find yourself carrying around an extension cord.
One more benefit of a hand-held saw over a table-top, or free-standing tile saw. You can use the saw to cut tile that's already installed. If the tile on the floor or wall is cracked or otherwise damaged and you want to replace it, the easiest option is to cut away the busted tile.
You can do that quickly with a hand-held saw but not with a table-top model.
With all that said, table-top tile saws do have their benefits and advantages. If you're going to be cutting lots of tiles or if you're cutting large pieces of tile, a table-top saw is going to make relatively quick work of that project
One of the drawbacks of using a table-top saw is that you might not get the smoothest cuts. Since you are pushing the tile through the blade, you're creating friction. Even with the water to help smooth things over, there might be enough friction and grab to create rough edges, according to the Home Depot.
However, if you are tiling several rooms, or even your entire house, a table-top tile saw is almost a necessity. Without the efficiency of the table-top model, you will spend way too much time on the project.
Both hand-held and table-top saws let you make a variety of different types of cuts into a tile, depending on what your project is and where you'll be installing the tile.
The best tile saw should let you make a range of cuts into tiles. Those cuts should include:
Where the water comes from can vary based on the type of tile saw you use. Some models feature a pump and a reservoir. They recirculate the same water over and over, filtering it after each use to remove dust and debris.
Other models connect to a water source with a hose. You can hook these up to a sink faucet or outdoor spigot. They often have a separate tube or hose that drains the used water away.
The drawback of tile saws that need a hose and a separate water source is that you need to use them in an area with a supply of water. If you're working somewhere without a water source or where the water is shut off, you're out of luck
Another thing to consider when choosing the best tile saw for your needs is the power of the motor. Motor power varies considerably based on the size of the saw and its cost. Many tile saws have a 1.5 horsepower motor while more heavy-duty models have a 2.5 HP motor.
You can find a tile saw for less than $200, and some models even come in at under $100. It's also possible to spend considerably more on a saw, in some cases well over $500 and nearly $1,000.
Of course, the question is, does the best wet saw tile cutter have to set you back $500 or so? The answer is most likely no. Unless you're looking for the best professional wet tile saw and need a high-powered model for many projects, it's likely that a more affordable model will meet your needs.
We've done some research and found the best tile saw at a range of price points and with a range of features. Whether you're looking for the best tile saw under $200, the best tile saw under $500 or want a top-of-the-line, cream-of-the-crop model, here are our recommendations for the best tile saw of 2018.
The SKIL 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw is possible the best cheap tile saw on the market. Designed specifically with homeowners hoping to complete a DIY project in mind, the saw is compact, lightweight and able to perform a variety of cuts, from rip cuts to diagonal cuts as well as bevel cuts.
The best wet tile saw for DIY, the SKIL saw has a stainless steel table top, which is meant to be corrosion resistant. Its water source is a reservoir that the blade rests in.
Because of its petite size and low-power motor (4.2 amps), the SKIL 7-inch wet tile saw is probably best for small jobs. That said, some have reported being able to use theirs to cut 12 by 24-inch tiles, even though the largest size recommended is 12 by 12 inches.
The saw's compact size can also be a drawback. It's relatively lightweight (coming in at under 20 pounds), which can give it a flimsy feel. The reservoir under the blade is also on the small side. If you're just cutting one or two tiles, that's not such a big deal.
But if your project has you cutting several tiles all at once, you might find that you need to refill the reservoir frequently. That can get annoying when you're trying to get a job finished.
All in all, the SKIL 7-inch wet tile saw is best for people looking to complete a small job at home, on their own time. If you're looking for something with more and heft and power, this isn't the saw for you. But if you're looking for the best small tile saw, this might just be the one.
The DEWALT 4-3/8-Inch Wet/Dry Masonry Saw is another option for the best tile saw under $300 or $200. It is a hand-held model that you can use either wet or dry. The saw comes with a 13-foot water line that you can connect to a water source.
The hand-held saw is probably for jobs that are on the small side. Its maximum cutting depth is just over three inches, so it's not the tool for you if you need to slice through thick slabs of marble or granite. But if you have a lot of tiles to cut for a job, the saw will work just fine.
The motor of the DEWALT wet/dry masonry saw is more than twice as powerful as the one found on the SKIL saw, at 10.8 amps (1,300 watts). When the blade is fresh and sharp, slicing through even the toughest of stone can feel likely slicing through a soft stick of butter.
Since it is a handheld saw, one thing that can get in the way of it working as well as it could is if the person using it gets tired. The saw includes an anti-fatigue feature that holds the button in place and keeps you from getting worn out when you're making lots of cuts in a row.
Also, the saw is relatively lightweight, weighing just over six pounds. You won't feel like you're lugging around a bowling ball.
Of course, no hand-held saw is perfect and that includes the model from DEWALT. Perhaps the most significant issue with the saw its blade. The diamond blade measures 4 3/8 inches, which isn't exactly a standard size.
When the blade gets dull (and it will), you'll need to special order a replacement from the company or online. It's not a blade you're likely to find at your local hardware store.
If you're looking for a corded hand-held tile saw, the DEWALT 4 3/8 inch model has a lot to offer you.
What if you're working at a site that has limited outlets or no power at all? You'll need a cordless tile saw. For some, the Makita 12V MAX CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Tile/Glass Saw Kit is the ideal pick.
Along with being cordless, the Makita Tile/Glass Saw has a lot going for it. It's lightweight, weighing just 4 pounds. It includes a water tank that holds about half a liter (16.9 ounces) of water.
The tile saw comes with two batteries and a charger. You also have the option of upgrading to lithium batteries, which provide a longer run-time and a slower self-discharge.
The tile saw's small size does work against it somewhat. It can only cut tiles or glass up to a depth of 1 inch. That pretty much means you'll be limited to cutting tiles with this saw, versus slabs of stone.
That 16.9-ounce water tank can also be both a blessing and a curse. Being free of being connected to a water source is nice. But having to stop and refill the tank frequently can slow down your project.
What you get in terms of convenience with the cordless saw you give up regarding power. You might find that it's slow going cutting through the tile and that the battery life doesn't last as long as you'd like. Some have noticed that cutting through one tile drained their batteries by about half.
Still, if you're on the market for a supremely portable, ultra-lightweight saw and can give up power and force for it, the Makita is a good pick for you.
The DEWALT Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw with Stand is the best tile saw if you're looking for more power and heft from your saw. The higher power also translates into a higher price tag, as this is one of the few models we recommend that comes in at over $500.
So if you're an amateur tiler or are just hoping to complete one or two DIY jobs around the house, the DEWALT 10-inch wet tile saw probably isn't the saw for you. Pros or avid DIYers might want to check it out.
The DEWALT Heavy-Duty 10-inch wet tile saw can straight cut up to 28 inches or cut an 18 by 18-inch tile on the diagonal. It also does plunge cuts and beveled edges and has a cutting depth of up to 3 1/8 inches. It can handle whatever type of job you want to throw at it.
Although the DEWALT saw is relatively high powered with a 1.5 HP motor and a 10-inch blade, it's somewhat designed for use indoors. The saw features a water containment system that keeps water from spraying everywhere while you cut.
The saw also weighs in at under 70 pounds. It's not exactly lightweight, but it's also not so heavy that the average, physically fit person can't lift and set it up on their own.
The Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw - 10" Portable is another heavy-duty wet tile saw. Unlike the DEWALT, the Lackmond Beast makes no claims of being designed for home-use or use by a single person. True to its name, this tile saw is a beast, and we have it reviewed as the best wet tile saw you can buy.
It weighs in at nearly 120 pounds. It measures 26 by 46 inches and can rip up to 35 inches or cut a 24 by 24-inch tile on the diagonal.
It can perform bevel cuts of 45 degrees and 22.5 degrees as well as plunge cuts. It will cut through materials up to 3.75 inches thick.
Where the Beast shines is in its water control system. The saw features a snake-pipe, which lets you control the direction and flow of water onto the blade with ease. In the tray, slurry and debris are separated from clean water, which helps to prolong the life of the filter and makes cleaning the water system a snap.
One thing that holds the Beast back and might make the average person hesitate to drop a lot of cash on it is its overall size and heft. The saw's body is made mostly of steel, which makes it not only heavier but also slightly less durable than lighter weight metals such as aluminum.
While the broad cutting surface means the saw can handle larger tiles, it seems to struggle to create a straight cut. The bigger your cut, the more uneven it's likely to be.
That said, if you're looking for a heavy-duty, heavyweight saw for a job site, or if you're a homeowner who's ready to take your tile cutting game to the next level, the Beast might be just the thing for you.
How do our recommendations for the best tile saw rank overall? Here's what to choose based on the type of job or project you're working on.
Best Tile Saw for the Money
Best Portable Tile Saw
Best Cordless Tile Saw
Best Tile Saw for the Aspring Pro
Best Professional Wet Tile Saw
Is a tile saw something you're going to use that often? It all depends on your capacity for home improvement projects and your preference. But even if you only plan on working on one tiling project ever, making a small outlay for a saw that's specifically designed to cut tiles is going to be well worth it.