Any DIY-enthusiast will tell you that a wet tile saw is the ultimate tool for cutting tiles down to size. Although wet tile saws aren’t exactly a must-have tool for the all-purpose workshop, they are extremely beneficial for slicing tiles made of any kind of material to your required specifications.
Unlike other tabletop saws, the blade of the wet tile saw typically doesn’t plunge down into the material, but instead, you push the tile or hard material into the spinning blade by using a back fence. These tile saws are commonly available for rent in hardware shops or professional contractor establishments, but wet tile saws are also affordable buying them online.
What to look for in a wet tile saw
There are several things to look out for when purchasing or renting a wet tile saw. Although most tile saw models are based on a generic design, there are specialized features that might come in handy when wanting to slice tiles.
Obviously, wet tile saws require water to run perfectly. The blade needs to be kept lubricated and cool, and water is a great solution for both issues. In addition, water helps keep dust away from the blade and out of the air. Wet tile saws use either fresh, cold water or water basins for reusing water.
With fresh water, your workstation is limited to how far away you are from a source of cold continuously-running water, but it keeps the blade clean and filtration system free of gunk. As for water-collection tray, it reuses the water that lubricates the blade. This system allows for enhanced portability but you should be conscious of how polluted the water is.
In general, the bigger the blade, the deeper you can cut, though the tile saw will need a larger motor to spin large-sized blades efficiently. Typically, wet tile saw blades will range from 4.5 to 10 inches in diameter, and the most commonly used blade size is 7 inches. It’s large enough to cut through practically every tile size and thickness without overkill.
Miter and bevel cuts
All of the best wet tile saws should come with a table and back fence that allows for making diagonal cuts through tiles. The most common miter angles are 22.5° and 45°. However, only the most versatile models include a blade beveling feature for making angle cuts through your tiles.
However, for most home projects, producing beveled cuts isn’t all that necessary, but it’s nice to have a wet tile saw that can do it.
As we mentioned before, the motor determines how quickly the blade spins. Smaller blades need less power to reach the same RPM as bigger, energy-consuming blades, but everything depends on your unique specifications. You’ll typically want a motor that can deliver at least 3,500 RPM for neat cuts.
This is perhaps for only the most meticulous workers that need to make artsy curved cuts with a wet tile saw. Similar to a miter saw the most advanced wet tile saws will have a plunging head to help in making curved cuts. Keep in mind that it’s not a commonly used feature, thus many models can’t plunge down into the tile or stone.
Which wet tile saw to get
By now, you should have a basic understanding of what a wet tile saw can do for you. If your line of work requires cutting down ceramic, porcelain, stone, or marble tiles down to size, you should consider investing in a wet tile saw, otherwise you can rent a model from your local department store. Here, we’ll give you our recommendation of the top 5 wet tile saws you can use to make slicing tiles much easier.
This 15.6-pound tabletop wet tile saw by QEP comes with a ¾ HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM, making it capable of slicing through a wide range of tiles of various materials (including marble and stone). The 22650Q 650XT comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts through tiles as thick as 1-1/4 inches.
You can also adjust the table to allow for 22.5° and 45° cuts. The table is completely adjustable and includes an 8-inch extension for increasing the rip capacity of either side of the blade. The 650XT features a water recirculation system to keep the blade adequately cooled and lubricated, though there’s no device to filter out the tile dust from the reused water.
The PCE980 by PORTER-CABLE is another tabletop wet tile saw that weighs roughly 33 pounds fully assembled. It comes with a 1 HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM for tiles and other hard objects. The PCE980 uses a 7-inch blade which can cut as deep as 1-3/8 inches through tiles.
The table and fence allow for mitered cuts through whatever materials you feed the blade, and its built-in stop lets users make repeated cuts at any angle and width. This model comes with a water basin for holding water and spraying it to the blade to keep it running smoothly, though, like the QEP, the basic doesn’t come with a filtration system.
The Lackmond Beast is a 58-pound bench-top wet tile saw that comes with a 13.0 amp motor that delivers up to 4,200 RPM. The Beast7 comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts up to 2-3/8 inches deep for cutting cleanly through tiles, granite, and stone.
In addition to making diagonal cuts through tiles, you can also cut diagonally into tiles with the 22.5° or 45° bevel. You can feed tiles up to 24 x 24 inches diagonally through the blade so you know you’re getting huge rip capacity. The lubricating system shoots one or two sprays of water at the blade to prevent dust from going airborne, and it features a filter to keep tile slurry away from passing through the spray nozzle.
This SKIL-made wet tile saw weighs around 54 pounds and comes with a 1-3/4 HP motor for delivering speeds of up to 3,600 RPM. The depth of the cut is limited to only ¾-inch deep so only the thinnest can be cut cleanly with a single pass.
The blade of the 3550-02 doesn’t bevel, but operators can adjust the table to 22.5° and 45° to make beveled cuts. The sliding extension table allows for materials up to 18 x 18 inches in size to rest comfortably on the table and back fence. The proprietary HydroLock guards water from splashing above and below the table, though it doesn’t the water basic and system doesn’t come with a filter to keep slurry from gunking up the blade and ruining cuts.
Finally, our number one pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. As you can probably guess, the D24000S uses a large 10-inch blade for producing cuts as deep as 3-1/8 inches. It supports cutting tiles diagonally of up to 18 x 18 inches in size at 22.5° and 45° angles.
The rip capacity is up to 28 inches thanks to the saw head’s plunging action. There’s no special beveling mechanism in this unit so it’s built specifically for all-purpose, everyday tile-cutting applications. Finally, this kit includes a stand which supports the 69-pound D24000S so you can make cuts anywhere without having to drag or carry your heavy worktable with you.
This concludes our article on wet tile saws. Hopefully, you’ll have the knowledge to make an educated purchase decision if you feel that a wet tile saw can truly be a valuable addition to your workshop.
At the end of this article, you should know that the most important features to look for in an all-purpose wet tile saw are where the water used to lubricate and cool the blade comes from and whether it has a filtration device in place, how large a blade can be fitted into the wet tile saw and the various cutting depths they produce, bevel and miter mechanism to help in cutting down tiles to the perfect size and shape, how powerful the motor and how quickly the blade spins to make neat cuts every time, and whether the saw’s head can plunge down into materials.
In the end, our top pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. The 10-inch blade is perhaps the largest blade you’ll ever find in a residential-grade wet tile saw, and looking at how deep the blade cuts, we feel that it performs perfectly for almost all DIY projects, home projects, and even commercial settings.
The table allows for huge-sized tiles – up to 18 x 18 inches diagonally – to pass through the blade, and the plunging head can increase the length of cuts to up to 28 inches.
The kicker is the stand that comes with along with the wet tile saw. No longer will you need to worry about whether your next job site will have a table or workbench readily available to you. If you need to cut tiles indoors or outdoors, the stand that comes with the D24000S will hold the tile saw perfectly.