buy or rent a tile cutter?

should I rent a tile cutter from Home Depot for $40/hr or buy a cheap one for $100?
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Or you can get one for as cheap as $60 at Harbor Freight.
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Not sure I have enough info to answer. Not sure I would do business with Home Depoe. Tile store may be better. I helped one lady tile a kitchen. Every night she would lay a few tiles and mark all her cuts. Then she would take them to the tile store and have them do the cuts. One time she came back pissed because a lady helped her and charged for the cuts. A manual cutter is good. It allows you to make the cuts on the spot without getting up and traveling to the saw. However a manual cutter cannot make all the cuts so a saw will still be needed. A cheap table saw type works well for tile. However messy to operate because it sprays water on the user. Bigger saws work well, the operator stays dry and they can be used for other jobs as well. These are much more expensive then the costs you quoted. However if you buy a good saw generally it is easy to sell after you finish.
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Pat wrote:

Second that. There are electric tile saws on Ebay, some new, for as little as $20.
You could buy a sooper-dooper (used) tile saw for, say, $150, do the work efficiently, and sell the saw when you're done.
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are you ever going to need a tile saw again? if so will you need a small one, cheap one?
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A tile cutter rents for a few $ per day. A tile saw rents for about $40 a day here at a tool rental center. You may want to call around in your area.
Finding one in stock on the day you really need it can be a problem. My extended family and I have made great use of the one I bought at Harbor Freight about 10 years ago. Our accumulated cost is a few $ per day.
For a one time job where you may never use it again. The per day rental sounds like a better plan.
Colbyt
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You can hire an installer for less than $40/hr. Should that be per day? If so, if you think you need it for more than a day, buy one.
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At $40/hr, I doubt you'll even get it home, use it and get it back to the rental shop in less than $100 worth of time.
At $40/day...Loews website shows a 4" for $58 and a 7" for $88. Are you sure you'll get the job done and have the saw back the same day? If not, you can buy one for less than a 2 day rental and not be under any pressure to get the job done quickly.
If this is your first tiling job, or at least the first one where you need a saw, do you really want to be rushed?
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Yeah you might be right, but I don't have a lot of tile to cut, maybe 12-15 cuts and all but one are straight cuts. Another thought I had was to mark it, take it to a tile store and have them cut them for me - but the couple I called around to said they don't do it or told me I'd have to leave them with them and they'd do it "when they get to it". Maybe that's the best solution since I really don't have any other rooms in the house that will require tiling. Both bathrooms have tile that's in good shape and the rest of the house is wood floors. I guess I could tile the cement basement but I worry about the occasional flood compromising the thinset of the tiles - I guess I could get the thinset they use for pools though - is there a different kind of mortar for pool tiles?
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Joe,

Do you have a small angle grinder? If your cuts aren't critical (covered by an escutchen plate or something), you could use a diamond wheel on your angle grinder. I think I paid less than $20 for mine. It worked great for notching out curves around pipes, as well as cutting a hole through the center of the tile for a shower faucet (four plunge cuts from the back side for a 1" square hole in front).
It would probably be too imprecise for visible cut lines though.
For rough notching the corner of a tile, a standard grinding wheel would probably be adequate too.

If the basement concrete is cleaned of dirt that could weaken the bond, water shouldn't be a problem once the thinset hardens. Afterall, thinset is used with shower floors all the time without problems. Wet the wall down before you apply the thinset, and use a latex modified thinset for better adhesion.
Anthony
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40 dollars an hour? You can rent a car for mless than that.
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I bought a cheap little wet saw from Lowes for about $75 (4+ years ago).
It took us several days to layout and cut the tiles for our various rooms, so renting would have cost a lot more.
I expected the little saw to break down the first time I used it, but we tiled our laundry, bathroom, and lots of tile in our master bath. I've also used it twice for cutting concrete pavers for an outdoor walkway. I have to make two passes with the thick pavers and tap the final piece to break it in half, but it works well.
They even supplied a spare blade with the cheap $75 wet saw. I have no complaints. It was money well spent.
By the way, another poster is right, you do get very wet with these little saws. Not so bad with tile when you can use the blade guard, but thicker material means water and dust get sprayed all over the place. Set it up outside where the overspray won't hurt anything. Mark all your tiles first, then take them all out and do the cutting. If you don't mind getting wet and dirty, it's a great solution. Remember your safety glasses. You'll need them.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

My son bought one of the cheap wet saws from HD, and while it's not a great tool, it served its purpose quite well. He has also lent it to a few people, and it's still working well. I think it was about $60. He sure got his money's worth out of it as he did the tiling project over many weeks.
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Joe wrote:

I bought a 4" wet saw from Harbor Freight for about $40, and have been very pleased with it -- I was quite surprised how nice it is. Especially how easy it is to set the fence. I can look up the model number if you're interested.
Two weeks ago I was helping someone lay ceramic tiles in a church bathroom and they had a Tool Shop (I think that's Home Depot's cheap house brand) 7" saw. That saw *looked* nicer than mine, but was a real pain-in-the-ass to use. The rip fence was not self-aligning and was hard to set up. Also, we had to remove the blade guard to get it to work at all, and so you can imagine how much water and tile dust it slung all over the operator and everything else.
Bob
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Well, it does depend on what kind of tiles you're using. I bought the $80 thing from Home Depot, and I have to say it worked quite well for my basic 4" and 6" porcelain bathroom tiles. It also worked on some 13" floor tiles I trimmed for another job. It isn't quite as fast or powerful as a serious $200 unit, but if you're not cutting 1/2" thick travertine, it should be fine.
Then, you have another tool around in case someday you do another tile job.

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I went as far as having one of those $100 wet saws in my shopping cart at Lowe's, then happened to notice a sign by their cutting station that said $ .25 / cut, or something like that. Didn't take much math to decide to put the saw back on the shelf. I do own a score and snap tool and snippers. For most jobs they do 90% of the cuts. Any odd ball cuts are carefully marked and taken to lowe's. The job should be planned so that there aren't too many of these anyway. I've done a kitchen floor, backsplash and fireplace surround and spent less than $10 letting someone else make clean and precise cuts in minutes. I wouldn't mind owning my own wet saw, but practicality has ruled it out so far. Renting doesn't seem like a bad option for large jobs. You shouldn't need it for more than one day. Just plan out all cuts ahead of time and do it all at once.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Buy one. You'll never get the job done in an hour (no matter how small). For an amateur (I'm an expert here ;-) even a day is no time. Buy it and you won't worry about rushing things. You'll have the saw for the next job. Trust me, once SWMBO sees the tile, there will be the next job. ;-)
--
Keith

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