I just ordered one from Coastal Tool, and am eagerly looking forward to
it replacing my Skil jigsaw (won't go as far as to call it a POS, but
blade deflection is routine - not capable of precise cuts at all, esp.
in knotty or figured wood).
But I got to wondering if I could use it - w/ the proper blade - to cut
1/4" ceramic porcelain? What WOULD a proper blade be? And what would
be the right type of bit (material) to drill a starter hole for cutting
interior holes in a tile?
You bet. Get a carbide grit blade. Won't give you as clean a cut as
diamond, but works fine for the occasional odd size cut.
If you've got a lot of tile to cut, and the cuts are straight, get (or
rent) a real tile saw.
A carbide tipped masonary drill bit will drill a starter hole. Put a
piece of masking tape on first to prevent the bit from sliding all
over while you're getting it started.
Thanks Paul, that's just the info I needed.
We are borrowing a real tile saw from a friend who owns one for all the
straight cuts. But for a few places where water supply lines come
through, I was hoping the jigsaw could do the job. ... I suppose it
might depend on how tight a radius I want to cut, eh? Any thoughts on
the practical limit of how small a circle I could cut? ... I guess it
would be good for the toilet waste pipe, but water supply lines might
only require such a small opening as to make the jigsaw not practical?
You can nibble away a small hole for the supply lines using the grit
blade. Because the grit is a bit wider than the blade it will sort of
cut on the sides a bit too.
There are a couple of alternatives.
The pro's would use a carbide, or more likely, a diamond hole saw of
the appropriate diameter. Might not be worth buying one for one job,
but you can rent if you have a good rental place nearby. The diamond
ones are pricey, but the carbide ones not so bad.
You can also get a carbide grit rod saw that fits into a hacksaw
frame. It's a piece of heavy wire coated with carbide grit and it
cuts in any direction. You would drill a small hole first, thread the
rod saw through, and then attach to the frame and saw away. Describing
it is more work than doing it; it really goes pretty fast.
Final alternative is a roto-zip with a carbide grit masonry bit. This
will drill it's own starting hole and then allow you to make the
cutout. A little tricky to control accurately, but for a rough hole
for plumbing, good enough. The roto-zip will set you back more than a
hole saw by several times, but it's a pretty handy tool to have if you
are planning on a lot of remodeling or rennovation, especially if it
involves drywall work.
What you want is a Fein Multimaster XL. THAT little rascal is made for
doing such things with precision and finesse. Carbide grout blade.
Or a DeWalt 4.5" low angle grinder with a continous grit dry diamond blade.
And a ShopVac to clean up the fine dust that WILL get into everything.
I really like my Bosch jigsaw, but I wouldn't want the dust from tile
cutting inside of it.
Wear a dust mask when cutting tile, unless you're using a wet saw.
whose bathroom remodel, as of 1 pm today, is officially functional. Only
the mirror remains to be framed & hung.
I'll keep that in mind. When I can, I do the highly-dust-producing
tasks outside, and for the couple/few tiles I need to makes holes in, I
can certainly do that. Sometimes I even setup a fan to make a forced
cross-wind to whisk dust away from me/tool. Dustmask not optional (nor
are earplugs and eye protection...)
Congrats on the bathroom remodel completion! Ours is hopefully not
too far behind. Finishing the wainscoting, then on to the floor:
self-leveling compound for the couple low spots in the ply subfloor;
backerboard; tile layout and cutting and laying, (etc., etc., ...)
. He's a safety
nut and he chewed me out for not having a dust mask. In retrospect, it was
supremely stupid. That was two years ago. Now I look like a spaceman when I
suit up to do dusty work like this. Then there's the roar of the shop vac
and overhead dust filter running which is mitigated by my Worktunes hearing
I'm sure that a powerful router like a 1590 could easily cut ceramic
tile (with the right bit).
Heck, I just remodeled one of our bathrooms and for those tiles that
needed odd cuts and round notches, I used a Dremel. That little Dremel
chewed through the tile like butter.
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