Cutting 600mm porcelain tiles - how?

Two types of tile cutter I see widely used, the "table saw" type with a diamond wheel and the tile slid through it (or the wheel slides over the tile), - or the score-and-crack type.
Which would work best for large porcelain tiles (600mm by 600mm, about 8mm thick)?
I borrowed a friends table saw type (which is too small for these tiles - but allowed me to at least try taking a slice off one edge) - and it cuts them, smoothly but very slowly.
So do I need to get a hold of a larger/professional model, or is score- and-crack better on porcelain?
I also need to do an irregularly shaped cut-out on a tile or two to fit around a shower valve.
What is going to work well for porcelain tiles for irregular cut-outs?
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I tiled our kitchen last year with porcelain floor and wall tiles and, given the number of cut-outs needed and following advice on the Tilers forum I bought a Wickes 720w tile saw and (having tried a cheap blade) a Marcrist pro diamond disk. The result was considerably slower than score and crack kit but there were NO wasted tiles and it handled the awkward cuts with relative ease.
--
rbel

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On Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:12:43 -0800 (PST)

I used a table saw type for 600x300 10mm porcelain tiles, no problem, a little ingenuity needed to support them. For big holes I used a diamond core drill, for odd shapes an angle grinder and dry diamond wheel.
The biggest problem with big tiles is getting a flat substrate. Floors are best self-levelled, walls maybe marmox or another tile backer. Oh, yes, and work from a good support, e.g. a batten or floor up, no adhesive has the power to hold a 600x without slip.
R.
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TheOldFellow wrote:

No need or that. Use strings and a level, and thick rapid set cement.
Its no more expensive than self levelling, which doesn't, anyway.

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wibbled on Wednesday 10 February 2010 19:56

Er, it does if you use the right stuff and prep it correctly...
--
Tim Watts

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having rented a big leccy one and subsequently bought a cheapo leccy one - if i were doing it I'd find the 30/40 quid to hire the big one - definitely easier = less stress! cutting big tiles.
Cuts seemed "better" on the big one but that was 10mm limestone vs ceramic floor & wall tiles on the smaller one so direct comparison tricky......
To be frank small one is a PITA with large format tiles - yes it will cut them but consider the agro of holding and moving the tiles - IMHO easier on a bigger pro m/c and quicker.
Cheers JimK
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snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

electric.
leave score and snap to people who do it a lot and have the knack.

Wait till you try 25 mm sandstone..;-)
Yes, it does cut it..eventually.

no., just be patient.

same again. cut lots of fingers, break then out, and clean up with the saw tip or a carbide type file.
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In article

You can get blades which cut faster - but may not give as clean a cut.
Not quite sure what you mean by 'too small' The tile doesn't need to be supported by the bed at all times. Although a larger one can make things easier. But I doubt you'll find a reasonably priced one that has a 1200 x 1200mm bed.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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> Not quite sure what you mean by 'too small'
I need to cut 600 * 600mm tiles, so when I need to halve a tile - there needs to be 300mm between blade and fence.
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snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

take the fence off and draw a pencil line
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fence? :>))))) -
F for freehand mate - couldn;t get the cheapy set up true so the back of the blade would splinter the cut edge as it went by right PITA - don;t remember that being a prob with the hired one, but still did most freehand.
Cheers JimK
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In article

I must admit if I had many to do and wanted them all the same size - like say at the top of a wall - I'd prefer a fence. My 'top of the range' Plasplugs one has a big enough table for any I've used. Although I've not used 600 x 600mm tiles. I'd probably hire if I needed to.
--
*Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I tiled a whole bathroom in very hard porcelain tiles using an Exakt saw (purple version) and diamond blade:
http://www.fredshed.co.uk/exaktprecisionsaw.htm
(DIY version also on Amazon).
I found the best technique with straight cuts was to saw a groove about half way through the thickness of the tile and then snap. For more complex cuts, saw as deep as the tool will go and then nibble with pincers.
This tool is also great for laminate flooring. I've also used it to cut down a stainless steel splashback. When cutting thin sheet metal, it doesn't distort the edge like a jigsaw does.
There are a few downsides, but I don't believe they detract seriously from the usefulness of this tool:
1. It's awkward making blind cuts as you can't see the blade and have to rely on a scale on the side of the tool.
2. The max. depth of cut is limited to around 14 mm (less for the DIY version).
3. You must use vacuum extraction (but a hose is supplied to connect to a domestic vacuum cleaner).
Hope this helps,
Roger.
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