Wiki: Tile cutter review

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==Score & snap Machines== * Faster than diamond blade saws * Significant waste due to tile breakage * The cut edge of the tile is sharp, a stroke or 2 with a carborundum stone makes it safe. * Machines that need the tile repositioned between score and snap operations are hard to line up correctly, resulting in even more breakage & waste * can't cut narrow strips, minimum size is anywhere from 0.5" - 2" to avoid breakage.
==Hand held scorers== These are just a handle with a piece of sharp Tungsten Carbide (TC) or a steel wheel. * Lowest cost tile cutter * Snapping pressure tends not to follow the score accurately, causing more breakage loss than with the score and snap machines. * steel cutting wheels are replaceable, TC bits are regrindable with care and a diamond disc
Cutting: # Pencil the cut line # place straight edge on tile # Score # ? tap to propagate crack? # snap tile. Pressing right over the score line causes less breakage
==Diamond table saws== * These cut tiles quite quickly, but never as fast as score & snap. * There is close to zero wastage due to breaking * Thin tile strips can be cut no problem * All wet diamond tile saws are very noisy when cutting a tile, use ear protection * The cut edge is safe rather than sharp * The typical 30-50 cost soon pays for itself in tile savings * Usually the table tilts to enable angled cuts for external corners, avoiding obstacles, and compound mitre cuts * When close to the end of the cut, to avoid a snapped corner its necessary to reduce tile speed greatly and apply even force very gently to both sides of the tile. This should yield a perfect cut * Cuts at an angle can be done by just following a pencil line by eye * For repeated precision angled cuts, make a tile holder using a thin piece of board and either a few [[screws]] to put the tile against, or a strip of wood as a stop. * recomended for porcelain or marble
* These saws can generally also be used to cut * concrete slabs * stone slabs * marble * roof tiles * fossils * lumps of quartz for decoration * flints for decorative walling, etc * All metals ? sharpening? ? glass cutting?
===Erbauer=== * Does the job no problem * Minimal [[water]] spray, even with the guard up * Comes with a 45 degree cutting tile holder * On off switch is a bit fiddly * Comes with an [[RCD]] plug * Fence has to be adjusted and [[clamp]]ed at both ends separately * Fence can be adjusted to a different setting each end for out of true cuts * The ruler strips that help you line the [[fence]] up aren't accurately positioned * The ruler strips quickly peel off, this is really not helpful. * more than powerful enough
===Plasplugs=== ===Topps===
==Larger Diamond blade saws== * Sliding cutting head blade makes angled cuts easier
==Manual saws== Abrasive grit hand [[saw]]s can cut just about any shape, so are used for the most difficult cuts. Not many tiling jobs need this though.
==Others== [[Angle grinder]]s in a stand are sometimes used to cut tiles. These setups are far from ideal, and the blade can easily overheat, causing blade buckling & tile breakage. There is also no way to easily slide the tile, no guarding, no alignment scales etc. Not really recommended.
Its even possible to cut a tile with a [[die grinder]], but not very practical. Progress is very slow, and its only useful if you already have a die grinder but no better tool, and just have one tile to cut, eg for a repair. The tool pieces to use are diamond cutting disc and abrasive stone.
NT
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NT wrote:

I would suggest splitting the article into two - one describing the features etc to go in the power tools FAQ, and then a second one to go in the review section with the comments on particular machines. This would be more in keeping with other articles.

Note the size of the machine limits the size of tile that can be worked on - especially with diagonal cuts.
Won't cut some types of tile - typically friable tiles like travertine marble, or heavy textured tiles.

and generally a waste of time!

Snapping over matchsticks being the canonicalised method!

Most machines have a fence arrangement like a table saw.

yup.
Also worth mentioning the difference between water recirculating designs and non recirculating designs, and not forgetting the spray / mess issues.

I can do words for the smallest recirculating one they do...


Had good results with a hand held grinder on thick marble tiles. Using an expensive continuous rim Norton "hard material" blade against a straight edge - it left a good clean edge.
Could include links to the drills and drilling FAQ for tile drilling section.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Yes, I think so. Will incorporate the rest of the feedback later. Cheers!
NT
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NT wrote:

Position the tile over a wooden skewer or sililar & press down on either side.

'L' shapes & notches can be cut easily.

Pencil lines will often be washed away by the blade cooling water. Use a chinagraph pencil or a Sharpie marker.
Use the machine on a dust sheet to prevent dirty water staining floor coverings. Keep a cloth nearby to dry off the tile.

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Use Eye protection! (I know we often don't, but a ceramic slurry could be nasty)
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Quality counts. I broke my Rubi Star on my last floor, the bars just spread out and the whole thing fell apart. Bought a Montolit as a replacement, and it didn't even blink at the same times. It cuts straight lines, and not very sharp ones (the cutter bevels the edge). Nearly zero wastage. Waste of money for cheap tiles, but if you are dealing with really hard quality stuff it's worth paying out for a good Rubi etc, as long as it's not a one off. It's a day or two of paying a tiler, that's the way I look at it. And there's little better to spend money on than good tools (apart from good food, wine and music). Really don't biy one which needs moving between score and snap - it's a bit like glass, the sooner you can follow the score with the tap/wham/sledgehammer blow (depending tile), the better.

The most outstanding point of difference is the ability to do L-shape cuts, or all sorts of shapes by cutting up to a line(on mine, I can lift the tile to get a 90 degree edge, you might need to build an angle-sled to do so on a blade-below type.

Ambivalent at best about the porc bit - the harder the tile, the greater the advantage of manual cutters. For marble and other stone, diamond (or grit) sawing is necessary rather than recommended.

Sliding tables are as good. My Duhrer Teide (snag at 60 and a day- trip from ebay) is very good, but not exactly a sensible buy new for anyone.
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NT wrote:

Only on the cheapest models. Virtually none on anything > 30

Since the edges are rarely exposed they don't need to be safe

Love 'em or hate 'em, tile trims are the only way to deal with external corners on ceramic tiles

Mini grinder in one hand and tile in the other is sometimes used for *short* cuts. Quite safe, but not very accurate. Typically used for rectangular cuts behind sockets where the longer of the two cuts can then be done on the snapper
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