How to Use a Wet Saw Image

How to Cut Tile With a Wet Saw? – Safety Tips & Buying Guide for Beginners

A new home, office, or any other building all require a lot of materials to build. Tiles help in giving them a nice finishing touch. However, cutting a large number of tiles with tools like a snap tile cutter is very frustrating and challenging. This is where wet tile saws come in. Here you can learn how to use a wet saw for cutting tile backsplash and other places.

What is a Wet Saw?

A wet saw is a power tool used to cut tiles. All kinds of tiles made of porcelain, cement, marble etc., can be cut using this saw. It uses a diamond-encrusted blade to cut through hard materials which makes it the best way to cut porcelain tile. The wet tile saw gets its name from the stream of water released when used for cutting. A stream of water is used to cool the blade cutting the tile during the cutting process. It might crack the tiles if the blade gets too hot, ruining them. Therefore, the speed and simplification of cutting tiles can be greatly reduced with the help of a wet saw . These saws are available as handheld portable wet tile saw for simple projects or wet tile saw with stand for heavy duty projects.

How to Use a Wet Saw?

A wet tile saw is a powerful yet dangerous tool. Therefore, it is best to know how the tool works appropriately before use. If proper safety measures are not taken while using a tile cutting machine, it might cause serious harm.

Step-1 : Preparation Before Sawing

Before cutting tiles, place the saw on a flat, sturdy surface. Make sure there is enough room to cut tiles in the area. The saw will also release a lot of water into the surroundings. Take the water released into account when choosing the location to cut tiles. The wet saw should also be at a height comfortable for the person using it. Also, remember to fill the water reservoir before using it.

Step-2 : Marking Where to Cut

Using a pencil and measurement tool, mark the tile with a line where it needs to be cut. Move the fence of the wet saw until its blade aligns with the line drawn. To move the fence, first, squeeze it and then pull it into its required position.

Step-3 : Switching on Saw

Place the widest part of the tile between the blade and the fence. This will ensure that the hands of the person using the wet saw are as far away from the blade as possible. After that, turn on the blade by pressing the guard over it. Stand at a distance and wait for the blade to reach its maximum speed. Also, check if the stream of water is being released directly onto the blade before cutting tiles with it.

Step-4 : Cutting the Tile

Pushing the blade too hard into the blade can crack or break the tile. Using slow but steady hands to direct the tile towards the blade will ensure a smooth and safe cut. Once the blade cuts the required area, power off the wet saw, wait for it to stop moving completely before removing the required tile pieces.

While at first glance, the wet tile saw might seem scary, it is a simple tool in essence. This machine makes short work of cutting any tile. It can help produce tiles with accurate parameters in little to no time.

Difference Between Wet Tile Saw and Snap Tile Cutter

A snap tile cutter works using a carbide wheel fixed to a lever, unlike a wet tile saw. The process is similar to a glass cutter. A snap tile cutter uses a wheel drawn across the tile to score the face. After that, the snapper of the tile cutter is pressed down the drawn line to break the tile cleanly. The two tools, the wet saw and snap cutter, are similar only in cutting tiles. The two cutting machines have many more differences than similarities:

Tile Cutter Vs Wet Saw

Wet Tile SawSnap Tile Cutter
A wet tile saw is an expensive tool. Its blade, water jet, etc., are costly pieces whose cost adds up to the final price. A snap tile cutter is a relatively inexpensive tool. Its low price can be attributed to its simple design and low-cost materials.
Wet tile saws, when used, release a lot of water and tile dust. As a result, they make quite a mess and require space to use.These cutters do not make much of a mess. However, they also don’t release much waste material when used.
It makes short work of any number of tiles and is very time efficient. In addition, the saw doesn’t require much manual labor.It is fine for a few tiles. However, if a large number of tiles need to be cut, this cutter becomes less reliable. Not only does it require more manual labor, but it also needs more time.
It can cut a lot of tiles quickly because a wet tile saw runs on electricity.A snap cutter needs more manual effort from the user; hence it takes longer to cut a larger number of tiles.
A wet tile saw doesn’t differentiate in the size of tiles. It can cut any tile in any required shape.A snap tile cutter doesn’t work that well with smaller tiles. It is also quite difficult to make an angled cut on this cutter.

There are no bad tools, only suitable ones. For example, for cutting many tiles, a wet tile saw is more suitable than a snap tile cutter. While if only a few tiles need to be cut, a snap tile cutter is more cost-efficient.

Parts of Wet Tile Saw

Not all wet tile saws are designed the same. Some have a lot of bells and whistles, while others are pretty bare-boned. For example, a pretty basic wet tile saw looks like a table saw. It has a diamond-encrusted blade. This blade protrudes upwards through a hole in the table. Then a spindle that is powered by an electric motor is used to spin the diamond blade. A wet tile saw also has a water spray that drenches the edge with water when it cuts tiles. This is done to cool the blade to not crack the tile due to its heat. Some wet tile saws can directly be attached to a water source, while others have a built-in reservoir. A table, blade, water spray, and motor are the basic things that ar.

Factors to Consider While Buying a Wet Saw

There are many kinds of wet tile saws available in the market. However, not all tile saws are suitable for all types of cutting. Some perform better in low-volume tasks, while others have greater capacity.

Cutting Volume

Not all wet saws can cut an equal amount of tiles. A consumer wet tile saw will be different from an industrial one. When getting a wet saw, it is best to know how many tiles it will be cut. There is no point in getting an industrial wet tile saw for a few tiles. So know what size tile saw do you need before starting your project. It is also not good if many tiles need to be cut, but the wet tile saw purchased is unable to do so.

Cost of Accessories

Some wet saws cost more than others because they have more bells and whistles, while others are pretty basic. It completely depends on personal preference whether these extra features are required or not. Increased water reservoir capacity, portability, LED lights, etc., are some of the things that can raise the price of the wet saw.

Waste Generation

Cutting tiles releases a lot of fine dust harmful to the people in the surroundings. Diseases like silicosis, asthma, and other respiratory diseases are common among people with long exposure to tile dust. Machines with increased water splash can decrease the dust in the air. That said, water generation must also be controlled so as not to waste it.

When choosing a tile saw, it is best to pick the most suitable one for oneself. Preferences like margin of error, water capacity, cutting capacity, electricity usage are some of the factors that are best to consider before buying a wet saw.

Safety Tips When Using a Tile Saw

It is best to follow proper safety measures when using a wet saw tile like any other tool. A wet tile saw uses water and electricity simultaneously, a dangerous pair when used together. It also has a very sharp diamond blade which is spinning very fast. Thus, following the safety manual is the best way to keep yourself and others around you safe.

Cut Tiles in a Spacious Area

When working with a wet tile saw, always make sure that there is enough area to cut the tiles properly. A wet tile saw is a very messy machine. It releases tile dust and a lot of water from the jet. So, it’s best to work in a large garage or outside the house where the water won’t create too much trouble. Waterproof materials can be spread on the ground to protect from water spillage if working inside.

Stable Base

The tile saw must have a stable base when cutting tiles. Place the saw in a place that won’t move too much. An unstable base can cause your hands to lose their hold on the tile. This will not only cause the tiles to be cut wrongly, and it may even lead to serious injuries.

Using a Waterproof Outlet

Also known as GFCI outlets, these are important when using water tools. A GFCI outlet will ensure no fire or short circuits in case water does get into the outlet.

Wearing Proper Protection

When using a wet saw, it is best to wear proper protective clothing. Protective eyeglasses, ear covers, and protective gloves are important when using a wet tile saw. It is also important to avoid any loose clothing.

While it looks like a complex machine, a wet tile saw is pretty simple to use. The tool does most of the work, and the person using it just has to make sure that everything is working safely and properly.

How to Cut Tile Without a Wet Saw?

If you are handling a simple DIY task and not risking getting an expensive wet saw for cutting tile, you can follow some simple steps. Some of the tools you can use instead of a wet tile cutter are a snap cutter, Angle grinder, Glass cutter, or rotary tool. If you want to cut the tile in any irregular shape, it is better to opt for a rotary tool. A simple glass cutter will be enough if the cutting is simple, straight cuts. Following is the process to cut the tile effectively:

  • Mark the Tile: First, mark the cutting line on the tile with a washable marker. Suppose straight lines use a square ruler for precise cuts.
  • Safety First: Wear goggles and gloves to prevent unwanted accidents with fly-away pieces during the cutting process.
  • Make a Partial Cut: This is otherwise called scoring the tile. To make it hold the glass cutter firmly and drag it across the marked line on the tile. Ensure you don’t have distractions while doing this because a simple sideway can damage the tile.
  • Placing a Wire: Now, take a thin wire and place it on the tile with that partial cut.
  • Breaking the tile: After placing the wire, press the wire and push into the partial cut until the tile breaks. If the partial cut is not enough, grab the glass cutter and work on partial cutting again.
  • Edge Smoothing: After breaking the tile, make sure to smoothen the edges. If you don’t have any fancy tools, just use sandpaper to get the work done.

Conclusion

Wet tile saws are powerful and very useful tools. They can cut a large number of tiles in very little time. That said, proper safety measures need to be followed when using them. Things like protective clothing, GFCI outlets, and enough water to avoid fine dust are important when using a wet tile saw. Few other cutters can compare to a wet tile saw when it comes to cutting a large volume of tiles with such great precision.

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