While using a tile saw takes some practice to be proficient, it can be a useful tool when tiling a room. Here are some key points about how a tile saw works:
Some like it hot (or not)
While regular circular saws are very versatile, cutting tile is not in their normal repertoire. These types of saws with metal blades are ineffective for tile, and will overheat without a cooling system. The result is a warped blade and an increased likelihood that your tile will chip or crack.
Why tile saws are effective
Tile saws, on the other hand, are specifically engineered to cut tile. The blade is technically a diamond-coated grinding wheel, rather than a traditional blade seen on most power saws. However, their most important prominent feature is a cooling system that cycles water onto the cutting surface and blade, keeping everything at a lower temperature. There are two types of cooling systems:
- Recirculating Pump Saws simply recirculate the same water during the whole cutting job.
- Pumpless Saws (or Fresh Water Saws) use a clean and continual supply of water straight from your faucet.
Making your measurements
Now that you know how a tile saw works, it’s time to start using it. The most important aspect, besides the actual cutting, is measuring the exact space where the tiles will go. If accurate cuts are a big priority for you, look for saws with LED or laser guides for more precise cutting.
Keep it safe
When using any type of saw, make sure you are wearing safety glasses. Another word of caution specific to tile saws is to create a drip loop in your cord. This is usually a loose knot that creates a low point between the saw and the outlet, so that any travelling water will not make it down the cord and to the electrical supply.