A wet tile saw works perfectly if you need to cut stone, porcelain tile or ceramic. It is the most powerful tile cutter in the market. It is well-respected in the tile cutting field for its super smooth and uniform cuts.
One of the things that makes a wet tile saw unique is its ability to cut the hardest of the tile quickly and efficiently. No other machine in the world can give you a cut like the wet saws.
You can easily get bevels, odd angles and small shape cuts with a wet tile saw, not to mention the straight cuts!
But there is hardly any dispute with the abovementioned assertion but the question is how do you use a wet tile saw? Some “experts” say wet saws are great and everything but it is very difficult to operate.
To them, please follow my article! Seriously, it is true that compared to a manual tile saw a wet tile saw is a bit difficult to operate and that’s because it is a machine that gives you the best cuts, and if you want that a little time can be taken to learn how to use a wet tile saw.
Hopefully, as you finish the article, you will have a comprehensive idea about how to use a wet tile saw safely.
How does a Wet Tile Saw Operate?
Interestingly, a wet tile saw is quite identical to a miter saw or small-scale table saw. But the functionality is quite different. For some unique features it can cut rocks like a cheesecake.
Compared to a conventional blade saw, you will see diamond-encrusted blades in a wet tile saw which can grind away the tile resulting in avoidance of breakage. A common feature in wet tile saw is that there is a special compartment in the saw that sprays water during the cut.
The water spraying process also works as a lubrication for the blade. At the same time, it keeps the blade cool and dust free.
Variations in the Wet Tile Saws
The general-purpose consumer wet saws are like the small table saws and there is a special slot in the saw which contains the blade. During the operation water is sprayed on the blade and the tile or the material you will be cutting.
You should put the tiles across the blade and over the table during the cutting process. Most of the saws that are available in the market have adjustable guides fences. At the same time, some saws will have miter gauge.
This gauge helps you get angular cuts. Although, the price may vary from region to region and brand to brand. One can get a typical wet tile saw with 75 to 200 dollars. This will of course be a basic version.
As the saying goes, there is no upper limit to the expensive version. There are some wet tile saw which looks exactly like a miter saw and is usually used by the people at the top of the field. Usually they have a blade and motor which is overhead-mounted.
The tile is laid out on the table floor and slides towards the blade. The contractor level wet saw tiles are designed to cut bevel cuts, angles, and of course straight cuts. The motor and the blade can pivot and that’s the secret sauce of all the cuts.
There are other versions of the wet tiles saws as well like the ones which works like a radial arm saw. In such cases the tile will remain static and the motor and the blade moves to give it a desired cut.
I understand, that’s a lot of information to consume at a time but if you buy an upper-end saw it will help you to deal with the largest tiles and will work for hours.
However, it is quite costly. Therefore, it’s you who have to make the choice.
Nevertheless, you can always rent a high end wet tile saw for a day or two when you are in need of completing a big project. And, having a standard wet tile saw can be vastly benefiting if you are in the business.
How to Prepare the Work Area
Let’s be assured that using a tile saw can be messy. Not only because of the water it sprays but also for the nature of the work in general.
It is highly advisable that you work in a garage or outside home where the messiness will not be a big deal. But if you do not want to go outside you can always cover some delicate area of your house with plastic covers or something like that.
If you can work in an area which comes with the access to GFCI outlets that would be an ideal scenario. It is also important to make sure the durability of the work surface.
For that purpose you can always get a picnic table or a workbench which is mobile.
Safety Measures for Using a Wet Tile Saw
It goes without saying that safety should be your first priority. Everything and anything is possible if and when you are in sound health.
Although the task itself might not seem dangerous, you are dealing with a blade, a little unawareness might put you in a situation which you will regret for the rest of your life.
Therefore, you should take full precaution. Here are five steps you may consider.
- Wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes
- Wearing gloves to protect your hands
- Wearing a face mask to prevent debris and dust to getting in your breathing
- Make sure that the blade is proper before using it
- Don’t put too much pressure in the machine and don’t overwork
Pro Tip: Before you start cutting the tile, do not forget to mark the line you want to get the cut. In some cases you might get a laser which comes with the saw but it that isn’t the case mark the line.
The Equipment and Material you will need!
- A wet tile saw
- A plastic bucket/s
- Plastic Drop cloth
- Protected gears
- GFCI cord
- Marking equipment's like pencil
The process of using a wet tile saws: 5 Easy Steps!
Using a wet tile saw can be very easy if you follow the steps below:
- Prepare the Work Area
- Prepare the Saw
- Prepare to Cut
- Cut the Tile
- Refresh the Water as Needed
Prepare the Work Area
First of all, you need to prepare the area you want to have the work done. It is preferable that the work area be obstructions free and designated to do the job.
It is also important to have access to an outlet. You can also cover the work area with some sort of plastic protective gears. But you need to have a stable, sturdy work surface which is able to deal with the pressure of the wet tile saw.
Prepare the Saw
Second, you need to prepare the saw. Make sure you fill the water reservoir. The water should cover the point to the recirculating pump. You need an established hose connection from a tap to the saw, if you are using fresh water.
The next important thing is to have a plastic bucket under the drain outlet. But you can again take the help of a hose which will drain the water in another place. You should use the GFCI cord extension if you are unable to have access to a protected outlet.
It is without any doubt one of the essential precautions to use a GFCI cord while you are dealing with electricity and water. It is also important to make sure that there is a drip loop in the electrical cord which connects the outlet and the saw.
The loop needs to be in a lower position than the outlet and the saw. It will make sure that water does not drip down.
Prepare to Cut
Third, the next step consists of preparation of the cut. You can use a marker or pencil to draw the line which you intend to cut. It is essential to get a smooth cut.
You can modify the guide fence to the width of the desired cut. While cutting an angle you can modify the miter gauge for the required angle.
Cut the Tile
Fourth, the most important part of the article “cutting the tile”. At the outset, you should make sure you have put on all the necessary precautions. Make sure you connect the machine to the electricity. Once you start, wait a while for the machine to be at a constant speed.
You should also look for the situation where the water is hitting the blade of the saw but it should not be too much. You can always make sure that the water is hitting at a constant pace. The rule of thumb is that you will innately get the idea of an ideal speed.
The next task is pushing the tile slowly through the blade and holding it on both sides as you cut the tile. Here the important thing to remember is that you should never push the tile towards the blade rather hold it in front of the blade and the blade will do the job.
But nevertheless you can push it a bit just to keep the momentum going. But if you are dealing with a very hard material then push it a bit, keeping in mind the controls. As you do so you will reach the end of the process.
Once you are done make sure you turn off the blade and the machine or repeat the whole process for multiple cuts. There are saws which are available in the market that stop automatically.
Refresh the Water as Needed
Last but not least, you can refresh the water in need. It is likely that the reservoir may become laden with dust clout or sediment as a result of continuous cuts. So, it becomes too murky or muddy that you should change the water.
Frequently Asked Questions and Expert Answers
In general, there are six things that you should consider. However, depending on your need and work style the requirements can vary.
- The blade
- Dust and splashing
Compared to a conventional circular blade saw a wet saw uses a diamond-encrusted blade. A wet saw has a jet which sprays water over the blade in order to make the process smooth and get a clear cut.
It is not mandatory that you use a wet saw to cut tiles as there are so many other options in the market which can do the same but if you are looking for high quality cuts with the super efficiency then a wet tile cutter is preferable. At the same time, for the harder tiles you need to have a wet tile saw. There are so many ways to cutting tile without a wet saw.
It is recommended that you always have a constant flow of water while using a wet tile saw. The name of the machine is “wet” tile saw and if you want to get the best out of the product definitely use water.
Last few words
So, there you go! A comprehensive guide to cut a tile using a wet tile saw. I hope this article has helped you a bit to understand the whole process of using a wet tile saw.
Wet tile saws are one of the most necessary equipment if you want to get fast, precise cuts. And, knowing how to use one with efficiency can be very empowering. And, as a matter of fact if you are in the business you should know to use one. ( If you are looking for a sturdy and heavy duty tile saw then check our Commercial Tile Saw Review.)
But nevertheless do not forget to take all the precaution. It is very important that you follow the process thoroughly if you are a novice user and if you are an expert I know you have found your way.
But remember, safety first!