This tool is ideal for making fast and easy straight ‘cuts’ to ceramic tiles whenever necessary, and most likely you will come across instances where it is truly worthwhile to have. Now, without running out and buying the high-end professional tile breakers and over-spending on your budget, you can just as easily buy the cheaper tile breakers available and simply upgrade at a fraction of the cost.
With a simple application now and again of spray lubricant such as WD40 on the tile breaker ‘runners’, (the rods on which the mechanism slides), you can make the tool operate more smoothly. Also wet grinder, by changing the actual tile scoring wheel for a good quality brand, in most of which are universally compatible, then you could have an almost professional quality tile breaker for less than one third of the price.
An angle grinder is ideal for making those awkward cuts on any tile which are anything but a straight line break. When fitted with a diamond blade, which is basically a steel cutting disc tipped and encrusted with artificially manufactured miniature diamond particles, this will cut through any stone like a knife through butter, providing of course they are of good quality branding as there are many spurious and cheaper options available which don’t really stand the test of time.
Wet tile saws are perfect for making dust-free straight cuts in any direction, and can be bought for a reasonably cheap price also if you shop around. Working on the same principle of cutting as with the angle grinder and diamond blade, these actually operate at slower speeds and take a little longer to cut tiles especially of the heavier and more compacted dense stone variety. On the plus side though, by far you won’t have to endure the mess of tile dust produced by an angle grinder, and you will also be able to get more precise cuts due to the tile being slowly fed into an upturned blade mounted on a fixed table for stability.
If you are really willing to spend though and take tile cutting to the next level, then by use of a professional tile cutting wet saw is definitely the way to pursue. I myself own one of these as it is in my profession to lay floor tiles, but I wouldn’t advise you to rush out and buy one on the grounds of simply doing a one-off floor tiling project. These can set you back around $600 dollars plus brand new, and are ideal for cutting any tile whatsoever in the same principle as the wet tile saw.
Instead of the blade being submersed in a basin of water though which reduces overall cutting speed and amplifies the water spillage resulting in a messy splash-out, jets of water are streamed over the top-mounted blade, and water is contained within the collection trough. The tile itself is also placed onto a sliding platform which is fed with ease into the blade, whereas with the standard smaller wet tile saws the tile is actually the only object fed through and can be prone to sticking. It’s downfall though, it can be a bit on the bulky side, as it needs two people to actually move around and transport, but definitely well worth the investment for the long term tiling projects.
Again with all power tools, as always the use of personal protective safety equipment is a must. And without actually having to go out and buy these tools when necessary, the option of tool rental is always an entertaining prospect at saving money. If the need ever arises to rent, one piece of advice to give would be prepare all your floor tiles ready for cutting before the actual hire agreement takes place.
By being prepared on the job, you will save on rental time and possibly be able to return the tool within the space of 24 hours for minimal charge. If this extends however, you may find that as the days go by you would have actually been better off buying a brand new tool. For approximately 2-3 weeks full rental rate on any tool, you could have actually bought a professional model at that price. Not only that being another helpful money saving tip, that’s straight from the horse’s mouth from someone familiar with the whole business of power tool rental.