Best Tile Saws of 2017 –  Reviews & Buying Guide

Tile sawIf you are looking to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, you are likely to be working with tile at some point. Easy to clean and water-resistant, tile is the go-to option for the modern home. For the novice, though, it is easy to get stumped when trying to cut the tiles to fit. A Tile Saw can be a lifesaver in this kind of situation and getting one is a must if you are working with tiles regularly.

A Tile Saw comes in a couple of different forms, each offering distinct possibilities and advantages to the user. The best Tile Saw, though, will help you to be efficient and tidy as you cut tiles and get things done.

In this article, we will outline everything you need to know to find the perfect Tile Saw for you. Whether you lay tiles professionally or you are just completing a quick DIY project, we can help you figure out what to buy and what to look for when choosing a Tile Saw.


Our Top 5 Tile Saw Picks

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DEWALT D24000S
DEWALT D24000S
26.8 x 25.9 x 13.7 inches
53.6 pounds
4.5/5
$$$$$
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SKIL 3540-02
SKIL 3540-02
18 x 14.5 x 7.8 inches
17.7 pounds

4.4/5
$$
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Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial
Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial
4.3/5
$$$$
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SKIL 3550-02
SKIL 3550-02
22 x 18 x 8.5 inches
24 pounds
4.1/5
$$$
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QEP 22400Q
QEP 22400Q
14.2 x 15.8 x 4.6 inches
8 pounds
3.9/5
$
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In order to help make sense of the massive market for Tile Saws, we have created a list of the five products that stand out above the rest. These Tile Saw reviews should help you narrow down the options based on the features, pros, and cons for each product. Below, we have also created a buying guide that will break down everything you should know when purchasing a Tile Saw. Using both, you should be able to find the right Tile Saw for your needs.

#1 DEWALT D24000S – Our Top Pick

DEWALT D24000SDewalt is a brand that is associated with high quality. They do not falter this time either, so our choice for the best Tile Saw is the DeWalt D24000S. Let’s get right into what we love about this Tile Saw.

First of all, at only 69 pounds, the Dewalt is lightweight enough to easily transport and handle alone. Furthermore, this saw uses a stainless steel rail system. The stainless steel has a double purpose, allowing for and ensuring accurate cuts while being incredibly strong and durable as well. After you are done, a removable cutting cart allows for easy cleaning.

Also, this saw offers a lot of versatility in the cuts it can make. A depth of 3 and ⅛ inches provides an impressive range that can cut even V-caps and pavers. When it comes to electrical outlets and AC registers, don’t worry. This Tile Saw has a plunge feature to allow for quick, deep cuts.

One of the most important things to look at when you are talking about a wet saw – which the DeWalt D24000S is – is the water system it uses. On this saw, there are rear and side water attachments that can contain runoff and overspray while dual water nozzles are present and adjustable to ensure proper water placement.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, let’s outline one thing: you do have to pay for this level of artistry. Meaning that this model – as with most Dewalt models – is expensive, to say the least.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Allows deeper cuts than most saws

Cons:

  • Out of the budget for most

 


#2 Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10″ Industrial – The Runner-up

Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10Of course, the best Tile Saw on this list is not for everyone. Our runner-up, though, is another fantastic choice: the Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10” Industrial Tile Saw.

This saw is strong enough for professional use and durable to boot. With a heavy-duty cast alloy column, you can depend on it for stability as well as reducing the vibration of the saw while you use it. This stability is also thanks to an oversized steel frame. This steel bar also helps with precision and allows incredibly smooth operation of the saw.

The Chicago Electric also offers a lot of versatility. The head can pivot to allow bevel cuts at either 22.5 degrees or 45 degrees. Also, the adjustable cutting head lets you cut standard tiles or bricks that are up to 3 and ½ inches thick. This saw also has a cutting capacity of 24 inches.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks as well. First, the instruction manual that comes with the saw is incredibly confusing, which is the opposite of what you want when getting acquainted with a new product. The plastic knobs on this are also kind of flimsy and tend to fall off. Finally, this saw is quite heavy and definitely a bother to move.

All in all, though, this is a great pick for heavy duty work and can stand up to a lot of punishment.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Powerful dual capacitor motor
  • Durable
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Smooth operation

Cons:

  • Vague instruction manual
  • Heavy
  • Cheap plastic knobs fall off

 


#3 SKIL 3550-02

SKIL 3550-02The SKIL 3550-02 Tile Saw is a well regarded wet saw. Let’s look at some of the benefits first before getting to the one main drawback.

The tabletop of this Tile Saw is aluminum. While it may not be as strong as steel, these aluminum table tops are pretty durable. Also, though, this aluminum is rust-resistant as well, which is essential with a wet saw. The SKIL is versatile too offering a flexibility that many other saws do not provide. You can tilt this to cut bevels at 0 degrees, 22.5 degrees, and 45 degrees.

There is one problem, however. The water pumps are capable but, unfortunately, the trough tends to fail to catch water, causing the user to get wet once in awhile. The blade is supposed to have the water around it contained by SKIL’s patent-pending Hydrolock System, but it tends to fail. There is another downside that some users experience. The rip fence can be tightened using a knob on the side. When wet, this can cause blisters over time.

My favorite aspect of this saw is how lightweight and portable it is. It also has a built-in cord wrap, and you can easily carry it from job to job without any problem.

Pros:

  • Good water pump
  • Durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Versatile
  • Easy to transport

Cons:

  • Hydrolock system tends to fail
  • Rip fence knob can cause blisters


#4 SKIL 3540-02 – Best For The Money

SKIL 3540-02We have another great product from Skil at number 4, and this one is excellent value for money.
You should not have to settle for a subpar product just to save money, and this saw really fits the bill as a high-quality tool for a reasonable price. Let’s take a closer look at the SKIL 3540-02.

I like the construction quality of this saw. The table top is stainless steel, which serves a dual purpose. It is robust and resistant to rust. The table is also versatile because of the adjustable bevel. Any angle you want between 0 degrees and 45 degrees is possible which allows you to make a wide variety of cuts, so your tiles are cut however you need them to be. Furthermore, the blade has a cooling water reservoir which protects the motor just as much as it protects your work.

Of course, this budget Tile Saw has some knocks as well. The main one for me is that it is difficult to clean because the trough is not designed to detach entirely so you can empty and clean it. The fence is also tricky to adjust.

All in all, these are not deal breakers at this price point, and it remains great value for the money.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel table top
  • Adjustable bevel
  • Blade cooling water reservoir

Cons:

  • Fence is hard to adjust
  • Trough is not removable
  • Needs cleaned pretty often

 


#5 QEP 22400Q

QEP 22400Q

Our last Tile Saw the pick, is the QEP 22400. This Tile Saw fills a niche as perfect for situations where there isn’t space for a full sized model. This undersized Tile Saw will help you still have the power you need while giving you more room to maneuver.

The blade on this Tile Saw is a 4-inch, diamond blade which is both durable and extremely practical. If you need more space, there are two side extension tables available to provide extra room. These allow for an additional 5 inches to the width of the table.

The QEP 22400Q does not particularly leak. However, it does tend to drip. For this, though, you can use a drop cloth underneath to catch the water, and it will not be a problem. Also, this Tile Saw is kind of difficult to clean – especially when water and ceramic residue get caught inside the trough.

For a saw which is cheap, saves on space and powerful enough for small jobs, these are acceptable downsides for me. It also comes with a decent one year warranty for peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • One-year warranty
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Some dripping
  • Hard to clean

 


Factors To Consider When Buying a Tile Saw

If you have never purchased a Tile Saw before, it can be a daunting and confusing experience. We are going to go a bit more in depth in this section and answer any questions you may have and explain what you should look for when getting a Tile Saw.

What are the different types of Tile Saw?

There are actually four different types of Tile Saw:

  • Snap or rail cutters
  • Handheld wet Tile Saws
  • Table top wet Tile Saws
  • Overhead motor wet Tile Saws

Each of these Tile Saws has a distinct use as well as advantages and disadvantages that we will go over individually.

Snap or rail cutter
The snap or rail cutter is one of the simplest options with the lowest cost. This is best for DIY users since it is small, manually operated, and doesn’t make any specialty cuts. When you look at these, they are usually described by the size of the tile that they can handle.

These saws are used by placing your tile on the saw and dragging what is called the “scoring wheel” across it. Once you score your tile, you will need to position the foot of the heel assembly against your score marks to snap the tile in half.

Unfortunately, while these are easy to use, there are some drawbacks. For one, you cannot use this type of Tile Saw for stone tiles. Also, the snaps that these saws make won’t be in an absolutely straight line. This should not be too much of a problem, though, thanks to the fact that these cuts are usually under a baseboard or against a wall at the very least.

What’s good, though, is that these saws produce smooth scores thanks to the chrome plated steel rails and titanium coated cutting wheels.

Handheld wet Tile Saws
If you are looking for specialty cuts or just to make touch ups, then a handheld wet Tile Saw might be exactly what you are looking for. This type of saw is just as strong as an overhead model and can make specialty cuts on any natural or artificial tile materials.

These saws use a diamond powder to coat the cutting wheel – which makes it stronger and sharper – to grind down tiles. Water is supplied through a hose and/or an onboard container. You can use this as a dry saw if you want but it is not recommended since it causes dust particles to fill the room. If you are planning to use this saw dry, though, make sure to wear a mask. You should wear one anyway, but it is a strong priority with this tool.

Since this model is usually small and light, it is ideal if you need a portable option. However, even for a small project, you are going to want to make sure that your tile is secure before you make any cuts.

Table top wet Tile Saws
Unlike a handheld wet saw, you use a table top wet saw by sliding the tile through the saw rather than bringing the saw down onto to the tile. However, like the handheld option, the “wet” aspect of this saw helps to keep tile dust from flying around while you work. This model does so by having the wheel of the saw submerged in water.

This is very similar to the table saws used in woodworking or when working with other materials. The diamond cutting wheel also helps to make sure that the saw is effective in what it does. If you need help with specialty cuts, a miter attachment can usually be added.

Unfortunately, this type of saw has some inherent drawbacks. First of all, the line of sight is not the most accurate, making precision an issue. Since you have to push your tile across the table to the saw, the friction from this action may affect your accuracy. You also won’t have enough depth to cut pavers if that is your goal.

Overhead motor wet Tile Saws
Finally, we have the overhead motor wet Tile Saw. Once again, this saw works by bringing the tile to the blade. However, unlike the table top wet Tile Saw, this saw does not require you to push the tile through yourself. Rather it works on a rail system to bring the tile to the saw and cut it.

This rail system is actually more important that you might think. The more support you have for the tile and saw throughout the process the more control you have and the more precise your cuts will be. For these types of saws, stands are usually included or available for purchase.

You may have noticed that this is another wet saw. For these kinds of models, they either have submersible pumps or fresh water delivery systems. Either system works well. The cutting wheel on this saw is also located above where the tile would be, making your line of sight far more accurate.

Specialty cuts on this saw are much easier if you have a bevel or plunging head. Many models also have laser or LED lights to help you see and to guide you.

Anything else I should know?

There is more to buying a Tile Saw than just knowing what kind you want to use. Keep these things in mind when looking for the ideal Tile Saw for your needs:

  • Water Source. You should make sure that this is a source you can trust and rely on rather than it breaking and making your life difficult the second time you use it.
  • Drains. Having a drain on your wet saw is incredibly convenient. This means that you can only have to pull a plug or release a catch to drain the water out of your saw rather than having to pour it out.
  • Power. The power of the motor in this saw is measured in horsepower (HP) and rotations per minute (RPM). The focus, though, should be on the RPM. This ranges between 3000 and 6000 RPM. This depends on how big your project is, but generally, a 3500 RPM motor is enough for most home users. If you work with small tiles, an HP of 0.5 is sufficient, but larger projects will need a larger motor.
  • Blade types. This refers to whether you want to use a wet or dry blade. Dry/wet blades can be utilized for dry cutting as well. However, if you are looking for a wet cut, look for diamond blades. Dry blades produce a lot of dust and mess.
  • Blade capacity. You may need different blades as you work, so it is best to make sure that your saw has the capability to use different blades and work with various types of tile.
  • Overload protection. This feature will help your saw keep from overheating or being overused. This will protect your motor from any damage from these sources. The motor is one of the main reasons for saw failure.
  • Portability. You should be able to easily move your Tile Saw to wherever you need it to go. If you use a handheld model, it should be light enough to use comfortably for extended periods of time. The golden range is between 60 and 80 pounds.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect Tile Saw for your needs does not need to be difficult. By now, hopefully, you should have a better understanding of what you need to consider when you are purchasing a Tile Saw – no matter what type of project you are working on. There are more and more Tile Saws flooding the market, and the quality is always improving. We hope that our top 5 picks in conjunction with our buying guide can help you make an informed buying decision.

Before we sign off, though, let’s recap the reviews of the Tile Saws that we recommend. If you want the most efficient – and our personal favorite – Tile Saw, we suggest the DeWalt D24000S. However, the Chicago Electric 2.5 Horsepower 10” Industrial Tile Saw is a close runner up and isn’t quite as expensive. If you are looking for a more economical option, though, we suggest the SKIL 3540-02. For smaller projects, the QEP 22400Q is probably best.

You cannot really go wrong with any of these options but don’t hesitate to use the buying guide to find the perfect Tile Saw for your needs from the many options out there. Good luck!