Tile is exceptionally versatile for new construction and remodeling projects. It can improve flooring, provide a backsplash, or create a countertop that works against the forces of moisture.
Working with tile can also be challenging when you don’t have the correct tools available. You must create precision cuts and have even grout lines in place to create an aesthetically pleasing finish.
Tile Cutters – Pros and Cons
A tile cutter is an inexpensive way to get a precise cut. Although there are few different types of manual tile cutters such as nippers and pencil type cutters, here we are discussing mainly the snap and score tile cutters. It is a manually-powered device that uses a two-step process. After you score the tile at the appropriate location on a tile, you snap it off to create the correct size.
What Are the Pros of Tile Cutters?
- Tile cutters are more affordable than wet saws. Entry-level models can be under $50 if you shop for off-brand items.
- Most tile cutters are exceptionally portable. You can bring the tool to your working area to reduce your preparation time.
- You don’t need to have familiarity with power tools or how to saw through tile appropriately with this option. It doesn’t require extensive DIY or professional skills.
- It works well for creating straight borders, cutting through soft tile, or managing a smaller project.
What Are the Cons of Tile Cutters?
- It is challenging to score hard tiles at the appropriate depth to create a clean break when using this tool.
- All tile materials have a chance at breaking in unusual ways after you’ve completed the scoring.
- You cannot use a tile cutter when the materials are made of glass.
- It can take a few attempts to get to know how the tool works, which means you’re wasting product and money.
Wet Tile Saws Pros and Cons
Wet tile saws are specialty power saws that use electricity (except for some portable models) that give users more power to use without needing an extra level of elbow grease. Diamond saw blades are hard and strong enough to cut through thick materials while reducing the risk of an error.
What Are the Pros of Wet Tile Saws?
- You receive a guide with a wet tile saw that helps you to cut clean, straight lines every time.
- This tool allows you to cut curved tiles to install. You can also produce intricate shapes that work around outlets, toilets, sinks, and more.
- You can cut through the toughest materials with a wet tile saw.
- The sawing power creates fast, accurate cuts that let you get through your work quickly.
What Are the Cons of Wet Tile Saws?
- Unless you use a handheld model, a wet tile saw is large enough not to be portable. You must cut at one location and work at another.
- Some units are large and expensive if you need to cut through hard materials. A high-quality wet tile saw can cost over $1,000.
- A wet tile saw has more safety procedures to follow because the spinning blade can cause a severe injury.
- It takes most people more time to learn how to use a wet tile saw than it does for a tile cutter.
Differences Between Tile Cutter vs. Wet Tile Saw
The primary difference between tile cutter vs. wet tile saw involves the power source.
Humans create the scoring depth when using the cutter, while electricity provides the power for a wet tile saw.
If you plan to install porcelain floor tile, a wet tile saw is necessary because the material is hard and dense. It would be almost impossible to create a score using a cutter for that project.
You can cut ceramic tile with either tool, but the wet tile saw creates a clean cut without the extra step of needing a break.
Tile cutters are highly affordable and portable, while wet tile saws are expensive and location-based tools.
What Tool Should I Get?
If you have a tile project to complete at home, you may want to consider using both tools to ensure you get the precision cuts needed for each installation point. Multiple cuts on a single tile are typically easier to complete with a wet tile saw.
Tile cutters are an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. You can get the work done accurately without making a significant mess.
Anyone who wants to use porcelain tile or thick ceramic should opt for the wet tile saw. It’s also a better solution for large-scale projects.