How to use an electric tile cutter

Written by agustus miller
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How to use an electric tile cutter
Electric tile cutters are accurate and fast. (Robert Hambley/Hemera/Getty Images)

Electric tile cutters save you time and money with tile cutting projects because the work is faster and more efficient. With an electric tile cutter, your tile will chip less, saving you wasted tiles, and you can achieve more accurate cut lines. Electric tile cutters have a water basin underneath the saw that constantly cools the diamond cutting saw and wets the dust that is produced by the cutting. This eliminates harmful ceramic dust from the air, which improves clean-up time and benefits lung health.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Protective safety glasses
  • Push stick

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  1. 1

    Fill the water container under the saw platform. You may have to open the cover of the machine's lower portion to do this, or simply slide out the water bin and fill. Make sure the water bin's drain is plugged in before filling. The height of the water should reach 3 or 4 mm above the edge of the saw's cutting bit when the saw is down in cutting position. During cutting, check the water level and fill with more water every few cuts so the blade's cutting bit is constantly covered in water.

  2. 2

    If your machine has a splash guard, adjust the height so that it hovers just above the surface of your tile.

  3. 3

    Mark your tile before you put the tile on the cutter. For corner cuts, make two intersecting lines that begin on either side of one corner of your tile. For straight cuts, use a square to mark a line where you want your tile to end. For diamond-shaped cuts, draw a straight line from one corner to its opposite corner. Use the pencil, measuring tape, and square for all marks. Keep in mind that most diamond cutting saws will take off 2.5 mm when cutting, so mark your line accordingly.

  4. 4

    Position the tile. Machines have different cutter guide formations. Most run on an X-Y axis and can be tightened to the edge of the machine's platform. Machines have their own designs for diagonal cutting guides but they will support and tighten to the platform the same. Adjust your cutter guides so that when you place your tile against the side of them, the saw will fall directly on the tile mark lines you've made

  5. 5

    Put on your protective safety glasses and turn on the saw. The saw's blade should be dripping with water as it spins. Push the tile forwards towards the wheel. Use even, steady pressure to push the tile completely through the cut. If you are making a cut on a small section of tile where your hands will be close to the saw, use a push stick to guide the tile past the saw. Most machines come with a push stick, or you can make a push stick out of a small piece of scrap wood.

Tips and warnings

  • Let the saw do the work. Your hands should rest lightly on the tile and let the cutting bit drawn the tile in.
  • Move the tile slowly for less chipping.
  • Clean the water and cutting platform if they get filled with slurry.
  • Watch the position of your fingers at all times.

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