Show more

Neatly cut tiles with the tile cutter

If you want to renovate your bathroom and lay new tiles, you can’t avoid the use of a tile cutter. The chance that everything fits exactly and you can only work with whole tiles, is vanishingly small. It’s more realistic to win in a lottery, 6 times in a row.

When choosing the right tile cutting machine, you have to choose between the classic, hand-operated cutter and the electric tile cutter. Both devices are offered by retailers in different sizes and designs.

The mechanical tile cutting machine

The mechanical operated tile cutting machine doesn't really cut, but crush. The tile is placed in the machine and is then scratched by a diamond-studded wheel along the surface. Thus, a predetermined breaking point is generated at which the tile breaks in the ideal case with a strong jerk on the lever of the machine. As simple as this system is, it often happens that the tile begins to break at the breaking point but then continues to break uneven and the result is anything but beautiful. For this and some other reasons, it is always advisable to buy a few more tiles than necessary. A big advantage of this cutter is the non-existent noise. In this way, tiles can also be laid in a rented apartment without a neighbor feeling disturbed, even in the evenings.

The electric tile cutting machine

A man cutting tiles with an electric tile cutter
The water helps to achieve an even cleaner cut

For a neater cut it’s recommended to use an electric tile cutting machine. The simplest version looks like a small table saw. The diamond-tipped saw blade remains stationary, with the sliding work tray moved into the blade. Here it is essential to make sure to use a stop. The tile can otherwise very quickly cant and break. More comfortable at this point are electric tile cutters with a radial arm. Here, the tile is safely inserted and the saw blade moves from above the planned cutting edge. So nothing can slip or even cant.

Incidentally, electric tile cutting machines are also available in water-cooled versions. The filled water safely cools both the saw blade and the workpiece. This extends the service life of the saw blade and prevents cracks caused by tension, in the material to be cut. Another positive side effect here is the reduced dust development, since a large part of the generated particles are bound by the cooling water and thus can’t get into the environment.

Not for nothing are electric tile cutters often also titled as universal cutter. Larger devices can also be used to cut marble or even granite!

Important note for cutting tiles

For both manual and electric tile cutters, it is essential to wear protective goggles and cut-resistant gloves. It can always happen that the tile breaks and fine sharp splinters get catapulted through the air. Especially with the manual tile cutter, the cut edges are often very sharp-edged, without gloves already a short touch is enough for a deep cut in the hand!

Round Cuts

For round cuts, for example, for sockets or drain lines, both types of equipment above are not suitable. Here a tile driller should be used. This is available as a classic drill attachment or directly as a driller bit in various sizes. For DIY enthusiasts, however, the rule here is usually to use a simple drill. On the tile, the planned recess is marked with a pencil and then cut out with the drill by means of many holes drilled side by side. The material in the bolt circle can then be removed with the tile hammer or tile tongs. With the drill bit used for tiles, it is easier to create such cutouts, due to the many different pipe diameters required, the purchase of an average handyman usually doesn't pay off. Incidentally, with both methods, it is important to make sure that the impact-function is disabled on the drill.

AuthorHauke Leweling
Reading time5 minutes

Our product recommendations for your DIY project