A tile saw and an angle grinder are two primary tools most home improvement projects need. Depending on the cut materials, available space, and the job, you’ll have to decide what tools work best.
Tile saws are specialized power tools designed specifically for cutting tiles. These saws can make precise cuts and are pretty easy to use once you figure out how to use them. But if you’re working with thinner, softer materials like vinyl tiles or laminate flooring, an angle grinder will get the job done faster and easier.
Many people find that tile saws produce cleaner cuts than angle grinders, but angle grinders are better for smaller tiles. To find which tool is right for you, read on to understand the difference between the two essential tools for cutting tiles and which tool is best for you.
Difference Between Tile Saw vs Angle Grinder
Concerning any improvement project, a cutting saw is an essential tool for any DIY enthusiast. Many types of saws are available, each designed for a specific purpose. Angle grinders and tile saws are popular tools for cutting tile. But what is the difference between an angle grinder and a tile saw?
Here is a quick rundown of the key differences between these two popular tile-cutting tools:
01. Angled Cuts
Any tile job will require cuts at some point, so you need a tool that can make angled cuts. A tile saw and angle grinder can make angled cuts, but they do so in very different ways.
A tile saw uses a blade to score the tile before making a clean break. This process is relatively slow and requires some level of precision. An angle grinder can use an abrasive or diamond wheel to grind through the tile. This process is much faster but produces a rougher edge.
02. Depth of Cut
A tile saw is better if you need to make a deep cut. Tile saws typically have a depth of around 4 inches, making them ideal for cutting through thick tiles. But, they can be more challenging to control than angle grinders and can also be quite expensive.
If you only need to make a shallow cut, then an angle grinder is the better tool. Angle grinders have a depth of cut of around 1/2 – 1 inch with a 4.5 inches diameter blade, making them perfect for making shallow cuts in tile. They are also much easier to control than tile saws and are typically more affordable.
If speed is your primary concern, you should use a tile saw. Tile saws are designed exclusively for cutting tile, and they can make quick work of even the most rigid materials. A tile saw has the power to cut through even the thickest tiles with its powerful motor and diamond-tipped blade.
An angle grinder is not as fast as a tile saw. It is significantly slower because it uses abrasive discs to grind away at the tile surface. Also, angle grinders are more likely to cause chipping and damage the tiles’ edges. But you can use diamond wheels on an angle grinder to speed up the process.
04. Size and Portability
A tool’s size and portability are crucial for a specific job. A tile saw is a larger tool designed to cut through hard materials like ceramic tile. Because of its size, a tile saw is not as portable as an angle grinder. Also, it has a large, circular blade mounted on a table, making it difficult to store.
Angle grinders are handheld tools used for grinding, cutting, and polishing. It consists of a small motor connected to a spinning disc which makes it more portable, but it also means that it is not as powerful as a tile saw. Angle grinders are typically used for larger projects and are not as precise as tile saws.
05. Ease of Use
The biggest difference between an angle grinder and a tile saw is the ease of use. A tile saw is a wet cutting tool that is specifically designed for cutting tile. It has a blade mounted on an arm that extends over the tile’s surface. The arm of the tile saw can be moved to make cuts of different sizes and shapes.
An angle grinder is a dry cutting machine with many uses, including cutting tile. It has a rotating disk that is covered with abrasive material. The angle grinder disk is held against the tile’s surface and moved to cut. Angle grinders are more versatile than tile saws but are also harder to use.
Although both tile saws and angle grinders can make precision cuts, tile saws are much easier to use than angle grinders, but you need some experience handling these tools. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with an angle grinder.
When choosing the right tool for the job, price is often a major consideration. Both tools can be used for cutting tile, but there are significant differences in their price tags. While an angle grinder may be less expensive than a tile saw, it is essential to note that it is not explicitly designed for cutting tile.
When choosing between an angle grinder and a tile saw, you must consider these factors. A tile saw is the better option for a tool for cutting tile. But if you’re looking for a more versatile tool that can be used for various purposes, then an angle grinder may be the better choice.
What Do Professionals Use to Cut Tiles?
Professionals generally use an angle grinder for straight and curved cuts on thinner tiles. Manual tile cutters or wet tile cutting saws provide the power and precision necessary to straight cut granite, marble, and stone tiles without cracking.
You can use an angle grinder to make straight and curved cuts if you work with thinner ceramic, porcelain, or mosaic tiles. You’ll just need to buy a blade designed for tile cutting. Be sure to wear eye and ear protection when using an angle grinder, as the sparks can be harmful.
When working with granite, marble, or stone tiles, you’ll need a manual tile cutter or a wet tile saw. These tools have the power and precision to cut through these dense materials without breaking them. But they’re harder to control than an angle grinder, so practice on scrap tile before cutting the real stuff.
Can I Cut a Tile With an Angle Grinder Without Chipping it?
You can avoid chipping a tile with an angle grinder if you use the correct blade and take care not to apply too much pressure. Select a blade that is designed for cutting tile. Several blades are available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Set the angle grinder to the appropriate speed. To avoid chipping, it is best to avoid higher speeds. Make sure to apply steady pressure while you are cutting the tile. If you find that the blade is starting to slip, slow down or stop completely and reposition the tile before continuing.
Does a Tile Saw Make Clean Cuts?
Tile saws are specially designed to make clean, precise cuts in ceramic tile. Tile saws typically have a diamond-coated blade that rotates at high speed, providing powerful performance in handling tough materials.
While a tile saw can make clean cuts, a few things to remember when using one:
- Always use a saw blade designed for the specific type of tile you are cutting.
- Use water to cool the blade and prevent it from overheating.
- Work slowly and carefully to avoid chipping or breaking the tile.
Is it Better to Use a Manual Tile Cutter or a Wet Tile Saw?
If you’re planning on doing some tile work, you may wonder whether it’s simply easier to use a wet tile saw or a manual tile cutter. There are pros and cons to each option. Manual tile cutters take more time but require less skill and are more convenient.
Wet saws take less time but involve more skill and are less convenient. Ultimately, your preferred option will depend on your skillset and the project you’re working on. Tile cutters are better for inexperienced or large-scale projects. A wet tile saw is better for small projects or experienced tile cutters.
Why Use a Tile Saw or an Angle Grinder for Cutting Tiles?
Wet tile saws and angle grinders are two popular options for cutting tiles. While a regular tile cutter can be used to cut tiles along straight edges, it is not ideal for making more intricate cuts. For this reason, many tile installers prefer an angle grinder or tile saw.
Tile saws are ideal for making precise and clean cuts on ceramic or porcelain tiles. They work by using a water-cooled diamond saw blade to grind through the tile slowly. This means minimal dust and heat generated, making wet tile saws much safer than angle grinders. But, tile saws can be more expensive than angle grinders, requiring a constant water supply, making them less portable.
Angle grinders are much more versatile and can be used on various materials, including ceramic tiles. An angle grinder also uses a diamond blade, but it is handheld and can be used to make both straight and curved cuts. Angle grinders are more challenging to control, so they are best left to professionals.
Ultimately, the best tool for cutting tiles depends on the job. But, tile saws and angle grinders can provide a high level of precision and quality, making them a good choice for many tile installation projects.
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