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What is a Tile Saw?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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A tile saw is a power tool which has been specifically designed for the purpose of cutting tile. Several needs must be met with a tile saw, and these specialty tools are extremely useful for people who plan to be working with tile. Some hardware stores rent out tile saws to people working on home improvement projects who do not want to invest in a saw, and tile saws are also available for sale to people who know that there is a lot of tile cutting in their future. While it is possible to cut tile with hand tools, using a tile saw is a lot easier, safer, and more pleasant.

Tiles, whether made from ceramic, stone, clay, or glass, pose a lot of problems when they are cut. They tend to fragment, crumble, and shear, which can be extremely irritating, and they also generate a great deal of dust. Dust from tiles is dangerous to inhale, and also extremely messy. Tiles are also very hard, which makes them challenging to cut, and once cut, tiles are also very sharp, posing a risk of injury to people working with them.

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Typically, a tile saw has a diamond blade, so it can cut through very hard substances quickly, evenly, and safely. The sharp blade also reduces the risk of breakage, because the tile is not put under strain by the blade. Tile saws are also water cooled. The water keeps dust down, making it safer to cut tiles, and it prevents damage caused by an overheated blade. The tiles will still be sharp after cutting, but the other problems associated with tile cutting are addressed.

In addition to being used on tiles, some tile saws can also be used to cut marble and stone slabs. It is important for people to maintain tile saws well, and to replace the blades as they start to wear out. A dulled blade will not be as effective, and could be dangerous, as it may fail while in use. Tile saws also need to be carefully inspected for any signs of fraying electrical wire and other electrical issues, as electricity and water do not go together very well.

Anyone who plans to work with large tiles would benefit from the use of a tile saw. Smaller tiles such as those used in ornamental tiling around sinks and counters can be scored and cut by hand in most cases. When considering the purchase or rental of a tile saw, people should consider the types of material that the tile saw is rated to handle and the available safety features.

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