5 Must Have Ceramic Tile Cutting Tools

When Accuracy is Important

Cutting tools for ceramic tiles are needed when you have to make precise cuts to a required shape or size when cutting ceramic tile. Tile saws and tools needed to cut tile range from simple manual scoring tools, cutting attachments for power tools, to full-fledged utility wet and dry ceramic cutting saws.

How to cut floor and wall tiles using a ceramic tile cutter is fairly easy if you use the right tile cutting tool for the job. From snap cutters, wet saws, tile nippers, diamond hacksaws, scribing or razor knives, board scoring/cutting tool, chisels, ceramic tile circle cutter, the choices are many.

All you have to decide is which tool you want to grab from your tiling toolbox and whether you want to use a manual tile cutter or a ceramic tile cutting saw to get your tiling job done in your bathroom.

01. Snap Cutter

It is a manual tile cutting tool, it is primarily used on ceramic tile because ceramic tile can be easily scored. Snap cutters usually come with a sharp carbide or tungsten-steel wheel for scoring your tile.

How to cut tile with a snap cutter is fairly straight forward. Insert the ceramic tile in the snap cutter and line up the scoring wheel on the predetermined cut line.

Using firm pressure, drag the scoring wheel across the tile cut line, eating into the glazed surface, try to score the line in one pass if possible to keep the cut clean. Now all you have to do is strike the handle with the heel of your hand while securely holding the tile in place and presto the tile snaps in half for a precise cut.

02. Tile Nippers (Tiling Snips)

The best way to use tile nippers when cutting ceramic tile is like a pair of pincers to trim your ceramic tile. Tile nippers can be used to snip off little pieces of uneven or scored tile but are most useful when used in conjunction with a wet saw to make shapes or holes in the tile.

One tile cutting tip is to use the wet saw to make several incisions up to the cut line in a piece of ceramic tile to form a shape and then the tile nipper is used to snap off pieces of the incised tile to form the intended shape such as around the base of a toilet or pedestal sink to create a more precise cut.

03. Diamond Hacksaw

Is another manual tile cutting tool used to cut ceramic tile? Handheld diamond band saw blades are mounted on a metal arch using a handle with pins attaching the fine-toothed blade to keep the thin blade under tension.

To cut your tile, first, you secure the tile using clamps or some other form of the lock mechanism and then with a push or pull stroke you literally hack away until the tile is cut.

04. Scoring Tools

Glass cutters (or tile glass cutters) and grout removal tools (or ceramic tile removal tools) are other effective tile cutting tools.

Some other ceramic tile cutting tools are board scoring tools, chisels, and even utility knives can be used to score the tile and then place the scored line on the edge of a hard flat surface (such as a tile edge stone).

Next, by applying even pressures on either side of the score line on the tile, you can in most cases evenly break the tile in half which makes this an effective tile cutting procedure for straight lines.

To cut the harder grades of ceramic tiles or stone tiles you need to use a diamond or carbide blade on your tile saw.

05. Wet Diamond Saw

Cutting tile with a wet saw is normally used on the thicker or harder tiles such as porcelain tile and marble. These wet saws have adjustable fences for angled cuts and square cuts for added precision.

Diamond saw blades are ideal for cutting tile smoothly without chipping. Make sure to place the tile firmly against the fence with the cut line at the blade and keep the tile on the table at all times. When using this tool to cut tile, you must use firm but light pressure as you feed the tile into the blade.

Additional Info

  • Maximize the Efficiency of the Blade While Slicing

It is important to remember that when using a wet saw to cut your tile, you need to increase the pressure as the saw cuts into the tile and reduce the pressure as you approach the end of the cut. Because wet saws use water to cool the blades make sure your cut lines are set with a permanent marker when using this tile cutting tool.

There are other specialized tile cutting tools of the trade such as a tile cutting hole saw (ceramic tile circle cutter) which attaches to your power drill so you can cut perfectly circular holes in your tile.

  • Producing a Professional Looking Cut Line

But the bottom line remains that most handheld or electrical tile cutting power tools will produce an acceptable cut line, just remember that the larger the surface of a tile is, the more important it is to keep the cut line square.

And the harder and thicker the tile, the more likely you will need to use a tile cutting tool like a power saw to get a precise linear cut. Using a ceramic tile cutter is not difficult to master, you just have to know the type of tile you will be using so you can choose the best ceramic tile cutting tool for the job at hand.