A diamond tile saw is your best option if you want precision cuts on natural stone tiles and other hard tiles. Whether you want to achieve a straight cut, a corner, a curve or a sliver on a hard tile, a tile saw is your best bet. Before operating a power tool like a tile saw, make sure to have enough room to fit your equipment, whether it’s a garage or a workshop. Additionally, placing plastic drop cloths on the floor and wall will help you clean the debris easier.
Tile saws may have abrasive blades rather than toothed, making it safer to operate than wood-cutting saws, but it is still important to take necessary precautions in the workplace as you would with any other saw. Use safety glasses and gloves to keep your eyes and hands safe from the tile saw.
To make a straight cut, first mark the tile with a lead or grease pencil and set it up against the fence on the sliding saw bed before lining up the tile saw to where you want to cut the tile. Make sure that a stream of water covers the blade before you start cutting. To start cutting, securely hold the tile on both sides and gently push it towards the blade. Move it slowly and when the cut is nearly completed, push the two halves of the tile together to prevent breakage even before the cut is complete.
The same technique is done when doing diagonal cuts and corners on tiles, except to create corners, you should have two lines that intersect and cut those lines with a tile saw until the lines intersect.
To do an inside curve, do two angle cuts to remove excess material. Cut a series of materials, about ½ inch from each other. A right angle will give you the cleanest breaks. Using a tile nipper, remove the sawed sections off. Clean the cut by removing the excess materials, each at 1/16 inch intervals. Do this by tilting up the front edge of the tile.
To slice a sliver, simply place a scrap of tile against the edge of the tile you want to trim and use the same technique as making a straight cut to push both pieces of the tile through the blade. You may need to do this several times because removing a tiny sliver is a difficult process, with the tile saw blade often wandering off the edge of the tile.
GilaTools.com is an online distributor of tile saws for the construction industry. GilaTools also offers construction equipment from Makita, Husqvarna, Kraft Tool and Diamond Products.