A ceramic tile saw is a cutting tool used by professional tile and stone cutters. It works like a table saw used to cut wood, only a ceramic tile saw is made specifically for the molecular structure of materials such as ceramics, tile, terra cotta, granite, slate and marble. Ceramic tile saws are wet saws, since the blade is cooled with water.
The diamond wet blade made for a ceramic tile saw actually contains real diamonds. The diamonds are very small and these blades are made to cut even the toughest ceramics. Each different type of ceramic tile has a different hardness, and the tiles which are easiest to cut are the thinly glazed ones made from almost pure clay. Tiles that contain glass or porcelain may be more difficult to cut.
Wetting the diamond tile cutting blade makes the blade last longer. A ceramic tile cutter has a water tray and water pump along with a cutting table and motor. Some ceramic tile cutters are made especially for cutting larger pieces and these are often sold as heavy duty ceramic tile saws. Care of the ceramic tile saw is important and water trays, pumps and cutting tables should be cleaned after each use.
Portable ceramic tile saws allow professional floor covering installers to transport the saw to job sites. This is desirable in many cases as tiles can be matched right on site. Hand-held tile cutters may work in a pinch, but they are generally more suited to the home work shop rather than professional applications. Many hand held cutters have a wheel that moves across the tile to cut it. Professionals usually find professional grade ceramic tile saws the most efficient way to cut many tiles on a consistent basis.
A ceramic tile saw can be used for both straight and curved cuts. The piece of stone or tile to be cut should always be guided into the cutting blade rather than forced into it or the blade may break. Good quality professional grade tile saws range from about $250 to $1,500 US Dollars (USD).