Can I cut porcelain tiles with a handheld tile cutter?
Features of choosing a tile cutter for porcelain tiles
When it comes to self-tiling walls or floor tiling, the question becomes about the need to use a tool that will quickly and evenly cut tiles. The tile cutter helps to divide the tiles into several pieces, and to cut out the shapes that are necessary for laying. Peculiarities of choosing a tile cutter for cutting porcelain tiles, different from cutting ceramic tiles.
This type of tile cutter is suitable for a small amount of work, so it is the manual tile cutter is the most popular among consumers. Its device consists of:
- The platform on which the tiles should be placed;
- The carriage, which is located above the roller;
- The cutting roller, which makes the cut of the tile;
- The handle that presses the tile against the platform;
- Guiding slats, on which the cutting roller moves;
- Supports for guides;
- The foot for breaking the tiles.
The principle of operation of the hand-held tile cutter is similar to that of the glass cutter. By passing over the surface of the tile, the cutting wheel makes a glaze cut. A special foot, located under the roller, breaks the tile in half, resulting in an even cut. Manual tile cutter is used to work with tiles up to 15 mm thick.
When laying tiles, there are times when it is necessary to use tile elements of non-standard shapes, such as circles. for tiling sockets or laying pipes. A handheld tile cutter “with a ballerina” is used for this purpose. At the heart of such a device there is a circular cutter.The diameter of the future round piece of tile can be adjusted.
According to the type of its design, hand-held tile cutters are:
Roller. As the name implies, the tile is cut by a special roller, which is made of hard metal alloy, thanks to which it has a high service life;
In operation, a manual tile cutter is quite simple, so it is used by both experienced craftsmen and people making repairs on their own. The whole process of working with a handheld tile cutter consists of the following steps:
- It is necessary to check the condition of the tool: whether it is serviceable, whether the roller is not blunted, whether all elements of the device are in proper condition;
- Mark the tile with a pencil;
- Position the tile on the platform of the handheld tile cutter, the marked line for the trimmer should coincide with the cutting roller. Please note that the distance between the cut and the edge of the tile should not be less than 1 cm. Otherwise, the cut can turn out uneven and sloppy;
- By carrying out the handle is a single cut of the roller. Do not put too much pressure on it, otherwise the tile may crack. The force with which the roller will make the cut in the glaze is enough;
- After that the handle is pressed and the tile is cut in two parts.
To make the material easier to cut, it is allowed to moisten the tiles with water. For details on how to lay tiles watch this video. In addition, learn how to drill tiles.
What to pay attention to when buying
When selecting a handheld tile cutter, pay attention to the following features:
- The strength of the frame. The platform of the tile cutter should be made of metal and have a good thickness. If the frame will look fragile, the tile cutter may not be enough even for a small amount of work;
- The length of the device. If you have a choice between a short and long tool, choose the second option. With such a tile cutter, it will always be possible to work not only in length but also diagonally;
- Smooth running. Before you buy a tool, check the smoothness of its movement. It is desirable that its design includes bearings, which will ensure the smoothness of the device.
The cutting roller of the handheld tile cutter will wear down and blunt over time. It is not sharpenable, so if this is a problem, you will have to purchase a new roller element.
Lubricate regularly during use to prolong tool life.
The tool for cutting ceramics
How the ceramic material is processed will determine the quality of the cladding. If you are interested in what you can cut ceramic tiles, then, first of all, pay attention to the following tools:
Using this equipment, you can perform both standard cutting operations and quite complex procedures. For example, cutting rectangular and circular holes, trimming edges. Each of these tools is used for a specific amount of work. has its own specific features that you must take into account when starting to work with ceramics.
Working with the cutter
The simplest, cheapest and lightest tool for processing ceramic products is the glass cutter. It can be of two types: with a roller of small diameter and with a diamond tip. There are almost no special differences in the work between them, but the first tool is more convenient to use. In addition, cutting tiles with the glass cutter is no different from cutting glass.
Let’s look at the step-by-step instructions for working with this tool:
- First of all, before you cut a tile with the glass cutter, you need to precisely mark the trimmer line of the cut with an erasable marker or a pencil on its glossy side. It is also desirable to use corners or metal rulers. Applying the ruler along the line, you need to spend the glass cutter only once from the far edge of the ceramic product to yourself. Trying to distribute the force as evenly as possible when pressing the tool. In this way you will have a perfectly straight line for the trimmer. a recess that weakens the strength of the blade.
- Secondly, you need to position the tile on the table so that the trimmer line for the notch on the product and the edge of the table coincide completely. Next, carefully holding a part of the tile on the table, you need to press on its other edge: the product will break softly and accurately. The edges after all the work can be treated with sandpaper.
Stages of the cutting process
Finishing with porcelain tiles can be compared to tailoring. to create a beautiful and smooth surface, you will need to trim the tiles, adjusting to the format and size, taking into account the characteristics of the room. The material differs from others by its increased hardness, strength, durability, so it is difficult to work with it independently. Each method of cutting involves the use of certain equipment and has its own indications for use. The choice of technology is influenced by the following factors:
- Technical characteristics. weight, dimensions, thickness of the tile;
- the type of work to be done. the planned scope of work, quality requirements;
- the type of cut. straight, shaped, molded, at an angle, inside edging;
- the financial capabilities of the master.
When there are no professional cutters, grinders, and cutters, more affordable devices are used. They come in manual and electric. Each has a number of advantages and disadvantages:
- Angle grinder (otherwise known as an angle grinder) allows you to make complex cuts and work on already laid tiles. But the process of working with the tool is long and laborious.
- Manual tile cutter is used only for simple direct processing of thin (less than 12 mm) tiles.
- An electric device is a fast, safe, accurate way to cut. Suitable for thick or embossed porcelain tiles.
- Using a construction marker, apply the marking.
- Position the product, aligning the outlined line for the trimmer with the pointer.
- Fix the tile, press by hand.
- Perform the sawing.
Allowed to cut and break. If you want to achieve a neat flat edge, then the cut is carried out not strictly on the mark, and with a margin (indentation of 2-5 mm), then make grinding the edge.
To reduce the amount of damage to the glazed surface, it is recommended to first leave a shallow groove on it, and then turn it over and cut from the back side.
Which may be the reason for the appearance of chips and marriage:
- Poor quality of the grinding disk. cracks, damage, poor sharpening.
- Cutting wheel is on the wrong side or the wrong size. thickness or height of edge is too low, diamond coating is missing.
- Roller blade mismatch with the marked line.
- Insufficient fixation. while cutting, the tile vibrates and shifts.
- The operation is performed in several steps, which increases the percentage of defects.
- Powerful tools are used, quick, sharp movements, strong pressure.
The final result depends on the special skills of the craftsman and the right choice of cutting tools.
Cutting porcelain tiles at home is carried out by means of various devices. Let’s talk about them.
How to cut porcelain tiles with a glass cutter
Glass cutter, an uncomplicated tool that is often used to cut through hard materials. However, when cutting porcelain tile, the glass cutter can also be used for tiles of small thicknesses. Otherwise, the desired result will not be achieved. The glass cutter is most often used for tiles that are mounted on a wall. Flooring materials have a denser texture, so they cannot be cut with a glass cutter.
Glass cutters should be diamond tipped
When choosing a glass cutter, you should give preference to devices where the cutting part has a special coating, such devices are provided for dense materials.
- Prepare the surface on which the tiles are placed. The presence of small dents and irregularities often leads to the fact that the line for the trimmer goes to the other side;
- Using a marker and ruler, it is necessary to draw the lines on which the cut will be made;
- To the line it is necessary to put a ruler and using the glass cutter make a deep groove. If necessary, another line must be drawn along the line of the furrow, thus deepening the cut;
- Carefully break off part of the tile along the furrow. If necessary, you can use a small hammer to evenly tap the surface and only then break off.
When working, gloves must be worn. Often during breakage, splinters of the tile damage the skin. If it is necessary to make a shaped piece, after working with the cutter unnecessary parts must be carefully removed with wire cutters.
Before you start work, you need to make a marking
Important. If the first groove made with the glass cutter is not deep, chipping occurs at the edges which can only be removed after careful grinding.
The advantages of this method are as follows:
- Work with the glass cutter can even beginner builders who have no experience in such procedures;
- Glass cutter, an affordable device that is available in almost any garage. All components in the process of breakage can be replaced with new ones;
- Using a glass cutter it is possible to obtain a straight cut.
The disadvantages should include the fact that you can use the device only for thin tiles. It should also be noted that diamond-coated glass cutters are often damaged and require replacement.
How to use a tile cutter when cutting porcelain tiles
When using a handheld type tile cutter, preference should be given to quality models. As models with a weak blade do not cope with the task. In order to cut a piece of porcelain tile, it is necessary for the tool to have the following characteristics:
- the carriage had no backlash, such a disadvantage often occurs if the device has been used for a long period. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully check the device before starting work;
- The cutting roller must have a thick diameter, otherwise the tool will not be able to handle the plate;
- on the carriage should be installed bearings that work smoothly without jerks, otherwise chipping and cracking is unavoidable.
Manual tile cutters are used very rarely, experts recommend using only new tools. Since tools that have been in use often lead to uneven edges.
A manual tile cutter allows you to quickly cut a small thickness of tiles
Pay attention! For the manual tile cutter to work smoothly and not vibrate, it is recommended to drop a small amount of machine oil on the disc.
In order to use a tile cutter to cut porcelain tile, you need to follow the following algorithm of action:
- mark the slab using a special marker for construction work;
- Place the porcelain stoneware exactly along the line that has been marked. If necessary, you can use a construction ruler;
- gently guide the tool along the line while pressing down on the handle. The cut should be made in the direction away from yourself;
- To break along the obtained groove.
It is necessary to know that porcelain stoneware can be cut only in a straight line. Circular lines cannot be cut with this tool.
Important. Using a manual tile cutter implies only one line. Otherwise, the material will not break exactly along the line.
The procedure of porcelain tile cutting has its positive sides. The speed of work and the absence of debris are the main advantages of the octagonal cutter. Most often the chips are small, and easily leveled with a grinder.
Cutting porcelain tiles is quick and dust free
How to cut a large porcelain tile?
Ceramic tile cutting price
|Cutting a tile corner for an insert (octagon) (up to 100 mm corner)||60 /pc.|
|Straight cut of porcelain stoneware||120 /pg.м|
|Cutting of porcelain tiles||see below|
|Curved cut on porcelain stoneware (No chamfer)||400 /pg.м|
What is the best wheel for cutting porcelain tiles?
What disc slices porcelain tiles with a angle grinder Since porcelain tiles are not granite, but only an artificial imitation of it, two types of discs can be used for cutting: Vulcanite discs based on synthetic superhard ceramic. Such a circle can cut thin grooves, corners, perform edge trimming.
With this angle grinder you can cut concrete and brick for pipes and cables, pierce holes in walls, and cut metal, wood, and drywall. Quite effectively this grinder can cut ceramic tiles for bathroom or kitchen tiling.
Design of a hand tool
To understand how to use the tool, you need to figure out how it works. For cutting tiles, hand-held tile trimmers have a common device. Here the main structural elements are:
This is a solid metal base, on which all the parts are placed. On it the facing material is laid, so among the main criteria for selecting the device are the evenness of the support and dimensions according to the format of the tiles.
In addition, it is worth paying attention to anti-slip pads. On one of the sides, in addition, there is a non-erasable scale and a small overhang, which allows the ceramic sample to be broken along the cutting line.
They are represented by two parallel tubes with smooth outer walls. In more expensive versions they are replaced by an I-beam. Their function is to keep the working mechanism in the right position for the operator, to allow the tile to be pressed in one way or another. Also on the guides is the movement of this device.
Rigid tile cutter element to cut tiles by hand. There is a cutting wheel, a lever and a special foot for breaking the cladding material is fixed on it.
The platform, frame elements under the guides, as a rule, are made of cast steel, because the reliability and durability of the tool depend on their quality. The carriage and the cutting element must be even stronger, so an alloy with m tungsten and cobalt is used for production here. Rubber pads are mounted on the underside to prevent the platform from sliding on the floor.
To use such a handheld tile cutter can both a professional and a novice master. In addition to this advantage, the master notes other advantages:
- quiet operation;
- the simplicity of the device;
- low weight
- environmental friendliness;
- low cost.
However, there are also disadvantages. Here it is difficult to form pieces with a width of less than 10 mm, the break line edge is sharp with small irregularities.
Cutting a narrow strip of tile
For large areas for tiling and for cutting thick porcelain tiles, craftsmen prefer to choose electric analogues. Also worth highlighting here is the high percentage of getting a poor quality cut. And with beginners, it is not uncommon for tiles to break not along the intended line, which can only be straight.
Recommendations for choosing a device
Using the tile cutter properly is not enough to get the desired results. It is also necessary that the tool should be of high quality. When choosing, experts recommend paying attention to the following points:
- The rigidity of the platform and frame. The design must be reliable, without wobbling, creaking. Lack of vibration and flexibility in a monolithic device is a guarantee of quality and long life of the tile cutter. The same applies to the lever.
- Length of metal base. Shorter models are only considered for one-off jobs, or if a home workshop is equipped with an additional compact tool.
- The smooth motion of the carriage. Here the best solution is considered a tool that is equipped with bearings.
Among other things, additional details can be useful. For example, the presence of a protractor allows you to simplify the process of cutting tiles at a specific angle. Optional bit carriage makes it easy to get the hole in the right place. There are improvements to increase the support area under the tile, fixators.
A simple solution: cut tiles with an angle grinder
An angle grinder is a power tool that many people have at home. If necessary, it can be borrowed from a neighbor, a friend or a relative. Highly versatile and capable of handling a multitude of tasks.
Can I cut porcelain tiles with an angle grinder?? Angle grinder will help the home craftsman in the absence of specialized tools. It is enough to buy the necessary accessories and carefully follow the technology. But it should be taken into account that this tool is only able to cope with a medium thickness tile. from 5 mm to 15 mm. For thick technical coating you should use professional tools, such as an electric tile cutter.
The quality of work largely depends on the tooling. What wheel to cut porcelain tiles with an angle grinder? The ideal option is a diamond-powdered wheel, designed to work with hard materials.
You can buy diamond discs for porcelain tiles for angle grinder in Dominar online store. You can choose the nozzle for any task.
A fine ceramic tile diamond wheel for angle grinder with a solid cutting edge is a guarantee of good cut quality. Due to the low thickness this tip works with high precision.
Highly specialized attachments
Naturally, those methods of cutting that have been described above are excellent for those who are not able to buy an expensive machine for cutting porcelain tile. But for professionals, time saving slicing is a matter of principle, so the machine will come in handy. Most often a straight cut is needed, which is great, because the machine can do exactly that. In addition, good machines allow you to cut the material at different angles.
Furthermore, even very thick plates can be cut, but this is not the only positive thing. The fact that it will be possible to use the wet method of cutting porcelain tiles, as this method reduces the likelihood of overheating the cutting disc and the appearance of chips. Your hands are also relieved from the weight of an electric tool. The machine will have a platform that has an electric motor and a cutting edge. The machine also has a special attachment for progressive straight-line movement, either of the tile or of the motor with the cutting tool. It makes it possible to avoid any irregularities and improves the quality of the cut. The only thing left to do is to control the feed rate while the cut is being made. But the most important advantage. there is no dust when cutting, and it is relevant when repairing in an apartment.
Depending on how often and how much the craftsman has to work with this material, he can think and decide what size and type of machine for cutting porcelain tile he needs. For example, if the work is performed in a cramped room, or very rarely, the machine with the motor, which is located below the work table, is an excellent choice. Such machines are small, lightweight and many times cheaper than other machines that have a top-mounted motor (for example, Practice-1860 costs an average of 6,500). But keep in mind that in this case there will be certain limitations on the depth of cut. Not every model has guides for straightforward feeding and devices for fixing the tiles, which will require certain skills of the master. Also a 45-degree angle cut is not available in many models.
Much more opportunities have those machines where the motor is located higher than the work table. For a craftsman who is a specialist in tile work, this option is preferable. Although such machines will be large, they will give the opportunity to provide comfortable and safe working conditions, a large depth of cut (from 10 to 13.5 cm), and some models can not just cut tiles at 45 degrees, but also at other intermediate values. Naturally, in such machines the motors are more powerful and the diameter of the diamond cutting wheel is more than. Some machines are stationary, t.е. Have high weight and dimensions. Depending on tooling, manufacturer, features and size, overhead machines have a wide range of prices.
How a handheld tile cutter is designed?
A tile cutter is a tool on the base of which there are slides (guides). on these slides the crown with a steel roller made of hard alloy. This is the base on which the cutting tiles are laid.
Models may differ in modifications. For example, there are tile cutters with an auxiliary tool. A device that allows you to make circular holes.
Before buying, you should also ask the dealer what kind of tile cutter to choose for porcelain tiles. The fact that some models are only suitable for thin ceramic tile.
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Figure cutting tiles
Very often, to design protruding corners, an incision in the form of a “d” is required. Many people are confused, because the tile cutter cuts the tile in a straight line. The simplest solution is to divide the work surface into two constituent parts. The first cut is perpendicular to the long side of the tile, and the second is parallel, thus avoiding the formation of a terrible seam, which is formed when you put two tiles in a “d” shape.
You can also try cutting with glass cutters and pliers. The glass cutter makes a sufficiently deep risk, along which later a notch is made with pliers.
Sawing tiles at a 45 degree angle is no less common than the curved cut. If your tile cutter has an inclined mechanism, then such an incision will not be a big problem, but if there is no such mechanism, do not get upset.
Tile filing can be done with the same angle grinder “by eye”. Produce grinding, and in doing so, hold the tool slightly at an angle. This cut is often necessary to conceal external, protruding wall corners, but it is not recommended for rooms with slippery floors. It is safer to use borders, which will make the angle less sharp, but will not spoil the perception much.
To learn how to cut tiles at home at 45 degrees, see the following video.