For those who are not familiar with the appearance of the wet saw, it is a kind of saw system that is equipped with a trough that is filled with water. The water is then emitted onto the material that is being cut. This mechanism keeps the tile and the tool from the producing too much heat. These machines are undeniably expensive, although for $50 a day, you can find one that you can rent. When you use a wet saw, always see to it that you are wearing safety glasses. That way, you can keep stray chips from hitting your eyes and potentially damaging your vision. The first thing that you have to do is put water in the trough, until the level of the water is well above the pump. After this, position the tile in such a way that the area to be cut is at the center slot. You can then go ahead and push the tile against the saw blade.
Wet saws may be equipped with a number of attachments that will allow it to make bevel and angulated cuts. To perform a bevel cut, use a bevel guide. Place it on the tile and let it stay there as the saw blade cuts through. For the angle cuts, grab an angle guide, place it on the tray, and cut as you will, making sure that the tile and the angle guide are aligned to one another. Curves can also be made using wet saws. Pipe openings, for instance, may be made in this manner. This is quite a risky procedure for one who is performing the cutting, as the hands will be in close proximity with the saw blade. Because of the high hazard and technical demand, only people who are skilled with the wet saw can perform this.
The wet saw is made mainly to cut through ceramic. The edge that it leaves on the cut ceramic is usually clean. There is a need, however, to trim the tiles when they are being installed in the room, since they will not perfectly fit uneven edges of the room in most cases. For this purpose, a table-mounted portable wet saw will come in handy. This portable wet saw has a circular blade, as well as a water pump, and a hose for constant wetting to prevent overheating. A special saw, however, is required for ceramic tiles, which tend to be brittle and thick. Ceramic will crumble when ordinary blades used for cutting metal and wood are used. Aside from this, overheating with be inevitable, and the blade will likely break. The wet saw is actually designed to overcome these unusual qualities of ceramic, since the blade that it uses is duller, is not prone to overheating, and be brought from one workplace to another easily.
A wet saw possesses a special kind of blade. This saw blade is wide, and dulled a bit, and not serrated. It does not use metal to cut: instead, what it has are sharp sand or diamond crystals. A hose is attached to the circular blade which spews out water continuously onto the blade and the tile that is being cut. This very hose is attached to a pump that is made to rest in a big water vessel like a large bucket. The water pump gives off a cooling jet everytime the machine is made to run. The waste material that is produced, whether that be ceramic dust or excess water, is collected into a tub. To use the wet saw, you must first determine the measurements that are called for in fashioning the tile. Most of the time, cuts are made when the tiles are to be applied around corners, or by the electrical outlet. Having the measurements, make some marks on the tile with the use of a grease pencil. Under usual circumstances, a wet saw can cut through 12 inch or 30 cm thick ceramic tiles. For thicker ceramic tiles, you can get hold of larger saw. Before you cut, make sure that you have already worn your safety glasses. Proceed to align the tile onto the tray with the marks falling along the orientation of the saw blade. Let the machine run. Push the platform towards the direction of the blade as it runs. No extra pressure is needed to do this. See to it that water is continuously flowing throughout the whole cutting process.
How a Wet Tile Saw Operates
Unlike the saw blades that are used to cut wood, the make of the blade used to cut ceramic is not that of metal. It is, instead, a carbide blade equipped with diamond cutting edges.
An angle grinder may probably be a more appropriate machine to compare with the wet saw. Like the wet saw, an angle grinder posses a carbide circular blade that it thicker than usual. The blade cuts more by the mechanism of grinding than by cutting, which is the opposite case with the sharp blade. When used this way, the toothed sharp metal blades will not create that much dent onto the tile. Worse, they will break easily. The grinding mechanism does a good job of cutting through tiles. To prevent overheating of both the blade and the tile, water should be streaming constantly. This also helps in reducing the particles that fly around during the cutting process.
The Disadvantage of a Snap Tile Cutter
Using a snap tile cutter, or a rail cutter, you can be able to fashion big 12” tiles. The problem, however, is that this machine tends to be unpredictable, as it tends to break tiles off in fragments at times. The wet saw is still the ideal machine for the job.
2 Reasons for the “Wet” Part of Wet Tile Saw
- The Cooling Effect – The water that is constantly being poured keeps the tile from getting too hot and eventually breaking off. Water here also acts as a lubricant.
- Keeping Particles at Bay – Water prevents minute particles from flying off the tile that is being cut.
Types of Wet Tile Saws
- Recirculating Pump – With this type of wet saw, water is being recycled, that is, water that is streamed is recirculated, obviating the need for a faucet.
- Fresh Water Source – In contrast, these saws derive water from a source, such as a faucet. The other name for these types of saws are “pumpless”. The apparent disadvantage of the so-called “pumpless” wet saws is that you always need to have a water source nearby.
Should you Buy a Wet Tile Saw or Not?
Wet saw are obviously more expensive than table and circular saws. There is actually no immediate need to buy a wet saw if only intend to apply tiles on a single room. The solution to this is to rent a wet saw, as it will prove to be cheaper to do so than buying one in the long run.