The 6 Best Tools for Cutting Ceramic Tile at Home

The Ridgid 6.5 Amp Corded 7 in. Table Top Wet Tile Saw is our top pick

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There are several tile cutting tools—both manual and electric—to choose from when planning a kitchen, bathroom, or flooring project. We've spent countless hours researching the best tile cutting options available online, considering ease of setup and use, durability, accuracy, and value.

Our top pick, the Ridgid 6.5 Amp Corded Table Top Wet Tile Saw, is a sturdy, splash-proof electric saw with a tilting bevel table, a diamond blade, and an anti-splash mechanism.  

Here are the best tools for cutting tile, from wet saws to nippers.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ridgid 6.5 Amp Corded 7 in. Table Top Wet Tile Saw

Ridgid Tile Saw

 Courtesy of Home Depot

What do buyers say? 800+ Home Depot reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above. 

A tabletop wet tile saw is one of the top tools for cutting tile, since it’s easy to use and provides straight, accurate cuts and the ability to bevel tile edges as needed. The Ridgid 6.5 Amp Corded Tabletop Wet Saw offers plenty of power and conveniences that will make any project involving tile cutting tools quicker and easier. 

Quality wet tile saws include a pump that propels water onto the saw blade to minimize dust and debris while preventing the blade from overheating. This Ridgid model includes a clear splash guard that helps to minimize spray from the wet blade without minimizing visibility of the tool in action. Whether you’re planning on use this tool for ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, marble, slate, or other popular tiling options, you’ll find that the 6.5 amps of power delivers clean, crisp cuts. 

A big advantage of this tabletop wet tile saw is the fact that it includes a detachable table support which allows you to rip cut tiles up to 24 inches in length. The table also tilts to allow for bevel cuts up to 45-degrees and a miter guide lets you cut tiles on the diagonal.

Best Tabletop Wet Saw: Skil 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

Skil 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re looking for a capable tabletop wet saw for cutting tiles but don’t want to spend several hundred dollars, then pick up the popular Skil 7-inch Wet Tile Saw. This compact tabletop wet saw costs less than a typical saw rental from your local big box store and makes quick work of cutting tiles for your flooring or décor project. 

This budget wet saw includes a stainless-steel tabletop, blade cooling reservoir to prevent overheating of the 7-inch circular blade (but no water pump), and an adjustable rip fence to ensure straight cuts. A miter gauge also allows bevel cuts up to 45 degrees. Reviewers find this to be a great tile cutting tool for basic home projects or DIYers. While it can cut a variety of tile types and sizes, you should know that most reviewers had to remove the rip fence and freehand cut tiles larger than 7 inches in order to use this somewhat compact wet tile saw. If you’re not confident in your ability to do so and have larger format tiles to cut, then you may want to opt for a different wet saw with a larger tabletop.

Best Handheld Wet Saw: Ryobi 4-in Tile Saw

Ryobi 4-in Tile Saw

 Courtesy of Home Depot

If you’re looking for a portable tile cutting tool that still packs plenty of power, the Ryobi 4-inch Tile Saw is a popular option. This handheld wet tile saw uses a 12-foot plastic tube to keep a continuous stream of water on the blade as it cuts through tile material. Impressively, this compact tile tool has 12 amps of power and can cut material up to 1.16 inches thick at a 90-degree angle and up to 0.75 inches thick at 45 degrees. 

This tile cutting tool is a good choice if you need to remove previously installed tile, since you can operate the tool wherever needed—including on floors, backsplashes, and tub surrounds. It’s also an option for anyone that wants a saw for cutting tile that is easy to transport and simple to store. Just keep in mind that a handheld tile saw will require a steady hand, since it lacks the sturdy surface of a tabletop wet saw. 

Given its budget-friendly prIce, this Ryobi tile saw is a smart investment if you have an upcoming tile project. And while you might be tempted to just improvise with a regular handheld circular saw, keep in mind that this wet saw will do a far superior job of minimizing dust and flying debris.

Best Snap Tile Cutter: QEP 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter with Tungsten Carbide Scoring Wheel

QEP 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter with Tungsten Carbide Scoring Wheel

Courtesy of Amazon

Also called a rail cutter, this is a basic but valuable manual tile cutting tool. This 24-inch snap tile cutter from QEP is adequately sized to make cuts in tiles up to 24 inches in size and the tungsten carbide scoring wheel assists in ensuring that the breaker bars can make a clean, effective snap. Models with even larger rails are available, but this model usually meets the needs of most tile projects.

The primary purpose of this type of tile cutting tool is to make straight cuts. While it can be used on a variety of tile types, it tends to receive the most positive feedback from people using it to cut ceramic tiles. One professional tile setter says this is his go-to tile cutting tool, even though he owns expensive tile saws. The simple and reliable operation of the QEP 24-inch Manual Tile Cutter makes it an easy choice if you need to score and snap a large number of tiles for your next project.

Best Tile Nipper: M-D Building Products Compound Tile Nippers

M-D Building Products Compound Tile Nippers

Courtesy of Amazon

Tile nippers might be one of the most basic tile cutting tools, but this pair of compound nippers from M-D Building Products is a hands-down favorite of tiling pros and at-home-DIYers. These tile nippers deliver three times the force of conventional tile nippers, thanks to an ergonomic set-up and strong tungsten carbide tips. They are particularly effective on porcelain tile, ceramic tile, and stone, but their incredible force is generally not recommended for glass tiles. 

Designed for cutting off small pieces of tile, you’ll find that a good pair of tile nippers is an indispensable part of your tool belt. Users often say they wish they had found this pair sooner, since they are much easier on your hands and wrists. Aside from the benefit of the compound action, people appreciate the comfortable handle and find that it doesn’t cause hand fatigue, blisters, or pain—which is incredibly important if you have a big project ahead of you.

Best Wet Tile Saw with Stand: Ridgid 9 Amp Corded 7 in. Wet Tile Saw with Stand

Ridgid 9 Amp Corded 7 in. Wet Tile Saw with Stand

 Courtesy of Home Depot

A wet tile saw is one of the best tools for cutting tile, but without a stand, the task can become tiring, tedious, and messy. To make straight and accurate cuts, a stable surface is needed for tabletop wet saws. A model like this one from Ridgid solves these problems by pairing a well-equipped, 9 amp wet tile saw with a folding stand that gives you stability and a level surface on any project or jobsite. The 1.3 horsepower motor and 7-inch blade mean that it can make 24 inch rip cuts and 18 inch diagonal cuts with a depth up to 2.25 inches. 

In addition to the foldable stand that users say is easy to transport and set-up, this best selling tile saw includes a die cast aluminum tabletop with sealed ball bearing rollers for a smooth gliding action. The included submersible water pump keeps the blade cool and functional, while Ridgid’s Deep Well Wave Wall prevents sediment from entering the pump while in use. If you’re tackling more than a one-time tile project or need to take your operations on the go, this model is worth it.

What to Look for

Manual vs. Electric

Tile cutting tools include both manual and electric options. Manual tile cutters, like rail cutters, use a wheel to score the tile and then rails that apply pressure to snap the tile along the scored line. This type of tile cutting tool is less intimidating for beginners to use but requires more physical exertion and can result in rough cuts that must be sanded. Keep in mind that manual tile cutters can only be used for straight cuts.

For electric tile cutting tools, you'll be considering tile saws. These come in both tabletop and handheld versions. Also known as wet tile saws, these tools are equipped with a water pump or reservoir that keeps the blade wet in order to reduce friction and dust as you cut tiles. Electric tile cutters are better suited for harder materials like stone and also can be used to make angled cuts.

Tile Material

The density and hardness of tile varies depending on the material. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both made from clay, but porcelain is harder and more brittle. In general, manual tile cutters can be used for straight cuts on these types of tiles. For granite, marble, and stone tiles, you'll need to use a tile cutting saw that offers the power and precision necessary to cut these dense, heavy materials without breaking them.

Tile Size

Consider what is the largest size of tile that you plan to cut and choose a tile cutting tool that can handle the job. While you may be able to use a large tile cutting tool for small tile, don't expect to use a small tile cutting tool for large format tiles.

  • How do you use tile cutting tools?

    To use a snap tile cutter, you'll first need to mark the top and bottom of the tile (on the face) to indicate where you want to cut. Next, lay the tile face side-up on the cutter underneath the cutting wheel and pressure pad. Slide the tile snugly against the end-stop. Then, position the cutting wheel near the edge of the tile. Lower the wheel and use firm, even pressure as you roll the wheel across the entire surface of the tile. You may need to make one more pass to effectively score the tile. Then, lift the tile cutter handle so that the pressure pad rests on the tile itself. Apply firm, even downward pressure to snap the tile along the scored line.

    When using a tile saw, you should also start by marking the face of the tile with a cutting line. After preparing the saw and work area and putting on PPE, you're ready to cut tile. Place the tile on the bed of the saw, pushing it close to the rip fence or miter gauge. Check that the blade is in line with you cutting line. Then, bring the tile back in front of the blade. Turn the saw on, allow it to come up to full speed, and then slowly push the tile under the blade. You should keep one hand on each side of the tile, as far from the blade as possible. As the blade reaches the end of the tile, push the tile even more slowly. Once the tile clears the blade, turn the saw off, wait for the blade to come to a complete stop, then retrieve the tile.

  • How do you mark a tile for cutting?

    A grease pencil is often used for marking tiles since they offer good visibility but can be wiped away after the cut is made. A lead pencil or felt tip marker are two other alternatives.

  • How do you prevent chipping when cutting porcelain tile?

    Porcelain tile is very dense but brittle, so minimizing the chance of the tile chipping is a top priority. One key way to prevent chipping is to use a wet tile saw. The water over the blade reduces friction and heat, allowing the blade to glide through the tile more easily.

    The cutting technique you use may also help to prevent chipping when cutting porcelain tiles. Two methods are often suggested: First, make a shallow cut no more than 1/2 of the thickness of the tile. This requires the use of an adjustable saw blade. After making this initial cut, run the blade across the entire tile, cutting it completely on this pass. The second method is to make a notch in one end of the tile, about an inch or so deep. This is the start of your cut. Then, cut the tile from the other side. The cutting line should match your notch, resulting in a complete cut of the tile.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Erica Puisis, who has researched and written dozens of home improvement and DIY stories for The Spruce. A regular wanderer at big box home improvement stores and an official helper to her handyman husband, Erica is no stranger to the tool aisle and enjoys researching and recommending the right equipment to help you get the job done.