Tested and Reviewed: Ryobi 7" Wet Tile Saw

Ryobi Tabletop Saw
Image via HomeDepot.com

The great thing about Ryobi--they know where they stand. Inhabiting home remodeling forums, I often see comments from professionals to the effect of, "Oh, I would never buy a [insert name of consumer-grade tool here]. I'll only buy a [MK Diamond, Felker, Husqvarna, etc.]."

Sure, if you've got a spare $2,400 to spend on a wet tile saw--and you happen to cut tile every day of your life--be my guest. But for the rest of us, our true friends have more humble names like Black & Decker, Makita, DeWalt, and Ryobi.

Ryobi claims "Best-in-Class" for many of its tools, and its wet tile saw does a decent job, considering how little this tool costs.

Installing Tile? Then You Need a Wet Tile Saw

If you're installing your own tile, you can probably squeak by with a snap tile cutter, but you'll end up with loads of broken tiles and more than enough frustration.

Or you can rent a tile saw. That's fine, except you'll need to build a day or two of learning curve into your rental cost. Then, once you've mastered the tool, every day stacks up more rental costs.

But wouldn't it be nice to own a tile saw, and take your time learning how to cut tile correctly and safely? Don't you think it would be great to have the luxury of time to do your tiling project right, instead of rushing it along? That's where a consumer-grade tile saw like the Ryobi 7" comes in.

Mostly the Basics, But a Few Extras, Too

With this Ryobi wet tile saw, you're getting everything you need in order to start general tile-cutting and beveling right away. The saw comes with a 7" blade. You have got a sliding base (with tile saws, your workpiece moves, not the blade). You have a rip guide to position your tile at angles. About the only thing you'll need to supply is a garden hose, but you've got that already, right?

On top of that, you've got a devilishly simple spring-like device which Ryobi calls an End-of-Cut Reminder. This slows down your cut at the end to minimize broken tiles. Should you purchase the optional pump (see next section), the Clean Wave Wall™ prevents sediment from junking up the pump. Finally, the bevel block lets you scribe bevels into the tile edges.

Pumpless Flow System

The base-level Ryobi 7" tile saw has what they term a Pumpless Flow System™. Tile needs a constant flow of water to keep the workpiece cool and to minimize debris. Some tile saws recirculate water by means of an internal pump; others supply fresh water from the tap. This saw does the latter.

It's debatable whether or not you want a pumpless tile saw. With pumpless saws, you get clean water but you need to be near a tap. This pretty much ensures that you'll be cutting tile outside. But outside is a good place to cut tile anyway.

Tile saws with pumps free you from the faucet, but sediment is a constant concern. Your choice. The good thing is that this Ryobi model has a pump for optional purchase, should you decide to go that way later on.

How Does It Work?

Just fine. Running the saw, water flow remains constant, and the motor is strong enough to handle ordinary loads (note that Ryobi does not intend for this saw to be used for cutting natural stone). The rip guide and bevel block snap firmly into place, and at the angles you want--without wiggling and readjusting.

The Easy-Glide Table™ does glide less easily than one might expect. Consequently, your workpiece moves into the blade with a tiny bit of pull.

All in all, this Ryobi 7" wet tile saw is a decent, inexpensive product for DIY tilers.