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What is the difference between Wet & Dry tile cutters?

By: Mike Lovatt / Last UPDATED: November 11, 2022
What is the difference between Wet & Dry tile cutters?

Other than the obvious water involvement – wet and dry tile cutters do the same job – cut tiles.

Generally installers will use a wet tile cutter for most of their jobs, but may opt for a dry cut option depending on the job in hand.

Wet Cutter A wet cutter consists of a blade which is coated in very small diamonds, this blade spins at such a speed to cut through the tile.

A basin of water below the blade keeps the temperature of the blade and the tile low while you cut.

For hard or dense tiles – installers will use a wet cutter as it can incrementally speed up the cutting process, they may also do this for larger jobs where a lot of tiles need to be cut – again the water is crucial when cutting through hard tiles like porcelain as it will prevent the blade from overheating or smoking.

This overheating/smoking can create a lot of friction, and it is this friction that can prevent the blade from performing its task correctly.


Tile Nippers

Dry Cutters Can Come In a Variety Of Forms

Tile Nippers can be used as dry cutters on any material.

They consist of two blades that are squeezed together with handles.

Nippers are perfect for use on smaller jobs and with mosaic tiles.

Thin tiles and ceramics can be cut using a carbide tipped pencil.

These are used to score the tiles, thus creating a breaking point where the tile can then be snapped in two.

Wet Cutters For Bigger Tiles

To do this on a hard/thick/dense tile would be close to impossible – so you would need a wet cutter to do this for those particular tiles.

Manual Tile Cutter There are also larger manual  tile cutters which follow a similar cutting method to that of the carbide pencil, and is perfect if you need to cut a multitude of 10mm or less ceramic or porcelain tiles.

In two steps, the tile is scored with pressure, and then snapped across this score line.

This allows you to cut tiles quickly and easily and since no friction is produced, no water is needed to keep the cutting wheel cool.

As mentioned, any tiles can be cut using a wet tile cutter, but to get the best results from your wet cutter use it with stone tiles; such as marble, porcelain, glass tiles (when fitted with a glass cutting blade) and for commerical grade ceramic floor tiles.

Should you have any questions with regard to tile cutting, please get in touch. Our expert team will be able to answer any questions you have.

Working in the New Milton area? Did you know that we have wet and dry tile cutters available for hire? Call (01425) 621173 for more details.

Article by Mike Lovatt

Here at Atlas Ceramics we import and distribute high quality products to support the tiling industry. These products include Polished tiles, Matt tiles or Satin tiles for the wall and floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone and mosaics, from Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

"Thank you Atlas Ceramics!"

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