When you decide to do your kitchen, bathroom, or even home renovations, you will need several tools. One such tool that you will need is a wet tile saw. You will need the latter to cut tiles or even glass.
As a Do-it-Yourselfer, you probably don’t want to spend $1000 on a wet tile saw. Fortunately, you do not have to, as there are plenty of great options in the under $200 market. And in this article, I will give you my top four best wet tile saw under $200.
Top on my list is the PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw (PCE980). The latter has a sliding tray that gives it an edge over the other entrants in terms of accuracy. In second place is the SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw, which is also accurate.
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider the other two on my list.
A Quick Comparison Of Value For Money Wet Tile Saw Under $200
Now, let’s look at some basic wet tile saw facts.
Why Trust This Review?
As a professional contractor, I have been using wet tile saws for close to 10 years now. As such, I happen to know a thing or two about these tools.
Who Is This Article Ffor?
I often get questions about the best wet tile under 200 from people who do not want to rent one for small renovations. As such, this article is for homeowners who want to undertake a renovation but do not want to rent a saw.
How I Picked The Saws?
I picked the saws on my list based on their price, portability and ease of use. I also considered other aspects, such as water management, in making my final ranking.
Uses of A Wet Tile Saw
As the name suggests, the primary use of a wet tile saw is cutting tiles. So why not use an ordinary circular or table saw? Tiles are predominantly made of ceramic and are usually thick and brittle.
So if you were to try and use a circular saw, it would either break the tile or heat up to the point it would stop working. Due to the tile’s brittle nature, we need to use a special kind of saw designed specifically for cutting them.
Typically, wet tile saws feature a diamond blade with no serrations. This blade design is efficient at cutting ceramic tiles. Furthermore, this type of saw does not overheat. To prevent overheating, these saws also feature a water pump that sprays water to the blade.
Since these saws feature a diamond blade, the same type used to cut glass can also be used to cut glass.
Advantages of A Wet Tile Saw
Wet saws can make precise cuts efficiently without chipping the tile. Also, the blade can be angled, allowing you to make beveled or angled cuts.
Since they use a diamond blade, they can cut thicker tiles with a higher PEI rating than a manual tile cutter. This makes them an ideal option for more projects than manual tile cutters.
A consistent spray of water is aimed at the diamond blade from a reservoir. This prevents overheating that can result from friction.
It is possible to achieve more complex cuts with a wet saw than with a manual tile cutter.
Reviews of The Best Wet Tile Saw Under $200
PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw (PCE980)
Compared to the SKIL 3540-02, the PORTER-CABLE wet tile saw is a bit pricey. However, it still costs less than $200. But is it any better than its cheaper competitor, or are you better off getting the SKIL?
The first notable difference between the two is in water management. I found the SKIL 3540-02 to be a bit messy for my liking. However, with the PORTER-CABLE, it has a splash guard that does an excellent job of preventing you from getting splashed with water.
Water spills on this saw are minimal, and you will hardly have to clean up afterward. But how does it compare in terms of cutting performance? Well, it had no problem cutting ⅜ inch porcelain or even ceramic tiles.
But just like the SKIL 3540, the blade that it comes with leaves much to be desired. So you may be forced to replace it. But again, there are plenty of high-quality aftermarket blades out there, so this wasn’t such a big problem.
Some people have complained of the blade wobbling, but I did not notice such a problem. Also, it is worth noting that the saw needs some adjusting when you first purchase it. Not making the necessary adjustments may be the cause of the wobbly blade.
What I liked
There is probably nothing I liked more about this saw than its water management. Most saws in this price tag are notorious for being messy. Not this one, as it does an excellent job of keeping you and the working area clean.
Out of the box, this saw requires a lot of adjusting and can take up to an hour before it is ready to use. For example, the blade guard post is not aligned with the blade at the right angle. The crosscut fence also needs adjusting.
SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
I had heard many good things about the SKIL 3550-0 wet tile saw before purchasing it. And to be honest, for the most part, it does leave up to its good reputation. It is still a small saw with a basic blade, though.
At 5 amp, the motor on this machine isn’t blowing anyone away. However, it’s understandable as I don’t think it would be possible to fit a 15 or even 12 amp motor in such a small package. Though, in my opinion, a 7 amp motor would have been better.
Then again, it is designed for small projects. The plastic body is surprisingly sturdy and had no problems taking day-to-day abuse. As for the top, it has a coating that I think could be Teflon, though I am not sure.
Either way, it has held up pretty well since I bought it, so no complaints here. One feature that I love is the extension arm. You may not be able to cut a 36-inch floor tile on it, but it still does give you more space for your tile cutting, which is nice.
But the best thing about this unit was the water management. It has a hydro lock containment system that does an excellent job of containing water. This translates to minimal clean-up after tile cutting.
What I liked
The hydrolock system keeps water near the blade, and there is minimal spillage with this saw. As such, you can comfortably use it indoors without having to worry about water spills or getting sprayed with water when using it.
As with most other budget saws, the default blade on this one is terrible. I recommend buying a replacement, which will cost you extra.
SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
Renting a wet tile saw will cost you between $40 to 50 per day. The alternative is to purchase a budget wet tile saw, which I think is the better option. And the SKIL 3540-02 is the saw that I recommend for anyone on a tight budget.
This little saw performed better than I expected. According to the manufacturer, its stainless steel top can accommodate 12×12 inch tiles. But I was able to cut 24×24 inch porcelain tiles with it. Of course, I had to add a platform to support the tiles, but I had no complaints.
The 7-inch blade performed flawlessly. My only complaint about the blade is that it does not last long. And so you may have to replace it quicker than with most other saws. But considering the price, I don’t think this is such a big deal.
It is possible to make more intricate cuts thanks to the 0-45 degree bevel cuts. And as you would expect from any other similar saw, it does come with an adjustable fence.
Overall, this wet tile saw worked great, and since it is small, it will not require a lot of storage space. However, I would not recommend it for large projects such as tiling a family room floor. Its cutting speed is relatively slow, and for large projects, you will be better off renting.
What I liked
For DIY renovations, this saw is perfect as it is incredibly inexpensive and small. Also, it can handle cutting larger tiles than recommended by the manufacturer. It may take more time to cut larger tiles, but the fact that it can do the job is incredible.
The reservoir is relatively small and runs out of water very quickly. Also, it tends to spray water, so you can expect to get wet when using it.
Flex CS 40 Wet – 12Amp 5″ Masonry Wet Tile Saw
The last saw on my list is the Flex CS 40 wet masonry tile saw. As with the other models on the list, this one is an excellent little saw, with some flaws, which are to be expected.
The 5-inch blade is relatively small, but it could cut through a 1.6-inch thick tile. For anything thicker than this, I recommend going for another model. All the same, this unit cuts smoothie and should be sufficient for most small projects.
Also, at 12 amp, the motor is quite powerful, and it allows the saw to cut through tiles faster than most other budget models. Also, it will not get bogged down, which is great to see for a saw priced at less than $200.
It does not come with a blade, which is disappointing. But what was more disappointing was the fact that the recommended blade was the wrong one. In addition, the arbor size is not correct, and you need to find one with a 20mm arbor.
Overall, this is a decent enough saw for cutting small tiles. In my opinion, it is a bit pricey for the features, but it is still a great saw nonetheless.
What I liked
Has a relatively powerful motor and was able to cut tiles faster than most of its competitors. This makes it ideal for repetitive cuts. It also has an excellent design that makes it easy to carry.
The water management of this saw is terrible, and you should expect to get wet when using the saw. Also, the right arbor size blade for the saw is an unusual one at 20mm, and it may be challenging to find the right blade for it.
How To Choose Wet Tile Saw Under 200 Bucks!
What features and factors should influence your choice of wet tile saw under $200? Several features make up the best wet tile saw under 200. These features and factors to consider are;
Know Your Budget?
How much are you able and willing to spend on a saw? This is perhaps the first question to ask yourself. If you are on a tight budget of, let’s say, $100 to $150, you may have to compromise on some things.
For instance, I recommend the cheapest model on my list for this budget: the SKIL 3540-02. While it is cheap, it lacks a good water management system. If you are looking for a bit more quality, be ready to spend a little bit more.
Determine What Type Of Saw You Need For Your Task?
Now that you have a budget to work with, what type of saw should you buy? Wet tile saws can be classified into three, fixed wet tile saws, masonry wet tile saws, and tabletop with rolling tray.
Masonry is the most portable and usually resembles a circular saw in design. However, they are not the best for cutting in a straight line. The second type is the fixed saw. This type has a tabletop and resembles a standard table saw.
This means you have to push the tile to the blade that is at a fixed position. This type is also equipped with a water reservoir under the tabletop. This type of saw is easy to use and lightweight; however, making accurate cuts can be difficult for inexperienced users.
Lastly, we have the tabletop with a rolling tray saw. This one is a fixed tabletop saw with a rolling tray. The latter can slide backward and forwards, which makes it easier to cut accurately.
Overall, the type of saw you select will depend on your needs. Personally, I recommend one with a rolling tray such as the PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw.
Learn What Blade Size Is Ideal For Your Work?
The next thing to consider is the size of the blade. Typically at this price point, you will typically get a 7-inch blade. A 7-inch blade will be ideal for cutting thin-wall tiles of about 1.5 inches in thickness.
All the models on my list feature a 7-inch blade as it is unlikely to find a bigger blade size in this price segment.
How Accurate Is The Saw?
Accuracy is something you will want to consider. However, it is not easy to tell if a saw is accurate or not. Ideally, as already mentioned, masonry wet tile saws tend to be less accurate than other types of saws.
Thus if you are not experienced in using these saws, this type may not be the best. However, a saw with a sliding tray will offer exceptional accuracy compared to other types, so I recommend this type.
How versatile Is The Saw?
Chances are, you will not be making one type of cut with your saw. As such, a versatile model will be a useful tool to have. Versatility means you can make more than one type of cut.
This can include straight, miter, and bevel cuts. Budget models are not known for their versatility. However, the best wet tile saw under 200 should offer you the ability to make three types of cuts.
The size of the Water Source
Wet tile saws require a water source to provide a constant supply of water to cool the blade. This water source is usually a reservoir under the tabletop. Unfortunately, a small reservoir means that you have to keep refilling it frequently.
With a masonry type saw, this problem is solved by the lack of a water tank. Instead, these types of saws use a hose that can be connected to a water source. Overall, the size of the water source will determine how fast you can cut.
This is why masonry saws tend to be faster than their counterparts.
The Water Management System Used
Since the blade has to be sprayed with a constant water jet, using a wet tile saw can be messy. However, some of the best saws employ ways of managing water flow. Unfortunately, cheaper models such as the SKIL 3540-02 do not.
What features a saw has to manage water flow will matter, especially if you are working indoors. The SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw, for instance, has a good hydrolock system that helps keep water contained.
If you are working indoors, this will be an essential factor to consider.
Check The The Warranty Of The Saw
We all want a warranty for every tool we purchase, and the wet tile saw is no exception. When shopping for one, check for the warranty terms. A longer warranty is always good.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a budget model be efficient at cutting tiles?
Yes, however, it will depend on the size and thickness of the tile. Typically budget models like the ones on my list are not suited for cutting large or thick tiles. Floor tiles that tend to be thicker and larger than countertop tiles cannot be cut efficiently with a budget model.
Will a budget model last me long?
Yes, but this only if you maintain it well and use it occasionally. Most budget saws are not designed for continuous use, as is the case with larger professional saws.
Will a budget saw under $200 offer the same features as an expensive one?
However, most of the advanced features offered by expensive models will be unnecessary to a DIYer or homeowner. So at the end of the day, a budget model will be sufficient to cater to your needs.
Overall, the best wet tile saw under 200 will depend on your needs. Of course, there are many other options, but I have tried to cover all the main types of saws in this price segment on my list. As such, the four on my list should suit your needs.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API