Porcelain and ceramic tiles are used extensively in bathrooms and kitchens, but they’re also great for garden areas due to being water-resistant and scratch-proof.
If you’re laying tiles yourself and need to cut them to a certain size, then you’ll need the right equipment to do it. When cutting porcelain or ceramic tiles, you can either use a manual tile cutter or an electric cutter with a diamond blade.
Some of the most important things to consider when buying a tile cutter are –
- The thickness of tiles it can cut
- Manual or electric
- Ease of use
- Suitability for different types of tiles
We’ve rated some of the UK’s best tile cutters, reviewing their key features as well as their pros and cons. If you’re uncertain which type of tile cutter you need, then you should be able to make an informed decision by the end of this guide.
Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API
Let’s start by looking at our best pick, the Vitrex 103402 Diamond Blade Tile Cutting Saw…
A powerful saw that provides a very clean cut
The Vitrex Diamon Blade Saw is our best pick and would be a great choice for most types of porcelain and ceramic tiles.
It uses a diamond blade, which means you get an extremely clean-cut, always important when you’re working with tiles. Any diamond blade cutter requires a supply of water and this model features a water-cooling system as well as integral drainage.
The ruler and quick release guide make it very easy to get a straight and clean cut using this machine. There’s also a height-adjustable wheel guard, making it very safe to use.
The fact that it’s electric will mean that you need to use it close to a power source, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue in most cases.
Overall, this is an excellent machine and would do a great job with most types of porcelain and ceramic tiles.
- Is suitable for cutting porcelain and ceramic tiles of many sizes
- The diamond blade means you get a very clean cut
- Is easy to operate
- Very safe to use
- Is quite costly compared to a manual cutter
- Some reviewers weren’t happy with the quality of the cut
Easy-to-use and very reasonably priced
The Vitrex 10 2350 Economy Tile Cutter is our best pick and is a very simple but effective cutter.
It is a manual tile cutter, which means you don’t have to have it near a power source to use, which makes it very handy for cutting tiles you plan to use outdoors. It’s incredibly simple to operate – you simply use the metal wheel to score the tile and then press the handle down to split it in two.
It’s very lightweight and compact, which means it’s ideal for moving around and storing when not in use. You can use this cutter with many different types of tiles, providing they’re made from ceramic or porcelain.
It’s worth noting that a number of reviewers weren’t happy with how this cutter performed, either finding it broke the tiles or wasn’t strong enough to split them.
- Compact, lightweight and easy-to-use
- Suitable for many different types of tiles
- Very affordable
- Some reviewers weren’t happy with the performance
A powerful diamond blade cutter
The FERM Power Tile Cutter is an electric tile cutter that makes use of a diamond blade.
The blade guard and meter guide ensure that you get a straight cut while also being able to use the machine safely. It also comes supplied with a water tray, so you can keep the blade lubricated properly.
It’s powered by a 600-watt motor, which gives you plenty of cutting power while not being unnecessarily noisy. The cutting table is adjustable too, so you can cut at any angle you want. The maximum cutting capacity of this machine is 34mm for 90° cuts and 18mm for 45° cuts.
It weighs 8.7kg so it’s very light and easy to move around. However, you will need to have it close to a power source in order to operate it. You can use this on any type of good workbench and the safety switch and blade guard make it very safe to use.
In addition to the machine itself, you also get the diamond blade, water tray, a parallel guide and two wrenches. You also get safety glasses and earplugs included, which is a nice bonus.
- The 600W motor provides plenty of cutting power
- The diamond blade means you can easily cut porcelain and ceramic tiles
- Comes with everything you need to get started
- Safety glasses and earplugs included
- Is quite costly compared to a lot of manual tile cutters
- You’ll need to have it near a power source to use it
A compact and easy-to-use electric cutter
The Plasplugs Compact Plus XL is another electric tile cutter and has some great features that make it well worth considering.
It makes use of a water recirculation system, so you don’t have to worry about it making a mess, as can often be the case with diamond blade cutters. It’s capable of cutting tiles up to 20mm thick and can perform straight cuts as well as shaped cuts.
You can cut tiles of most types using this machine, including tiles made from stone, ceramic, slate and marble. The fact that it’s electric means you don’t have to exert any real force to cut the tiles either. This is a big bonus compared to a manual cutter, especially when you have a lot of tiles to cut.
Overall, this is a very capable cutter and the fact that it’s suitable for most types of tiles makes it a good choice, particularly if you have a lot of tiles that need to be cut.
- Can cut through most types of tiles
- The water recirculation system helps to avoid a mess
- There is plenty of cutting power, so you don’t need to use much effort when operating it
- Some reviewers found it difficult to operate
A straightforward manual cutter that does the job well
Lastly, we’re going to look at the VonHaus Manual Tile Cutter. It makes use of a tungsten carbide wheel blade and is suitable for cutting all porcelain and ceramic tiles that are up to 12mm thick.
This cutter is very easy to operate and if you’ve ever used a manual cutter before, you’ll have no problem. You simply score the tile with the wheel blade and then push the handle down on it to make the break.
At just 3.4kg, it’s very lightweight and portable, which means it’s great for cutting tiles you’re laying in the garden. It also doesn’t create any real mess, unlike a lot of diamond blade cutters.
This would make a good choice if you’re cutting tiles on the thinner side and want a cutter that’s easy to move around and doesn’t create too much mess.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Very affordable
- Extremely easy to operate
- Creates a clean, mess-free break
- Can be used for most types of porcelain and ceramic tiles
- Doesn’t have as much cutting power as an electric tile cutter
Choosing the Right Tile Cutter
Tile cutters aren’t all equal and the build quality and reliability of different modes can vary greatly. This being the case – you want to make the right decisions. Below are some of the most important things to consider.
Tile cutting thickness
The thickness of tiles that you can cut is certainly an important consideration when you’re choosing a tile cutter. If you already have tiles you’ve bought that need to be cut, then this is ideal, since you’ll know exactly what cutting thickness you require.
Electric or manual?
Another key decision to make when choosing a tile cutter is whether you’re going to get an electric or manual one.
Manual cutters tend to be better for smaller-scale jobs. They’re generally cheaper to buy and although they’re not as powerful as electric cutters, they’re still more than capable of cutting through smaller, thinner tiles, making them perfect for domestic use.
Electric tile cutters have more power, which means they’re great for use with larger and thicker tiles and when you have plenty of tiles you need to cut. The obvious downsides to an electric machine are that you’re going to need to have it near a plug socket to use (which can be an issue when working outdoors) and the cost of running.
Size and weight
The size and weight of a tile cutter is an important thing to consider too. There’s a good chance you might need to move it around and if this is the case, you want to pick a cutter that’s not too heavy or that takes up too much space.
Generally, manual cutters tend to be significantly smaller and lighter than electric cutters, so if portability is important to you, then you might be better off getting a manual cutter.
How To Use A Tile Cutter
Using a tile cutter is quite straightforward, whether you’re using a manual or electric machine. Both operate in a similar way, but it’s important to know the differences in how to use them to get the best results.
Let’s start by looking at how to use a manual cutter first…
Using a manual tile cutter
Manual tile cutters use a small metal wheel to make the cut in the tile. The first thing you need to do is mark your tile where you want to make the cut. Once your tile is marked, you should then place it on the tile cutter, making sure it’s firmly pressed against the fence at the end.
When the tile is in place, you then need to line up the mark on your tile with the wheel of the cutter. Lower the wheel onto the edge of the tile where you want to make the cut, apply slight pressure with the handle and move the wheel across the entire tile.
Once you’ve done this, the tile will be scored. It’s then simply a case of lifting the handle and moving it back over the tile, so the plastic toggle is resting on top of it. Then apply some pressure and it will cause the tile to break cleanly where you scored it.
Once the tile is cut in two, you can then use a tile rubbing stone if you want to get a smoother edge.
Using an electric tile cutter
Using an electric cutter, sometimes referred to as a ‘diamond wheel cutter’ or ‘wet tile saw’ is a bit different to using a manual tile cutter but it’s still not too difficult.
The first thing to say about using an electric tile cutter is that safety is extremely important. You should always make sure you wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any dust and debris.
Before using an electric cutter, you need to make sure the reservoir beneath the blade has enough water in it to keep the blade lubricated when in use. The reservoir should have markings the show minimum and maximum amount of water to use.
Once the reservoir is filled, you should then place your tile in front of the saw, put the guard down over the blade so it’s touching the tile and then slowly move the tile forward. Depending on the size of the tiles you’re cutting, you may need to cut halfway, then flip the tile over and cut from the other end to finish it off.