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Question DetailsAsked on 1/20/2015

How do I adjust my wet tile saw blade to prevent chipping along the edges of tile I cut?

I have tried running the tile thru very slowly-still chips, and I have tried truing up the blade angle tho I'm not sure I did it right. I even tried a strip of tape over the tile where I cut it-still chipped. I changed out to a new blade-still chipped.

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2 Answers


I am shooting in the dark a bit here, because even though I have done certainly hundreds and maybe thousands of tile saw cuts, I never had that problem to any extent - an occasional piece splits out or cracks, but you write that off to factory defects, and certainly not more than about 1-2% or so with any cutting method, and not over 5% even when scoring and cracking the tile instead of cutting- which is what I do except with large-format tile (like 12x12 or 16x16). However, I am talking 14 to 20" diameter blades - you might have a 4 or 6 inch one, which is going to have a much harder time of it and will presumably require a slower pass.

You do get a bit of a rough edge when cutting some tiles - but when you cut tile you then bevel or round the cut edge over with a stone, so that gets rid of it.

If you are getting significant "flaking" off of the glaze, might be the problem is with the tile, not the cutting. Get a couple of scrap pieces of other tile from your tile supplier to experiment with to see if it is your tile or your technique. Take a couple of your cuts in to show them too- might have some suggestions, especially if your supplier is a true tile distributor, rather than a box store (which I would expect to be hopeless as far as advice).

I am presuming you are keeping the water flow onto the blade at or just above where it goes into the tile, so the blade is not throwing the water away from the blade before it gets to the tile - there should be a buildup of water and cuttings at the tile surface, and the cutting should be liquidied, not gooey or gummy - if gumming up, you need more water. Can also help to add just a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent (Dawn best) into the water also, especially with soft clay and quarry tiles.

As for the blade angle - do a cut and without shifting the tile piece at all, turn saw off and run it back past the tile (or tile past blade if moving table type) - and see if the blade is skewed to the tile - especially if the back edge of the blade is making contact with the "keeper" piece and the front is not, which would tend to lift and fracture the cut edge. Also, while next to piece of tile (so you can see the gap easily) and with saw unplugged, hand-turn the blade to see if it is warped - but new blade test should have solved that.

I presume you are cutting on the "downstroke" - that the blade is turning down into the tile, not cutting up through it ? i.e., with normal saw setup, the blade is coming down at the "front" of the saw and up at the rear, and the front of the blade is the cutting edge that should be moving down into the tile as it cuts - either as you pull the saw forward over the fixed piece of tile, or push the table with the tile on it into the blade on a rigidly mounted saw model. Finish side of tile facing up, too.

I also presume you are using correct type of blade - an impregnated carbide blade can be used for plain unglazed tile, but for porcelain and glazed tile you need a diamond blade. Also, make sure blade is turning right direction - not many but a few makes (especially once with clearing slots) are bias-cut, so have to turn a specific direction - will have direction-of-turn arrow printed on side of blade.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


I just cut loads of porcelain tile to make a shower and virtually every cut was chipping. The friend I borrowed the tile saw from said to cut with the glaze side up because otherwise you'd scratch the glaze running the glaze across the table. On my third to last tile from being done, I decided I might as well trying to flip the tile over. The glaze is much harder than metal so scratching wasn't an issue and because you're not tearing out the stone underneath the glaze, you get hardly any chipping. Make sure the glaze is the first thing that hits the saw blade. That way you precisely remove the glaze and THEN remove the rest of the tile substrate. Glaze side down does this beautifully. Too bad for this shower. My next shower will look a lot better though.

Source: Lots of experience with building a tile shower.

Answered 2 years ago by horta1212

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