Tiles today is one of the most common finishing materials. For its proper laying, a number of tools are used, one of which is a tile cutter, without which laying tiles is simply impossible. In this article, the main characteristics that a manual tile cutter has: the price, design differences, and also the rules for handling the tool.
Which tile cutter to choose: the main characteristics of the tool
Manual tile cutters are used not only for cutting tiles, but also for working with other materials (for example, glass or stone). The choice of one or another variety of such a device primarily depends on the purpose.
The manual tile cutter functions as follows: first, the tile is fixed in the rail device, after which a roller that has a diamond coating is drawn along a predefined cut line. Thus, the tiles are shortened to the required size.
In order to better understand the process of working with this device, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the instructions that describe in detail how to use manual tile cutters. Videos on this subject can also be found on the Internet.
Today, there are many types of handheld cutting devices, but all of them are used for cutting the following materials:
- a rock;
- porcelain tile;
- clinker brick.
There are several ways to cut tiles or any other material. The cutting method is determined by the design features of the hand-held device. Consider these methods in more detail:
- conducting risks (lines) followed by a break;
- biting off the edges;
- full cut.
Often when laying tile material on a work surface, one has to face various obstacles (for example, protrusions or jambs). To get around these obstacles, you must be able to correctly trim the tile. And also often masters are faced with such a problem as the presence of bumps in places where work surfaces are in contact. In such cases, it is necessary to perform bevels on the tiles.
The main functions that manual devices for cutting perform:
- cutting of facing material;
- straight cuts;
- curly cuts;
- making various holes;
- organization of recesses;
- cut at an angle of 45 °.
Helpful information! In order to simplify the process of laying this or that material, experts advise to purchase multifunctional tile cutters equipped with various additional elements.
When choosing a device for one-time use, it is necessary to pay attention to the characteristics of the tile, and professional models require a more careful selection. In any case, when choosing, it is necessary to study the main varieties and characteristics of devices.
Benefits of using handheld tile cutters
The length of a manual tile cutter can be different (from 30 to 60 cm), and experts recommend purchasing models of a larger length, since they are more versatile. Using a tool with a length of 60 cm allows straight and angular cuts of tiles to be made without any difficulty. Consider the main advantages of hand-held devices used for cutting:
- The main advantage of the hand-held device is autonomy. For the operation of such a tile cutter, no electrical energy is needed;
- small mass, which affects the mobility of the device and allows you to use it in a limited space;
- the presence of auxiliary components, which include: a ruler, a square, as well as a “ballerina”. They are necessary to simplify the process of cutting tile material.
Note! Devices equipped with a “ballerina” allow you to make round holes in the tile for pipes.
The price of a tile cutter can be different and depends on its design features, components, as well as the manufacturer’s company. For example, the cost of foreign devices usually exceeds domestic counterparts.
Varieties of manual tile cutters: professional and amateur
Depending on the complexity of the execution, all manual cutting devices are classified as amateur or professional.
Amateur devices include nippers and roller cutters. These are very simple from a structural point of view devices, the cost of which is much lower than that of professional models. Using nippers allows you to make curly holes in the facing material, however, they are unsuitable for an even cut.
Roller cutters allow you to make an even cut, but to use them you must have special skills. Working with such a cutter implies the most real manual work, which requires some effort. Their average cost does not exceed 1.5$, which is very profitable from a financial point of view.
In turn, professional tools are divided into two main types:
There are two types of mechanical manual devices for working with tiles:
The device, which is based on the roller mechanism, is the most common and popular in the construction market. This is due to the simplicity of the production of this device, as well as the fact that its operation does not require any special knowledge and skills.
Using a roller variety of manual mechanical tile cutter allows you to get a fairly neat and even cut. Such accuracy is achieved due to the presence of a rigid carriage in its design. Roller models are great for working with not only thin, but also thicker hard tiles.
Bearing devices for cutting tiles are equipped with special bushings, which allows for maximum softness of the stroke when performing the cut. Their use is recommended in the case when you have to work with non-standard tile material.
Note! Typically, manual cutting devices are used to process material whose thickness does not exceed 15 mm. However, sometimes it is necessary to cut on a tile with a thickness of 16 mm. In such a situation, it is recommended to use a manual bearing model.
Electric hand models are more complex from a structural point of view and therefore are used much less frequently.
Electric Handheld Tile Cutter
The design of electronic cutting devices differs from mechanical counterparts and has some features. The manual structural model includes the following structural elements:
- handle (for ease of operation);
- a sole that acts as a support;
- special regulator of immersion depth and inclination angle of the cutting element;
- cutting element.
An electronic device for working with tiles and other facing materials has one big plus – the ability to attach a dust collector. In the case when the cut is “wet” type, a special reservoir with water can be connected to such a device.
It is important to remember that the cuts made with such a device are not of high quality. The main function of the manual electric tile cutter is to replace the angle grinder.
Porcelain Tile Cutters
Using the electronic model, you can cut quite complex materials that mechanical tile cutters cannot fully cope with. The main such material is porcelain. The complexity of working with it lies in its high strength characteristics, which largely determines its purpose – laying on the floor.
Electric tile cutters for porcelain stoneware operate on the principle of a “wet” cut. In turn, the “dry” cut is not suitable for working with this wear-resistant material. Of course, you can use mechanical manual tools, but this is accompanied by some difficulties. For example, such models cannot cut a piece of this material if its width is less than 3 cm. Because of this, the edges of the tile material will have to be processed by grinding.
There are other problems with the hand-held device that arise when working with porcelain stoneware:
- the problematicity of the fault is clearly along the cut line;
- lack of the ability to cut diagonally;
- lack of application when crossing obstacles.
Electric models do much better when working with porcelain stoneware. They not only exclude dusting of the room, but also contribute to more accurate cuts of this material.
Manual tile cutter: price and review of popular models
Today, we can distinguish several of the most popular devices that are distinguished by high performance, convenience and reliability. Among them there are both manual mechanical and manual electronic models.
The best manual-type tile cutters, functioning due to mechanics:
- STAYER 3310-48;
- BISON EXPERT 33195-60;
- RUBI STAR-60-N.
The most popular hand-held models that are powered by electrical energy include:
- STANLEY STSP125-B9;
- STURM TC-9811.
Note! Mechanical hand-held devices are perfect for working with tiles in normal conditions (when repairing an apartment). Electronic, in turn, are less common and are rarely used by experienced professionals. However, in some situations, their use is the only option.
The tile cutter from each brand has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, to select the desired product, it is recommended to carefully study the characteristics of each device for cutting tiles. The prices of manual professional tile cutters are quite high, however, such devices are much more reliable and have a long service life.
Features of the manual tile cutter STAYER
Manual devices for cutting tiles STAYER 3310-48 are made by a German company in China. The peculiarity of this model is that it is great for making a figured cut. The size of such a device is 42 cm, which limits its capabilities. However, tile cutters of this brand are distinguished by the best indicators of functionality and low cost. The cutting depth of the STAYER device is 16 mm, which is more than enough during normal finishing work.
This model has an additional element that allows you to make round holes in the tile – “ballerina”. The diameter of the holes varies from 30 to 80 mm. STAYER 3310-48 is also equipped with guide elements that are necessary for making a diagonal cut.
Devices from this company that do not correspond to the declared quality are often found on sale. Therefore, when buying a STAYER 3310-48 model, you need to pay attention not to purchase a defective device.
The advantage of buying this model is obvious if you find out how much the STAYER 3310-48 tile cutter costs. The average price of such devices is approximately 25$, which is very profitable from a financial point of view.
Mechanical tile cutter of manual type BISON EXPERT
Tile cutters of this domestic manufacturer are very popular, as they are the best value for money. Compared with the more famous brands producing these products, the BISON EXPERT 33195-60 device costs an order of magnitude cheaper.
BISON EXPERT has a length of 60 cm, which allows it to be used for cutting long tiles. Also, its design takes into account the use of an integrated ruler, which eliminates the need for preliminary marking.
The cutting depth of such a device reaches 30 mm, which is a very high indicator. BISON EXPERT 33195-60 is equipped with a bearing carriage and has a convenient handle. And also thanks to such a mechanical tile cutter, it is possible to cut the tile material at an angle.
Of the disadvantages of this model, only one can be noted, namely: the presence of play (clearance) in the roller. Such a minus can affect the accuracy of the cut. The cost of the domestic device BISON EXPERT is approximately 48$.
RUBI STAR manual tile cutter: model features
RUBI tile cutters are made by a well-known Spanish company, and are famous for the best quality. The RUBI STAR-60-N model is one of the best examples of this manufacturer. In most cases, such tile cutters are used by professional tilers.
Helpful information! The base of the RUBI manual tile cutter is distinguished by good strength characteristics and high rigidity. A well-fixed guide elements exclude the possibility of free movement of the torch during cutting. Thanks to this, the cut almost always turns out perfectly smooth.
The RUBI STAR-60-N model has a set of interchangeable cutters for different types of tiles. Their thickness varies from 6 to 10 mm. It is also worth mentioning that this model is equipped with special plastic wings for additional fixation of the tiles.
Of the shortcomings, only one can be noted – a rather small depth of cut, which is a maximum of 12 mm. The average cost of the RUBI tile cutter is 108$.
Electric manual tile cutter STANLEY
These devices are manufactured by a company from the USA. The main difference between the STANLEY STSP125-B9 tile cutter is its low weight. The engine of this device is a little more powerful than that of competitors, which is a small plus.
Separately, it is worth mentioning that the electronic model STANLEY STSP125-B9 has a large cutting depth (41 mm). Thanks to this, it becomes possible to work not only with ordinary facing materials, but also with rather massive plates.
STANLEY STSP125-B9 can be used both in the “dry” cutting mode and in the “wet” mode. The price of such professional electronic devices averages 50$.
Manual STURM electronic tile cutter
STURM models are manufactured by a Chinese company and are distinguished by better functionality in comparison with competitors. The STURM TC-9811 model is a very compact device, which significantly increases its versatility and operational scope.
The main feature of the tool is that it is equipped with a system that cools the disk through the supply of water. This eliminates the possibility of overheating of the tile and its damage. The cut made by such a tile cutter is almost ideal.
Among other advantages of the TC-9811, it can be noted that its device allows you to make cuts at an angle of 45 °. And he can also find non-standard applications (as a gantry machine). Additional equipment for this electronic tile cutter includes a second diamond blade and spare brushes. The average cost of the device is approximately 37$.
Where to buy a manual tile cutter: tips for choosing
A device for cutting tiles can be purchased at a specialized store, a construction hypermarket, or ordered on the Internet. In the latter case, there is the possibility of buying defective products, so it is recommended to be careful and not order tile cutters on questionable sites.
How to choose a manual tile cutter? There are a number of important factors that you should pay attention to when choosing a device for cutting facing materials. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.
Appearance . The visual component is important when choosing a tile cutter. Special attention must be paid to the foundation, which must be of high quality and durable. Its thickness should be sufficient for the convenience of working with the device.
Helpful information! When choosing a tile cutter, it is worth examining the lever and the guiding elements. For example, when cutting porcelain, great effort is required, therefore, the tile cutter in this case should have a long handle.
The length of the working area of the tile cutter . When choosing a tile cutter, it is necessary to take into account the length of the diagonal of the tile to work with. It is desirable that the length of the working area is not less than the diagonal of the facing unit.
Carriage travel along guide elements . During operation of the carriage, its stroke should be smooth. It should never get stuck in motion or swing due to play. Bearings can be included in its design, which is a definite plus.
Cutting roller . The roller should not have play, and its movements should be smooth. In case of failure, the replacement of this element should not be accompanied by difficulties.
How to choose a tile cutter depending on the destination? If you need a device for reusable use, you should think about purchasing a professional manual tile cutter. Buy such a device is not difficult, and it can last for more than one year. For a one-time use, a less expensive Chinese-made model is suitable. And for trimming 1-2 tiles, you can take a completely amateur model in the form of a pencil or nippers.
There are many materials on the Internet that will help answer the question of which manual tile cutter is best to buy. Reviews on sites of relevant topics will also help determine the choice of tool.
How to use manual tile cutter
In order to answer the question of how to work with a manual tile cutter, it is necessary to study the algorithm of actions in detail. Consider the process of cutting tiles in stages:
- First of all, you need to determine the size of the trim. In this case, it is very important to consider the gaps at the wall and seams.
- Guided by previously defined measurements, you need to place the ceramic tile on the bed of the cutting device.
- Next, you need to adjust and align the tile along special lines.
- Holding the tile, it is necessary to draw along the cutting line with a cutting element.
- At the end, it is necessary to lower the legs of the separator on the handle and press (with force) the lever.
Knowing how to cut a tile with a manual tile cutter and performing all of the above actions in the desired sequence, the material will be cut without difficulty. Similarly, trimming up to 1 cm wide can be performed.
The tile cutter is a functional building tool that can significantly simplify the work of laying ceramic tiles. To work more efficiently with the device, it is recommended that you read the various instructions on how to work with manual tile cutters. Videos on this subject can also be easily found on the Internet.