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a large tile being cut and snapped in a manual tile cutter

Tile Cutter

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 12/30/2020

In a perfect DIY world, tile renovation projects would go a lot smoother if all the tiles were cut to the right sizes. However, in many cases, you may need to cut your tiles to fit properly. Luckily, there is a fairly cheap and easy solution that should work for most tiling jobs - the snap tile cutter.

Definition

A tile cutter (sometimes referred to as a tile snap cutter) is a tool used for cutting tiles to the proper size. The cutter consists of a carbide wheel that moves along the surface of the tile, scoring it and creating a groove in a straight line. The tile is then snapped off at the groove, either by hand or with a tool.

When And When Not To Use A Tile Cutter

A tile cutter is a great tool for the right job. But they do have their limitations, which you should consider before starting your next project:

  • A tile cutter is ideal when working on smaller projects, such as kitchens or bathrooms. But larger projects may require the use of a wet saw to improve accuracy and reduce excessive labor.
  • A tile cutter can only produce straight cuts, which makes it ineffective for cutting other shapes. As well, a snap cutter can leave the tile’s edges uneven, so the cut tiles should be placed along the bottom edge of the wall  where they can be hidden by baseboards.
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