This is not simply another article about the best tile saws. There are enough of those about. We’ve looked at what different consumers are looking for. Not everyone has the same requirements. In a bid to offer the most comprehensive and useful tile saw review, we undertook the research into what you want and what models are available to truly meet those needs.
The result is three categories, listing the best options for various types of users:
- Best tile saw: the ultimate machines for professionals and others who value durability, precision, and efficiency over price.
- DeWalt D36000S : 10″ tile saw / 37″ Rip Capacity
- Delta 96-107 : 7″ tile saw / 24″ Rip Capacity
- Best tile saw under $300: DIY users and contractors with a limited budget want an affordable tile saw that will get the job done reliably. These are not the cheapest tile saws, as we insist on a good level of quality. Consider these as the best of the more affordable options.
- Skil 3601-02
- Porter-Cable PCE980
- Best cordless tile saw: While more expensive than corded tools, we know that cordless power tools are preferred by many users.
- Makita CC02Z
It should be quite simple to cut to the chase and find the best tile saw in the category that describes what you’re looking for.
Deciding which tile saws to include in this review was not that easy. There are, after all, many fantastic options available. So how did we go about choosing the best tile saws for this review? I suppose an important factor, regardless of how much you’re prepared to pay, is all about getting the best bang for your buck.
Whether you’re buying a relatively expensive, or a cheaper tile saw, you want to know that you’re not wasting your money. I’ve taken a good look at the type of quality that you’re getting from these machines and am quite confident that all of them are about the best in their price range. Brand reputation has also played an important role in this decision.
Your needs, when it comes to cutting capacity, may not be the same for everyone. The mighty 10” DeWalt 3600S is the best in this regard. The other corded models have a 7” blade. The cordless Makita CC027 is very different to the others. This is a smaller handheld, 3⅜” tile saw.
The larger corded tile saws are table saws, with a good deal of portability. All but the Skil 3601-02 are wet tile saws. The Skilsaw model chosen for this review is not a conventional tile saw, like the others. It is a flooring saw. This means it is miter saw that has been developed for laminate and wooden flooring.
Now that you know what to expect, let’s get down to reviewing the best tile saws chosen for this review.
Best Tile Saws / Reviews
Review : DeWalt D36000S / 10″
- Cut-line indicator, rigid frame, and stainless-steel rollers provide cutting accuracy to within 1/32 in. over 30 in. cuts*.
- 37 in. rip cut capacity (41 in. with plunge) and 18 in. cutting clearance left of blade allows users to rip 36 in. x 36 in. tile in half.
- 8-1/2 in. crosscut capacity is ideal for cutting 6 in. sills and 8 in. x 48 in. planks at a 30% offset.
- 91 pounds for portability to and from the jobsite.
- 28-7/8 in. width from column to cart edge fits through standard 30 in. door frames.
- 15 Amp motor provides 1220 MWO for demanding applications.
- 18 in. x 36 in. and 24 in. x 24 in. tile fully contained within water tray system, helping keep the work area clean and dry.
- Integrated storage for the cart extension, miter guide, and wrenches keeps accessories with the saw during transportation.
I’m surprised to see so many tile saw reviews in 2021 still rate the DeWalt D2400S as the best. Granted, this model has been a top choice for contractors since it hit the market back in 2005. However, DeWalt has upgraded this old faithful in the form of the DeWalt D36000S. Without a doubt, this is the best tile saw by far (in my humble opinion).
Unless you consider portability as being paramount, the DeWalt D36000S is far superior to its older brother. It is larger and more capable. This, unfortunately, comes with an unavoidable weight increase of 20 pounds. Since most of us have considered the DeWalt D24000S as the king of tile saws, I’d like to start this review by comparing the DeWalt D36000S vs D2400S. What has changed and why is the D36000S now considered the best?
DeWalt D36000S vs D24000S
Features / D24000S :
- Cutting capacity to rip cut 25 in. or 28 in. with a plunge, and cut 18 in. x 18 in. tile on a diagonal
- Lightest saw in its class at 69 lbs., allowing one person to carry it onto the jobsite
- Cut line indicator and stainless steel rollers provide stable, accurate cutting to within 1/32 in. over 18 in. cuts.
- Powerful 1.5 HP motor cuts through dense porcelain, ceramic, granite, marble, and glass tiles
- Rigid aluminum frame and arm is built to last on the jobsite and maintains alignment of the blade and cart
- Side and rear water extensions direct water back into the tub, keeping the workspace and surrounding areas clean
- Ability to adjust the pump’s water feed and the nozzles at the blade in order to minimize water spray
- Integrated beveling to quickly make angled cuts up to 45°
- Convenient onboard storage for side extension, miter guide, blade wrench and hex wrench
- Lightweight folding stand easily sets up on the job and stores in the truck.
Most of what made the D24000S such a sought after machine has remained the same. The fantastic 1.5 HP (15A) motor and 10” blade setup has not changed. I’m really happy about this. Why mess with something that has proven to work? The general design has not changed much either. If we make a visual comparison between the DeWalt D36000S and D2400S, you may wonder what has changed.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll immediately notice that the DeWalt D36000S has a larger table, able to accommodate much larger tiles. To make full use of this increased table, the slide rail has also been redesigned. This means an increased rip capacity from 25” maximum (DeWalt D2400S) to a pretty mind-blowing 37” for the DeWalt D36000S. Maximum rip capacity using the plunge action has also increased substantially, from 28” to 41”.
Because of the all-round increased capacity provided by the DeWalt D36000S, extension water trays and the side table extension have been greatly increased in size. Bottom line, the D36000S allows you to cut much larger tiles than the older model, just easily. I also really like the splash guard that has been fitted to the D36000S rear water tray. This is a very simple vertical panel that eliminates nasty over spray from the blade from making a mess of the work area. Of course, all this increased capacity means that the DeWalt D36000S has a much larger footprint, requiring more space than the D2400S.
DeWalt D36000S – Complete Review
Having done a basic comparison of the old DeWalt 10” tile saw vs the new, I’ll move on to a full review of the DeWalt D36000S for those who are not familiar with the original D2400S. I should offer a warning to anyone meeting the D36000S for the first time. Beware, if you’re nuts about tile saws, you may easily fall in love with this beautiful machine. It is, in my opinion (and many others), the best tile saw that money can buy.
In typical DeWalt style, the D36000S is perfectly designed for ease of use. The familiar large red on/off paddle switch is easy to use and a great safety feature. In an emergency, it’s a quick and easy process to reach across from and hit the off button within a second or less. It’s both the design and position of this switch that makes it so convenient and wonderfully safe.
The handle to operate the saw is the same large and comfortable design as the old model. It is really easy and smooth to glide the saw into position and provide a perfect plunge action. This is accented by the easy gliding action of the sliding arm. You adjust the cutting depth with a large turn handle on the front of the saw head. This has always been perfectly easy with the previous generation DeWalt 10” tile saw and has not changed. Cool stainless steel guide wheels inside the table means that the tiles, of any size, move across the table just as smoothly.
The DeWalt D36000S has a 45° bevel capacity and 90°/45° edge guide. It’s a little tricky setting the bevel angle using the adjustment knob at the back of the saw. The markings for 0°, 22.5°, and 45° are at the front. It’s a bit of back and forth when making these adjustments. Fortunately, the markings are boldly displayed with positive stops and a large red pointer for quick reference.
Despite the larger capacity of this saw, it has the same power as the older model. The DeWalt D36000S has a 15A motor with a no load speed of 4200 RPM. I guess you don’t need a more powerful motor to cut longer tiles. It has always been able to cut dense hard tiles of any thickness, and there is no need to increase the power for a longer table.
The DeWalt D36000S uses the same, very capable, pump as the old model and the water is directed to the blade using a flexible transparent PVC tube. This has always worked perfectly well. Even though the D36000S has larger water trays and a shield to reduce splash at the back of the saw, there is a bit of spillage from the trays. There isn’t a wet tile saw that doesn’t leave some water on the ground. It’s just one of those things, and DeWalt is one of the best for keeping things as clean as possible.
The DeWalt D36000S is pretty expensive, about $500 more than the smaller D2400S. It also has a noticeable of weight disadvantage, at 91 pounds. On the plus side, it does offer a massive increase in capacity, allowing you to cut 18” X 36” or 24” X 24” tiles, contained within the water tray. It is also incredibly accurate, within ¹⁄₃₂” up for cuts up to 30”.
The stand is really great, and the saw is easily transported, if you don’t mind the weight. One thing that makes all DeWalt tools a pleasure to buy is the perfect peace of mind that comes with the deal. Service is excellent and the 3-year warranty is a great reassurance of quality. This also includes a 90-day money back guarantee and 1-year free service plan. Whilst not exactly cheap, I still consider this an amazing deal. You’re getting extreme durability and unbeatable capacity.
Review : Delta 96-107
- Powerful 13 amp motor will cut through natural and man-made tile and pavers
- 7 inch diamond cutting wheel handles stone up to 2 3/8”
- Largest rip/diagonal cutting capacity in its class
- Heavy duty rip fence with positive stops at 0°, 22.5° and 45°
- Heavy-duty rail system with 12 bearings engineered for exceptionally straight, accurate and smooth cuts
- Removable extension table for use with larger format tiles
- Saw frame constructed of durable steel pipe
- Flexible water nozzles allow precise water control
- Front access to water tray greatly simplifies cleaning and draining processes
- Water supply line is externally mounted and easily accessible for cleaning or replacement
- Blade guard easily opens and secures with finger knob
- Blade splash guard and back splash tray keeps work area dry and returns water to water tray
- Water pump designed for use in water tray or side bucket
- Divider in water tray filters slurry and extends pump life
There are two options for the Delta 96-107 Cruzer tile saw. In its basic form (96-107), this is an industrial grade 7” wet tile saw with detachable water trays. The Delta 96-107S includes a scissor stand that makes it one of the best portable contractor tile saws. This is a gravity stand that folds up in seconds, with the machine attached, allowing you to push it along on the large wheels.
I don’t think we should make any direct comparisons between the DeWalt D36000S and Delta 96-107 as these are each a different class of machine. The Delta model is a 7” 13A wet tile saw and the DeWalt D36000S is a 10” 15A machine. The one thing that they have in common is that both these tile saws are generally accepted as being the best in their respective class.
For it’s size, I don’t think any tile saw can match the incredible capacity provided by the Delta 96-107. It can handle 18” X 18” diagonal for square tiles and can rip up to 24”. It has a table extension and extended water trays (side and rear) to accommodate the massive capacity. These are easily fitted and removed for transportation. You can set the machine up in basically no time.
The table is wonderfully designed, with several upgrades on the previous generation Delta wet tile saws. It glides with extreme ease along smooth, high-quality rails. The slots in the table have been redesigned to allow water to flow better and reduce splash. The 13A motor assembly has also been improved with much more efficient cooling vents. The arm that suspends the motor is a solid and reliable mechanism.
Using the Delta 96-107 Cruzer is a blissful experience. Large knobs allow for accurate and easy adjustments. The position and visibility of adjustment markings are excellent. The blade can bevel at 0°, 22.5°, and 45° with positive stops. At 0°, it has a maximum cutting depth of 2⅜” and 1¼” at 45°. The blade spins at quite a speed, 5,300 RPM. This makes it ideal for crisp clean cuts on thinner material without too much density. I was surprised to see that it performs just as well on thicker pieces of marble and porcelain. Some master engineering has gone into the 13A Delta motor and direct drive transmission. Truly superb.
The adjustable fence is amazing for diagonal cuts. It is sturdy and perfectly accurate. I absolutely love the two adjustable water jets at the blade. This is probably the most effective water system I’ve seen used for a wet tile saw. Not only do you have water on both sides of the blade, it has telescopic pipes for complete flexibility. You can move the water spray exactly where you need it, or completely out of the way. The pump and shut-off valve are convenient and durable. The plunge handle, with a large trigger switch, is safe and very easy to use.
As a 7” wet tile saw, the Delta 96-107 is easily about the best you’ll find. It is exquisitely engineered, using high quality materials. Performance and usability is also fantastic. Even though the 1-year warranty doesn’t quite match up to the 3-year warranty that you find with other top brands, like DeWalt, this is still a product that I can recommend as being one of the best in terms of solid durable engineering. It is a noteworthy workhorse and has earned my enduring respect.
Review : Skil 3601-02
- Cuts solid, engineered and laminate flooring with ease
- Makes cross, miter and rip cuts
- Lightweight design for transport and use at any project location
- Miter detents at 0, 22.5 and 45 degrees
- Die-cast aluminum miter and rip fence
What’s Included: 3601 Flooring Saw, (1) 4-3/8 IN. 40-Tooth Carbide-Tipped Contractor Blade, Self-Aligning Rip/Miter Fence, Blade Wrench, Clamp, Push Stick
I’m not really one for cheap power tool brands. With this said, I have to say that Skil is one of my preferred options when looking for an affordable machine. I will always choose this brand over affordable competitors like Ryobi. I think that most guys who know their power tool brands will agree. Of the cheap tile saws, the Skil 3601-02 is probably my favorite.
Though this is not like the other wet tile saws chosen for this review. It is not designed for diamond cutting blades used for ceramic, marble, and porcelain tiles. The Skil 3601-02 is supplied with as 40-toorh carbide tipped contractors saw blade. You can use other blades, as long as it meets the requirements for this saw. This means a blade diameter of 4⅜”, ¾” arbor, a kerf of at least 0.061”, and a thickness not exceeding 0.057”. This is important for safety and optimum performance.
This is a benchtop flooring saw without a stand. It is easy to clamp the machine to your chosen work surface, using conventional clamps. It also has four holes that allow you to bolt the Skil saw to a benchtop.
The adjustable fence works really well and has a work clamp that slots conveniently into the fence. It has a very practical design, simple engineering that is cost-effective with nothing to go wrong. There are several slots along the table into which the fence can be secured with a basic screw knob. This allows you to use the fence in variety of positions along the table. For miter cuts, it’s also a basic and foolproof procedure. Simply lift the fence and turn it to the desired position (0°, 22.5°, or 45°). There are holes in the table at each of these stops. A locating pin at the bottom of the fence secure it at any of these three angles. No fancy locks or adjustment systems. There is nothing to go wrong over time. I really like this approach for a cheap saw. No fancy gadgets, just simple technology that cannot break.
It’s a little cumbersome setting up the up the fence for rip cuts. It’s straight forward but you have to get used to the locating thread for locking the knob. Not a big deal at this price. It’s simplicity, once again, means no wear or damage over time. Width markings along the table make it really easy to line the fence up for accurate cross cuts.
The saw slides along to two solid fixed rails. If you want to lock the saw into position this is done in the same no nonsense, perfectly durable fashion as the rest of its functions. A hole in the rail allows a locking pin to hold the saw in a fixed position.
The Skil 3601-02 does not use a sophisticated brushless motor. I suppose this is one of the reasons why it’s cheaper than the top models. The disadvantage here is that it’s louder than a saw with a brushless motor. Efficiency is also not as good with this type of motor. Though the Skil engineers have done a good job of giving this 7A saw the power it needs for engineered hardwoods. The RPM is 11,000 with no load.
A great achievement in the design is perfect portability. The saw weighs only 30 pounds and has a number of features that make it really mobile. The power cord wraps around a caddy integrated into the table and it has handle molded into it. Really great for contractors on the move.
I think this little flooring saw is of a quality standard that defies its price. I’ve read reviews by contractors who feel that the Skil 3601-02 is good for daily site work and will keep doing a fine job for many years. I think the secret behind this durability is an extremely simple design, with no complicated components. Money has been spent where it counts, in making a good table and pretty solid rails. At this price, I can’t think anyone will find a better deal.
Review : Porter Cable PCE980
- Powerful 1.0 horsepower motor provides smooth cutting of porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles
- Cast-metal cutting cart delivers 17 in. cutting capacity, allowing cutting of 12 in. X 12 in. tile on a diagonal. Get accuracy of 1/16 in. on cuts up to 12 in. long.
- Onboard miter square to help line up miter cuts and repeatable rip cuts
- Roll cage for easy carrying and protection of the cutting cart
- Splash guard keeps water from spraying the tool operator
- Stainless steel fixed deck holds up to water and jobsite abuse.
- Equipped with drain plug to quickly drain water over a bucket without a mess
It’s hard to believe how cheap the porter cable PCE908 wet tile saw is. The quality standard is consistent with top-quality expensive machines. Like the Skil flooring saw (reviewed above), the cost-effective design is why this quality product is so affordable.
The most obvious difference between the Porter Cable PCE980 and the other wet tile saws in this review is the position of the motor. It is under the table, not suspended by a moving rail. Using this design, has cut costs in a big way without compromising on quality. I know a movable rail is really convenient, but it requires a good deal of expensive components. Using a sliding rail or glide arm, of inferior quality, is not a good idea. By simplifying things, with a blade that protrudes through a slot in the table means that extra attention can be given to the table, motor, and gearbox, without costing an arm and a leg.
To the left of the blade is a fixed table with grooves to channel the water, preventing unwanted mess. This table is height adjustable. It takes a little time to loosen the bolts and set the table height. Though this is not something one does on a regular basis. It won’t have much of an effect on productivity. The sliding table, moves on high-quality rails, positioned to the right of the blade. This table also has adjustments to keep the fence perfectly square in relation to the blade. Making this adjustment is simply achieved by loosening a single screw and then securing the fence when completed.
A miter fence slots into a groove at the front of the sliding table, making it super easy to make diagonal cuts at 0°, 22.5°, or 45°. For this caliber of tile saw, it is remarkably accurate to within ¹⁄₁₆”. Capacity is also pretty impressive. The cutting cart provides 17” capacity, capable of cutting 12” X 12” on the diagonal.
The 6.5A (1HP) electric motor may seem somewhat underpowered when compared to the expensive tile saws, like the DeWalt D36000S and Delta 96-107. Yet, I was surprised to see how easily this saw handles pretty thick porcelain tiles. I’m guessing this is a top-grade brushless motor based on it’s incredible efficiency and really quiet operation. Much better than would expect from a tile saw at this price.
The Porter Cable PCE980 does not include water trays extending from the side or the back. Instead, all the water is directed along grooves, draining into a stainless steel tray under the saw and then pumped back up to the blade. It is a really efficient system and there doesn’t seem to be much spray or spillage. A drain plug allows you to effortlessly remove the water when you’re done.
The Porter Cable PCE980 is fairly basic in its design and features. Contrary to what we may assume, this is actually what makes it so great. For such an affordable machine, the quality is astounding. High quality, durable materials, and a super-efficient electric motor is not something I would ordinarily expect at this price. It is also wonderfully portable at 27-pounds. A tough roll cage protects the saw when transporting. The Porter Cable PCE980 does not include a stand. It is easily bolted to a work bench or portable stand. You can also use clamps to hold it in position.
It’s rare to find a wet tile saw that can meet the needs of a professional contractor at this price. It does not have high-end features that one finds when buying a DeWalt product, but it meets the quality standards we expect. That’s true value for people who don’t want to spend too much on a professional grade tile saw.
The warranty can match up to even the most expensive power tool brands. Like DeWalt, arguably the best in this regard, Porter Cable provide a 3-year warranty and 1-year free service plan, as well as a 90-day money back guarantee.
Review : Makita CC02Z
- Makita-built motor delivers 1,600 RPM for faster and powerful cutting
- 3-3/8″ blade delivers a maximum cutting depth of 1″ for a wide range of cutting applications
- Compact and ergonomic design at only 12-3/8″ long
- Weighs only 4.2 lbs. with battery (battery not included) for reduced operator fatigue
- Nickel-plated base prevents rust and tilts from 0° to 45° for bevel cuts
- Adjustable cutting depth up to 1″ at 90° and 5/8″ at 45°
- Large 16.9 oz. water supply tank with easy open cap for wet cutting applications
- Rubberized soft grip provides increased comfort on the job
- Convenient on-board storage of hex wrench
- Part of the expanding 12V max CXT series, combining performance with superior ergonomics in a compact size
- Not compatible with 12V max pod-style tools, batteries and chargers
- 3-year limited warranty
Benchtop tile saws are certainly efficient. These are the best tools for contractors who want to maximize their ability to cut large quantities of tiles fast and accurately. They are also bulky machines and require a bit of setup time. For the DIY tiler, this may not be worth it. A homeowner might want something simpler that easy to store and requires basically no setup. Makita have addressed the needs for those looking for an easy to use compact tile cutter.
The cordless Makita 12V Makita CC02Z is an extremely compact little machine and weighs only 4.2 pounds, including the battery. It has a 16.9 Oz water reservoir that attaches to the saw with a bracket. It’s easy enough to remove and refit the reservoir as needed. This is a hassle free device, using gravity to feed water to the blade through a plastic tube. Simple and hassle-free.
The Makita tile saw has a durable, nickel plated rust resistant base that allows you to adjust the blade for bevel cuts. This a really accurate way to make perfect joins that look like it was done by a professional. You can also adjust the blade depth, up to 1” at 90° and ⁵⁄₈” at 45°. The saw base makes it easy to glide the saw along a fence for perfectly straight cross cuts.
The DC electric motor is not all that powerful. It spins the 3⅜” blade at 1,600 RPM. This works pretty well for most tiles. Though it tends to labor a little when working with thicker dense materials. The motor is geared to provide as much torque as the small motor has to offer. This works well until the saw has to contend with thick porcelain or marble. Though, for general home improvement projects, I think most people will find this to a perfectly adequate little tile saw.
Since this is a handheld saw, you don’t have any limitations when it comes to tile length. Though you don’t have the advantage of sliding table with a fixed fence. If you don’t want to use your eye to keep your cut 100% straight, you’ll need to clamp a fence to the work surface and use this to guide the saw. It’s wonderfully agile when making complicated cuts, like curved holes for fixtures.
I love the Makita CC02Z for it’s compact size and lightweight design. The versatility of a cordless tool speaks for itself. I wouldn’t think that contractors, seeking maximum efficiency, would rate this little saw too highly. It could be a handy little machine for making quick cuts, instead of walking back to the large machine when you need to sheer off a small piece of tile. I think the Makita tile saw really comes into its own for homeowners who want a small, easy to use tile saw that doesn’t require much space to operate or to store.
Makita quality is indisputable, and they are certainly a leader when it comes to battery technology for cordless power tools. This takes all the stress out of buying the machine. You know you’re getting top quality and reliability. A 3-year warranty, and the Makita brand reputation, should reassure anyone thinking about buying this little gem.