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Manual Tile Cutter Vs Wet Saw: Who’s the Real Winner?

Manual Tile Cutter Vs Wet Saw
Written by Willie Osgood
Last Update: May 3, 2023

Are you replacing your tiles on your kitchen counter or those on your bathroom floor? Do you notice that the tile won’t line up? After all your efforts, you have thrown in the towel and decided to call the professional.

We are telling you not to give up just yet. Do you know how to cut a tile? If not, then maybe that is the problem. You do not have to be a professional to cut tiles properly. The task is not rocket science; everyone can do it. Arguably, the hardest part is choosing the correct tool for the job.

The cutters and wet saws are two of the tile-cutting tools in this business. Choosing the required tile cutter is wholly dependent on what the nature of the job is. We aim to give you a guide in choosing the best tool for the job. So let us get down to business.

Manual Tile Cutter Vs. Wet Saw – What Are The Differences?

tile cutter vs wet saw

Wet Tile Saw

When you are trying to lay down new tiles for your bathroom or a kitchen, the best wet saw is a capable device to get a quick, clean and efficient job done on these projects—when you are done with the wet saw, do not be surprised to see a professional job. They are generally user friendly when compared to the manual cutter.

They come with a diamond blade—especially if it is a rental. All that is required is to fill up the water tank while safely plugging it into an outlet in the case of an electrical wet saw, and when it is a petrol-powered wet saw, make sure that you are using it in a well-ventilated area to avoid CO2 poisoning. Using the tile cutter wet saw is an effortless task, and we are going to explain how to use the wet saw later in this read.


  • They are generally user friendly
  • Conserves time and energy
  • They come with a guide fence to guide the cut, especially when you intend to cut a straight line. Some models also have a flexible head that moves among the rail, for a curved cut
  • They are a very durable and versatile cutter that can cut through tough tiles, and with a proper blade, they can be used to cut glass
  • They are the ideal device for industrial projects
  • Operations are fast


  • They are not a compatible device
  • They are usually large
  • It takes time to fully master
  • Potentially hazardous
  • Not cheap

Manual Tile Cutter

They are manual devices, with rectangular support, a lever attached to a cutting head, and a rail used in cutting a perfectly straight line. They do not require too much skill, as all that is needed is to place tile inside the cutter for scoring. It is at the scored line that the tile breaks. Although for first-time-users, it can be tricky to get a clean job. At the very least, to do a good job, one needs care and patience in scoring and snapping the tile.


  • Cheap
  • Relatively portable
  • Amateur friendly: you do not need to be a professional to get a good job done
  • Are great for smaller jobs, like straight borders and light tiles


  • Are not fit for harder tiles: the harder tiles cannot be scored well using the manual tile cutter
  • Are not versatile enough to cut glass tiles
  • For amateurs, it can be tasking to snap the tiles in the scored line
  • Practice makes perfect: you might waste a few tiles to perfect your skill

How to Use Wet Saws and Tile Cutters?

Manual tile cutters

Like I said earlier, do not give up after the first try. It is going to be tricky for first-time users utilizing the manual cutter. To start, line the tile up on the manual tile cutter so that the blade runs along the desired line. Why it is a manual tile cutter is because you have to manually put pressure and glide the blade for the score. Once the tile is scored, carefully snap the tile along the scored line for the break. This is the part that might require skill and finesse.

Wet tile saws

These are user-friendly tools that do not require installation in most cases. They should come with an already attached diamond blade in case of a rental. You will need to fill the water tank and ensure that in the case of an electric saw, it is safely plugged in a safe outlet, while the petrol-powered saw cutter would need proper ventilation.

Ensure that when you plug the wet saw to operate it, the water is pumped over the blade to avoid any wear and tear for your safety and that of the tool. Imprint your preferred measurement and place the tile on the wet saws sliding table, lining the imprinted mark with the blade, make sure the water is flowing over the diamond blade, and carefully glide the table towards the blade. The bye-product should be a clean, professional cut.

So, Who’s the Winner?

Your decision is all going to come down to what your project requires, if you are casually cutting tiles as a hobby in your home workshop, then the manual tile cutter is ideal in that instance. But, for a clean and professional job. You can get started with the wet saw, as they are faster, better, and efficient.


Manual tile cutters are both efficient, preference for any only comes with the job in question. For light jobs, the tile cutter can be efficient, while for larger industrial projects, it is ideal for bringing in the heavy blades of the wet saw.


Q. 1: Will a manual tile cutter cut porcelain?

Ans: Yes, it will. Always remember to mark the cut line facing the tile and tune up the scoring wheel. You can have your tile cut in any size and pattern based on your needs.

Q. 2: Can a manual tile cutter cut glass tiles?

Ans: Yes it can and that too quite smoothly. This is a much cheaper solution than diamond blades. Manual cutters provide faster, dry and finished clean edge cuts. If you can afford diamond blades we would suggest that you do go for them.

Q. 3: Do you need a wet saw to cut ceramic tile?

Ans: It is always better to use a wet saw to precisely cut ceramic tiles. But manual tile cutters also work well.

Q. 4: Can you use a wet tile saw without water?

Ans: In short, yes you can but you should not. The wet tile saw uses water for –

  • Removing cut material
  • Cooling & lubricating the blade for lasting longer
  • Removing airborne dust
  • Making a smoother cut
  • Reducing blade vibrations and noise

You have to sacrifice these advantages if you use a wet tile without water. You would also bear the risk of damaging the blades.

About the author

Willie Osgood

An Avid Metalworker

Willie doesn’t really consider himself an artist, rather a craftsman involved in practical trades. Yet, most of his projects require him to make interesting and fine objects. Being the eldest son of a carpenter, his background is 100 percent rooted in crafting. He found the art of blacksmithing quite appealing since his teenage years… that fire, the sound of swinging hammers, and those long and shiny blades that came out as a finished product. Soon he literally became obsessed with metal – the way it moved, worked, and changed when heated or cooled.

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