How to Use a Tile Cutter Correctly

To use a tile cutter, Speedy has all the steps you need to follow.

If you’ve decided you want to have a go and tile your bathroom, kitchen, or floor without professional help, it will likely save you a lot of money.

But you need to be aware that it is incredibly unlikely your tiles will fit in the space without the need to cut some of them.

You can do this by using a dedicated tile cutter, available to hire from Speedy online and in depots.

When carrying out any DIY task, always remember to wear PPE. When using a tile cutter, eye protection is vital due to the dust and debris created. Also wear a mask to prevent breathing dust in.

You should also wear gloves to protect your hand from any sharp edges, and the cutting blade.


Types of Tile Cutter

There are a few different types of tile cutters, which you need to be aware of before choosing which is the correct one for you to hire.


Wet tile saw

One of the most common tile cutters is the tile saw, or wet tile cutter, with an inbuilt watering system. They are also known as electric tile saws.

The water helps keep dust to a minimum, as well as keep the temperature of the blade lower. It also helps to reduce friction which results in a high-precision cut.

There are two types available:

  • Larger cutters (such as the Imer Combi 250mm) complete with a stand for an all-in-one answer to cutting multiple, large tiles,
  • Smaller tabletop models (like the Norton Clipper TT200EM) would suit DIYers tiling a smaller area.

A wet tile saw with a diamond blade will be needed when cutting more fragile tiles, such as porcelain. They are the best choice if you also require curved edges or odd line shapes.

Electric tile saws are also available without the use of water, but we would always recommend choosing a wet tile saw as they are easier to use and create less dust.


Manual tile cutter

Manual tile cutters are cheap and cheerful. They’re often compact and don’t require an electricity supply.

They don’t require as much skill as an electric tile cutter, but they are limited to only cutting straight lines. They can also be riskier to use, as the tiles are more prone to breakage, and shouldn't be used with porcelain tiles, so hire an electric tile saw if you're concerned or working with large, expensive tiles.


Tile nipper

A small, plier-like tool which can take small chunks out of a tile, say on a corner to fit around a skirting board. Also, ideal if you need to cut a small curve to go around a sink or toilet, too.

They couldn’t be used to cut an entire tile in half, but if the idea of an electric tile cutter is too much, one of these may be necessary to use alongside a manual tile cutter.


How to Cut Tiles Using an Electric Tile Saw


You will need:



  1. Mark up the tile

Using your pencil, draw the line required to cut. Do this so you have a guide to work with, rather than guessing. Use the ruler to get the line in the exact place and draw the line straight.

If using an electric tile saw, you will also be able to cut curved edges or angles.

  1. Choose a slow speed

Until you get used to the speed and method of the tile saw, choose the slowest speed possible.

  1. Place the tile

Line up the start of your line with the cutting blade. Ensure the tile feels stable and secure on the base of the cutter.

  1. Start cutting

Move the tile slowly towards the blade. If you need to cut curves or other angles, move the tile rather than the cutting machine.

  1. Finish off the tile

Hopefully, your tile is now perfectly cut and ready to place on your floor or wall.

 Before doing this, just finish off the cut lines with a tile file (to ensure there are no sharp finishes) and then take your damp cloth and wipe down the tile to remove any small particles of dust.


How to use a manual tile cutter

A manual tile cutter requires the same preparation as above, drawing your lines with a pencil and ruler. Remember that a manual cutter will only cut straight lines.



  1. Line up the mark

Mark up the tile and insert it into the tile cutter, using the guide.

Lower the handle to bring the scorer in line with the mark, and then you will need to either push or pull the handle to score the tile (based on your exact model).

  1. Lower the handle

After the score is made, lower the handle further so the snapper comes into contact with the tile, and apply pressure.

This should automatically snap the tile in two, using the scored line as a guide.




Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of tile saws and cutters for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. DIY tool hire has never been easier.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and instore.

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