If you have an upcoming renovation project, chances are you in search for the best tile cutter. But finding the right tool for the job can prove overwhelming due to thousands of options offered by different brands.
So how do you narrow down your options?
Accurate information can come handy when making a choice based on your needs, type of profession, and type of tile to be cut.
This comprehensive guide offers unbiased reviews of the best manual tile cutters. As a bonus, we also discuss important factors to consider during your search and tackle frequently asked questions. But first, how do tile cutters and tile saws compare?
Tile Cutter vs. Tile Saw
A tile cutter looks a lot like a car jack with a bar extending from top to bottom. Once put in the cutter, the tile breaks along a set scored line. Using a tile cutter is more time consuming as compared to a tile saw, particularly because breaking tile along a score is somewhat difficult. In some cases, the cutter doesn’t score deep enough while in others the tile simply refuses to break.
However, tile cutters offer a slew of benefits. They are cheaper, more portable and don’t require much skill compared to tile saws. Tile cutters come handy when working on smaller projects, especially with soft tiles and straight lines. Furthermore, you can have portable and handheld versions of tile cutters.
Tile saws are best utilized for large scale projects. They allow one to cut tile faster and with better precision than manual tile cutters. The main downside is that they require intricate skill, which takes time to master. They are also large and understanding safety procedures before use is crucial.
Tile saws feature a diamond blade and can generate a lot of heat when in use. Most models come with a water reservoir to keep the blade cool while minimizing risk of corrosion, hence the name wet saw.
Our Best Manual Tile Cutter Reviews
1. QEP 10214Q 14” Rip Ceramic Tile Cutter
The QEP 10214Q is a great choice for DIY projects. Capable of cutting porcelain and ceramic, it can cut tiles measuring 0.5 inches thick by 14 inches long by 10 inches diagonally. It comes with replaceable 0.5” tungsten carbide cutting wheel that enhances smooth scoring. The chrome-plated steel rails also promote flawless scoring.
This cutter helps with fast yet precise tile cutting thanks to an adjustable rip guide. It is also a great choice when cutting a lot of tiles. The high-leverage padded handle keeps you comfortable and minimizes fatigue when working for long periods of time.
Also included is a rubber padded aluminum alloy breaker bar that prevents damage to floor tiles. The rubber pads on the base do a good job of stabilizing the unit while you work.
2. M-D Building Products 49194 14” Tile Cutter
One of the best manual tile cutters for porcelain is the M-D Building Products 49414. It is durable and each purchase comes with a money back guarantee. It is designed to cut tiles 14 inches long and if the reviews are anything to go by, this cutter is perfect for DIY projects.
Highlights include a carbide cutting wheel that can be replaced after a while to optimize performance. The cast aluminum brackets make assembling the unit. There are steel base offers a non-slip cutting area, allowing you to work more efficiently with minimal risk of injury. The polished rails allow for smooth scoring.
3. QEP 10630Q 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter
This is a great choice for cutting small wall and floor tiles, or any project that doesn’t involve large format tiles. It comes with a built-in adjustable measurements guide that comes handy when it comes to smooth scoring. It offers precision cutting for smaller tiles measuring 24 inches long and 16 inches diagonally.
This cutter is incredibly precise and scores smoothly thanks to a lengthy, non-slip guide surface. The 7/8” tungsten carbide scoring wheel is coated with titanium. It is durable enough to cut through porcelain and ceramic tiles. In addition, the wheel doesn’t deform easily.
The high cutting lever has a bicycle grip that allows for optimal comfort when cutting long rows of tile. Also included is a die-cast aluminum frame and base ensure stability while working.
If you are interested, you can read the full review of the QEP 10630Q here.
4. VonHaus 24” Manual Tile Cutter
If you are looking for something that can handle porcelain and ceramic tiles and save you plenty of time, the VonHaus 24” Manual Tile Cutter is a top contender. Built to deliver lasting performance, it comes with a tungsten tipped blade that is ultra durable. It makes it easy to cut through tiles up to 24 inches long and 0.5 inches thick. You also get a spare cutting wheel.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned DIY enthusiast, using this cutter will prove incredibly easy. The built-in adjustable measurement guide makes the scoring and snap operation a walk in the park, and allows anyone to cut with precision.
This cutter is ergonomically designed to be portable. It has cushioned sides that support the larger tiles for precision cutting. The anti-slip rubber surface ensures that the tile cutter doesn’t slide off when cutting.
5. Mophorn Manual Tile Cutter
The Mophorn Manual Tile Cutter 40” is an excellent choice for cutting ceramic and porcelain tiles with precision. It has a maximum cutting length of 40 inches and minimum cutting width of 1.38 inches. It can cut through tiles with a thickness of 0.24 – 0.6 inches.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this cutter is the inbuilt infrared ray device, which works with the special linear bearing block parts to ensure accurate tile cutting. It is incredibly versatile and can be used to cut vetrified tiles, normal floor tiles, porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, polished tiles and more.
An anti-slip rubber handle minimizes fatigue and ensures comfort when working on a lot of tiles. This cutter uses solid steel rails and high quality ball bearing to optimize stability. Other notable features include steel slide rail, alloy cutter wheel, and 10mm rubber sponge compound pads.
6. QEP 10220Q Professional Tile Cutter 20”
The QEP 10220Q is one of the best tile cutters for the money since it offers a lot of features to cut through ceramic and porcelain tiles. You can use it to cut wall and floor tiles measuring 20 inches long, 14 inches diagonally and 0.5 inches thick. It comes with an adjustable rip guide that helps make repetitive cuts easier and more precise.
The linear ball bearing slides ensure smooth scoring and precision when making repetitive cuts. This cutter is big on comfort and incorporates heavy duty rubber pads that prevent the tiles from sliding when making cuts. The dual chrome plated steel rails have bumpers for comfortable and efficient scoring. Also featured is a rubber padded aluminum alloy breaker that doesn’t mar the tile.
7. QEP 10600BR 24” Porcelain Tile Cutter
The QEP 10600BR is one of the toughest porcelain cutters and it boasts an intricate design. It offers a huge resting place for your tiles. It is equipped with a 7/8” cutting wheel that is made from tungsten carbide coated with titanium. The blade can be replaced to improve performance. You can use it to cut tiles up to 24 inches long, 18 inches diagonally and 0.5 inches thick.
The wide base is made from die-cast aluminum alloy and features heavy-duty rubber pads to ensure stability. You don’t have to worry about the unit sliding as you work. The large high leverage bicycle grip handle minimizes fatigue, making it easier to cut a large number of tiles.
Another notable feature is the chrome rods with ball bearings for smooth scoring. There are table extensions at the base that provide support for medium to large size tiles.
8. Brutus 10552BR 20” Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Cutter
Another one of our favorite tile cutters is the Brutus 10552BR, which is designed to cut through tiles measuring up to 20” long, 14” diagonally and 0.5” thick. It comes with a 7/8” tungsten carbide cutting wheel coated with titanium. You can easily replace it if the edge becomes too dull.
This cutter is big on comfort and features a unique grip handle that has a removable tip for storing a spare cutting wheel. The adjustable rip guide has standard and metric measurements, making it easier to make diagonal cuts faster and with great precision. Also notable is the reinforced heavy duty die-cast aluminum alloy base that ensures stability.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned DIY enthusiast, using this cutter will prove incredibly easy. It is also durable and has linear ball bearings for smooth scoring.
We also have a full review on the Brutus 10800. You can check that out if you want.
9. Brutus 10500 20” Rip Professional Porcelain Tile Cutter
Equipped with a 7/8” cutting wheel, the Brutus 10500 is capable of cutting porcelain and ceramic tiles. It can cut tiles up to 20 inches long, 16 inches diagonally and 0.5 inches thick. The wide die-cast aluminum base offers plenty of support and as heavy-duty rubber pads for optimal stability.
The cutter comes with a tungsten carbide cutting wheel coated with titanium. You can adjust the wheel to four different heights for easy snapping. It is incredibly capable of making precise cuts. The dual chrome-plated rail bars work with linear ball bearings to ensure smooth scoring.
A high leverage bicycle grip handle allows you to make repetitive cuts without worrying about hand fatigue. The base of the cutter features side arm extensions that provide extra support for large format tiles.
10. Montolit Masterpiuma Evolution 3 29” Push Porcelain Tile Cutter
Concluding our tile cutter reviews is the Montolit Masterpiuma Evolution 3, a perfect choice for cutting porcelain tiles. It is also capable of cutting through ceramic tiles. It makes accurate cuts and has a powerful ergonomic push scrib handle.
The self-adjustable scoring system is patented, and helps speed up the cutting process with consistency and precision. Setting up or transporting the unit is easy since you don’t need to dismantle the snap tile cutter. The platform is very stable and offers support for your tiles.
Here’s What to Look for before Getting One
Let’s face it – buying the right manual tile cutter can benefit you in different ways. But this doesn’t make the task any easier. You need something that is easy to use, cuts with a high degree of precision and has the ability to cut at different angles.
To aid your search, we have compiled a list of important factors to consider:
Type of tile
The type of tile you intend to cut determines hardness and power required. It is the most crucial factor to keep in mind when choosing a tile cutter. If the goal is to cut basic unglazed ceramic tiles for countertops or walls, you need more pressure. On the other hand, cutting more durable tiles that are thicker calls for a significantly powerful cutter.
Size of material to be cut
You need a cutter in which your tiles can physically fit. Larger manual tile cutters that can score and break effectively are good for large flooring tiles. Calculating the size of a cutter is easy, especially if you are making straight cuts. In this case, you simply need a cutter longer than your tiles. If you’ll be working with a non-rectangular surface or laying in a diagonal, a cutter with a lateral stop will come handy. Keep in mind that the diagonal is longer than the side of a tile.
Cutting wheel material
While it doesn’t do the actual cutting, the wheel scores the tile to ensure it can be broken cleanly. This is why checking out the wheel material before purchasing a manual tile cutter is so important. Check the end of the wheel to ensure it isn’t too sharp and doesn’t have defects. Wheels that are too sharp have a tendency to deform. Look for a cutter with a thicker-edged wheel.
Power of tile cutter
Some manual cutters are incredibly powerful, and can exert well over 1300 pounds. However, the amount of force required varies depending on the type of tile being cut. An electrical tile cutter may be more suitable if you are cutting marble, granite or heavy duty ceramic tiles. Regardless, you need to check the necessary pressure needed to cut or break a certain type of tile and ensure your cutter can handle the task.
Type of cuts to be made
There are two different styles of cutting tile i.e. single point and multi-point. Also known as fixed, single point breakers are great for making vertical cuts and occasional jobs. Mobile or multi-point cutters offer more versatility when making cuts that require an angle. They are also good for making repetitive cuts with precision.
Important accessories that every DIY enthusiast needs include a rubber mosaic pad, a baseboard reference system and accessory kit. The rubber mosaic pad comes handy for those looking to create a mosaic and create different designs or shapes for pieces to fit perfectly. The baseboard reference system attaches to the cutter and makes it easier to cut strips tiles for placing along the baseboards. It offers repetitive precision, allowing you to make your floor flush with the baseboards and wall.
Blade capacity and adjustment
This won’t be much of an issue if you intent to use one type of blade. However, blade capacity affects the ability of the cutting head to work with different blades. As a general rule, you need more blades if you are working with different types of blades.
How To Use a Tile Cutter?
Below are step-by-step instructions on how to use a manual tile cutter:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the ideal cutter size for larger tiles?
The increased popularity of porcelain tiles has prompted manufacturers to design large format tile cutters. For instance, Sigma offers a few models with a maximum cut length of 100+ centimeters.
Rubi, another trusted brand in the industry, incorporates the Rubi Slim System that offers a maximum cut length of 310cm on 3-8mm thick porcelain tiles.
2. What is the best way to clean and maintain a tile cutter?
Keeping your manual tile cutter in optimal cutting condition is important for continued performance.
Remove dust from the rails using a soft cloth and lubrication fluid to ensure the scoring unit moves freely.
Consider inspecting the scoring wheel regularly and replace it if it becomes too dull due to repeated use.
3. Why is the first score important?
The first score needs to be done using a firm yet continuous motion. This is because scoring a tile twice can result in multiple fracture lines and a crooked break.
Be careful not to apply too much pressure as this can cause internal cracks that increase risk of shattering.
Now that you’ve gone through our comprehensive guide and learned about important factors to consider, it’s time to choose the best manual tile cutter for your needs.
We’d recommend one of the models reviewed above since they offer stability, precise and repetitive cutting, as well as support for ceramic and porcelain tiles. They are neither too light nor too heavy.
More importantly, the above reviewed cutters offer a high level of precision and consistency. If none of them satisfy your needs, you can always refer to the guide section for guidance on how to choose the best manual tile cutter.
Keep in mind the type of tile you want to cut, type of cuts to be made and the number of tiles to cut. These will play a crucial role in whether or not you get the right tool for the job.