What To Use To Cut Tile

Most tile projects will require cutting of some type. There are a few different tools to help you get the job done quickly and easily. So if you’re wondering what to use to cut tile, here are your options.


One of the most basic tools for cutting tile are what’s known as tile nippers. These look similar to pliers but with strong jaws designed specifically for taking chunks out of tile. For this reason they aren’t used for straight cuts or when precision is needed.

Instead nippers are generally used for making irregular-shaped cuts. They are also used by mosaic tile artists who need to cut tiles into small pieces to create designs. While nippers are easy to use they do require some getting used to, so practicing on old tile is a good idea.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder is a hand-held power tool which can be used for cutting angles into individual tiles. They’re also commonly used for creating odd-shaped cuts into tiles.

This can help to allow them to fit them around things like electrical outlets and other obstacles. Using a grinder to cut tile which needs to be removed can help to make the process much easier as well.

Snap Cutter

A snap tile cutter is typically the best way to cut tile without a saw when you need accurate straight cuts. Unlike other methods of cutting, these use a carbide wheel to score the surface of the tile where it needs to be cut.

Then a breaker bar is used to snap the tile along that line. These are ideal for smaller jobs where you won’t be cutting a very high number of tiles and for materials other than natural stone.

Tile Saw

The most precise tile cutting tool is a tile saw. A saw will have a diamond coated blade which grinds through the body of the tile. This is what you’ll want to use to cut tile in large quantities.

A saw is also the best choice for tile which is made from hard materials such as natural stone. They are often referred to as wet tile saws because they use water to cool down the blade as it heat ups.

The water also considerably reduces the amount of debris created during cutting. Saws will either be attached to a source of water such as a faucet or have a reservoir that is filled with water re-circulated using a pump.

The project you have at hand will determine the cutting tool(s) you need. However, regardless of which tool you do use to cut tile remember that tile can be extremely sharp so be sure to use the proper safety equipment.

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