How To Choose A Table Saw For Stone, Tile & Concrete Cutting
What are the main differences between a table saw for cutting wood, and a table saw for stone, tile or concrete cutting?
The main difference is that you are going to get a saw that looks quite different to a normal table saw such as a cabinet or contractor model. Most tile and stone saws are set up with water in mind, so they are designed differently to table saws, which have dust control as their main feature. Of course, water flows downhill and dust likes to fly up in the air and linger around.
What are some features that you want to look for in a stone and tile saw?
Plunge cuts along with miter and bevel cuts are extremely common in cutting concrete, stone or tile so make sure you remember this when searching for a saw. There are several different styles of stone and tile cutting saws, but the most common are in a similar style to drop saws.
Aluminium saws are a good, solid material that stands up to a lot of knocking around, as well as being particularly light. Aluminum also doesn’t rust which is a big plus when your favourite tool is being soaked with water all day long. Stainless steel rails are an essential if you have a sliding travel table for cutting, especially so because your machine is constantly getting wet and you want to avoid rust anywhere.
Folding stands can be a huge benefit if you are cutting larger pieces. Depending on what materials you work with, these can be a huge help to stop you bending down and creating your own makeshift platforms.
Quality blade and blade size
A diamond tipped blade is an essential, and the quality of the blade is highly important. With wood, a quality blade is nowhere near as important as when cutting stone, tile or concrete. Diamond tipped blades will last for a long time if you care for them properly by keeping them wet at all times it is operating, and allowing the blade to take breaks to cool down, as it is heat and pressure that will prematurely kill your blade. You also will want to opt for at least a 10” blade in most cases.
The more water, the better
Machines that lubricate the blade by circulating it through a water tray underneath are good, however when your water starts to dry up if you don’t keep a close eye on it, you can damage your blade, and possibly your project. Some saws will come with an attachment for a hose and you can ensure that the blade is continuously fed with water to keep it in good condition.
Deflectors for water spray are always a good idea, and some saws are designed with a continuous flow system. This is a system where the water that gets flicked out by the blade is flicked back into another tray so it rolls back down to the reservoir underneath.