Tile Saw Research

Well, I went over to Home Depot to check the price on renting a tile saw. 44 bucks per day.

Home Depot tile saw rental. This is a nice saw. Much nicer than the inexpensive saws. It's 44 bucks a day though.

Kind of pricey. Especially since we tend to take our time on projects. I’m a bit worried that we’d need 3 or 4 days or that we’d have to work long hours to get it done. With that in mind I decided to shop around a bit for tile saws.

I was surprised at how inexpensive an electric wet saw was. Here are a few I found:

Harbor Freight

44 bucks at Harbor Freight. Does straight, angle, and 45 degree cuts. No blade included. Click image for link.

I went by Harbor Freight since there is one near us. They had the above and below saws in stock, so I got to see them in person. The top one I was a bit concerned about. The red plastic fenced on top snaps into place. It was really hard to snap it on and off. I was afraid I was going to break it. I can’t see that the fence would last more than a few times. It would either get loose or break off because it takes too much force to get it snapped on.

The one below looked OK. From what I hear the knobs can strip out if you aren’t careful. I imagine if you overtighten them it’d be a problem. Looked solid enough and I think it would last a few tile jobs. At 60 bucks it would only have to last one tile job to be less expensive than renting, so I think this may be the one we get.

60 bucks at harbor freight. No blade included. Click image for link to saw.

Back to Home Depot

Ryobi 7 in. Tile Saw Model # WS730 $99.00 at Home Depot

This one above is the most affordable top blade saw. Seems like quite a deal. If you think you’ll have a few tile jobs to do, this one may be a really good deal. It’s a store pick up item only though. Found it was out of stock in my area. If it had been in stock I probably would have gotten this one. Seems to have gotten really great reviews.

A few options from Amazon

Skill brand saw. A bit higher grade saw. 95 bucks at Amazon. Includes the blade.

There are a lot of them like this on Amazon. Don't think it comes with a blade. They seem to be mostly the same.













These seem fairly cheap. I know they won’t cut as fast as the rental machine. Most reviews do say that they are accurate and it’s easy to get good cuts. Most complaints are about slow cutting times and blades out of square with the fence. Most reviewers seem to make them work just fine. They range from about 1/2 to 3/4 horsepower. Compare that to 1 1/2 horsepower of the rental and you can see why they are slower.

Why we’re ready to own rather than rent

If you read us regularly, you know we’re all for less stuff.  Last weekend we finally got rid of the last of the junk from our garage that we’d never gone through since moving (an entire car’s worth of items to donate), and we actually have a cleared-off workbench for the first time.

messy garage workbench

This is what the workbench looked like before last weekend. We had to clean and organize it before we could proceed further with our bathroom project so that we'd have a place to work on the tile.

But, we’re also about being frugal and living a life with a good balance of work and play. Buying a tile saw seems like it’d be a perfect solution to a job the size of ours.

We like the idea that we can take our time and don’t have to worry about getting a rental back so we don’t rack up hefty rental fees. We don’t want to feel pressure to hurry through the job, and we don’t want to have to pull a marathon tiling job. We know that will lead to mistakes and a guaranteed lack of balance.  Even if it’s only for a weekend, we just don’t want to do that.

We’re thinking we might sell the saw when we are done and get much of our money back. More likely, we’ll do what we’ve done with so many other things and donate it to charity.  A tax write-off for us, a good thing for a good organization, a good deal for someone else, and a little good for the planet.  Win-win-win-win.

We’ll be getting one of these soon and we’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, we’ve still got a wall to button up before we’re ready for tile.

plumbing with pex

(Do you notice that the plumbing looks a bit different from the last time you saw it?  Even though I’d spent a lot of time soldering joints and the ones on the left side seemed fine, we decided to take them out and go with the pex.  We know the pex joints won’t leak, and we’d rather have peace of mind.  You can see the whole plumbing story by clicking here.)

Maybe we’ll put up a video up of the saw in action as soon as we actually get to that part of the project. Stay tuned…

 How about you?

What do you do when you’ve got a job that needs special equipment?