A tile wet saw is an invaluable tool for anyone doing a large tiling job. A wet saw uses water to help cool the blade as it cuts. This lets the blade make a more efficient cut through the tile. It can be used on ceramic, porcelain, stone or glass and can help speed up a tiling job by making fast, accurate cuts. There are times, however, when you need to replace the blade. Knowing when to replace it helps keep your jobs running as quickly and accurately as before.
A good tile wet saw blade should cut steadily and quickly through any material, no matter how dense or hard. If you find that over time your cuts are going more slowly, or that you are exerting more and more pressure on the tile to get it through the blade, the blade probably needs to be replaced. Some types of tile are harder than others and will cut at slightly different speeds, but if you find that one type of material started off quickly and is now moving slowly, it's time to replace the blade.
A good wet saw blade will cut absolutely straight lines through your tile with no variance. A fresh, good-quality blade can even cut pieces of tile down to 1/8-inch in size without cracking or breaking. If the tray on the wet saw is gliding perfectly straight but your cuts are coming out of plumb, the blade may be warped, damaged or have loosened to the point it cannot be tightened anymore. If you have tried adjusting and tightening the blade but your cuts are still out of plumb, it's time to replace the blade.
Tile wet saws cut through stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles very gently. You shouldn't have to exert any pressure, and the cut should be perfectly clean-edged with none of the flying debris, dust or chipping that can occur when cutting with a dry blade. If you find that the edges of the tiles you are cutting appear chewed, chipped or covered in tiny cracks when you are done cutting, this can be due to a dull blade. Tile wet saw blades are covered in tiny diamonds, which allow them to cut. Over time, these diamonds can come off, which results in a duller blade that can chip.
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The vast majority of tiles can all be cut using the same wet saw blade without any problems. Some types of very hard stone, porcelain and all glass tiles, however, need to have a specialty blade to do the cutting. Using the wrong type of blade on your tiles will not only damage the tiles by chipping them, but it will also damage the blade of your wet saw. Always replace your wet saw blade before cutting glass tiles, using a glass-cutting blade instead. The same goes for very dense porcelain or stone tiles as well.