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Old 02-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
CraigP
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Default Wet Saw Recommendations

I've been reading a lot of online reviews and am having trouble deciding what to purchase. I've looked at the cheaper ($100-150) models on Amazon that seem to work well if you are patient with the cutting speed and getting wet, (QEP, MK, Plasplubs). The next tier up seems to be $200-350 (QEP, MK) and these get better but seem to be the lowest end high end models and the reviews aren't promising. I read about the Kobalt's available from Lowes which seem like a great deal. Above that is the $500 and up club, which I'm not getting into. I want to know what you guys have used and are happy with, so let me hear it!
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I've got a MK 109 (it's in the $500 up club...). I've made about 10 times that with it, and saved about 10 times that with it... worth every penny.

I guess my recommendation would be to get whatever you can, that uses a regular AC motor, rather than a universal motor. The duty cycle is too high for them, gonna wear out.

Universal motors are the motors on our portable power tools, they can run AC or DC, and have brushes. Variable speed frequently, or can be run that way (variable speed) with with a little cheap controller. They are loud, whiney and spin REALLY fast, so are gear reduced when they are needed to be slow, or have torque.

A "regular AC" motor is gonna be like the 1hp motor hanging off the back of a tablesaw, under a bandsaw, something like that. In the things we use, they are usually 1750 rpm, or 3450 rpm, and the motor isn't unique to the machine. It just gets bolted on and runs the machine via a belt and pulleys.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I used a cheapo Husky for years, and that little bastard is still running strong for my SIL. I bought the best Rigid for myself about 5 years ago, and I loved that thing. My nephew does tile/stone for a living, and his MK died, and I gave him my Rigid on a Lend/Lease kinda deal. Like I say, he a professional, and he loves it too.
I borrow my Rigid back from my nephew when I need it now.
I saw those Kobalts at Lowes the other day, they look like they would get the job done. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of those.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I've retiled a good bit of our house and gone through 4 saws myself. The cheapies (sub $100) will definitely break.

If you buy new, Home Depot has a $100 Ryobi that is decent as well as a few others around there. They also have a lot of open box/return/refurbs pretty often so you can get a pro style saw fairly cheap.

And then there's Craigslist and Harbor Freight where you can do decently as well......
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I got the $80 saw at Home Depot and did one bathroom and one kitchen with it. Works great for me! Although it is a freaking mess.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I have no complaints with my HF 10 inch wet saw.

I cut all the bricks at crazy odd angles for my wood fired pizza oven and then cut a ton of bricks for my patio. It's still going strong - and was quite accurate. I then got a new blade and used it to cut my granite counter tops.

I bought it on a 20% off coupon when it had already been reduced in price.

It looks bad but still runs great. I normally expect HF stuff to last me a single job. The saw has exceeded that expectation.

Chris
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

First question is what are you going to do with one?

I've done ALOT of tile work, more than your typical homeowner. I've rented from HD, seems like every time I do the blade is bad.

I've owned the small table top saw from HF. Worked great for cutting the 100+ 6" tiles in half diagonally due to the fence and the fixture that comes with it. The down side is the water bath tends to throw water on you if you remove the blade guard.

I've also had the HF traditional style wet saw, worked just fine.

My favorite is the HF bridge type saw, I've had 2, I tend to buy them on sale with a 20% off coupon, use them for a project and sell them as I don't want to store them. Costs me about $50-$60 for the saw for the project, much cheaper than renting.

All of the HF saws needed a little tuning to make them cut square, not an issue as most saws need a little tuning anyway.

Last edited by shoot summ; 02-01-2011 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

Another vote here, for the harbor freight 10" wet saw. A buddy of mine purchased one in 2003, for $279 I think it was.

We have used this saw more than we ever thought we would.

He tiled about 1400 square feet of porcelain floor tile with it, and a set of marble steps, lots of diagonal cuts, border, etc. The thought was, "Hey, if it lasts through this job, it will have paid for itself, vs. renting a saw". Saw worked great.

He then did his whole brick driveway (curved borders) with it. Came through like a champ.

I then borrowed it from him, and tiled the entire main "public" area of my house, around 2,000 square feet, in porcelain, with a border stripe, all tile set on the diagonal. It took me about 2 months of evenings and weekends. The saw kept on working like a champ.

When I was done with that job, I gave it back to my buddy with $100 and a case of beer.

I just borrowed it from him again last month, to tile the shop bathroom (porcelain, pics at link below). Friggin thing is still working great.

Keep a good diamond blade in it (as with all wet saws) and it won't let you down.

My buddy (co-worker) and I were in HF the other day, and noticed that they sell the same saw now, 8 years later, for the same money, and now, it comes with a folding stand, which his did not. We had a good laugh.

This saw certainly doesn't owe us anything, at this point.

When it finally dies someday, it will receive an appropriate viking funeral.

Rob
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

In my remodeling business I do a fair amount of tile work. I have been impressed by my little Husky 7 inch. For what it cost and the portability of the unit, it can't be beat. Although a lot of my power tools get cleaned in the rain, the Husky wet saw is the only one that comes through it well! I have access to a big 10 inch overhead stye sliding table saw when I need it but 99% of the time the little saw does fine.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I discovered several years ago that the old scratch and break method on most ceramic/porcelain tile works great, it's fast and easy as well for all of the edge tiles. You only need a wet saw for some of the really complex cuts, or for stone, and you can dry cut those with an angle grinder as well although it is really messy.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
First question is what are you going to do with one?
Ah yes, I didn't divulge this information. I will be cutting travertine for two fire places, travertine for an entry hallway (approx 150 sq ft), probably travertine for a 175 sq ft room, and some type of tile for an area that leads to our deck. So, lots of natural stone. And eventually a kitchen back splash too.

I definitely know I need to replace the included blade with a nice diamond blade, that is a given. But what I'm hearing so far is that no matter what you guys have bought, $100 version or a $500 version, they have all worked. So buy what I like and make it work seems to be the idea I should take away here.

Thanks guys and keep it coming!
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

ish! Thanks @Ign for the link. Been busy and didn't search the forums...
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

Another vote for the Harbor Freight 10". I can't even add up how much tile, brick and concrete it has cut in the last 5 or 6 years since I've had it. Just a belt and blade had to be replaced after I made the mistake of loaning it to a friend.

The only downside is the portability......kinda heavy/awkward.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigP View Post
Ah yes, I didn't divulge this information. I will be cutting travertine for two fire places, travertine for an entry hallway (approx 150 sq ft), probably travertine for a 175 sq ft room, and some type of tile for an area that leads to our deck. So, lots of natural stone. And eventually a kitchen back splash too.

I definitely know I need to replace the included blade with a nice diamond blade, that is a given. But what I'm hearing so far is that no matter what you guys have bought, $100 version or a $500 version, they have all worked. So buy what I like and make it work seems to be the idea I should take away here.

Thanks guys and keep it coming!
I would get the HF bar type 7" saw then, I cut alot of travertine with one.



And some quartzite, the downside to the bar saw is it only cuts about 1" thick..



I also recommend the 3/8 round over to finish your exposed edges.

http://www.granitecitytool.com/node/21453

Travertine is easy to work, PM me if you want some advice.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I discovered several years ago that the old scratch and break method on most ceramic/porcelain tile works great, it's fast and easy as well for all of the edge tiles. You only need a wet saw for some of the really complex cuts, or for stone, and you can dry cut those with an angle grinder as well although it is really messy.
Works great if you are doing a small job and have only a few tiles to cut.

And if you have a bunch of extras, since you will break a bunch.

And if you don't have to notch-cut any tiles.

And if you don't need to cut any holes in tiles.

And if you don't need to make any curved cuts in tiles.

Other than that...yeah, scoring and snapping tiles works like a dream, LOL.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations









^^^ Nice work!
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #18
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Works great if you are doing a small job and have only a few tiles to cut.

And if you have a bunch of extras, since you will break a bunch.

And if you don't have to notch-cut any tiles.

And if you don't need to cut any holes in tiles.

And if you don't need to make any curved cuts in tiles.

Other than that...yeah, scoring and snapping tiles works like a dream, LOL.
Tile has been installed for almost 100 years, no tile saws existed for the first 30-40 years, it was all installed via scratch and break for the most part. It saves a ton of time installing when you can scratch/break and install right where you are working without getting up and running to the wet saw all of the time.

A good scratch and break tool is essential, cheap out and you will waste alot of tiles. Other than that user error would be the cause of wasting tiles.

Wet saws wont do curved cuts, nor do they cut holes.

90+% of the cuts on a floor install are straight cuts along the edge of the room, scratch and break works great for them and saves alot of time.

Want to have to real fun, use a nipper for the complex cuts, works but for me it is like finger nails on a chalk board, I have to wear hearing protectors...

Last edited by shoot summ; 02-01-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

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Wet saws wont do curved cuts, nor do they cut holes.
Sorry, man, but that's just not true. I'm too tired to explain to you how to do it.

So, I'll let this gent explain.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FfoGGLmkj0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5z25...eature=related


This technique works with inside or outside radius cuts. When doing it on an inside cut you simply take many small radial cuts and then smooth the inside radius using the side or bulk of the blade...it ain't rocket science.

Oh, and to make a hole in a tile (such as a small rectangular one for an outlet) I put a mini-blade on the wet saw, 4.5" diameter, and do a plunge cut by raising the tile up to the blade, I usually clamp the tile onto a piece of scrap mdf to make it easier to handle, and then make my plunge cuts, then smooth, again using the blade....I've cut dozens of inside holes for outlets, etc in tile and marble this way...Some guys will get fancy and use a diamond drill to place four holes at the corners of the hole they intend to make. This is usually not necessary but it probably does help the finished tile to be more resistant to developing a crack at some future time, if it gets hit, etc.

This technique is done by tile guys day in and day out, I know because a tile guy taught me how to do it.

If you like scoring, great, keep on scoring!
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wet Saw Recommendations

I did my bathroom in granite about a week ago. Bought the Kobalt 7" wet saw for $169. I was trying to decide whether to rent or not, figured the next time I use it, it's paid for itself.

Worked really well, nothing fancy but it seems to be quality and did the job.

I would have went with a cut and snap but I don't think its really for granite.
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