Ceramic tile cutter

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Ceramic tile cutters are used to cut tiles to a required size or shape. They come in a number of different forms, from basic manual devices to complex attachments for power tools.[1]

Hand tools[edit]

First Tile Cutter Invented by Boada Brothers

Mass-produced ceramic tiles of medium to soft grades are cut easily with hand tools. The ceramic tile cutter is a tool invented in 1951 by the Boada brothers, originating in the town of Rubi (Barcelona) in Spain. The first tile cutter was designed to facilitate the work and solve the problems that had the masons when cut hydraulic mosaic (a type of decorative tile with pigmented cement, highly used in 50s by the resistance provided by the great thickness of the tile). The inventions consisted of scratch a straight line and then punch it to divide the weakened part due to scratching. This became a symbol of the mechanical precision. From that moment, it was popularly known in the industry with the nickname "the RUBI", named for the birthplace of their inventors. Over time the tool evolved, incorporating elements that made more accurate and productive. The first cutting had an iron pen to scratch and later replaced by the current tungsten carbide scoring wheel. Other built-in cutter from 1960 was the separator element. This part allowed users from the mosaic with the same tool and not with the bracket, the cutter axis or giving a hit with the knee. This was a revolution in the cutting process of the ceramic world. Today, the ceramic tile cutter has evolved with a variety of models and brands, with current capacity for cutting ceramic hard materials such as porcelain tiles.

The glazed surface of the tile is first scored with a tool that carries a hardened metal wheel. Then with a support directly under the score pressure is applied to either side of the cut and the tile snaps along the score. Snapping pressure [1] vary widely, some mass-produced models exerting over 750 kg.

Tile nippers[edit]

Tile nippers are similar to small pairs of pincers, with part of the width of the tool removed so that they can be fit into small holes. They can be used to break off small edges of tiles that have been scored or nibble out small chips enlarging holes etc.

Glass cutter[edit]

A simple hand held glass cutter is capable of scoring smooth surface glazes allowing the tile to be snapped.

Beam score cutters, cutter boards[edit]

The twin beam and single beam cutter boards have the following features:-

  • They simplify the scoring and the breaking functions.
  • Adjustable fences for angled cuts and square cuts.
  • Fence stops for multiple cuts of exactly the same size.
  • The beam(s) are height adjustable to handle different thicknesses of tiles.
  • The scoring wheel is easily replaceable.
  • They come in various sizes to accommodate tile sizes.

Power tools[edit]

The harder grades of ceramic tiles like fully vitrified porcelain tiles, stone tiles, and some clay tiles with textured surfaces have to be cut with a diamond blade.[2] The diamond blades are mounted in:-

Angle grinders[edit]

A grinder with a diamond blade for cutting tile.

A 100 mm angle grinder is used for short, sometimes curved cuts. It can also be used for "L" shaped cuts and for making holes. It is used dry and more rarely used wet.

Tile saws[edit]

A tile saw with a water-cooled diamond blade in use
  • Dedicated tile saws are designed to be used with water as a coolant for the diamond blade.
  • They are available in different sizes.
  • Adjustable fences for angled cuts and square cuts.
  • Fence stops for multiple cuts of exactly the same size.



  1. ^ Editors of Cool Springs Press (2013), HomeSkills: Ceramic Tile: How to Install Ceramic Tile for Your Floors, Walls, Backsplashes & Countertops, Cool Springs Press, pp. 30–, ISBN 978-1-59186-580-3 
  2. ^ Richard Rice. (2013), Diamond Blades, Diamond Blades, p. 1 

See also[edit]