Can a tile saw be used to cut wood? Yes, it can BUT its usability is limited compared to a circular saw or a table saw and this practice is extremely dangerous. These are the issues that make a tile saw inappropriate for wood cutting.
Here, we will focus on the big ‘BUT’ that demotivates people from using a tile saw to cut wood. The downsides of doing so are reflected so that users can acknowledge the risks. Besides, the measures that will help users to use a tile saw as an alternative to wood cutting tools are also shared here which can be helpful in rare situations.
Why Tile Saw Is Not Recommended to Cut Wood/limitations
The main mechanism of a tile saw and table saw is quite the same. Both come with a table, guide, blade guard, runs with a motor, and so on. But still, the main purpose of the tile saw is not cutting wood. In fact, it comes with a water reservoir so that it can be used to keep the blade cool while cutting tiles. There are other features in a tile saw that is specifically incorporated to cut tiles properly. So, there are dissimilarities between a tile and a table saw. However, some of the inappropriateness of a tile saw for using on the wood are noted below.
Blade Rotation and Type
The blade rotation direction is opposite for the tile saw and table saw. Tile blade cuts downwards and circular saw or table saw blade cuts upward. Besides the blade is an abrasive diamond blade, on the other hand, a wood cutting saw blade is a fine-toothed carbide blade.
If a thick wood is used on the tile saw, it may cause the blade to bind up and result in jamming, kickback or jerk up of the wood piece.
No Gauge or Fence
In a wood-cutting table saw you will have multiple accessories like miter gauge and rip fence just to ensure the cut is square and clean every time. The tile saw does have a removable guide, but that won’t be an alternative to miter gauge and rip fence. So, your expectations should be minimum from a tile saw.
Ceramic tiles are harder than wood. So it requires more power to cut with a power tool. A tile saw has more speed than a table saw or circular saw. As a result, it does cut wood faster, but the cut is difficult to control.
Only Suitable for Specific Sizes
All the limitations we have mentioned here leads to another problem of using tile saw for wood. That is, you can only use thin wood a few times only. 2/4 or ¾ boards or thin stocks can be used on this saw only. There is no way this tool can be used long term for woodworking projects to get clean cuts.
Usability of a Tile Saw for Wood
If you want to cut thin, longboards of 2/4 or ¾ then a tile saw may support you a couple of times. You can make basic cuts like cross-cut, making slit, and corner cut to make frame joints. You can’t make cuts at unusual angles or make repeated cuts accurately.
How to Upgrade a Tile Saw to Cut Wood
The first thing to do is, make sure to use a wood cutting blade in replacement of the tile blade. The size and specification of the should match the tile saw requirements. Otherwise, the blade won’t fit or won’t turn.
Making Different Cuts with Tile Saw
Now, the big question, actually how many types of cuts can we make with a tile saw? The guide and tips for making as many types of cuts as possible are briefed here. But no matter which cuts you need, to begin wood cutting on a regular wet tile saw, you must put your protective gears on. Use the eyeshield and cut resistant gloves.
Making Cross Cuts
Use scrap wood pieces before cutting the useful ones. Take the wood board or stock and press the wood downward with both hands. Now pass the wood to the blade very slowly. As the blade is turning opposite to a wood cutting saw, you can consider cutting the wood from the back of the blade. If it is cutting alright, then use this tile saw for cutting the wood you are going to use.
Using Guide and Support
For a better balance on your cuts, you can rely on the tile guide. Place the tile guide for support and place the wood against the guide. Now cut as needed aligned with the guide. Hopefully, the cuts will be accurate.
Making Cuts for Frame Joints
Making angle cuts is also possible in a tile saw. All you have to do is open up the slider. The slider board raises are 45 degrees. Place your wood board on it and cut the edge with the blade. You should get a nice 45 degree cut on the edge. Repeat this process to prepare two boards to use in one joint or make the board larger.
Better Alternatives for Cutting Wood
There are countless alternatives for cutting wood other than tile saw that are cheaper, safer, and more effective. To cut large wide boards, use a circular saw. To make superfine cuts with accuracy, use a table saw. There is no way one should use a tile saw instead of these tools for budget restrictions. Because these swans are easily available in home depot, pawnshop, and online. Even the local wood shops usually help to make a few cuts for small projects. These options are worth the price of an injury from using tools for inappropriate usage.
People Also Ask-What Else Can You Use a Tile Saw for?
Tile saws are meant for cutting hard materials. Ceramic, concrete, stones, and alike hard materials can be cut using a tile saw. It has a water basin to keep the blade and the cutting material cool. So that the material cuts clean with the least chipping and the blade and motor don’t overheat.
You know the risk and limitations of using a tile saw instead of wood cutting saw for cutting wood. So you should decide wisely whether you need to spend on a table saw or the tile saw is enough for a few cuts. But don’t forget to follow the safety rules for doing so. Otherwise, the bucks you are saving from not buying a table saw will be spent in an emergency room.
You might have seen contractors or DIYers cutting wood with the tile saw in online videos. But those are done only a few times maybe. Don’t fall for the prank to use a tile saw as a full-time wood cutting saw.
About This Writer
Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.