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wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

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  • wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

    I stopped by home Depot today and saw 2 husky wet saws.
    models thd750l and thd950l [I like the thd950l]
    by the way the "thd in the model number stands for "the home depot"

    I viewed other reflectors and as usual you get a 50/50 mix of love it/hate it

    I am considering 16"-24" granite tiles that will require cutting. I'm not sure if I'll need to cut diagonals. Perhaps also porcelain tile.

    Anyway I know there are a myriad of wet saws out there. So let's try and keep the price under $300.00.
    The Ridgid saw is beautiful but $850 is a bit much for a weekend warrior.
    Renting a saw is not cost effective as I will be working in small time periods and the cha-ching of the rental cost would go beyond buying a saw outright.

    I also looked at e-bay and view a variety of saws.

    I appreciate the input from the pro tile folks, but your needs and use of a tile saw are obviously different than those of a weekend warrior. I wonder what is popular for us weekend warriors?

    It would also be a plus if the saw will work after being on a shelf for say six months to a year in between projects. I know of some tools that seem to self destruct when ignored on a shelf ha ha.

    ok, seriously, any advice is appreciated.

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

    if u have a lowes try the 24 inch bridge saw.priced right at 300.00 its perfect and works really great.the ones at hd in that price range jus dont seem to do it 4 me.always a problem with the pump or the motor sounds like its about to go.actually tried a couple of em and took em right back due to malfunctions.

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    • #3
      Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

      Cactus: I can't give you any brands, but for my money, I like the ones that are like a table saw versus an overhead jobbie. The overhead ones a fine on straight cuts, but if you have to make a notch or L shaped cut, you have to do it upside down. ( the tile, that is)I have an inexpensive one that I have used for about eight years (off and on) and it does everything I want it to do. HTH
      Jim

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      • #4
        Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

        Cactus:
        Last spring I bought the WorkForce THD550 from HD. Its currently listed at $89 but I think I got it for less. Anyway, I chose it because it is all metal except for the wet pan and the cheapo miter guage. The Huskys had a cheaper top that I figured would wear. As it turned out, the wear on the stainless steel top of the one I got cutting 200+ porcelain tiles (3/8 thick) leads me to believe it was a good observation. My tiles were 4" x 4", most cut on the diagonal, so it may be too small for your needs, put please read on:

        Bad things about saw:
        The stainless steel top was not even closely aligned to the blade, so the fence was out of wack. A dremel tool to the mounting ears solved this.
        The fence would not slide at all. A bastard file to the fence base solved this.
        The shoulder washer on the blade was not fully punched out, so the blade wobbled (would not properly tighten down against the motor shaft shoulder). A small file fixed this.
        Getting the wet pan out without dumping all the water is near impossible, so best to use it outdoors (It can be done by sliding the pan out and then rotating the saw assy up and off it, but it is still difficult to do without making a mess)

        Good things:
        Using the stock blade, I only wore it down about 1/16th inch diameter cutting through all that porcelain.
        The motor was plenty strong enough to make the cuts.
        The stainless top, altho scratched, will see many more projects.

        If you are talking about home projects (ie a bathroom tile job, counter tops, backsplashes, etc) and don't mind a little prep, it will probably do the job for you okay. For the larger tiles, it should do straight cuts on the 16" okay, but may be a little small for the 24. For diagonals, it would be fairly easy to make a larger top out of birch ply, etc that would last one job (more if you seal it good). You could use a board and a couple of speed clamps as a fence, and you will have to make a miter gauge of sorts that rides on the "fence" board. Basically, like making jigs for a table saw. You may be able to get the stock fence to work on a 3/8 thick replacement table if the depth is the same as the original.

        Bottom line, the main saw and blade were okay, IMHO, but the table and fence were iffy. I guess part of that has to do with the fact that I get a bit anal aligning my table saw, and I expect tools to work correctly. I am not sure the Huskys were better, but the table surfaces did not appear as they would hold up under the abrasion of the porcelain particles coming off the blade. That's why I went with the cheaper one, because I felt I could make it do what I needed.

        Sorry this got so long. Hope it helps. Pull the saws off the shelf and really look at them (I had to get one of those portable step things). If you are okay with going to $200, check out the Felder's at Lowe's. When I was looking, Lowe's had the better saws in the $200 - $300 range. I did not want to go that high.

        Go
        Practicing at practical wood working

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        • #5
          Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

          This project is still in the planning period. This allows me time to visit a myriad of tile saws and also decide the direction I'll take in redoing the kitchen counters tops. I have had a 60/40 mix of "Ugh! you won't like tile on a kitchen counter" to "using granite with small joints is a cost effective way to get granite tops..be sure to use the largest size tiles to have the least number of joints".

          I have looked at the QEP and FEKLER wet saws and I'm sort of leaning towards the QEP 60083 model.
          This saw is about $198.00 and by its design can handle large tiles.
          The FEKLER model I looked at is their TM-75


          Cactus Man

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          • #6
            Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

            I have the Husky tablesaw style saw and it's actually quite well made. The top is cast aluminum, machined and has held up just fine for several hundred cuts on 12X12 to 18X18 porcelain tiles. It came out of the box accurately assembled and the markings on the table are accurate to the fence/blade. The fence is parallel. The blade is not showing any significant sign of wear and the saw has plenty of power to get things done. Overall a very good performer for the price. However, I did underestimate just how large my project was and an investment in a good bridgesaw from the begining seems like it would have been a better idea. I still have about 75% to go and the small size of the saw and dealing with constantly having to adjust the fence for each new cut really gets to be a hassle.

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            • #7
              Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

              Cactus, don't know if you have visited this link but might want to look at the forums at :

              http://www.johnbridge.com/

              Lots of good tile project info there IMHO

              Go
              Practicing at practical wood working

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              • #8
                Re: wet saw for tile/granite suggestions please

                Thank you Gofor

                Very interesting ..and the saw reviews were excellent

                Cactus Man

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