When it comes to cutting tile, maintaining precision in your cuts is crucial and angle grinders can aid the tile cutting process in truly convenient ways. Cutting, preparing, cleaning, and finishing tile are some of the hallmarks of angle grinder use in tile cutting. What qualities make an angle grinder useful when it comes to cutting tile?
When it comes to tile cutting, an angle grinder needs to have proper dimensions and a suitable RPM speed to adequately cut the tile. A diverse range of uses and a strong amperage are two qualities to look for when choosing an angle grinder for tile cutting.
In this article, we will explore a range of 9 different grinders currently on the market that are well-tolerated in tile cutting. Additionally, a series of frequently asked questions and a handy buyers guide will add context to angle grinder tile cutting and what to look for when purchasing.
Top 9 Angle Grinders for Tile Cutting
Angle grinders are a must-have tool for a wide range of cutting applications, yet there can be some differences in how certain grinders respond to cutting tile. Consider these 9 different models when you are looking for the perfect angle grinder for tile cutting.
Hitachi G12SA3: (Top Pick)
Hitachi’s G12SA3 4-1/2-inch grinder is ideal for the professional who needs a tool that will deliver for precise tile cutting, welding, deburring die-cast products, finishing metal surfaces, grinding welds, and torch cut surfaces, and grooving and cutting concrete. It delivers a powerful 8 amps with 910 watts of input power and a class-leading 1,900 watts of output power to grind through the toughest applications with ease.
Due to an improved cooling mechanism and the high powered motor, this grinder achieves the highest overload durability in its class. This translates into greater working efficiency and higher resistance to burnout with improved dust protection for the motor that resists wearing on the armature and field coils for longer tool life under the usual harsh conditions.
Additionally, the on/off switch is center-mounted on top of the grinder and allows the user to comfortably operate the tool whether right or left-handed. A one-touch quick off mechanism provides added safety and an easy-to-manipulate spindle lock located at the front of the grinder makes it simple to change out the accessories as needed.
It comes equipped with a side handle that projects forward 70 degrees instead of 90 degrees to the side for a more comfortable and secure position when using the grinder for long stretches of time. The side handle can be attached to the right or the left depending upon user preference and the compact design and short body facilitates maneuverability and ease of use on any worksite.
- Hitachi Power Tools has been renamed Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- 8 Amp motor, with Max output power of 1,900W for the toughest grinding jobs
- Tool rest, conveniently located to protect the switch from accidentally turning on and prolonging tool life
- Auto-stop brushes, the tool will shut off automatically to indicate brush wear is too low and avoid damage to the armature
- Hitachi Original Armature Coil Protection to protect from abrasive particles entering the motor to extend tool life
- Spindle lock provides easy and quick disc changes
- Prone to overheating and random vibration
As power tools have become more advanced, angle grinders also have improved, with more and more focus on tile cutting capabilities. While users are cheering these technological advancements, safety professionals are becoming much more concerned, which is why having twice as much power in the same-size tool has especially increased the industry-wide demand for non-locking paddle switch grinders.
With user safety in mind, the new SKIL 9296-01 non-locking paddle switch grinder automatically turns off when released or dropped. Unlike traditional grinders where there is a locking slide power switch on the top or side of the tool, the non-locking paddle power switch on the SKIL 9296-01 can be found on the bottom of the tool, right where you hold onto it, which makes it easier to avoid welding mistakes.
Additional features included on the SKIL 9296-01 grinder are a 3-position vibration-reducing handle that allows you to safely and comfortably hold onto the tool without excessive vibration, an 8-foot rubber cord that is not only more durable, but provides better maneuverability, on-tool wrench storage keeps the blade wrench conveniently tucked into the handle so it won’t get lost, and the tool-less guard adjustment lets you quickly and easily replace your grinder wheel. All these features and more are built into the powerful SKIL 9296-01 7.5-amp grinder that also happens to weigh less than 5-pounds.
Its lightweight, and when coupled with the vibration-reducing handle, reduces user fatigue while grinding and sanding various materials, cleaning metals, sharpening blades, etc. This grinder is perfect for welding due to the enhanced features to make the process safer and more precise.
- Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor with 11,000 RPM
- Paddle Switch with no Lock-on: Preferred/Mandated switch at many job sites
- Heavy-duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
Vibration-reducing handle with wrench storage
Tool-less guard for quick adjustments
- Motor brushes may need frequent adjustments
- Prone to overheating
At the forefront of technological advances for over 95 years, Porter-Cable has introduced such noteworthy products as the world’s first portable belt sander in 1926 and the first right-hand, helical-gear circular saw in 1929. This passion for progress flows through every product Porter-Cable offers with a product line that is the result of a dedicated team of researchers and engineers listening to what tool users have to say, constantly looking for ways to improve existing tools and dream up new ones.
When it comes to cutting tile, Porter-Cable’s PC60TAG 6.0-amp cut-off tool/angle grinder has a high-performance motor, a user-friendly ergonomic design, and a focus on ease-of-use operating, a combination that makes this an ideal tool for contractors, plumbers, electricians, and anyone looking for a tool to help with grinding and cutting metal, cleaning and finishing surfaces, and yes, tile cutting.
A durable cast metal gear case on Porter-Cable’s PC60TAG cut-off tool/angle grinder adds both to the life of the tool and to its resilience around the workplace. The tool-free rapid release guard makes it possible to have quick and simple guard removal and to align the guard to control the spark path in the proper way and provide an extra safety feature.
The guard also adds to the time-saving this tool provides. The spindle lock feature, which allows a user to have single wrench bit changes, also saves time on the job site, while the comfortable grip areas and lightweight of the tool help to lessen the chance of user fatigue.
- 11000 rpm for high-speed material removal
- Durable 6 A motor powers through Jobsite tasks with ease
- Cast metal gear case increases Jobsite durability and tool longevity
- Prone to overheating
- Guard wheel can become restricting
This model of Makita angle grinder is perfectly capable of holding its own when cutting tile and is part of Makita’s expanding 18V Lithium-Ion system, the world’s largest cordless tool system powered by 18V Lithium-Ion slide-style batteries. Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries have the fastest charge times in their categories, so they spend more time working and less time sitting on the charger.
For improved tool performance and extended battery life, Makita created the Star protection computer controls, which is truly what sets Makita apart from other angle grinder brands. Star Protection is communication technology that allows the Star Protection-equipped tool and battery to exchange data in real-time and monitor conditions during use to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and overheating, which can be of major concern when using a grinder repeatedly for tile cutting.
Additionally, for increased versatility, the tool can also be powered by Makita 18V LXT and compact Lithium-Ion batteries with the star symbol on the battery indicating star protection inside.
- Automatic speed change technology adjusts speed and torque during operation for optimum performance
- Active feedback sensing technology (aft) turns the motor off if the rotation of the wheel is suddenly forced to stop
- The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
- Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50 percent longer run-time per charge
- The electronically controlled BL Brushless motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
- Batteries can be depleted quickly when used for continuous welding
- Not as powerful as common cordless-grinders
The Bosch GWS8-45 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder is a light, ergonomic grinder, with a slender grip circumference that allows users to cut tile comfortably for extended periods. This 4.2-pound tool delivers plenty of power, with a 7.5-amp motor that produces 11,000 no-load RPM. It has directed air flow that diverts dust away from vital components.
Bosch’s Service Minder brush system shuts off the tool when preventative maintenance is required, which helps to eliminate the guesswork that can lead to uneven tile cuts. This grinder has a two-position side handle and a burst-protection quick adjustable guard designed for user protection, a fast-change disc change, and a large spindle lock.
The carbon brushes provide an outstanding motor lifetime and the tool was also designed with direct-motor cooling, giving it higher overload capabilities and extending runtimes. The Bosch GWS8-45 Angle Grinder was built to provide all-day operator comfort, with a slim grip, a lock-on side switch for continuous operation, and a design that provides increased comfort for precise tile cutting.
- Weighing only 4.2 lbs., the Bosch GWS8-45 Angle Grinder is lightweight and compact. Its slender grip circumference allows users to work comfortably for longer.
- The angle grinder features a powerful 7.5-amp motor to produce 11,000 no-load rpm for professional cutting and grinding applications.
- With its slim-grip design, the GWS8-45 angle grinder provides outstanding user comfort. Its two-position side handle allows for greater control and utility.
- The grinder also provides directed airflow to divert dust from vital components for enhanced durability and longer tool life. The burst-protection guard provides quick adjustments for user security.
- Bosch’s Service Minder brush system shuts off the tool when preventative maintenance is required, extending overall tool life.
- Prone to overheating
- The guard over the wheel is not very durable
This DeWalt model is a great choice for cutting tile because it is designed to provide a high level of one or more of the following: control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance. This unit has a high power of 4.9 HP (maximum motor HP) with a 6,500 rpm motor that provides overload protection giving higher operating speeds under load.
It also features an E-Clutch System that shuts the tool off when a wheel pinch is detected, which helps in reducing kickback. The anti-vibration side handle reduces the user’s exposure to vibration, and the power-loss reset prevents accidental re-starts following a power disruption when the tool is left in the “on” position.
Additionally, a Power-Off Advanced Electronic Overload Protection shuts the tool off before it reaches overload or burn-up. Another standout feature is the Dust Ejection System that increases brush life and protects the motor from damaging particles entering the air intake that would otherwise abrade the motor.
The features of this model are simply incredible, and the 9-Inch performance width is hard to bypass as well.
- This model is designed to provide a high level of control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance
- High Power 4.7 HP (maximum motor HP) 6,500 rpm motor
- Dust Ejection System increases brush life and protect the motor from damaging particles entering the air intake
- Anti-Vibe Trigger Handle reduces user fatigue caused by vibration
- Quick Change Guard allows user to quickly adjust the guard to redirect sparks
- Puts out a great deal of power that can cause frequent vibration
- The motor can be sensitive to overuse
Metabo makes angle grinders that are lightweight, which makes for much easier cuts when cutting tile. The G12VE 4-1/2″ 12-Amp angle grinder with AC brushless motor features over 1, 300 watts of input power. The brushless motor allows the tool to operate over an extra-long extension cord with reduced power loss, and also eliminates maintenance of armatures or carbon brushes.
This AC Brushless grinder delivers superior performance when powered by a generator due to an internal inverter circuit that regulates an uneven power supply for ultimate job site performance. It utilizes zero voltage restart protection that prevents it from restarting if power is temporarily lost while the tool is in operation.
Electronic overload protection shuts the motor off in case of a bind or overload. The G12VE also features a variable speed switch to set the RPMs to suit the application, as well as kick-back reduction and a low-profile, compact design including an ultra-slim grip diameter, which is thanks in part to the brushless motor which allows for better control and less fatigue during continuous tile cutting.
- 4 1/2″ Angle Grinder with Slide Switch
- Includes: G12VE angle grinder, Wheel Guard, Side Handle, Spanner Wrench, Hex Bar Wrench, Abrasive Depressed Center Wheel (1pc)
- The powerful 12-amp motor produces a powerful 1, 300 watts input power and between 2800 and 10000 no-load RPMs(based upon variable speed adjustment)
- Ultra-efficient AC Brushless motor that permits the use of extra-long extension cords with reduced power loss
- Variable speed switch allows the user to determine the best speed for the application
- Soft-start reduces the load felt by the user at start-up
- Can be difficult to hold steady due to vibration
- Runs slower than most models
Tile cutting can become a simple and efficient task when using a small angle grinder. The Black & Decker G950 4-1/2-inch small angle grinder comes with a metal gear case for increased durability and extended tool life.
Operating at 10,000 RPM, this grinder’s 8.5 Amp motor is well suited for a wide range of applications. Other features include an easy-to-use trigger switch, which is easy to use even when wearing gloves, and an extended handle with rubber grip, a 3-position side handle, and a contoured body grip for added comfort and control when cutting a variety of different tile angles.
A spindle lock is included for easy accessory changes, and the G950 angle grinder comes with a metal grinding wheel, a spanner wrench, and a side handle. Small Angle Grinder delivers substantial power for a consumer grinder and this is certainly helped by the 10,000 RPMs that are a few specs above what makes this a tough consumer grinder.
Additionally, the metal gear case with spindle lock provides durability while making accessories easy to change. The extended handle trigger and 3 position side handle are designed for optimal control, where you can change the position to suit the situation and material.
- Powerful 8.5 Amp Motor for fast, efficient grinding
- 3-position side handle and contoured body grip for added comfort and control
- Spindle Size: 5/8 to 11 inches
- Two years limited warranty
- Included with the angle grinder are a metal grinding wheel, spanner wrench, and side handle
- Incessant vibration can occur
- Prone to overheating
DeWalt is a stellar brand, yet there can be something to be said for a paddle switch grinder and efficiency in cutting tile with better angles; sometimes, a higher RPM produces better cuts. The DEWALT DWE4120 4 1/2″ Paddle Switch Small Angle Grinder has a 9-Amp AC/DC, 12,000 RPM motor designed for faster material removal and higher overload protection.
The high-efficiency motor provides low operating temps and a featured One-Touch Guard allows for 360-degree rotation of the guard with a single action. The slim, ergonomic body design provides increased comfort in extended use applications and the low profile, jam-pot gear case increases durability and allows tools to fit into tight spaces.
This unit also features a Quick-Change Wheel Release which allows tool-free wheel removal without the need for a wrench. It has a 2-position removable side handle that provides increased comfort and control and the 5/8″-11 spindle thread accepts a wide range of 4-1/2″ accessories.
This grinder includes grinding and cleaning up welds, weld and steel surface preparation, sanding metal for various metal fabrication projects, and the One-Touch Guard and Hex Wrench.
- 9 Amp AC/DC, 12,000 rpm motor designed for faster material removal and higher overload protection
- One-Touch Guard allows for 360-degree rotation of the guard
- Quick-Change Wheel Release allows tool-free wheel removal
- 2-position removable side handle
- 5/8″-11 spindle thread accepts a wide range of 4-1/2″ accessories
- Prone to overheating
- Paddle switch can get in the way of precise tile cuts
How Do You Cut Tile With an Angle Grinder?
Cutting tile can be a complicated process depending on the type of tool you choose. There needs to be precision in the cuts, and this can become difficult if you need to cut tile that is attached to a structure or, you need to cut special designs out of the tile.
Cutting tile or, any variations of tile in general with an angle grinder is almost guaranteed. This is because grinders can cut through virtually anything as long as you have the proper blade attached based on the material you are cutting.
To cut tile with a grinder, follow these steps:
- Choose a quality cutting disc. A diamond blade is truly the best kind of blade to use since the force will be greater when working with practically any kind of tile.
- Mark your cuts. It is essential to mark the section of the tile you will be cutting to ensure that the cuts are accurate and properly aligned.
- Always use safety gear. PPE (personal protection equipment) should include eye goggles, face shields, gloves, apron, and optional respiratory protection equipment.
- Set up your work station. You will need to place the tile on a well-suited workbench and it is best to use a bench vice to hold appropriately hold the tile in place to avoid slippage or jagged cuts.
- Begin cutting. Move the grinding tool along the tile to weaken it and effectively cut through the material.
- Have patience. Depending on the type of tile you are cutting, you may need to make several movements of the grinding tool around the tile to finish the cut. If the tile is proving to be too heavy, you can use a saw or a chisel to finish off any loose edges that are not wanting to break off.
Keep in mind that the process can change drastically depending on where the tile is and how difficult it may be for cutting as opposed to a block of tile that can be placed on a workbench. For a situation like this, using a grinding tool may not be the best method.
The great thing about a diamond blade is that this blade can fit easily onto a reciprocating saw, which is probably a lot easier to maneuver in enclosed spaces than a powerful grinding tool that can emit an incredible amount of sparks.
When shopping for an angle grinder for tile cutting, keep these key points in mind:
- Be sure to match your RPM capabilities. The tile cutting process usually needs an industry standard of between 4,000-10,000 RPM, therefore, always make sure the wheel you attach has an RPM speed that can keep up and match the RPM capabilities of the grinder to avoid potentially dangerous consequences.
- Be sure the disc is equipped for tile cutting and can maintain proper balance. For tile cutting, keeping a steady hand is key, therefore, you need a blade that can follow this key point well by ensuring that the blade is well-balanced on the grinder after attaching it in place; if it’s lopsided or off, adjust it properly.
- Look for a grinder with high amperage. Working with tile requires a powerful angle grinder, therefore, always look for a grinder with around 7-10 amperages in motor power to ensure the tile cutting process runs smoothly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Cut Porcelain Tiles With an Angle Grinder?
Porcelain tile requires extra care during the cutting process to ensure the cut is perfect. The best cutting blade for porcelain tile is undoubtedly a diamond cutting blade.
A diamond blade has the right kind of edges and embedded grit to effectively grind away any rough residue or unwanted edges in the tile. Alternatively, a cut off wheel can prove to be beneficial for porcelain tile.
The Metal and Stainless Steel Cut Off Wheels by Black Hawk are some of the best cutting blades available due to the durability and precision put into the wheels to cut a variety of strong tiles, including porcelain.
You can buy these quality blades as a 25-pack and the 1/16 inch thickness is guaranteed to provide razor-sharp cutting with an adequate thickness for grinding that is both durable and long-lasting.
What Kind of Blade Do You Use to Cut Ceramic Tile?
The best type of grinding tool blades is always going to be the blade that can be used for multiple techniques without the need to constantly stop and change to a new type of blade. This blade type would definitely be a cutting blade, which is crucial when it comes time to cut tile.
A cutting blade allows you to cut through a range of materials and also use the edge of the blade for some quick grinding touch up work after the cutting process is complete. By using the top center-most portion of the cutting blade, you can effectively grind and alternately go back to cutting to save a lot of time in what can be a long and laborious process.
You will want to choose blades that are guaranteed to withstand intense cutting pressure with the co-grinding capabilities that can be utilized with a cutting disc. Additionally, to cut tile, a saw would be best, but metal blades are non-negotiable if you decide to use a grinding tool.
These 9 grinders are all effective when it comes to tile cutting, and you can be sure that each model will hold up when you need to cut, grind, or finish the tile you are working with. Each model can also effectively work to smooth out jagged cuts and each should be capable of working the parameters it takes to ensure the tile is precise and uniform.
No matter which you decide to purchase, always keep the key points of angle grinders and tile cutting in mind once you start using your grinder during the tile cutting process.