Tile Saw vs. Table Saw: Which to Use?

Tile Saw vs. Table Saw: Which to Use?

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If you are just getting into the world of construction, then one thing you need to know all about are saws. There are of course many different types of saws out there, with the tile saw and the table saw being two of them.

Today we are here to do a side-by-side comparison of the two to see which one is better for your specific circumstances.

Tile Saws and Table Saws: The Basics

Before we get into talking about the similarities and the differences between these two types of power saws, let’s first figure out what both of them actually are.

What Is a Tile Saw?

Wet Tile Saw A tile saw, also known as a wet tile saw, is a specific type of power saw that utilizes a circular blade to make fast and accurate cuts. As you can probably tell by the name of it, the tile saw is designed specifically for cutting tiles.

What is important to note is that there are a few different kinds of wet tile saws.

You have those that look like small table saws with the saw blade protruding up through the table. There are also more expensive ones that resemble both miter saws and radial arm saws as well. However, across the board, the defining feature here is that they all have a hose that sprays water onto the blade and the tile, thus reducing both heat and friction when cutting.

What Is a Table Saw?

Table Saw A table saw, also known as a bench saw, is a specific type of woodworking tool that features a large circular blade that is mounted on an arbor underneath a large table. This table is the surface that the wood slides over, as it passes through the fast-spinning blade that protrudes upwards from the bottom of the table.

The vast majority of table saws have both fence and miter guides, as well as the ability to adjust the depth of the cut being made. There are a few different varieties here as well, and the biggest difference between them is just how large they are. You’ve got benchtop, compact, contractor, and full-size cabinet table saws too.

Table saws are usually reserved for cutting wood, although with the right blade, they can also handle sheet brass, sheet aluminum, and sheet plastic.

Similarities of Tile Saws and Table Saws

Now that we know what both title saws and table saws are, let’s figure out what similarities they share.

1. Circular Blades

One of the most basic similarities that both of these power saw types share is that they both have circular blades that have various types and sizes of teeth. Exactly what blade is used depends on the exact situation in question.

2. They’re Electric

Another basic similarity that both of these saw types share is that they both require electricity in order to function. In general, both of these types of power saws require so much juice that they need an AC connection. In other words, they use a power cord to plug into the wall and almost never use batteries as the power source.

3. General Appearance

Keeping in mind that both tile saws and table saws do come in different shapes and sizes, remember that your average tile saw may look a whole lot like a normal table saw. However, once again, it does depend on the exact types in question.

Tile Saw in Action

Differences Between Tile Saws and Table Saws

Now that we know what similarities these two tools share, let’s figure out what makes them different from each other.

1. Use of Water

Without a doubt, the biggest difference between these two types of saws is that the tile saw requires water for proper use. Cutting tiles requires water to prevent excessive heat and friction from occurring. Normal table saws have no such functionality and have no hose to dispense water onto the blade and the material being cut.

2. Blade Position

What you need to realize here is that although there are some wet tile saws that resemble table saws, or in other words where the blade protrudes from the bottom of the table, this is not always the case. There are also other types of wet tile saws that resemble radial arm saws and miter saws, or in other words, where the blade is affixed at the top, above the table.

3. Materials They Work With

Now, although a wet tile saw is not the ideal choice for cutting wood, it is still technically able to do so. However, on the other hand, you really cannot use a normal table saw to cut tile. A normal table saw is going to destroy your average piece of tile.

4. Blades

The other major difference here is of course that a tile saw requires extremely sharp and durable blades in order to cut through such a hard material. A table saw still has good blades, but these blades are designed to cut through wood, not through solid tile.

Cutting Wood with Table Saw

Tile Saw vs. Table Saw: Which of the Two Should You Use?

What it really all comes down to here is the material that you are cutting. If you are cutting tile, then you need a wet tile saw, and if you are cutting wood, then it’s a table saw that you need.

Can You Cut Tiles with a Table Saw?

You really do need water in order to cut tiles properly, and seeing as table saws do not dispense water, they are not ideal for cutting tile.


There you have it folks, now that you know all of the similarities and differences between the tile saw and the table saw, you can choose which one to use for your next project.