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Looking at the power tool market, there are a number of versatile products that can help with doing-it-yourself work, or are a part of the daily routine for a handyman.
Among these is the angle grinder, which is a hand-held tool that can easily go through hard materials whether we are talking about carving, shaping, polishing or carpentry work. Can do the same with ceramic tiles? We all know what the best tool for cutting ceramic tiles is, and that certainly is not an angle grinder.
The wet saw is excellent for doing such work, but we have to agree that not everyone can afford it, and it is not as popular as the angle grinder, making it inaccessible to people that don’t work in the relevant industry.
It seems like the angle grinder is your best option if you have to do some work with ceramic tile finishing. But is it all that easy? It depends on your skill and the model that you are using. In order to help you, we prepared a few tips on how to cut tiles with an angle grinder, along with insight on the process itself. Let’s take a look.
As we mentioned above, cutting tiles with an angle grinder is not that safe, nor an easy task to do. Unless you have experience with using this tool, we recommend that you call in someone who does and prevent a potentially serious injury caused by mishandling or a strong kickback.
On the other hand, if you have worked with an angle grinder before, it is all about having the right equipment and staying patient. What is the proper safety equipment? You will need to invest in things such as a dust mask, goggles, gloves, and earplugs if you want to be protected from the noise, as well as hazards such as flying debris which could injure you during the cutting process.
Apart from that, you should always hold the angle grinder with both hands, using the side handle to your advantage, if there is one. Also, the positioning of an angle grinder plays a huge role, as you are at risk of getting hit by ceramic chips which is why you should wear a long-sleeved shirt and jeans.
Other than the safety equipment, you want to ensure that you are using the right type of blade; in this case, it is a diamond-tipped notched smooth blade made out of porcelain, which is good for cutting through rocks as well. Ensure that the blade is properly and tightly fitted to prevent it from detaching from the angle grinder in the middle of the process.
One of the common things that experts do when cutting through ceramic tiles, is covering the tile with masking tape. What this will do is prevent and deflect the chips from coming straight at you. But how do you get a precise cut with masking type blocking your view? By marking the cut with a permanent marker beforehand.
For angle cuts, you will want to hold the grinder horizontally and cut along the mark. If what you are looking to achieve are straight cuts, then it is better to hold the tool vertically (with both of your hands) and push directly into the tiles!
As mentioned above, your best bet is to invest in a diamond-cut blade that is going to be strong and sharp enough to deal with ceramic tiles. The first tip when it comes to cutting this kind of material is to tilt the blade especially if you are looking to do curved cuts.
You will want to avoid cutting near the edges as it may cause the angle grinder to slip, putting you at risk of an injury. Preparing the line by roughing semicircular cuts is a smart decision, if you want to make the cutting process a smooth one, and without the risk of ceramic chips deflecting against you.
At the end of the day, it is more than possible to cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder, as long as you have experience with this tool and you are not in any kind of rush. It all comes down to the adequate safety equipment, a strong and a powerful blade, and preparation that includes masking tape and marking the cut with a permanent marker. If you don’t have the access to a wet saw, an angle grinder is a good alternative for such a task.