How to Cut Ceramic Tile With a Snap Cutter

How to cut textured porcelain tiles

If the shape/design of the texture is not very deep, a good technique to cut the tile is to repeat the incision more than one time in order to create deep and complete incision.

Sometimes the texture is so deep and complex that the cutting wheel isn’t able to make the incision. In these situations we recommend to try to cut the tile face down (making the incision on the back of the tile).

The video shows this technique applied to a very popular textured tile sold in the UK market. The only way to cut the tile was face down with the consecutive deep and powerful incision.

For cutting that specific porcelain tile named Stratus, we used a Masterpiuma tile cutter because the incision handle of this cutter is spring loaded and this unique feature allows the wheel to follow the shape of textured tiles.

However, to properly split these kind of tiles we 

However, to properly split these kind of tiles we recommend to use a wet tile saw with a proper diamond blade instead of a manual snap cutter.

A wet tile saw will be able to cut any texture giving you a perfect edge finishing.

For a full product demo about this cutter please click here: snap cutter for textured tiles.

Tile Nippers

  1. Tile nippers operate similar to a pair of pliers. The tool is used to make curved and intricate cuts not possible with straight cutting devices. Scribing the tile in the desired location with a tile scriber or utility knife beforehand makes the task much easier. Place the tile between the jaws of the nippers and apply firm pressure to the handles while simultaneously twisting your wrist to chip away bits of the tile. It is important to bite small pieces at a time to avoid breaking the tile. The scribe acts as a breaking point, which helps to provide a clean edge.


Tile Snap Cutter vs. Wet Tile Saw

A wet tile saw produces accurate cuts suitable for visible work. Every tile professional owns one and good models are expensive.

Just like a table saw for wood, a spinning round blade cuts through the tile, with one exception—the blade is continually bathed in water to cool the tile and control debris.

Wet tile saws produce clean, accurate cuts. Tile snap cutters can often produce an edge that, while straight, will have a few ragged sections.

Professionals often use both a tile snap cutter and a wet tile saw. The tile snap cutter helps tile workers make lots of cuts in tile. Plus, they can make these cuts in the installation area, not off to the side or outdoors (since it's best to use wet tile saws outdoors).

Parinya Khaowsakul / Getty Images

How to Use the Snap Cutter in the Best Way Possible?

Learn how to make the score: as above stated, a snap cutter works using three major parts the core, snapper, and leaver. First, you place the tile into space and draw the cutting wheel over it using the score. Secondly, you position the snapper on top of the tile, and finally, you press down the lever that slices down the tile and puts it aside.

Practice on cheap tile: practice is the key here with any machinery whether manual or automatic. If you want the finest cuts out of the snap cutter, you need to practice beforehand. For the purpose, you can take any paper sheets or the cardboard and hone your skills.

The first score matters: the total time of scoring matters too. In the first attempt, you should score the tile forcefully, but not too much as it will break the tile. In the second attempt, go a bit deeper which then by the third attempt break the tile. You should not make more than three scores if you want to have a finely sliced piece of tile.

Always keep in mind that cutting the tile using the snap cutter will not be very much clear or professional-grade. The sides may be uneven slightly, but that doesn’t create any significant problem while placing the tiles.

Howto Use Tile Nippers

A pair of tile nippers are an essential part of the tiler’s toolbag, coming in handy with its time to finesse a small piece of tile or make circle cuts. Like your tile cutter, you’ll want to upgrade your nippers to the RUBI nippers for porcelain tiles. The tungsten carbide scoring wheels offer lighter and smoother penetration to ensure a clean score on narrow strips under 1cm wide.

For a clean break, once you make your cut, RUBI parrot nippers have a similar tungsten carbide design to handle porcelain.

Tile Nipper Tips

When making circle cuts in porcelain, mark your score line and use your wet saw or manual cutter to trim back the edges so that you can easily work with your tile nippers.

For straight, narrow cuts, score your line with your tile cutter. Position the tile on the edge of a surface, such as a workbench, so the scoreline is on the edge.

When nipping, start with the two ends first and work your way toward the center of the scoreline. Starting at one end, fit the tooth of the nippers in the scoreline and start taking small bites out of the tile by applying firm pressure.

You don’t want to go too fast while nipping, as that can damage the tile. If you have a stubborn piece, score it deeper and try to nip it again. If you have to apply too much force, you’ll likely break the tile the wrong way.

When you’re done nipping, you’ll often have a rough edge, especially where the nips met. Take a rub brick, like the RUBI Diamond Polishing Pad, to smooth out the sharp edges.

Tools Materials

  • Carbide scribe

    Carbide scribe

  • Tile nippers

    Tile nippers

  • Rubbing brick

    Rubbing brick

  • Tile cutter

    Tile cutter

  • Drill/driver


  • Hole saw bits - carbide tipped

    Hole saw bits – carbide tipped

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