How To Cut Rocks With A Tile Saw
So you want to know how to cut rocks with a tile saw, well first off go out and purchase the best diamond blade that you can for your machine.
Now if the rock is extremely hard or freshly chipped along cracks, choose one with no finer than 30 grit.
Remember that whatever type of stone your cutting will require a different grade blade.
If you’re unsure what type of stone you cutting take it into The Tile Warehouse for advice as to which blade would be best suited for it.
When using diamond blades always remember to only the appropriate blade for your saw.
Never stand directly behind your tile saw or use it in a poorly ventilated area to avoid breathing hazardous diamond dust particles.
Try breaking larger tiles rather than cutting them down with a blade if you need smaller pieces.
Always be mindful of tripping hazards when using rock on saws.
9 Easy And Safe Steps
1) Choose the appropriate diamond blade for your saw, as recommended by its manufacturer.
Be sure that the blade is suited to the capacity of your machine.
Typically, we’d recommend a grit of no finer than 30 for most types of rock, unless they are extremely hard or chipped along cracks where finer blades may cause more damage.
Also, remember that whatever type of stone you’re cutting will require a different grade blade.
2) If you’re unsure what type of stone you’re cutting, take a sample to the Tile Warehouse for advice as to which blade would be best suited.
3) Use a circular motion to cut into the rock and use smaller passes over the area that needs to be cut.
If using multiple passes, rotate your project 90 degrees after each pass.
This will reduce chipping and increase blade longevity (two passes with 90 degrees rotation is better than four passes with no rotation).
4) Before commencing your first cut into any form of rock, test on an offcut or small piece of stone that you don’t particularly need.
5) Be aware that due to different grades of diamond blades, cuts may not always be consistent.
A blade with a higher grit will make for a smoother cut as it removes less stone.
However, this also affects the longevity of the blade as it’s removing less stone and they wear down more quickly.
6) Avoid cutting basalt, granite, and any other hard stones until you’re familiar with your Tile Saw and Diamond Blade combination.
If you’re not sure what to expect from these different types of stone and whether or not they’ll damage your equipment.
7) When using diamond blades, never stand directly behind your Tile Saw or use it in a poorly ventilated area.
8) Always be sure to keep the work surface well-lit when cutting rock.
Trip hazards can cause accidents if you’re not paying attention to what’s around you.
9) Make sure that the height of your tile saw table is set to halfway up onto the teeth of your blade for maximum stability and safety while creating even cuts.
You should also avoid cutting less than 6″ x 6″. If you need smaller pieces, try breaking larger tiles rather than cutting them down with a blade.
Determining The Rock’s Hardness
The Mohs Scale of Hardness will help you determine the hardness of a rock.
Named after Friedrich Mohs, these ten minerals are each assigned a number based on how hard they are to the touch.
Sometimes the tests can be subjective and many people prefer to use simple scratch tests with their fingernails.
This list consists mainly of gemstones but is also great for making decisions in purchasing stone countertops or landscaping rocks.
As well as when attempting to cut stones in general.
If a harder mineral scratches a softer one then you know that it is harder than that mineral and could potentially damage your sewing equipment if used improperly.
Picking The Right Blade
Using the wrong blade will cause a lot of unnecessary problems and possible damages to your saw.
Cutting a rock is tough enough but using the wrong blade for it puts you at risk of causing more harm than good.
Now all tile saws have a wet and dry setting, so be mindful about which blade you use for each setting.
Dry blades are used to cut most hard materials like marble, limestone, bricks, bricks with wire-brushing.
These blades are usually made of tungsten carbide or even diamonds (semi-diamond/steel).
Tiles with extremely high silica content like granite need special diamond blades because they’ll dull quickly if not on this type of machine.
Tungsten Carbide Blades
When cutting a rock make sure to use a tungsten carbide blade, as it will cut through most natural stones and ceramic tile with ease.
This isn’t to say that you should never use a diamond blade but if unsure which one is right for your saw or project.
Stick with the tungsten blades as they’re much less expensive and more forgiving.
Don’t be afraid to use a turbo blade during your next rock cutting session.
Before beginning, make sure to check the manufacture’s instructions on how to orient it so that you don’t cause any problems during or after your cut.
It is imperative that you do not run the turbo blade backward as this can heat up and ruin the machine.
If you’re going for a wet cut then water should be running while cutting at all times just in case something goes wrong.
Segmented blades are used for wet cuts of ceramic tile only and also occasionally on natural stone.
They’re more efficient than blades that require a coolant because they rely solely on the water to lubricate the cutting surface rather than cool it as well.
They’re usually made out of tungsten carbide due to their hard nature.
Using water is almost always useful when cutting any material with this type of blade.
However, some people prefer using oil or even petroleum jelly instead because it can prolong the life of the saw itself.
How Can You Cut Rocks By Hand?
You can always do it the old fashion way with a hammer and chisel.
However, this is time-consuming and extremely hard work and unless you’ve already got all your tools on hand it’s probably not worth the effort.
Another option would be to make use of an angle grinder.
This will require more ongoing tool expenses but if you’re looking for speed then this might be what you’re after.
Make sure that when using an angle grinder that you wear appropriate safety such as goggles and gloves in case of accidental sparks.
Tips & Tricks On Cutting Rocks With A Tile Saw
- Use a diamond blade with no finer than 30 grit if your rock is extremely hard or freshly chipped along cracks.
- If you’re not sure what type of stone you’re cutting, take a sample to the Tile Warehouse for advice as to which blade would be best suited.
- Use smaller passes over the area that needs to be cut and rotate your project after each pass
- Two passes with 90 degrees rotation are better than four passes without rotation. This will reduce chipping and increase blade longevity (and safety).
- Before commencing your first cut into any form of rock, test on an offcut or small piece of stone that you don’t particularly need.
- This will allow you to see how your blade handles different grades of rock without damaging the actual material.
- Be aware that due to different grades of diamond blades, cuts may not always be consistent.
Also, keep in mind that some tiles are very heavy compared to others so if using lighter tile there is no point using an aggressive saw blade.
Because any weight involved would just slow down your work rate,
This is why we offer thicker tiles designed for use on high-yield saws.
The water jet has no need for strength since cutting is achieved by means of a hydraulic or air-pressure jet, so the tile can be made on one side only.
A tile saw is a great investment for homeowners.
They can be used for many different projects around the house and if you’re trying to cut rocks then it will save you lots of time.
Whether you just want to try your hand at cutting rocks or are looking for an easy method to cut tiles.
This guide should have provided some sound advice on how to handle most materials with ease.