Author Topic: Advice on a wet saw  (Read 16168 times)

cosmie

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Advice on a wet saw
« on: March 05, 2012, 09:38:03 PM »
I find myself in need of a wet saw, and am looking for advice in the area.
The new place I'm moving into currently has really old laminate in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. The owners are wanting to replace the laminate with 12" ceramic tile to match what was put down in other parts of the condo. My brother happens to lay flooring for a living, so I volunteered his labor, since he'll be in town helping me move anyway (and it lets me move in earlier - the place they're buying the tile from couldn't get it installed until over a week after my move-in date). They're going to provide all needed installation materials, and my brother is going to bring the majority of his tools. But he doesn't work with tile often, so he doesn't own a wet saw.

I find myself in need of either buying a cheaper wet saw, or renting a professional one. Either case will cost ~$60-80. There are quite a few corners to be cut, but nothing more intricate than making a drain hole for the toilet in the bathroom. I'm leaning towards buying one, and either keeping it or reselling it afterwards (effectively "renting" the saw for half the price of a true rental). I'm not 100% sure what to look for in a wet saw, so could any of you offer advice in this area? Although my brother has used various ones plenty of times, he didn't have any recommendations on what to look for.

Matt K

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 12:34:20 PM »
I have very little DIY experience, so don't take anything here as gospel, but: I've found that the quality difference between contractor gear and el-cheapo can be pretty big. The contractor grade stuff tends to have more guides, more settings, and more powerful motors that let you work faster and with less headaches. Add in the time and energy needed to sell the el-cheapo, and I'm inclined to just rent.

Since your brother works with these things daily (and will be working with whatever you buy or rent), I'd ask his opinion on any saw you plan on buying, and if he doesn't sound enthusiastic, skip it.

Midwest

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 12:42:42 PM »
I've always rented a wetsaw in the past and could have paid for the purchase of a consumer grade one at this point.  The rentals have always been slider type saws versus the cheapo saws that look like table saws.

I'm getting ready to tile the backsplash in my kitchen and decided to try the Ryobi from home depot.  Its a slider type similar in design to the rentals I've typically used.  Haven't used it yet, but it got good reviews for a consumer grade saw.

If you can find one (it's a closeout), model # was ws-730.  It was $80 plus a $15 pump.  They have an updated version of the saw, but its a couple of hundred.

Craigs list might be another alternative. 

jdchmiel

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 09:58:46 AM »
My brother in law bought the cheap one from harbor freight that is set up like a tiny table saw. It worked fine for the two bathrooms he had to do, and is sitting in my garage now waiting for me to do my mudroom.  It is not a great saw, but it works fine to cut straight lines.

MY father bought the $300 saw from lowers or home depot because the small one my brother in law bought could not handle the 16" tiles that we put in his family room. We did a diagonal pattern requiring like 100 cuts across the long edge of the tile.  This expensive saw was set up more like a radial arm saw where the blade and motor rolled on the arm across the top.  It was a much better saw obviously, and worked very well for his family room and his laundry room.  He then sold it on craigslist for $250 2 years after purchase.  We did not do those projects all in one day, they were slow going family get together on weekend projects, so rental would have been crazy. 
Check craigslist. someone might have been lucky enough to buy the saw from my dad, do two rooms, and resell for the same price. A good tool that you take care of, and clean up and make presentable for sale does not depreciate that much, especially if you buy it used in the first place.

MMM

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 05:09:39 PM »
Sounds like good advice all around.

Just a note for people who are planning several tile jobs over the next few years: I have done quite a few projects with this tile saw from Harbor Freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/25-horsepower-10-inch-industrial-tile-brick-saw-95385.html

And I find it is most excellent.. full-on pro quality. There are a couple of saws that are even nicer (Dewalt and Ridgid ones for a little more than 2x the price).. but the HF one is still great, and as the other point out, you can later sell it on Craigslist for at least $200.

Of course, Craig's is a good first choice as a place to buy one too. Knowing that the HF one is under $300 will give you negotiating power if anyone is asking too much.

I do find that the pro-style saw is a time-saver if you ever need to do really straight cuts, or really narrow ones (slivers of tiles at the edge of a surface. Having the blade cut from the top of the tile rather than the bottom helps you get more precision.

Have fun on the project!

kudy

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 10:44:20 AM »
Quote
My brother in law bought the cheap one from harbor freight that is set up like a tiny table saw. It worked fine for the two bathrooms he had to do, and is sitting in my garage now waiting for me to do my mudroom.  It is not a great saw, but it works fine to cut straight lines.

I was able to do my bathroom flooring just fine using the $80 one from home depot - I'm glad I didn't rent, because I ended up needing it a few times over the 3 week (!) span it took me to totally complete the project.

jwystup

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Re: Advice on a wet saw
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 04:15:10 PM »
I was reading this the other day, pondering the question myself since we have all vinyl/whatevercrappy tile in our new house (kitchen, front and side entryways, one full bath and one 1/2 bath) that I'd like to replace with some real tiles over time. Then when I was browsing on buffalo reuse's website (which I was prompted to search for thanks to MMM!), and there is such a thing as a TOOL LIBRARY! For buffalo, http://buffalotoollibrary.org/. It looks like there's a $10/year membership fee and a lot of it is just screwdrivers and basics, but the one near me has a wet tile saw! I actually have a lot of the other stuff, thanks to the previous owners of our house leaving things behind, but I would join just for the cheap use of that saw :)