How To Cut Tile Without a Tile Cutter

Cutting tiles is necessary when you are up for renovation. Renovation projects are done to enhance beauty or upgrade things that you feel are necessary. If you are not a professional, you will hesitate during the renovation projects as you need to cut tiles and chances are you will not have a tile cutter.

No need to be afraid. You still can get your job done without a tile cutter by using some standard tools. Using the tools correctly, the tiles can be cut with precision. Just be careful about not cutting yourself during the process.

To make circular cuts, a grinder is the best option whereas, if you are not planning on making complex cuts, glass cutter will come in handy. The wet saw should be used if you have a project where you need to trim a large number of tiles.

Go through the article to find out more.

How to Cut Tile without a Tile Cutter?

Use A Carbide-Tipped Pencil And A Straightedge 

cut tile with a Carbide-Tipped Pencil

These are used for straight ceramic tile cuts. For necessary DIY projects, these are the best to use whereas it will be quite tough if you are planning on cutting large-scale tile jobs. Buy a carbide-tipped pencil and a straightedge, such as a speed square from any local hardware store and get on with the cutting.

Gently place the tile on a flat cutting surface. Carefully position the straightedge on your desired position and apply sufficient pressure.

For cutting, drag the carbide-tipped pencil along the straightedge and across the length of the tile. Repeat the cut and make sure to create a scored line by making a few drags across the tile.

After that, turn the pencil around and use an attached clamp to fit the scored edge of the tile on it. Use tile nippers to snap off the scored part of the tile. While snapping off, hold the tile tightly with your other hand.

You can also use a pencil if you do not have any tile nippers. Just press the pencil downward, hold as mentioned and snap off. Finish it by sanding the edge smooth with a medium-grit rubbing stone.

For Round Cuts, Use A Grinder

Cut Tile with a Grinder

A circular template or any rounded edge is best for precise round cuts. Place it in the tile and draw the cut line with a pencil or any other markers. If you have a dark tile, your drawing won’t be visible.

So, put a tape on the tile and apply the same procedure. This time, draw the cut line on the tape. It is done so that the cut line is visible and do not get vanished due to the tile coloring.

Place the tile on a flat bench and attach it with a clamp. Loosen the clamp and adjust the tile accordingly. Lock the clamp edge on the bench to properly fit the bench and tile. Tighten the clamp afterwards.  The cutting portion should hang off from the side of the bench so that the cut gets a proper shape.

Also, your bench will be unharmed from any cutting. Now, begin the cutting process. Follow the cut line and slowly direct the grinder according to the required angle. Do not rush as the cutting will make the edges rough or uneven.

Begin from one side and slowly proceed for a cut that goes deep along the cut line. You have to make more cuts if the tile is hard.

For this cutting process, protect your eyes with an eyeglass and wear a face mask to prevent dust for your safety. It is better to do the work outside as dust will accumulate and working inside will make a huge mess.

Use A Glass Cutter

Cut Tile with a Glass Cutter

Buy a square from the local hardware store. Use this to draw a straight line. Drawing can be done using a pencil or any markers that are applicable for tiles. The drawings are done where the cutting will take place.

You can also use a scale or anything that is completely straight if you are not interested in buying a square for the project. Now, carefully score the tile with the glass cutter. Make sure to follow the cut line while scoring.

You will hear cracking or scratching sounds. Do not panic as this is how it is usually done. Gently, apply pressure on the glass cutter by moving it along the cut line. Cut it partially for the next step.

Use a wire hanger or a thick piece of wire to place it beneath the cut. A flat surface should be the place to do this process. Level the scored line with the wire hanger. Snap the tile with your palms carefully.

Do it slowly so that the snapping is perfect and there are no cracks present in the tile. If the tile does not snap according to the mentioned technique, do the scoring the way you have done initially. After breaking, if there are any rough edges present, polish it with sandpaper.

Use the Advanced Tile Cutting Tool: A Wet Saw

Cut Tile with a Wet Saw

Mark the cut line with a pencil using a square. Fill the tank of the wet saw with water up to the desired level. The blade of the wet saw will be cooled down due to the water. Gently place the tile on a flat surface and line the cut line with the blade of the saw. Keep them at a distance of about an inch.

Use a lock plate for a straight, precise cut. The lock plate will hold the edge tightly so that the cuts get smooth. Now, turn on the switch of the wet saw. Wait for the blade to be covered by water and then begin your cutting.

During this process, there will be debris flying everywhere. So, wear safety glasses and gloves while doing that. Finally, turn off the saw when the cutting is complete.

How to Cut Tile Without A Wet Saw

A wet saw is expensive and tough to master. Although it’s quite powerful, if you can master its ways, even cutting rocks with a tile saw will be no big deal for you. But if you’re not a professional, operating it might be challenging. But there are ways you can cut tile without a wet saw.

If you need to cut a few ceramic tiles, a glass cutter and a wire hanger can be used. Like the cutting of a wet saw, this tool can also make a precise cut. The steps to cut tile with a glass cutter are already mentioned in the article.

For cutting large amount of tiles, a manual cutter can be used. This is very simple to use and most importantly no electricity is required. So, your electricity cost will be reduced. Pairs of tile nippers can be used to cut the corner and curves smoothly. For trimming edges, a cut-out rotary tool can also be used.

Lastly, you can cut tiles without tile cutters, but you have to use the correct method of drilling tiles. You have to be well aware of it if you don’t want to break it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cut a glass tile without glass cutter?

So you want to know how to cut glass mosaic tile? There are several different techniques to go about it. A sharp knife, a wet saw, or simply smashing the tile with a hammer are all viable options. Personally, I like smashing the tile because it is faster and doesn’t require any special equipment. It’s also great fun to watch the tile break into pieces when you smash it.

Is there a way to cut ceramic tile without a tile saw?

You can cut ceramic tile without a tile saw using a utility knife. First, score the tile with the utility knife where you want to cut it. Then, place the tile on a hard surface and strike it with a hammer in the middle of the scored line. The force of the hammer will break the tile along the scored line.

Can you score tile with a utility knife?

Yes, you can score tile with a utility knife using a straight edge as a guide. First, mark the line where you want to cut the tile with a pencil. Then, use the utility knife to score the marked line.


Always have some extra tiles for backup in case you break any while cutting. Take precautions before you start cutting the tile. The dust particles might redden your eye, and the debris will make your place a mess.

So, you have to take care of this. Be safe. Have a good time cutting the tile without a tile cutter.

You can also use a low cost tile cutter like QEP 10214Q saw or QEP 10630Q manual cutter.

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