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If you are a professional tradesman, then a wet tile saw is an absolute must have power tool – particularly for bathroom fitters and kitchen fitters. Wet tile saws work by utilising a water pump that is fully submersible to suck water out of a tray and then shoot it on to the cutting blade.
This spray of water works to keep the cutting blade cool and well lubricated so that it prevents your work piece from chipping and stops the dust and debris generated from going all over your work space. This is the best kind of power tool for cutting through tiles as wet tile saws do not cause any burn marks to appear on any expensive tiles or pieces of marble you may be working with.
Our review looks at the two the best wet tile saws from the manufacturer, SKIL. Each of them is a good choice of power tool for both home DIYers and professional tradesmen alike, as they are both easy to use, lightweight and come with a whole range of useful functions and features.
This means they are able to tackle anything from the most basic jobs around the home through to the bigger jobs you find on a work site. So let’s take a look at our review of the SKIL 3540-01 vs -02…
Speed and Motor Power
This model is equipped with a motor that is 4.2 amp and is capable of spinning the tile saw’s 7 inch cutting blade a maximum of 3,600 RPM.
This model also has a 7 inch cutting blade, but utilises a larger motor that is 7 amp to spin the cutting blade to a maximum of 3,600 RPM. Although it appears that this model requires a greater amount of energy to put out the same cutting blade speed, there is a bit more to it.
The speed put out may be the same as the 3540-01, but the bigger motor means that a greater level of cutting speed consistency is delivered no matter what material it is going through – even when cutting through hard materials such as stone or granite.
For cutting through thinner tiles, and thinner tiles only, the 3540-01 is the best choice out of the two models. However, if you need a tile saw that is capable of consistently cutting through tougher materials then go for the 3540-02. Realistically, the decision depends on the type of cutting you plan on performing with your tile saw.
This model has a capacity that enables a tile with a diameter of up to 12 x 12 inch to go through its cutting blade. It is limited at this size only, however, as it does not come with an extendable table.
This model has a standard table which is larger than that of the 3540-01 and also has the capacity to extend further out. When the table is fully extended it is capable of having tiles of up to the size of 18 x 18 inch to sit on the table and move towards the cutting blade quite comfortably.
With tiles nowadays coming in a whole range of different shapes and sizes, it is important to have a tile saw that is able to cut through them. As a general rule of thumb, the greater a tile saw’s rip capacity, the better power tool it is. This is evident with the 3540-02 which can take tiles of up to 18 x 18 inch.
This model has two angled bevel stops at 0 degrees and at 45 degrees.
This model also has the same two angled bevel stops at 0 degrees and at 45 degrees.
In order to bevel the edge of a tile you need to bevel the tile saw’s table or head to 45 degrees before cutting. When you have the need to produce a smaller angled bevel cut on a tile, the 3540-02 is able to do this. The 3540-01 is only able to do it with the use of a bevel stand, which would have to be purchased additionally.
This model comes equipped with a basin for the water that is affixed to the underside of the table so that the cutting blade can be submerged under the water to aid cooling and to provide sufficient lubrication.
This model utilises SKIL’s innovative HydroLock system to stop any water from splurging above and below the table. It does not provide any extra cooling or lubrication to the cutting blade, but it does prevent your work space from getting wet.
The water guard that comes with the 3540-02 is very useful and helps to reduce the amount of water in and around your work space. It also makes the clean up job afterward that little bit easier.
Portability and Weight
This model weighs just 18 pounds (when there is no water inside of it), which makes it really easy to transport and carry.
This model is a little bit heavier than the 3540-01 and weighs in at around 24 pounds (when there is no water inside of it). The extra weight is as a result of the tile saw’s extendable table.
Both of these models are very lightweight. The 6 pounds of weight difference between the tile saws is not a huge amount and would probably go un-noticed to most people.
The Bottom Line
From this detailed look, it is quite evident as to why the SKIL 3540-02 wet tile saw is a popular choice. It comes with all the functions and features a home DIYer would ever need, whilst remaining portable and compact. Given their limited respective rip capacity, neither model is suited to use by professional tradesmen in a commercial setting.
But for use around the home, and maybe even some lighter commercial work, the SKIL 3540-02 wet tile saw is our recommendation.