Best Budget Wet Tile Saws under $300 – Reviews & Guide 2020
Pop quiz: What’s the best way to combine electricity, water, and a diamond-sharp blade spinning at nearly 5,000 revolutions per minute? Why, in a wet tile saw, of course!
An essential tool for accurately cutting decorative ceramic or porcelain tilework, a wet tile saw is the only way to do heavy DIY work safely and efficiently when remodeling bathrooms and pools.
Finding a wet tile saw that will get the job done can be hard enough as it is. But finding one for under $300? That’s a real challenge.
This is exactly why we’ve put together this thorough guide to the best wet tile saws under $300. In it, you’ll find reviews of the 5 best tile saws for any job, as well as tips and tricks on how to find the exact right saw for your needs.
A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2020:
|Best Overall||PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw||
|SKIL 3550-02 Tile Saw||
|Best Value||SKIL 3540-02 Wet Tile Saw||
|MK Diamond 157222 Tile Saw||
|Leegol Electric 7” Wet Tile Saw||
The 5 Best Budget Tile Saws under $300:
1. PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw – Best Overall
Compact and lightweight yet equipped with enough cutting space and power for even the largest of professional tile-cutting jobs, the PORTER-CABLE PCE980 is an impressive tool offered at an outstandingly reasonable price. Its cast metal cutting cart is both perfectly flat, and large enough to support up to 17 inches of tile.
Accurate to within 1/16th of an inch over a 12-inch cut, the PCE980 combines excellent precision with a powerful 1-horsepower motor to allow for smooth cuts on porcelain, stone, or ceramic tiles. We’re big fans of the onboard miter square, which allows for easily repeatable rip cuts with only minor adjustments.
Finally, the PCE-980 is equipped with a splash guard and drain plug for safe working conditions and easy cleanup. Overall, it’s an impressively capable wet tile saw that’s durable, affordable, and portable – a perfect all-in-one tool for any tile cutting job. Just be sure to replace the factory set blade before cutting, as it’s not up to par with the quality of the rest of this machine.
In short, we think that this is the best budget wet tile saw under $300.
2. SKIL 3550-02 Tile Saw
Equipped with even more features than our top pick, the SKILSAW 3550-02 is a well-outfitted option that’s ideal for home DIY jobs, but not quite up to par for professional-quality work due to two minor design flaws. Unlike the Porter-Cable saw that took our top pick, though, the 3550-02 comes with a diamond-tipped blade that’s ready to go right out of the box.
A rugged 5-amp motor produces an impressive 3,600 RPM blade speed, making the SKILSAW one of the most powerful budget-priced wet tile saws we’ve tested. In fact, its cutting power stands up to saws that cost nearly twice as much – but difficult adjustments and a too-cheap plastic blade guard make it challenging to get the accurate cuts required of professional jobs.
Designed with a “Hydrolock” system that prevents water leakage, the 3550-02 might be the cleanest wet tile saw under $300 that we’ve seen. To round out its features, it’s also equipped with a sliding extension that can accommodate tiles up to 18 inches, as well as the ability to bevel cut tiles at 0, 22.5, and 45 degrees.
In short, it’s a fantastic saw for the price that is only kept out of our number one spot by its nearly useless fence and blade guard that’s prone to being clouded with debris.
3. SKIL 3540-02 Wet Tile Saw – Best Value
The diminutive cousin to our runner up pick, the SKILSAW 3540-02 (not to be confused with the 3550-02, listed above) is an amazingly affordable option for at-home tile cutting. In fact, this small but mighty tool just might be the best option for DIY enthusiasts, as it is most definitely the best wet tile saw under $300 for the money.
Surprisingly powerful given its smaller stature, the 3540-02 is equipped with a 4.2-amp motor and no-load speed of 3,600 RPM. While its workspace can only accommodate tiles up to 12 inches, this gives it more than enough power to cut through tile, stone, and masonry with ease.
Oddly enough, the rip fence on this smaller model does not suffer the same difficulties with accuracy as the larger 3550-02, making it a better choice for light jobs requiring accurate cuts. The only downside we noticed while testing – besides the obviously smaller working area – is the small water reservoir that you’ll likely be refilling quite frequently.
4. MK Diamond 157222 Tile Saw
With more torque and a faster blade speed than any other tile saw in our reviews, the MK Diamond MK-170 is as close as you might get to a professional-quality wet tile saw for under $300. That said, it comes in awfully close to the $300 mark – significantly more expensive than the other wet tile saws we tested.
The MK-170’s ½-horsepower motor produces an impressive amount of torque and a blade speed of 5,500 RPM, giving it more than enough power for professional tiling jobs and leading to the cleanest cuts of any saw we tested. Lacking any table extensions, however, gives it a fairly small tile capacity at just 12 inches.
A submersible water pump sets the MK Diamond apart from many competitors on this list, offering the best water-cooling efficiency available for a saw of this size. In short, if the MK-170 were a bit less expensive – or offered a larger maximum cutting capacity – it would have easily been our top pick.
5. Leegol Electric 7” Wet Tile Saw
Lightweight, portable, and easy to set up and use, the Leegol Electric 7-inch Wet Tile Saw is a promising tool for home use that is ultimately only held back by its overly messy operation. Because a dirty, slippery work surface can quickly become a safety hazard, you’ll need to think long and hard about whether the bargain price of this tile saw is worth the extra time spent cleaning up your workspace as you go.
The Leegol Electric tile saw is equipped with the ability to bevel cut up to 45 degrees and has an adjustable rip fence and miter gauge. It’s a versatile tool with a respectable 3,550 RPM blade speed that will get through most projects but lacks some of the torque found in more expensive saws.
Unfortunately, the water reservoir and blade design on this saw makes it one of the messiest tile saws we’ve ever used. In addition to being lightly misted with water throughout most cuts we made, the unstable base and wobbly tray make it prone to spilling.
In short, the Leegol Electric is the least expensive wet tile saw on our list, but we don’t believe the safety hazards posed by messy operation justify this cost.
You can arm yourself with all the information you’ll need to decide on the right wet tile saw for your needs. Just follow along with the next four sections of this buyer’s guide to learn everything that goes into our choices while testing products for these reviews.
Who Needs a Wet Tile Saw?
What to Look for In a Wet Tile Saw
- Accuracy is where a wet tile saw really shines when compared to other saws. Our favorite models have integrated systems for lining up easily repeatable rip and miter cuts, as well as perfectly flat, machined metal cutting surfaces.
- Blade speed keeps the edges of your tile looking clean and sharp. A 3,000 RPM blade speed is good, while 4,000 and up will make for outstandingly clean cuts.
- Cleanliness is an important safety factor and can be achieved through a variety of clever design choices. Look for saws that feature large drip trays, splash guards, and connected water sources for constant debris clearing.
- Portability may not be the first thing on your mind when looking for a tile saw, but consider: Where are you most likely to be doing your tile cutting? Having an easily portable saw will save you plenty of trips back and forth from your work site.
Other Types of Tile Saws
How do you know that a wet tile saw is the right choice for the project you’re working on? Easy: By comparing it to the three other types of tile saws available.
How to Use A Wet Tile Saw
For a thorough demonstration of how to cut tile on a wet tile saw, check out this video from HouseImprovements on YouTube:
RELATED READING: 9 Types of Circular Saws & Their Uses
All things considered, the PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw stands out as the clear winner among all the saws we tested for these reviews. It’s compact, accurate, and easy to use – and comes in well under the $300 mark. If you’re looking for one tile saw to tackle all your stone and tile cutting jobs, the PCE980 is the saw for you.
Anyone on a much tighter budget would do well to consider the Skil 3540-02 as an alternative to our top choice. Offered for almost half the price of many other wet tile saws we tested, it’s a diminutive workhorse of a saw that does a fantastic job on home DIY projects.
We truly hope that our guide helps you find the best budget wet tile saw for your workshop. Good luck in your search!
- A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2020:
- The 5 Best Budget Tile Saws under $300:
- Buyer’s Guide