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Tile Saws

This is part of a series on different kinds of saws which can be used to cut glass.  Click here to go to part one, which deals with some things to think about before you decide to buy a glass saw.

For many people who work with kiln-formed glass, the tile saw is the first major equipment purchase after the kiln.  Although tile saws can be very expensive (over $1000 US), it's also possible to purchase a serviceable model for under $100.  This low entry price makes them attractive options for people who want to make it easier to cut straight lines in pattern bar slices or thicker pieces.

Even a piece of glass as thin as two fused layers (1/4" -- 6mm) can often be cut more easily with a tile saw than by hand. This is especially true for those who lack the necessary hand strength to cut and break thick pieces by hand. 

As the piece of glass gets thicker, cutting straight lines with a tile saw makes more and more sense.  Pattern bars, for example, are usually at least one inch (2.3 cm) thick, making them extremely difficult (if not impossible) to cut by hand.  A good tile saw greatly simplifies this task, and makes it fairly easy to cut uniform pattern bar slices. 

While inexpensive glass saws (band saws like the Gryphon, ring saws like the Taurus, etc.) can also be used to cut thicker pieces and pattern bar slices, they tend not to do the job of cutting straight lines as well as a tile saw.  The blade on many glass saws tends to wander when cutting.  In addition, replacement blades for glass saws are much more expensive than blades for tile saws.  Add this to the fact that the cheapest glass saw is at least three times the price of the cheapest tile saw, and it's not hard to see why tiles saws have become the saw of choice for cutting straight lines in pattern bars and similar thick pieces.

Click here for information about selecting a small, inexpensive tile saw.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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