How to Cut Rocks with a Tile Saw

Written By: David S. Miles

Rock, the densest and hardest material available on the planet. You will need a powerful saw to cut through them. I will always recommend cutting rocks with a tile saw.  The traditional rock cutting saws are costly and lack the precision to cut through a rock. A tile saw with a diamond-tipped blade will be your best bet.

However, your success rate depends on the amount of effort you have put into the preparation process. If you want to cut and shape a rock according to your desire, you will have to follow some mandatory steps. In this article, I will guide you on how to cut rocks with a tile saw.

Determining the Rock’s Hardness

Every material has its unique characteristics and ability. A rock can sustain a large amount of force thanks to its hardness and molecular density. There are several varieties of rocks based on their mineral components and each of these rocks possess different hardness levels.

The Mohs scale generally represents the hardness of rock. To cut and shape a stone,  you must know about its hardness and related properties, and it will help you choose the right equipment and blade to cut through them effortlessly.  I will provide some commonly used rocks and their hardness below,

The mineral Talc has the lowest hardness level on the Mohs scale. It’s one. Next comes the gypsum, the second-lowest mineral in the Mohs scale with a hardness level of two. The mineral Calcite is third on the list, with a hardness of level of three. Fluorite is on the fourth, with a hardness level of four. Apatite the fifth mineral on the list possessing a hardness level of five, whereas, Orthoclase, The sixth mineral on the list with a hardness level of six.

If you are working with these mentioned minerals, then it would be easy to cut. On the Mohs scale, minerals with a hardness level of 1 to 6 are relatively softer and pretty easy to handle.

Quartz with a hardness level of seven, Topaz with a hardness level of eight. Corundum with a hardness level of nine and Diamond with a hardness level of ten. In The Mohs scale, the hardness level of 7 to 10 represent the hardest minerals available on the planet. Cutting these minerals is gonna be quite tricky.

Pick Up the Tile saw.

At this point, you should have a clear idea about the rocks and their hardness. Now it’s time to pick up the right saw. Selecting the right tool is essential for getting the best outcome. We are handling a rock, the densest and hardest material available on the planet. Obviously, you will need the most powerful tool to get the job done. I will always recommend cutting rocks with a tile saw.

The traditional rock cutting saws, available on the market, are quite expensive and lack the power and precision to cut through any dense material. They are mostly designed for slabbing a thin portion of the rock.

A tile saw with a diamond-tipped blade will be your best bet. It may seem odd to you, how a small tile saw is gonna cut through such heavy-dense rocks, but rest assured it can easily cut 4 inches of rock.

Moreover, you can get 6 by 6 inches cut quite quickly. A rock saw is gonna cost you almost up to a thousand dollars, where the tile saw is much cheaper and affordable. Without any doubt, I would recommend a tile saw over a traditional rock cutting saw.

Picking the Right Blade:

It’s a matter of great sorrow that the manufacturer sometimes provides low-quality blades with new saws. At first, check out the pre-attached saw blade quality; if it is not up to the mark, I am providing a few best rock cutting blade descriptions; I hope it will come to your assistance.

The best choice for cutting a rock would be a diamond-tipped blade. These blades are strong and effective against any hard rock, also will give you a long time service.

Continuous Diamond Blade

I will recommend a continuous diamond blade for rock cutting. It gives you an effective and accurate cut. Moreover, a continuous blade has diamond rims and no ridges. You can easily cut through any rock, and this blade is known for providing a smooth cut.

I can assure you this blade won’t shatter your rock piece while cutting. The only drawback to these blades is that it’s going to wear out pretty quickly and cut through hard rocks. I will suggest you use this blade to cut slabs or fragile stones.

Turbo Blade

Turbo blades are famous for their durability & ability to cut sturdy rock pretty fast. The only downside of using this blade is that it tends to vibrate while working and might leave a rough cut edge from time to time.

I would recommend this blade for cutting fracture less stone; the rock scattering risk will reduce down quite a bit.

Segmented Blades

I would recommend not buying segmented blades for rock cutting.

A segmented blade has a bad history of getting dull pretty quickly and ruining & shattering the rock piece. The risk of ruining the cut, also getting hit by the shattering stone chips are relatively high.

Best Way to Cut Rocks: Easy to Follow Instructions

Cutting Rocks with a Tile Saw

After adding a tile saw to your arsenal and attaching the perfect diamond blade, you are ready to begin the cutting process.

Safety First

I always recommend wearing proper safety gear before using any power tool. Therefore, put on safety goggles, ear muffs, thick cloths & safety gloves, and dust protection masks.

To avoid the overheating issue, try using a wet saw for cutting rocks. Check out the saw set up, the wire condition, the blade sharpness before initializing the cut. It will take you only a few minutes to put on all the safety gear, so don’t be impatient. Being a little bit careful is gonna help you prevent life-threatening phenomena.

Setting Up the Stone

Now it’s time to set up the rock. Try to align the stone with the blade and put the rock on a stable edge. Try putting on duck tape on the rough edge; it will give you better stability while cutting and preventing stone chips from shattering.

You can put wooden blocks to support the stone and prevent it from moving around while cutting. Instead of pushing the rock towards the blade, try pulling it. Try to stand on the opposite side of the rock; the pulling motion would be much easier this way. If you are using a wet blade, then put on a plastic coat; it will save you from getting wet.

Starting the Cutting Process

While pulling the rock, try to keep your movement steady and moderately soft. If you put too much pressure on the rock pulling or pushing action, then the chance of rock shattering will increase.

Try to apply a gentle force. If you see the blade isn’t cutting correctly, then stop the cutting process and check the blade’s sharpness. The blade tends to get dull if you put too much force on the saw.

If you are using a wet saw for cutting rocks, then check the water level from time to time. Try to have extra water reserved in a bucket near you; whenever you see the water level is going down, you can add a little bit of water to keep it full.

While pulling or pushing the rock (I would recommend you to pull it), keep an eye on the stone surface. If you see too much redness or fiery spark on the stone surface, take a break, let the stone cool down for a bit.

This will surely help you get a clean-cut, and it will also reduce the chance of the rock from shattering.

Grinding  the Rock

Try using an angle grinder to smooth the rough edges. You can also use it to polish the surface and give it a brighter and appealing look.

Tips & Tricks on Cutting Rocks with a Tile Saw

Though cutting and shaping a rock with a tile saw is relatively easy if you follow the right strategy. Here are some tips and tricks to make your rock cutting experience much effortless and effective.

– If you are using a wet saw for cutting rocks, from time to time check out the water level and keep it filled up, it will save you from taking any unnecessary break because of system overheating.

– Don’t push or pull too hard; putting excessive pressure on the saw will result in an unpredictable cut, it will have a high chance that your stone will shatter, all your hard work will be pointless because of your little impatience.

– Put bold and visible marks for an excellent visual guide.

– Wait for the blade to reach its top speed and then start cutting.

– Always use a diamond-tipped blade for a clean and precise cut.

– Maintain a safe distance from the blade. The airborne shattered stone chips will be quite deadly for you.

– Try an air blower to clean the hard to reach places and always keep the saw clean and well maintained.

– Keep your workplace clean and avoid unnecessary distractions.

If you found yourself clueless, don’t panic! Try to follow the manufacturer’s user manual to tackle the situation.

Cutting Rocks Is Fun!

After reading the article, I hope you have an in-depth idea of how to cut rocks with a tile saw.   Here, I tried a different approach from traditional rock cutting methods.

Try to pick a rock from 1 to 6 in the Mohs hardness scale; it will be easy to handle. Hope you have a smooth and effortless working experience.

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