How to Cut Rocks With A Tile Saw? (5-Step Guide)

Looking for a way on how to cut rocks with a tile saw? Fantastic. You are in the right place!

In this ToolGaloreHQ.com blog, we will show you:

  • The #1 Favourite rock to be cut
  • Optimal use of tile saw
  • Safety gear you will need
  • And so much more!


How to cut rocks with a tile saw

Before we carry and show you how to cut rocks with a tile saw. Read the table below...

What you need to know about how to cut rocks with a tile saw.

Cutting rocks, especially rocks such as Agate (rock cutters favourites) can be an amazing and fun experience.

You will discover some beautiful patterns and more often than not, be able to shape and polish the cut rocks into dazzling shapes, pedants and decorative ornaments.

Agathe


An Agate for your information is a type of translucent to transparent rock that has amazing hidden patterns internally. Making it a rock cutters dream.

A tile saw is typically used to cut and shape the initial rough and hard rock. Below are a few key considerations you must factor in to ensure your rock cutting adventures with a tile saw are as effective and pleasurable as possible.

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Safety

I cannot stress this enough. Please ensure that before you start cutting any form of rock you are wearing at minimum:

  • Ear muffs for the noise.
  • Dust mask – for the outgoing debris and dust particles.
  • Safety glasses – to protect you from any rock particles that can fly off the tile saw blade.

Always make sure the tile saw blade you are using is a continuous blade.

This is because you cannot cut your fingers on a continuous blade. The problem comes in when you are using a blade that has ridges as shown below

how to cut rocks with a tile saw


I would strongly recommend against using anything either than a continuous blade. In my experience you will be putting your fingers at grave risk.

The reason that your fingers will not get cut is because for a cut to happen, there needs to be sufficient friction.

So the wet continuous tile saw, coupled with your soft skin greatly reduces the risk of fingers getting cut.

However. If you intentionally pushed your fingers hard enough against the spinning wet tile saw, it would cut you.

So if you are not feeling to comfortable you can provide extra additional protection by using gloves.

As your tile saw is operating it will be in a state that is often referred to as a “wet tile saw”. This will help keep your saw cool during the cutting process.

It is also important that this sump water is kept clean. This will increase the overall blade health and improve it’s useful life.

An additional tip to even make your rock cutting even better. I would recommend adding a bit of tile saw lubricant to the water. This will provide for an even smoother cutting experience.

However, if you do not have this. It is not a train smash. In this guide I will provide you with a method that will work pretty well without this.

Extra lubricant is just a cherry on top.

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Cut towards yourself

Make sure when you are cutting that you are pulling the rock towards yourself and not away.

I have seen so many people doing it the other way around you cannot believe.

The reason you shouldn’t cut the rock by pushing it into the tile saw are simple:

(1) You have more stability when you are pulling than when you are pushing.

(2) You will get sprayed with water from your reservoir and the wet tile saw.

Equipment You’ll need to cut rocks with a tile saw

Before we get into the nitty gritty details you will need the equipment below to:

  • Tile saw with a continuous diamond blade
  • Rocks to cuts
  • Brick (Typically a red brick)
  • Water
  • Lubricant (Optional)

How to cut rocks with a tile saw (5 Steps Guide)

Step 1 – Warming up the Tile Saw

Before turning on the tile saw, ensure that the reservoir tray has been filled to the maximum. If you are using lubricant – add this accordingly.

Use a clothe and wipe the tile saw table and diamond blade free of any dust particles.

Wear all of your safety equipment (glasses, dust mask, ear muffs). Please do not skip this step.

Various studies have been done and these show that people can get Silicosis from breathing in heavy dust particles especially from activities such as rock cutting.

how to cut rocks with a tile saw


Step 2 – Use Brick to remove metallic particles from diamond blade

This step is often ignored by experienced rock cutter. But I can tell you in my experience “ironing” out your diamond blade will provide you with the cleanest possible rock cut.

This “ironing” is done by cutting a standard house brick/red house brick.

Turn on the saw and gradually cut through the brick.

Do this 2 or 3 times and you will then be ensured of a clean and smooth diamond cutting blade.

The reason for this is that the coarseness of the brick will remove metal debris and micro particles from the tile saw blade, that could cause cracking and uneven rocks cuts.

Once this has been done, be sure to refill the water before going on to cut your real rocks.

Another reason for this is that if your tile saw blade is brand new, it usually has a layer of protective sealant from the factory which needs to be removed for an optimal and clean cut.

That is a bonus tip that most seasoned rock cutters miss as well.

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Step 3 – Scrub rocks and get them dust/particle free

Make sure that you remove any dust and free particles from your rocks. Before you cut them. This will help with the initial incision and it will allow for a firm and cleaner break in cut.


Step 4 – Cut your preferred rock 

This step basically now belongs to you.

You can be as creative and as exploratory as you wish. Typically what I have seen is that your first few cuts should be to get a feel for the roughness and speed of the blade.

Remember if you are using a continuous blade it will not cut your finger off, but initially getting used to it can take time.

So I would recommend that in the beginning just cut away.

As you advance however make sure that your cut is even do not rush the rock through the saw.

Move it slowly and at an even pace. This tends to provide the most optimal cut and smoothness especially when you are using a tile saw.

Another key thing to look out for especially if you are cutting Agate rocks is to look for a sweet spot.

This sweet spot is an area of the rock that looks to have very unique shapes and patterns that you would love to explore.

You do not need to cut the rock in half all the time.

In my experience I have often seen that the most beautiful shapes and textures come from when you small pieces and around the edges.

Step 5 – Be Patient and understand the Mohs scale

Patience is an absolute must when looking to cut smoothly through rocks using a wet tile saw.

The Mohs scale, as shown below, is basically a chart that characterizes the scratch resistance of rocks and minerals.

Source: nps.gov

The higher the Mohs value the more you will need to exercise patience whilst you are cutting though your rock with a tile saw.

Agates (The favourite amongst rock cutters) has a Mohs value of between 6.5 to 7.

Final Thought on how to cut rocks with a tile saw

Cutting rocks and discovering amazing patterns and textures can be fun. This can often lead to one creating amazing pedants that are unique in both shape and colors.

Now that you know how to cut rocks with a tile saw, give it a try you will not be disappointed with the wonders that you will find.

Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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