on November 16, 2009
I almost stopped unpacking this and returned it to Lowes (got it for $279 today on sale) from reading the reviews and I was very hesitant, but when I unpacked it, everything was pretty much set up nicely and snapped into place.
The ONE thing that I can see why people rated it lower was due to the same problem of the vibration of the blade. I put on a brand new Dewalt diamond 8 inch blade and I didn't have it completely clamped into place, because when I turned it on, it was VERY wobly. I stopped, opened up the blade change system, and made sure that I held the blade right up against the black interior blade holder while I squeezed it together with the outer aluminum colored blade holder and screwed on the screw. Instantly different! So, make sure you do this and double/triple check if the blade is not true and rotating in sync with how a normal blade should rotate.
So, on to the good stuff. I had been cutting tile with a cheapo 80 dollar table top tile saw (chippy-mcgee from HD) and then got a Ryobi mitre saw that was the worst thing every to try and cut a straight line. I spent 5 hours trying to get a perfect set up to simply cut a tile, unsuccessfully after 6 attempts, I threw in the towell and told the wife that if I was going to do this 2nd shower perfectly with the travertine tile, I would need better equipment. HD had some nice products, but they were all $500 and $700 respectively. I couldn't justify that. But neither could I justify renting a machine for $50 per day and use it for 24 hours, rushing to get through and probably end up spending $100+ on a rental.
So, off to Sears, and they had NOTHING in stock to see...Disappointed, I ran to Lowes because they had some tile saws online but this one I'm reviewing wasn't on their website. I got there and it was on sale for under $280! AND it could cut over the size of 16" travertine that I needed to use it for. Perfect.
Got home, opened the box, everything was packed nicely, protected well and seemed to be 90% together when I took it out of the box. Needed to put in the blade (again, refer to the above, MAKE SURE you are sandwiching that blade in between the inner and outer blade holding collars before tightening it up snug), the laser guide (which CAN be made exact, you just have to be a bit patient and fine tune it prior to putting it on the saw, and fine tune it a bit more when you put it on the saw...patience pays off) requires 2 AAA batteries, so pick some up if you plan on using it.
The handle and the wheels were the last things to be put on and the wheels ARE useful if you put them about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the ground toward the end that the motor will stay at. Lean it toward the wheels and it rolls around the shop with ease, and the frame doesn't feel flimsy at all to me, especially when I'm rolling it around, it's pretty heavy duty!
As for the grill looking shelf, it does attach from the inside which is strange, but 4 long zip-ties later, the thing is as snug and secure as you could want. and it seems to be a great idea and very useful when finding a place to put your cut or uncut tile.
So, I started it up and immediately had to cut a tile 5 1/4 inches. Did so in about 45 seconds from set up to the cut being finished. The cut was so smooth, I didn't know which was the original side and which was the cut. Only some slight cut marks on the cut side were visible, so that made me feel MUCH better about my purchase.
I needed to cut another piece at 5 1/4 inches on one end and 5 5/16 on the other. This thing set up, and I squared it initially using a solid one piece square that I had, and then simply adjusted the square about .5 of a degree. Ta-da, 5 1/4 and 5 5/16. Its just about too damn good to be true, but this saw already is a winner in my book.
It also cleans up well and has a well placed plug to help drain the water out. You can basically wipe it down with a mildly damp towell like you're drying your car. I found it not to be messy clean up at all and it looked relatively new after clean up. The pump seems well enclosed and I would trim out the power supply cord holder that is a keyhole fashioned hole to hold the pumps power supply cord. It was way too snug, and if you want to take it apart and make sure there's no water left in the pump and clean it to extend the life of your equipment, I would suggest taking some snippers and opening up that hole to let the cord safely sit and be pulled out without it being an act of congress to get it loose from the plastic box inside the water pan that it sits in.
With a little patience and time spent on set up, I could easily refer this to a friend.
I think I got what I paid for and then some. Don't hesitate to get the $30 warranty at Lowes like I did, just in case you get a lemon, but if you don't, this sucker is pretty useful and mechanically sound for it's price!
on July 10, 2006
I shopped everywhere for a tile saw. I had a kitchen counter (50 sq. ft.) and a kitchen and den floor to tile (650 sq. ft.). I originally bought a tile cutter and it only took me a few minutes to take that back. I bought this saw hoping it would be okay and also because it came with a stand. It worked almost flawlessly. The only problems I had were with the water pump and the slide on the back gauge for angle cuts was sticking on a screw that appeared to serve no purpose so I removed that. The pump would only come on if tapped, but after cutting about 100 tiles it seemed to operate fine from that point on. If I had one thing to change about the saw it would be the wheels on the bottom of the cart. That don't work that well, but that's something I will rectify shortly. I give it five stars because to me it was well worth the money. I would buy it all over again.
on July 18, 2009
I've done quite a few home tiling jobs and had always gotten along with my small wet saw and my Rotozip with a diamond blade. My most recent job involved 20" porcelain tiles and I knew it would require a bigger saw. I decided on the QEP bridge saw because I needed at least 20" rip capacity and didn't want to pay a fortune.
I was very pleased with the cut that this saw produced (even with the stock blade)and I really liked the concept of the saw moving and the tile being stationary. I bought a Hotdog replacement blade because I've read so many bad reviews on stock blades that come with saws but I can not see a whole lot of difference between the two. They both produce smooth cuts. The motor has plenty of power to cut through these large tiles and I haven't had any problem with the pump. The reservoir pan catches most of the water and there is very little overspray during the cut. None of the spray comes toward the operator so you don't end up getting wet.
As others have mentioned the wheels as designed are a joke the way they clamp onto the legs. I ended up drilling two holes and bolting the wheels fast. This made the wheels work very good for moving the saw around.
This is a large bulky saw and not the easiest thing to move around but I only use it in my garage and it moves easily on the concrete floor. Overall I'm very satisfied with this saw for the price paid and the occasional use I will give it.
on October 30, 2009
I got this saw on sale at Lowe's near where I live. I did a lot of research on saws, and I was afraid to purchase one, but I have about 1000 sq ft plus that I need to tile so I bit the bullet and got this unit despite the mixed reviews on this site. I will attempt to answer questions that I had, that maybe you have.
Setup was very easy BUT the tubing from the pump to the saw was cracked when I bought it. No biggie got some new tubing at the store ($1.16 for 8ft) and plumbed it up on the outside of the pump power cable with zip ties. My suggestion for this part, is to zip tie the main power cord to the pump/tubing cord so it will move nice and not get caught on the table.
Other then that the saw works great. It cuts way faster then I ever thought even with the stock blade. It only sprays a few drops of water off of the table so you may want a platic drop mat or go outside. I set it up in my basement and had no issues just shop vacced at the end of the day. Maybe 1/4 of a gallon after 50 cuts. I didn't use the wheels or the laser. I would recommend using a combination square to set the guide for diagonal cuts. Other than that I really like my results.
on October 21, 2011
Capable of cutting 24in tile,
Quick angle select for both vertical and horizontal directions
capable of cutting 18" tile at a 45deg angle
wheels work well when installed as instructed instead of as pictured.
Legs fold up and lock. rolls on wheels like a roller bag suitcase with a pull out handle
The water retainer bucket on mine had a hole from a manufacturing defect. Sealed it with plastic weld
Water gets everywhere (but that's what happens with wet saws)
Multiple instruction booklets, Laser has different book from wheels, from saw, from water pump, from wheels
Biggest actual gripe. There is no easy way to "Zero" a tile when cutting on an angle. There is a Large 1" gap in the fence for the saw blade. As such when cutting on an angle the position of the cut can vary by up to 1 inch. trying to figure out the best way to make the same cut over and over again.
This is a very good product for the price. I am sure the $600 saws are better, but I certainty don't want to pay that. Finding a saw that can handle the large format tiles is hard, I checked 3 rental centers and only 1 of them could cut an 18" tile @45deg. The rental price for that one was $120 a day.
The blade that ships with this saw is very bad (as others have noted). Do yourself a favor and get a good blade.
on March 24, 2015
Overall I am happy with this saw, it does the job nicely and at about 1/5 the cost of most bridge saws of the same capacity. So, I finally decided on this saw after doing a lot of research, as I no longer had a saw I could borrow, I had to buy something and I did not want to spend more than necessary. I'm not a professional flooring person, but I've installed a lot of tile for myself and for several years as a handyman contractor. I bought this saw because I have a large area to do, over the next year of remodeling, with 20x20 tiles and needed a bridge saw to manage it well. I've used tile saws of many sizes, so I knew what these tile needed. If it lasts to the end of this project, I'm happy. Renting a saw is ridiculously expensive and anything else would not have really worked well for me for what I'm doing. Keep in mind that this saw will likely not last for decades, it's simply not built that well, but it is built well enough to get the job done.
I do want to address several of the issues that often come up in other reviews as well as my own experience. There are 4 primary issues that I see in reviews across many sites.
Reported Common Issue # 1: The saw does not cut straight. Many negative reviewers complain of the saw being out of square by about 1/8-1/4 inch across the 24" cut. I found mine to be about 1/8" off. I was able to make small adjustments to the bridge mounting to get it back square without much trouble. Given the way it's manufactured, that is not a large amount to be off. I was expecting this based on my research, so I spent the 5 minutes making it square vs. spending 5x more. Also, if you do not buy high quality tile (the ones you get at your local home store are NOT high quality), the tiles will not be dimensionally stable, meaning that the tiles are likely not quite square, or the same size, etc. I've seen this more times than I can count, and it will play havoc with you. One cut is perfect, the next is off by a bunch, it's not the saw, it's the tile when this happens, or you really suck at cutting tile. Do yourself a favor, buy good tile, or use really large grout lines to hide it...
Reported Common Issue # 2: The supplied blade is not good. This was one where I took the advice of the reviewers and purchased a high quality blade at the same time. A good blade does cut a lot better than the supplied blade, but the supplied blade is decent enough. I am cutting industrial grade porcelain tile, so I was not going to chance anything but a high end blade. I would recommend testing it out and making the call based on the results with your tile. I purchased a $45 blade, so it's not a hugely expensive issue.
Reported Common Issue # 3: The wheels for moving the saw are junk. Well, yeah, they are to be blunt. They attach with a clamp mechanism that is far too weak to hold them on. My recommendation is to drill and bolt them on, which is what I did and they stay put now.
Reported Common Issue # 4: The blade wobbles or can't be tightened enough. I personally did not experience this. The blade runs true and cuts straight (as measured against the bridge). There are washers that have to be installed with the blade, it is possible some missed those or they were not included.
Other issues I encountered:
The water pan is kinda crap. It's not a heavy enough plastic and is difficult to carry when full (to dump out when cleaning up). As I usually have the saw setup outside, this is not an issue. I just tip it over some and dump half the water out before removing it.
The cord/water line conduit tends to get caught on the bridge and keeps the saw from traveling all the way to the end. This was mainly due to the way it was boxed and the lines are stuck in that position due to material memory. I have worked most of that out, I may make something to keep it from falling back behind the bridge at some point if needed.
I actually saw some complaining about the saw being messy... Really? It's a WET SAW! Of course it's messy! I find it is far less messy than a table top saw since the blade is overhead.
Not really an issue, but this thing is big and heavy. Most of the saw is steel, which I usually like since it's stronger and more reparable than plastic, but with the amount of water tile saws see in life, I'd rather see aluminum/magnesium and high grade plastic than steel due to the rust factor. But, that would mean it would cost more, so, meh. Keep in mind that this is not exactly portable due to that, and it will take up a fair bit of room in your garage.
After making the necessary adjustments and installing a good blade, it cuts very well. The motor has plenty of power to cut the ultra hard porcelain tile I have, and rather quickly too. Cuts are clean and have not had an issue with the saw vibration breaking on thin cuts (all saws vibrate, this one is a little worse that others, but fine for my purposes).
So, should you buy this saw, well, that depends. If you are willing to fiddle with it a little, possibly have to get some replacement parts from QEP (I did not have this issue, but being a low-end saw, that is quite possible) and put up with a few minor nuances, then yes. If you need a saw that will work 100% out-of-the-box, every time, for the next decade with only blade replacements, then go spend $2,000 on a professional saw. I'm quite serious about that, this is a good saw for someone on a budget, that does not need to use the saw every day or long term and that can fix the minor issues it has. It's not for a professional or someone that does not own a screwdriver (you probably should not be laying tile if that's the case anyway...).
on September 5, 2010
I bought this saw after spending my typical 3-5 days of research on tool purchases for handling 1100 sq/ft of 20" porcelain tiles. I held off on writing on this review until I had spent a fair amount of time using the saw. I read many of the other reviews and have to agree, this saw is a real workhorse! I set it up outside under a covered patio and at the end of each day use my garden hose to clean it up.
The casters have the problem mentioned in the other reviews, but that is incidental. I did not buy a saw based on how it moves around, I want it to CUT TILE! I have cut 1/4 glazed ceramics, 5/16x20" sq porcelain, and 5/8"x16" sq travertine with this saw. I switched to the blade back to the blade that came with it for the ceramic, that worked just fine.
It does a great job on the travertine as well. I was cutting up some 2"x2" mosaic stuff with it too, really stable! I like how the bridge tilts also, as I usually do a back cut on a finished edge for my outside corners.
The fence is a little rough to slide once it gets some grit in the rail, but it cleans out easy enough.
The only thing I would change is to make the fence reversible.
I would recommend this saw to anyone who need to handle large tiles or a lot of cutting.. It is a BEAST!
Updates to my comments after using this saw continuously for a year.
Pump is still working, no problems.
Blade exchanged 4x, easy replacement. Hotdog blade is great!
Platform - vibration is evident as noted by other users.
Tray and frame, all the welds are still intact, the wire tray got bent from overloading.
Casters, fixed them using double hex nuts vs. the tack weld that held the original screw.
Still happy with my choice
on January 7, 2012
First off, I know just enough about tile and tile saws to be dangerous but marginally proficient.
The saw arrived with a broken water tray and stripped threads in one of the rail stand supports so I was prepared to be disappointed. I assembled it anyway, including finding a locking nut to keep the bolt that goes through the stripped support from falling out.
Then I filled a bucket with water, immersed the pump, fired it up and tried cutting some tile. The saw bucked, stalled, sparked and behaved very badly; it mangled the first tile. I tried other tile - porcelain, ceramic and clay. Chips, end-breaks, crooked cuts, etc. I was not happy. I had just ordered 100 sq. ft. of 2' x 2' porcelain tiles for a counter top and I was counting on this saw for the project. I sulked, swore and ignored the saw for about a week then finally called QEP. I'm glad I did.
First they asked if the saw was plugged into an extension cord. D'oh, I should have known better! Yes, it was plugged into about 100' of extension cord. They said "don't do that". Indeed! I rearranged the entire garage so the saw could live by an outlet and tried again. Cuts on ceramic and clay tiles were much, much better.
They then said the rip fence might need alignment and emailed instructions (cryptic) for fixing that. The fence was fine, no adjustments were needed.
Finally, they asked what I was cutting. Customer support told me the blade that comes with the saw is only for ceramic tile and I needed to get a porcelain and stone blade. Ok, good to know (would have been better to know earlier - as in when I was reading the instruction booklet). I ordered the QEP 8" Black Widow which arrived today just in time to cut some porcelain surface bullnose. Wonder of wonders, it was good! Nothing broke, chipping was what you would expect with any good saw, very minimal and easy to smooth out with a stone.
I'm worried about the durability of the plastic angle cutting guide because it feels flimsy. The laser guide apparently requires a micrometer to get into proper position and crazy glue to keep it there. I'll stick with my grease pencil.
So, I give this saw a '4' because of the hassle with the broken parts and lousy instructions. I give myself a '3' for the stoopid extension cord maneuver. Once the new water tray and rail stand support piece (which customer service is more than happy to send) arrive, I'll tackle the kitchen job. If I learn anything that might help others, I'll report back. For the time being, I'm really glad I don't have to pack it up, ship it back and find another saw!
on May 2, 2013
Got the saw yesterday, set it up, and started cutting some 18" tiles for a closet. First three went fine, but then I began to notice more vibration in the handle. The next two tiles cracked during the cut. I came back to Amazon and read through the reviews. One mentioned the bade being mounted incorrectly. I own two table-saws and regularly swap out from regular blades to dado blades with no problem. I know how to mount blades. But there was no other explanation for a round disc causing so much vibration when rotating. So I put on my cheaters, got a flashlight, and took the blade off. I had noticed the rectangular shape on the arbor before, but had not gotten both flanges and the blade fully mounted on it. The nut would go to full torque, but the blade was actually not fully seated. So if you have vibration in the handle or are cracking tiles, it's a pretty sure bet that you need to remount the blade. Once you do, you'll cut tiles with ease.
on May 26, 2014
Two main issues with this saw:
1) The "laser" was shoddy plastic construction (to say the least).
2) The saw wouldn't cut a straight line. Over a 24 inch tile it crept 1/4 inch....very noticeable.
Other annoying things....the screw driver provided for assembly only worked on some of the screws. The blade guard was inconvenient (to say the least).
We returned the saw after one afternoon of attempting to get it to work for us. VERY frustrating!