Product Type: Plasplugs Power Saw
Newest Review: ... from Screwfix) which does help and doesn't cost much more than you can find the Plasplugs spares available for. As other reviews have men... more
Lets hit the Tiles
Plasplugs DWW100 Tile Cutter Compact Plus
Member Name: rocknro11
Plasplugs DWW100 Tile Cutter Compact Plus
Date: 31/08/06, updated on 31/08/06 (12396 review reads)
Advantages: Inexpensive, easy to use, robust and practical
*** The Purchase ***
I am used to using a manual tile cutter but working out that I was going to need about 800 four-inch square tiles, an electric tile cutter was definitely on the agenda. I trotted off to our local Homebase store and brought the tiles and then looked at the selection of tile cutters they had to offer. There was a wide choice of just one and this was the Plasplugs Diamond Wet Wheel Tile Cutter and for only £30 it was worth a try.
*** The Instructions ***
With again the promise of an endless pot of tea, my wife was eager for me to strip off… now now, throw on my overalls and get tiling. The instructions wont take long to read, printed as a fold-out A5 pamphlet it details the usual safety and user precautions, a list of ‘what’s in the box’, 6 bullet point headings with accompanying diagrams depicting how to use the cutter and a small paragraph on care and cleaning of the tile cutter. Finally there is a small description on how to replace the 80mm cutting wheel and the obligatory 1 year guarantee section.
*** The Accessories ***
Apart from the main unit itself, you receive a hexagon spanner, which is required to replace the cutting wheel, a height adjustable splash guard that fits over the cutting wheel and prevents water spraying in your face when the cutter is in operation and a cutter guide to aid lining up the correct cutting position of your tile.
*** Look and Use ***
The tile cutter is square in appearance, measuring 15.5 inches by 15 inches and is 5 inches in depth. It has been designed with the home user / DIY enthusiast in mind as opposed to the professional tradesman but that said it can cut tiles to a depth of 12mm and can comfortably cut through ceramic, quarry, terracotta and slate tiles to that depth. On paper it looked more than adequate for my needs.
Overalls donned, pencil behind my ear, a quick swig of tea and I was off. The cutter sports a diamond cutting blade that spins at approximately 4,600 revolutions per minute so don’t get your fingers anywhere near it. A diamond tipped cutting wheel spinning at that speed will inevitably leave a dark and jagged cut line on the tile due to friction and the build up of heat. To avoid this Plasplugs and other manufactures invented the wet wheel cutters. It’s a simply idea but ingenious, keeping the blade wet at all times will stop the heat build up and reduce friction and this is where this type of cutter gets its name ‘wet wheel’.
One half of tile cutter is hollow and is effectively a water reservoir, lifting the cover off to the right of the blade allows you to fill the compartment with tap water. Before use, fill the compartment to a depth of 20mm, just shy of one inch and then replace the cover. Next and most importantly fit the splash guard. This attaches just above the cutting wheel and sits on a slide mount and is held in place by a plastic wing nut, that is big another to be done up using your fingers. The height you set the guard up at depends on the depth of your tile, if when using the cutter you experience water spraying in your face, lower the guard a couple of millimetres and try again.
The last piece to fit is the cutter guide; this spans the complete width of the unit and has a straight edge to butt up to your tiles. Attached to the guide are two plastic clips that hold the guide firmly in place on the cutter, when the clips are undone the guide will slide horizontally across the unit.
Once you have plugged the tile cutter into the mains outlet socket, you turn it on by pressing the square green button located below the cutting wheel and to the left. Be careful as turning the machine on will instantly set the cutting wheel in motion, so only do this when you have lined up your tile and are ready to begin cutting. Turning the machine off / stopping the cutting wheel is by pressing the square red button located next to the green button. Turning off the cutter will not instantly stop the wheel from turning, so mind your fingers and wait for the wheel to stop revolving before removing your tile.
Once you have marked the cut position on a tile, simply place the tile on the cutter aligning the marked position on the tile with the cutting wheel. Moving from left to right slide the cutting guide up to the tile, make sure the guide is just touching the edge of the tile and snap the clips at either end in place. The unit has ruler markings either side of the guide, which will help you cut in a straight line.
With the guide firmly locked down and the splash guard in the correct position turn the unit on and with your hands placed on the tile either side of the cutting wheel gentle push the tile forward on to the cutting wheel until you have completely cut the tile in two.
If when cutting you notice a dull line appearing on the tile where you have just cut, the water reservoir will need topping up. I found the machine easy to set-up and use and it made light work of the cutting. It is important that the splash guard is in the right place otherwise you will experience water being sprayed in your face as well as small fragments of tile, which could result in a trip to the hospital if any were to hit your eye.
The top of the unit can pivot to make 45 degree cuts possible and once you have gained confidence you can make curved cuts without the use of the straight edged guide.
When in use there will be a certain amount of tile dust expelled but I did not find the need to set the cutter up outside. After use a damp cloth is required to wipe down the top surface but you will find a build up of sludge from the tiny tile fragments in the reservoir that will need thoroughly cleaning out.
*** Opinion ***
All in all the cutter worked very well and I had finished the tiling in a couple of days with all my fingers still in place. Care does need to be taken, if you are cutting a small slither off of a tile, as your fingers will come very close to the cutting wheel.
No regular servicing of the cutter is required and replacement cutting wheels can be purchased on-line or in most DIY shops for around £8.
Always remember to take regular tea breaks when using the cutter as if nothing else it will help prolong the life of the motor ;-)
I would definitely recommend this to others.
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Takes the hard work out of tile cutting and represents good value for money