The Best Manual Tile Cutters of 2023

Score and snap the next project to completion with a top tile cutter that will help get the job done quickly and accurately.

Best Overall

The Best Manual Tile Cutter Option: QEP 10630Q 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter

QEP 10630Q 24-Inch Manual Tile Cutter

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Manual Tile Cutter Option: QEP 10214Q 14-Inch Tile Cutter

QEP 10214Q 14-Inch Tile Cutter

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Manual Tile Cutter Option: Sigma 26-Inch Pull Tile Cutter

Sigma 26-inch Pull Tile Cutter

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For homeowners considering a tile project or repair, the idea of working with this durable material might seem intimidating. After all, tile is tough and often expensive, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Outfitting a tool kit with the best manual tile cutter for a particular project helps simplify the job and achieve top-notch results.

The best manual tile cutters make cutting tile a snap—quite literally. They have hardened metal wheels that score the surface of the tile, a foot that applies pressure to each side of the score mark, and a lever for applying the force required to snap the tile. The result is clean, straight cuts. Here are some of the best manual tile cutters based on category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: QEP 10630Q 24-Inch Tile Cutter 
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: QEP 10214Q 14-Inch Tile Cutter 
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Sigma 26-Inch Pull Tile Cutter
  4. BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS: Montolit Masterpiuma Evolution 3 Tile Cutter
  5. BEST FOR LONG CUTS: Goplus 36-Inch Manual Tile Cutter
  6. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: M-D Building Products 14-Inch Tile Cutter
A person using the best manual tile cutter option to manually cut a tile
Photo: walmart.com

How We Chose the Best Manual Tile Cutters

The best manual tile cutters should allow users to accurately cut a variety of tile materials and thicknesses. The devices need to be durable, easy to clean, and as straightforward as possible to set up and use.

DIYers in particular often wonder whether a power tool would be easier than a manual tile cutter, so anything that made the process simpler while still providing consistently reliable tile cutting was considered a bonus.

Price is always a major consideration when looking for tile cutters. While we looked for value for money where possible, it was never at the expense of quality. We believe the resulting selection offers something for everyone, from a complete beginner tackling their first tiling job to a seasoned professional.

Our Top Picks

Now that we have explained a bit more about what goes into choosing the best manual tile cutter, shoppers can compare some of the top products on the market.

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Those searching for the best tile cutter with almost all the features they need for nearly any tile project will want to check out QEP’s 24-inch manual tile cutter. This tool’s large capacity will allow homeowners to tackle floor tiles, wall tiles, glass mosaics, and backsplashes with one tool. Placing those materials against the rubber pads on either side of the snapping ridge will ensure they stay in place while scoring and snapping.

This QEP manual tile cutter features a titanium-coated tungsten-carbide scoring wheel, offering sharp scores and long-lasting durability. It also has two folding sidebars for providing more stability with a wider footprint. The built-in ruler extends, allowing users to make consistent cuts without constantly breaking out a tape measure. The ruler also features a built-in angle guide, so achieving that perfect cut is much easier.

Product Specs 

  • Length of cut: 24 inches
  • Wheel material: Titanium-coated tungsten carbide
  • Sidebars: Yes

Pros

  • Wide base and table extensions provide a super-stable base for cutting all tile types
  • Titanium-coated wheel produces consistent scoring with excellent edge retention
  • High-leverage handle and linear ball bearings deliver pro-standard power and control while cutting tiles

Cons

  • Some users struggle to produce long, clean cuts on porcelain and ceramic tiles

Get the QEP 24-inch manual tile cutter at Amazon or The Home Depot.

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Accurate results aren’t always about having the biggest, most expensive tile cutter. For those who need to tackle a smaller tile installation or repair and want to save some money, QEP’s 14-inch tile cutter might be the way to go. It can handle straight cuts on tiles up to 14 inches long, 45-degree cuts on tiles up to 10 inches long, and it can snap tiles up to ½-inch thick—all at a reasonable price.

This manual tile cutter features heavy-duty rubber pads to prevent tiles from slipping while tile cutting and snapping. The tungsten-carbide-tipped wheel will last for several projects, and it couples with the built-in adjustable measurement fence to create clean, consistent snaps.

Product Specs 

  • Length of cut: 14 inches
  • Wheel material: Titanium-coated tungsten carbide
  • Sidebars: No

Pros

  • Low-cost and full feature set make this a good choice for small DIY jobs; creates perfectly straight cuts
  • A textured heavy-duty rubber mat helps to keep tiles in place while scoring
  • The breaker bar has rubber padding to prevent the marring of tile surfaces

Cons

  • A few owners have had the tile breaker bar shear off

Get the QEP 14-inch manual tile cutter at Amazon or Acme Tools.

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The Italian-made Sigma tile cutter has several features that make it an exceptional tool. The base is heavily ribbed aluminum, keeping weight down but providing an extremely rigid platform. Precision-machined guide bars maintain a perfectly straight scoring line, time after time. Scoring depth is adjustable, so the Sigma can tackle tiles as thin as ⅙ inch or as thick as ¾ inch.

Where most competitors are designed to cut ceramic tiles as well as porcelain tiles, the Sigma tile cutter can also be used for glass, marble, and granite. A swiveling measuring bar allows quick and easy diagonal cutting with presets for fast access to common angles. The Sigma tile cutter is a high-ticket tool, but tradespeople and DIYers with extensive areas to tile may well find it worth the investment.

Product Specs 

  • Length of cut: 26 inches
  • Wheel material: Tungsten carbide
  • Sidebars: Yes

Pros

  • Swiveling guide bar with a quick-set button for rapid selection of common angles
  • Adjustable scoring depth for different tile thicknesses with a stop to prevent excess pressure
  • The precision-machined cutter bar is extremely durable and produces consistently straight scoring; suitable for porcelain and ceramic tiles

Cons

  • Some buyers received a tool with a ruler in centimeters and not inches

Get the Sigma manual tile cutter at Amazon.

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Italian manufacturers have a reputation for making some of the best tile cutters in the world, and the Montolit Masterpiuma Evolution 3 regularly tops independent reviews. It is designed for cutting all tile types, from ¼-inch thick up to heavy-duty floor tiles at ⅞-inch thick. The titanium-coated wheel is particularly efficient when scoring the porcelain tiles that other cutters sometimes struggle with.

The Montolit Masterpiuma uses a push action that is claimed to be more natural, providing the tiler greater control with less fatigue. The machined guide rail delivers proven precision. The cutter bed itself is sprung, so it absorbs impacts that can cause breakages, and thus reduces waste. A special pad is also available for cutting mosaics (at extra cost). A large swiveling protractor allows for easy tile cutting of diagonals and folds away for storage. Other models are available allowing for the cutting of tiles up to 61 inches.

Product Specs 

  • Length of Cut: 29 inches
  • Wheel material: Titanium
  • Sidebars: Yes

Pros

  • Sprung tables and foam extension pads absorb impact and reduce waste; suitable for cutting porcelain tiles
  • Adjustable square allows fast, accurate setting of angles for diagonal cutting
  • Non-scratch plastic breaker feet prevent the tool from marking tile surfaces

Cons

  • The high price means it is likely to appeal only to full-time professionals

Get the Montolit manual tile cutter at Amazon.

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Making accurate snaps across long tiles can be a serious challenge. The Goplus 36-inch manual tile cutter helps reduce that difficulty. Not only does it have a 36-inch capacity, but it also has an I-shaped rail that provides strength and accuracy while scoring, even in the middle of the rail.

While the capacity and accuracy are the main draws, the Goplus is long on features as well. It has nonslip rubber pads on the feet and the bed, a heavy-duty steel base, and a comfortable grip. There is also a built-in sliding ruler with an angle gauge. It has two folding sidearms to provide stability—something that’s invaluable when cutting an inch or two off the end of a 36-inch-wide tile.

Product Specs 

  • Length of cut: 36 inches
  • Wheel material: Tungsten carbide
  • Sidebars: Yes

Pros

  • A rigid steel frame, nonslip rubber pad, and sidebars maximize tile support
  • The ergonomic soft-grip handle reduces hand fatigue and helps apply consistent pressure
  • Considering the capacity and features provided, this cutter offers very good value

Cons

  • Struggles to cut tiles in long strips less than 1½ inches wide

Get the Goplus manual tile cutter at Amazon.

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DIYers looking for a lightweight tile cutter for light-duty projects will want to check out the 14-Inch tile cutter from M-D Building Products. This manual tile cutter features a cast-aluminum cutter assembly and brackets, providing plenty of strength for cutting tiles while cutting back on weight.

There’s more to like than just the weight. This tile cutter features nonslip rubber padding to hold either floor, wall, or backsplash tiles in place as their surfaces are scored. It also features a built-in sliding ruler with a plastic stop to minimize the weight without sacrificing usability.

Product Specs 

  • Length of cut: 14 inches
  • Wheel material: Tungsten carbide
  • Sidebars: No

Pros

  • Durable cast-aluminum construction provides the rigidity for accurate cutting
  • Compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport or store
  • Priced to appeal to the DIYer who only has small projects to undertake

Cons

  • Some owners have struggled to cut straight lines in glass tiles

Get the M-D Building Products manual tile cutter at Amazon.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Manual Tile Cutter

The best manual tile cutters can save lots of time compared to setting up more expensive wet saws. They’re easy to use, and the end result can be flawless. But not all manual tile cutters fit this bill. This section will identify what to look for when choosing the best manual tile cutter for any project.

Cutter Wheel Material 

The term “tile cutter” is a little misleading. These manual tools don’t necessarily cut tiles; it’s more of a score-and-snap method. They have small, sharp wheels that run across the top of the tile, leaving a sharp scratch on the surface, which then becomes the perfect spot for a clean snap.

Tile cutters’ wheel material can affect its performance. While most wheels can score a tile enough to snap it, tungsten-carbide-tipped wheels will last quite a bit longer than steel wheels. Even if only using the tile cutter for one project, achieving the same level of accuracy from start to finish with the same wheel matters.

Tile Cutter Bed

Another important part to consider is the tile cutter’s bed. While it might seem like a simple, arbitrary part of the cutter, some specific features can help improve the usability of the manual tile cutter.

The best tile cutters feature straight ridges that run down the center. On either side of this ridge, the best manual tile cutters have a foam or rubber material. This foam or rubber creates a nonslip surface that keeps the tile in place while scoring or snapping, providing better accuracy and less waste when installing tile.

The foam or rubber also supports the tile while providing enough give to absorb the pressure that’s applied while snapping. Without that give, users will have a hard time snapping tiles—and snapping them cleanly.

Base of the Tile Cutter

While searching for the best manual tile cutters, it’s easy to overlook the features and nuances in the bases of the different models. Features like rubber feet and folding sidebars can make a big difference, particularly with larger tiles.

When scoring larger tiles, it can be difficult to apply consistent downward pressure. If a manual tile cutter’s base doesn’t feature rubber feet, it can slip around on smoother surfaces. That can be frustrating, and it can scratch the surface.

Folding sidebars attached to the base help support wide tiles, but they also provide stability while scoring and snapping. When cutting a wide tile far off to one side or the other, the tile’s weight creates uneven leverage. The sidebars create a wider footprint, allowing precise cuts to be made more easily.

Horizontal Ruler and Angle Guide

Many of the best manual tile cutters feature built-in measurement tools to help speed up the cutting process, increase accuracy, and promote consistency. It’s a feature that can often be used to make repeated cuts without measuring each time.

When it comes to trimming tiles to size, many of the best tile cutters feature built-in horizontal rulers. Some of those rulers slide to extend, allowing the easy measurement of tiles that overhang the base.

Built-in angle guides are all about convenience and consistency. Once the angle of the cut is known, these adjustable guides can be positioned and locked in place. The tile can be registered against the guide, providing a stable and accurate base to score and snap against.

FAQs

If you haven’t decided on a particular tile cutter because you still have some questions, this section may help. Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about tile cutters are just ahead.

Q. What materials can be cut with a manual tile cutter?

Tile cutters can cut tiles for floors, walls, and backsplashes. They work best on glass tiles as well as porcelain and ceramic tiles, though you may be able to use them on some stone tiles like marble. They are not suitable for ceiling tiles that are made of plaster, plastic, tin, or fiber.

Q. How do you keep tile from chipping when cutting?

Chipping is a concern for powered wet tile saws, though a diamond blade reduces the problem. It isn’t a concern for manual tile cutters. However, there are three things you can do to ensure a clean snap when cutting tile manually:

  1. Ensure your wheel is sharp and free from chips.
  2. Make just one pass when you score the tile, using even pressure.
  3. Don’t allow the tile to move once you score it. This will help to ensure the score is directly over the snapping ridge for a clean cut.

Q. How do you change the blade on a manual tile cutter?

In most cases, a screw and a bit of friction are all that hold the cutting wheel or blade in place on a tile cutter. Simply back out the screw and grab the edge of the old wheel with a pair of pliers to remove it. Place the new wheel in the slot, and replace the screw.

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Tom Scalisi

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Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer for some of the largest DIY and construction-related websites in the world. He also runs his own blog, RiddaBugs.com, which is a pest-control website that helps homeowners and renters choose their best pest-control options. He has a passion for building: Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.

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