How To Cut Slate Tile With A Circular Saw Safely and Effectively: 6 Easiest Steps!

The popularity of slate tiles has been rising steeply with the emergence of new interior and architectural concepts. This precious natural stone tile should be handled and dissected with care and caution.

A circular saw is a safe choice to handle the cutting and chopping of slate tiles. Use a diamond blade to cut slate tiles and mark the cutline on the top of the tiles.

For detailed and thorough step-by-step instructions, read the whole article.

How To Cut Slate Tile With A Circular Saw

Blade To Cut Slate Tiles

The first and foremost pre-step of cutting slate tile with a circular saw is to choose the appropriate blade. When using a circular saw to cut slate tiles, you must always use a diamond blade which is particularly designed for stone materials.

What’s the specialty of these blades? These blades possess a continuous rim that is capable of enduring the tough texture of slate. Moreover, they are coated with excellent-quality diamond particles which makes the blade more durable and harder.

When you are browsing for a diamond particle blade, make sure to give thorough notice of the concentration of the diamond component and the bond between the blade matrix and the diamonds. A high concentration and a quality bond will provide you with a smooth cut on the slate tile and will last for ages.

Diamond blades are available at local hardware stores and on Amazon as well. Make sure the blade is compatible with the circular saw. You can know whether the blade is compatible or not by comparing the arbor and bore size. Also, ensure that the blade is suitable for wet cutting or dry cutting. DEWALT Diamond Blade can be a safe pick for you.

How To Cut Slate Tile With A Circular Saw?

Unlike wood, you can’t really pick a piece of slate tile and start cutting it with a circular saw. there are certain protocols and precautions that will be required for a smooth, plain cut and the safety of your tool and you. Now that you know what blade you need, let’s move forward and see how you can utilize that blade on slate tiles.

1. Mark The Cutline Of The Slate Tiles

There is no need to exaggerate the need to mark the material before running it over with a circular saw. the mark permits you to cut the slate in a straight line and order. This will give you clear visibility. You can lead your circular saw blade following the line.

You can mark the slate tile with a pencil and a straight edge. As you are using a circular saw, marking on the top side would suffice. You can also mark the slate tiles with masking tapes. Chalk, or grease pen in case the pencil line falls short.

2. Score The Slate Tiles

Once you are done with marking the cutline on the slate tiles, you have to score the cutline as well. Scoring the cutline will allow you to run the blades more smoothly as it will weaken the slate a tad over the cutline.

With the sharp edge of a chisel, score the cutline along with the mark. You can use a straight edge for more guidelines or direction. Make sure that you press down it hard so that it can give you a clear line. You can score the cutline with a carbide-tipped pencil too.

3. Set The Circular Saw Up

As you have settled the slate tiles, now move on to the circular saw. A slate tile is not as heavy and steady as wood. So, you need to secure it on a flat surface so that it doesn’t shift while cutting them up. Clamp the tiles tightly to the workbench or any flat table where you can run the circular saw freely.

Then, according to the thickness of the slate tiles, adjust the depth of the saw blade. The blade should be 1-1.5 inches deeper than the thickness of the slate tiles. You can adjust the depth of the circular saw following the instruction in the manual of the circular saw.

4. Wet Cutting Or Dry Cutting

There are two ways to cut a piece of slate tiles. You can either choose a wet cutting or a dry one. What’s the difference? Wet cutting includes a water source in this process. Before you cut the slate tiles, you basically wet the blade and the tile with a garden hose, spray bottle, or premium wet saw. This aids in prolonging the lifespan of the blade by keeping the heat low.

Dry cutting, on the other hand, deters any source of liquid like water or lubricant. This process can help you cut the slates much faster, but it will generate more dust and debris. Moreover, the blade will be overheated too. Generally, wet cutting in more preferable even though it can be a little messy.

5. The Final Act

Yup, now your slates are ready to be cut and the circular saw is ready to cut. Check the power of the circular saw and slowly put the blade on the marked and scored cutline. Do not forget to keep the blade steady and perpendicular to the tile.

Do not rush the cutting process and follow the line with your dominant eye. The little nudge on the base plate can lead you through the cutline as well. Don’t put heavy pressure on the tiles. Too heavy force can damage or even break the slate tiles and make the blade blunt.

Make sure the blade is properly aligned. The blade should be at a precise 90-degree angle with the table. Check the arbor if the blade is not aligned. Most of the time, debris or a small stone is stuck that causes the misalignment.

6. Clean Up

After you are done with cutting the slate tiles, clean up the blade and the circular saw. Use a soft brush and fresh water to clean the circular saw. if any debris is stuck inside the saw, take the saw apart and carefully remove that part.

Some Tips To Remember

  • For cutting slate tiles, use a circular saw with a powerful motor. You should go for the circular saw that has variable speed control. It would provide you with more control over cutting speed.
  • Use water spray to wet the blades if you have a huge number of slate tiles to cut. This will prevent the blade from overheating. Eventually, this technique will lengthen the blade’s lifespan.
  • Support the slate tiles with a piece of scrap wood. This way the tiles would be fixated and no extra pressure would be mounted on them.
  • Begin the cutting process with a small cut on the cutline. This will create a groove or channel to the cutmark, and you can cut the slate tiles more precisely.

People Also Ask


Can a beginner cut a piece of slate tile?

If you are a novice with a circular saw, a slate tile will befall hard on you. As the slate tile is dense and sensitive at the same time. If you are committed to cutting slate tiles despite being a beginner, start by practicing on scrap tiles and practice straight cuts first.

What precautions should I take before cutting slate tiles?

Before cutting slate tiles, always put on your safety goggles to protect your eyes. You can also wear earplugs if the loud noise of the circular saw bothers you. Keep your hands away from the blade. After you are done with the blade, turn off the tool and keep the safety switch on. Clean the blade after using the tool.

What other tools I can use to cut slate tiles?

There are lots of other tools you can use for slate tiles. Score and snap tile cutters are manual tools that have specifications for tile cutting only. If you want to use power tools, you can opt for a wet tile saw too. There is also an angle grinder that is basically a handheld power tool. A chisel and hammer would be a wise option as well for small cuts or shaping the edges.

Final Words

Slate tiles are sensitive materials to be cut with a circular saw. However, the task would be a lot easier if you used the right blade and followed the right procedure. If you have gone through the instructions, I am confident that you have successfully completed cutting and separating the slate tiles.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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