Discuss Struggling to cut porcelain tiles with Sigma 3D2 in the Tile Cutters and Tiling Tools area at TilersForums.com

S

Stanman

Hi all,

I've tried cutting my first porcelain floor tile with the sigma cutter - it failed miserably. I've got a bucket full of curved cuts from a single 600x600 porcelanosa VENIS tile. Maybe 2 cuts oout of the 10 I tried worked.

Before I go and hire a bridge saw for the weekend, have any of you sigma users got any advice or tips? I've tried light scoring, heavy scoring, double scoring etc.

In contrast, it cuts ceramic with ease. I could even ease the crack up the tiles. In contrast the porcelain tile has no give at all....
 
S

Stanman

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  • #3
It's the 3D2 model prior to the max one
 

whitebeam

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Thats the pull one then?...if it is I can't get on with that handle and find that there's not enough pressure being applied.
 
W

WetSaw

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  • #5
Someone has to do it....... Should have bought a Rubi!!

Sorry I've nothing useful to add, never used a Sigma.
 
L

lizzardtong

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  • #6
It could be down to tile you're cutting. Did you try it on other porcelain tile?
Seen tread here couple months ago and it was down to strees in tiles.
 

Sean Kelly

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Straight away we have to rule out it's the Sigma's fault!

Seriously, it is 95% down to the tile being so dense that it is virtually impossible to cut dry. It sound like you have tried all the different ways (hard, soft breaking, hard, soft scoring). The last time this happened to me I complained to the tile shop. They said 'Ahh yes, full bodied porcelain tiles.........you have to cut them on a wet cutter' Luckily for me the problem tiles were confined to a couple of boxes of tiles.

I even tried making sure I cut the tiles by making sure I only cut in the direction of the arrows or markings on the back, but that did not help!
 

Andy Allen

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Bad workman blames his tools. .....unless its a rubi then its fully justified. ...:lol:

Sorry couldn't resist it..
 
R

Rookery

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  • #9
I think it might be down to your technique rather than the machine. Once you've scored the tile, give the handle a short, sharp thwack, see if that makes a difference. And if that don't work, buy a Rubi :lol:
 

Andy Allen

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I have come across some tiles even the mighty sigma won't cut....made by the devil himself if you ask me....no choice but to wet cut..
 
R

ruairi mac

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Would a new cutting wheel make any difference? Some tiles are a nightmare to cut to be fair, I find that sometimes even adjusting the height of the bar can make a big difference. If your able to cut ceramics ok, then maybe the porcs are a bit thicker? Try raising the bar up 5mm or so both sides.
 

Chalker

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You have to be confident with full bodied porcelain.
make sure you score over the edge of the tile, then one constsant pressure score across the tile.

then a quick push down with the breaker (quite hard)
i like to put a bit of pressure with my hand on the opposing end of the tile to help.

even with that method, you still find tiles with so much tension in them, that the only way is to wet cut.
 
D

Dash J

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  • #14
Scribe it quite hard then hit either side of the scribe whilst it is still on the bed of the sigma
should snap no problem
the pull handle is by far the best sigma btw
 

widler

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Some porcelain won't dry cut, no matter what cutter, some of the buggers are just to hard
 
D

Dash J

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I have never not cut porcelain dry
Only ones I struggled with had a glass face
 

Dave

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Just to add , make sure you set handle depth to suit tile depth , this makes full use of the breaker ... 5mm from rail to handle runner.. Then score nd put breaker foot about an inch in and sharp quick wack on the handle to shock the tile and if you have set the depth correctly , then no chance of crushing the tile no matter how hard you hit the handle.

a common mistake is not setting the cutter to suit tile thickness , a big advantage of the sigma over any other machine.
 
R

Rizzle from the Portizzle

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  • #19
Don't have all that faff with a Rubi!
Just scribe and hit it with a hammer.
and if that does not work you can try driving over your rubi or smack it against a wall or use a flame thrower or just do the right thing and throw it off a cliff :smilewinkgrin:
 
S

Stanman

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Just to add , make sure you set handle depth to suit tile depth , this makes full use of the breaker ... 5mm from rail to handle runner.. Then score nd put breaker foot about an inch in and sharp quick wack on the handle to shock the tile and if you have set the depth correctly , then no chance of crushing the tile no matter how hard you hit the handle.

a common mistake is not setting the cutter to suit tile thickness , a big advantage of the sigma over any other machine.

Now that is a good tip - I've chipped a few on the base of the cutter. I've managed to cut them with a deep double score. This only works on the large pieces - the small 20mm strips I need are proving unpredictable - I did manage one strip from 3 attempts!!!
 
S

Sigma UK

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  • #21
There will always be some tiles it just won't cut. Mainly anything with a thick glaze on top. (wet cut only). Are you using the 20mm strips or just trying to cut 20mm off the whole tile?.
 
S

Stanman

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  • #24
My setting out has left me with 20mm strips. Moving the tiles about will eliminate it, BUT it throws out the grout lines everywhere else..
 

Sean Kelly

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Ahh, if you only want 20mm strips then try cutting a 40mm strip then cut that strip in half to make a 20mm strip. I have found that cutting these tiles in half and then half again improves my chances of getting a decent cut.
 
S

Stanman

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  • #26
Hi sean,

tried that at first with little success. It needs a decent score to work and the surface on these porcelanosa tiles is rock hard. I can often tell if its going to work - the breaker handle flexes the whole cutter if the score is insufficient.

I've also adjust the rail up to limit the range of the breaker foot, hopefully this stops the crushed bits!!!
 

Sean Kelly

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Oh, so it's back to the wet cutter or angle grinder then.
 

area tiling

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If the sigma could only cut 2 out off 10 , then you've got no chance with a rubi !! I've never had any bother with any of my sigmas. !!
 
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Just to add , make sure you set handle depth to suit tile depth , this makes full use of the breaker ... 5mm from rail to handle runner.. Then score nd put breaker foot about an inch in and sharp quick wack on the handle to shock the tile and if you have set the depth correctly , then no chance of crushing the tile no matter how hard you hit the handle.

a common mistake is not setting the cutter to suit tile thickness , a big advantage of the sigma over any other machine.
Thanks @Dave for this original advice and to anyone else who can just give a wee bit more clarification on this adjustment
I've actually searched all over for how to correctly adjust the handle depth for the tile thickness: LOTS of info on how to make the adjustment but no guides as to what that adjustment should be set! :) I'm sure experienced professionals just do this by 'feel' and/or eyeball the setting - but I'd appreciate a bit more specifics in terms of measurement. This is the first (only!) advice I've actually even been able to find that gives a real 'specification' (or at least recommendation) for the adjustment (although subsequently found it in the manual)
I have a Sigma Max and going to be cutting some dense Porcelain for first time - I'm not sure exactly what is meant by "5mm from rail to handle runner" - from the manual it appears first positioning the breaker foot on the surface of the tile? And then the 5-7mm appears to be from the top of the rail to the the top of the 'slot' in the runner? (as per the added dimensional arrow I added to the original). Actually looking at this image in the detail view, I can see what appears to be a white band on the side of that guide slot, aligning with the top of the rail - is that physically present as a visual guide for that 5-7mm window?
Have to say without this post I don't think I would have deduced what was essentially included in the manual - but the descriptive actually made me realize 'ah THAT's what that means!'
 

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