May 10, 2021

Bridge Tile Saw vs Sliding Table

The Bridge Tile Saw and Sliding Table have been the two most popular tools among woodworking enthusiasts for a very long time. A debate ensues over which one is better. Bridge Tile Saw vs Sliding Table is a key comparison. So, what are the differences between the two? First of all, the Bridge Tile Saw is a lot more compact than a Sliding Table. That is important if you have limited space. But, the Sliding Table is generally more durable, while the Bridge Tile Saw is easier to use.

Bridge tile saw

A bridge tile saw is a powerful tool with bridge expansion on both sides of the machine. That makes it ideal for cutting through long and wide tiles. The head of the tile saw is allowed to move through the bridge when cutting through your material. 

That is why the tile saw machine remains stationary as you are operating the machine. A bridge tile saw allows you to move the material backward and forward as the blade remains stationary. 

That causes inaccuracy and damage to the material. You have another option that allows you to move the saw across the tile while it remains stationary. That brings high-quality cuts. The fact that it is bigger makes it heavy. 

However, accessories like folding legs and wheels make it easy to move. The plunge effect mechanism that makes the bridge tile saw adjust the cutting height and cuts through multiple materials. It comes with innovative features such as 1.5hp motors that prevent heating, laser guides for alignment, and other high-tech features. 

The bridge tile saw requires less maintenance. It is easy to clean and quiet due to the non-grinder motor. It is ideal for porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles. The QEP83230 Bridge tile saw has a laser cutting guide, and it makes diagonal cuts of up to 22inch. 

The blade is flawless, and it is fast. It has an adjustable pivoting rail for easy angle positioning from 45 to 90 degrees (Source). 

Sliding table

The sliding table saw is a powerful tool meant to cut through tiles. It has a sliding table on the left side of the saw machine. It is on a base or a table using a folding arm. It comes with a riving knife that gets rid of kickbacks. 

A sliding table has a similar design to a cabinet, or a table saw. What separates it from the two is the table on the left side of the blade. 

That gives you an allowance to move the table. It is safe to use due to the pole that keeps your material sturdy. The position of the table makes the user operate the saw tool from a distance. 

The chances of experiencing the material kicking back are slim. It comes with a rip fence that has a high and low position. You are allowed to reposition it to mark the maximum length you want to run. 

It uses a pointed board with magnets on the bottom. The rip fence micro-adjuster is an innovative feature of the sliding table saw. A Porter Sliding table (PCC780LA) is cordless and that makes it easy to move around. It rips a tile measured 12 x 12 inches from corner to corner. 

Benefits of a Bridge tile saw

  • Excellent on large tiles
  • Accommodates wider tiles
  • Safe and easy
  • Accurate
  • Great for rip cuts
  • Less maintenance
  • Durable
  • Stable

Benefits of a Sliding table

  • Stable
  • Movable
  • Easy to run plunge cuts and notches
  • Safe
  • Less vibration
  • Smooth cuts
  • Portable
  • Cutting variations

Advantages of Using a Bridge tile saw over a Sliding table

  • A Bridge tile saw is not contaminated water under the bridge. You have to make sure there is enough water inside, and it is clean. The sliding table needs regular maintenance so that it remains accurate. Less maintenance leads to a paste that is a mixture of dust and water. 
  • The bridge tile saw works on large-sized tiles, whereas the sliding table is for smaller tiles. The bridge tile saw is easy to cut through wide tiles. That is not possible with a sliding table since the blade head is on a pole attached at the side of the table. The tile bumps into the side pole, and there will not be further of the tile. It gets stuck on the pole. 
  • The bridge tile saw makes long rip cuts, whereas the sliding table makes plunge cuts. Long cuts are achieved by cutting the material halfway using a sliding table. Rotate the workpiece up to 180 degrees, then align it properly to cut the other half.
  • It is easy for rip cuts, whereas the sliding table struggles on rip cuts.
  • A bridge tile saw is more stable than a sliding table saw. That is due to the bridging expansion that keeps it off vibration. 
  • The bridge tile saw is more durable than the sliding table saw. 

Disadvantages of Using a Bridge tile saw VS Sliding table

  • The bride tile saw remains stationary, whilst the blade moves over the tile, whereas the sliding table moves across the revolving saw blade. That makes it handy and easier to maneuver than the tile saw.
  • The bridge tile saw does not cut notches, whereas the sliding table makes notches.
  • It is heavier than the sliding table saw.
  • It does not have cutting variations that the sliding table has.  

Uses for a Bridge tile saw

A bridge tile saw is for long rip cuts. That does not limit your reaching capacity no matter the length of the tile you are cutting. Unlike the sliding table saw, you do not have to change directions to achieve a long cut. Bear in mind that plunge cuts are not possible with the bridge tile saw. That is why you need a sliding table.

Uses for a Sliding table

A sliding table is for plunge cuts or notches. That does not mean you cannot use it for long rip cuts. That comes with a change of directions and adjustments. The unique technique of turning the saw up to 180 degrees for a long rip cut needs experience. That is why advise professionals to use the sliding table saw. 

Bridge tile saw vs Sliding table Cost

A standard bridge tile saw starts from 200, whereas the sliding table ranges from 1,000 to 3000. That makes the sliding table more affordable than a bridge tile saw.

Verdict

Although the two saw machines are portable, accurate, and fast, you cannot use both to make the same type of cuts on the tile. Since I clarified the type of tile saw that performs on a specific cut, you need to decide basing on the cuts you are majoring in. 

I recommend the Bridge tile saw for large and wide tiles. That is ideal for professional contractors working on large projects. The sliding table is for DIY users who run smaller projects. I advise you to consider a saw tool that is easy to repair and maintain.

David D. Hughes
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