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The Best Cheap Tile Cutter
The Rubi Star-N Plus 21-inch Tile Cutter
“Cutting Tile Has Never Been Easier”
Article Update: Rubi has released a similar priced Tile cutter but has superior features and materials used. Introducing the Rubi Fast-65. The review is still valid as the base design is the same but has further enhancements.
Got an upcoming tiling project and looking for the best cheap tile cutter for your money?
Then keep reading as I have the answer!
The Rubi Star-N Plus is a true bang for buck tile cutter boasting the ability to cut both Ceramic AND Porcelain tile.
Move aside QEP tile cutters!
I have just written the first poem about a tile cutter.
Go and Google Search it, you won’t find one.
Albeit it’s in the style of a famous nursery rhyme, I did it on purpose for you to sing my weird little song in your head.
I heard if you sing it to your Rubi Star tile cutter it will perform even better, go on and try it after you buy one.
Just don’t do it around any others, I sang it within earshot of the general contractors and they started calling me twinkle boy.
Now that I have saved you the google search, continue reading about the treasure that you have found.
The Star-N Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Cutter by Rubi Tools is, by all means, the best cheap tile cutter you can currently buy.
Forget the QEP tile cutters, Brutus and other tile cutters that write cheques that they can never cash, the Rubi Star-N offers all the great features of its professional brothers at a fraction of the cost.
If you are going to be undertaking a tiling job at home; whether tiling your kitchen backsplash or floor, maybe the bathroom, the Rubi tile cutter is for you.
The Rubi Star-N Plus can take on any tile under 21inches (51cm) in length and can cut them in either a straight or diagonal fashion.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about this amazingly cheap tile cutter and why I believe it is the best cheap tile cutter your money can buy.
If you want to check it out yourself then you can proceed to Amazon here and place your order.
The Rubi Star-N is the best porcelain tile cutter if you are budget conscious or are looking for an affordable tile cutter for occasion use.
It’s the best tile cutter for subway tiles as it’s light, very easy to use and will cut the subway tiles without chipping or wastage.
All this with features that you won’t find on any other porcelain tile cutter in this price range.
By spending a few bucks more over a cheap internet tile cutter like a QEP or Happy Buy Tile Cutter, you will have a professional quality tile cutter that can be used for the life of your home.
• Cuts a tile up to 21inchs (51cm) In size. Bigger sizes are available as well.
- Interchangeable scoring wheels from Ø1/4″ (6mm) to 13/32″ (10mm) for maximum versatility and cutting a variety of materials from ceramics, glass, and porcelain
- A Ø1/4″ (6mm) scoring wheel is included with your cutter.
- A heavy-duty carry case is also included in the purchase price. Others like QEP Tile Cutters do not include a case.
- A carry case will ensure your porcelain tile cutter is accurate for longer and does not sustain any damage.
Why Do I Recommend using a manual Porcelain Tile Cutter
Over the past 20 years, I have cut many tiles on with just about every tile cutting machine possible and have found the best way of cutting tile.
From a hand scribber that breaks more tiles than it cuts, to all sorts of electric tile saws from handheld to table oriented and a majority of my cuts were on a manual tile cutter.
For speed and accuracy, you simply cannot beat a manual snap and score tile cutter.
You slide the tile in, line it up and score a line. Drop the breaker and boom, you have a perfectly cut tile.
The whole process can take anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds depending on the cut.
Then add a minute or more to cut the tile.
So as you can see, a tile cutter is simply the way to go if you are looking for ease of use and excellent speed.
The part you will love is that you can set up the cutter to make uniform cuts of the same length.
This is PERFECT for subway tile as you can setup the cutter to cut your tiles perfectly in half for however many pieces you need.
Instead of marking out each tile and cutting with a tile saw, you just mark one, slide the lateral stop up against the tile and get busy cutting.
I found it to be the best tile cutter for subway tile as it is built to the same Rubi quality that all their bigger and more expensive porcelain tile cutters are but it
With this subway tile cutter you can create beautiful subway tile splashbacks that are perfectly aligned and following the correct pattern because all your cuts are accurate and uniform.
Thanks to the Rubi Star using Rubis famous scoring blades that all their professional tile cutters use, you will get perfect scores that
Cheap tile cutters all use a lesser quality scoring wheel that
If that hasn’t already sold you on getting a manual tile cutter then this will.
Cutting with a manual tile cutter produces ZERO DUST and ZERO NOISE.
You can work on your tiling all while your baby sleeps or late at night when you return home from work.
No one will get disturbed nor will you create an absolute mess with a dust cloud settling over everything.
There is a reason why I own so many of these things and if a professional like myself swears by a product, you know it’s good.
I’m not a salesman from Rubi telling you this is the revolution in tiling and this latest gimmick is essential to use.
Rubi doesn’t know I exist nor will they ever read this review.
I am simply a man that has made a living out of tiling and has found over time with plenty of experience that their tile cutters are the best there is in tile cutting technology.
There are other quality brands like Sigma and Montolit but they do not offer such an affordable cutter for small tiles or for a handy DIYer or apprentice tiler to buy.
The cheapest tile cutters those companies sell are three times the price of this Rubi Star cutter.
And this Rubi Star will perform and in my opinion outperform those tile cutters, all for a price anyone can afford.
The money you save can be put into your home renovation budget or for purchasing more tools.
Are you starting to see my point here?
WHY I RECOMMEND THE RUBI STAR PORCELAIN TILE CUTTER
It was one of many manual tile cutters I have with me at all times in my work truck.
Eventually there came a day where I wanted to replace it for a new unit and discovered it has been phased out for newer technology.
That’s when I discovered the Rubi Star and saw it had all the great features of every Rubi tile cutter, however, all the features were more modern and simply better.
The features that set apart this tile cutter from all the others I know you have looked at, like a QEP or Brutus (made by the same company) really make the extra few bucks worth it in the long run.
I know you want to do the job right, without hassles from your tools and to get it done as quickly as possible.
Well, this Rubi Star you will get all those things and more because you are buying a quality product manufactured by a company with over 60 years experience in Spain.
Like the Qep tile cutter.
The country of manufacture is only the icing on the cake with this Rubi Star cutter as what I simply love about it is it shares most features found on its biggest and most expensive brothers.
The Rubi TX-900-N which I previously reviewed and called the best tile cutter ever is a true professional tile cutter and it sells for about 10 times the price of your Rubi Star cutter.
Despite the massive price difference I have found the Rubi Star to have the same great build quality and quality features my expensive TX-900-N has.
All in a package costing less than the weekly grocery bill my wife produces.
What are these quality features?
The features that set apart this Rubi porcelain tile cutter from the other lesser products are:
• Included heavy-duty carry case.
This carry case is made of thick plastic that is perfectly
A porcelain tile cutter is a precision instrument much like a microscope.
It heavily relies on its components staying in sync with each other and for their precise calibration to remain the same as they were set in the factory.
If your guide rods get banged or warped from any knocks your cutter will not cut straight anymore.
A porcelain tile cutter that cannot cut straight
A Qep tile cutter does not come with a case and in time this could happen and when it does you’ll be regretting not paying the extra pennies for a Rubi Star.
I know that for a fact because I had a cheap tile cutter without a case and one day a box of tiles fell on it; goodbye tile cutter.
The feature that really sets the Rubi porcelain tile cutter apart from the others is its interchangeable scoring blades.
What do you do when your craft knife goes blunt?
You replace the blade for a fresh one.
Well, this system works on the same principle and it’s even easier and quicker than replacing a blade.
Replacing a tile cutter blade is simply a matter of twisting the handle and sliding a new blade into place then twisting it back.
Do not expect to replace your blade often though, these things can last months even up to a year.
They are made from reinforced carbide that penetrate any glaze you will find on a tile and ensures a clean cut every time.
This ease of use is something lacking on tile cutter produced by QEP, Sigma, and Montolit along with any other tile cutter really.
Their cutting blades are simply a round wheel that is screwed into place making replacement a bigger chore than necessary as you require additional tools and effort.
Additionally, I have found their wheels to become loose and wobble in time, especially on the cheaper tile cutters like the Qep.
Wobble means an uneven line during scoring which equals to a crooked tile.
This isn’t an issue with the Rubi cutting blades as they are firmly held in place by the notches in the handle.
Just like an infomercial I have to say: “But wait, there’s more!”.
Rubi understands tiles come in all sorts of finishes and textures so they produce their cutting blades in a variety of sizes to accommodate this.
A scoring blade of 1/4inch (6mm) size will be ideal for regular tiles with a smooth surface whereas a larger blade like the 13/32inch (10mm) will be ideal for rougher texture tile.
This versatility will ensure you are able to cut whichever tile you choose and your blade will score it properly, hence getting a perfect break and ideal result.
Do the other companies come with this system?
They come with one uniform cutter wheel for everything.
With the knowledge you now have, you know this is not ideal and severely limits the cutters versatility.
These are two main features that distinguish the Rubi tile cutter from the others and big factors as to why I choose Rubi over anyone else.
They are also the reason why I call the Rubi Star the best cheap tile cutter and the best tile cutter for subway tile.
I use the Rubi Star a lot for kitchen backsplashes or bathrooms walls that follow the subway tile pattern and this subway tile cutter makes those jobs a real pleasure.
Think of it as your trusty old Toyota Camry coming with an engine derived from a Toyota Formula 1 racing car.
It has all the advanced technologies learned from a highly competitive field and adapted for the
This is the Rubi Star.
Now that you know the Rubi Star is the Best Tile Cutter, I want to share some Quick Tips
Rubi Star-N Plus Quick Tips – How To use a manual Tile Cutter
For anyone that has never used a manual porcelain tile cutter, the machine may appear alien or hard to use so I will include a detailed how to use a tile cutter tutorial that should help you get started!
If it will be your first time using a porcelain tile cutter then these tips should help you achieve the same results a professional tiler would get.
Remember that like every new tool you use there is always a learning curve as you begin to understand how the machine works and understand it’s quirks.
While a tile cutter is a simple concept there are a few things you can do to maximize its performance and get to cutting tile without issues.
• To ensure an easy score, slide a non-skid mat or slim foam rubber underneath the cutter.
You can use the carry case as a base and it is recommended however you might find even the plastic is
Find a length of non-skid material, even a coarse cotton material and place it under your Rubi tile cutter.
This will prevent the base from sliding while you score the tile ensuring an easy, smooth glide and even score.
An even score is essential to prevent breaking the tile from too much pressure and getting a perfect even break.
Speaking of scoring…
•Always score from the bottom of the tile and slide upwards towards the top.
This might sound stupidly obvious but I still remember the first time I ever used a manual tile cutter.
I pulled the handle to the top of the cutter and tried scoring down as it felt natural.
It didn’t go smoothly at all and it definitely didn’t feel natural once I began scoring.
I couldn’t get the scorer to flow smoothly down the surface of the tile as I was pulling towards me. My elbow quickly got caught on my stomach and as a result, I pushed down too hard and broke the tile in half.
When you score from the bottom up, your body slides forward with the scoring head and thus nothing interferes with the action.
In reality, you become one with the machine and move along with it, hence creating a smooth and even score across the surface of the tile.
• Lubricate the chrome rods and scoring wheel before each use.
If you want optimum results and smooth operation from your Rubi Star or any Rubi tile cutter a great tip is to lubricate its moving parts.
The chrome rods that make up the top of the tile cutter work great with a quick spray of WD-40 (or similar) or 3-In-1 oil.
Spray a quick burst and move the scoring head up and down to evenly distribute the lubricant, you will feel how smooth the action is and this will aid in getting a smooth score all day.
Also, spray the cutting wheel of your scoring blade.
This ensures it turns properly on its
As scoring blade which is stuck in position will go blunt much quicker than if it was cutting with its entire diameter.
•Always ensure the tile is butted up
When placing the tile in the tile cutter for a straight cut ensure that both
The backstop is the top metal part of the tile cutters base. It usually has a measuring guide on it.
When you place the tile flush against it you will get a nice even cut.
Having one edge of your tile off that backstop will result in a crooked cut.
One thing you will quickly learn is that every type of tile is different.
For instance, your backsplash tile will require a different amount of pressure to break over your floor tile.
So this applies to you is when you will be working with a new tile for the first time be very careful with the first break.
After you score the tile, it is best if you gently press down on the handle and gradually increase pressure to break it.
Going in with a heavy hand could easily result in a cracked tile or ruined surface due to the glaze popping off near the scored line.
This is the most common complaint I hear about manual tile cutters.
People do not take care in learning the tile before attempting a break and automatically blame the tile cutter if the tile chips or breaks badly.
This badmouthing and slandering of manual tile cutters drives me up the wall and causes my beard to grey prematurely I swear.
If the tile doesn’t break even with considerable force then go back and score it again.
Some tiles, especially polished porcelains, have very thick and robust top glazes.
A light score across its surface may not be sufficient enough to weaken it to the point of a clean break.
If you are feeling the tile simply doesn’t want to break then simply score another line on top of the existing line.
You will feel the scoring wheel bite down deeper into the tile and make breaking much easier.
If it will be your first time using a manual tile cutter then I recommend you purchase extra tiles to practice on first.
Practice scoring and breaking a few tiles before you begin the real work, after a few successful pops you will feel confident and be ready to cut tile without any breakages.
Every new skill you learn will require practice and even trial and error before confidence sets in.
Take the moment to learn your new tool and new skill and you’ll quickly fall in love with your porcelain tile cutter.
If you want to see your new Rubi Star-N Plus tile cutter in action check out this quick video demonstration by Rubi.
The Best Tile Cutter For Subway Tile
I mentioned this in the tile cutter review already but I would like to touch upon it.
The Rubi Star porcelain tile cutter is the best tile cutter for subway tiles due to its simplicity and excellent cutting characteristics.
I have completed over 30 backsplashes alone that all followed the subway tile pattern (it’s a very popular pattern) with a variety of tiles.
From ceramic to porcelain subway tiles, bevelled or flat, with a polished surface or matt, the Rubi Star tile cutter cut them all without any problems.
You want to have clean cuts so that the cut tile is perfectly flat all through the break. If you get splinters sticking out you will need to buy tile nippers or a hand held tile saw to remove them.
This forces more expenditure on your tiling project, something that nobody wants!
With clean cuts, the tiling projects go much smoother and quicker as you are not forced to clean up every tile before setting it.
If you use a tile that has splinters, it effectively makes the tile a few fractions of an inch longer than it should be, this then affects your subway pattern as the grout lines no longer are aligned with each other.
Another essential aspect that is needed for the best tile cutter for subway tile is a quality lateral stop and measuring system that will allow you to make multiple cuts of the same size.
The Rubi Star features a large and accurate lateral stop that makes
This locks it in place and allows you to cut how many tiles you require to a certain size.
All these things may sound trivial but trust me, when you will be tiling with subway tile or any other for that matter, it will be these features that will save you a lot of headaches and time.
Not only that but you will be able to look back at your subway backsplash or bathroom etc, with pride as it’ll look stunning.
All thanks to you buying the best subway tile cutter out there.
Conclusion – Why The Rubi Star Is The Best Cheap Tile Cutter.
When I set out to purchase a replacement for my old tile cutter I never expected to find such a capable tile cutter for such a low price.
The Rubi Star-N Plus surprised me in that it comes with so many features common in the top of the line Rubi tile cutters designed for professional use.
The porcelain tile cutter is priced in the range of the cheapest Chinese manufactured tile cutters but offers performance that far exceeded them.
Anyone tempted at purchasing a QEP tile cutter of one of those unknown brand tile cutters selling for a few bucks should seriously consider paying a little bit more and getting the best tile cutter for their money.
Not only will this ensure you get a beautiful result but you will also save money as you won’t end up breaking tiles needlessly while trying to use the cheaper tile cutters.
With some tiles costing up to or over $100 per box, the savings you make on not breaking any quickly outweigh the few bucks extra you paid for the Rubi Star tile cutter.
With professional features like the dual chromed guide rods for added breaking strength and cutting visibility, interchangeable scoring blades and a carry case, the Rubi Star is a true diamond in the rough of poor quality tile cutters in this price range.
One thing you should always remember is that tiles are a premium product and a premium surface.
Cheapening out to work with them will only detract from your end result and since tiles can last for decades, you will be reminded of your shortcuts every day.
What you will ignore today will end up driving you mad in a few months time and will result in you ripping the crooked tiles out and replacing them.
So, take your time, save some money and buy proper tools for your tiling project.
You and your family will thank you when it’s done and the result is beautiful.
With the light hitting it just right, it’ll twinkle like a star.
The Rubi Star is available to purchase right now at Amazon, I have found the lowest price so just click the link to place your order.
While you’re there it is recommended to purchase a spare cutting blade for your new tile cutter as well. I have found a great price on the correct blade for your Rubi Star here.
Got any projects you completed with your Rubi Star?
Feel free to email them to me at my Contact Page or share them on my various social networks! I always love hearing back from happy readers.
Links to my social networks are below.
With that, I wish you all the best in your future tiling project and hope your Rubi Star shines brightly and cuts like a champ it is.
Sing the song to ensure it cuts like a real star!
“Twinkle, twinkle Rubi Star
Your the best tile cutter