QEP Tile Saw

QEP Hand held Tile Saw – A Professional’s Review

A Budget Tile Saw Aimed At Professionals? How Bad Could It Be!?

Amidst the highly competitive tile saw market comes the QEP Handheld Tile Saw to take its piece of the action.

The popular tile tools company has developed a hand held tile saw in an attempt to win over professionals and DIYers from going with major power tools manufacturers.

A reliable and powerful tile saw is something anyone working with tiles lusts after and I am the lustiest of all.

I work with a tile saw everyday preferring to do a vast majority of my cuts on it and do not even consider using an angle grinder.

To me, it’s a tile saw or nothing!

I will throw this QEP handheld tile saw under my microscope and see if it deserves being included in your tool chest.

Will it outperform my Hitachi tile saw and earn the coveted title of Professional Tile Saw? 

Read further and find out!

About CarlHello fellow tile saw enthusiasts and welcome to my review of the QEP Handheld Tile Saw.

I have been tiling professionally for over 20 years and every day of those years I had a tile saw in my hand.

I have used my fair share of tile saws over the years and know which tile saw will make the cut and which one will get the cut.

Grab a seat, put on your favorite headphones and prepare to watch the dust fly as I rip into this QEP Hand held Tile Saw.

It may get messy, better get the shop vac plugged in and ready.

 

Before We Begin The Review

I know you are busy, the business or home won’t run itself.

 If you are strapped for time and need to make a decision now then I will tell it to you straight.

I do not recommend the QEP hand held tile saw in ANY proffesional application, save your money and purchase one of these tile saws instead.

 

Top Recommended Tile Saws

HITACHI CM4SB2

• Best overall tile saw

• Wet/Dry Cutting

• Most Versatile

• Most Powerful Motor 

• Aboundance of Spare Parts Available

 

 

QEP Tile Saw

MAKITA 4101RH

• Best Wet Cutting Peripherals

• Wet/Dry Cutting

• Solid Design

QEP Tile Saw

DEWALT DWC860W

• Bevel Cut Ability

• Very Popular

• Wet/Dry Cutting

QEP Tile Saw

If you want to read an in depth review on all these tile saws you can read it here.

I take on the best tile saws on the market today and select a winner based on best value for money and versatility.

If you want your monies worth I truly recommend you giving it a read.

Whether you skip the review or not you can be assured each tile saw is much more suited for your needs as opposed to this QEP Tile Saw.

QEP Handheld Tile Cutter QUICK SPECS

 

 

Motor Power: 1200-Watt, 11.67-Amps

Max RPM: 11,800 RPM

Arbor Size: 0.787 Inches (20mm)

Max Cutting Depth:  1-1/4-Inch

Weight: 11 Lbs (5 KG)

qep tile saw

The Review of The QEP Handheld Tile Saw

First Impressions.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather around and marvel.

It’s okay to point but do not laugh, this saw is trying very hard and you might hurt it’s feelings.

How do I know it’s trying very hard?

Because it comes in a carry case.

No other electric tile saw comes in a carry case.

At least none of the professional tile saws come in a carry case.

Personally I never saw the need, my tile saw lives in a tool chest in the work truck and never had I wished I had a special case for it.

Well, this QEB comes with one, if that’s something that excites you then that’s great it’ll be useful to you.

I personally would throw the thing away as I would never use it.

QEP Tile Saw

The case itself is nothing to be excited about anyway.

It’s just a plain old square case that keeps the tile saw safe between jobs.

It’s very big for what it is protecting.

Tile saws are compact little machines requiring little room.

With this thing in your truck you will definitely need to make some room for it although I wager you will end up leaving the case at home.

Or in the bin.

A basic diamond blade is also included in the package.

Our little QEB is all ready for work.

Just make sure that work is limited to small scale projects or DIYing around the home.

This blade should ideally not even be used and replaced before any work commences.

It is more suited for very soft tile like ceramics and since you know porcelain is the standard in tile material these days that is a problem.

Most users of the QEB Tile Saw reported the blade is inadequate and one even reported the blade fell apart after a few uses.

There is much more to be said about the blade and the arbor holding it but I will hold off on that till later.

The tile saw itself looks like an imitation DeWalt DWC860W tile saw with its identical color scheme and design aesthetics.

Note the word “imitation”.

Even though I had little good to say about the DeWalt in my tile saw review, I still believe it to be a better tool over this one.

The QEP could pass off as a DeWalt at a glance but closer up you begin to notice the cheap plastics and metal finishes used.

This is all reflects the price however as the QEP is the cheaper of the two.

If you are very budget conscious this could be a factor but remember you do get what you pay for.

Personally, I prefer to pay a few bucks extra for a reputable brand and know it won’t let me down.

Along with the bountiful availability of spare parts.

I will touch on all that later, back to the design.

The brand name is simply printed onto a recessed badge area on the front where it will undoubtedly rub off in time.

There are a few things I like, the trigger for instance is nice and large.

This allows a more comfortable trigger pull and accommodates multiple fingers, there’s also a lock button located with easy access for the thumb.

I appreciate the raised handle at the end as well.

It helps keep a tighter and more secure grip on the tile saw itself without your hand sliding upwards.

On the whole however it’s nothing exciting.

Just a budget friendly saw catered towards occasional use over the professional brands.

Low Budget Big Problems.

Where should I begin?

While this tile saw looks like it will do the job on face value, it’s cracks begin to show very quickly when you begin to use it.

First of all and arguably the deal breaker for you will be that this tile saw cannot do any wet cutting.

It does not come with any wet cutting attachments like the other three tile saws mentioned so a lot of cuts and materials will be out of the question. 

This is a big problem if you are requiring this tile saw to cut natural stone like marble or granite as dry cutting these materials is a terrible idea.

The extended running time required to cut such thick and dense material will cause the blade to heat up excessively.

This will lead to the blade chipping the material or in extreme cases the blade could shatter.

Even if you are looking to cut porcelain, an extended length cut can yield the same results.

If you are looking to make any of these cuts or use these materials in your project this factor alone should make you consider the alternatives.

QEP Tile Saw

Another problem and this one is honestly the biggest deal breaker for me is the QEP Tile Saws Arbor size.

For some unfortunate reason, this tile saw comes with an extremely unusual arbor size of 0.787 inches (20mm) which compares to 0.875 inches (22mm) of a regular tile saw like the Hitachi CM4SB2.

Okay big drama right, Carl is over reacting again. I know you’re thinking it. 

Let me tell you how this will affect you.

Finding a replacement blade for this tile saw will be extremely difficult.

The QEP has a much smaller arbor size (the center output shaft) than most tile blades can accomodate.

You will be able to put it on but since the shaft is much smaller than the hole it will vibrate and move around so much you won’t be able to make any cuts.

Unless you manage to buy a life time supply of the same blade this QEP tile saw comes with, you will have a long down time as you search for a suitable blade online or around town.

The worst part is you will miss out on the greatest saw blades available on the market, not to mention the versatility of the saw is affected as you will only be using one blade type.

I have had one of the turbo blades on my saw for nearly 6 months and it is still going strong, you won’t be able to say the same thing about the standard blade.

There should be some blades out there that fit the 20mm arbor, I would recommend you track them down first before making a decision.

Finding an adapter ring can be an option but will be fairly difficult to find as well.

The best thing I can think of is getting a machine shop to fabricate an adapter ring for you.

Sadly the cost of this one-off project could amount to more than just buying a professional tile saw.

Also keep in mind the long term use of this tile saw and the availability of parts.

Namely the brushes for the motor.

I go through multiple sets of brushes per year depending on the work load so it’s safe to say you will need to replace yours at some point too.

While brushes for big name tile saws are available at any tool store or Amazon, I haven’t been able to track down a replacement set of brushes for this saw.

Just some food for thought before you shell out your hard earned money on a new tile saw.

QEP Tile Saw

It Ain’t All Bad! – The PROS

Okay, let’s touch on some of the positives the QEP Tile Saw offers.

Despite the aforementioned flaws, it is on the whole a decent tile saw that will do the job.

It follows the basic template of a tile saw to a T and functions just like any other saw.

The motor has the same amount of power as big name tile saws have and features similar RPM’s.

QEP Tile Saw

A great feature it includes is the beveling and adjustable plate that is attached to the tile saw.

This enables you to set a required depth for specific cuts or setting an angle for mitre cuts on the side of the tile.

It is also easy to use and cuts tile at a decent pace. 

I really wish I could have attached one of my usual turbo blades to it so I could really test it properly as I feel the standard blade lets it down.

As the tile saw comes, I would suggest you just use it to cut soft material like:

• Ceramic

• Aerated Concrete (Hebel Blocks)

• Cement Board

• Thin Pave Stones

In Conclusion – Will I Use The QEP Tile Saw for Work?

I use plenty of QEP products as their line up is so diverse and far-reaching for the tiling industry.

 When I discovered they also produced one of my favorite tiling tools of all time I was excited to give it a go.

While the basic design is solid and works like a tile saw should I can not get past the very major problems I would have for daily use.

With the difficulty of finding diamond blades, it would make daily use a bigger chore than necessary as I could just use a Hitachi or other big name tile saw.

 Also the biggest thing for me is versatility and by being forced to use one type of tile blade this can’t be done.

With a lack of wet cutting my options of which material I can cut is seriously hindered.

As a professional dealing with a diverse range of materials every day I will need to give this tile saw a pass.

When QEP releases an updated version I will be first in line to give it a try but until then I will stick with my Hitachi CM4SB2 tile saw.

If you are requiring a tile saw on a budget and will only use it occasionally then I would give this QEP a look otherwise I recommend checking out the tile saws I mentioned above.

In my opinion, the Hitachi is the only hand held tile saw you will ever need as it does wet and dry cutting equally well.

It is a true professional tile saw and one I rely on every day.

I am sure it’ll do the same for you.