Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter
Sigma 26” Tile Cutter with Pull Handle Review 9745
About 4 years ago now, I purchased this Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter, also known as a tile board, or a dry snap cutter. This snap cutter is designed to score and snap tiles, either ceramic, porcelain, or even glass, and due to its convenient size, it will save time and effort over constantly getting up and outside to the wet saw for straight or diagonal cuts.
I bought this cutter based on perceived quality, and after regular use, I am not disappointed! Most of the tool is made from both cast and extruded aluminum with few plastic parts, making it not only super durable but lightweight as well. This is the first pull style cutter I’ve owned, and the change from push to pull was a relatively easy one. A great advantage of a pull cutter is the measurement rule is close to the operator. The Sigma is designed with a comfort grip handle. Combining that with a single 10mm thick rail makes scoring and breaking thick or hard materials a breeze.
How The Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter Works
The Sigma 26 inch tile cutter works by first scratching a straight line across the surface of the tile with a hardened metal wheel and then applying pressure directly below the line and on each side of the line on top.
In this case, the cutting wheel and breaking jig “carriage” are combined at the base of the handle that travels along one single beam to keep the carriage angled correctly and the cut straight. The beam is height adjustable to handle different thicknesses of tiles.
The base of the tool has adjustable fences for angled cuts and square cuts and fence stops for multiple cuts of exactly the same size. The scoring wheel is easily replaceable.
Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter 9745 Features
There are plenty of features built into the Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter, some similar to most, but others unique. It is these unique features along with the quality of the tool that makes this Sigma a great choice. Some of these features are as follows:
- Easy-grip handle
- Spring-loaded breaker table
- Swiveling ruler bar from angles of -45* to
- Legible ruler bar with 1/16” imperial
increments as well as metric measurements
- Locking measuring guide for repetitive cuts
- Raised angle degree marks at 5* increments
for ease of legibility
- Positive stop detents at 0*, 15*, 30*, & 45*
- Adjustable rail
Couple the precision of these measuring parts with the aforementioned strength of the rail and you’ve got a snapper that can handle delicate 1/16” think material all the way up to hard, 3⁄4” porcelain pavers. Even cutting small “slivers” from common materials is done with ease on this Sigma.
Tile Cutter History
The first tile cutter was designed to facilitate the work and solve the problems that masons had when cutting hydraulic mosaic or encaustic cement tiles (a type of decorative tile with pigmented cement, highly used in the 50s, due to the high strength needed because of the high hardness and thickness of these tiles).
Over time the tool evolved, incorporating elements that made it more accurate and productive. The first cutter had an iron point to scratch the tiles. It was later replaced by the current tungsten carbide scratching wheel.
Another built-in device introduced in 1960 was the snapping element. It allowed users to snap the tiles easily and not with the bench, the cutter handle or
hitting the tile with a knee as it was done before. This was a revolution in the cutting process of the ceramic world.
The spring-loaded breaker table, height adjustable rail, and swiveling ruler are just a few features of the Sigma that further demonstrate the evolution of the tile cutter as we know it today.
My overall impression of the Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter is a great one. These days 12” x 24” tiles seem to be the norm as 12” x 12” or even “4 1⁄4’s” used to be. Having the ability to complete the majority of my cuts in my workspace is of utmost importance to me and my time management strategies.
This Sigma 9745 has lent itself well to that task and has performed just as expected throughout the past few years. If I had a complaint, it would be the difficulty of lining up the cutting wheel with the mark on your tile to cut due to the visual obstruction of the rail. That being said, that is not necessarily a Sigma problem, as it is more of a single rail tile cutter problem. Tile cutters fitted with a dual rail system tend to make this task a bit less cumbersome. Honestly, once you become accustomed to the cutter, and understand where the wheel falls, you’ll find this task easier and easier, until you don’t even consider it an issue any longer.
Sigma 26 Inch Tile Cutter Price
At around $440 at the time of this review, this cutter will pay for itself in no time at all. The beauty of buying a quality tool such as this is there are replacement parts readily available in case you find yourself in need. One thing I would suggest is a replacement cutting wheel, as this is certainly one of the most critical parts of the tool. You never know when you might need it, although the one I purchased with this cutter is still on the shelf in its original packaging, awaiting the time I need to call it to action.
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