Having already reviewed the iQTS244 Dry Cut Tile Saw, getting our hands on the smaller iQ Power Tools iQ228 Cyclone 7-inch Dry-Cut Tile Saw sounded like a great idea. Even better, we had an oversized shower in a 2-story remodel that needed a whole lot of subway tile.
iQ Power Tools Dry Cut Tile Saw Overview
The $599 iQ228 Cyclone delivers on presenting a smaller, more portable dry-cut tile saw for professionals. Priced nearly $1,300 less than its 10-inch sister saw, the iQ Power Tools 7-inch Cyclone manages to pack similar features into a much smaller frame. How small, you ask? The entire saw weighs around 36 pounds. Of course, a picture is worth 1000 words:
For reasons we explain below, we actually found this saw handier to use than the iQTS244 for smaller tile jobs.
iQ Power Tools iQ228 Cyclone Features
The iQ Power Tools iQ228 Cyclone tile saw (iQ228CYCLONE) continues to collect the bulk of the dust created by tile cutting. Like the larger saw, it uses a three-stage filtration system. This captures up to 99.5% of the dust generated when cutting tile. Unlatching the removable dust tray from the front of the saw, you can see just how the saw separates dust and debris.
The super-efficient dust collection on the iQ228 Cyclone tile saw occurs in three stages:
- First Stage: Heavy debris filtration
- Second Stage: Cyclonic filtration (fine particles)
- Third Stage: iQ Dura Bond filter cartridge (super-fine particles)
That’s not to say that everything gets collected—we did have some small flakes of glazing tossed about from time to time. It just wasn’t enough to be problematic. Keep the blade guard as low to the table as possible for the best results.
The larger 10-inch saw collects a lot more dust, but I never felt as if I needed to wear a mask. This tile saw collected enough dust to make it very usable for indoor tile cutting. For ongoing use, we just rotated the filter spin knob every 2 hours or so to keep things clear.
Plastic Blade Guard
The plastic guard stays close to the top of the blade and helps direct debris and dust down into the integrated cyclonic vacuum system. Unlike the robust blade guard on the iQTS244, the plastic one featured here definitely wobbles. Designed with easy-removability, we simply consider it a consumable part that you should plan to replace as-needed.
TRU-CUT and iQ Micro Fence
One of the things we dislike about most smaller 7-inch tile saws concerns the table. Most don’t slide. Instead, they use a miter gauge to push the tile through the blade. iQ Power Tools went with a half sliding table for the iQ228 Cyclone tile saw.
It makes a world of difference.
To up the ante further, they also punched holes in the table as part of their TRU-CUT system. The TRU-CUT System places 1-inch incremental measurements off the blade to let you make consistent and accurate cuts with a fence. They serve as preset measurements for both straight and mitered (22.5° and 45°) cuts.
The iQ Power Tools iQ228 7-inch tile saw pairs these holes with an innovative iQ Micro Fence. We’ve never seen anything like this before. In fact, we actually got a pre-production version of this excellent accessory.
Included with the iQ228 Cyclone tile saw, the iQ Micro Fence lets you twist a knob to adjust its blade-facing edge. It lets you effectively adjust each cut by 1/16th of an inch. Using this adjustable fence, you can repeatedly make any width cut desired across the entire width of the table.
Cut Options and Flexibility
You won’t make any bevel cuts on this 7-inch dry cut tile saw. You can, however, rip up to 18-inch tile using the sliding table—or cut 24″ or longer tile with the table locked. As indicated above, the TRU-CUT system allows for easy repetitive cuts as well as 22.5° and 45° miters.
The iQ standard fence plugs nicely into the front edge of the table. It let us easily push tile through the blade. iQ Power Tools included a handy cutout to give you the full length of the table while providing clearance for the blade on the fence.
Proprietary 7-inch Dry-Cut Tile Saw Blade
The iQ228 7-inch dry-cut tile saw uses a thin-kerf Q-Drive blade with a custom arbor. This helps prevent the use of a standard diamond blade that would overheat without water. Based on our knowledge of their other products, blades should be readily available and priced at a slight premium.
Currently, iQ Power Tools ships this saw with a 7″ dry cutting combination blade. That works well for cutting porcelain, marble, granite, ceramic, and stone. They also make a 7″ dry cutting hard material blade designed for granite or harder porcelain.
Using the iQ228CYCLONE Tile Saw
Like most saws used indoors, this one can be loud. We measured the noise up to 107dBA SPL at the ear—but that was in a small enclosed space. Indoors, noise increases dramatically since it can bounce off the walls.
I love the design of this saw. With most 7-inch tile saws, you have minimal setup—but cleanup and storage take a lot of time. Yank this saw out of the back of your work truck or van, and you can get cutting in about 2 minutes. After that, empty the dust bin, and you can pack it up in just about the same amount of time.
Plus, iQ Power Tools designed this 7-inch dry-cut tile saw with feet on the side. You can store it upright on end so it takes up very little space in your shop.
As we expected, this saw isn’t designed for glass tile. The blade did, however, cut right through 3/8” thick marble just fine. We quickly wrapped up our oversized shower in no time.
After making tons of cuts with this saw, I find it even easier to recommend than the larger 10-inch model. For the price, it’s nearly impossible to beat. You’ll pay a couple of hundred dollars for a really bad 7-inch tile saw from the likes of QEP and others.
If you plan to use this professionally, having a dust-free solution for under $600 makes so much sense. It will completely change how you tile a shower or other small job. You save tons of time by not having to deal with water clean-up. You also get a saw that can be used indoors without making a mess. That saves you more time by eliminating endless trips outside.
For those reasons and more, this is now our go-to tile saw for kitchen backsplashes, subway tile, and similar small-tile projects. We recommend you go pick one up as soon as you can.
iQ Power Tools 7″ Dry Cut Tile Saw Features
- Model number: iQ228CYCLONE
- Three-stage filtration system
- Vacuum-cooled blade
- Dust tray
- Vertical storage
- Blade size: 7 in.
- Rip cuts: 18 in.
- Diagonal cuts: Over 18″ requires locking the table
- Cutting depth: 1 in.
- Dust control: 99.5%
- Warranty: 1-year limited
- Price: $599
- Ships: April 2021
For even more information, check out the iQ Power Tools website.