A reader sent in a tip about a new iQ Power Tools tile saw, the iQ228Cyclone. (Thank you Fred!) After reviewing its features, the iQ228Cyclone – a 7″ dry-cutting tile saw – looks to be more interesting than at first glance.
iQ Power Tools says that their new iQ228 Cyclone, which I’ll simply refer to as the iQ228 is the world’s first 7″ dry cut tabletop saw with integrated table saw.
In other words, it’s a small tile saw that can be used dry and without water.
iQ Power Tools says this saw allows you to lose the water! and cut dry without the mess.
How does it do this?
The iQ228 has 3 main dust control features:
- Dust filter
- filters fine particulates, must be spun 3X a day
- Vacuum motor
- 15A motor powers the saw and vacuum
- 4 cyclones pull dust and debris into the dust tub
What about overheating?
iQ Power Tools says that their “cool cut technology Q-drive blade” has a proprietary composition of diamond concentration, metal type, and flange thickness that cuts cool while reducing vibration and movement.
In other words, use their special blades and everything will be fine.
iQ Power Tools doesn’t specify the blade cutting speed of their new iQ228 Cyclone tile saw.
My guess is that iQ Power Tools might have also dialed in a lower motor speed. Slower speeds often means cooler cutting. That, combined with their special blades, might make cutting heat more manageable.
A downside to all this is that the iQ228 does not seem to have bevel controls, a feature found on other brands’ wet-cutting 7″ benchtop tile saws.
The iQ228 tile saw has a “Tru-Cut System” for accurate cut measurements, with 1″ increments, and the fence is adjustable with 1/16″ increments.
The iQ228 has a 1.25″ depth of cut, 18″ max rip cut with the rolling table, and 24″+ max rip cut without the rolling table.
The rolling table looks to functional similarly to a miter sled.
It has a side-carry handle and is said to weigh 36 pounds.
Let’s review the main iQ228 selling points:
- Tabletop size
- 7″ blade
- Water-free cutting
- Built-in dust control
There are a couple of potential downsides:
- Will replacement filters be readily available?
- Filter must be spun “3X a day”
- No bevel adjustment
- Proprietary blades
ETA: April 2021
Features & Specs
- 7″ proprietary blade
- 1.25″ depth of cut
- 18″ max rip cut w/ sled, 24″+ without
- Weighs 36 lbs
- 15A motor
- Speed: unknown
- Includes a combination blade and fence
I don’t do much tile work – please keep this in mind and correct me if I’m wrong.
Why do tile saws usually require water?
Well, for one, water cools the blade. It’s an almost universal truth that a cooler blade lasts longer. Cutting hard materials – and really most materials and not just tile – creates friction, and friction creates heat.
Water also helps to eliminate the creation of dust.
Water moves cut material away from the blade.
There might be other benefits, but generally a water slurry allows for a smoother cut, lower amounts of airborne dust, and a cooler blade.
The iQ Power Tools iQ228 Cyclone tile saw has a built-in vacuum and filter that removes cut material fragments, helps to reduce airborne dust, and the airflow could assist in cooling the blade.
iQ talks up their special Q-Drive blades with special “cool cut tech,” which are supposed to stay cool to the touch without water.
There’s no slurry messiness or water to deal with.
But… you do have to take care of the filter. iQ Power Tools doesn’t go into details, but says it needs to be “spun” several times a day. It looks like there’s a knob on the side of the saw, and as you rotate the filter it hits up against a tab that knocks dust and debris off the filter fins.
The saw is designed differently than other tabletop tile saws, such as with no bevel adjustment range.
The same motor powers the blade and vacuum function, which seems practical.
Based on the product image, there are 3 separate dust collection stages:
- Large cut-off area where slivers can simply fall through
- Cyclone area where coarser particulates are separated out
- Filtered area where fine particulates are collected
iQ Power Tools doesn’t make any claims as to how effective the 3-stage dust management is compared to wet tile saws.
iQ says that the iQ228 produces “X CFM and collects 99.5% of the dust,” but I have a hard time believing it collects more than a wet tile saw would.
As mentioned, they also don’t provide or publicize blade cutting speed.
Here’s a question – what happens when fine particulates start to clog up the filter? Will cutting speed be impacted because the same motor is used for the blade and vacuum dust collection?
Is there a timer or other such indicator to let you know when it’s time to spin the filter clean? Or, will you simply know it’s time to clean the motor mid-job.
The iQ228Cyclone seems like an interesting concept, but is it really going to be less of a hassle to work with than a compact or benchtop tile saw?
There’s also no mention of noise levels. I would assume that a dry-cutting tile saw would be louder than a wet tile saw.
You still have dust to clean up, but I would think that the 3-stage dust control system could hold at least as much dust as the slurry a similarly sized wet tile saw could contain.
Is the iQ228 louder than a wet tile saw? Does it cut as cleanly? Is it slower than a wet tile saw? Will the special 7″ Q-Drive saw blades be easily available? Will a variety of compatible blades be available?
I don’t know how important having bevel cutting capabilities are in a saw this size, but some of those other factors seem to be important considerations.
If you use wet tile saws regularly, do you think the iQ228 is an upgrade over a typical 7″ wet tile saw?