Roofing Tile Splitters

A roofing tile splitter is a tool use to cut masonry roofing tiles that generates less dust than powered masonry saws.

Description:

Cutting masonry roofing tiles with a power saw or chop saw generates a large amount of dust, which may contain high levels of crystalline silica and creates a hazard for everyone in the vicinity. Mechanical roofing tile splitters are available and generate less dust and less noise than power masonry dry saws typically used.  Use of splitters is likely to reduce silica exposures to less than the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit and the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit and may eliminate the need for a respiratory protection program.

HYTILE Tilecutter

  • Used for cutting concrete and terracotta tiles at any angle
  • Models: the chisel and wheel Tilecutter cuts both concrete and clay tiles and the double chisel Tilecutter is specifically designed for cutting clay tiles
  • Cost: $800
 
AJC Professional Slate Cutter Model 111-AJCSC
  • Used for making straight, concave and convex cuts on slate roofing tiles (not suitable for ceramic tiles) and for punching holes in roofing tiles
  • Cost: $75
  • Cuts slate 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Length: 24 inches
 

Stortz Model 95-A Professional Slate Cutter
  • Used for making straight or curved cuts on slate roofing tiles (not suitable for ceramic tiles) and for punching holes in roofing tiles
  • Cost: $95
  • Cuts slate up to 3/8 of an inch thick
  • Blade length: 4 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Length: 25 inches
 
 
Stortz Model 51-C Professional Slate Cutter
  • Used for making straight or curved cuts on slate roofing tiles (not suitable for ceramic tiles) and for punching holes in roofing tiles
  • Cost: $400
  • Cuts slate up to 3/8 of an inch thick
  • Blade length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Length: 22 inches
 
 


 

Dorr Bar Cutter for cutting roofing slate
  • Used for making straight and convex curved cuts on slate roofing tiles and for punching holes in roofing tiles
  • Cost: $110
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Blade length: 24 inches
 

AJC European Slate Cutter Model 111-SCEAJC
  • Used for making straight and convex curved cuts on slate roofing tiles
  • A board should be added to form a base
  • Cost: $80
  • Cuts slate 3/8 of an inch thick
  • Blade width: 1/4-inch
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Length: 24.5 inches
 
 
Stortz hand-held slate cutters: models 94-A and 94-B
  • Used for trimming and cutting cement fiber and natural slate roofing tiles
  • Model 94-A includes a hole punch, while model 94-B does not
  • Cost: $60 to $107
  • Cuts slate up to 3/16 of an inch thick
  • Blade length: 1½-inch
  • Length: 12 inches
 

Freund Ergo-Cut slate cutter with punching device
  • Used for trimming, cutting and punching holes in cement fiber and natural slate roofing tiles
  • Cost: $100
  • Cuts slate up to 0.28 inches thick
  • Blade length: 1.3 inches
  • Length: 12.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Constructed from light-weight aluminum
  • Freund considers the design to be more ergonomically correct for slate cutting
 

Freund Ergo-Cut slate cutter without punching device
  • Used for trimming and cutting cement fiber and natural slate roofing tiles
  • Cost: $65
  • Cuts slate up to 1/4 of an inch thick
  • Blade length: 1.3 inches
  • Length: 13.3 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Constructed from light-weight aluminum
 
 
Freund Slate Cutter SCHIEFERMAX
  • Used for trimming and cutting cement fiber and natural slate roofing tiles
  • Optional hole punching attachment is available
  • Cost: $535
  • Cuts slate up to 4/10 of an inch thick
  • Blade length: 7.1 inches
  • Length: 18.1 inches
  • Width: 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 15.2 pounds
  • Constructed from light-weight aluminum
 

   
Freund heavy duty tile cutter BIBERMAX II
  • Used for cutting a type of crown roofing tile found almost exclusively in Europe
  • Cost: $755
  • Cutting length: 15-3/4 inches
  • Length: 28.4 inches
  • Width: 8.5inches
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Constructed from light-weight aluminum
 
 

Freund cement asbestos tile guillotine

  • Used for cement asbestos tile (cannot be used for natural slate)
  • Cost: $900
  • Cuts 236 by 118 inch tiles on a 263 inch diagonal
  • Includes two punching devices and an extra blade for small cuts
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Constructed from light-weight aluminum

 


Risks Addressed:

Silica dust exposure may cause silicosis or lung scarring with prolonged exposure.  Silicosis is an incurable, sometimes fatal, disease.  The NIOSH-recommended exposure limit (REL) is 0.05 mg/m3 as a time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. This is one-half of the OSHA standard when the dust is pure silica, but still twice the ACGIH-recommended threshold limit value (TLV) of 0.025 mg/m3.  Silica has also been associated with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


How Risks are Reduced:

Compared to saws, roofing tile splitters generate less airborne particulate resulting in lower concentrations in the worker’s breathing zone and reduced exposures to respirable dust and silica.

Sheehy et al. observed approximately a 100-fold reduction in respirable dust concentrations during the use of a Hytile Tilecutter compared to masonry saws. “The direct-reading sampling results for day one sampling show that the average respirable dust (relative) exposure was 0.014 mg/m3 with the Hytile Cutter and 2.5 mg/m3 using the Bosch saw.” On day two, “The average dust concentration was 6.5 mg/m3 for the gas powered Partner saw and 0.08 mg/m3 with the Hytile Cutter or almost two orders of magnitude higher for the Partner saw.” 


Effects on Productivity:

While splitters allow roofing tile to be cut quite rapidly, controlling the precise location of the split requires the worker to have better technique and more skill than cutting with a power masonry saw.  There may be a learning curve with new equipment, and waste (masonry materials that are cut improperly) may be temporarily increased until workers have some experience using the tools. Even with skill and experience, it is unlikely that workers will be able to produce an edge that is smooth enough for use where it will be visible.  

Lower dust levels reduce site cleanup times and avoid exposing other workers, members of the public, building occupants, adjacent property, and cars, which can increase liability and time-consuming disputes.  Improved worker comfort is a result of reduced airborne dust which may in turn result in less fatigue for the worker and greater productivity.  Use of mechanical splitters, may be more physically demanding for workers than a power saw, and fatigue may adversely affect productivity. Although data on dust exposures using splitters is limited, it is likely that using masonry splitters instead of saws will eliminate the need to wear a respirator, and the need for an employer respiratory protection program. 
 
Roofing tile splitters are typically durable, may cost less than saws and do not require electrical power or gasoline.  
 
Hytile indicates that its tilecutter “increases efficiency, reduces back problems, reduces arm and shoulder strain and causes less fatigue.”

Additional Considerations:

Repetitive operation of manual roofing tile splitters may lead to fatigue, pain and musculoskeletal disorders. Operators should take breaks on a regular basis and when fatigued. Consider having each tool and task combination evaluated by an industrial hygienist or ergonomist. The design of some tile cutters may be more ergonomically correct than others.

As is the case with any construction equipment, users should follow manufacturer safety recommendations and comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations.


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Dorr Bar Cutter for cutting roofing slate
To obtain information, visit http://josephjenkins.com or contact 1-814-786-9085 mail@josephjenkins.com

Stortz Model 95-A or 51-C Professional Slate Cutter, Models 94-A and 94-B Hand-held Slate Cutter
To obtain information, visit http://www.stortz.com or contact 1-888-847-3456

Hytile Roof Tilecutter
To obtain information, visit http://www.hytile.eu/en_GB or contact sales@hytile.eu

AJC Professional Slate Cutter Model 111-AJCSC
To obtain information, visit http://josephjenkins.com or contact 1-814-786-9085 mail@josephjenkins.com

Freund Ergo-Cut slate cutter with/without punching device, heavy duty BIBERMAX II and cement asbestos tile guillotine
Purchase from American Master Gutters, Inc., Freund U.S. distributor. contact 1-773-463-6390

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.