Recently, I purchased the Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw (96-107). Having been a Dewalt D24000 owner for the last several years, I find it natural to compare the new Delta with the Dewalt.
“But, is that really fair? A 7-inch saw vs a 10-inch? Why not compare apples-to-apples?”
On the surface, that seems like a fair criticism. But as I looked closer, the saws are actually quite similar when it comes to functionality. Take a look at the Delta vs Dewalt table below the navigation links:
This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this saw and both of my Dewalt saws from a retailer. Opinions are my own.
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Table of Contents (click to expand)
Table of contents
- Delta Cruzer vs Dewalt D24000 specs
- Delta Cruzer tile saws used to have another name
- Video Review of Delta Cruzer Tile Saw
- My experience with the Dewalt D24000 tile saw
- Unboxing Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
- First impressions of the Delta Cruzer 7-inch Tile Saw
- Digging deeper into Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
- Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw final verdict:
Delta Cruzer vs Dewalt D24000 specs
|Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw||Dewalt D24000 tile saw|
|63 lbs||69 lbs|
|24-inch max rip cut*||25-inch max rip cut|
|13 amps||15 amps|
|$500-600 approximate||$700-800 approximate|
The purpose of this review is to share my experience. But first, a bit of history.
Delta Cruzer tile saws used to have another name
I first became acquainted with the Delta Cruzer saw when I saw it at a trade show. It wasn’t called Delta back then. It was the Lackmond Beast7.
Lackmond had designed both the Beast7 and the Beast10. The 7 has a 7-inch blade and the 10 with a 10-inch.
However, they teamed up with Delta to create the motor for the saws. In fact, if you look at a photo of a Beast saw, you’ll see the familiar Delta triangle logo on the saw blade cover.
It’s my understanding that Lackmond has been bought out by another company and now I’m seeing the familiar two tiles saws in a new snazzy blue color and being sold under the Delta Cruzer tile saw name.
Video Review of Delta Cruzer Tile Saw
A couple of improvements to Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
It also appears that there are a couple of new improvements. The air intake has been repositioned. Apparently, with the old location, some were getting moisture in the motor. This modification is designed to fix that issue.
Additionally, the rolling cart has some deeper water channels and there may even be a few more minor tweaks that I am not aware of.
One of the criticisms that I heard about the Lackmond Beast tile saws was the lack of water management. They were messy.
Lackmond made a couple of modifications to the saw to address this and they are still a part of the Delta. One of them I’m not crazy about but it’s probably a necessary evil.
My experience with the Dewalt D24000 tile saw
I’ve owned two different Dewalt D24000 tiles saws. One I bought in 2004 when they first came out. I was the first person that I knew that had one.
That D24000 has seen a ton of use. It lasted throughout the entire housing boom. Oftentimes, two and three crews in the same house were using this saw.
The bearings don’t sound great but it’s never broke down. It still works to this day and is now my backup saw. Even the factory water pump still works.
In 2012, I purchased a new saw. This one also has seen a lot of use but not quite as much as my original saw. At the very beginning of 2020, the bearings went out on the saw and it is no longer in use.
Hence, the need for a new tile saw.
Why the D24000 is hard to beat
I’ve been nothing but pleased with the Dewalt tile saws and they were a complete game-changer when they came out. Lighter, cheaper, and more precise than their competitors.
They cut bigger tile, plunged, beveled, and had better water management than the MK 101, Target Tilematic, and the Felker Tile Master. All popular saws at the time.
Although, they aren’t without their criticisms I’ve never regretted purchasing either of my D24000s.
That’s why going with the relatively unknown Delta Cruzer wasn’t a decision I made lightly. This review and comparison is my initial impression of the Cruzer. Some of which is good and some isn’t.
Unboxing Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
I’ll spare you the extensive unboxing and assembly videos. Unfortunately, Google made me remove my image slider too but I’ll put this one photo in of the Delta Cruzer saw unassembled and still in the box.
If unboxing is your thing, you’ll find some videos on Youtube.
First impressions of the Delta Cruzer 7-inch Tile Saw
First impressions of the Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw are good! The rolling cart is nice and large, especially with the extension piece.
The cut length is essentially the same as Dewalt and cuts the common-sized tiles that are popular today. Both saws will cut the very popular 12×24 tiles with ease.
Functions (plunge, tilt, tray size)
Additionally, the saw has all the same features that Dewalt pioneered and is still useful today: The tilting blade for bevel cuts and, my personal fav, the plunging feature.
Although, officially only 6 lbs lighter, the Delta feels easier to maneuver and set up. I have a hunch it’s simply because it’s smaller and less awkward to carry. Do the front and rear handles help the cause also? Very likely.
One of the criticisms of the Dewalt D24000 is about the power of the motor. This typically comes from the users that have owned one of the older belt-drive saws that I mentioned above.
I never had any issues with the power of the D24000. It always seemed to adequately power the saw.
I have the same opinion of the Cruzer 7-inch motor. It’s not overpowering by any means. But it does seem to adequately power the saw.
Digging deeper into Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
So, on the surface, it seems the Delta Cruzer tile saw is a winner and instantly impresses. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Let’s take a closer look:
It’s kind of a simple thing but I was instantly impressed with the knobs on the Cruzer saw. They are nicely sized, bigger than the Dewalt, and rubberized on the edge as opposed to just solid plastic. Score one for Delta.
Blade size and lack of flex
I was also enjoying the 7-inch tile blade and its lack of flex. This may sound ridiculous to those that haven’t used the 10-inch blades but they tend to flex or wander. Especially, as the blade wears in and ages.
This comes into play when you are trying to cut a small amount, maybe 1/8 inch, off the edge of a tile.
Delta’s 7-inch blade had no issues in this regard. Additionally, I didn’t expect to like the Delta factory blade but, after a decent amount of use, I have no complaints about it.
Adjustable Rip Guide
I like Delta’s clamping guide. It’s completely adjustable and has a positive stop at 22.5 degrees.
The Dewalt rip guide only has two options: 90 degrees and 45. However, the Dewalt guide is a little easier to use for most of the cuts. You simply flip the angle over from one side to the other. It’s fast and convenient when adjusting on the fly.
But the Delta design is a good one and what you lose in convenience you gain with the flexibility of being able to clamp down on any angle.
I would score this as a tie.
Two different saw formats
There are a few things that really annoy me about the Delta Cruzer tile saw but to express those, I feel we need to talk about the fundamental difference between the Dewalt and Delta tile saws.
First the Dewalt.
The D24000 saw sits in the water tray
The Dewalt saw is set up as follows: the scissor stand is set up, the plastic tub, or tray, sits on top of the stand, then the Dewalt saw sits in the plastic tray.
The motor on Dewalt saw doesn’t actually attach to the water tray. In fact, it has its own frame and it simply sits inside the plastic tub.
What are the advantages of the Dewalt style?
Better water management
Since the saw sits inside the tray, the water tray is larger than the saw and does a more effective job at catching the water that is generated while cutting.
No wheel stand
This is a big disadvantage for some. Because the tray simply sits on the stand, and the saw in the tray, there really is no way of attaching a wheeled stand.
The wheeled stands are quite popular with carpenters and their chop saws and have been catching on in the tile world also. The bigger the saw, the bigger the need for wheels.
Dewalt currently does not offer a wheeled stand for the D24000 and I don’t expect that to change.
Can break down components- more steps to set up
Finally, the saw breaks down into several components: the stand, the tray, the saw, and even the rolling cart can all be removed and carried separately.
This is nice to be able to lighten the saw during set-up but it also makes for several different steps. This means more trips to and from your vehicle and more time to set up and teardown.
Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw format
So, let’s contrast this with the Delta Cruzer tile saw format.
Frame and saw are one
With the Delta, the saw is a part of the frame. Additionally, the rolling cart doesn’t easily remove out of the saw either.
What this means is that the saw, frame, and cart are all one piece. You could remove the water tray if you wanted but the weight that it saves simply wouldn’t be worth it.
Faster set up times
This reduces the number of steps to set the saw up by quite a bit. You simply set the stand on the floor and then set the saw on the stand. Everything is done in those two steps.
Wheeled stand possible for the Delta Tile saw
Additionally, because the Delta has an exterior frame you can bolt the saw to a wheeled stand (purchased separately). This gives you the option to simply wheel the stand to where you want it and automatically set up the saw in a matter of seconds.
This may not be a huge advantage for the smaller 63 lb, 7-inch tile saw but could prove to be a big help with the larger Cruzer 10-inch saw that cuts 36-inch tile.
note: Dewalt has now come out with the D36000. It’s based on the existing Dewalt design but with the ability to cut 36-inch tile. It’s still a 10-inch blade and, currently, a wheeled stand is not offered with it.
Delta Water management
The reason that I get into the two different formats is to illustrate the fundamental differences between the saw designs and to explain that the Delta tile saw simply won’t manage water as well as the Dewalt, which is best in class when it comes to water management, in my opinion.
Because the water tray sits inside the frame it won’t collect all of the drips that are outside of the frame. With the larger tiles, this is more of an issue.
Flexible water sprayers
Another aspect of water management is the sprayers in the front. These spray on the blade to keep things cool.
Now, I didn’t find these to make a mess but I did find that they seemed to always be in the way. Sometimes, my hands would hit them. Other times, they restricted the ability to lift the tile up.
I found myself constantly adjusting them and tinkering with them. I found that I was never really happy with the end result of their placement.
The water pump
Then we get to the cord and water line at the rear of the saw. These are both for the water pump which has its own spot in the rear of the saw tray.
I found the water line to be way too long and prone to kinking. Those that like their pump in a separate bucket, outside the tray, will probably enjoy the extra length.
But I found that there was too much hose and nowhere to put it without it wanting to twist and clamp off the water supply.
An additional annoyance is that there is no way to keep the cord and water line completely inside the water tray. What that means is that the power cord (for the pump) and the waterline always have to hang out the back of the saw.
This provides a built-in way for water to drip out the back. It travels down the cord and drips at the loop which is outside the saw.
Other annoyances with the Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw
While I was very pleased that the saw came with a plunge feature and I’ve already mentioned how the bigger knob is a welcome improvement, the one main issue with the knob is that it’s in the wrong spot.
I’ve grown accustomed to the placement that’s right in the front of the D24000. It’s quite handy to operate with one hand while the saw is in use.
I use the plunge frequently, probably more than the average person, and like to be able to operate it in mid-cut.
Delta has located the knob around on the left side of the blade and it wasn’t convenient to use while the saw was in operation. Especially, for a right-handed operator.
Additionally, the threads on the Delta knob seem to be finer and require more turns to free up the blade.
But, to be fair, the Dewalt has a smaller knob with more coarse threads and it does have issues with staying locked down in place.
Lack of clearance with the 7-inch blade
My final issue is with the Cruzer is that the 7-inch blade lacks clearance. I think this probably is true with any 7-inch tile saw though.
It’s frequently common for tile installers to tilt the tiles mid-cut or to simply hold the tile in their two hands and cut the tiles freehand with the saw.
I understand that you won’t see these practices condoned in any safety manual but they still are a part of life. Tile saw blades aren’t as dangerous as, for example, a chop saw blade.
But the lack of clearance is a trade-off and I’ve already listed the advantages of the 7-inch blade above. When it’s all said and done, I prefer the smaller blade over the larger 10-inch.
What Delta got right with the Cruzer:
The big things
In summary, I would say that Delta did the big things well with this saw.
When you factor in the size and weight of the saw and the fact that it cuts the same tile as its larger and bulkier competitors, it’s difficult to not be impressed.
The motor seems powerful enough and, overall, I liked the stiffness of the 7-inch blade.
Plus, the savings over its competitor, the D24000, is enough to be a factor.
What Delta missed on:
What I didn’t care for with the Cruzer is some of the details.
The small things
The placement of the plunge knob, the water management, the measurements not extending onto the extension, and not being able to easily remove the cutting cart are things that I chalk up as minuses.
Delta Cruzer 7-inch tile saw final verdict:
If I had to do it over again, weighing the good and bad that I’ve listed above, I would still buy the Delta over the Dewalt.
The size, weight, functionality, and price-point make it too irresistible to pass up.
But there is still one big question to be answered about the Delta Cruzer
Will the Delta Cruzer tile saw (96-107) withstand the test of time? Can it take the day-in and day-out abuse that it will be subjected to?
The answer to this remains unknown for now. But I will continue to update this post with my experience.
Do you own the Delta? What are your experiences?
Is there anything that I missed? Just ask in the comments below!