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Are there any alternatives to slater’s axes?

Shop for Slaters Axes

Slater's axe punching a hole in slate There are a few alternatives you can choose to trim slate if you don’t have a slater’s axe. Some of these are specialised tools, specifically designed to work with slate; others are more general-purpose tools.

Slater’s hammers

Slater's hammer Slater’s hammers are similar to slater’s axes, with a sharp edge on the handle and a spike for punching holes. Like a slater’s axe, they need to be used with a bench iron, sometimes called a slater’s anvil, or a similar solid surface.

Slate guillotines

Cutting slate Slate guillotines are mounted on benches to cut slate. They also usually have a holing punch.

For more information see What is a slate guillotine? for our guide to Roofer’s and Slater’s tools.

Slate and punch cutters

Cutting slate Slate and punch cutters are hand-held, shear-like tools. They also have a punch for producing holes, but they are more limited with regard to the thickness of tile they can cut than most other slate cutters.

For more information see: What is a slate punch and cutter? in our guide to Roofer’s and Slater’s tools.

Wonkee donkee says "There are a number of specialist tools available if you work with slate a lot, but if you just want to cut a few tiles, you can also use more general purpose tools."

Angle grinders

Cutting slate For heavy duty cutting of slate, you can use an angle grinder.

Trowels

Cutting slate A more common tool is a trowel. With a bench iron, brick, or similar solid surface, you can use a trowel to chip away bits of slate.

Claw hammers

Cutting slate Another, more general tool, which most people own, is a claw hammer. The slate tiles can be put between the parts of the claw and bits snapped off to trim it to size.