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Old 01-17-2003, 12:26 AM   #1
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Who make the best tile saw?

I'm in the market for a new tile saw, and was hoping to find out if there is a consensus prefered brand and model. I know Felker/Target seem to be popular on the fourm and the MK's. The QEP's and Chicago Electric are inexspensive, but are they junk? What about the Pearl Abasives saws, they have some interesting features like water cooled bearings and 16' diagnal cut capacity and lite weight. Any input will be apreciated.

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Old 01-17-2003, 01:18 AM   #2
Sonnie Layne
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RTS,

Most of the pro's here will tell you Felker. Now, that's not an official consensus, but this subject has come up before.

As for the others, I've used MK. It's fine. Heavy and pound for pound I wouldn't rate it higher than the Felker.

Chicago Electric is Harbor Freight's name. You'll get a bit more than you pay for, but not by much. Their warranty is solid, problem is you'll need it if you do much work with the tool.

Felker has a new sweet little machine, the TM75. In my opinion you could buy the unit, use it a bit for you tile projects then sell it afterward and be ahead of the game. Or just stick it in the corner of your garage, you'll have it next time.
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Old 01-17-2003, 07:40 AM   #3
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The question is, What are you going to use it for?
Are you a Pro? are you a homeowner with a couple projects?
Are you a handyman that has lots of friends begging for your time to redo all the tile in thier houses

I bet my paycheck on Felker everyday.I make my living with it and its never failed me.If you are after a paycheck Felker is the only name to trust period.
For cost effectiveness the TM-75 is alot of bang for the buck as is the FTS 150(if you need something a bit larger).
For sheer out and out toughness,A tilemaster is virtually indestructible.
I use my saw 320 out of 360 days a year.My Tilemaster SC is 6 years old.I have replaced a $7.00 Switch in all that time.(it took less time than replacing a blade)It cuts straight and true.
My lil TM-75 is a great one hander for smaller jobs when you dont need the Horsepower.weighs 35 lbs or so.The wife can throw it around easily. She loves it!!
There is a reason why Pro's Buy Felkers.Something for you to consider.You can spend less money,But buying Felker is an investment in piece of mind.When your paychecks on the line,Felkers got you covered...............
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Old 01-17-2003, 01:05 PM   #4
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Im just starting my own remodeling business . I used to work for a larger company, that specialized in kitchens. I had some problems with the reliability of the tile subs they used so I bought a small saw and started doing the backsplashs myself. Since striking out on my own, Im getting more and more flooring jobs. I've made the saw I have now work, but It won't cut 12 or 13 inch tile straight. Im redoing a bathroom and shower in 13 inch porcelin tile, and my saws short commings are glaring. I've got a client who wants me to install 500 sq ft, of 16 inch slate as soon as I finish the job I'm on. I'd rather have one saw that could do it all, even if its overkill right now. It sounds like Felker or Target are my best option. The Pearl Abrasive was atractive because its large diagonal cut ability. What are the differences between Target and Felker saws?
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:40 PM   #5
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I've never had problems with MK (OK guys, you can start flaming) I have 3 of 'em from little to big. Also look at Imer. I never owned one, but I've played with one before, and it was really slick.
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Old 01-17-2003, 06:21 PM   #6
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Hi Roger,

Felker or Target. They are all I've ever owned or used. I've been at it 30 years. I really don't know the difference between the Felker and the Target right now. I think they trot the Target out as the ultimate professional machine and they get more money for it, but it's the same motor and the same bearings (I think).

We'll get Andy Lundgren over here. As you probably know, he runs the products shop at Felker/Target.
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Old 01-17-2003, 11:29 PM   #7
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For the first 10 years in this business I used an MK 770 and it would do 90% of the work I needed. When I needed a saw that could cut tile larger that 14x14 I would rent one.

About four months ago I purchased a new Pearl VX 10.2 It cuts nice and true and will cut large tile on the diagonal. One person can lift and carry it if needed. The real problem I have with it is that I can't use a 7" profile wheel on it. It will not lower enough. If I would have known that I wouldn't have made this saw my first choice. I would get a Felker at and add the profile kit sold at Mastersholesale.
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Old 01-18-2003, 07:00 AM   #8
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JTG,

I'm no expert on tile saws, but maybe if the head can't be lowered enough, you could supply a mock table out of adequate thickness of cypress or mahogany??? I ran into this issue once in the woodworking shop, forget why it came up, but that's the way we solved it.
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Old 01-18-2003, 02:39 PM   #9
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Felker Tilemaster sounds like it would suit your needs nicely.
Like John, I am a Felker Man.I count on mine and it never lets me down Day in and day out. I have 2 of them now and am considering a 3rd rail saw for large format tiles.
I have used many other brands and found them lacking.
I have used several differant MK's and you couldnt give me one!!
Ive said it before and i'll say it again
"If you dont own a Felker,Your just playin at Tile"


Want a saw that will do its part and make you look good
Get a Felker.

Want a saw that will work everytime? Get a Felker

Want to help me send my kids to college? Send me Money
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Old 01-18-2003, 02:41 PM   #10
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What are ya doing standin around reading this for,I told you go buy a Felker
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Old 01-18-2003, 02:54 PM   #11
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Felker/Target difference

Other than cosmetics, the difference is the pan. the Felker has a polymer pan, Target has metal. That is it unless you are partial to blue or yellow.

It could very well be fashion a higher top for your saw and still profile if the blade guard is wide enough to accept the profile wheel. I would try it.

I am leaving in 30 minutes for France again. I will leave the forum in your capable hands till i return late next week.....dont goof anything up while I am gone!!!
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Old 01-18-2003, 03:41 PM   #12
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I have two Felker Tilemaster and a MK 101.

The MK 101 is over a year old and I only had to replace an on/off switch.

My Felker is four months old and I'm having motor problems. I finished a job last Friday went to the next job on Monday and the saw wont turn over. When I turn it on it draws heavy amps(blade wont turn) and then blows circuit breakers. So I went out and bought another Tilemaster to take its place. Haven't had a chance to call the rep, yet!

Even with this problem I still use the Felker over my MK.
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Old 01-18-2003, 05:30 PM   #13
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Kevin,

I've never had a motor go out on one of those saws except once. If you don't use an adequate power cord, or if you go over 100 feet with an otherwise adequate cord, you can lose a motor, especially when you're running off house current, which is iffy most of the time.

What has caused me to replace saws through the years is that after a lot of use the arbor bearings give out, as you know. I would rather start over with a new tool than mess with it. I know several guys, however, who have replaced the bearings and have used the same tool (Felker/Target) virtually forever.

I don't think you'll have a problem getting the motor replaced, though, even if you did screw it up yourself.

Just kidding. Just kidding.
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Old 01-18-2003, 09:14 PM   #14
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On the subject of ecletricity... I know most of you guys have probably tagged into the breaker panel. I'd like to know how, just to hear the coolest way to do it. Alligator clips are boring.
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Old 01-19-2003, 02:16 PM   #15
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Thanks guys, for all the great info. Where is the best place to buy a saw, new, used or reconditioned. Im in Dallas, Tx. I would prefer to buy a good used saw to save some money, unless buying new is the way to go. Are pawn shops a good place to start? Anybody on the fourm have a solid used saw you might sell? John, Im sure you have a pile of old saws with worn out arbor bearings, I wouldn't charge you much to haul one off for you. On a side note, HD here in Dallas have switched from the MK 101s to Target Tilematics for their rental saws, they also rent the Felker TM75.
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