TM-75 vs. MK-660? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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gdbutch
02-14-2003, 08:47 AM
The better half has a number of projects for me coming up in the next 12 months that involve laying tile, both wall and floor. I've decided to buy a wet saw that will handle tile up to 12"x12" to help do the work. I've been looking at the Felker TM-75 (mainly because I read John Bridge's review of it) and the MK-660. They seem to spec out about the same but the TM-75 is about $200 cheaper on the internet sites. Anyone care to comment on why MK Diamond can charge $200 more, i.e. is there something about the features of the TM-75 and MK-660 that I'm missing when I read the sales material? I've never seen either in the "flesh" so I'm relying on words and pictures only at this point.

Any helpful thoughts and information would be appreciated.

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dswallow
02-14-2003, 11:24 AM
I bought a Felker TM-75 from www.contractorsdirect.com to cut 12" granite tiles for my kitchen floor, figuring I'd have use for it again when I felt like redoing the bathrooms. There were 3 reasons I picked it:

1) Too many of the pros here recommend it for it not to have some advantage over the competition -- durability over time and abuse for one thing. They also mention it can hold its resale value pretty well if you just want to use it for one project and resell it. (AKA, Felkers are desired by many, so that's another good sign)

2) A rep from Felker is here regularly and it's real nice to see such a helpful manufacturers rep be so accessible and answer questions about their product without a lot of unsubstantiated hype. He offers well reasoned responses giving supporting info, and he's not afraid to give credit to his competition when it's due. To me, that translates out to a solid product that can stand on its own merits.

3) The dang thing is QUIET. Really really quiet.

After having gotten it, I am impressed with it... it ships with everything including all tools needed to assemble it, not that assembling required much effort or that many tools; it just had a couple parts to click together and bolt in place.

My only complaint is that they could have provided one more piece of rubber attached to one specific spot on the motor assembly and that would've eliminated about 90% of the spray that has colored my garage wall granite-slurry-gray. :) I solved it temporarily with a leftover piece of Hardibacker strategically positioned on the wall, though should've used a slightly bigger piece I guess. (Hardibacker is already granite-slurry-gray.)

Handyman
02-14-2003, 11:36 AM
Doug, funny how I just finished telling AndyL about the splash mess, only my grey slurry is on some draped poly. I cut 24 inch flagstone, 12X12 slate and found the 45 degree bevel fence very useful. Better than any of the rentals I've used in the past.

By the way I bought mine on line at http://www.toolfetch.com for $284.97 plus $9.32 shipping from NJ to VA. That was the lowest price I could find. They list it as a feature sales special so do not know how long that lasts. No affiliation.

Regards,

Robert

dswallow
02-14-2003, 11:51 AM
That's a great price. The site looks familiar but I'm not sure if I'd been there when looking for a place to buy my TM-75, or after. I think several folks here had suggested www.contractortools.com too, which also was slightly cheaper than where I bought it, but I think my main reason for having picked where I bought mine was being able to tell where the saw shipped from before I ordered, knowing it was gonna get here quickly, and having all the accessories I also wanted to buy, like trowels, knee pads, spacers, sponges, et. al.

I'm in NJ so I also would've factored in paying sales tax to that price; still it would've been cheaper, especially shipping.

What I hadn't realized at the time though is my dad had bought one too (don't know if it's a Felker), so I really didn't need to buy one at all; could've borrowed his -- well, when my mom told me that I'd thought to myself "I bet he got it at Home Depot, so I bet it's an MK, and I don't really want one of those," so I wasn't too bothered finding that out).

While it wouldn't necessarily be cheaper for many, I do wish Felker's were at Home Depot. I think they'd sell a lot that way. People who don't do a lot of research on their own just buy what's handy (or worse, what a HD employee suggests), and side by side with an MK I think the Felker is also simply a prettier product with cleaner lines. :) (meaning more sales, too, for not necessarily the best of reasons).

In fact, if I could control the price it sold for at HD, I think I'd put it there at $10-$20 MORE than the "equivalent" MK's and see how well they did.

Felker needs to make it clearer that you get several accessories, too. I bought a few a-la-carte I didn't need to have bought.

Dave Ashton
02-14-2003, 01:17 PM
I have an MK 660 that I use primarily for smaller tile. If you are going to be cutting mainly larger format tile I would not recommend it. I have no experience with the TM-75 but it seems like a great little unit from the reviews here. Why not the MK660? Mine is about 4 or 5 years old, maybe older, anyway, the electric brake on the motor went out after about the first 6 months. The motor head sits very close to the tray so visibility is not that great, especially when cutting larger tile. I have had trouble keeping the tray in aligment with the blade and adjustment is not that easy. (And no, I don't just throw the thing in the back of my truck, although I could. That is one of the nice things about it, it is light.) I am not sold on MK's system of mounting the tray, or cart whichever you want to call it. I also have the MK101-Pro with the same system. One side of the rail system in guarded, but it still gets junk up in there and it is a bear to clean which makes the travel of the cart less than smooth. I use a lot of teflon spray on it. Need anymore? Good points? Lightweight and portable. I am still on my first switch. I have made enough money using it to pay for a few of them. Other than that when it craps out I will probably get a TM-75. Hows that for a decision maker?


Dave

tada
02-14-2003, 01:54 PM
Can this saw be used to cut 4x4 tumbled marble and 12x12 slate?

Tom

KurtG
02-14-2003, 02:27 PM
I bought the cheapo $89-99 workforce? (metal, 3/4 horse) saw at HD and it was more than adequate for granite tile and backsplash work. It cut the granite like butter & no wet mess (except it's hard to empty the water without making one). I didn't have any fancy diagonals to cut. The fence was easy to adjust and stayed aligned. We will be putting the finishing touches on the kitchen this weekend.

ninemile
02-14-2003, 03:00 PM
I agreed with what Doug said on the merits of the little Felker TM-75 and can add this;

1) It's darn accurate! I cut a ton of porcelain (rip down 12x12's) to make triangles, squares, rectangles etc and can take a machinists square and be right on. The cart travel assembly stays square over time once you set the nylock nuts to permit travel without binding.

2) It's very portable, light, quick to clean up. And, after sawing all day I don't have a headache.

3) Get a super premium blade to match the tile you're cutting. Don't get a "do-all" blade. I use the TM-5 for porcelain and the TM-6 for granite.

4) I like the service and support with the Felker. I can get parts from a number of internet places or my local tile supply shops. I figure I should've worn out the TM-75 track and water pump by now but it just keeps going and going.

Now, I'm eyeing a Tilemaster ;) ;)

John Bridge
02-14-2003, 07:24 PM
Welcome aboard, Butch. :)

I can't add much. Andy L., one or our esteemed members :D, is products manager for Felker/Target saws. He'll find this thread and add his comments.

The $285 price is a promotion. We here are considering becoming a Felker dealership, and there is no way we could sell the TM-75 at that price and make a profit. But even at $300 plus shipping I think it's a good buy. It's a simple machine with a good motor and an excellent cart to rail hook-up. It cuts straight, and it doesn't kill this old man to lift it onto the truck. I can't comment on the MKs. I've never owned one. I've been using Felker/Target for 30 years.

I also own a plastic plasplug I got at Home Depot. :)

gdbutch
02-14-2003, 08:16 PM
Thanks, John and all the others who have offered the advice and insights. It's been a while (30+ years) since I've done any tile work and your site, John, is a peach. So much has changed in available materials, tools, and techniques in 30 years that your site really helps. I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes by and someday I may be able to do more than ask questions. In the meantime, while I've got the computer and modem fired up it's time to order a saw.

Jason_Butler
02-14-2003, 08:45 PM
Well I don't want to take anything away from the Felker, especially since I may buy one soon, but my MK 370 has the ability to rip 12" tiles and diagonal cut 10" tiles ( although I have never used a 10" tile) as well.

It is a bit noisy but it has served me well. For 219.00 on ebay you can buy this saw. Over the past 5 years my MK370 hasn't given me a bit of trouble. I've changed blades and "squared" the table once or twice but it has been mechanically sound.

IMHO, $300 is a ridiculous price for any tile saw this size. Andy has already heard that from the crew here.

The MK660 and the TM75 have the same horespower, same cutting specs but the tray and framework on the MK looks beefer, hence the add'l cost ( ???). They are also both direct drive. The TM75 will be lighter which is a plus at the end of the day.

In short I would go with the TM75 when comparing the two.

Good luck

Jason

Jason_Butler
02-14-2003, 08:46 PM
BTW, what part of Austin ??? I'm in Round Rock if you get in a bind :D

Jason

gdbutch
02-14-2003, 11:34 PM
Jason,
Thanks for the info and offer. I live over on the southwest side of town in Lost Creek, a long haul from RR.

Ed1955
04-15-2003, 09:08 AM
I just put in an order for a TM-75 from the toolfetch.com website. It has the following short blurb :
"The TM-75 Includes the following: 8 in. premium diamond blade, 4 cutting guides, water pump and wrenches."

Is a dual 45-degree angle guide one of the "4 cutting guides" indicated... ?

I agree with dswallow, maybe Felker (or the retailers) can make it clearer this ships with several accessories... and which ones...:rolleyes:

andyl
04-15-2003, 09:25 AM
Yes it does include dual 45. Also includes protractor, miter, and rip guide. You should be able to get this info at our website, www.felkersaws.com. Unfortunately we cant control what other sites choose to put on their websites, but I think you'll be happy with the saw and the guides that come with it.

tileguytodd
04-15-2003, 03:30 PM
Ed, Good decision!!! I put mine to use again today rather than haul out my big gun.When all is said and done i hope you feel about that lil Jewel the way i do.
If ya dont own a Felker,Your just Playing at Tile :D

John Bridge
04-15-2003, 07:01 PM
Ed,

Watch out for those cutting guides. I got to going pretty good on my dual angle guide and cut into it a couple times. Plastic cuts real well with a wet diamond blade. :D

It's a great little saw. I think Andy gives Todd twenty bucks every time he says, "If you're not using a Felker, you're just playing at tile." In fact, I'll bet Andy composed that and emailed it to Todd. :D

Bri
04-15-2003, 07:11 PM
I think andy should send me one of those baby's to try out too..you know..for the international perspective.;) :shades:

John Bridge
04-15-2003, 07:56 PM
Bri,

If you come on here every day for two months and say, "If you're not using a Felker, you're just playing at tile," Andy may take a real liking to ya. :D

Sonnie Layne
04-15-2003, 08:09 PM
I would try something like that, but John's got TX covered.

Outside of the fact I'm working alongside 4 different tile setting companies here currently (I'm doing the cab/trim), I probably couldn't sell many. But, hey Andy??? Wot? you need more representation around these parts?

tileguytodd
04-15-2003, 08:37 PM
Actually John, Andys Payroll's About the same as yours.:)
I wonder if Dave does his payroll too :D

The saying is Mine,but perhaps he likes it!! :)

Bri
04-15-2003, 09:22 PM
John...that's more chapstick than I can afford! ;)

leeshuck
04-15-2003, 10:03 PM
My experience with ordering receiving and using the TM-75:

I ordered a TM-75, stand, and the 8" TM-5 porcelain/granite blade from www.toolfetch.com a few weeks ago. I paid for 3 day shipping so I could use the saw the following weekend :D. Their prices were very competitive, expecially for the blade.

I got the saw and stand in a few days. Toolfetch said the blade was being shipped separately. About a week and a half or so later I received a blade, but it was the wrong one :confused:. While this was going on, I called Felker to see if any dealers in my area had the blade. Felker provided the phone number for dealers in my area but the ones I called either didn't seem to do much Felker business, or did not have the blade. Felker said there were a few at the distribution center in the Cerritos, CA and that one of the dealers might be able to drop ship one to me. A tile shop nearby did have larger Target saws and 10" blades.

I finally got the right blade after many follow up e-mails and a couple of phone calls. I'm not too satisfied with Toolfetch's customer service and probably won't order from them again :bonk:.

Over the weekend I put the saw to use and am very satisfied with it. Very convenient size and the power and quality of cuts is very good. I am cutting polished porcelain and some chipping is noticeable. Since I'm a novice, I don't have anything else to compare theis saw and blade to. AndyL and Chip (Art) answered my questions about blades via e-mail when I was researching alternatives

Things that I'm not so crazy about:

The plastic guides flex a little and may result in some imprecise cuts. I need to do some 22 1/2 degree cuts and the variable angle guide is marked in 5 degree increments

If I were cutting a lot of tile diagonally that exceeds it's one pass capacity of 10" (My tile is just under 12"), I think a larger saw would be in order. Perhaps if I had a lot of practice I could get the cuts straight after flipping the tile over?

doitright
04-16-2003, 12:04 AM
I had to use an MK once. I was instantly sold that I'd never buy one! I've got the Big Daddy Felker. For smaller jobs, I've got a portable table type saw (custom made over 30yrs ago) with a diehard Dayton 1/2 hp. The only repairs have been replacing the leviton 89 cent switch a few times, and the electrical cord and belt once! :yipee:

John Bridge
04-16-2003, 04:51 AM
Lee, All,

For lengthy production runs on any saw, we make a custom guide out of a piece of tile. Cut it to the precise angle you need and bump it against the straight cut guide on the cart. The beauty of the thing is that it's expendable and you can saw into it a ways without cussing. :D

I have a big grandaddy Felker for sale. Used on one job and stored ever since.

tileguytodd
04-16-2003, 05:49 AM
And that Saw John,do you call that a MOATS???
(mother of all tile saws) :D :D :D

kemguru
04-16-2003, 06:28 AM
You have something for sale John? Allow me to introduce you to the classified section of this site. Not much activity, yet, but I bet there are more than a few of us that could part with something. :confused:;) :D

doitright
04-16-2003, 08:20 AM
Todd,

If you were commenting to me (John K.), I like the MOATS thing,
but you might be referring to the Imer (?) bridge saw. That thing must need a forklift to move it off & on our vehicles.

John K. :)

John Bridge
04-16-2003, 05:08 PM
I'm sure all you bridge saw fans will be happy to know (in case I haven't told you already) that Felker has gotten into the race. I do have to confess that the new Felker bridge saws are made over seas, but isn't everything? ;)

Check out Andy's site.

http://felkersaws.com


Tim,

The thing costs three grand new. People want it for nothing. I'd rather keep in in storage. One of these days it'll be an antique. :D

andyl
04-17-2003, 06:54 AM
Is Italy overseas? oh yeah, never mind.

kemguru
04-17-2003, 07:47 AM
Dang it John! You saw right through me. I was one of those that was hoping to get it for nothing, not that I need a monster like that, just thought it would look better stored in my shop than yours:D

John Bridge
04-17-2003, 07:37 PM
Tell ya what. We might be able to make a deal on storage. What do you charge by the month? The thing has a humongous foot print, though.

:)

Ed1955
04-17-2003, 08:16 PM
Got my TM-75 today (just about 48 hrs after order was sent in). But after reading leeshuck's comments above, I realized that maybe I shoulda've ordered a blade for porcelain on the side :bang:.
Is the std blade that ships with TM-75 suited for cutting porcelain at all ? Can I start with it at least, until I pick up the recommended one ?

PS. I tried accessing the Felker site's Diamond Blade Reference but it looks like the info is in a pdf file, which lately is making my box freeze. Anyway, if I'm cutting porcelain, which blade should I be using ? :dunce:

ninemile
04-17-2003, 09:44 PM
If I remember the TM75 comes with a K2020 blade thats basically good for soft bodied tiles and alot of work on good porcelain.

The Felker TM-5 blade can be used for porcelain part #621770 for the .065 core, about $57 at www.masterwholesale.com or www.contractorstool.com

or the MK-225 Hot Dog blade about the same $ (sorry AndyL) it's faster, but noiser and chippier (is that a word??)


TIme for bed :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

tileguytodd
04-17-2003, 10:18 PM
I think what colleen 's trying to say is yes,its alittle slower,But it will work for your porcelain although it will wear out quicker.It will still probobly do your entire job without a problem though :)

Ed1955
04-18-2003, 06:25 AM
Colleen and Todd,
Thank you. Feeling better I can proceed.:)

andyl
04-18-2003, 08:34 AM
If the blade starts to slow down, dont force it, sharpen it by making several cuts on a soft brick or tile. That will expose new diamonds and get it back to cutting "like new"

Jason@Home
05-20-2004, 09:26 AM
Where is this review of the TM-75 by John? Are there any others?

bbcamp
05-20-2004, 09:35 AM
Right here:

http://tileyourworld.com/tilesaw.htm

and here's another:

http://tileyourworld.com/felker_fts50.htm

Jason@Home
05-20-2004, 11:14 AM
Thanks!

Unregistered
09-16-2004, 06:14 AM
Yes it does include dual 45. Also includes protractor, miter, and rip guide. You should be able to get this info at our website, www.felkersaws.com. Unfortunately we cant control what other sites choose to put on their websites, but I think you'll be happy with the saw and the guides that come with it.

I live in Scotland why can I not but a Felker tm75 tile saw????