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Felker TM1 Plus Tile Saw Review

by Todd Groettum

(Addendum on the Target Super Tilematic Tile Saw by John P. Bridge)

 Note: The following is written with the professional tile or stone setter in mind.  If you are a newbie and don't quite understand what's going on here, you can repair to the John Bridge Forums and ask questions.

Felker’s New Tilemaster Plus 1.5 HP production tile saw is everything you have come to expect from a company that has been building saws longer than most of us have been alive. Did I say “everything”? I should have said everything and more!!! Improvements abound on this new entry, and life just became a little bit easier for all of us.

Where do we start to list the changes and improvements to this already proven tile saw? How about its enlarged cutting capacity.? We needed a production saw capable of handling a large tile without the aid of a forklift. Enter the Felker-TM1 Plus with its enlarged capacity -- able to cut tile up to 24 x 24 and  to diagonal cut a 16 x 16 inch tile -- all in a package that is still much lighter than its rail saw counterparts. Add to this a new collapsible rolling stand for which very little actual lifting force is required, making the TM1 Plus one very friendly large format production saw.

The new rolling stand gives you a fantastic advantage in mobility, but beyond that its increased height puts the operator in an erect, comfortable position. I’ve spent many hours hunched over a saw, and I have suffered the same crick in the back and neck that many of you have experienced. The TM1 Plus puts the fun back in those tedious custom jobs where a good saw is so crucial.

With ease of operation in mind, Felker/Target has incorporated a new blade lock into the design of its production saws. We have all experienced the downtime that blade changeover can cause, and if you’re like me it tends to make you a bit grouchy. The new lock system changes what was a dreaded task to a simple operation that is smooth and quick. The single wing nut on the blade guard makes raising the guard easy, and the lock eliminates the other alternatives that none of us even want to think about.

The saw has the ability to plunge cut with the aid of a new mounting system for the head unit. Some may find this feature of extreme benefit for cutting around electrical outlets and for doing other “pocket cuts. For those who do not use the plunge feature often, the ability to lock the head unit down is still present.

Now all these things are nice and really make for great improvements, but let us get to the heart of this bulldog (and believe me I didn’t name my saw “the bulldog” for nothing).

The Baldor 1.5 HP Motor is specially designed for Felker. And while I take little notice of most horsepower ratings in tile saw motors, this is one of the few that’s rated at its true output. This Baldor is designed to deal with one specific task, and that is to cut tile -- any tile. large, small, soft or hard. Whatever the task, this motor can handle it all day, year in and year out.

Saw and Motor Specifications:

Motor Manufacturer-Baldor (special for Felker)

Horsepower-1.5 hp

Voltage-115

Amps-14.6

Hertz (cycle)-60

Phase-single

Blade RPM-2800

Motor RPM-1725

Blade Capacity – 10 inches (25.3 cm)

Arbor Size-5/8 inch (18 mm)

Depth of cut – 3.75 inches (9.5 cm)

Cutting Table(cart)- 16 x 16.5 inches (40.4 cm x 41.8 cm)

Weight of Saw –118 lbs. (not including stand)

As always, there are many great options available for the TM1 Plus, including the new rolling stand, cutting packages and tray extension. Don’t forget the Felker foot switch for excellent hands free control. This saw has an MSRP of  $1,063.00 as noted in the new 2005 Felker catalog.

The rolling stand option is an additional 149.00, and that’s less than 2 trips to the chiropractor. The new stand will not only make transport easier, it will also give you that added height to increase your comfort level. The saw without the new rolling stand would be like bread without butter, and I can’t recommend this option enough. It will add years to the back end of your chosen career.

I could tell you about how well this saw performs on an actual site, or I could tell you of its performance right out of the box. I could talk about how the motor fires up with the quiet sound of power that Felker has always been known for. I could talk about all this and more but I am not going to do that. Let me just say that the saw has surpassed my expectations. It has performed flawlessly since I completed the initial set up.

If you are in the market for a new production saw that is capable of doing large format tiles as well as any other tile out there, and you want to use the tool day in and day out with no worries, look no further. You have found your next saw.

 

Todd Groettum (Tileguytodd) is a moderator and “Official Felker Spokesman” at the John Bridge Forums on the Internet. 

 

Target Super Tilematic Tile Saw Review

by John P. Bridge   ( 2-5-2005 )

 

While Todd was chosen to field test the new Felker TM1 Plus tile saw, I tested the Target equivalent, the Super Tilematic. So for those of you who are hooked on Target Blue instead of Felker Yellow, here you go.

I received one of the very first prototype saws from the Target/Felker plant in Olathe , Kansas. Ultimately, there were 11 Target prototypes produced and distributed throughout North America . I’m not aware of how many Felkers were distributed.  In any case, the company used the feedback it received to fine tune the products.  During the course of the months-long test period I received a number of part upgrades, including a total of three different stands. Felker/Target spared no expense in “getting it right.”

Todd has done an admirable job in presenting the basic saw to you, and since he has more or less stolen my thunder, I’ll confine myself to adding a few pictures and short comments. The Felker TM1 Plus and the Target Super Tilematic are very similar – same motor, same stand, etc.  The paint, of course, is different. J

This is the brand new saw right out of the box. it's so pretty that we hate to get it dirty.  We will, though.  :-)

you will notice as we go along that the stand will change.  As mentioned above, we have gone through a total of three renditions.


New and improved stand (No. 2) which makes it easer to roll the tool on and off the bed of a pick-up truck.

The springs aid in erecting the stand when the saw is attached to it.

 

The saw can be rolled to where it is needed. It's not necessary to remove the saw from the stand. Both pieces are moved, loaded and unloaded as a unit.

This is a wonderful feature when you consider the combined weight of the saw and stand -- approaching 200 pounds.

 

You can see that while the stand is new, the saw has definitely been in use.  :-)

 

Aided by the springs, erecting the saw takes very little effort.

 

Once we add water to the pan, we'll be ready for action.

 

During the six-month test period we did not gentle this tool.  To give you an idea of the type of abuse we subjected it to, we did a 500 square foot patio using heavy re-claimed flagstone, each piece of which had to be trimmed. The Tilematic took it in stride.

I must mention that this type of treatment is not recommended.  :-)

 

I would like to show you a profiling kit that will fit both the Felker TM1 and the Target Tilematic. It comes with an edge guide that we weren't able to connect to our prototype cart. No matter, the heart of the arrangement is a hard rubber wheel which rides on the arbor alongside the diamond profiling wheel.  The rubber wheel prevents the profiling wheel from sinking too low into the work piece.  It's an excellent setup that we have been using to make our own bullnose on porcelain tile jobs. Doing so nets us an additional $200 in labor income on a typical shower installation. In two jobs the kit has paid for itself (even though I didn't pay for it.) :-)

We are using the standard edge guide that comes with the saw. We'll convert to the special guide as soon as our new production cart arrives. The standard guide works pretty well, though.

 

An obvious advantage to making your own bullnose is that you can make each piece as wide as you want. Not the double bullnose on top of the knee wall. The end piece is profiled on three sides.

The pieces at the front of the tub are wider than those on the wall.  The wider pieces eliminate the need for small cuts under the rim of the tub.

 

It took my helper, Albert, about three hours to make all the bullnose pieces for this project. Had they even been available at the tile supply, the bullnose pieces would have easily cost $400 or more.

 

As Todd has indicated above, there really is no substitute for ruggedness and dependability when it comes to your everyday use tile saw. Felker/Target tools have proved themselves for decades as being dependable and versatile. The new round of production tools extends that tradition.

You can order the new saws from our friends at Construction Complete.  Please use the link in the Tile Your World Store.

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