Felker FTS-50


When I started planning our bathroom remodel, I began looking into different methods for cutting tile.  There are a slew of choices, Tile snappers, wet saws, jig saws with carbide blades, or nippers.    I looked at Lowes and saw that they had some decent looking saws, and picked out a mid-range one, the Felker FTS-50.  Since I was only doing a small bathroom I figured this would be just what I needed.   I’d never used a wet saw, so I tried it out and it seemed to cut well and besides for being incredibly loud, I was pretty happy.  The saw came with a crappy plastic fence, a little plastic thing that was meant to help guide the tiles if you cut them at an angle.  I tried to use these at first, but found them to be causing more problems than they solved, and ended up just drawing a line on the tile and cutting them free hand. 

Cutting the tiles in this manner worked well, however after awhile I noticed the cuts where chipping alot.  I assumed that since I was using a porcelain tile, the blade had worn out.   I figured the blade that came with the saw wasn’t of the highest quality, and that I could just buy a replacement blade and all would be well.  However this is where things go south.  I went to Lowes, and found, that while they have 4″, 4.5″ and 7″ Diamond blades, they don’t have a 5″ blade.  I thought about getting a smaller blade, but if the blade wasn’t big enough then it wouldn’t touch the water.  Well I assumed they were just out of stock, so figuring you can buy anything online, I turned to the web.  After a ton of searching I realized that 5″ tile saws are not very common, in fact this Felker may be the only one.   Therefore getting a blade was not easy.  I asked at one store for a porcelain blade and was told that the FTS-50 was not cut out for porcelain tile, and that the motor would surely burn up if I tried.  Well a bit late for that, wish someone had told me that before I bought it.

At this point I sent an e-mail to Felker, asking where I could get a replacement, and was told to check local tile stores.  I replied saying that I had, and they didn’t carry 5″ blades, but never heard anything back.  After alot of searching I finally managed to get a new blade from the nice folks at PremiumBlade.com .  It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was pretty cheap, and I did notice that it had alot more diamonds in it than the original.  I quickly installed this and made a few trial cuts.  To my surprise, the tile still chipped and the cuts weren’t clean.  As I was playing around with it, trying to figure out why, I noticed that the blade seemed to wobble.  It was hard to tell when it was moving, but easy to see as the blade came to a stop.  After re-installing the blade a few times, a came to the conclusion that the shaft was actually bent.  At this point I went back and looked at some of the tiles I cut earlier, and noticed they none of the cuts looked very smooth, and they all had alot of chipping.  So I assume that I just never noticed it before.  So at this point, I’m going to just have to live with the poor quality of the saw.   Its to late at this point to return it, and I certainly don’t want to waste another $100 on a better saw. 

If anyone else is thinking of buying a Wet Saw, I would highly recommend not getting the FTS-50.  Felker Saws have a good reputation, however regardless of how good the saw is, getting one that you can’t get a replacement blade for is just silly.  In fact, I’m amazed that Lowes even sells this saw.

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5 Responses to Felker FTS-50

  1. sandy says:

    thanks for the review, sorry you had to go through such a hassle!

    We’ll hopefully be ready to tile our bathroom in a few weeks, so I guess I need to start looking into tile saws too.

  2. DGerman says:

    Did you try “sanding” the edge a little with wey-o-dry 440 ?

  3. mr mad saw says:

    Yes, I had the same problemw ith getting a replacement blade. I went to lowes several times, they don’t help you there anyway. The tile people, where the saw is sold said the blades were up front and the up front people said, no those blades are back by the saws. Looked around and ordered one off the Internet. Next time, gonna get the mid range saw. Figuring I still saved a lot of money in labor even if the saw is a throw away saw. The water needs to be checked often as it can go dry quickly.

  4. i know this post is a bit old but maybe will get some use from my response. the problem in this situation is that the blade is doing the cutting FROM THE BOTTOM UP…most professional wet saws cut from the top down….so when you run the porcelain tile through the saw pictured above it spalls (chips)the surface (face)…with a saw that is top mounted the blade cuts into the face and reduces the problems you describe considerably. hope this helps..

  5. tile man says:

    what alot of do it yourself people dont know about this saw is the size of blade and saw itself means its a wall tile saw which are very soft tile not a floor tile saw ive had my fts50 for 9 years only use it on wall tile have cut thousands of sq ft of tile with it and still have the orig. blade when considering buying a tile saw alot more goes into it than price,what type of tile am i cutting how thick is it,porclin,ceramic,stone
    slate,knowing you had porclin that in it self is very hard surface.i myself have a 10 ridgid saw 2 horse power
    saw for all my floor tile jobs and porclin will tear a diamond blade up which i add to a quote now if ya just need a quick cut that will be covered by trim use a 4 inch angle grinder with a DRY BLADE causes alot of dust so cut outside most grinders are cheep and so are the blades remember to wear safty glasses as chips are flying

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