Reviews

  • Three Professional Wet Polishers Reviewed

    We’re going to review three of the most popular wet polishers on the market today: the Makita PW5001C, the Flex LE 12-100 and the Metabo PWE 11-100. These tools are professional quality, each with their own loyalists and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. By discussing them, we hope to help those who haven’t decided on one get the right tool for them.

    These polishers all have a high build quality and excellent components, but their specs do vary. Lets discuss those differences. To begin with, RPM range is important. Different types of polishing pads and stones respond better to different polishing speeds, so the wider the range, the more flexible the tool. Amps are also important as higher amp motors have higher torque and therefore provide more consistent RPM’s. The other primary consideration is weight and overall balance. You may be holding this tool all day long. As fatigue sets in, so does the quality of the work. Everything is a compromise.

    Master Wholesale sells each of the these three tools. Below are links and current prices:
    Makita PW5001C - $315
    Metabo PWE11-100 - $295
    Flex LE 12-3 100 - $339

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    What The Manufacturers Say

    We asked each of the manufacturers to give us their appraisal of their tool. We thought this would be fun and also to give them an opportunity to explain their approach to designing a wet polisher.

    Here’s what Makita has to say:

    “The Makita Wet Polisher (PW5001C) is at the top of its class. Using the best materials and motor technology (over 100 years of manufacturing electric motors) and innovative design puts Makita in a class by itself. The PW5001C was designed with help from Master Wholesale and other top stone fabricators around the country. Makita incorporated the first under the tool water source for better ergonomics. Variable speed, soft start, electronic speed control, and a best in Class Makita Motor make the PW5001C the clear choice.”

    Bob Eichelberg, President of Flex North America Inc., says:

    “Flex North America, Inc. manufactures heavy-duty power tools for all types of natural stone (granite, marble, slate, onyx and limestone), concrete, asphalt, brick and cinder block, as well as grinders and polishers for the metal and automotive industries. Flex wet polishers make them the industry leaders, starting with a brass quick fit connector for easy connection to a ½” water hose. Water feed and flow control are fitted under the motor housing. Extra powerful 9.3 amp motor with high torque. Softstart, over load protection for machine safety. These are Flex exclusives that set them apart from their competition. Dust protected switch, GFCI cable and a truly Flex exclusive powder coated magnetic motor for longer motor life. For over 90 years, Flex has manufactured quality products in Germany. It may cost a little more, but quality rubber cords, burnout protection, motor coatings and long 8” rubber water hose sets us apart from the rest of the world.”

    Here’s what Terry Tuerk at Metabo had to say:

    “Let me tell you about a few features of the Metabo wet polisher. This Metabo PWE 11-100 wet polisher. 9.6 amps, 1,100 watt motor, VTC speed stabilization, this machine is fastest to the finish. This machine has a wide variable speed range, from 1,700 to 5,400 RPM’s, so from final finish right to material removal. We have a very accessible spindle lock button on top. The red button is your spindle lock so if you need to change out your disc you can very easily with a one finger press to change your discs. We have a very ergonomic “D” handle easily adjustable by loosening the thumb screws, you can adjust this handle into any position, where you like, tighten it back down and you’re ready to go right back to work with the machine. It’s easy to hold in either hand, in any position you want to work, whether you’re flat, working on edges, left handed, right handed, great and easy to hold onto the machine. Also features a ½” standard quick release for the water connection.”

    Ok, so those weren’t exactly the most objective reviews, but we thought it would be interesting to see what the manufacturers said about their own tools. Many years ago, we helped Makita design this polisher. It is a great tool and the first to come to the market with variable speed control. This is the tool that really revolutionized the wet polishing market. It has a great price point and they were the first to make an affordable wet polishing tool. It fits well in the hands with very little water over spray. The Makita is by far our most popular contractor tool and has the best warranty support. It does have a little bit higher return rate than the other two tools, but it is definitely professional grade.

    The Metabo was last to come to the market, and they did their homework. The Metabo can take a 5” pad holder. The rpm range is 1700-5400 is adequate for both polishing and stock removal. Metabo also has a very low return rate. It’s powerful and the lightest of the three. I think Metabo could revisit the ergonomics though. It doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as the other two polishers.

    The Flex tool is a second generation tool. Flex was the original manufacturer of wet polishers. Flex took its years of knowledge and rolled it up into their new variable speed tool. I like the way the Flex fits my hands, it’s very comfortable to hold. It also can take a 5” pad holder which is a bonus. One of the things I really like is that it comes with a black, flexible hose on it so you don’t have to deal with a stiff garden hose connected up to the back of the tool. Believe me when I say this makes a difference!

    The one thing I find disappointing with all the manufacturers is they do not include the accessory you need to hook it up to a hose. Come on guys, it’s a $3.00 part! Any of these tools will meet the needs of most fabricators. They are all well designed and have ample power. For me, even if it’s a little more money, I like the Flex because of it’s high quality, dependability, it stays cooler and feels great in my hands.

  • Tile Saw Comparison Shootout - 4 Top Tile Saws Reviewed

    Welcome to Master Wholesale’s first comparison video. I’m Blake, president of Master Wholesale. We want to give our customers an easy way to compare the features and performance of 4 industry leading tile saws. We’re going to be featuring saws that cut over 24". The four tile saws that Master Wholesale has compared for this video are: the Husqvarna TS60, the Rigid Wet Saw, the Imer Combicut 200VA and the Dewalt D24000.

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    Video Transcription

    I’m Blake, president of Master Wholesale. Today we’re going to do our first tile saw comparison video. We’re going to be featuring saws that cut over 24". We’re going to have the Husqvarna TS60, the Rigid Wet Saw, the Imer 200VA and the Dewalt D24000.

    We videotaped and timed each of the saws being assembled. None of them required an engineering degree to put together, but I can tell you right now the Imer was the simplest and the quickest. The Dewalt and the Husqvarna were both pretty easy as well and can be done in under 15 minutes, while the Rigid was more complex and labor intensive.

    We’re going to talk about the weight and portability of these saws because that’s important, you’ve got to be able to get them in and out of the truck. The Dewalt weighs 90lbs but easily splits into three pieces, which makes it very easy for one guy to get it in and out of the truck or on to the jobsite by himself. The Imer weighs in at 45 lbs. which makes it very easy for one guy to move around. The Rigid weighs in at 101 lbs., so it’s a little harder to get in and out of the truck, but once you do get it out of the truck, it’s got the wheels on it so you can roll it around. The Husqvarna weighs in at 105 lbs. It’s going to be a little more work getting this guy in and out of the truck and on the jobsite.

    The next thing we’re going to show in the video is the tray play of each saw, how to make sure the saws are cutting square, and check the guides, plunge cut and the 45 degree miter cut. First the Husqvarna, and we’re checking for tray play here. As you can see, in not much. When we pull it out to extended we have a little play. Going to check the chop next. Loosen the knob on the side. This saw has a very smooth chop. Reaching to the back of the saw, you loosen the knob and the saw easily converts to a 45. It also does a 22. The other nice thing about this saw is it has a blade lock, which makes taking the diamond blade off the saw a lot easier. Not all saws are equipped with this. The tray guide is fully adjustable in all angles both on the left and right side. Very nice feature. As you can see, the Husqvarna TS60 comes out of the box cutting very square.

    Next up we’re checking the tray play on the Rigid. We have tray play when it’s in, and in the extended position we have a lot of tray play. Now the chop...going to loosen it up a little bit. This one’s a little bit stickier than the last one we tested. Loosen up a little bit more, and it's still not as smooth as some of the others we tested. This saw is also equipped with a blade lock so making taking the blade on and off a lot easier. The guide is adjustable both directions. It’s a nice feature. Saw comes out of the box cutting less than square, probably because of the amount of tray play.

    The Imer’s an overhead saw. We’re going to check for head play in this saw and you can see there is none. Next we’re going to test the chop. Loosen up the knob and the saw chops very smoothly. Loosen up the front knob and the knob on the back and the saw will adjust anywhere from 45 to any angle you want. Very smooth. The gauge on this saw also is fully adjustable both directions - very nice feature. This saw comes out of the box cutting perfectly square and does not have a blade lock.

    So next up is the Dewalt. No tray play in tight, and when you pull it out, there is very little in the extended position. Loosen up the front knob. Has a very smooth chop. Going to reach to the back, loosen up the knob, switches over to a 45. This saw also does a 22. The saw also has a blade lock in the front, which makes it a lot easier to take the blade off. The gauge is straight or a 45 to either side. This saw comes out of the box cutting really square as you can see.

    Next we’re going to take each saw and put it in a wet ten, make three cuts that we’ll time, and then we’re going to look at the inside of the wet tent to see how much overspray each saw has.

    Husqvarna TS60: This will take approximately 48 seconds to do and as you can see the overspray from this saw is basically zero.
    Ridgid: It’ll make the cuts in approximately 49 seconds, give or take a few seconds. As you can see, this saw has not much overspray. A little bit in the back. Other than that, the saw contained the water very well.
    Imer: The Imer saw will make the cuts in approximately 47 seconds. As you can see the water containment on this saw is not as good as the other saws that we looked at so far. A little bit of water on the floor of the wet tent.
    Dewalt: It’ll make the cuts in about 41 seconds. There’s a little bit of overspray on the back of the wet tent, but other than that the water overspray is pretty minimal.

    Our Opinion: The Husqvarna is a really nice saw, comes out of the box cutting real square. It’s one of the more expensive saws that we tested and it’s also probably the loudest saw that we tested, which if you mind loud saws, this one may not be the ticket for you. The one thing that was pretty amazing in comparison with the rest of the saws is the water containment on this saw was really good.

    Then we have the Rigid. I’m not a big fan of the Rigid. It took a lot of time to assemble it, had a lot of tray play. Again it’s a heavier saw. Strong points are it does come with a laser LED light and once you do get it out of the truck it has wheels on the stand and it’s priced very well.
    And we have the Imer, which is hands down the easiest saw to assemble and get working. It also comes out of the box cutting really straight. It’s a very dependable saw, easy for one person to move around. It’s literally half the weight of the other saws. It could use just a little bit more power in my opinion.
    And then we have the Dewalt tile saw which, again, assembles very quickly and comes out of the box cutting really straight. It splits down into three pieces so one guy can move it easily. Just looking at the online reviews for this saw and talking to contractors that come into our business everyday, this is definitely the contractor choice for sure.

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