It isn’t easy to find a well-engineered tile saw. Go to your local home improvement store, and you’ll find a variety of options, most of which are a bit chintzy. You’re either looking at a tiny blade, a cheap plastic frame, a weak motor, or some cringe-worthy combination of all the above.
These saws are fine for your average homeowner. You can refinish a bathroom, then throw it in your garage and forget about it. But if you’re a home improvement enthusiast or a contractor, you need a tile saw that can take a beating and handle larger tiles.
This means buying a professional-grade model.
Today, we’ll be checking out the MK Diamond MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw With JCS Stand. This is a rugged, professional-grade saw that can handle tiles as large as 24 inches.
Those of you who are power tool enthusiasts probably already know MK Diamond’s reputation for top quality.
So, does the MK-101 Pro24 live up to the hype? Let’s find out.
What You'll Learn...
MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw Overall Design
The first thing you’ll notice about the MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw is that it’s massive. Including the stand, it measures 48 inches high, 29 inches long, and 24 inches wide.
It’s beefy and sturdy, with a heavy-duty red steel frame that supports the motor and blade assembly from the left. This leaves the right side clear, which allows you to make cuts on tiles that are technically larger than the rated capacity.
The total weight of the system is 156 pounds, which makes it a bit much to move around. But the stand makes transport easier than it would normally be.
But more on that in a minute.
The tile platform is constructed from durable cast aluminum, with a hashed neoprene pad that keeps tiles from slipping during operation. It glides along a small steel rail on the right and is attached to an aluminum travel rod on the left.
The travel rod is covered by a brass guard, which prevents it from getting dirty easily. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll want to lubricate this occasionally.
Use a lightweight oil lube, instead of silicone spray or grease, and you’ll get the best results.
The entire frame is coated with zinc, which keeps the steel from rusting. The finish is almost impossible to scratch, so it can stand up to the demands of just about any job site.
The motor extends horizontally from the mount and supports a blade assembly that’s finished with the same attractive red paint as the support arm. The arbor measures 5/8-inch in diameter, and the assembly can support up to a 10-inch blade.
The blade shaft locks into place with a small hole on the side of the mount. To install or change the blade, just insert a thick screwdriver into the hole, and it will keep the shaft from spinning while you remove the mounting nut.
The shaft bearings themselves are sealed inside the assembly and are permanently lubricated. They last for hundreds of hours of use, but as with many machines, they’re usually the first thing to fail.
You’re going to want to hang on to your manual so you can order the correct parts from MK Diamond when it becomes necessary. If they should happen to fail prematurely, MK Diamond has got you covered with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Like most tile saws, the MK-101 Pro24 has a water pump to cycle water over the blade and keep it cool. There’s also a collection pan underneath.
Whatever you do, do not put the pump in the collection tray and re-use the same water. Get yourself a 5-gallon bucket, fill it with clean water, and pump from there instead.
Then empty the pan as it fills with dirty water. Recycling the same dirty water can clog the pump with tile dust, causing early failure. This kind of failure will not be covered by your warranty.
The MK-101 is made in the USA, which means you’re getting the best quality manufacturing and the best quality parts.
That said, we should point out that a ground fault interrupt (GFI) is not included with the kit. You’ll need to provide your own or buy one separately from MK Diamond.
Also, this is a heavy-duty saw. If you plug it into a 15-amp outlet, it will trip the breaker. Plug it into a 20-amp outlet, and you’re good to go.
MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw Cutting Performance
The MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw With JCS Stand can cut tile up to 24 inches in length. If you need to do diagonal cuts, it can handle an 18-inch tile.
In addition, it can handle just about any kind of material you want to run through it. By default, it ships with a 10-inch MK-225 HotDog Blade. This blade is suitable for ceramic, glass, or porcelain tile.
Change things up with a segmented blade, and you can also cut brick or masonry with relative ease.
This power comes thanks to a 1 ½-horsepower high-torque, fan-cooled motor. You can run this saw for hours on end without it getting overheated. It features a V-belt drive, which provides maximum torque while still allowing for slippage if, for some reason, the blade truly becomes jammed.
The motor assembly is also height-adjustable. Unscrew the butterfly bolt, and you can easily perform plunge cuts. Just be careful when you do this. The MK-101 Pro24’s motor and blade are tough enough to cut right through the tile platform.
In addition to the saw and stand itself, you also get some accessories to help you get the job done right. It comes with three guides: a standard rip guide, a 45-degree flat guide, a protractor guide, and a 45-degree bullnose guide.
All the guides are galvanized for water-protection and are sufficient for just about any application. You also get a dressing stone for the blade. When you cut through it, it will refresh a worn-out edge. Additional dressing stones are available from MK Diamond.
Finally, there’s a black steel side extension cable. This will help support larger tiles as you run them through the saw.
Perhaps the most underappreciated feature of the MK-101 Pro24 is the galvanized steel stand. To put it mildly, this ain’t your daddy’s saw stand. For starters, it’s integrated with the saw itself.
This isn’t just a convenience; considering the weight of the saw, it’s a necessity. There are two six-inch rubber wheels, which makes it easy to transport.
There are also smaller caster wheels towards the front of the saw. When the stand is opened, these wheels aren’t touching the ground. However, they are when the saw is collapsed.
This makes it easy to roll the saw inside a confined space like the back of a work van or the inside of an enclosed truck bed.
The rubber wheels are soft, and they won’t scuff floors. Provided you keep them free of grit and debris, you can even roll the MK-101 Pro24 over a hardwood floor without scratching or causing damage.
The size also makes it easy to load the saw by yourself. Tilt it up, set the wheels in your truck bed, and give it a push. Presto! It’s loaded.
When you open the stand-up, there’s a small support arm that helps to keep it stable. There’s also a gas piston that makes it easier to open. Collapsing the saw is difficult, especially if you’re a lighter individual.
The best way to collapse it is to literally sit on the top of the frame. With that being said, it’s still a good idea to engage the support arm for safety. When you set up the saw, you’ll also want to engage the wheel brakes.
These will prevent the MK-101 Pro24 from shifting during operation.
One final note about the stand: make sure to keep it clean. It’s easy to remember to clean the saw, but grout and tile dust can easily hide on the galvanized finish. Over time, this can build up, clog up the hinges, and make your hands dirty during transport.
As you can see, the MK-101 Pro24 Tile Saw With JCS Stand is one of the most well-designed tile saws on the market. The 1 ½-horsepower motor is powerful enough to rip through just about any tile.
It can even handle masonry if you use the appropriate blade, which makes it more versatile than your average homeowner model.
The sturdy frame and arbor will last for years without requiring any kind of repair. And the ability to do plunge cuts without jury-rigging a solution is a great touch.
Finally, the stand is exceptionally sturdy. You don’t have to worry about it failing just because you leaned on it in the middle of a job.
To be fair, the MK-1010 Pro24 is a bit pricey. But as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. In this case, it’s top-tier quality, maximum power, and full control over your project. If you need the biggest, baddest tile saw on the market, look no further!