I was anxious when I first was trying out my new MK-EZ Profiler machine. Nobody had one yet (mine is number 38) and it’s a lot of money to throw away if it doesn’t work very well. After the first day of bullnosing my 3/8 inch through body porcelain tile I was ready to throw the machine in the trash. But I gave it another chance and things began to turn around.
I believe there’s a market for this machine. It’s portable and sells for under $1000. Stonetooling.com, where I purchased this from, is currently selling the machine for $899. The alternatives are the MKDX and the Raimondi Bulldog. The Bulldog is about 130 lbs and runs about $3200. These types of machines are best used at a shop where you can do the bullnosing beforehand. If you don’t want to go this route then you can do it by hand with saw horses and a diamond grinder or use a profile wheel for a tile saw. I’ve never seen a profile wheel on a tile saw that can put a straight and even profile on a tile. I chose to do mine by hand. That’s what led me to purchase this machine. I wanted a portable bullnose machine that could put a consistent and even edge on natural stone and porcelain tile.
Setting up the MK-EZ Profiler
It comes in a big box but the profile machine is only 23 lbs. It’s not very heavy. It takes a few minutes to put it together and align things but it wasn’t that difficult. But here’s where some of the annoyances come in.
The table sits on the water tray just fine. But when you put the water pump in the water tray one of the bolts of the table actually rests on the water pump. The water pump comes with some suction cups which I removed so it would sit lower but the bolt still rests on the pump. I don’t know how this happens. Did they change the size of the pump? It’s not that big of a deal. It doesn’t hold it up very much and the machine functions fine but I was disappointed that this simple detail wasn’t caught ahead of time.
The second thing has to do with the way that the profile bit is adjusted to align with the table. There’s a forward/back adjustment and an up/down adjustment for height. To make the up/down adjustment you need a wrench to loosen and tighten two bolts. However, the forward/back adjustment can be made by two large knobs. Although my experiences with the machine are limited it would seem that the up/down adjustment would be used more frequently than the forward/back because tile is commonly different thicknesses. It would seem that the knobs would be more useful as a height adjustment so you didn’t have to get a wrench to do this.
Operating the machine
My first few runs were difficult. I couldn’t get the tile to stay flat along the guide. It took several tries and it ruined the edge on first couple of tiles. It’s difficult to keep consistent and even pressure the entire time that it’s going along the guide. One misstep and it will show on the profile.
After a several passes I was able to get the hang of it. It would frequently take at least two passes- the first pass removes the majority of the material and the second gets a consistent line. It’s slow going but it works. As I became more familiar with using I started running the tiles first through my tile saw. I would tilt the head to bevel and remove just the very corner then run the tiles through the MK-EZ Profiler and this would make it so I could do it in one pass.
It didn’t seem to be too messy with water spray and the noise wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The small MK tile saws have a history of being screamers. The motors are set up very similar to the MK-EZ Profiler but the profile machine didn’t seem to be as loud but I was using it outside with no walls to echo off of.
The final little annoyance is that I didn’t think the drain plug was in a good location. It’s under the machine and it isn’t really possible to get a bucket or anything under it to collect the water. So you have to pull the machine off of a stand or table and drain it over the edge. I would think that they could either make a stand for it or locate the drain at one end. Again this is a small complaint.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that this is a home run but I would purchase it again after knowing what I know. It’s small and portable and fills a void in the marketplace. I have some small complaints about it but the bottom line is that it puts a nice consistent profile line down your tile. That’s the one thing that it needs to do and it does it.