Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: Comparison between MM Cu410 Elite-S and Felder CF740S

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    269

    Comparison between MM Cu410 Elite-S and Felder CF740S

    I have been researching hard these two european combination machines (The minimax CU410 Elite-S and the Felder CF740S) and am trying to make a final decision about one or the other. In summary, I am hoping that someone out there has actually used or evaluated both machines in person and can give me some practical advice.

    In general:

    Felder CF741S Advantages:
    - tons of options
    - great build quality
    - electric powerdrive and LED on single phase machine
    - seems like greater market penetration and perhaps a larger installed base
    - availability of high speed router spindle

    Felder CF741S Disadvantages:
    - Price premium
    - tons of options, all of which appear to be slightly overpriced as compared to MM (or priced at a premium)
    - short tables and extensions are expensive options
    - 12" blade max
    - proprietary (often Felder rebranded) tooling -> more "european"
    - long lead time on machine delivery
    - rolling carriage not as flexible in rotation

    MM CU410 Elite-S advantages:
    - price is better
    - machine is 1/3 more massive (why? Better?)
    - takes a 14" blade
    - Sam Blasco is a great guy and a terrific resource and about a 2 hour drive away
    - I am also in the market for a MM bandsaw
    - longer jointer table
    - uses USA spec tooling
    - ? better rolling carriage

    MM CU410 Elite-S disadvantages:
    - no LED height or power drive on single phase machines
    - not much info out there on installed machines
    - not as many fancy add on options (might be a good thing for the wallet)

    These are just the salient points. In broad brush strokes, it seems like the MM machine is bigger, heavier, immediately available and perhaps a bit simpler with fewer bells and whistles. The Felder is fancier, less massive, requires a lot of retooling to european standards, has a long lead time and probably a lot of hidden costs lurking under every bush.

    Rather than focusing on the specific option issues, does anyone have direct experience with both machines who could weigh in and help me avoid a mistake?

    Rick
    Last edited by Richard Link; 07-21-2009 at 2:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    6,014
    Will the MM spin the router bits at 22K?
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    269
    Definately not, although to the best of my knowledge, neither with the Felder. I think the high speed spindle runs at about 15K max on the Felder.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    2,503
    Rick Fisher on this forum shopped Felder hard for a slider and found some things he thought were important differences. I don't recall them, but I'll send him a PM to join the discussion...joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fontucky, California
    Posts
    430

    MM & Felder

    Richard, I was in the same position as you a few weeks ago and looked at these exact two machines. While I wanted (and ultimately bought) a saw/shaper combo and a seperate jointer/planer combo, I visited the shops of folks locally who had the CU-410 Elite S and a Felder 700 series combo.

    There's a great deal of good info in the thread I started on the subject here. http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=115620 Post #49 sums up my impressions and research nicely I think.

    In any event, a couple of observations.

    • Felders are custom ordered to your exact spec's. This typically costs more, but you get exactly what you want.
    • With the economy, everone is steeply discounting. The two Felders I bought cost less than the quote I got from Sam for the Elite S machines and came with many, many options MM doesn't offer. Pay no attention to list prices on websites. Call for quotes.
    • If you get the 5 hp variable speed motor option on the Felder it will spin router bits up to 22,000 rpm, though the factory techs I spoke with advise keeping it to around 19,000. Higher than that and you risk the spindle bearing, but at only $150 for a new one, most FOG users just spin away.
    • The Elite S is in fact heavier, but when you visit the saws in person at people's shops, look at them close. Felder doesn't use concrete for extra mass or to absorb vibration.
    • Felder's dust collection is quite a lot better. Just about dust free operation at the saw blade, and jointer/planer.
    • Felder machines have a solid, welded steel floor making the cabinet quite rigid. This allows you to move it all over the shop and not risk tweaking any of the settings.
    • The only custom tooling you'll need for the Felder will likely be the saw blades. Felder uses a custom bore with two small holes for the electric brake. The plus of this is their arbor is far more massive.
    • Get the free Felder video. Very well done and it'll highlight some of the tradeoff's you'll need to accept with a full combo, versus two or even three seperate machines. Most of these lessons will apply regardless of which brand you choose.
    Honestly, I probably would have been happy with either one. I've owned an MM20 bandsaw now for about 3-4 years and its a great machine. In the end though, I want to use the Euro slider for its intended purpose. For that I need a parallel cutting device and don't want to cobble something together. I also wanted the ability to buy and add accessories over the years as I need them. MM doesn't offer much here at all. Sure, they offer a lot standard, but one size doesn't fit all and what about in the future?

    For example, I wanted a shaping head to do curved template work. MM offers nothing, while Felder offers two. What about supplemental infeed/outfeed tables, shorter or longer rip fences, tooling, etc. I chose the 2800mm slider. You might want the 2500, or 3200. I wanted variable speed motors, electric height adjustment for the shaper and planer (but not the saw blade), but you might want something different.

    In the end, you should go visit each saw in person and use them for awhile to get a feel for them.

    Couple of things I really liked about the MM machine though. Folding arm option for the power feeder is very nice. Felder uses a tilting bracket and while you can buy a Big Lift device to make it very easy to raise and lower, it's still hanging upside down back there taking up a lot of room. I prefer the MM approach. You also don't wait as long for MM to get the machinery you ordered. They had some good options in stock when I was looking. My Felders will take four months to be manufactured and shipped over here.

    Ultimately, I'm sure you'd be happy with either saw, and to be frank, I think it really comes down to your personal impressions and needs.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!!!

    Regards,

    John
    Last edited by John Harden; 07-21-2009 at 3:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Its a toss up, everybody that owns either one of those machines, loves them.

    You have a very good pros and cons list on each machine. I do like the variable speed on the shaper, and it will go up to 20k rpms on the router spindle w/ the variable speed.

    I would want the power lift on the shaper and planer. Those are great features and definitely not a gimmick. Most people that say " its no big deal cranking the table up and down all the time" hasn't tried the power drive.If I bought the Mini Max it would have those options and would require a phase converter if you don't have 3 phase already.

    I think people make too big a deal about retooling. Your spending in the high $20k and going to gripe about $21 to have a blade rebored to the Felder pattern? I had 5 blades worth saving from my cabinet saw, sent them to Forrest to be rebored, a little over $100, not what I would base my machinery purchase on.

    The good side is either one you choose, you will be happy with, and will last the rest of your life. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tampa Bay Area of Florida
    Posts
    872
    Ask yourself honest questions. Are you REALLY going to use the shaper feature? Or the mortiser unit? I ask because I have yet to use either in the two years I have had my MM410. I use my router table for most shaping and a Domino for my floating tenons. Of course, that is a function of my type of work. Yours will possibly vary.

    I am not saying the shaper or mortiser are not value adds; just saying that if you can predict/anticipate your daily use for your purchase accurately, you may make different decisions.

    I am a happy MM owner and have benefited from Sam's expertise as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    4,487
    Richard, I personally don't think that Felder's need the European tooling. I use plenty of Freeborn and Forrest along with the Felder branded blades and cutters. Their branded tooling has all been good stuff that I've purchased, and I did buy a 40mm shaper spindle to accept European cutters without reboring, along with a 1 1/4" for the American stuff. The spindle is fairly cheap, and well worth having around.

    Thats one of the great things about a CF741, the ability to swap spindles so easily. You can also have Forrest bore a dado blade for Felder.

    How much longer are the Minimax jointer tables? I guess I have never craved longer then my Felder's, but I never joint anything over 8 feet or so. On that length, I swing the power feeder over the jointer anyway, so the table length becomes even less relevant. That brings up a really good point to the CF741, the power feeder, when mounted with a tilt away mount, can be used on the shaper, saw and jointer without changing any mounting.

    The blade diameter is relevant only if you actually need a larger blade, what are you building?

    One last thing, my X-roll Felder table slides smoother then both Minimax machines that I've been around.

    Both are great machines, and either company may have a stock model on hand that would eliminate the long wait. I bought a showroom CF741 from the Sacremento store, but wanted a longer table, which the guys swiped off of a different machine, so that I got it in a little less then two weeks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fontucky, California
    Posts
    430

    Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wright View Post
    Ask yourself honest questions. Are you REALLY going to use the shaper feature? Or the mortiser unit? I ask because I have yet to use either in the two years I have had my MM410. I use my router table for most shaping and a Domino for my floating tenons. Of course, that is a function of my type of work. Yours will possibly vary.

    I am not saying the shaper or mortiser are not value adds; just saying that if you can predict/anticipate your daily use for your purchase accurately, you may make different decisions.

    I am a happy MM owner and have benefited from Sam's expertise as well.
    Jeff raises a good point. I'm very happy with my Leigh FMT and just don't think I'd get my money's worth out of a horizontal mortiser, so I skipped on that. Don't quote me on this, but I think you can opt out of it with MM. I know you can with Felder.

    Regards,

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    269
    I imagine that I will use the mortiser fairly rarely but one of the reasons I decided to switch to the combo was the shaper. I see myself using that a lot as I integrate it into my workflow (particularly with the power feeder). I have no room to add a stand alone shaper to the shop. On the other hand, although I'm looking at a 20K purchase, I'm not thrilled that Felder wants to charge an additional 1500 for the table for the mortiser. I like MM philosophy of packaging a fully functioning 5 in 1 combo into a simple package. Of course, if you want a mortiser table with a flux capacitor, digital gravity gauge, and 4 cupholders, Felder has one of those...and it works "perfect!" (love those Felder ads).

    The CU410 Elite-S is a massive machine....1/3 more heavy than the Felder. I assume that everything on it is more massive and stiff. Is the form factor more in line with the larger Felder's (i.e. the Format 4 machines)?

    On the other hand, is the price premium for the Felder just an issue of import duties, luxury branding, etc. (can't see how as MM is European as well) or is there a real quality difference somewhere in that huge hunk of metal?

    Rick

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fontucky, California
    Posts
    430

    Elite S

    Richard, you really should go look at the machines first hand. In my opinion, everything on the Elite S is not more robust and rigid. Somewhat, and in some areas, but less so in others. The sliding table is a good example. I prefer Felder's for how robust it is and the design as well as the 1500 outrigger. Very slick design. In terms of quality, I think I'll always remember a very frank conversation I had with both my MM and Felder rep. when pressed, they'd both admit that the real differences aren't worth a hill of beans. It all boils down to what you want the machine to do and how you go about getting there.

    The Formats are simply monsters as are the Martin's, etc. Not in the same league as either of the units you're looking at.

    BTW, you only get three cupholders with the flux capacitor option, not four. Personally, I like that I'm not forced to buy a mortiser which I'd never use. If it's in the basic package, you're paying for it.

    $1500 for the Felder mortising table? Was this on a quote or are you just looking at the configurator?

    At AWFS I saw Felder's flyer that indicated if you buy a 700 Series full combo you get either a free bandsaw or a dust collector. Don't remember which models they were offering, but even if you don't want or need one, that offers plenty of room for negotiation. That's $3-$5K worth of negotiation right there!

    My advice is to figure out what options you want/need, get hard quotes from both and visit the machines.

    Earlier you mentioned you liked the 14" blade capacity of the MM. What are you cutting that requires more than 4" of blade height? If you do this sort of thing often, the MM might be the better choice. Pieces of wood this large are darn heavy and with the MM you'd have the advantage of the slider, versus having to go to the band saw and man handle it around.

    If you go MM will you go three phase to get the power height adjustment offerings? Change over from saw/shaper and back again is far easier and quicker with it. If its a hassle to make the change you may be reluctant to do it. I also went with variable speed for the same reason. No belts to hassle with. You just turn a dial. Powered movements are darn nice once you've seen them in action. If you go this route, do you have three phase power? If not, don't forget to factor in the cost/space of a converter.

    Regards,

    John
    Last edited by John Harden; 07-21-2009 at 5:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fontucky, California
    Posts
    430

    Machine weight

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Link View Post
    The CU410 Elite-S is a massive machine....1/3 more heavy than the Felder. I assume that everything on it is more massive and stiff. Is the form factor more in line with the larger Felder's (i.e. the Format 4 machines)?

    Rick, where are you getting the information on weight? MM's website says the CU-410 Elite S combo weighs 3100 pounds.

    The Felder saw/shaper I purchased weighs 1720 pounds and the jointer/planer 1280 for a total of 3000 pounds. These are the exact same units on the CF741S combo. Mine are just seperated versus together. Felder's website doesn't list the weight for the S combo, only the standard CF741 combo with shorter slider, slider undercarriage and smaller base cabinet, yet that one still weighs in at 2440 pounds.

    Add in the optional mortiser on the S model and you're now well over 3100 pounds. Sounds like a wash to me.

    Regards,

    John
    Last edited by John Harden; 07-22-2009 at 12:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Skillman, NJ
    Posts
    933
    I own(ed) 5 MM machines and 1 Felder. I have been happy with the performance of all of my MM's but can not say the same about the Felder....so my opinion will be obviously slanted here.

    As far as the options go I really do not understand this as a deal breaker here. Here are some of my thoughts
    • If I understand the "1 ph" option on the Felders are a 3ph motor with an inverter?? If you are able to swing a phase converter I would go with a 3 phase machine anyway....runs cooler, lasts longer/more efficient and has more power.
    • Adds and such. A good amount if not all the Felder add ons are from Aigner I believe. These can be used almost any machine but check with Aigner. I think MM has access to SCM (the extremely large industrial parent company) extras but they really do not advertise them. I remember seeing a parrallel ripping add on that looked quite nice that would fit my S35 but it was pricey. I chose to make my own.
    • The chatter about the Felder X-roll vs the linear bearing slider. SCM has had the linear bearing slider in their arsenal for years with no issues I know of. I have owned the S315 and now the S35 and the slider always worked great and requires no maitainence what so ever. I also believe other companies like Martin use linear bearings. In my opinion go with the the time tested design here.
    • Tooling can be purchased from anywhere. Their are a million companies selling shaper tooling and you can pay $$$$ or a little depending on what you want. Insert tooling vs fixed also come inot play depending on your needs and budget. Here in the USA using imperial sizes gives you a lot of options with both local and and import companies. I would suggested staying away from European sizes...after all you do not live in Europe do you?
    • The more customized Felder....i really do not understand the options needed. See above for the Aigner statement. The one that really gets to me is the high speed router spindle....I have a MM shaper and it "only" runs at 10000 top speed. I never have had issues with my router bits burning....but I use a power feeder. The next question is my heck use router bits in your shaper! You bought a shaper to use it as a shaper so make use of it. If you do need to run router bits as we all need to at time then use the machine it fits perfectly....a router. Your a ww'r build yourself a router table. I can count on my hand the amount of times I have used my router bits in my shaper.
    I find that the Felder machines are a bit too fusy and over complicated for no reason other than "we can".

  14. #14
    I dont understand the argument that Felder has too many options. This makes no sense to me. No one is making you buy the option or accessories. They are just there if you want them, but at least they are there.

    If your spending this kind of money, it only makes sense to me to buy the EXACT machine you want. If the Mini Max has everything you want, than thats great, its a fantastic machine.

    The router spindle is a worth while investment. The statement " Buy a router table if you want to run router bits" is ludacris.With the Felder interchangeable spindles, its a snap to switch from shaper to router. Please show me a stand alone router table that can even remotely match up to a shapers mass, rock solid fence, and a sliding table to boot. And you can turn the Felder into one of the nicest router tables money can buy for a $600 spindle. Seems like a good choice to me.

  15. The MM line is closer to the Hammer line I should think.
    Felder is commercial

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •