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3 Way Track Saw Showdown

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  • #75291
    Profile photo of Matt
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Rob posted a great review on his site this morning of the track saw showdown he’s been talking about for a while, comparing the Festool TS55 REQ with the Makita and DeWalt options. Really well done and worth a look for anyone in the track saw market – the options seem very competitive.

    http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/dewalt-festool-and-makita-track-saw-head-to-head.html

    #75292

    Rob posted a great review on his site this morning of the track saw showdown he’s been talking about for a while, comparing the Festool TS55 REQ with the Makita and DeWalt options. Really well done and worth a look for anyone in the track saw market – the options seem very competitive.

    http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/dewalt-festool-and-makita-track-saw-head-to-head.html

    That is great Matt- thanks for the link. I just wish the Bosch was available to be included in the comparison. Regardless, I was more impressed with the Makita than I thought I would be.

    John S

    #75293
    Profile photo of Matt
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    That is great Matt- thanks for the link. I just wish the Bosch was available to be included in the comparison. Regardless, I was more impressed with the Makita than I thought I would be.

    That was my biggest surprise as well – especially dust collection being a 3-way tie? I didn’t see that coming at all. The Makita to me looked like they just drilled a hole on the side and called it dust collection – but apparently it performs incredibly well.

    It definitely makes me want to give the others a chance and I’m pooling some cash away for a track saw right now. I’ll admit the only one I’ve seen in person is the Festool.

    #75296

    The Makita to me looked like they just drilled a hole on the side and called it dust collection – but apparently it performs incredibly well.

    hahaha yeah that sounds about how Makita engineering works, right? πŸ˜›

    Honestly sometimes it is really good to be able to step back and see that other tools will get the job done just as well as the hyped up Festool. That being said, the massive benefit the festool TS has over the others is the whole system Festool offers. It definitely beats up the competition from that regard. But it is very interesting that it didn’t blow away the other 2 TS like I had imagined.

    John S

    #75369

    That is a good review — thanks for posting a link.

    yes, I wish Bosch would sell track saws in North America…I think if they did they would give everyone a run.

    I almost bought the DeWalt when getting into the Tracksaw and I was inches from clicking the buy now button on Amazon. In fact, I had spent time playing around with them in person at the big tool show in Las Vegas that year (AWFS). I talked to the designer and really liked what I saw. In the end I opted for a bigger saw that could easily cut thicker hardwood and the Festool TS75 is the only saw currently with that depth of cut. My biggest beef with Festool’s TS55 is that I feel like it is underpowered…it is OK for cutting sheet goods, but when I am powering through hardwood, I want a nice, clean burn-free cut and I do not want to fight the saw or push it too hard. Now, there are different blades you can buy and a ripping blade would help, but I still think 1,200 watts is not enough juice. The weight of the 55 is better than the 75 and it works better on the MFT due to the smaller blade, but other than that I think it is worth looking at the 75 if you opt for Festool’s offering.

    I think if you search other forums someone took apart the DeWalt and the biggest issue they had is the bearings and sleeve on the plunge mechanism…if I recall, the mechanism seemed to be under-engineered and something that would not stand up to heavy use. Again, have no idea if this is true or not, but something to consider.

    Since all the saws work with Festool rails, then the accessories thing is less of a point as you can incorporate lots of Festool stuff with the other makes. Since cut quality and DC seem to be the same then to me it comes down to ergonomics and power and it looks like Makita is the winner in those categories according to the review. I would guess cut-quality and DC might be better with a Festool blade since the blades (at least on the Kapex) are designed to help channel dust into the shoot — not sure if this is the case with the TS blades, but it is possible. Also, the cut quality on any Festool blade I have used is very, very, very good. I do not get any marks with my saw cutting 8/4 stock so adjusting them for toe-in would improve the cut — I was surprised to see teeth marks from any of the saws in the test on the edge of the plywood.

    Orange County, CA

    #75371
    Profile photo of Dan
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    That’s a great comparison of the 3 saws. I’ve been really happy with my Makita saw other than the trouble I had getting a couple true guide rails. I’ve been ripping solid maple with my track saw lately and it has been powering through it with no problem at all. I put a 12 tooth rip blade on it and that makes for very efficient rip cuts. I would find it hard working without my track saw now that I’ve had it for awhile.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #75386
    Profile photo of Kurt
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Very good and informative article. It is great to have access to reviews such as this.

    #75406

    I’ve been really happy with my Makita saw other than the trouble I had getting a couple true guide rails.

    Don’t let me totally derail the topic, but have you ever considered this to connect your guide rails?
    http://www.festoolproducts.com/Betterley-SLC23-StraightLine-Connector-for-Guide-R-p/slc23.htm (no idea if it works with your rails)

    And Scot – great detail as usual. Post of the week nomination from my end πŸ˜›

    John S

    #75408
    Profile photo of Chad
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    That was a really nice review. I have been debating the idea of a track saw and had it narrowed down to the Festool and the Makita – from the review I think I may buy the Makita.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    #75413

    http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/dewalt-festool-and-makita-track-saw-head-to-head.html

    Or, if enough of us keep whining about it, maybe we can get Bosch to bring their TS here and get to buy that instead?!?! But it is probably not worth the wait / a hopeless cause.

    John S

    #75418
    Profile photo of Chad
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/dewalt-festool-and-makita-track-saw-head-to-head.html

    Or, if enough of us keep whining about it, maybe we can get Bosch to bring their TS here and get to buy that instead?!?! But it is probably not worth the wait / a hopeless cause.

    I wonder if anyone has bought the Bosch track saw from Europe and had it shipped here. It seems that they make the saw in for 110v systems.

    Attachments:

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    #75421

    Nice review of the track saws. Interesting that in many respects they were equals. I thought we would see the Festool as a clear winner but the power of the 55 is a drawback. I had at one time considered a panel saw for the shop but the track saws seem equally capable, give you a better cut, and do not have the footprint of the panel saw. I have not made an investment yet so maybe the Bosch saw may make it over on the Mayflower by then.

    #75422
    Profile photo of Chad
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I’ve done some more looking into this – it’s seems that many construction sites in the UK use 110 instead of a 230v system for safety reasons – so this would seem to confirm that they make the Bosch track saw in 110, it would just have the european style plug.

    It also seems that woodworkers in the UK buy U.S. tools, cut off the U.S. style plug and swap it for a UK style. I found this website http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/articles/importing-power-tools-from-the-us.html and a few others that mention this practice.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    #75432
    Profile photo of Kevin
    kzcarp
    Pro

    John S. I was looking at the Betterly connector aligner last week. I would like to see one in person before I dropped a hundred dollars on one of them. It looks like it eliminates the pain in the butt of using a long level to align the rails when connecting them. and then flipping them and having to do the same. Somebody said they place the saw over the splice, or something like that? Didn’t understand that one.

    kevin

    #75462

    I have seen the Betterley, but honestly I have never had issues using the guide rail connectors…they work perfectly fine. Using the saw method you essentially connect the guide rail connectors to one rail and tighten it down. Then slide your saw over both rails and connect screw the top of the connector down and then carefully flip it to screw the bottom side of the connector down. You can also use another straight edge like a level or even another guide rail. It is not difficult. I think people run into trouble when they try to over tighten the screws and also butt the ends together of the rail. There should be a 1/16 to an 1/8 inch gap between the rails. The Betterley would be good if you were connecting and unconnecting rails several times a day, but using the Festool option has never been an issue for me.

    Orange County, CA

    #75463

    http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/dewalt-festool-and-makita-track-saw-head-to-head.html

    Or, if enough of us keep whining about it, maybe we can get Bosch to bring their TS here and get to buy that instead?!?! But it is probably not worth the wait / a hopeless cause.

    I wonder if anyone has bought the Bosch track saw from Europe and had it shipped here. It seems that they make the saw in for 110v systems.

    If you want to spend a little bit more money than the Festool you could just buy the Mafell, which makes the Bosch version of the plunge saw. I think that the Mafell is probably the top-notch plunge cut saw on the market with lots of features not available on the Festool version. I would give it serious consideration if I were in the market. I believe that the Mafell rails are a little better than Festool’s (more rigid) and the connector Mafell uses is much easier.

    Orange County, CA

    #75505
    Profile photo of Dirty
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I like the Makita because I’ve used it side by side with the green one and it seem just as solid. These were not new tools by well used tools. Thank You Very Much,, DWB

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #75553

    Sometimes I just have to cover my eyes when I read Scot’s posts, lest I feel the need to dig deeper into my wallet πŸ˜›

    I don’t know why I keep forgetting that mafell makes the Bosch TS, but I would definitely be more intrigued by them if I could compare it side by side with the festool and others some.

    John S

    #75587
    Profile photo of Sven
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    That was a really good read. Nice that the other options aren’t cheap beginnings. On the idea of ordering the 110V Bosch from the UK. I’m not sure it is worth it considering the price would be two hundred dollars more than the others (average), after currency conversion. I would htink that unless you are a hard cor Festi, the Makita would be a great saw to have.

    #75622
    Profile photo of Dirty
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I would htink that unless you are a hard cor Festi, the Makita would be a great saw to have.

    The Makita come in a box that clips on the the green guys boxx

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

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