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Let's talk track saws

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  • #721075
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    By that time, why not just get a track saw?



    @CB
    thanks for the clarification.

    I think I am going to get a track saw, but that doesn’t mean something like this wouldn’t work (for me).

    Right now I have a 10″ sliding compound miter saw and a regular 7.5″ circular saw permanently in my truck. To break down sheets I either plan it ahead of time and use my stationary table saw in the garage, or like you said if I need an adjustment on site, or planned badly, I use an 8′ level and two clamps with my circular saw. Even if I have a track saw, I am not sure I would reserve dedicated space for it in my truck on a daily basis. I hate having to store, retrieve and put back three bulky saws (track + miter + circular). So it’s more for mobile real estate.

    I have seen some manufacturers coming out with miter saws that you can detach from the base and use as a circular saw. I have been thinking about that as an option to reduce footprint and increase versatility, IF that doesn’t compromise the quality of the cuts.

    That’s why when I saw those “universal tracks” my first thought was, that’s got to be better than my level with two clamps hack, and it’s easy to store.

    Reviews seems to suggest it’s difficult to get a good straight cut, for the reasons you sited ” fails to cleanly accommodate the different saw manufacturer’s idiosyncrasies in base plate stampings and castings”. So I guess my next question is, does any manufacturer sells specific tracks that works synergistically with their circular saws?

    Or better yet, if there is a manufacturer that offers a “2 in 1” compound miter saw that’s detachable to use as a circular saw, and sells tracks to work with that, I think that’s something that would really interest me, corded or cordless. I would still have individual tools for the shop, but for onsite 80% usage, I would shoot for a Frankenstein saw.

    #721086
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

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    #721094
    CB
    Spectator

    Reviews seems to suggest it’s difficult to get a good straight cut, for the reasons you sited ” fails to cleanly accommodate the different saw manufacturer’s idiosyncrasies in base plate stampings and castings”. So I guess my next question is, does any manufacturer sells specific tracks that works synergistically with their circular saws?

    Makita recently introduced a 7-1/4″ east coaster (blade right) circular saw that has a track compatible base plate, Model XSH08Z bare, and XSH08PT kit.

    This saw is distinct from the plunge cut saw in several ways.

    One, this saw is designed for free hand use WITHOUT a track, but is also simultaneously designed for use WITH a track, as opposed to the plunge cut track saw, which is principally designed for use with a track.

    Two, it runs a 7-1/4″ blade, which opens up the door to the most variety in purpose AND price for blades to cut all manner of materials, as the 7-1/4″ size is the most common hand held circular saw blade size in North America (thanks to the iconic worm drive Skilsaw).

    Three, it fully bevels.

    Four, it has deeper cross cut capacity than a dedicated track saw.

    Five, it uses the same track as Makita’s track saw, which means it is compatible with Festool tracks as well. This isn’t really a difference from Makita’s track saw, which also is compatible with Festool tracks.

    I don’t have this saw yet, but I do have Makita’s west coaster… the blade left rear handle worm drive lookalike saw, and it is a beauty and a beast at once. I’m looking at getting a blade right Makita, as I always keep a blade right saw on hand for doing bevels on a particular side, or from a particular approach.

    This saw is a strong candidate on my “would like to have” list, and certainly solves the track guidance issue without fussing around all day playing tinker toys trying to square up a base plate with half wing nuts on a wonky piece of plastic sled, and then breaking that all down again just to fit the contraption back in the truck.

    Prior to the recent introduction of the XSH08, I was considering the Makita cordless track saw, as well as the blade right circular saw with AWS. Currently, I do as you do out in the field… clamps and an 8′ long aluminum box level. I’ve also used the upright aluminum C channel for an open server rack as a straight guide. I have an upright panel saw in the shop.

    #721095
    CB
    Spectator

    I forgot to post a picture of the track compatible circular saw from Makita:

    #721096
    CB
    Spectator

    Here’s how the base plate differs from the “normal” 7-1/4″ blade right circular saws:

    #721097
    CB
    Spectator

    45 degree positive stop, 48 degree bevel capacity:

    #721219
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @CB thanks very much for the in depth descriptions and breakdown. That’s a pretty amazing machine.

    I don’t have any Makita cordless tools, but this may change it for me.

    I looked up some of the early reviews and they seem quite positive. But there isn’t a price set yet for this baby.

    So basically compared to a real track saw, all I am losing I think it’s the plunge cut and scoring capabilities, which is not a big deal for me, as well as the dust collection being the blade is open will not be as efficient as a plunge saw with a more enclosed housing, which again, it’s not a big deal either.

    It can cut up to almost 2.5″ at 90 degrees, and able to cut over 600 2X4s in one charge is impressive.

    Can’t wait to see the price of the kit.

    #721243
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    The 7 1/4 common blade is the nice part about that saw. I end up going online to find the metric blades for the Festool, and they are always more expensive.

    #721265
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The 7 1/4 common blade is the nice part about that saw. I end up going online to find the metric blades for the Festool, and they are always more expensive.

    You are right the metric blades are tough to find and expensive when you do.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #721324
    Doobie
    Moderator

    The 7 1/4 common blade is the nice part about that saw. I end up going online to find the metric blades for the Festool, and they are always more expensive.

    They are, but the Festool blades stay sharp for a very long time compared to most brands out there.

    #721328
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Makita recently introduced a 7-1/4″ east coaster (blade right) circular saw that has a track compatible base plate, Model XSH08Z bare, and XSH08PT kit.

    Very nice saw, Thank you for the details and the photos.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #721574
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Here’s something new from TSO for track saws …

    https://tsoproducts.com/tso-parallel-guide-system/?mc_cid=48dbee09a3&mc_eid=109547d45d

    Another parallel guide system basically. I have the original Festool parallel guides, but rarely use them.

    #721589
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Here’s something new from TSO for track saws …

    Looks handy but probably a pain to use.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #721610

    Here’s something new from TSO for track saws …

    Looks handy but probably a pain to use.

    Agreed – I think it would be a total pain in use – looks cool though.

    Will

    #722543
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Just checked that the Makita XSH08Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium‑Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4 in. Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base, Tool Only is available for $309. The XSH08PT kit with batteries and charger is $522.

    Decisions Decisions Decisions.

    #722549

    Just checked that the Makita XSH08Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium‑Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4 in. Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base, Tool Only is available for $309. The XSH08PT kit with batteries and charger is $522.

    What length of track does it come with. Those the 5 ah batteries.
    Decisions Decisions Decisions.

    #722568
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    After using my cordless Festool today, I am convinced that it has as much power as my corded. I am having a garage sale this week and will add it to the mountain of tools I am already selling.

    #722592
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    ust checked that the Makita XSH08Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium‑Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4 in. Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base, Tool Only is available for $309.

    Not a bad price for a bare tool Track Saw.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #722635
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    ust checked that the Makita XSH08Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium‑Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4 in. Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base, Tool Only is available for $309.

    Not a bad price for a bare tool Track Saw.

    Not a track saw, just a circular saw that is compatible with the tracks.

    #722693
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    Decided to part with my corded Festool after not using it for a year. The cordless version has worked so well, that the corded just wont see any use. Having a garage sale today so will put it out with other tools. Hopefully someone in the know will stop by and appreciate it.

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