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BK13

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I'm starting to think I might "need" a track saw down the road. Undecided on brand as of this moment, though if I were to buy 'right his very second' the Makita is in the lead. My general question is this: manufacturers are beginning to release cordless track saws... Given that 90%+ of the time it's gonna be used with dust collection, what's the appeal? You already are dragging around a hose... and on the Festool, the power cable is already a part of the dust collection hose anyway, right? (home use, I'm NOT a pro contractor)

 

Also, any current or past users, how do you like what you have, and any tips and tricks to share?

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1 hour ago, BK13 said:

I'm starting to think I might "need" a track saw down the road. Undecided on brand as of this moment, though if I were to buy 'right his very second' the Makita is in the lead. My general question is this: manufacturers are beginning to release cordless track saws... Given that 90%+ of the time it's gonna be used with dust collection, what's the appeal? You already are dragging around a hose... and on the Festool, the power cable is already a part of the dust collection hose anyway, right? (home use, I'm NOT a pro contractor)

 

Also, any current or past users, how do you like what you have, and any tips and tricks to share?

The hose and cord are separate but they do have a sleeved version with both in it (I've got one). As far as cordless, I've got the cornered TS55REQ and the new HKC55 which has a cross cut sled and can run on a track or as a regular skill saw. If your using it in the shop, the benefit is always breaking down sheet goods in a safe and accurate fashion with dust collection. Naturally I'm a Festool guy but o wouldn't think two about getting the Makita, it is awesome. The new Dewalt 

looks pretty sweet too.

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With certain tools I would stick with cords over batteries especially if you are not a pro user. A lot of my corded circular saws, drills, sawzalls, routers, miter saws etc are over 15 years old. Most battery platforms will change in that time frame. So I would not want to be stuck with an unusable tool or searching for usable batteries to keep my tools working.

 

When I have a lot of cuts to make with a festool  track saw I just tape the cord to the vacuum hose to keep it at bay.  The hose cord combo would be nice but that is a pricy option. 

 

One of the things I love about festool is the ability to use the same cord with all their tools. I wish their was a standard between manufacturers, but that will never happen.  

 

I do not own a track saw but we have a Festool  track saw at work that I use often, and love it.

 

Sometimes the extra weight of the battery negates the pluses IMO.  I recently ran a Ridgid Cordless laminate router and was not thrilled with it. With a 4 amp battery on it, it felt top heavy and was about as heavy as a PC 690. It was nice not having to worry about a cord, but meh...  I have the same router in the corded version and prefer that one.

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I agree with all comments.

 

My Festool tracksaw never leaves my property except on rare occasions once a decade.


Since I use dust collection having a cord hooked up with it is no big deal.

 

It would be a great option if I was mobile with the saw but since I am not, I really dont want to be thinking about buying a couple $100 batteries in a few years.

 

 

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I'll likely get the FlexVolt track saw. I hate table saws in the field as much as I hate them at home and I'll break them down as safely as possible regardless of where I'm working. 

 

Auto-On with the vacuum on Festool etc. is very cool though. Love the Festool thoughtful design regarding chipout/splintering. 

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I currently own the makita, no real issues with it. Ive just let it get a bit beat up. So im currently in the market to replace it, im looking at the mafell, price gap between that and festool isnt much over here in Ireland. Main reason is the tracks. Ive never really being impressed with the way of joining on makita etc but if your willing to buy the 3m and can easily store/transport then makita and festool are great aswell. All have some features the others dont, so basically look at them and see whats more suited to you.

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It's depend on the type of work you are planning to do. If you are doing framing/rough construction, you don't care about dust collection most of the  time and it will make more sense to get a cordless one. Although I would say the Festool HKC would be a better design than a regular track saw in this case. Hopefully, we are going to see some 'clones' down the road that are a bit less expensive :-) 

 

If you are finish guy, I don't see why you would need a cordless one as you'll probably have it hooked up to a shop vac anyway. One caveat though is if you are working on the road. Sometimes there is just one outlet available to plug in your saw and your vacuum and you end up tripping breakers. Cordless can be a nice option in theses cases.

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The TSC55 will collect around 90% just with the bag attached from my experience so it's decent in that regard. The new 18v x2 Makita has Bluetooth to connect to a Bluetooth vacuum so when the trigger is pulled on the Saw it switches on the vac (as far as I know). No need to plug the vac into the wall or the tool into the vac - perfection! 

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I have the cordless Festool TSC55. With a small basement shop and small kids the ability to throw some sawhorses out with a piece of ridgid foam on the driveway or garage has been priceless to me with the dust bag. 2 minutes of setup and you are cutting. Having the option for one battery in a pinch for sheet goods also proved to be quite useful. 

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On 5/22/2017 at 0:56 PM, Pouet said:

It's depend on the type of work you are planning to do. If you are doing framing/rough construction, you don't care about dust collection most of the  time and it will make more sense to get a cordless one. Although I would say the Festool HKC would be a better design than a regular track saw in this case. Hopefully, we are going to see some 'clones' down the road that are a bit less expensive :-) 

 

If you are finish guy, I don't see why you would need a cordless one as you'll probably have it hooked up to a shop vac anyway. One caveat though is if you are working on the road. Sometimes there is just one outlet available to plug in your saw and your vacuum and you end up tripping breakers. Cordless can be a nice option in theses cases.

Just homeowner stuff... breaking down sheet goods, fixing stuff that breaks, maybe in the future building some furniture. Once I get moved, it will probably never leave the shop.

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On 5/22/2017 at 4:13 PM, wildroamer said:

I really love my Bosch GKT55GCE. Poor man's Mafell, lol.

 

NAINA, but I like to be different.

 

Bosch-Track-Saw-GKT55GCE-UK-kit.thumb.jpg.845687f777d35c136a3e44abdd1f55a1.jpg

I'd love this, but I'm just too lazy to do the legwork to get it. LOL

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On 5/21/2017 at 3:48 PM, rrmccabe said:

I agree with all comments.

 

My Festool tracksaw never leaves my property except on rare occasions once a decade.


Since I use dust collection having a cord hooked up with it is no big deal.

 

It would be a great option if I was mobile with the saw but since I am not, I really dont want to be thinking about buying a couple $100 batteries in a few years.

 

 

There's the battery replacement issue, too. I can't really see me getting any other cordless tools if I went with Festool, so no hoarding batteries like I've done with my M12 stuff buying kits, LOL.

 

 

Much thanks, fellas. I think when I make the plunge (sorry!) it will be 110v.  

 

Now I can beat my head against the wall as to Festool or Makita.

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You have far more options than Festool and Makita. Bosch (as wildroamer  has mentioned), DeWALT, Triton and even Grizzly has one out there. Check out the Wood Whisperer on YouTube, he has done few reviews and comparisons between Festool and a few others. Don't forget to figure in the cost of the tracks when you do the math on purchasing a saw. Buying some of them separately can be a bit of a cost. Good research is the key to getting good value.

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This was taken from the FOG forum comparing the Maffel track saw to Festool:

 

"There is only ONE feature about the MT55 that SOME users MAY need, but can't get---
the riving knife. 

Apparently, it's very difficult to get permission in Germany ( or the EU) to even make a saw WITHOUT a riving knife... but Mafell jumped through those legal hoops to make it happen. WHY? Because they know the riving knife on a small circular saw is USUALLY superfluous. The only time we really need that riving knife is when we rip solid timber, especially if it is not properly dried. 

You'll note that ALL the BIG timber-framing saws Mafell makes DO have riving knives for that reason. 

The Makita also has no riving knife. Since I use that at home for plywood or KD only, I have only had one instance of kickback, and that was because the tracks were dusty and I didn’t use the clamps. Keep clean tracks and use clamps, you’ll never have a kickback with plywood or engineered lumber. So long as we are cutting sheet goods or good dry solid lumber, you don't need a riving knife. As soon as we start cutting BIG TIMBERS, or wet wood, then that riving knife is a good thing!

Therefore, If I was doing timber framing anymore, I'd go with the Festool TS75 ( at the bare minimum) or one of the other Mafell LARGE saws with riving knives."

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On 5/23/2017 at 9:51 PM, Grumpy MSG said:

You have far more options than Festool and Makita. Bosch (as wildroamer  has mentioned), DeWALT, Triton and even Grizzly has one out there. Check out the Wood Whisperer on YouTube, he has done few reviews and comparisons between Festool and a few others. Don't forget to figure in the cost of the tracks when you do the math on purchasing a saw. Buying some of them separately can be a bit of a cost. Good research is the key to getting good value.

AFAIK, the Bosch isn't yet available in NA (I hope I'm proven wrong soon!)...

I don't really like DeWalt very much...

I might take a look at the Grizzly...

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@marsh942

I was unaware of the new Makita x2 tracksaw having bluetooth. I thought it was only the new miter that has bluetooth.

The way things are heading is cordless tracksaws will be used in conjunction with cordless bluetooth vacs. I feel like a hose would be easier to manage than a power cord. 

 

 

@BK13

 

Heres what my take is on your options. Hopefully I didn't miss any saws.

 

Mafel is a good unit but pricey. The blade change seems like it is one of the best. I would guess the Mafel has the best dust collection since the blade is completely enclosed from the side. Mafel is available in the states but I didn't find many places to buy it. I don't know for sure but I think the Mafels are metric only. I havent heard of any being converted to imperial units.

 

One unit you may consider but I would not recommend is the Grizzly. Mark from the woodwhisperer tested the unit. The saw does not provide finish quality cuts which may be something to consider. Areas in which it is not as good as other units is the cut quality, dust collection, safety release for plunging, and wobble on the track. Another thing to note is the saw does not work properly with Festool track. For the price you pay it is much better than a traditional circular saw. I am not sure what accessories are available but Mark indicated there were some available.

 

Mark also tested the DeWALT corded track saw. I would guess the flexvolt would have similar results. This is my top pick for your situation. The price is not as much as the Festool but quality is very close. In Mark's tests he said the DeWALT had better keeper piece cut quality (which surprised me) than the Festool but the offcut piece had more tearout than the Festool. Dust collection is good as well. An added bonus is it fits Festool track. One cool feature it has is the active kickback protection. If I understood this feature correctly, it prevents the saw from traveling backwards from kickback but only if you enable the feature. 

 

I do not know much about the Makita unit but from what I have heard it doesn't have a riving knife. This may not be a huge issue but if safety is a concern then it may be something to consider. Like the DeWALTs, Makita's fit Festool track. From what others say I feel like I could recommend this unit or the x2 unit. The Makita corded and the DeWALT corded are within the same price range. I would guess when the x2 comes out in a few months it will be priced similar to the flexvolt. The corded units are only a $20ish price difference according to Home Depot which isn't enough to choose one over the other going by price alone in my opinion. 

 

I don't know much about the Triton unit. Triton tends to have midrange tools sometimes with neat features. They aren't homeowner quality but not pro quality either. I'd say just below pro quality. It is in a similar price range as the Grizzly unit. 

 

The Bosch from what I have heard is a good unit but is not available in North America. I wouldn't recommend this unit for this reason unless you really want to get one from overseas and convert it to work here. 

 

It's hard to go wrong with a Festool. Just about everything is great. Good features, lots of accessories, and great build quality. The only thing is the price is premium and some units may still only be available in metric which for us in the states may take some getting used to. 

 

DeWALT, Festool, and Triton offer an accessory to use a router with the track. If this is something you desire in the future then these may be options to consider. Festool has many other track accessories and I would guess other Festool tools may be able to work with the track as well. 

 

I know the most about the DeWALT and Festool units because I have done the most research on them and they would be my top 2 picks but if I would have to pick a number 3 I would choose Makita 

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4 hours ago, Jronman said:

It's hard to go wrong with a Festool. Just about everything is great. Good features, lots of accessories, and great build quality. The only thing is the price is premium and some units may still only be available in metric which for us in the states may take some getting used to. 

 

 

 

 

Festool track saws are available in metric and imperial now.

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Not only that, I have been selling imperial labels for Festool track saws and routers for  at least 5 years.  Have sold over 800 of them in US and half dozen other countries.  The new TS 55 comes with imperial and metric labels as setbuilder said. As far as I know the routers are all still metric only. 1010, 1400 and 2200.

20130521_120423.jpg

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4 hours ago, rrmccabe said:

Not only that, I have been selling imperial labels for Festool track saws and routers for  at least 5 years.  Have sold over 800 of them in US and half dozen other countries.  The new TS 55 comes with imperial and metric labels as setbuilder said. As far as I know the routers are all still metric only. 1010, 1400 and 2200.

20130521_120423.jpg

routers may be metric but I think they may include imperial collets. I could be mistaken though.

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