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5 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.

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Would like to get one for my Bosch, doable?

 

IMG_20170529_225000293.thumb.jpg.e7248dc73554ff36e7e6be410e46d660.jpg 

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On 5/28/2017 at 6:21 PM, SetBuilder said:

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. 

Can't imagine it's that difficult. All Makita circular saws with a cutting depth of 65mm or less don't have a riving knife anymore. 

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Here is a little something I wrote for TIA a while back

 

 

To Track or not to Track

 

I know that some of you are thinking I would really like to have a track saw but, do I want to spend my hard earn cash on such a luxury item. Before I start this is not a comparison or review of anyone Track Saw it is just an article on the benefits of having and using a Track Saw.

 

For some clamping a straight edge down works just fine or using a table saw is all that they need. For someone like myself that works alone most of the time it is a major time saver. One of the biggest negatives I hear all the time is the cost. It is true cost is a factor. You can spend a few bucks for a straight edge up to seven hundred plus dollars for a top of a line Track saw. The second negative is “I already have a circular saw so why would I buy another one.” That is a good point but they make kits that you can use your saw for around two hundred dollars and get ninety percent of the benefits of a true Track Saw. You will notice that I did not say one hundred percent because the design of a Track Saw adds to the benefits. Dust collection and cross cut splintering are a plus of a true Track Saw.

 

There a few players in the Track Saw market DeWalt DWS520SKH comes with a 59” track $459 or the DWS520CK comes with a 59” and a 102” track $600. The Makita SP6000J1 comes with a 55” track $420. Bosch makes the GKT-55-GCE but it is not available in the US market. Festool Has the TS 55 REQ 6 ¼ blade 1 15/16th cut depth $615 comes with a 55” track and the TS 75 EQ 8 ¼ blade and a 2 ¾ cut depth $725. Fox Shop and Grizzly track saws same manufacture (they are injection molded in different colors). The Grizzly T25552 comes with a 55” track $245 and the Shop Fox W1835 $192 Track sold as an accessory. Now with all of that said I personally have the Festool 55 REQ and the TS 55 EQ. My first Track Saw was the DeWalt and I had issues with it. It may because it was their first attempt at a track saw. The saw was at their repair center more than I had it but that was many years ago and now from what I hear they are much better.

 

Now let me tell you what I see as the biggest benefits to owning a track saw are.

 

 1. It is not just a fancy circular saw with a straightedge. A lot of engineering has gone it to the plunge mechanism, riving knife for kick back protection and blade pinching and dust collection. It may look like a framing saw but it is not.

 

2. Mark your pieces set your track and make your cut. Rubber like strips on the bottom of the track holds it in place. You can use clamps but it is not necessary.

 

3. Portability easy to carry and set up and it is good for tight spaces. If you do not have room for a table saw and it takes up very little room in your vehicle.

 

4. Dust collection. The shroud just does not protect you for the blade it makes for an effective dust channel. If you cut a lot of MDF you will love this one benefit alone.

 

5. Long cuts, long miters and, odd angles there are no limits on what you can do. The only limit is the length of track you have. You can overcome this with a coupling system that each track has. However, there is one downside. Unlike those other saws, a track saw does not have a built-in miter gauge, so setting up miter cuts can be slow. If you do many long miters, you might want to spend $50 to $100 on a miter gauge that locks onto the track.

 

6. Clean cuts. You will be hard pressed to get a smoother, cleaner cut from a circular saw or table saw. I am not saying that tis will replace a table saw because it will not. You can do more with a table saw but a track saw will make your life easier. These are just a few of the benefits that I see that can make your work more time effective and safer. You will no longer have to wrestle sheet goods on to your table.

 

I hope this helps those that are on the fence. If you take your time and do your research, you will find the answer that is wright for you. Good luck

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3 hours ago, Bremon said:

I've never seen a riving knife on anything but a track saw or table saw. Not even sure our beam saw at work has one. 

someone said something about makita saws with less than 65mm or whatever it was do not have riving knives. I didn't know if larger saws had them.

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I mean if u keep a strong hand on your saw u should be able to prevent kickback, well thats me speaking from experience because i always just cut up my sheet material on sawhorses. And id constantly get the saw wanting to come back at me from the material either sagging in the centre. Anyway i stepped my game up since. I just ordered the mafell mt55 and im gonna throw together some kind of portable bench for breaking down sheets because this saw will be getting treated with love not like my makita

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On 6/1/2017 at 4:58 AM, Jronman said:

someone said something about makita saws with less than 65mm or whatever it was do not have riving knives. I didn't know if larger saws had them.

In Belgium larger saws do have them. If your sawing 3 inches deep and that binds up your saw will kick like a mother f*ucker.

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  • 7 months later...

I'm a weekend DIYer. I use the rear handled Makita 36V with an edge guide for household projects but find myself spending a lot of time setting up for cuts that meet my standards. I do not frame and I rarely rough cut, and a table saw is out of the question due to lack of storage space. This got me thinking about dumping my circular for the Makita 36V plunge saw. I think I understand all the benefits of a track saw; however, I still had a few more questions:

1) Is there anything a circular saw can do better than a track saw besides cutting 3/8" deeper, being more portable, and hanging on rafters?

2) How accurate are the track saw cuts? On the money? +/- 1/32?

 

 

  

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5 hours ago, bee-man said:

I'm a weekend DIYer. I use the rear handled Makita 36V with an edge guide for household projects but find myself spending a lot of time setting up for cuts that meet my standards. I do not frame and I rarely rough cut, and a table saw is out of the question due to lack of storage space. This got me thinking about dumping my circular for the Makita 36V plunge saw. I think I understand all the benefits of a track saw; however, I still had a few more questions:

1) Is there anything a circular saw can do better than a track saw besides cutting 3/8" deeper, being more portable, and hanging on rafters?

2) How accurate are the track saw cuts? On the money? +/- 1/32?

 

 

  

Im in the boat about wanting a track saw for breaking down plywood. I made a edge guide from plywood and find it a pain to use. It moves on me and just doesn't give the best cut.

 

If you already have a reg circular saw I wouldn't get rid of it. If you have the funds to get a track saw I would. The saw cuts wherever you put the guide rail at. That is the point. They have a lip on the edge that you cut off with the first cut and that is your line.

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5 hours ago, bee-man said:

I'm a weekend DIYer. I use the rear handled Makita 36V with an edge guide for household projects but find myself spending a lot of time setting up for cuts that meet my standards. I do not frame and I rarely rough cut, and a table saw is out of the question due to lack of storage space. This got me thinking about dumping my circular for the Makita 36V plunge saw. I think I understand all the benefits of a track saw; however, I still had a few more questions:

1) Is there anything a circular saw can do better than a track saw besides cutting 3/8" deeper, being more portable, and hanging on rafters?

2) How accurate are the track saw cuts? On the money? +/- 1/32?

 

 

  

I’ve got a table saw. I never use it to cut stock sheet goods at 4x8. Its hard for me in the basement shop to do so safely, and I’ve got a Sawstop. I use a piece if 1.5” ridgid insulation and cut my sheets down to size before using the table saw. Accuracy is 100%. Dust...what’s that? Does the tracksaw replace the table saw? No, each has a very specific mission in my shop, but my tracksaw is hands down my favorite power tool (the Domino actually ties it).

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35 minutes ago, rrich1 said:

Im in the boat about wanting a track saw for breaking down plywood. I made a edge guide from plywood and find it a pain to use. It moves on me and just doesn't give the best cut.

 

If you already have a reg circular saw I wouldn't get rid of it. If you have the funds to get a track saw I would. The saw cuts wherever you put the guide rail at. That is the point. They have a lip on the edge that you cut off with the first cut and that is your line.

Rich, you probably do this already but use those Makita, Festool, Bessey....clamps at both end and you can purchase friction tape which will help a ton without going through the cost of buying a tracksaw from Makita, Dewalt, Festool etc. though Grizzly arguably makes a pretty inexpensive tracksaw.

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@rrich1 @ChrisK Marc from wood whisperer did a video on the Grizzly and doing his best to not unfairly favor his Festool stuff over the Grizzly he definitely found it fell short of the Festool especially in cut quality. He also reviewed the DeWALT and found it was comparable to the Festool especially in cut quality. When compared to a standard circular saw Marc said the Grizzly cut was basically night and day compared to the standard circular saw. If you want better cuts than a normal circular saw then the Grizzly is better but you will find it is not as good as DeWALT, Festool, and other higher end track saws.

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1 minute ago, Jronman said:

@rrich1 @ChrisK Marc from wood whisperer did a video on the Grizzly and doing his best to not unfairly favor his Festool stuff over the Grizzly he definitely found it fell short of the Festool especially in cut quality. He also reviewed the DeWALT and found it was comparable to the Festool especially in cut quality. When compared to a standard circular saw Marc said the Grizzly cut was basically night and day compared to the standard circular saw. If you want better cuts than a normal circular saw then the Grizzly is better but you will find it is not as good as DeWALT, Festool, and other higher end track saws.

Yeah, I watched that video a few years back but the suggestion is merely a cost alternative to the buyer. Personally, like every tool I purchase, I try to find a video or well written article to help make a determination. Of course I have the TS55REQ and have never thought of another 👍

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@bee-man A plunge saw has its place and I suggest getting one but like @ChrisK has said it is not a table saw replacement. I would say it more complimentary to a table saw. They do the same or similar functions but certain functions are safer on one saw vs the other. when I am ripping down lumber I would use a table saw. Many times the lumber is not as wide as the guide rail and I'm not sure how easy it would be to cut with a plunge saw. If your talking plywood then the plunge saw is your friend. I personally wouldn't want to manhandle a 4x8 piece of plywood on my tiny job site table saw. It is harder and more dangerous than cutting smaller boards. The plunge saw will cut the plywood safer and easier than the table saw. As long as most of the guide rail is supported either by the workpiece your cutting or other means and the workpiece is secure during the cut then the tracksaw would be fine for most cuts. How have you been cutting narrow pieces? I'm thinking lumber that is maybe less than 3 inches.

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Thank you for all the responses. I just reread my 1st question and that might have caused confusion. Just to make it clear, I was not attempting to compare anything to a table saw - sorry. My problem is that I spend too much time setting up for accurate cuts with my rear handle 36V Makita circular saw, and I was thinking about replacing it with the Makita 36V track saw. So let me try rephrasing: besides cutting 3/8" deeper, being more portable, and hanging on rafters, what can the rear handled 36V Makita saw do that the 36V Makita track saw can't? If I'm not a framer, I'm thinking that the track saw should cover all my needs with better accuracy.

 

Jronman, if I needed a narrow piece, I will cut it from a larger piece. I don't really waste time trying to cut anything less than 3", but I suppose I could secure it on the side of a larger piece if I really needed to... also, I have a corded miter saw for smaller pieces. I know there will be a bunch of you saying I should just keep the rear handle saw, but I'm kind of a tool whore. lol

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@bee-man I'd buy the track over the rear handle but if you need more power than what the plunge saw can provide then you will want the rear handle. The rear handle is built for speed and power. Unlike the plunge saw which is built for accuracy and quality of cut. 2 advantages of the rear handle you haven't listed over the plunge is a good line of sight and better power. I don't see any reason to keep the rear handle if the plunge will be sufficient. There isn't really a reason in your specific situation that the rear handle provides that the plunge saw does not. Also with the guide rails you should be able to use a router with it as well which makes the plunge saw purchase that much more versatile.

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I think there is some confusion on the term track saw. A track saw is not necessarily a plunge saw. Bosch and Dewalt european circular saws can ride on a rail. And look at the kss saws by Mafell (or festool hk clones) to see how great a regular circular saw can be. And plunge saws can be used without a rail (with an edge guide for instance). So if you need a saw that rides on  a rail, it doesn't have to be a plunge saw even though we don't have a lot of choices in north america in that department other than the festool hk and hkc models.

 

Now about a plunge saw vs a normal saw. I think you need both just like you need a free handed router and a plunge one. A plunge saw is useful if you want to do precise plunge cuts (obviously) or if you want almost perfect dust collection (since there is a cover over the blade). It is also great when you are cutting sheet goods and you wan't to avoid chipping on both sides of your cuts (since you can put splinter guards on both sides of your blade, something you can't do with a regular circular saw). This is why a plunge saw is so useful to trim carpenters and cabinet installers who work inside with finish materials.

 

The benefits of a regular circular saw though is that it is much easier to handle it when you are ripping or cross cutting narrow stocks since your saw doesn't need to be supported by the wood piece you are cutting. The balance is also much better since you are not plunging your saw in your cut.

 

So I think a plunge saw could make a lot of sense in your case especially if you are working inside.

 

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Jronman, excellent points on speed, power and line of sight for the rear handle circular saw. There is something about using this cordless beast that just makes me feel like He-man (less the gay ball-hugger speedo) when I pull the trigger. But in the end, accuracy and cut quality is the most important to me. Yes, I am able to make accurate cuts with my edge guide and circular saw, but I feel like replacing it with a track saw will better suit my needs.

 

And thanks Pouet, for the additional information on track saws. I am heavily in the Makita LXT platform, so the only track saw on my radar is the 36V cordless Makita XPS01PTJ. I do not work inside, but it's good to know I have the option for dust collection. It might be one of those luxuries that I never knew I wanted, so I'll probably give it a try anyway. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the combo kit at Homedepot that includes extra bonus batteries and a track for $499.

 

Thanks again!

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