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Jronviews #1.1- DeWALT DCS520T1 Flexvolt Track Saw Revisited


Jronman

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I have been using the Flexvolt track saw for a fair bit longer and thought it was time for a follow up. 

 

It is still a great saw, cut quality is excellent, and still comfortable to use.

 

Dust collection has been improved a fair bit by covering up the blade screw access. Keeping the bottom right edge covered seemed to help as well. If you cut standing to the right of the saw you can easily see the blade which I appreciate. 

 

I felt the runtime with a 2/6 battery could be a bit better but I can't complain.

 

The DeWALT guide rails do the job but they aren't as easy to setup as single side guide rails. I had heard you could use Festool guide rails with the Flexvolt and you sure can. A nice thing is the DeWALT guide rail clamps work with Festool track. I feel the Festool guide rail is much better than the DeWALT. One thing I found out on the saw is there is a reason there is 2 slots on the bottom of the saw. One slot is for DeWALT guide rails and the other is for Festool and I would guess Makita's and other companies' guide rails should work too. If I remember correctly the kickback feature does not work with Festool track because the mechanism is built into the slot for the DeWALT rails. For anyone wanting to go with the Flexvolt I would highly recommend skipping buying the DeWALT guide rails and instead save up for the Festool guide rails. 

 

A few things I would add/remove/change:

  • It would be nice to have a second scale like the Festool to differentiate between on and off rail depths.
  • I would also like to see a feature similar to Makitas scoring feature but I could see a way to improve the scoring feature. It would essentially work the same except you not only can score you can add the thickness of the material you want to cut as well. You would set the thickness of the piece then engage the scoring feature which would cut the piece then score the sacrificial top the piece is resting on. This would ensure you fully cut through the piece your cutting and prevent accidentally cutting completely through the sacrificial top and into the nice top or whatever your cutting on. 
  • Tearout protection for the cutoff piece that doesn't hinder blade visibility would be nice.
  • Improved dust collection
  • not a huge want but a soft start wouldn't hurt.
  • not a big deal but kickback prevention for both slots.
  • tool free rail adjustment knobs.
  • bluetooth particularly for vacs
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How much use does it get on the jobsite? 

 

For me productivity is the the name of the game. I can't seem to figure how this will help?

 

I cut all rough with circular 

Finish and Bevel with Table Saw

Miter/compound with Miter

Am I supposed to start cutting rough with a tracksaw?

a Simple chalk snap and circular Saw is all I've ever needed.

 

 

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Dust collection is terrible for a track saw when compared to Festool and Makita.

No bevel stops. Pain to adjust. Factory blade is not that good.

Dewalt tracks can be cupped

Odd plunge mechanism

Feels cheep with the knobs and adjustments

If you try the Makita 36v track saw, you won't want the DeWalt.

DeWalt is more brute force and for roofer, deck builders, guys that don't want Uber precision.

Makita and festool more refined for the finer work.

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46 minutes ago, The.Handyman said:

Dust collection is terrible for a track saw when compared to Festool and Makita.

Factory blade is not that good.

Odd plunge mechanism

Feels cheep with the knobs and adjustments

Without using tape and paper sure the dust collection isn't great but by using tape and paper I thought the dust collection was pretty good. Not 100% collection but close.

 

Sure there may be better blades out there but from my cuts with the stock blade I noticed it had excellent cut quality atleast on the good side. The cutoff piece has noticeable tearout which could probably be partially mitigated with a better blade but it also doesn't have a cutoff tearout guard like the Festool.

 

I actually like the plunge mechanism but I have never tried a pivot style plunge mechanism so I have nothing to compare it to. Feels comfortable to me. 

 

I would have to agree but the other guys use plastic knobs and adjustment too.

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1 hour ago, JakeDewalt said:

How much use does it get on the jobsite? 

 

For me productivity is the the name of the game. I can't seem to figure how this will help?

 

I cut all rough with circular 

Finish and Bevel with Table Saw

Miter/compound with Miter

Am I supposed to start cutting rough with a tracksaw?

a Simple chalk snap and circular Saw is all I've ever needed.

 

This saw is one I do not take to work. It is more a shop tool and not a jobsite tool. I only use it at home when I'm cutting sheet goods. It provides an easy way to get straight and tearout free cuts with ability to collect the dust. Would this saw survive the jobsite? It would depend on who is using it and the type of work. This saw is not designed for rough and I would not recommend using one for rough. I would still use a standard circular saw for rough. This is the kind of tool a finish guy might use. There is a good chance a cabinet maker or furniture maker uses one. You may want to ask @Framer joe how he uses a track saw at his work. They do custom house framing if I remember correctly.

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A tracksaw is the way to go if you are installing a door in an existing opening that is not necessarily plumb and square anymore. The cut is cleaner, straighter and more predictable than a regular circular saw. If you are gifted with a regular saw you might be able to cut as straight, but you aren't going to have as clean a cut especially when you are getting where you are just taking a part of the blade off of the door. It is a tool that may take a little more time to use, but it helps folks who may not be as skilled. As for DeWALT blades, you have to take a serious look at potential replacements, because their blade diameter is slightly different than other tracksaws and the arbor diameter is different from a standard saw, so you may be stuck using DeWALT blades if you want their depth gauge to function accurately. 

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Cheers for the follow up. I think I will get Makita's 36v tracksaw in the future. It has more features like scoring depth as you pointed out. I also watched workshopaddict's comparison vid of Festool, Makita and Dewalt cordless tracksaws, the reviewer disliked Flexvolt's adjustment knob because it was harder to grip in comparison with others. Do you agree with that, Jronman?

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@muddychip I agree. The adjustment knob for setting depth needs some work. I'm not sure if it is hard to grip just really tight. Once the knob is loose it turns with little effort. Sliding the mechanism up or down for setting depth could be a little smoother. I feel like it does an adequate job for what I have used it for. One thing I forgot to mention is a micro adjust for depth would be nice.

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Cheers for the follow up. I think I will get Makita's 36v tracksaw in the future. It has more features like scoring depth as you pointed out. I also watched workshopaddict's comparison vid of Festool, Makita and Dewalt cordless tracksaws, the reviewer disliked Flexvolt's adjustment knob because it was harder to grip in comparison with others. Do you agree with that, Jronman?
The knob is really cheap, poorly cast plastic, and a pain to grip. Makita has a much better knob and it's smoother to adjust depth as well.

The Makita is a better saw overall. Love the scoring feature. The Makita also has bevel stops which the DeWalt does not.
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Nice follow up....we use the Festool the Boss got before the flex came out...cutting rafters for an octagon pergola, or where the cuts are exposed it’s amazing!  Someone above said for cutting uneven doors,,Excellent choice for that ,smart move.....myself I just don’t use it for framing, or cutting plywood...our cuts don’t have to be that nice...plus the guys bent one tract already,,it’s just not a framing friendly tool, for us at least. .....but I see it’s value !!!!

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3 hours ago, Jronman said:

supposedly rhere is a Festool framing version.

I think what you are talking about is the HKC55. It very similar to the European available DeWALT circulars saw, that has a base that allows it to be used with a track or be used as a conventional circular saw. In FlexVolt the DCS575 would be the regular saw, the DCS576 would be the same saw with a track compatible base.

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  • 2 months later...

@Tulbus I can give you the dimensions of the DeWALT track but have you considered the Makita or Festool to be used with the DeWALT? Both are compatible. I have a set of DeWALT and a set of Festool. Your looking at 7-1/4 in wide and at the thickest point around 1/2 in for both the DeWALT and Festool. I hope this helps.

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  • 1 year later...

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