I am looking for some track saw input from everyone. I am looking at buying one very soon and I have found 3 different ones. Dewalt, Makita and Festool. Any input or reviews of any would be greatly appreciated!!
Justin I always thought a steel stud was sufficient.Hahah
Only you Jens!! haha
I thought you would enjoy that one. As far as track saws I have never seen one in live demo but I think festool is a very expensive tool and I really dont think it can be any better than any other brand. After all it is just a saw running in a straight edge track. I might not see the whole picture about the saw but opinions are opinions.
Ill tell you to ask and that is Jay Boutwell he has tio be most noligable person as far as woodworking and tools
Have a great day and cut them straight with steel studs
TWW did a video review of the Dewalt. If you didn't know, he's a festool fanboy (they sponsor him), but it's a pretty fair review. He also links to a few other reviews.
Hi Guys First post here.
I wrestled with the same question for several months. After a ton of research, I went with the Festool TS55. I tried the DeWalt (the vast majority of my tools are DeWalt, so not choosing "my brand" was tough), but was left with less than desirable results.
Most of my wood work is simple casegood furniture that goes in hotels, so lot's of simple, straight cuts on melamine product or HPL covered MDF. The critical part of my work is to get it perfect on the first pass, no second chance. Chip-free, no clean-up necessary, ready to edge-band results are what I'm getting with the TS55. Some of the material I work with is in excess of 170.00 for a 49 x 97 inch sheet, and may take 3 weeks to get my hands on.
My total cash out on the unit was about 830.00, saw and 55 inch track, plus 2 more 55 inch tracks and 2 joiner bars. Worth every penny, would buy it again! I used to stress every time I had to run a full sheet through the table saw. Now, stress-free cutting.
The saw has several very nice features: It's super well designed from an ergonomic standpoint, has a great blade changing feature that drops the blade out and locks it by a simple lever manipulation, the saw pivots very easily, has a spring loaded riving knife, variable motor/blade speed which is actually super handy, and the track guide adjustment requires no tools and can be accomplished in 10 seconds.
It is a pricey saw, that's a fact! But in the end, the day I ordered it, I decided I wanted more of a system than just a saw, and it's what I got. I wish I bought it 3 years ago!
Good luck and best regards,
I have a Festool TS55 and love it. In my case, I'm a fairly good builder, but clearly a weekend builder.
With my tracksaw, there's no need for a tablesaw (which I've never wanted because of my youngish kids). So I'm able to dedicate only a 1/4 of my 2-car garage to a work surface and still rip full 4x8 sheets.
Haven't used the other tracksaws. But Festool has built some exceptional electronics into the TS which vary blade speed and action to minimize wobble, burn, and scalloping. The only burning I've ever had happened because of my mistake.
In fact, I get better cuts with the TS than the saw used by a pretty large cabinet shop who created the furniture in the office (the cabinet shop's bamboo cutting was scalloped - the Festool cuts weren't). I can almost get by without sanding. These electronics also give it accuracy. When I lay the track down to split the mark, half the mark is left after the cut because the blade doesn't wobble.
In my case, I have the dust extractor with it and love that, too. It contains close to all the dust.
Full disclosure...I have done advertising work for Festool and created the video they have for the tracksaw. But these are heartfelt comment because I've used mine to build most of what I show in my projects. I even ripped the 1-5/16" posts for the mahogany entertainment center from the raw lumber - using the Festool for jointing. It worked great once I had the right blade.
I appreciate all the responses from everyone and I really do appreciate the reviews!!
I've owned and used the EZ Smart system for a while and really like it. Hand-held circular saws and I have NEVER gotten along ... NEVER. So I went with the EZ Smart system and have never looked back. It makes cutting plywood an exact science ... and safer because I don't have to manhandle large sheets - the sheet sits still, while the saw moves - very precisely.
Their web site is http://www.eurekazone.com . They offer so much stuff these days that the site can be confusing now. What I have is several lengths of the track of some different lengths, the clamps, the crosscut handle thing (actually works well with a fairly short track length), and I purchased a pre-setup circular saw - the lower cost Hitachi. Oh, and I eventually bought their Smart Table Top Kit and the folding legs and I made a table one which cutting is easier.
From my recollection, these guys were making track systems before the big companies even thought about it, and I credit them for their forward thinking. I have ZERO experience with the other makers, so I can't comment on them.
The track uses a white plastic anti-chip insert. You slide this into the rail and then only with the first use, you make a cut on some scrap wood and run the saw down the rail to remove the "extra" anti-chip width. This sort of customizes the rail to your saw - exactly. This means that with all future cuts the anti-chip insert shows you EXACTLY where the blade will cut - no guessing. You align the rail's anti-chip edge with your cut endpoints - keeping in mind where the kerf will be, clamp the two ends, place the saw on the rail (usually on a part of the rail hanging out beyond the plywood), start the saw, and simply slide to cut. That's it. I really like that.
For a 4' cut I like using a 6' rail (1' on each end to start/stop the saw). For an 8' cut I prefer having a 10' rail. You don't buy super long rails, but combine shorter rails to get the full length. The joints are smooth enough to be essentially nonexistent ... though combining just a few longer lengths is easier than combining a bunch of them.
BTW, I have NO financial association with them. Actually, I am kind of a woodworking newbie. Most of my projects have been related to simple construction projects in my horse barn - stalls, doors, .... I started into this system because I absolutely HATED - DREADED - cutting large sheets of plywood. No more!! Now its actually kind of fun - even by myself (no helper).
By the way, the best description of the EZ Smart system is here:
Watch the video in the lower left.
One thing to note is that the rail connectors - or maybe the rails themselves - have a dove-tail kind of shape. this is the key to making the joints so smooth.
Ken you can get a track saw for almost same price as the EZ system.
It looks like you can start with the EZ system for about $150 plus an existing circular saw:
Gary roofner said:
Ken you can get a track saw for almost same price as the EZ system.