I'm beginning to wish I had a track saw..

tri4sale

Daniel
Corporate Member
yeah, track saw one of my better investments in a tool, I have no room for table saw, so track saw is awesome.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I have a Festool track saw and it works very well but I would not say that I couldn't live without it (a straightedge and a circular saw work fine). It would've been handy for your 5 sheets of plywood but how often will you be cutting up multiple sheets of plywood?
 

Martin Roper

Martin
User
the makita is the one i have, much less expensive than festool and a dream to work with
Same.

I've found all kinds of uses for it besides just breaking down sheet goods.

I recently trimmed 1/8" off the top of a bathroom door that sticks when the seasons change. I would hate to attempt that with a circular saw and a straight edge.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
Stop and think about this.
All a track saw is, is a skill saw and a straight edge. I've trimmed more doors than I care to count with just a skill saw. No track,no stait edge. The only advantage is the plunge function and it's a pita to use without the track. Ymmv
 

Billm0066

Bill
User
Stop and think about this.
All a track saw is, is a skill saw and a straight edge. I've trimmed more doors than I care to count with just a skill saw. No track,no stait edge. The only advantage is the plunge function and it's a pita to use without the track. Ymmv
track saw is much easier to use. It’s held in place and makes foolproof cuts.
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I use a 6' level from harbor freight and circular saw. That's one reason I built my outfeed table so big and beefy.... It doubles as a breakdown table for sheet goods. Just slide a few 2x4's underneath. It works just fine and makes good straight cuts.

But it's a pain. I was seriously considering one by the time I got finished. But I agree that's it's a big investment for a tool that I'll probably not need.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
The price is strongly a function of the brand. I have a DeWalt and paid a little over $600 nearly 10 years ago for the saw, a 59 inch track and a 106 inch track. I didn't google it but I think it may still be around this price. A Makita is similar but last time I looked their long track was pricier. It is possible to use two ~59 inch tracks for long cuts but I have not done it. I consider these saws mid priced.

A Festool with similar tracks was nearly twice as much when I got mine and it may have come down a little but it is still significantly more. I'm talking about the smaller of the two Festools. Track is a big part of the difference and I read the Festool can use the Makita track. But still it is more expensive. I'm guessing around $1,000.

Last I looked the Wen was still the cheapest at about $150 for the saw and two 59 inch tracks costing about another $100. No long track available to my knowledge.

I wouldn't call ~$1,000 a "gazzilian" but it is pricey to me too. But it's hard to see how $250 breaks the bank. My favorite sander (a Bosch DEVS 1250) cost that much.

A key difference between a track saw and a circular saw + straight edge is the track saw can't wander away from the track. It is possible for me to shove mine a little side to side but the maximum I can get it off is less than 1/32 and comparable to the variation I sometimes get with rips on the table saw. With good technique, the variation is essentially zero. It is possible to be that precise with a circular saw, maybe, but it is harder without the sacrificial edge showing you where the saw will cut.

I need to go get busy and make some drawer fronts for a cabinet I cut out with my track saw. It is over 7 feet long with three compartments, two for drawers and one that will have drawers. It has about 1.5 sheets of 3/4 plywood in the carcase. I cut it out in an easy half day. I also used the track saw track to guide my router (a PC) to cut the dados to locate the vertical pieces. Long rips for drawers were also done with the track saw. All 10 drawers are finished and installed and ride smoothly on their 100% extension drawer slides. If I had broken down the plywood with a circular saw (or my track saw) and then used my table saw to cut to finished sizes it would have taken a lot more time. Once you get used to a track saw, and get a few jigs made or bought, you will wonder how you got along without it. It makes things a lot easier. Safer too.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
I use a 6' level from harbor freight and circular saw. That's one reason I built my outfeed table so big and beefy.... It doubles as a breakdown table for sheet goods. Just slide a few 2x4's underneath. It works just fine and makes good straight cuts.

But it's a pain. I was seriously considering one by the time I got finished. But I agree that's it's a big investment for a tool that I'll probably not need.
Mine is the easy tool version
Just the track and sole plate that gets mounted on a regular circular saw.
I have 3 circular saws so I dedicated one to the track. The benefits of this are the saw blades are standard 7 1/4"x 5/8" arbor that can be had anywhere. 60 tooth CMT blades are around 20 bucks versus much less and greater availability than the 6 1/2" x10 mm arbor blades that all the track saws use. The track can be clamped or there are rubber strips you can get to eliminate the need for clamps. I'm cheap so ;)
 

mpeele

michael
User
Buying a track saw is kind of like giving a mouse a cookie, It's just the beginning of you expenditure pain. You will be acquiring track clamps, work holding clamps, additional tracks, track guides for those odd angles and that all important 90 degree angle, work surfaces (need some place to put all those 20 mm holes), dogs to fill 20 mm holes, fixtures for generating 20 mm hole patterns, end stops, fences, more dogs, more 20 mm holes and somewhere along the way an automatic shop vac. Everywhere you look you'll see 20 mm holes or places that need 20 mm holes.

There is pain but there is also pleasure. My only regret is that I got my TS 55 before the TS 75 became available.
 

tri4sale

Daniel
Corporate Member
I too have the TS55, what do you see as the main benefits of the TS75?
I got the TS75 because of larger blade size and stronger motor for cutting thru thicker material. And I view it as a long term purchase, the extra price spread over 10 years (hopefully can get 10 year use out of it) is minimal.

 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
I have the Wen tack saw. It was about 200 bucks with 110 inch of track. It performs equal to others, but with this caveat. It is not a production saw. For me I use 1-2 a week to 1-2 times a month kind of thing. That is why I bought it. Like any less expensive tool they are built cheaper. Cheaper=shorter life of the tools (in hours use). BUT, it is accurate, works accurately and easy to use. Noisy as my DeWalt sidewinder saw.
 

mpeele

michael
User
I too have the TS55, what do you see as the main benefits of the TS75?
It's just the increased capacity. A lot of times when I'm cutting sheet goods it's for things where I can stack cut the plywood. With TS 55 I'm limited to 2 3/4" sheets. TS 75 you could do 4. There have been some projects where it would have made mitering 8/4 material much easier.

There are two features(riving knife and replaceable splinter guard) festool saws have that I didn't think much about at first but now I would not buy one that did not have them. Replaceable splinter guard(I think I'm on my fifth pack) on insures a clean un-chipped off cut. Riving knife is real helpful when you are track is just a bit short(or some idiot doesn't leave enough track at end of cut) for the cut you are making. It prevents that little divot at the end cuts where the front guide point runs off the rail.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
It's just the increased capacity. A lot of times when I'm cutting sheet goods it's for things where I can stack cut the plywood. With TS 55 I'm limited to 2 3/4" sheets. TS 75 you could do 4. There have been some projects where it would have made mitering 8/4 material much easier.

There are two features(riving knife and replaceable splinter guard) festool saws have that I didn't think much about at first but now I would not buy one that did not have them. Replaceable splinter guard(I think I'm on my fifth pack) on insures a clean un-chipped off cut. Riving knife is real helpful when you are track is just a bit short(or some idiot doesn't leave enough track at end of cut) for the cut you are making. It prevents that little divot at the end cuts where the front guide point runs off the rail.
Thanks - I have not used mine enough, but glad you mentioned that the splinter guard needs to be replaced! (it is obvious when you think about it)
 

Sourwould

Taylor
Senior User
Before I got a track saw, I just broke down plywood with a chalk box and skilsaw. The track saw is nice to have for fixing the awful factory edges on imported ply.

Can you live without it? Yes. Does it make a lot of tasks easier and faster? Yes.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top