Track Saw Users?

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petebucy4638

New User
Pete
After a few years of going back and forth, I just ordered a Dewalt Track Saw with the 52" and 102" tracks. After reading a number of reviews, it did not appear that there was any real difference between Dewalt, Festool, and Makita track saws. The Dewalt saw can even use Festool tracks. The primary difference was the price, though they were closer than expected, the Dewalt was the winner, especially considering the versatility of having two tracks. The 102" track for ripping plywood meant that I would not have to run around bolting tracks together for long rips, the take them apart for crosscuts. If the prices had been closer I was interested in making my first Festool purchase - maybe next time.

There was a lot of discussion in the forums about replacing your tables saw with a tracks saw. I just don't see that happening, at least not in my shop. My two table saws are just too versatile to try to replace them with a track saw. I can't imagine running a dado or making box joints with a track saw. Still, there are things that you can do with a track saw that are difficult do perform with a table saw. Cutting tapers on long pieces of wood is difficult. Cutting long tapers on a heavy sheet of plywood or MDF on a table saw can be just about impossible for one guy, not to mention a bit dangerous at times. I can see a track saw really shining when doing that sort of work.

My experience watching other people use track saws, both Festool and Dewalt has been that if the carpenter had the basic skills that he could be very productive making all sorts of woodworking projects from built-in's to cabinets to fireplace surrounds. The only fellow that I though was way out of his depth was a framer who was cutting roof sheathing with a Festool track saw. If you can't cut sheathing, propped up on a 2x, on a roof using a chalk line and a circular saw freehand, then you probably should be in another business.

I'm looking forward to the new saw arriving. I have to build a new out-feed table with drawers and two rooms of built-ins with desks and remodel a big pantry with pull out shelves. All of this would could be done on my table saw, especially with the new power stock feeder, and a lot of it will be, but there is plenty of work for the track saw too.

Do we have many track saw users in the group? Do you have any tips, suggestions, or pitfalls to avoid as I start using the new saw?
 

Rick M

Rick
Corporate Member
I've only used homemade versions but for cutting plywood even those are unparalleled.
 

skysharks

New User
John Macmaster
I have had a Makita track saw with both sizes of tracks for several years now. I absolutely love it. Cutting off bottom of doors to breaking down sheets of plywood. I even use it to give me a perfectly straight cut when I am dimensioning rough cut lumber before I get to the jointer.
Great tool.
 

mdawson2

New User
Mike
I've been saving and searching for just the right table saw for my garage shop and I've contemplated going with a track saw instead to save on space. The Festool was going to run around the same price as a contractor or hybrid type saw so I kinda threw that idea out of the window. Especially when I considered the need to cut dados or cut a lot of material at one time where a table saw would just be so much faster. But I just saw on another site that Grizzly has a track saw in their 2013 catalog at about half the price of the Festool. It appears to be a clone of the Festool and re-badged by Grizzly to be sold in the States (Sheppach and Wood Star overseas). It has me thinking about foregoing the table saw a little bit longer.

http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2013/Main/248
 

thrt15nc

New User
Tom
Help me to understand. Can you remove the saw from the track and use it as a regular circular saw? I mean, I currently use my old circular saw with a home made straightedge guide for breaking down sheets, etc. But then I can also just use the old saw to quick cut off the end of a 2X8 if I need to, without the guide.

??

Tom
 

mdawson2

New User
Mike
Help me to understand. Can you remove the saw from the track and use it as a regular circular saw? I mean, I currently use my old circular saw with a home made straightedge guide for breaking down sheets, etc. But then I can also just use the old saw to quick cut off the end of a 2X8 if I need to, without the guide.

??

Tom
Yes, the saw can be used without the track. The base is flat with grooves that mate up with the track.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have the Festool TS55 and I like it. One suggestion I have is to get some foam insulation from Home Depot/Lowes. It makes a good sacrificial surface to cut on with the track saw. It allows me to use the track saw on top of my table saw.

Jeremy
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I have a goodold Skill Model 77 worm drive saw with both the 99 inch & 50 inch Tru-Grip stright edges. Shop made Plexiglass bases for saw and router. What else do you need to break down and work sheet goods? Both Festool, DeWalt and the rest of those track saws are way too expensive for what they can do. My opinion.


Pop
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Help me to understand. Can you remove the saw from the track and use it as a regular circular saw? I mean, I currently use my old circular saw with a home made straightedge guide for breaking down sheets, etc. But then I can also just use the old saw to quick cut off the end of a 2X8 if I need to, without the guide.

??

Tom
Sure you can, but I bought a 32" track for my Festool for crosscuts. The accuracy gained is worth the setting it down instead of setting a square to draw the line. The Festool track does not need to be clamped down for use.

- Ken.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have the Festool TS55 and two rails. I bought the saw to cut off door bottoms and to cut windows into solid commercial doors. I have probably cut off 50 doors with it and at least 100 window cutouts. Just place the track down and cut, the track stays as if it was glued. Add a vac and the dust collection is great - I have cut doors inside an office with no dust. I would buy it again in a heartbeat
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
I have a goodold Skill Model 77 worm drive saw with both the 99 inch & 50 inch Tru-Grip stright edges. Shop made Plexiglass bases for saw and router. What else do you need to break down and work sheet goods? Both Festool, DeWalt and the rest of those track saws are way too expensive for what they can do. My opinion.


Pop
Pop, for sheet goods you're probably right. However, where a high quality track saw (such as the Festool) really shines is that it can duplicate the quality of cut that you get from a tablesaw, except in a mobile package.

In my opinion a track saw is not a replacement for a tablesaw, but it is an excellent addition to the tool lineup. Mine will produce a glue line rip quality of cut, and you're not going to get that from a standard worm drive or circular saw with a straight edge.
 
i have the dewalt and like it..... you need to order the dewalt track clamps it you did not get them yet.... the only problem i have had was the stickers have come unglued and dewalt sent me new ones
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
I use it to break down sheet goods and with the panther(rip) blade it also gives me one good edge on lumber as well. Beats running it over the jointer over and over and over .....
 

manfre

New User
Manfre
I use it to break down sheet goods and with the panther(rip) blade it also gives me one good edge on lumber as well. Beats running it over the jointer over and over and over .....
Is the edge good enough for panel glue ups?
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
i have the dewalt and like it..... you need to order the dewalt track clamps it you did not get them yet.... the only problem i have had was the stickers have come unglued and dewalt sent me new ones

Good ad for Festool, I am not even sure Festool makes a clamp for their track. You just do not need them
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Is the edge good enough for panel glue ups?
With the Festool TS55 and a track - yes, it is. As good as a table saw edge.

And if you ever work with MDF you will definitely appreciate the Festool Dust Collection over a skillsaw and straight edge. I know that from experience.

- Ken.
 

mdawson2

New User
Mike

kooshball

David
Corporate Member
I've been saving and searching for just the right table saw for my garage shop and I've contemplated going with a track saw instead to save on space. The Festool was going to run around the same price as a contractor or hybrid type saw so I kinda threw that idea out of the window. Especially when I considered the need to cut dados or cut a lot of material at one time where a table saw would just be so much faster. But I just saw on another site that Grizzly has a track saw in their 2013 catalog at about half the price of the Festool. It appears to be a clone of the Festool and re-badged by Grizzly to be sold in the States (Sheppach and Wood Star overseas). It has me thinking about foregoing the table saw a little bit longer.

http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2013/Main/248
Has anyone used / reviewed this?
 

Mike Camp

New User
Mike
Has anyone used / reviewed this?
A gentleman from Australia reviewed the Scheppach cs55 which apparently the Grizzly is just a rebadge of. He thought it was pretty good especially at the price.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbPLc0lGdFw

On the clamps subject I have a set of the DeWalt's that I work great on the Festool. I prefer the pistol grip style quick clamps for speed, granted they don't integrate with the Festool MFT as the Festool track clamps do.
 
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