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View Karamba's profile

Do I need a table saw ?

by Karamba
posted 11-12-2015 02:47 PM


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65 replies

65 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7468 posts in 1962 days


#1 posted 11-12-2015 03:33 PM

You can easily go without a tablesaw. People had been woodworking for thousands of years before it was invented. Would I want to? No. Is a track saw a suitable substitute? No. They are great tools, but it’s just not the same for repeatability.

And this is coming from someone moving more and more towards hand tools.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Alexl's profile

Alexl

59 posts in 753 days


#2 posted 11-12-2015 03:35 PM

I started building my cabinets using only a high quality circular saw and homemade track. The results were adequate but the cuts took forever to set up. I work in the evenings and with the homemade track saw i was able to build 1 cabinet a night. When i broke down and got a table saw, my productivity moved to 2-3 per night. I also can now purchase larger dimension lumber and rip it down to size easily and save a little money. The biggest issue with using a track saw is there is no repeatability. Can it be done without a table saw? Probably, But i think you will not regret adding a table saw to your shop. For most, it is the heart of a woodworking shop.

EDIT: jmartel beat me to the repeatability!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5566 posts in 3006 days


#3 posted 11-12-2015 03:42 PM

Only if you want one…It’s up to you…

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

View JayT's profile

JayT

5438 posts in 2023 days


#4 posted 11-12-2015 03:43 PM

You are going to get a lot of people saying that you do need a table saw. I’m not one of them.

I’m in the process of getting rid of my table saw. Like you, I use a lot of hand tools, so the main purpose of machinery for me is to shorten the tedious task of dimensioning. As you point out, ripping hardwoods is a workout. The solution—get a good bandsaw. A good quality 14in or larger bandsaw will be able to rip hardwoods with no issues. Sure, it’ll take longer and leave a bit rougher cut, but so what? As a hobbyist, I have the time (plus a couple extra minutes ripping boards isn’t much in the grand scheme of a project done mostly with hand tools) and I’ll use my planes to true up and smooth out the edges anyways.

There are quite a few woodworkers, even some professionals, that do not have a table saw. Michael Fortune, for one. He has several bandsaws and does all his work with those. My reasons for switching to a bandsaw are versatility (curves and resawing) and saving space. Others’ reasons might be different, such as safety, but in the end, a table saw is a powerful and convenient tool, but not a necessary one.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1393 posts in 1801 days


#5 posted 11-12-2015 04:00 PM

Absolutely need a TS? No. There are many ways to make cuts in wood. Although I’m just a hobbyist, productivity means something to me, and I would not be without one (mainly furniture and segmented turning). While I really enjoy hand planes, I still use a bench planer for dimensioning. While I can use hand saws, no thanks, only when one of them makes sense in the given situation. It’s very much a personal choice of how you want to spend your time, and no one else but you can make that decision.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

4944 posts in 2077 days


#6 posted 11-12-2015 04:04 PM

I got to agree with Rick! Your the final judge of whether you buy one or not.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2684 posts in 1293 days


#7 posted 11-12-2015 04:14 PM

A tablesaw is the most versatile machine in the shop, and that’s why it is considered the cornerstone of tools.
I can’t imagine building an entire kitchen (or anything else) without one, but it is possible.

I’ll echo what HokieKen said. You have to think about what your time is worth. We make the mistake of thinking our time is worthless when we’re off from our 8-5 jobs.

Lots hobbyist guys have the same power tools as a commercial shop because they work all week and don’t have the time to mess around with hours and hours of grunt work like planing, ripping, etc. If you can rip boards 20:1 machine vs. handsaw is that worth enough time saving for you? Plus, cuts on a power machine will be more accurate, further reducing the time jointing with hand tools.

Lots of guys like me want to do hand work, so we focus on things like joinery and finishing.

If the only issue is the labor of ripping hard wood, then any kind of ripping guide for a circ saw will suffice.

$ for $, personally I would never buy a tracksaw over a TS.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1439 posts in 2879 days


#8 posted 11-12-2015 04:15 PM

no tool is mandatory. If you think about it, you can use a handsaw. Powertools do make life a tad easier. I love Festool, and have used my MFT/3 with the TS55 tracksaw for a long time and it is great. However when cutting small pieces, or miters, or ripping small width stock, the table saw is just a natural. I still say the TS is the center of my shop, but the tracksaw is perfect for sheetgoods and many other tasks.

Thats my opinion, but that and 2.50 will get you a cup of coffee. Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1643 posts in 2445 days


#9 posted 11-12-2015 04:21 PM

I have a Craftsman 113 Contractor’s Saw with a Delta T2 fence. Its a good machine for a lot of functions, but its not a very big saw, and is terrible for breaking down larger stock (particularly sheet goods).
I plan to buy a Makita Track Saw in order to ‘supplement’ my table saw…..but not to replace it.
In terms of speed, accuracy, and efficiency…..the table saw is king.

View TheGreatJon's profile

TheGreatJon

337 posts in 1045 days


#10 posted 11-12-2015 06:02 PM

I agree that it is not critical. Woodworking existed before electricity.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about making cabinets, it is going to immeasurably easier if you have a table saw. If space is your primary concern, there are a ton of options open to you. You can get a benchtop saw or any larger table saw with a mobile base so you can wheel it into a corner when not in use. However, I would also point out that you can get yourself a high quality cabinet saw and remove one or both of the wings (actually you would most likely just never install them since I doubt they arrive assembled). If you don’t need the added table area, that would cut the TS footprint by about half.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1492 days


#11 posted 11-12-2015 06:26 PM

I I only had room for one big floor standing tool in my workshop it would my workbench. 2nd would be my bandsaw than I guess the tablesaw would be third. The issue with a tablesaw is it works best/safest with straight/square stock so for working with non sheet goods the tablesaw, jointer, planer are kind of a package deal. You can trade one or more of those for hand tools (I would trade jointer first, tablesaw 2nd if I had a bandsaw/tracksaw, planer third but that’s me) but your going to be spending a lot more time prepping stock on that bench.

For working with sheet goods it’s hard to beat a good tablesaw even with as good as newer track saws are.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5900 posts in 2011 days


#12 posted 11-12-2015 06:43 PM

Hmmm… do I need a car? No… I can walk if I want, take pubic transportation, hitch a ride with a buddy, get a bicycle, etc… But it sure is a lot more convenient! I personally feel dead in the water without a table saw… but others are quite happy using hand tools (ie: walking :)

The difference in footprint between a cabinet saw and a benchtop is a common misconception as well… they both take up roughly the same amount of floor space unless you wind up adding something like a 52” fence and extension table. That isn’t much of an issue for me as I would never need that kind of capacity, although I do have a 50” commercial Biesemeyer fence and overarm guard sitting in the wings if/when I decide to put it on the saw… for now, if I have the need to cut down large sheet goods, I find it much easier to use a circular saw than man handle a 4×8 sheet onto the table saw. Here is a pretty typical c-man benchtop (removed from it’s stand) sitting on top of a Unisaw:

As you can see, the footprint of each saw is roughly the same.. and that Unisaw has a 13” extension wing on the right side instead of the stock 8” one, so it’s a bit wider than normal. The difference in size (front to back) is just a few inches as well. And while the difference in floor space may not be much, the difference in performance and capacity is HUGE. My machines live (mostly) in the garage, tucked out of the way until needed… and everything is on a mobile base, so when it’s time to make sawdust, they get wheeled out for use.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 1042 days


#13 posted 11-12-2015 07:13 PM

Im with Brad. Some wish to go old school and use a hand saw. God bless em. Im gonna throw that boy up on my uni and throw chips.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4425 posts in 2163 days


#14 posted 11-12-2015 07:23 PM

The way I work, I would not be w/o a table saw. However if I were to forego it I would use the bandsaw for rip cuts. I think a track saw is useful for breaking down sheet goods, but don’t really see it as a substitute for a table saw. I think the set up time for every cut would be quite tedious.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#15 posted 11-12-2015 07:25 PM


Hmmm… do I need a car? No… I can walk if I want, take pubic transportation, hitch a ride with a buddy, get a bicycle, etc… But it sure is a lot more convenient! ...
- MrUnix

You hit the nail on the head. I actually do not have a car and commute 24 miles round trip to work by bicycle every day all year round and have been doing it for my whole working life. Is a car more convenient ? It takes half an hour to drive to work due to the usual traffic and 45 minutes by bicycle. My bicycle costs nothing compared to the price of car. No gas , no insurance, no traffic tickets ( actually I got one on the bicycle too) maintenance is limited to replacing tires and a chain once-twice a year and most important keeps me fit and energized.

I am inclined to think that a table saw is like a car. You get used to it and cannot live without it only because it never came to your mind that you can actually cope with just a bicycle.

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#16 posted 11-12-2015 07:29 PM


The difference in footprint between a cabinet saw and a benchtop is a common misconception as well… they both take up roughly the same amount of floor space unless you wind up adding something like a 52” fence and extension table.

As you can see, the footprint of each saw is roughly the same..
- MrUnix

Of course not the same . You take the benchsaw in one hand and throw it on the shelf when not in use. There it has zero footprint.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5900 posts in 2011 days


#17 posted 11-12-2015 07:34 PM

Of course not the same . You take the benchsaw in one hand and throw it on the shelf when not in use. There it has zero footprint.

That saw was removed from it’s factory supplied stand for the picture. It would be a bit difficult to throw it on a shelf in it’s normal configuration. Same applies to contractor and hybrid type saws. But yes, if you get a true benchtop machine, you can keep it just about anywhere. There is of course the difference mentioned regarding performance and capacity :) Kind of like riding a bike… works fine until you find the need to go visit your sick relative three states away (or haul kids to the ball game, or go shopping for largish items, or run errands and it’s pouring down rain, etc…). You could probably do it on a bike… but they might die before you finally get there!

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10462 posts in 2192 days


#18 posted 11-12-2015 07:40 PM

The answer is always, “If you have to ask, then no you don’t need it.”

When you need it, you’ll stop asking and go buy one.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3101 posts in 3043 days


#19 posted 11-12-2015 08:00 PM

Get a table saw. You will use it many times in the future.

A also have a cheep track saw to help break down sheet goods. And I get the lumber yard to cut the sheet goods at least once so it won’t be so hard on my aching back.

Besides our kitchen remodel, I have buit numerous other cabinets for three kitches, a wet bar and other projects.

When you need to rip something, set fence and go for it.

I don’t work rapidly, but I do like to get things done…or I will lose interest quickly! :-(
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/108347

Browse through my projects. Virtually every one involved the table saw. The track saw was used in some instances also.

Hope this helps.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3101 posts in 3043 days


#20 posted 11-12-2015 08:03 PM


The difference in footprint between a cabinet saw and a benchtop is a common misconception as well… they both take up roughly the same amount of floor space unless you wind up adding something like a 52” fence and extension table.

As you can see, the footprint of each saw is roughly the same..
- MrUnix

Of course not the same . You take the benchsaw in one hand and throw it on the shelf when not in use. There it has zero footprint.

- Karamba

Yep.
What he said.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#21 posted 11-12-2015 09:22 PM


Get a table saw. You will use it many times in the future.

A also have a cheep track saw to help break down sheet goods. And I get the lumber yard to cut the sheet goods at least once so it won t be so hard on my aching back.

Besides our kitchen remodel, I have buit numerous other cabinets for three kitches, a wet bar and other projects.

When you need to rip something, set fence and go for it.

I don t work rapidly, but I do like to get things done…or I will lose interest quickly! :-(
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/108347

Browse through my projects. Virtually every one involved the table saw. The track saw was used in some instances also.

Hope this helps.
Mike

- MT_Stringer

Mike your portfolio is the best argument yet for getting the table saw ! Very nicely done, although I am sure you could do it with some other tools, maybe slower provided you too slow to loose interest :-)

Is that kitchen island all wood or you used some plywood/mdf ?

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6391 posts in 3180 days


#22 posted 11-13-2015 12:39 AM

The first stationary power I bought was my 40+ year old 10” Craftsman table saw which is still used today.

Why, I grew up using my dad’s 8” saw and got very used to the capability of that saw!
I had considered a band saw, at the time I purchased my table saw, but I could not do the rabbets and dadoes I did on my dad’s table saw.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

636 posts in 1031 days


#23 posted 11-13-2015 12:54 AM

if youd like to find out whether table saw or track saw is good for you, sit down with pen and paper and write out pros and cons of both choices.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3101 posts in 3043 days


#24 posted 11-13-2015 10:17 PM

@karamba-

“Mike your portfolio is the best argument yet for getting the table saw ! Very nicely done, although I am sure you could do it with some other tools, maybe slower provided you too slow to loose interest :-)

Is that kitchen island all wood or you used some plywood/mdf ?”

Which one are you talking about?
Thanks.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#25 posted 11-13-2015 10:23 PM

5th photo from the top in the link you provided

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5900 posts in 2011 days


#26 posted 11-13-2015 10:34 PM

Mike your portfolio is the best argument yet for getting the table saw !
- Karamba

Best argument I’ve seen yet was your own:

I was getting by quite satisfactory with my hand tools, even ripping long boards with a hand saw on and then smoothing it with a hand plane etc. with softer woods But with hard maple and oak that becomes quite difficult.
- Karamba

Don’t forget dados and other non-through cuts… sure wouldn’t want to do those by hand for anything but the smallest of projects. I have a band saw, table saw, radial arm saw, circular saw, reciprocating saw, jig saw, miter saw as well as various hand saws and planes (and probably some I forgot to mention). Pick the tool for the job at hand… makes life easier.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#27 posted 11-13-2015 10:56 PM

Dados and other non-through cuts are already covered by a nice router I got from Bosch recently. Sure you can make dados marginally faster on a table saw but a router is so much more versatile and probably safer. You can replace a dado with a sliding dovetail if you need or stop the cut before the edge etc etc.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8134 posts in 1298 days


#28 posted 11-13-2015 11:19 PM

Rarely use my bandsaw. Use the table saw ALL the time. I couldn’t do with out it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5900 posts in 2011 days


#29 posted 11-13-2015 11:26 PM

LOL – sounds like you are really just trying to get people to reinforce your desire to NOT have a table saw :)

Ok, yup, you don’t need one! Everything that can be done on a table saw can be accomplished by other methods/tools. Use the money for something else and be happy!

Different strokes.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2596 posts in 2109 days


#30 posted 11-13-2015 11:56 PM

If you need to build a kitchen buy a used cabinet saw and sell it when you’re done. If you don’t want it any more. Which you may. Or not.

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 945 days


#31 posted 11-14-2015 01:28 AM

Get a good used table saw and sell it when you don’t think you need it anymore.

-- -

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3101 posts in 3043 days


#32 posted 11-14-2015 01:37 AM



5th photo from the top in the link you provided

- Karamba


The cabinets are basic cabinet construction. The breakfast bar wall is standard 2×4 construction with drywall on both sides. It was part of the original construction of the house in 1983.

I wrote a blog about the entire process of demo/new construction and installation with lots of pics and additional information. It starts here.

Hope this helps.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

621 posts in 1351 days


#33 posted 11-15-2015 03:25 PM

If you’re creative enough, repeatability is absolutely possible on a track saw as long as you have a good, open workbench to work from. I’m sure it’s been done before, but make a jig that’ll lock the track to the bench and use various methods of stop blocks on the bench to hold your piece in place. How to get the track to consistently stay over the piece? If you have dog holes in the bench wider than your piece, you could use those as a reference point to raise and lover the track over a piece. If it’s wider and cutting large sheets, I’m sure there are various, creative ways to make that work. I was thinking of using the dog holes to “extend” the bench in any direction by using some sort of rails system and the rails would have dog holes in them to “lock the track in place while the work bench is where the stop blocks would be or vice versa. I think you’re only limited to your imagination, money, and space.

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#34 posted 11-15-2015 03:25 PM


if youd like to find out whether table saw or track saw is good for you, sit down with pen and paper and write out pros and cons of both choices.
- tomsteve

That actually is not a bad idea, so here we go:

Track saw:

1. Safer.
2. Takes no space on the floor.
3. Makes a reference edge trivial. (I found that the reference edge cut by a local store is useless).
4. Portable.
5. Can do almost all most basic through cut operations that a table saw does albeit slower. ( deal breaker for a professional, much less important for a hobbyist/DIYer).
6. Cuts other materials such as granite, which comes handy when you want to install your own countertop.
7. Cuts large stock whether it sheets or long boards much easier than a table saw.
8 A very high end track saw costs as much as a mediocre table saw.
9 No expensive and involved shipping, no taking a day off to receive it and spending another to set it up.
10. Cuts normally are cleaner than with a table saw.
11. Uses less power so you can use it on the same circuit as your other tools.
12. Shopvac is sufficient for adequate dust collection.

Table saw:
1. Makes job faster and less error prone. The smaller the stock is the bigger is the difference in setup.
2. Makes repeat cuts trivial.
3. Dust collection might be not as good as with a track saw but the dust stays in one place, while with a track saw it is all over.
4. The length of cut is not limited to the track size.
5. Stationary, which means it is always ready and you do not need to take a ladder,to get it form the top shelf, take it out of the box,cut that single piece then pack it and put back on the shelf.
6 Makes all kind of non through cuts. Questionable advantage though as a router does most of those and much more.
7. Table top can be used for other things such as gluing, measuring and marking, hosting a router and playing domino with your buddies.

I am sure I missed some but in this calculation a track saw beats a table saw by large margin. What do yo think ?

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8134 posts in 1298 days


#35 posted 11-15-2015 03:41 PM

It doesn’t. It’s a very useful tool but not a replacement. I could find a unisaw for the same price as a dewalt or makita with the accessories. I could also get my money back out of it as opposed to a used track saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1021 posts in 1387 days


#36 posted 11-15-2015 03:50 PM

As someone in a wheelchair,I would really like a TS,but safety so far has told me not a good Idea to reach at table height over near a saw blade.So I have to use a bandsaw,a #45 for dado’s router in sight. No you don’t need a TS,are they nice yes,can you do woodworking without yes.
If your wanting it for sheet goods how about this.
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/fold-down-cutting-rack
If you think you want a track-saw you can diy a track saw cheap,I have.or brands like I think Milwaukee makes one and I think a couple other brands too.that are much cheaper and do the same thing a festool does.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2252 posts in 2258 days


#37 posted 11-15-2015 03:54 PM

Don’t forget dado cuts (1/16” to 7/8”) can easily be done on a table saw, so is cutting tenons, TS is the perfect tool to make two edges parallel.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 945 days


#38 posted 11-15-2015 03:56 PM

I think you’re looney.
Go buy a track saw and be done with it.
You aren’t even close if you think a track saw is better than a table saw.

That being said, maybe a track fits your abilities better.
Whatever works for you,
the track saw has it’s uses, but no way, ever, is better.

-- -

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#39 posted 11-15-2015 04:11 PM



It doesn t. It s a very useful tool but not a replacement. I could find a unisaw for the same price as a dewalt or makita with the accessories. I could also get my money back out of it as opposed to a used track saw.

- TheFridge

Huh ? Let’s compare apples to apples. NEW Unisaw costs multiple times the price of NEW Dewalt or Makita. If you bought used Dewalt or Makita you should be able to sell it for nearly the same (as with all used tools) so I am not getting your point at all.

On the other hand if you buy new Festool you can sell it for 90% of what you paid. Try the same with Unisaw.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1121 posts in 1036 days


#40 posted 11-15-2015 08:11 PM


It doesn t. It s a very useful tool but not a replacement. I could find a unisaw for the same price as a dewalt or makita with the accessories. I could also get my money back out of it as opposed to a used track saw.

- TheFridge

Huh ? Let s compare apples to apples. NEW Unisaw costs multiple times the price of NEW Dewalt or Makita. If you bought used Dewalt or Makita you should be able to sell it for nearly the same (as with all used tools) so I am not getting your point at all.

On the other hand if you buy new Festool you can sell it for 90% of what you paid. Try the same with Unisaw.

- Karamba

I think he was talking about a used unisaw.
They are out there and the price is usually around the same price for a good tracksaw system.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7468 posts in 1962 days


#41 posted 11-16-2015 06:35 AM



Track saw:

1. Safer.
2. Takes no space on the floor.
3. Makes a reference edge trivial. (I found that the reference edge cut by a local store is useless).
4. Portable.
5. Can do almost all most basic through cut operations that a table saw does albeit slower. ( deal breaker for a professional, much less important for a hobbyist/DIYer).
6. Cuts other materials such as granite, which comes handy when you want to install your own countertop.
7. Cuts large stock whether it sheets or long boards much easier than a table saw.
8 A very high end track saw costs as much as a mediocre table saw.
9 No expensive and involved shipping, no taking a day off to receive it and spending another to set it up.
10. Cuts normally are cleaner than with a table saw.
11. Uses less power so you can use it on the same circuit as your other tools.
12. Shopvac is sufficient for adequate dust collection.

Table saw:
1. Makes job faster and less error prone. The smaller the stock is the bigger is the difference in setup.
2. Makes repeat cuts trivial.
3. Dust collection might be not as good as with a track saw but the dust stays in one place, while with a track saw it is all over.
4. The length of cut is not limited to the track size.
5. Stationary, which means it is always ready and you do not need to take a ladder,to get it form the top shelf, take it out of the box,cut that single piece then pack it and put back on the shelf.
6 Makes all kind of non through cuts. Questionable advantage though as a router does most of those and much more.
7. Table top can be used for other things such as gluing, measuring and marking, hosting a router and playing domino with your buddies.

I am sure I missed some but in this calculation a track saw beats a table saw by large margin. What do yo think ?

- Karamba

You can’t cut granite with a track saw. That requires a water cooled saw, which a track saw is not.
Ripping boards is a huge pain in the ass on a track saw. And extremely difficult when the boards are less than about 6” wide.
Crosscutting is a pain in the butt if they aren’t 2-3 feet wide as well.
A very high end track saw is $800ish. That’s not a mediocre table saw. A mediocre table saw is $500ish.
Cuts aren’t cleaner than a tablesaw. They can be equal, but not any better.
Less power means that on thicker stock it’s going to not cut as fast.
Significantly louder than a table saw as well.
Takes a lot longer to make cuts.
There’s no repeatability.

Track saws are great. I own one. But they are no replacement for a table saw.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2684 posts in 1293 days


#42 posted 11-16-2015 12:49 PM

Instead of attempting to change everyone’s minds about the usefulness of a TS (which you will never do)

JUST GO BUY THE FREAKING TRACKSAW.

If you’re just interested in cutting up plywood, sure a tracksaw is handier than a TS.

Thank you, jmartel.

Aye, Karamba – all you’re talking about is cutting wood.

When you get past that into actual ww’ing, how will your tracksaw handle

>rabbets
>dados
>tenons
>grooves
>mulitple identical/repeat X cuts
>tapered legs

You will either end up getting a TS – or several different hand tools.

Bottom line: Yes you can live with out a TS, but don’t try to convince us to.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#43 posted 11-17-2015 05:03 PM


Aye, Karamba – all you re talking about is cutting wood.

When you get past that into actual ww ing, how will your tracksaw handle

>rabbets
>dados
>tenons
>grooves
>mulitple identical/repeat X cuts
>tapered legs

- rwe2156


Easy, a $100 router does all this much better than a $4000 table saw. Plus it can do much more than that.
As for the tapered legs you are kidding right ? It is much easier to do with a track saw than with a table saw. Repeat cuts are not difficult either if you know what you are doing.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7468 posts in 1962 days


#44 posted 11-17-2015 05:07 PM

Tapered table legs on a track saw? Good luck with that. Let me know how that goes. Have you actually used a track saw before?

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1121 posts in 1036 days


#45 posted 11-17-2015 05:20 PM


Aye, Karamba – all you re talking about is cutting wood.

When you get past that into actual ww ing, how will your tracksaw handle

>rabbets
>dados
>tenons
>grooves
>mulitple identical/repeat X cuts
>tapered legs

- rwe2156

Easy, a $100 router does all this much better than a $4000 table saw. Plus it can do much more than that.
As for the tapered legs you are kidding right ? It is much easier to do with a track saw than with a table saw. Repeat cuts are not difficult either if you know what you are doing.

- Karamba

Yes, it can all be done with other tools, but even for dadoes for say a bookshelf that you have to make repeated cuts that have to line up on opposite sides, you will still have the same issues as you would a track saw in making repeatable cuts. While you say it might not be difficult, it still consumes extra time to make sure everything lines up correctly.

It can be done, but not nearly as fast or accurate.

And $4000 table saw? Really? I could get a used saw saw for $500 that would do everything that you could do with all the individual tools that you’ll be paying for $100 for a router, $400 for a makita track saw, which is on the lower price range of that kind of tool. Don’t forget the extra tracks you’ll need for cutting a full length plywood panel.

Then also, the cutting depth of most tracksaws is an 1.5 inches, on average. What do you do when you have a 2” slab or thicker?

I’m actually starting to think you’re trolling on this one or maybe one of DKV’s other personalities….

View HarveyM's profile

HarveyM

98 posts in 1834 days


#46 posted 11-17-2015 05:24 PM

Starting a Tracksaw vs tablesaw and a SawStop thread within a week of each other? You aren’t spinning us up are you? :)

-- Just a Duffer

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#47 posted 11-17-2015 05:56 PM

And $4000 table saw? Really? I could get a used saw saw for $500 that would do everything that you could do with all the individual tools that you ll be paying for $100 for a router, $400 for a makita track saw, which is on the lower price range of that kind of tool. Don t forget the extra tracks you ll need for cutting a full length plywood panel.

Then also, the cutting depth of most tracksaws is an 1.5 inches, on average. What do you do when you have a 2” slab or thicker?

- AZWoody


Not sure what of the “most track saws” you are referring too. None of the track saws cuts 1.5” at least at 90 degrees. Smaller Festool cuts 2”. Bigger one, Dewalt and Makita all cut deeper than 2”. 10” table saw cuts 3” not too much of a difference to talk about.
About TS can do everything that a router can, it is saying very mildly, overstatement.

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 748 days


#48 posted 11-17-2015 06:03 PM



Tapered table legs on a track saw? Good luck with that. Let me know how that goes. Have you actually used a track saw before?
- jmartel

Nope I do not, I am trying to do some research before buying one.
I do have a very good router and a small bench saw. The latter is a very frustrating tool, to the point that I prefer my hand saws. I am trying to avoid an expensive mistake of buying a better table saw and then letting it occupy a bigger portion of my garage, while most of the work will be done with a tracksaw.

Here is an example how you do tapered legs with a track saw. Not sure why it surprises you. It is one of a few uses where a track saw should do much easier than a table saw.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=busKR0Y9fbs

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1121 posts in 1036 days


#49 posted 11-17-2015 06:05 PM


And $4000 table saw? Really? I could get a used saw saw for $500 that would do everything that you could do with all the individual tools that you ll be paying for $100 for a router, $400 for a makita track saw, which is on the lower price range of that kind of tool. Don t forget the extra tracks you ll need for cutting a full length plywood panel.

Then also, the cutting depth of most tracksaws is an 1.5 inches, on average. What do you do when you have a 2” slab or thicker?

- AZWoody

Not sure what of the “most track saws” you are referring too. None of the track saws cuts 1.5” at least at 90 degrees. Smaller Festool cuts 2”. Bigger one, Dewalt and Makita all cut deeper than 2”. 10” table saw cuts 3” not too much of a difference to talk about.
About TS can do everything that a router can, it is saying very mildly, overstatement.

- Karamba

yes, you’re right, I was off on the cut. I had looked before at some for straightlining rough milled lumber and I was looking at ones that would not cut deep enough. But, you think there’s no difference between 2” and 3”.

Now, where did I say a tablesaw can do whatever a router can? I specifically said a dado. In reality you would need a table saw and a router for doing other pattern type cuts.

Like was said before, just get the tracksaw and router. I don’t see what you’re really trying to do here other than just troll everyone on why “THEY” would need a table saw, rather than why you would need one.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8134 posts in 1298 days


#50 posted 11-17-2015 06:07 PM

My unisaw cost me 700$.

And I could sell it for 700$ on a bad day. Easy.

Don’t care what took it is. If someone pays 90% of retail for a used motorized too they are stupid.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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