|Review by jonah||posted 11-10-2013 01:25 AM||8100 views||5 times favorited||22 comments|
The Scheppach Track Saw is sold under many brands, including Scheppach, Grizzly, Woodstar, and several others. All are identical. What is different, at least in my case, is the price. Grizzly sells the saw by itself for ~$180, or as a part of a kit for $245. The Grizzly kit comes with a 55” rail and some accessories.
In the US, the Scheppach saw is imported by the Colovos Company, a Chicago-based company. I’ll detail my contact with the company later in the review.
I purchased my saw from Amazon, where it has been periodically available for $130. For that price, it came with the saw, two 25” rails, and one rail connector. I found the saw to be perfectly fine, though the stock blade is not good. I replaced it with this Freud blade almost immediately. After replacing the blade, I get tearout-free cuts on just about anything I try to cut. I don’t own a Festool or other track saw, so I can’t speak to a direct comparison there, but I have to say that the cut quality is nearly flawless, and I can’t picture it being any better with another saw. I’m getting table saw-quality cuts now that I’m using a good blade.
I did make two important tweaks to the saw. Both are detailed in this youtube video I found. Relocating the glide strips makes the saw incredibly stable on the track, and cutting the spring makes it quite easy to plunge. Next time I order anything from McMaster-Carr I’ll probably order a smaller-gauge spring and replace it.
I watched Mark Spagnuolo's comparison of the Grizzly and Festool track saws several times before buying the Scheppach, and I believe replacing the blade and tweaking it as Cosmos Bauer did addresses all his concerns and would give you equivalent cut quality and ergonomics at a fraction of the Festool price.
Having two 25-inch tracks is obviously not as good as one ~50-incher. That’s the main drawback of the Scheppach kit in my opinion. You can occasionally get a tiny wobble in the saw (barely noticeable) where the two tracks meet. 95% of the time it’s perfectly fine, especially with two connectors.
As I mentioned above, I did contact the company because the kit only came with one track connector. Don’t get me wrong, it’s only advertised as coming with one, and the connection is pretty good with one, but having two connectors makes a much more secure connection. I called the company, explained the situation, and they sent an extra connector out to me gratis. A-plus for customer service. Bonus: they have real people that answer the phone!
I plan to buy a Grizzly or Shop Fox 55” rail to go with my saw at some point, along with a couple of extra track connectors. At that point, I’ll still have spent less than the Grizzly kit, will have ~9 feet of track and a much better blade to go onto my saw. I can’t recommend the saw enough at $130.
- the price
- cut quality is great with a replacement blade
- post-tweaks the saw is very usable
- the stock blade is mediocre at best
- some wobble in the saw if you don’t relocate the glide strips
- two 25” tracks means more opportunity for sloppiness where the tracks meet
- the stock spring needs to be cut or replaced.
Replacement Blade Options
Any 160mm blade made for a 20mm arbor will work, such as blades by:
My own cost-no-object choice would be the Forrest blade (a 50 tooth WW1), but I picked up the Freud plywood blade for a little less than half the price and have been happy with it.
Before replacing the blade and tweaking the saw as I mentioned, I’d give it four stars, but considering the price (~$180 total) and the post-tweaks cut quality, I give the saw five stars. It’s a phenomenal deal.