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Amazingly easy, accurate guide rail square.

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Review by ihadmail posted 03-21-2017 09:00 PM 4606 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Amazingly easy, accurate guide rail square. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

First off, I was not in any way compensated or solicited for this review. I purchased this product at full retail price from the manufacturers website.

I saw a review here on LJ for the TSO Products GRS-16, and I immediately knew I had to have one.

I have been relying on very careful measurements on both ends of the cut and extremely careful placement of the rail for my Makita track saw. Then I measure from the back of the rail to the edge of the sheet on both ends and make adjustments. This has worked out marginally and is very time consuming.

I reviewed the TSO website and saw they offered two version of the square. The standard, which is meant to be used on the user end of the track only. The Parallel Edge, which can be used on either end of the track. I decided on the parallel edge version since I’m not concerned with fitting the square into a sustainer or other similar box.

I read an 11 page thread over at festool owners about the development, testing and production of these squares. They have changed a few small areas to build in future accessories. I called the company to inquire about these additional accessories and was told they had some in the works but weren’t ready to announce or take orders for them.

Enough of that though, on to the actual review.

Here’s the guide rail square.

It is a solid piece of CNC machined aluminum. The attachment mechanism is incredibly easy to use. There is no set up or adjustment required to get this set perpendicular to the guide rail. The square is simply slid onto the guide rail and locked down with the latch. Then you press the square against the edge of whatever you’re cutting and you can make a cut perpendicular to that edge.

Here are some images of me putting the square on my track and locking it in place.

How expensive is it? Well this version is $180. That’s a lot of money for a simple square. That’s a great value for a machined track saw guide rail square that requires no setup and works as intended. Maybe if it were anodized red more people would see it as a good value?

How square is it, really? Well it’s SQUARE, but don’t take my word for it. I used mine to make the 5 cut square measurement on a scrap piece of 1/4” plywood. The results were less than two thousandths off square over the course of approximately 19.5”

Here are the photos of that process.

Here are the photos of the measuring and where I took the notes for my math.


Overall I am extremely happy that I purchased this guide rail square. I feel the cost is justified by the value and the ease of use. The very slight measured error could have been due to tolerance in the straightness of the guide rail, accuracy of my iGaging digital caliper or (gasp) even possibly user error. If you use a Makita or Festool track saw, especially without a Festool MFT/3, this square can quickly pay for itself with saved time and fewer misfit parts.




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ihadmail

67 posts in 663 days



12 comments so far

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cmmyakman

202 posts in 2806 days


#1 posted 03-21-2017 09:51 PM

Great review – thanks!

I looked up the product and here is a link:
https://tsoproducts.com/tools-equipment/grs-16-guide-rail-square/

I don’t have a track saw, but have wanted one for a while. I didn’t know getting a 90 cut was an issue and with this product it appears to be a non-issue.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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ihadmail

67 posts in 663 days


#2 posted 03-22-2017 02:06 AM

Thanks for adding that link! I didn’t think to add one to my review.

I have had my track saw for a little over two years. As a non woodworker it had a learning curve. I did eventually get to where I could mark and make cuts that were where they needed to be and square to within 1/64th inch or less, close enough.

It was still possible and I did still make some errors that resulted in having to buy another sheet of plywood. When using $90 sheets of Baltic birch that adds up quickly.

The Festool MFT/3 can be used to make perfectly square cuts, but the track does require some setup every time you take it off and on its guides on the table. The table size also limits the size of beginning stock you can use. I do not own this table, but I’ve used one a few times. Works great, but the cost for what it offered me personally wasn’t justifiable.

The Paulk Workbench also has a set of guide rails that can be mounted to it to make square cuts with a Makita or Festool track saw. I have no experience with it other than seeing it in action on videos.

I value my track saw a lot, and encourage others to buy one or at least try one out. I make (usually) perfectly dimensioned final cuts on sheet goods when breaking them down. I do this on the ground using a sheet of foam insulation as a backer as that’s the easiest for me. Since I swapped the OEM Makita blade (cuts decently) out for a Diablo HI-ATB blade I can make cross cuts on cheap Chinese birch with zero tear out, then go straight to assembly because my parts were finish cut the first time they were touched by a blade.

Lego table tops cut from Baltic birch without having to use my table saw:

Non standard ways to use a track saw:

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ihadmail

67 posts in 663 days


#3 posted 03-22-2017 02:18 AM

I don’t know what happened to my last two images from the previous comment. Here they are:

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dgage

60 posts in 3120 days


#4 posted 03-22-2017 02:38 AM

Thanks for the review, I’m likely going to pick one up soon for my Festool saw.

And your point about the cost and color, expensive equals Festool green. :)

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michelletwo

2756 posts in 3165 days


#5 posted 03-22-2017 11:05 AM

ccm, thanks for the link. I went to Youtube and watched the videos. I’m still confused as to the differences in the 2 versions. Interesting product. IHADMAIL: thanks for bringing this product to our attention

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ihadmail

67 posts in 663 days


#6 posted 03-22-2017 01:51 PM

Dgage I agree on the green being more pricey than the other colors!! I’ve been trying to save my pennies for a domino for a while and think I finally have a justification to actually buy one. It is surprising that the woodpeckers ott guide rail square and this TSO square are so much more user friendly than the Festool rail square, from what I’ve seen and read.

Michelletwo, the original version can only be used on one end of the track to register against the workpiece. The parallel edge version can be used on either end of the track to register against either end of the workpiece. Some of the users on Festool owners group had suggested using the standard on one end and the parallel on the other end, after using it some I see absolutely no need to do this. Without reading the entire development/testing thread on the Festool owner site this video by Dan Patterson does the best job of explaining the difference between the two: https://youtu.be/Rm3tra1Y6qI

The thanks for introducing this item to lumberjacks should go to this person who reviewed the original, bringing it to my attention: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/9082

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michelletwo

2756 posts in 3165 days


#7 posted 03-22-2017 03:03 PM

thanks..I watched the video twice and it finally dawned on me why there were 2 and what each was designed to do…

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rlamb007

74 posts in 2687 days


#8 posted 03-22-2017 03:08 PM

I completely agree. Mine was the original first review of this product on LJ and everybody balked on the price. Well it isn’t cheap. But being able to walk up to any sheet good with my Track-Saw and lay a perfect 90 without a MFT table or other gear is “priceless”.
Thanks for better explaining my enthusiasm for this product.

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NormG

6253 posts in 3153 days


#9 posted 03-23-2017 01:19 AM

Wow, great tool

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View playingwithmywood's profile

playingwithmywood

430 posts in 1746 days


#10 posted 03-23-2017 01:30 AM



I completely agree. Mine was the original first review of this product on LJ and everybody balked on the price. Well it isn t cheap. But being able to walk up to any sheet good with my Track-Saw and lay a perfect 90 without a MFT table or other gear is “priceless”.
Thanks for better explaining my enthusiasm for this product.

- rlamb007

not sure what is wrong with me but I have not had any problems making marks and lining up the guide rail and making cutts and they come out square maybe I have some sort of disease or maybe it is because my tracks are made by dewalt

View ihadmail's profile

ihadmail

67 posts in 663 days


#11 posted 03-23-2017 01:34 AM


not sure what is wrong with me but I have not had any problems making marks and lining up the guide rail and making cutts and they come out square maybe I have some sort of disease or maybe it is because my tracks are made by dewalt

- playingwithmywood

Nothing wrong at all. I have made hundreds if not borderline thousands of perfectly placed cuts prior to the addition of a square to my track.

It’s just incredibly faster and easier now for me, that’s all. I don’t do woodworking full time, but the time I get to work on projects is limited. I will gladly trade a few of my bucks to save time because I personally see value in that.

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TSO

4 posts in 577 days


#12 posted 03-25-2017 07:50 PM

hello friends,
we really appreciate the exposure on this forum and the unsolicited reviews and comments.
We are new to LumberJocks and hope to contribute to the community when an opportunity presents itself. We do not intend nor will we use this forum for commercial (unpaid) advertising.
By participating we hope to provide an open ear for questions, suggestions and comments in a way that is helpful in the spirit of this forum.
If a question is raised we might be able to answer and we don’t respond right away, don’t hesitate to reach out to us any time.

Hans and Eric
info@tsoproducts.com

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