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Makita track saw: corded or cordless?

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Forum topic by garageking posted 02-24-2018 04:11 PM 696 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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garageking

32 posts in 475 days


02-24-2018 04:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: track saw

I have been doing a lot of online research and feeling I need (or maybe really want) a track saw (primarily to break down plywood sheets). I have settled (I am pretty sure anyway) on the Makita. Corded version with track is 409.00 while cordless with track and 4 (!) batteries with charger is 499.00. Saw will be mainly just used in my DIY shop. Also I have no other Makita cordless tools but I might want to upgrade in the future from all my ancient Ryobi 18V tools (which are pretty darn good and have served me well). I would use a Ridgid vac for dust collection and if corded I would plug both into an i-socket. With the cordless saw, is there a similar way to start vac and tool simultaneously (I assume not but not sure if something wireless is out there). I enjoy this forum and would welcome any thoughts particularly from folks that have the Makita track saw.

-- David, Kentucky


19 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3673 days


#1 posted 02-24-2018 04:36 PM

It sure is an attractive offer on the cordless
but of course you realize that their strategy
is to get you invested in their battery system.
If you don’t mind the ongoing costs of replacing
batteries then allegedly these new 2-battery saws
have impressive run times.

I’ve thought about it too. I’ve used a Maffel
saw with the scoring feature and really liked it.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

478 posts in 2239 days


#2 posted 02-24-2018 04:50 PM

David,

I have the corded Makita. I haven’t looked, so I can’t speak to power, etc, but my drive towards cordless tools is based simply on two tests.

First, how often do I use them. And the secondly, how often do I move them from location to location. For me, I break down my plywood in the same place in my driveway every time and I don’t it all that often. I also don’t go out to job sites or use the track saw in multiple places in the same work session or closely in time in different places.

So while I bought my track saw corded, if I was making the decision again today, I would buy another corded one.

Things like drills, impacts, sawzall, etc that I tend to use all over the place and often I definitely go cordless as it just saves a lot of time and trouble having to lay out extension cords all the time.

Battery technology is much better, so I have essentially stopped worrying too much about strict rotation of different batteries to prevent one self-discharging and ruining itself. Additionally, their capacity tends to be long enough that you don’t get a lot of those annoying stops right in the middle of a cut. So I don’t think I’d be afraid of buying the cordless one.

But why pay more if you are not going to actually consume the primary benefit of a cordless unit which is mobility.

FYI, if you are buying the saw and want to get additional track, home depot has the 55” track cheaper on-line than in the store (at least a month ago), so show the check out clerk the online price so you get the lower price. The HD online price with tax is right in the range of ordering online and you can easily check the track for straight ness and return it if necessary.

I’ve had 4 of the Makita 55” tracks (two got damaged during use over the last few years) and actually bought 6 total as 1 had a real unacceptable bend and 1 more had a bend that was just right on what I would consider acceptable for breaking down materials, but the store is 5 minutes from me and had a stack of them, so I just took it back for a new one.

Mike

(edited to replace sawmill with sawzall, I don’t have a sawmill, but if I did, I doubt it would be cordless.)

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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garageking

32 posts in 475 days


#3 posted 02-24-2018 04:56 PM

Thanks Loren. Their strategy is certainly pretty clear and that cordless price is a very good deal. Mafell’s saw is the best out there from what I have read, with Festool second I suppose. The Dewalt saw looks like a good choice but the Makita gets very good reviews and is even cheaper than the Dewalt. The other choices out there are probably not much better than my circular saw with a guide from what I see. So many people that have bought track saws say they wish they had invested in one sooner.

-- David, Kentucky

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garageking

32 posts in 475 days


#4 posted 02-24-2018 05:05 PM

Thanks for your comments Mike and your points are very well taken. I work out of my garage and wouldn’t likely use the track saw anywhere else. I appreciate your point about the track because that is my one concern about the Makita. Tracks that are not straight seems pretty common and you are right that HD is close by and you can keep returning the track if its not straight. The HD price is the same as the best price on the web. And HD is so good about returns and keeping the customer happy.

-- David, Kentucky

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Lazyman

2050 posts in 1412 days


#5 posted 02-24-2018 05:08 PM

I find that when breaking down plywood (I just use a straight edge and don’t have a track saw) it is really nice not to have to worry about the power cord. It seems like it always hangs up at the most awkward moments or you spend half your time moving the cord around before you start the cut. Since the goal of having a track saw is to get a cleaner, straighter cut, more reliably, using a cordless is just another way to make that easier. Adding a new battery system into the mix would be a consideration but if your current system doesn’t have a track saw option you want at a good price…

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3673 days


#6 posted 02-24-2018 05:09 PM

You can use stuff designed for the Festool
tracks with the Makita, like the TSO square.
It’s a terrific product.

One cool thing about the Makita saw is it
looks like it may take the Shinwa edge guides.
One thing these companies seem interested in
doing is getting customers to invest in the long
tracks etc. The rip edge guides they sell may
fit in the plastic cases the saws come in but the
capacity is limited. I modified a 24” edge guide
from Eurekazone to work with my saw.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9608 posts in 1511 days


#7 posted 02-24-2018 07:00 PM

Corded. You’ll break even in a couple years when you have to buy new batteries.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3673 days


#8 posted 02-24-2018 07:21 PM

Unless you want to invest in one of those new
fangled backpack dust extractors you’ll be pulling
a dust hose behind the saw anyway if you want
to use the dust extraction, which is one of the
best features of the plunge saws.

The current one I’m using is the Festool HK55
which doesn’t have great dust extraction but it
can be used at a fixed depth without plunging,
a feature I prefer. After I sold my first Festool
saw I had an EzSmart setup and I found I prefered
having the blade at fixed depth.

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Mike_D_S

478 posts in 2239 days


#9 posted 02-25-2018 03:23 AM

When I’m doing the big plywood break downs I place the DC hose and the power cord about halfway along the cut so it’s fully extended at the beginning and end of the cut.

When I’m doing cross cuts on a table, I use the Rockler cord and hose holder it works great for managing the dust collection hose and power cord.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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Woodknack

11777 posts in 2405 days


#10 posted 02-25-2018 03:34 AM

The more I use cordless tools … the more I use cordless tools. I also own Makita cordless and they are good quality tools. But corded will have more power and is a better value.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Firewood

342 posts in 1659 days


#11 posted 02-25-2018 04:21 AM

I just ordered the corded Makita from Amazon the other day for pretty much the same reason. I couldn’t justify the added cost and didn’t see myself using it where I couldn’t get power. When I placed the order, there was a $20 discount that I wasn’t aware of. So it was actually $389.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View garageking's profile

garageking

32 posts in 475 days


#12 posted 02-25-2018 05:08 PM

Thanks to everyone for your most helpful comments.

-- David, Kentucky

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

379 posts in 2827 days


#13 posted 02-25-2018 09:41 PM

I have the cordless Makita track saw and absolutely love it. The kit I bought came with 4 batteries, charger and a 55” track. With 2 sets of batteries you’re likely to never drain one set before the other set is charged so run time isn’t an issue. The cordless has more than enough power to make the kinds of cuts you’ll make with a track saw. I’ve paired mine with a custom cutting station (Like a Festool MFT top) that I made with the UJK parf guide system. It produces absolutely square cuts and the finish it leaves requires little to no sanding. I wrote a review of both the Makita track saw and the UJK Parf guide system on this forum. You can check them out.

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TheRusticMan

20 posts in 920 days


#14 posted 02-26-2018 02:29 AM

I work for a company that manufactures cordless power tools. It’s not Makita, however Makita makes a pretty damn good tool.

Any cordless tool (regardless of brand) that runs on 2 batteries has a weakness right out of the box no matter how impressive the run time or power.

Once your 2 battery track saw runs out of juice. You must have 2 fully charged batteries to be up and running again. If you put a half charged battery and a fresh fully charged battery you will only have he run time and power of the weakest battery. Seems to me like there trying to double down on the getting people in a cordless system. Not only are you buying one additional battery but 2. And we all know the battery is the most expensive part of a cordless system.

Just my $.02. I don’t know much about track saws but I would invest in a track system that allows versatility in being able to use different brand saws in the track. That way you can have the best of both.

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garageking

32 posts in 475 days


#15 posted 02-26-2018 05:36 PM

Thanks Bobmedic, I had seen your nice review. The reviews on this site are very helpful in general. And thanks RusticMan for your thoughts. Though tempted, I am going to go corded I think.

-- David, Kentucky

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