New Table Saw VS buying a Tracksaw?

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Forum topic by dahenley posted 01-17-2013 02:09 AM 4511 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 2239 days

01-17-2013 02:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: grizzly grizzly 1023 festool festool ts55

I have a old Craftsman table saw. the blade is run dirrectly off the motor. (not a belt drive)
the arbor is bent (not much, but i know it is)

i am wanting to buy a new table saw (i have been looking in the 12-1500$ price range)[was looking at a the Grizzly 1023 with 52” rails]
my other option is to look into buying a track saw (500$ price range) [because most track saws are so close, i was thinking of the Festool TS55]

what are your options?
i am a hobbiest and dont do a lot of heavy cutting.

(any advice on either/both or maybe a 3rd alternative would be helpful)

-- David Henley

26 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2779 days

#1 posted 01-17-2013 02:19 AM

I’d rather have a nice cabinet saw over a track saw if I had to choose. And $1500 would get you a pretty nice cabinet saw.
Why not buy a $500-600 table saw AND the track saw?

View knotscott's profile


8129 posts in 3522 days

#2 posted 01-17-2013 02:19 AM

A track saw has it’s place, but I don’t believe it’s a viable substitute for a full size table saw….especially something as nice as a full blown 3hp cabinet saw.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View bondogaposis's profile


4992 posts in 2497 days

#3 posted 01-17-2013 02:20 AM

If you ever think about making dados or miter cuts or ripping thin stock, making tenons or any of the myriad of other things a table saw can do easily that a track saw can’t. It’s a no-brainer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2526 days

#4 posted 01-17-2013 02:21 AM

Tracksaws are the bomb for breaking down sheet goods. If that’s what you’re doing then go for the track saw. For general woodworking then either a table saw or bandsaw, depends on what you’re building.

-- Rick M,

View dahenley's profile


136 posts in 2239 days

#5 posted 01-17-2013 02:30 AM

thanks for the fast responses.

ted mentioned a good a good option with a good 500$ saw, plus the tracksaw. (what would be a good saw for that price? i see good reviews on the PorterCable table saw)

i would like to use my dado set more, and making tenons for projects. (this is what keeps me wanting the cabinet saw)

keep the options coming! (i appreciate all opinions)

-- David Henley

View MJCD's profile


559 posts in 2517 days

#6 posted 01-17-2013 02:43 AM

The woodworking dictates the tools.

I would go with a new/fairly new top-quality table saw – it will be precise, and last a lifetime. It will not breakdown a 4’x8’ plywood sheet without some difficulty, but you can always do this with a straightedge and a circular saw – tracksaws are great one-purpose devices, but there are plenty of low tech solutions that get you most of the way there.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3305 days

#7 posted 01-17-2013 02:45 AM

Or you could just buy the nice 3hp cabinet saw and then a circular saw for a few bucks. A couple of clamps and a straight board for a “track” and you are all set.

As much as I’d love a track saw, unless all you did was build cabinets, you can easily get by with an old Skilsaw.

-- jay,

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2782 days

#8 posted 01-17-2013 02:49 AM

I agree with MJCD on the low tech circular saw solution. I have done it for years and I can get the same precision or very close to my brothers festool track saw. A nice table saw is indispensable, and you will have a nice flat surface in the shop to reference off of.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3794 days

#9 posted 01-17-2013 03:25 AM

... depends on what you want to build.

If your ambitions run to predominantly working with
panels cut from 4×8 sheets, then at good track saw
setup with squaring and repeatability accessories
(Festool, EZ Smart) will allow you to cut cabinet
panels without recutting on the table saw. If you
have about 200 square feet to dedicate to a table
saw with a substantial permanent outfeed supports,
you can make equally accurate cuts on the table
saw, though it does take a bit of coordination
and muscle.

If you want to build solid wood furniture, a smallish
vintage table saw with a crosscut sled serves
for fine crosscutting and joinery cuts while a
fine band saw, jointer and planer rip, resaw
and thickness your boards with less stock loss.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2331 days

#10 posted 01-17-2013 03:39 AM

grizz tracksaw and G0123 still keep you right around your $1500 shipped to your door. If you have a track saw, then there is no need for more then 36” rip capacity.

Track saw:

Table saw:

View dahenley's profile


136 posts in 2239 days

#11 posted 01-17-2013 03:58 AM

Cole made a good point.
i could go with the shorter 32” rip table saw and like you mentioned a cheaper circular saw or the grizz track saw

-- David Henley

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2526 days

#12 posted 01-17-2013 04:37 AM

I would not split the money for a track saw + mediocre table saw although you could get both the Grizzly track saw and 2HP hybrid saw for your budget. But unless you are using a lot of sheet goods I don’t think you’ll use the track saw anywhere as near as much as the tablesaw.

-- Rick M,

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2779 days

#13 posted 01-17-2013 05:12 AM

Rick makes a good point. I tend to agree.
But a mediocre table saw might be enough for a hobbyist. I get by with a 1.5hp Craftsman 113. with an upgraded fence. If you don’t do a lot of heavy cutting, a $1500 table saw might be overkill. You have to gauge your needs, and purchase accordingly. No reason to buy a $1500 saw if you’re building picture frames and bird houses. Of course, you don’t need a track saw for that either.
Bottom line is that there is very little a track saw can do that a table saw can’t. However, the table saw CAN do a lot of things that a track saw can’t. If you’re interested in tenon joinery, the table saw is your best move.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10265 posts in 4198 days

#14 posted 01-17-2013 08:09 AM

The Bosch portable table saws are GOOD, accurate fence, good power. nice options, and can be had at good prices on ebay or craigslist… I got mine from Craigslist… less than $300 … works great… love it… I added extension options… great… It’s a great saw! Cut 8/4 Walnut like butter… with no power drag/drop… WW II blade.

You see many of them on a folding base… I have a solid fixed base… It’s solid but easy to move around…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View oldnovice's profile


7196 posts in 3514 days

#15 posted 01-17-2013 08:35 AM

How do you cut …. never mind Rick M. covered it!

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

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