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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 10-16-2013 02:17 PM 715 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tedstor

1507 posts in 1388 days


10-16-2013 02:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: track saw plunge saw sp6000 tracksaw

So I’m on the cusp of buying the Makita SP6000 Track saw with a 55” rail (for starters).
My current (crappy) circular saw is ok for hacking 2×4s and other rough work, but is woefully unsuitable for anything else.
I also have several projects in-mind that require larger panels. My Craftsman 113 Tablesaw is good for lots of tasks, but large panels are its weakness. I have a small work area and store the saw against the wall of my garage. I have to frequently move it back and forth…...so building outfeed tables and other supporting accessories are not practical for me. That said, I think the track saw might be a great solution for my situation.
Questions:
1- Do you use your track saw a lot? As much as you thought you would?
2- Can the track saw perform most of the tasks of a conventional circular saw? Can it function (well) without the track? Any reason it couldn’t cut the occasional 2×4 or other framing task?
3- I need to cut some subflooring out of a bathroom. It appears the makita (and others) could cut VERY close to the wall. And the plunge-action would make the job easier. Would a plunge saw be an appropriate tool for this task?
4- Any regrets about your purchase?

Most of my tools are Craigslist bargains. I don’t buy many tools new. Not since my auto tech days anyway. So dropping $400 for a glorified circular saw is quite a leap for me. But they really appear to be a great solution for accurately cutting large workpieces. And I like the Makita brand and am willing to pay for a good product. I haven’t found a used one for a reasonable price, and doubt I will in the near future. So it looks like new is my only play. Anyway, your thoughts are appreciated.


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7832 posts in 2403 days


#1 posted 10-16-2013 03:27 PM

I used to have a Festool. It’s similar enough to the Makita
design I can say that the saws are useful for sink cutouts
and near-flush cuts against a wall. You do have to hold
the saw plunged down in through cuts though and I
don’t like that very much.

Now I use a Eurekazone track. It doesn’t plunge and
it doesn’t do the near-flush cuts. However the rails
have a broad range of accessories available and they
are economical compared to what you can get from
Festool. Makita and DeWalt have fewer accessories
available though it is my impression that Festool accessories
generally fit.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2058 posts in 1248 days


#2 posted 10-16-2013 03:47 PM

I have the Festool, bought before some of the other models were out or available in the US. I have to prefeace my comments by saying I’m NOT a Festool fan. This saw is likely the only thing Festool I’ll ever buy. That said, it has far exceeded my expectations, and has proved far more useful than I could ever imagine. The primary purpose was to break down sheet goods, I have since learned that with it you don’t break them down; you cut to finished size (at least on the larger pieces). It’s #2 use is to straight edge the rough sawn lumber I use. I’ve also used it to turn 2×4’s into 2×2’s when I wasn’t near my shop. But the tracks are so useful for cutting, I used used it to resize a very large cabinet that I couldn’t have cut up other wise (it was being repurposed). For trimming a door down, it is really overkill but does such a nice job and makes it so easy. I’ve used the saw without the track once or twice, it works but wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you don’t do it often it will do. I do have a project coming up where I’ll be cutting the hardwood floor out of our kitchen, I intend to use it for that as well. I don’t regret buying it, but I got mine when Microsoft had the 25% Bing rebates going on and I got in just before Festool killed it. I do wish the track was bi-directional like the Dewalt. But on the subject of tracks, I started with 2 55” tracks thinking it was the cat’s meow. Well, not quite. I wish I had bought a 55 and a 75 to start with. That’s a much more versatile combo. So: my advice to you is to jump on it, the sooner you get it the sooner you reap the rewards. Mine has sure earned it’s keep and I can’t say that about all my tools. (BTW, I don’t consider it a replacement for a TS. Just a useful complimentary tool.)

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Tedstor

1507 posts in 1388 days


#3 posted 10-17-2013 12:28 PM

Thanks for the replies. I think I’m going to move forward withthe Makita.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1724 days


#4 posted 10-17-2013 12:51 PM

I had a conversation with two kitchen fitters before I bought my tracksaw, one had a Makita that the base broke on and the motor burnt up on the replacement, the other guy had a Fessie that he thought was underpowered. I bought a DeWalt and don,t regret it. Very versatile tool that makes life a lot easier in a small workshop. For ripping or straightening timber edges it’s worth buying a blade with a lower tooth count. You’ll be amazed at how well the dust extraction works. Did you have a look at the Bosch? – it’s nearly a Mafell.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1507 posts in 1388 days


#5 posted 10-17-2013 01:20 PM

I don’t believe the Bosch is available in the US. Otherwise, it’d likely be a contender.
I’ll have to look at the DeWalt again. My research indicated that the Festool/Makita/Dewalt were pretty much equal in terms of quality and performance. I was going with the Makita only because I’ve been using other Makita tools for years, with no issues. Thanks for the comments though. It makes my purchase less daunting.

View mummykicks's profile

mummykicks

57 posts in 557 days


#6 posted 10-17-2013 06:50 PM

I’ve got the makita, and also the dewalt clamps which work great. I built my workbench with a tracksaw (on my projects page) and I don’t own a table saw and don’t plan on getting one either. The saw is great, and the dust collection is awesome on it. If you’ve got multiple pieces the same size you can stack them up and cut it all at once up to 2” thick and they’ll all be the exact same size.

I also bought another 55” piece of track and find it useful for doing 8’ rips, you can do this with a single track, but it just takes longer because you have to align it again. I didn’t want to buy the one piece track due to cost and storing it someplace out of the way would be a pain. The connector kit is just OK. I clamp both tracks to a 4’ level and then tighten the connector screws and it works fine.

I used to mark my line and try to align the track to it, but now, more often than not I just use a tape on the rubber strip to the edge and align it that way.

I wouldn’t cut sheets any other way (unless I had a vertical panel saw).

It works great, leaves a great finish, and is sooo much safer to use than a table saw.

View Jason White's profile

Jason White

108 posts in 2125 days


#7 posted 10-17-2013 06:53 PM

I have a Festool TS55 and love it. I’ve also used the DeWalt version at work. The Festool is far superior.

View Woodendeavor's profile

Woodendeavor

228 posts in 1361 days


#8 posted 10-17-2013 07:09 PM

I bought the festool TS75. This is the only festool purchase I have made so far but I do see a domino in my future. I am not trying to say you have to buy festool but I can say that having the extra depth of cut has made this tool more versatile than I ever imagined. My local saw mill is selling large slabs as countertops and tables. I am his first call when building these pieces and now generate income from the tool. I have found I reach for this tool now more than I turn on my table saw. Any tracksaw is a great investment in my book

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2124 posts in 1986 days


#9 posted 10-17-2013 07:14 PM

I guess the OP has mde his decision by now. I bought the track saw made by Scheppach. It came with two 25 inch tracks…for $119 through WOOT! I couldn’t pass it up.

I also ordered the 55 inch track and the accessory kit from Grizzly. They are the same. I use it mostly to cut down sheet goods. One thing I noticed is I need to double check the tracks when they are connected together to make sure they don’t move a tad bit.

I think the blade could be better and most likely, I will replace it with something better before I start building the cabinets for our kitchen.

A plus with all of the plunge saws is the ability to set the depth. That works well. I usually make my cuts with the sheet good resting on foam insulation board and set the cut for about a 1/4 inch cut through.

In the pics below, I cut two matching pieces to the same length. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1489 posts in 2880 days


#10 posted 10-17-2013 07:14 PM

I have the Festool TS55.

  1. I don’t have a tablesaw. There are a few cuts that might be easier with a tablesaw, but I know too many people with short fingers to go that way, and whenever I’m in the shop of someone with a tablesaw i wonder why they’re jumping through all of these hoops to do cuts that’d be so easy to do with a track saw.
  1. However: A plunge saw is not a substitute for a regular circular saw. I don’t find it usable without the track, and I have a regular circular saw (which is also what I put cheap blades on for when I need to do potentially blade damaging things).
  1. Maybe. You still have the outside housing and blade bolt in the way, but you could get pretty close.
  1. Sometimes I wish I’d gotten the TS75, although to be fair I rarely really need to cut that deep with a jointable edge, and then I realize that it’s time to get my blades sharpened.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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