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Is anyone using a multi-brand track saw system?

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Forum topic by Rob posted 125 days ago 732 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

245 posts in 1672 days


125 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tracksaw

I’ve been eyeing track saws on and off for a while now and am ready to start spending some money. I was pretty set on the Festool because I figured an extra $150 or so might be worth it over a DeWalt in the long run. But then I took another look at other manufacturers’ accessories, and now I’m beginning to think it’s not just about the saw. If I go with just Festool, I’ll be paying at least a 2x-3x premium on all the accessories, too, which will add up fast.

Out the door I’m looking at a $330 difference for the following:

DeWalt track saw
DeWalt 102” track
DeWalt router adapter (assuming it can be used with my Bosch router)
DeWalt track clamps
Festool MFT/3
Total: $1227.67 (This is assuming the 20% off DeWalt accessories also applies to the track. Otherwise it’s about $30 more.)

OR

Festool TS55
Festool 118” track
Festool router adapter (assuming it can be used with my Bosch router)
DeWalt track clamps
Festool MFT/3
Total: $1557.49

I also considered a Makita saw but decided against it because of the lack of a riving knife.

Those of you who have owned the DeWalt saw for a while: is the base really prone to flexing and bending as mentioned in Lumberjackass’ YouTube video comparing the DeWalt and Festool saws?

Of course, if I get the DeWalt saw, my understanding is that I could get a mixed set of accessories and opt for the cheaper DeWalt accessories whenever it seems appropriate. Or if the Makita track can really be used with the Festool saw and MFT, I could save a bit of money on the track and maybe some accessories, bringing down the cost of the Festool system.

Is anyone mixing and matching parts like this? Do you have any regrets?


15 replies so far

View Woodendeavor's profile

Woodendeavor

210 posts in 1208 days


#1 posted 125 days ago

proud owner of a Festool TS75…the additional cut depth is what sold me and I can say I have used that additional cut depth more that I ever thought I would

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4749 posts in 1178 days


#2 posted 125 days ago

+1 for Festool and all the accessories.

I haven’t mixed and matched parts as I don’t like to complicate things.
Festool works well as a system. I have no regrets sticking with
Festool.

Their customer service is second to none.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1243 posts in 550 days


#3 posted 125 days ago

Im not sure what I’m missing. If I were to buy a track saw I would go for the bigger Festool. That being said I don’t think I could bring myself to drop $1557.49 on a circular saw. Yes I’ve used them before, and yes they are really really nice, especially for cutting down doors. I just don’t see how it demands such a price. That being said if I hit the lottery I would go Festool.

View Woodendeavor's profile

Woodendeavor

210 posts in 1208 days


#4 posted 125 days ago

I can not answer the question if your bosch router will fit the festool products but another nice thing with the festool track is the ability to do shelf pin holes. If you find a good festool dealer they will take the track that comes with your tool and allow you to swap it out for the holey version. I do not have the LR32 shelf pin jig yet but my rail is ready for it

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

476 posts in 1919 days


#5 posted 125 days ago

I have Eurekazone’s EZ One, using a Makita 5008mga.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDkgHJYYkrk

No regrets.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7256 posts in 2249 days


#6 posted 125 days ago

What type of work do you intend to do?

Eurekazone is a good system. I like a non-plunging saw
for everything but flooring repairs and sink cut-outs. I
used to have a Festool. Now I use the Ez-smart. The
dust collection isn’t as good and the tracks are heavier
to carry, but it’s cheaper and the available accessories
introduce repeatability, squaring, etc. at substantially
lower cost than the Festool system. I don’t need the
repeatability because I build cabinets in a shop using
machinery, but if I were to try to get rid of the table
saw and panel saw and do cabinetmaking with a track saw
I’d still prefer the EZ-Smart to the Festool.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Rob's profile (online now)

Rob

245 posts in 1672 days


#7 posted 125 days ago

@Woodendeavor aww, man, that’s another $110! It seems most people are happy with the TS55. The extra power and depth seem like they would be nice, but I’m not really sure if I need them.

@Shawn Masterson the saw alone is $585, though there’s a slight discount when buying it with the MFT (or a vac). Still expensive, but the rest of the cost is in accessories (mostly the MFT). In a week Festool is raising all their prices, but at some point after the price hike I’m sure Festool will have a reconditioned sale so this isn’t my absolute last chance to get something close to the current pricing.

@Mark I stumbled across the EZ One the other day and I think it looks like an interesting alternative to the MFT and maybe even a table saw, but then I saw the price which was pretty close to a TS55 and MFT. At the time I wasn’t figuring in the cost of clamps and an extra piece of track though, so looking at it again, it does come out a bit cheaper, and the additional accessories seem more reasonably-priced. But I am a little concerned that I might do something dumb and accidentally cut into the aluminum table.

@Loren Some of the projects on my list are cabinets for a travel trailer, shelves for my wife’s shop, shelves for around the house, a bench for the dining room table, woodshop furniture, a shed, a jewelry cabinet, and an iPad point-of-sale stand, among other things. There are even some more basic projects on the list, like an end-grain cutting board. I also have a few home maintenance/home improvement projects. I can do a lot of these with my existing tools, but it would take me forever.

I’ve been planning to get a table saw but want something that I can use until I can clear out my garage and get it wired. I also thought it would be nice to be able to carry a track saw down to the basement for some winter woodworking since my garage isn’t insulated or heated (and won’t be for some time). Looking at the EZ One, maybe I could get by without a table saw for a while. But I’m still not entirely clear on all the capabilities or shortcomings of each system.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

1803 posts in 1832 days


#8 posted 125 days ago

I went the budget minded route mainly because I wanted a track saw for breaking down sheet goods to manageable size. I also used it to cut a straight edge on some rough maple.

Now I find myself using it for other uses sorta like a taper jig.

Oh yeah, Scheppach track saw, grizzly 55 inch track gives me over 100 inches of rip length. I also bought a pair of Dewalt quick grip clamps for the track. They work great also.

I have nowhere near the investment of the other mfg’s but I can’t’ use the router or shelf pin thingie, but that’s OK by me.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Loren's profile

Loren

7256 posts in 2249 days


#9 posted 125 days ago

I’d be all over the repeaters if I didn’t have machinery for
repetitive panel cuts. The EZ clamps can get the stock
way closer to the edge of the track than the other
brand’s clamps, so it can be used to rip pretty narrow
stock while the others tend to favor sheet good and
straightlining solid lumber.

In terms of power-benches vs MFT… I had an MFT800
(I think) and while it was accurate enough for jobsite
work, it would drift in and out of square by little
amounts that don’t matter in most work but drove
me nuts sometimes, like cutting wide tenon shoulders
where the out-of-squareness error is doubled. I tried
a lot of things on it. If you get one you’ll be hard pressed
to not saw a kerf in the aluminum extrusion on the
front sooner or later – it doesn’t harm the function
of the MFT but it will irritate you. If you’re concerned
about sawing into the EZ table thing, it’s really the same
issue except replacing the MFT extrusion is probably
costlier.

One thing about the plunge saws is you can lose track
of the depth setting (which is how the extrusion gets
cut). With a fixed-depth saw depth is obvious every
time you look at and handle the tool. While this will
not guard against cutting too deep entirely, it’s a
lot easier to forget to reset the depth on a plunge saw.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Rob's profile (online now)

Rob

245 posts in 1672 days


#10 posted 125 days ago

Some more questions about the EZ One/EZ Smart

Mark, Loren (and anyone else who has used the EZ One/EZ Smart) what are all the things for which you use the EurekaZone system? Did you also have any of the machines that it potentially replaces, like a table saw and/or router table, and if so, did you end up retiring them?

I know you said you have no regrets, but what—if anything—would you say are some of its shortcomings?

View Rob's profile (online now)

Rob

245 posts in 1672 days


#11 posted 125 days ago

MT_Stringer, does the Scheppach saw have the slop in it where it wobbles left-to-right, like what was shown in the Wood Whisperer video? (Though somewhere I did run across fixes for the issues brought up in that video.)

Loren, good info on the MFT. I like that you can get into the EZ system without quite as big an investment up front. Would you say I need to get a better circular saw if I’m using a $50 Skil saw (bought maybe 3-5 years ago) with a flimsy frame and base plate right now?

I like the idea of the depth stop for a plunge saw but obviously haven’t been able to think of the drawbacks to a plunge saw on my own. The depth adjustment on my cheap Skil saw always feels a bit dangerous so I usually unplug the saw when setting the depth. I’m not even sure if it has a depth scale because I always gauge it when setting the depth. I haven’t looked too closely at the nicer circular saws but I assume all the adjustments would be easier and perhaps safer. The Skil saw also seems to bind up easily, but I’m not sure if that’s because of pinching behind the blade or because the motor is just too weak.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7256 posts in 2249 days


#12 posted 125 days ago

The maker recommends a saw with a brake. The Skil may be
on the flimsy side in terms of arbor stability in relation to
the base. Makita and others make solid circular saws
that can make really nice cuts in veneered ply and melamine
with a good blade and the chip limiters on the edge guide.

I’m using a Hitachi with no brake right now. The guard pops
into place when it’s off the track in any case. A number
of used and new saws are favored buy Eurekazone. The
company has a forum where recommendations are made
and sometimes people sell saws already mounted on the
base plates.

Some people like to use an 8.25” saw instead of a 7.25”.
That narrows the field of what’s available. For cabinet
parts it doesn’t matter, but if you want to trim doors
and cut 2x lumber the 8.25” is worth considering
as an option.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

1803 posts in 1832 days


#13 posted 124 days ago

“MT_Stringer, does the Scheppach saw have the slop in it where it wobbles left-to-right, like what was shown in the Wood Whisperer video?”

I haven’t noticed any problems. Maybe I am not paying close attention when I am cutting. Feels good to me. Each time I use it, I check the adjustment cams to make sure the saw slides smoothly in the track.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

1647 posts in 1094 days


#14 posted 124 days ago

I bought my Fessie 55 before the Dewalt was available, I may have went with the had it been out. I’ve often wanted to buy accessories from the the other brands, but if you start with Festool you have less flexibility. So far the only thing I’ve “mixed” is a set of track clamping bars from Bosch, as well as a pair of their track clamps (don’t ask me why they make them…I don’t know; but I have a set of each) and saw blades, I have some from Oshlun and Tenryu. I will be adding a set of the Seneca parallel guide thingys. So far, what I gather from the replies here that mixing the brands isn’t all that common. BTW: the 55 is a good choice, and it’s a lot easier to handle.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

344 posts in 1043 days


#15 posted 124 days ago

I can’t remember where I read this, I believe it was a magazine review of the different track saws (the Festool, Dewalt and Makita were the ones compared). If memory serves me correctly, all the saws can be used with all the different systems (this doesn’t seem to hold true with the Grizzly tracks though). The Festool and Makita tracks were the closest to each other. They were each slightly different though, so I wouldn’t try to mix and match the tracks. I’m also not sure if the Dewalt tracks will work on the MFT/3.

I have Dewalt clamps that I use with my TS55 and related Festool branded rails. The Dewalt clamps work okay when trying to clamp a rail to a workpiece, but they didn’t work well with the MFT3. The Festool clamps have a radius in them that made it easier to get into a dog hole.

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