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Track saws, Festool or Makita?

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Forum topic by Mark Gipson posted 05-29-2014 04:47 AM 1036 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Gipson

171 posts in 2038 days


05-29-2014 04:47 AM

Over the next few years I will be building a full set of built ins for 2 new houses along with setting up a new workshop. That’s going to involve cutting up a lot of plywood, laminated chipboard, MDF etc. I have a bench top style table saw and here in Thailand my options for upgrading the saw are very limited. None of the table saws the mainly USA based fellow LJ’s have access to are available here.
So naturally my thoughts turned to a track saw system. Two are available, the Festool TS55R and Makita SP6000K. I have priced both systems for the saw, two 1,400mm guide rails and connectors.

Makita – 22,000 baht.
Festool – 32,500 baht.

That’s a big difference in price and I am not sure if the difference in the saws is worth it, the Makita reviews very well as of course does the Festool.

Which would you get if it was your money? Budget is an issue, my pockets are not bottomless. Is it worth going for the Festool with an eye on future expansion if I can manage to sell a few kitchen cabinets after I complete mine?


23 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7570 posts in 2305 days


#1 posted 05-29-2014 04:53 AM

Eurekazone.

The plunging feature in track saws is over-rated in my opinion.
It’s useful for sink cutouts and flooring repairs but kind
of an irritant in cutting sheet goods.

Eurekazone has a lot of accessories available and when you
look at the dollar investment it is a lot less than the others.

Any system you invest in will not be very compatible with
others and they are all pretty limited except Festool and
Eurekazone.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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hans2wiz

31 posts in 1350 days


#2 posted 05-29-2014 07:56 AM

I have Makita SP6000K with two guide rails (1,4 and 3m). Longer rail was chosen because I don’t trust connectors and so I can use both sets with less effort. Included blade is changed with CMT 56 tooth blade.
Mainly I use saw for cutting plywood, mdf and veneered boards, but also for soft- and hardwood. Saw is very powerful and blade changing very easy. Setup of depth of cut is easy, but Festool has two scales, one for using saw with guide rail. Makita has not many additional accessories like Festool, but I made something similar like Festool multifunctional table. My router is not from Makita, so I also made custom connector for guide rail. But Makita has also router with connector and the same guide rail can be used.
I’m hobbyist, so I hope I bought this tool until end of my life :) Now I’m very happy with my in the beginning of 2012 made purchase.
If I had more money, then I probably have chosen Festool, because their tools are like legos and tools can grow with your needs.
Eurekazone system is also very interesting and two years ago I was peeking their site from start to finish.
Now they have more accessories.

-- from East Europe, where still exist four Season and Grandfather skills are valuable.

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Mark Gipson

171 posts in 2038 days


#3 posted 05-29-2014 08:26 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. I hadn’t even thought about using it as a router guide, that would be a bonus for the Makita system for sure as I have a Makita router that is compatible.
The Eurekazone looks interesting but I think I have to go with something I can get in Thailand, that is Festool or Makita.

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#4 posted 05-29-2014 11:04 AM

I would go with the festool.
Why?
It’s proven, it’s made to work with other festool tools if you decide to add some more green and black to your shop, and one of the biggest things for me, warranty. 3 year festool vs 1 year makita warranty.

I like a lot of makita tools, but they need to get with the times and increase their anorexic 1 year warranty. I don’t think there’s a major tool manufacturer that has anything less than 3 years (steel city is only 2, but they don’t make small tools).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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Mark Gipson

171 posts in 2038 days


#5 posted 05-29-2014 11:19 AM

Good point NiteWalker, although warranties in Thailand are much shorter than elsewhere, Makita is only 6 months for example. On the plus side there are still people who can fix things here, I had a machine shop make and fit new worm drive gears on my table saw for about $12.
The price for Festool equipment here is a major downside for me, the price for the saw with an extra small guide is a cool $1,000. That includes a 25% promotion they are currently running. This saw would probably be the only tool I would buy.

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#6 posted 05-29-2014 12:07 PM

If you’ll never own another festool, the makita may be the one for you.
I agree regarding the price. You do pay a premium.

Their system works amazingly well together though.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2141 posts in 2456 days


#7 posted 05-29-2014 12:34 PM

I am sold on Festool. I used mine to build my whole kitchen. It is bulletproof and left zero tear out. It is crucial though to use it as a system with the vac.

-- making sawdust....

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11489 posts in 1763 days


#8 posted 05-29-2014 12:42 PM

Hi Mark. I have only used my friend’s Festool track saw. I didn’t know anyone else made them. That is a very good ,solid and accurate system they have. If I needed one, I’d get the Festool based my my limited knowledge.

.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

357 posts in 1099 days


#9 posted 05-29-2014 01:08 PM

I’ve got the Festool TS55 and absolutely love it. Main reasons I chose it vs the Makita were

- Lack of a riving knife on the Makita
- Most reviews I read at the time favored the Festool. Take that with a grain of salt though because I didn’t find a lot of overlap in people that had used both, just more people that had used the Festool
- For me, the price difference was only about $125 USD (about 4000 baht). Wasn’t a 50% difference like you’re looking at

If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the Festool again just because I absolutely love it. Additionally, I’m much more invested in the Festool system now – there’s a lot bigger ecosystem than on the Makita. One thing to keep in mind though is that just like the TS55, the rest of that ecosystem is expensive… very expensive. It does all work amazingly well, but there’s a very high price to entry.

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waho6o9

4942 posts in 1234 days


#10 posted 05-29-2014 01:17 PM

http://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php

+1 For Festool as well.

There’s a lot more info on the above link in case
some one is interested.

HTH

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HillbillyShooter

4607 posts in 950 days


#11 posted 05-29-2014 01:21 PM

My vote is for the Festool TS 55 REQ, but I have a confessed green tool addiction primarily due to the incomparable dust collecting ability and quality. After fellow LJ bluekingfisher’s forum back in March ( http://lumberjocks.com/topics/59448 ), I acquired the Festool track saw. I’ve been extremely impressed with it’s accuracy, ease of use and capacity to break down sheet goods. The connectors used to join two tracks for more length work perfectly and without either any problems or errrors. JMHO.

Also, the Festool track saws come with a track, and I’m not sure that the Makida does. And, there are adapters so you can use Festool routers and the Carvex jig saw with their track system.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5663 posts in 2086 days


#12 posted 05-29-2014 01:41 PM

I am financially challenged so I built my own track saw and it works beautifully. Cut is always right on and no need to take it to the TS for truing.
It’s just an 8’ length of T track in a dado groove in a length of 3/4 ply, and an insert a bit longer than my Skill 77 shoe/plate. I fastened the insert on to the shoe/plate with bolts and wing nuts. The holes were already in the shoe/plate but if you must drill holes, make sure they are aligned.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

171 posts in 2038 days


#13 posted 05-29-2014 01:42 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. I think it’s probable I will go with the Makita partly due to the huge price difference, but also because the track saw is the only tool I would be likely to buy. I already have a router, jigsaw etc. and would not be replacing those with Festool. Compared to US prices the TS55 is reasonably priced here, I have been checking the prices for other Festool items and they are double the US price, not going to happen.
I haven’t found any magazine reviews which claim the Festool produces a better cut. Is it a better overall system combined with the other tools and accessories? I’m sure it is, can I afford it, no. The 10,000 baht price difference goes a long way in Thailand, a years car insurance for example!

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#14 posted 05-29-2014 04:27 PM

Gene, that’s pretty nifty. :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Robin1's profile

Robin1

81 posts in 148 days


#15 posted 05-29-2014 04:44 PM

I actually have both- I bought the Festool brand new for $100 from a guy who didn’t want it. A month later I got the Makita as a Christmas present. Both work extremely well. If your main concern is cut quality and power, the Makita is just as good for less money. If you are hoping to add a large number of accessories, you may want to opt for the Festool. I currently use both- I have the Festool set up at a 3/8” depth of cut so that I can cut both sides of a dado with it (I then plow out the remaining material with a router.) This method makes for perfect fits with no chipping. I use the Makita at full depth for cutting pieces to size. If I had to choose one, I would buy the Makita- for my purposes it is more than sufficient- and the cost savings allows for more tool purchases!

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking

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