Festool replacing Table Saw?

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Forum topic by naomi weiss posted 04-11-2015 04:19 PM 1693 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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naomi weiss

206 posts in 2813 days

04-11-2015 04:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tool review question

Hi, everyone. I don’t have a lot of space (nor a lot of money!) to do woodworking, and I am petrified of table saws. I saw a video that the Festool TS 55 REQ can actually replace a table saw. Also, my circular saw was stolen so I was thinking if I get a track saw I also won’t need to replace the circular saw (that thing also scared me, frankly). I live in Israel, so I would need 220v so I would have to source it in Europe. I know it’ll be more in Euro than USD, but I’m thinking it’s still cheaper and more versatile and safer than a table saw. Thought I would also mention that I have never actually used one, but I recently saw my friend Ethan using it on a giant beautiful conference table he was making and it really inspired me. Thank you for weighing in!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

22 replies so far

View Holbs's profile


1347 posts in 1449 days

#1 posted 04-11-2015 04:24 PM

I have a Grizzly track saw. VERY handy. Yes, much safer and versatile. But at same time, limited in it’s applications when compared to a table saw (dado blades, for example).

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3841 posts in 1913 days

#2 posted 04-11-2015 04:27 PM

I will disagree that a track saw is a substitute for a table saw. But I’m unaware of what restrictions you have with a table saw (in Europe I understand they can’t use dado sets, for example), but the way things work in the states a TS has a lot more uses that a track saw won’t handle. That said, a track saw is extremely useful and does a lot of stuff….but it’s still not a sub for a table saw (IMHO).

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

View Holbs's profile


1347 posts in 1449 days

#3 posted 04-11-2015 04:42 PM

to follow up… a track saw > regular circular saw.
but table saw > track saw. Just think of a 5/8” arbor and blade on a 1.5 or 3 horsepower motor cutting into stock as compared to a household blender motor :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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naomi weiss

206 posts in 2813 days

#4 posted 04-11-2015 04:44 PM

Ok, this is all good stuff.Thanks for weighing in! I also forgot to mention I am a novice! Dadoing I can do with a router, though, right? I will also look up the Grizzly!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View Holbs's profile


1347 posts in 1449 days

#5 posted 04-11-2015 04:46 PM

Across the pond… there should be copies of the Grizzly track saw (which in itself a copy of another brand).
Festool track saw > Grizzly track saw (and clone variants) for quality and overall performance. But, Grizzly (and clones) have a much better price tag.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View BigYin's profile


338 posts in 1836 days

#6 posted 04-11-2015 04:52 PM

Get therapy for fear of table saws then buy a good one and take lessons in how to use safely

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

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Greg In Maryland

550 posts in 2417 days

#7 posted 04-11-2015 05:02 PM

If your circular saw was stolen, your Festool will get stolen even quicker. If you get a Festool, can you adequately protect your very expensive investment? I would think that it would be a bit harder to steal a heavy table saw. But I have never tried, so who knows?


View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

187 posts in 1700 days

#8 posted 04-11-2015 05:15 PM

I spend too much on tools, but I have never seen the value in Festool for the price they ask. Are they better tools? Maybe, are they 3x$ better? I’m not sold. Many people are and it’s only money.

-- Chris, “as soon as you come up with something foolproof, they come up with a better fool""

View BroncoBrian's profile


435 posts in 1378 days

#9 posted 04-11-2015 05:21 PM

I have a hard time agreeing that it would replace a table saw. It is a great addition to any woodshop, but a table saw is still the main tool in a shop.

Festool is overpriced… says everyone who owns them. But they are also better tools through a lot of the range (not all). And that is good enough for those who can shell out the extra 30-50% for them. The value/price curve is skewed, but the tool is superior in many instances.

Greg is right, that green and blue saw will be a huge target if not in a secure place.

I would get one though. When you reach a limit, you can buy a table saw.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View naomi weiss's profile

naomi weiss

206 posts in 2813 days

#10 posted 04-11-2015 07:52 PM

I won’t be leaving my tools in the garden anymore—learnt my lesson the hard way. Good thing my router was inside! I think I will look into more affordable options. We are getting married and our American friends are asking if we are registering at Bed Bath and Beyond (we don’t do registering in Israel—you just get cash and you can get what you like; perhaps vulgar but way better! :) ), but I am hoping maybe we can register for some tools!
Ultimately, hopefully we’ll get a table saw. But for now, perhaps this can tide us over.
Can track saws be used for cutting small pieces?
Thanks for weighing in, everyone! I really appreciate it!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2468 days

#11 posted 04-11-2015 11:38 PM

Naomi, you cannot replace a table saw with a track saw.
They are not designed or made to do that same things.
A track saw is very good to cut panels or thing like that but you cannot use it for cross-cuts, dados or amny others thing.
If you know how to use it a table saw is very safe.
More people use a tables saws and never get hurt than people who get hurt.
You do not need a Sawstop to be safe, you only need to know what you are doing and to be careful.
What ever you do and what ever equipment you use, accidents might happen, this is the nature of accidents ,they happen.

-- Bert

View paxorion's profile


1100 posts in 1465 days

#12 posted 04-12-2015 12:30 AM

Like everyone else, a track saw does not replace a table saw. Yes they both cut with a circular blade, and it’s far more precise than a circular saw. But you still run into challenges as the pieces get smaller and smaller.

There are plenty of folks who use the Festool TS55/TS55REQ with their MFT/3 to accomplish great results. There are lots of tricks (and expensive accessories) involved with accomplishing those goals that have been a big turn-off for me.

If you would like to see the Festool tools in action, one YouTube channel I can recommend is MrBigerock who builds with a whole system of Festool products.

-- paxorion

View bonesbr549's profile


1137 posts in 2487 days

#13 posted 04-12-2015 01:58 AM

I have both the TS 55 and a 5 hp Sawstop. They both serve their purpose. The TS 55 is great for breaking down plywood crosscutting panels but is not meant for tiny cuts.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Mykos's profile


102 posts in 1214 days

#14 posted 04-12-2015 03:09 AM

I don’t have a ‘track saw’ but I do use a circular saw with an edge guide sometimes. I agree with what most other people have said so far in that it wouldn’t be a replacement for a table saw. Unless you work exclusively with sheet goods.

I do the opposite and almost never work with sheet goods. So for me a track saw would get used less than once a year.

I would think about what sort of operations you use a saw for and decide based on that which would make more sense for you.

View B4B's profile


126 posts in 778 days

#15 posted 04-12-2015 05:34 AM

No one has really asked what kind of projects you are interested in.

A cabinet maker’s shop and a furniture maker’s shop will share some elements, while others will be varied. There are many paths woodworkers can go down, depending on what interests them. Everything from wood-turning to carving. Picture frames, scroll saws, boxes, etc. . .

My opinion is that a track saw will not replace a table saw for all functions, but may be a viable alternative for many functions a table saw provides.

If you are still new to woodworking you may want to look into a hand-tool woodworking shop. With the right setup you can produce quality projects without the same space requirement of a motorized shop. The projects may take longer to complete, but it can be done. With your expressed general fear of motorized saws, hand tools may be a good option for you, the best part is (at least in North America) you can find good used hand tools for a fraction of the cost of new, some of them may not be in great shape but could be restored to provide years of service.

If you can get this book: “The New Traditional Woodworker: From Tool Set to Skill Set to Mind Set (Popular Woodworking)” it may be a worthwhile read.

New quality hand tools (or tool sets) can be as expensive as their powered counterpart. A good handplane set for example may be as expensive as a stationary planer but they take up less space and you can work just about anywhere at any time. Hand tools are quiet and don’t produce as much airborne dust.

I personally have not gone down the handtool route, so I can’t speak to how effective it is. I’m sure there are folks on Lumberjocks who do/have an extensive hand tool collection they use though.

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

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