Reply by richgreer

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Posted on First Power saw: Radial vs Compound Miter vs Table vs Plunge?

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4541 posts in 3685 days

#1 posted 04-27-2010 02:29 PM

I’ll respond to the question about track saws. I have a Festool TS55. It is on sale through the end of April for $450 (have to hurry). Most SCMSs cost this much or more.

When one compares the track saw to the panel saw conversion kit the first thing to note is precise depth control and the plunge feature. I put my stock on top of a piece of cheap OSB and set the depth to just barely go through the width of the board. I leave a shallow scratch on the OSB. Note that you have a micro adjustment capability that lets to adjust the depth to the nearest 1/10 mm. You can control depth of cut with any circular saw but it is very difficult (impossible) to make micro adjustments. The same is true for the tilt function.

The track is amazing because I don’t need to clamp it down. I just set it in place and it stays.

All of the adjustments on the Festool are very accurate and percise and easy to change.

Most people will tell you that you should buy any Festool tool with a dust extractor. I think that is true with some of their tools, but not the track saw. Without dust collection you will sent sawdust flying (but you can control the direction of the exhaust). Or you, with a little ingenuity hook it up to a shop vac.

Since I own the track saw, I am finding that I am using it instead of my table saw more and more. A track saw can do just about everything a table saw or a miter saw does except handle a dado stack.

One accessory you will want – the saw comes with a 55 inch track. For smaller cuts the 55 inch track can be a bit awkward to handle. I have ordered a shorter additional track (32”).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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