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Best bang for the buck track saw 2021?

by SMP
posted 02-03-2021 09:07 PM


44 replies so far

View brtech's profile

brtech

1166 posts in 4161 days


#1 posted 02-03-2021 10:44 PM

Best bang for the buck has to be the low end (Wen for example). You get 75-85% of the performance for 30% of the price of a Festool. But, you can’t option your way up to something that works as well, so once you reach the limit, it’s a total loss and start again. The low end track saws really work. The track works pretty much the same way, you get pretty much the same set of functions in the saw, the cut quality is nearly the same, and all the basic things you do with the saw can be done with the low end units. What you don’t get is things like the riving knife, the accessories for MFT, etc. The low end tracks aren’t made as well so they slide around more, the separate sections are sometimes tricky to get assembled so the saw slides smoothly across the joint, the splinter guard doesn’t hold up as well and the dust collection isn’t as good. Lots of plastic parts that can break.

I have one, and I use it to break down sheet goods. Works like a champ. I usually don’t try to get finished sized pieces out of that, but I could on most materials if I wanted to. If you get a cheap one, upgrade the blade.

View Rich's profile

Rich

7445 posts in 1828 days


#2 posted 02-03-2021 10:51 PM


You get 75-85% of the performance for 30% of the price of a Festool.

- brtech

How do you quantify performance like that? Based on what?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3329 posts in 1842 days


#3 posted 02-03-2021 10:59 PM

I say with ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE that the new (upgrade from their 6.5” 10amp) WEN 7.25” 12 amp was well worth the $. About $250 including 100” of track and 7” clamps. Ordered from Home Depot. Very happy with it. Did a better job than my jointer on 8’x8”x 8/4 boards and just as well as my buddies Festool.

Love that saw.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Loren's profile

Loren

11268 posts in 4887 days


#4 posted 02-03-2021 11:35 PM

I reckon it depends on how much precision you need. Some saws/track combos can arguably rip glue joints while others have undependably straight tracks and may have less precise manufacturing that affects the quality of cut. It’s the same question as whether a higher end circular saw cuts the same as a Black and Decker… and the answer would be it depends on closely you look.

I’ve had 3 track saws and 3 brands of track. I like the Festool HK because I like not having to plunge on a straight cut. It does plunge but it also locks down which most plungers do not. The dust collection isn’t as good as the other Festool saws and it lacks the right side chip out control feature. Resale value on Festools is excellent while most brands will have you taking a serious hit if you decide to upgrade or get out of woodworking.

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Andybb

3329 posts in 1842 days


#5 posted 02-03-2021 11:42 PM

^+1 Loren is correct. The WEN gave me glue joint quality. I even bought a 60 tooth blade but never put it on. The blade that came on the saw did what it was supposed to do. Ripped one edge with the WEN and the other on my table saw so basically, the WEN did the job of the jointer on S4S boards.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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pottz

20594 posts in 2223 days


#6 posted 02-03-2021 11:58 PM

ill give a pitch for the dewalt,have the corded model with long and short track for about 6 years now and love it.you’ll need to do your homework and decide what gives you the best bang for your buck.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ras61's profile

ras61

129 posts in 2760 days


#7 posted 02-04-2021 12:42 AM

Wen – very interesting, not a name I think of when looking for a quality tool. Maybe they’ve up’d their game, stuff I’ve seen in the past was quite underwhelming to say the least

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

View jkm312's profile

jkm312

106 posts in 642 days


#8 posted 02-04-2021 01:27 AM

Depends on your intent. If just breaking 4×8’s down for the TS, then a top of the line saw is more than you need for the job at hand. If you are going for final dimension accuracy then one of the better saws with a good blade is justified from my point of view.

View JRAP's profile

JRAP

142 posts in 3189 days


#9 posted 02-04-2021 02:35 AM

Thanks for that info Andy. I’ve been toying with buying a “cheaper” track saw for a while now. I think I’ll pull the trigger based on your recommendation. I did look at it on the HD website too, and it looks good to me.

-- -- Jim, Cumberland,RI -- Life is all the other stuff you do when you're not in the shop. - http://www.woodshopshed.com

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3329 posts in 1842 days


#10 posted 02-04-2021 02:46 AM


Thanks for that info Andy. I ve been toying with buying a “cheaper” track saw for a while now. I think I ll pull the trigger based on your recommendation. I did look at it on the HD website too, and it looks good to me.

- JRAP


I thought it was broken when I first got it. I tried to hog through all 8/4 at one time and it kept cutting off. Silly me. Then I realized from listening closely to the vids that guys were making those cuts in 2 or 3 passes. Even my friend with the Festool said he can’t do one pass. Once I realized that I was a happy camper and happy with my purchase. The edge was just as smooth as a jointer or table saw with the stock blade that came with it. Never took the 60 toothe out of the wrapper. The WEN tracks fit other brands inc. Festool. Get the tracks and clamps. Like I said, less then $250 for everything.

PS The other benefit of the track saw is that you don’t have to muscle big boards on the jointer. The boards stay put. The saw moves.

It’s basically a light-duty skill saw that plunges.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View SMP's profile

SMP

4815 posts in 1145 days


#11 posted 02-04-2021 02:56 AM

Hmm never considered Wen. Tbh, i had kind of been considering Dewalt or makita corded, but also curious how the Kreg stacks up against those 2. I am also not opposed to paying for Festool if it is really worth it for some reason that i hadn’t thought of. I sometimes build cabinets or cabinet like furniture, so would like to cut down 3/4 sheets. But I also normally buy s2s as my local lumberyard carries mostly s2s and s3s. So sometimes i need to make a flat side before running through the TS. Though, the more i could use it in place of the TS the better, for various reasons.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3329 posts in 1842 days


#12 posted 02-04-2021 04:34 AM


Best bang for the buck has to be the low end (Wen for example). You get 75-85% of the performance for 30% of the price of a Festool. But, you can t option your way up to something that works as well, so once you reach the limit, it s a total loss and start again. The low end track saws really work. The track works pretty much the same way, you get pretty much the same set of functions in the saw, the cut quality is nearly the same, and all the basic things you do with the saw can be done with the low end units. What you don t get is things like the riving knife, the accessories for MFT, etc. The low end tracks aren t made as well so they slide around more, the separate sections are sometimes tricky to get assembled so the saw slides smoothly across the joint, the splinter guard doesn t hold up as well and the dust collection isn t as good. Lots of plastic parts that can break.

I have one, and I use it to break down sheet goods. Works like a champ. I usually don t try to get finished sized pieces out of that, but I could on most materials if I wanted to. If you get a cheap one, upgrade the blade.

- brtech

I’m sure there are a few saws rebranded as other makes made in the same Asian factory. WEN has an anti-kickback mechanism that seems to work well. Tracks are solid and my 8’ straight edge says they are straight. They don’t slide. I’m sure the Festool is a better made tool but as a weekend warrior, I just can’t justify the additional cost. The stock 45 tooth blade works just fine. Same reason I bought the Bosch instead of the Festool Rotex. Cut this chamfer just like the guy on youtube did with his Festool.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View gtrgeo's profile

gtrgeo

191 posts in 1669 days


#13 posted 02-04-2021 07:45 AM

I picked up the Makita cordless a couple years back and have been very pleased with it. I was looking for a quality tool but am still unwilling to dive into Festool. At he time I bought there were the low end like Wen’s previous models, the Dewalt or Makita, or Festool. Bosch had not come out with there’s in the American market. I looked at the Triton but felt it was over priced for what it is. The current Wen saw is probably on par with the Triton but at less cost. I looked seriously at the Dewalt which seems to be a good saw. What tipped the scales for me was the compatibility of the Makita with available accessories. As most accessories are built for the Festool, they generally work with the Makita as well.

I currently have 2 – 55” tracks and one 39”. They have handled everything I have neede so far. It would be nice to have the 118” track but I have gotten by with joining the 2-55” tracks for now. Recently I even added on the 39” track for straight edging some 10’ 8/4 oak. I keep the 39” track hanging conveniently in the shop for quick cuts and have now found it to be indispensable.

By the way, I have found the Triton track connector kit to be a bargain over the Makita connectors. The screws in the Triton kit are kind of soft so I replaced them with some from the local hardware store. Even adding the minimal extra cost for the hardware, they are half the price of the Makita. Especially if you get them when rockler has the Triton products on sale.

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

671 posts in 4985 days


#14 posted 02-04-2021 02:39 PM

If you measure carefully or use parallel guides there is no need to use a track saw to break down sheets and then further process them on a table saw. A track saw will replace a table saw for cutting sheet goods. It will give you the same straight cut with a smooth finish and with no tear out.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

6046 posts in 3590 days


#15 posted 02-04-2021 02:54 PM

I recently bought a Makita track saw and tracks, and after using it for a few months I am very pleased with it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

187 posts in 2288 days


#16 posted 02-04-2021 03:46 PM

I’ve had a DeWalt with 8’ and 4’ tracks for around 6 years now and it has been a consistent performer. I can’t manhandle sheet goods like I used to and this provides a way to cut down into reasonable portions. Also comes in handy when dealing with finish cuts on large table tops, especially crosscuts.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View JohnMcClure's profile

JohnMcClure

1399 posts in 1879 days


#17 posted 02-04-2021 08:40 PM

In a perfect world I think I’d want a small cordless for rough breakdown of sheet goods – possibly even in parking lot – and a high quality (as apparently the new Wen is) with a one-piece track.
I have the older Wen, its fine, but could really use a one-piece track 8ft+.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3329 posts in 1842 days


#18 posted 02-04-2021 08:53 PM



In a perfect world I think I d want a small cordless for rough breakdown of sheet goods – possibly even in parking lot – and a high quality (as apparently the new Wen is) with a one-piece track.
I have the older Wen, its fine, but could really use a one-piece track 8ft+.

- JohnMcClure


The tracks are 50”. They use a connector to expand to 100”.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1160 posts in 2843 days


#19 posted 02-04-2021 09:15 PM



Hmm never considered Wen. Tbh, i had kind of been considering Dewalt or makita corded, but also curious how the Kreg stacks up against those 2. I am also not opposed to paying for Festool if it is really worth it for some reason that i hadn’t thought of. I sometimes build cabinets or cabinet like furniture, so would like to cut down 3/4 sheets. But I also normally buy s2s as my local lumberyard carries mostly s2s and s3s. So sometimes i need to make a flat side before running through the TS. Though, the more i could use it in place of the TS the better, for various reasons.

- SMP

I have the full Kreg ACS. It is good, but, IMO, the real strength is in the integration with the table. If you’re not considering the table somewhere down the line, I don’t know that it offers a lot in terms of differentiation.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

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1thumb

510 posts in 3395 days


#20 posted 02-04-2021 10:07 PM

Wen has alot of good reviews and testimonial videos

View SMP's profile

SMP

4815 posts in 1145 days


#21 posted 02-05-2021 12:53 AM

Looks like Home Depot is out of stock of the newer big wen and no date expected. Amazon doesn’t have either.

View kajunkraft's profile

kajunkraft

197 posts in 3449 days


#22 posted 02-05-2021 01:44 AM

For the last 6 or 7 years I have used the Makita (corded) track saw and tracks. Works great for me.

View kroginold's profile

kroginold

71 posts in 2288 days


#23 posted 02-05-2021 02:19 AM

Another vote for cordless Makita. I also have both Wen and Powertec track that I bought on Amazon. Entire cost was less than Festool saw without track. Works very well for me with dust collection in the shop and just the bag when using outside. I was influenced by compatibility with my other Makita 18v tools.

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waho6o9

9065 posts in 3816 days


#24 posted 02-05-2021 02:31 AM

Makita’s have several offerings in the track saw configuration

https://www.makitatools.com/products/search/track-saws

View Rich's profile

Rich

7445 posts in 1828 days


#25 posted 02-05-2021 03:51 AM


Looks like Home Depot is out of stock of the newer big wen and no date expected. Amazon doesn’t have either.

- SMP

Welcome to the New Age. Festool just put out video on their dealer portal explaining how supply and demand has created the worst possible environment. Demand has surged sharply, probably due to the lock downs and people looking for new hobbies and expanding their existing shops, while the parts queue has dried up. They said they have products that are missing only one or two key pieces, but that’s preventing any from going out. I’ve seen the back order dates and it’s pretty crazy.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2183 posts in 1418 days


#26 posted 02-05-2021 03:56 AM


Looks like Home Depot is out of stock of the newer big wen and no date expected. Amazon doesn’t have either.

- SMP

Welcome to the New Age. Festool just put out video on their dealer portal explaining how supply and demand has created the worst possible environment. Demand has surged sharply, probably due to the lock downs and people looking for new hobbies and expanding their existing shops, while the parts queue has dried up. They said they have products that are missing only one or two key pieces, but that s preventing any from going out. I ve seen the back order dates and it s pretty crazy.

- Rich

I have heard rumors its gonna get worse. Some companies in the furniture industry have stopped taking orders on certain models because they simply cant keep up. Also heard computer chips for certain things are going to be at a premium this summer.

View Steve0100's profile

Steve0100

10 posts in 293 days


#27 posted 02-13-2021 04:58 AM

I bought the Kreg track saw because of the price and it’s safety features. It has anti-kickback which is very easy to use, a riving knife, and a splinter guard that also helps keep fingers away from the blade, and a blade brake to stop the motor.

It doesn’t have a scoring feature, but you can just set the depth to perhaps 1/8 or 1/16 and that’s the same thing.

It’s a quality saw, so much so that the company has built a whole system around it.

The down side is that Kreg tracks and saw base are proprietary and so you have to use their stuff. Even the length of their track is longer and so different brand tracks will not be able to use the table they offer. I’m not happy about that business plan, but they do make a good saw.

As for their table, it’s good too, but I’m not impressed with the plastic tools they supply. I also have issue with how they tell you to use the tools. For instance, using two tape measures to line the board up for cutting is error prone, since it would be easy to set them slightly different. The better way is to use one tape and square the board with the track.

The thing is… You can set up a work table that allows you to make easy, repeatable, and dead on accurate cuts, and do it quickly. I think the Kreg table is a really cool idea, but I also think, with a little imagination it can be much better than that. The first thing I would do is add a fence on the edge of the table perpendicular to the track. That way, all I have to do is snug a board against that fence and it’s ready for a 90 degree cut. Put a 45 degree Angle against the fence, lie the board against the Angle and cut an accurate 45 degrees. ..add a ruler to the fence and a stop and now the table has gone full automatic… feed the wood in… exact copies come out… Two by fours, two by eights, paneling… it doesn’t care… ...it has no heart, no soul, it only has one purpose and that is…. SORRY… I got carried away….

Anyway, I have a table saw and it scares me… I don’t mind using the crosscut sled I built, but ripping boards can get dicey sometimes.

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1160 posts in 2843 days


#28 posted 02-13-2021 02:55 PM

I bought the Kreg track saw because of the price and it s safety features. It has anti-kickback which is very easy to use, a riving knife, and a splinter guard that also helps keep fingers away from the blade, and a blade brake to stop the motor.

It doesn t have a scoring feature, but you can just set the depth to perhaps 1/8 or 1/16 and that s the same thing.

It s a quality saw, so much so that the company has built a whole system around it.

The down side is that Kreg tracks and saw base are proprietary and so you have to use their stuff. Even the length of their track is longer and so different brand tracks will not be able to use the table they offer. I m not happy about that business plan, but they do make a good saw.

As for their table, it s good too, but I m not impressed with the plastic tools they supply. I also have issue with how they tell you to use the tools. For instance, using two tape measures to line the board up for cutting is error prone, since it would be easy to set them slightly different. The better way is to use one tape and square the board with the track.

The thing is… You can set up a work table that allows you to make easy, repeatable, and dead on accurate cuts, and do it quickly. I think the Kreg table is a really cool idea, but I also think, with a little imagination it can be much better than that. The first thing I would do is add a fence on the edge of the table perpendicular to the track. That way, all I have to do is snug a board against that fence and it s ready for a 90 degree cut. Put a 45 degree Angle against the fence, lie the board against the Angle and cut an accurate 45 degrees. ..add a ruler to the fence and a stop and now the table has gone full automatic… feed the wood in… exact copies come out… Two by fours, two by eights, paneling… it doesn t care… ...it has no heart, no soul, it only has one purpose and that is…. SORRY… I got carried away….

Anyway, I have a table saw and it scares me… I don t mind using the crosscut sled I built, but ripping boards can get dicey sometimes.

- Steve0100

I’m not following – the dog holes allow you to set up two dogs/Versa Stops so that you’re cutting square to the track, provided you have a reference edge against those stops. Set your cut width with one of the measuring tape tracks, set your two dogs as far apart as you can within that width, to support the workpiece and keep it square to the track, and you’re good to go. I’m not clear on what an additional fence, 90° to the track, would accomplish; I think that it would just be more cumbersome. The dog holes are also set up at 45° diagonally, though I haven’t seen/come up with an easy way to set up stops for repeatable cut lengths.

Ripping/cutting thin strips is a weakness of the system, IMO, for the reason that you mentioned – a small disparity between the two measuring tracks will result in a cut that’s not quite parallel. In making these kinds of cuts, I’ve taken to using a combination square to set the two track stops, head against the track, blade running underneath, set to my desired material width. It’s a bit of a faff, but it’s better than counting on the two measuring tapes to be in agreement.

Another weakness with ripping or whenever there’s not a lot of material under the track, is that you need to take greater care that the material doesn’t move and that there’s enough support so that the track doesn’t bow/twist as the saw rides over it, which can take the cut a little out of square to the table surface.

These two factors are why I prefer to use a table saw once you’re dealing with ~strips instead of ~panels. The Kreg can do it, but it takes more care and attention, which make it not as fast and repeatable.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View Steve0100's profile

Steve0100

10 posts in 293 days


#29 posted 02-13-2021 08:08 PM

Like you said.. The Kreg stops acts as little fences and two of them together make a straight line. That is what you butt your board up against. If you have a normal fence, it does the same thing. Are there any advantages to the Kreg stops? Well, they do allow a fence to be set up anywhere on the table and they allow a 45° cut to be set up.

The point is that with a fence there is no need for dog holes. 99% of your cuts are going to be 90° so a straight edge alongside the table will be all you need. The dog hole stops also allow you to set up 45° angles, but that can be replaced with a carpenters square and the fence. As for repeatable cuts, a stop running along the fence (or on the fence) is all you need for that. Also, most angle cuts are going to be 45° or 22.5° so make a couple squares with those angles and place them alongside the fence and you’re set. As for other angles, you’re going to need a miter gauge or a protractor for that. The one that Kreg supplies flexes too much for my peace of mind.

Read the rest, but only if you find it interesting… This is more for people who don’t own a track saw table.

As for rip cuts… it’s very doable with a track saw. The problem is you’re limited to the length of your track. I believe with the Kreg table that would be about 48 inches,(maybe even a little wider?). For instance… If you want to use the track to joint the short faces of 2×4’s you would set the 2×4 under the fence (long ways) to trim one edge (accuracy doesn’t matter yet). Once all your boards are trimmed on one side, it’s time to trim the other to exact dimensions. Normally I would do this on a table saw, but there is another solution. Simply place a T (L) square against the fence and move it up towards the track until you get the thickness you want, then clamp it down. Now butt the side you just cut against this T square and make your cut, every piece will be identical and those 2 faces will be parallel to each other….

Now for for small cuts. I believe I can accurately cut wood to any thickness. Simply attach a caliper to the table on the output side (cutting side) of the track. Drop the saw blade and zero the caliper to that. Now move the wood under the track towards the caliper until the caliper reads what you want. It can be razor thin or (with my calipers) about 6 inches. I also plan to make a jig that mounts to the table to make micro adjustments to the cut by moving the board forwards with a high thread count screw.

Here’s a video of another persons idea of a track saw table. I can see many ways to make it even more versatile and more accurate. Still, I like what he did, he replaced the Dog holes/stops with a movable fence…... I also like how he is able to line up a number of boards and cut them all at once.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ3FdIazgmA

Here’s another great idea… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ81GCNoEz8

Here’s the simplest table… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ateKCJx069w

The track saw is being greatly underutilized , IMO.

I do realize I’m preaching to the choir and I apologize for that. I did read what you wrote and it all makes sense. Thin material would be hard to cut with any saw

I could be wrong about this… All this is food for thought..

View Steve0100's profile

Steve0100

10 posts in 293 days


#30 posted 02-14-2021 01:57 AM

If I sounded to critical I apologize. I didn’t explain myself very well either.

I m not following – the dog holes allow you to set up two dogs/Versa Stops so that you re cutting square to the track, provided you have a reference edge against those stops. Set your cut width with one of the measuring tape tracks, set your two dogs as far apart as you can within that width, to support the workpiece and keep it square to the track, and you re good to go. I m not clear on what an additional fence, 90° to the track, would accomplish; I think that it would just be more cumbersome. The dog holes are also set up at 45° diagonally, though I haven t seen/come up with an easy way to set up stops for repeatable cut lengths.

Ripping/cutting thin strips is a weakness of the system, IMO, for the reason that you mentioned – a small disparity between the two measuring tracks will result in a cut that s not quite parallel. In making these kinds of cuts, I ve taken to using a combination square to set the two track stops, head against the track, blade running underneath, set to my desired material width. It s a bit of a faff, but it s better than counting on the two measuring tapes to be in agreement.

What I meant to say is that with a fence, you don’t need the versa stops. Technically they both do the same thing, but I don’t have a table yet and I’m thinking from a… “how would I do it?” perspective, keeping cost as a major factor.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Kregs versa stop system. It works… I’ve lusted over it myself. The price is a bit high for me though.


Another weakness with ripping or whenever there s not a lot of material under the track, is that you need to take greater care that the material doesn t move and that there s enough support so that the track doesn t bow/twist as the saw rides over it, which can take the cut a little out of square to the table surface.

That makes sense. Their suggestion is to place similar sized pieces under the track for support. That assumes you have those around. It seems to me you could make wedges that you just slide under the track where you need them? Maybe coat them with rubber or sandpaper? Anyway, there are lots of different ways to do it.


These two factors are why I prefer to use a table saw once you re dealing with ~strips instead of ~panels. The Kreg can do it, but it takes more care and attention, which make it not as fast and repeatable.

- WillliamMSP

I understand what you’re saying and I’m sure you’re right.

Again, I apologize if my last reply was too much of a monologue. I hope this is a better reply.

View Ken Masco's profile

Ken Masco

887 posts in 4089 days


#31 posted 02-16-2021 06:26 PM

I have the Makita corded version. I don’t need it often, but when I do it’s a great tool

-- Ken

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

7612 posts in 2960 days


#32 posted 02-19-2021 01:58 PM

I would think best bang for the buck would be making your own track(s) from a base of 1/4” hardboard and a guide of whatever you have laying around that can be held straight enough while screwing to the hardboard to make it a single, solid track. Coupled with a circular saw you already have and a good blade, I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to to get excellent performance from such a setup with practice. An added benefit would be getting starting with as powerful of a saw as you’d ever need for cutting 8/4 hardwoods in a single pass, an 8 1/4” worm drive saw from your favorite brand would easily be up to the task with the right blade.

Not being able to plunge cut could be a problem for some applications but I can’t think of any I’ve encountered where the cost of that feature would be justified. Not having a riving knife could be a problem too but employment of common sense can prevail here as well.

I want one, but for <$30 I can make multiple length tracks for multiple saws.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View TJMD's profile

TJMD

47 posts in 1905 days


#33 posted 02-19-2021 02:34 PM

”...what is the best bang for the buck for a hobbyist woodworker?”

So SMP – did you get an answer to your question?

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

108 posts in 1186 days


#34 posted 02-19-2021 04:46 PM

I also have the Makita corded with two 55” tracks. I have been very happy with it, but if I were to do a lot of breaking down of sheet goods I would purchase the 118” track as setting up the two 55” can be a pain.

If you go with the WEN, I would recommend going with two 55” tracks instead of the 100” track kit. IMHO the 100” is not enough track to start and stop a full cut on 8’ sheet goods.

-- MikeJ

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SMP

4815 posts in 1145 days


#35 posted 02-19-2021 05:50 PM



”...what is the best bang for the buck for a hobbyist woodworker?”

So SMP – did you get an answer to your question?

- TJMD

Haha not really, so many different opinions. I was hoping somebody could sway me one way or the other for some must have feature i didn’t consider. Am kind of leaning towards the cordless festool for dust collection/bag. I saw a combo set for the saw, drill, 2 batteries and charger for a little over $800. Trying to decide if i want drill too or just saw.

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TJMD

47 posts in 1905 days


#36 posted 05-26-2021 06:27 PM

Hi SMP – what did you end up deciding??

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SMP

4815 posts in 1145 days


#37 posted 05-26-2021 06:40 PM



Hi SMP – what did you end up deciding??

- TJMD

Well, I “decided” on the Festool TSC 55, but went to my local place, they are out of the saw/drill combo , only have 2 bigger contractor combos that have other stuff like jigsaw etc, but these combos are $1500. And they said they have no idea when they will get anymore. Can’t really find any other options either. So basically I bought a new 60T blade for my circular saw and clamped my straightedge to the island countertop I was working on a few weeks ago. Will re-check maybe in September if places are back in stock yet.

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controlfreak

2876 posts in 840 days


#38 posted 05-26-2021 07:10 PM

I got a really good deal on the Grizzly track saw combo. If was on sale two years ago when I got it. Works fine for my needs. I had a wood guide rail but when the cord got hung or I was over reaching I had a bad habit of drifting away from the fence. Plywood is to expensive for that type of action now.

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paulLumberJock

77 posts in 437 days


#39 posted 05-26-2021 08:27 PM

I have the Makita, I am very happy with it.
I have not used any other brand.
Based on my research, the conclusion I came to is that Makita and Dewalt are just as good as the Festool. Some people that had both had said so.
I’m sure there’s going to be people that disagree, but that’s the conclusion I came to.
The only exception that was mentioned.. the festool might have better dust collection, so if you are cutting things inside the house a lot, that might matter. For me, it didn’t matter.

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sansoo22

1748 posts in 893 days


#40 posted 05-26-2021 08:48 PM

I went with the Makita because at time of purchase it was the best rated festool accessory compatible saw that was out. I liked that it came in a systainer and anything like rail squares and parallel guides that would work on a festool were compatible. I did luck out and get an Insta Rail Square from a coworker for $30 bucks. Its not my favorite design of the squares available but I use it all the time and the price couldnt be beat. If i was shopping for one now I would probably go with the TSO or the new Benchdogs MK2.

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northwoodsman

671 posts in 4985 days


#41 posted 05-26-2021 11:04 PM

I now have both the Festool TS 55 and the DeWalt Track Saws. I have 3 tracks for the Festool and the long and short one for the DeWalt. Joining two Festool tracks together takes 30 seconds. The trick is to barely tighten the screws so you don’t dimple the track on the reverse side.

The Pro’s for the DeWalt – I think it has more power than the TS 55. The tracks can be used in either direction so you have a splinter guard on both sides in case you ruin one or want to dedicate each side to a specific blade. The cost is less than the Festool and I think the dust collection is as good. It can also be used on Festool or Makita tracks. The Con’s – the plunge action feels weird because it doesn’t pivot on a point but goes down and forward at the same time. It’s harder to find accessories for.

The Pro’s for the Festool TS 55 – smooth plunge action and pivot travel as you would assume. Lots of accessories for the tracks. It comes in a Systainer if your into that storage system. The Con’s – price is high compared to most (okay, all) other track saws.

Note that even if the DeWalt works on the Festool tracks, the saw base is larger which prohibits the saw use with many after market guides. Both systems are solid performers and both designed with the experienced wood worker or professional in mind. Knowing what I do now, and having looked a pretty much every other track saw system, and testing many, I would go straight to the Festool TS 55 or the new cordless model. By the way, my DeWalt system is still for sale – cheap!

-- NorthWoodsMan

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therealSteveN

8828 posts in 1813 days


#42 posted 05-26-2021 11:14 PM

I’ve been using the DeWalt system since they brought them out. Back then it was Festool and DeWalt. I have sold my saw and tracks 3 times since the start and could have opted for brand X at any of those times, but stuck with the DeWalt, they work well.

If I was buying I would snatch up the saw Northwoodsman is selling, and get started cutting up some plywood.

-- Think safe, be safe

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northwoodsman

671 posts in 4985 days


#43 posted 05-27-2021 12:07 AM

therealSteveN – maybe I should throw in a 2” x 4” or half a sheet of OSB to sweeten the deal and double the value.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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therealSteveN

8828 posts in 1813 days


#44 posted 05-27-2021 04:57 AM

Well it wouldn’t help the value of the saw, it stands on it’s own very well. But to buy a 2×4 you might end up lighter in the wallet than you started out. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

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