LumberJocks

Acceptable performance at a REALLY good price.

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Review by brandongb posted 12-06-2021 04:12 PM 1244 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Acceptable performance at a REALLY good price. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ll start by saying that I’m a pretty big fan of Masterforce tools, and almost all of my corded tools are this brand. Pros always include: nice flexible 12’ power cords, LED work lights, carrying bag(s) included, and a great 3-year warranty. All of these benefits apply to this kit as well. I was very hesitant for $200 ($180 after rebate), but I knew that I would be able to return it if it didn’t work out.

I made approximately 160 cuts with this saw in one very long day (40 quite warped 4×5 plywood panels that were not trimmed at the factory), so it has definitely seen plenty of use. These were all 90 degree cuts on the track through 5/8” hardwood plywood supported on a sheet of pink insulation. The boards were weighed down with cinder blocks to flatten, then all four sides cut off with the saw.

THE TRACK:
The first thing to point out about the saw is that it comes with four track sections at ~27.5” each, rather than two at 55”. This could be good or bad depending on your use case. On the road a lot, need to break it down and store it safely? Probably a benefit. In the shop? Less of a benefit. You will probably never use a 27.5” track on its own. I had all 4 pieces together for the entirety of my work. Track assembly was fine. It is very easy to overtighten the screws that hold the track pieces together, though. There is a very slightly deformation through the top of the guide, and I only ever had my hex key in the pointed “low-torque” position. About 30 cuts into my total of ~160, I had to readjust one of the three track joints when they became misaligned. I believe this is when I over torqued the fastener for those pieces. The tracks stayed aligned for the rest of my cutting.

USABILITY:
I had some issues getting the blade changed at first. It isn’t easy to hold the saw plunged, while holding the blade lock, while undoing the blade screw. The portion of the arbor that the blade sits on is quite shallow, so great care has to be taken to put it in correctly while fighting gravity (because you can’t plunge while the saw is lying on its side). It took two very fiddly attempts to get this right. This may or may not be part of the experience for every track saw, but it was definitely a pain.

PERFORMANCE:
All the cuts I made were as straight as I was able to check for with a 7’ milled aluminum box level, when the saw was adjusted correctly. This was, by far, the biggest issue I had with the saw. The cam adjusters that ride in the track do not lock. They are held down by wavy washers that are supposed to act as springs to keep pressure on them, but the springs are not strong enough and the plastic is very slick so even if you bottom out the fasteners they will still rotate. This means that I had to check the fit and slide of the saw about once per panel to make sure the saw wasn’t riding loosely in the track. Because track saws are not really used for such long sessions on a regular basis, and because it’s good practice to check the fit when pulling it out every time any way, this might not be that big of a deal for some. It did hold its setting for between 3 and 12 cuts at a time, which is probably as much as you’d want to cut without resorting to a table saw anyway. For this unreliability, I’ve taken two stars off the potential five. I plan on returning this and putting the money towards a table saw instead (not that it would’ve helped with these untrimmed panels).

Hope this helps someone!




View brandongb's profile

brandongb

4 posts in 2965 days



6 comments so far

View BigAl98's profile

BigAl98

292 posts in 4381 days


#1 posted 12-06-2021 04:55 PM

Good review, but so you used this with the intent of returning it? Low man, low!

-- Al,Midwest -To thine own self be true

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

414 posts in 3059 days


#2 posted 12-06-2021 11:52 PM

Wow!!!!!
You buy a saw, work the crap out of it and then return it. Not something I would ever do, unless the tool broke.

Do you go buy clothes and wear them and them take them back as well???

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8693 posts in 2163 days


#3 posted 12-08-2021 01:19 AM


... Do you go buy clothes and wear them and them take them back as well???..
- sawdustjunkie

Probably after turning them inside out once.

Sorry dongb, this practice is something I’d not be proud to brag about.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View 1965scooper's profile

1965scooper

23 posts in 3017 days


#4 posted 12-09-2021 03:55 AM

”...but I knew that I would be able to return it if it didn’t work out.”

I’m giving the benefit of the doubt. Notice the qualifier “IF it didn’t work out.” My reading of the review suggests the tool is working out and it will remain in Brandongb’s shop.

-- 1965 Scooper

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

414 posts in 3059 days


#5 posted 12-09-2021 05:10 PM

1965scooper::: If you read the last line in his comment, he states he is returning the saw!!

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View 1965scooper's profile

1965scooper

23 posts in 3017 days


#6 posted 12-10-2021 02:48 AM

Sawdust Junkie,

Ya’ got me. I didn’t read far enough or slowly enough.

-- 1965 Scooper

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