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I have a need to purchase a track saw for my remodeling business. I feel I would use it more if I had one. I thought first that i would just use one of my circular saws. I have 4 so I thought about purchasing one of the track systems. I looked at the EZSmart track saw system . It is priced about $170. I looked at it at Woodworkers Store and frankly was not impressed. They had a Porter-Cable saw on their demo setup and I thought the saw wanted to tip off the track. So, the young man showed me the Woodworkers private label track system I thing it was Airo I was even less impressed with that. At least with the EZSmart system there was a system to build on.
Then I searched online again and I looked at the TruTrack system. That setup was $289. It looked better than both I had seen at the Woodworkers Store but not being able to test it out I a little gun shy at the almost $300 price.
I then looked again at the Grizzly/Shop Fox and right now you can get the Grizzly Master pack for $245. With that I get the 55" of Track, the accessories pack and a saw with blade that has a dust port.
Maybe I am missing something but the Grizzly/Shop Fox seem to be the way to go. I don't intend to replace my table saw with this just cut a nice straight line on the sawhorses. And being able to connect my Porter-Cable shop vac to that is a added bonus. The EZSmart system and the Trutrack do not address the dust collection issue. And in remodeling that is a big concern.
I would appreciate any input positive or negative on my thinking.
 

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The most popular system I believe is made by makita. A lot of people seem to be quite impressed with that.

The cheapest system that gets the most props is the grizzly system.

The most expensive system is festools I believe.

If I were you I would pick one of those based on budget.
 

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Our 14 year old daughter tried all of them and chose the Makita and loves it. She also has the long track with it. She recently used it cutting out a funky looking solid surface counter top for a funky looking kitchen island and was fast and dead on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A few replies;
One of the reasons I am still in business after the last 6 year construction depression is because I didn't go wild on spending my cash on tools that could have been done with what I have. Finally, we are climbing out of these tough economic times. So, I don't spend it unless I have to and there is no other way to get there.
Waho, I failed to mention that I have looked at all the track saw options out there. I have envied purchasing a Festool system for a long time. The hard thing for me with Festool is that every tool you purchase is a minimum of $500. And the track saw with their dust collector is about $1300. Well, I've got a decent dust collector in the Porter Cable (maybe not the the Festool but decent). So, I am trying to leverage what I already have.
bruce, The Makita is another good option. It is actually the second option because of its versatility and the ability to use tools that one already has. (the Sawmillgirls site looks very interesting since both of my children are adopted from Colombia)
Beams,
the reason a Track saw would work the best is it is a one man operation, fairly ease to setup, dust control is manageable. and dust control in someone's home is VERY important. This week we have to cut plywood soffit and Fascia on a funky looking overhang. I will have two guys in the air and myself. If I can use a track saw it is taking the 4'x8' sheet of soffit plywood by myself and making those cuts. If not one guy has to come down to make it happen.
Lee and bones,
I agree Festool is the "Powermatic" of track saws. I have never known any Powermatic owner that was disappointed. And it is a total system approach to jobsite woodworking.
Thanks for the input guys, Chime in if you think of something else. More thoughts to ponder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gene,
I've had my version for about 10 years. I used a Porter Cable 7 1/4" magnesium base with a dust port. We hooked it right up to the Porter Cable vac and we had it. The Porter Cable magnesium saw took a dive off the pump jacks and onto a sidewalk. Come to find out Porter Cable doesn't sell that saw any longer.
Yes, I would continue to use my own homemade track and put my worm drive on the track but dust control is the issue too.
So, maybe the question is, Who makes a 6 1/4" or 7 1/4" saw that has a dust port built into the blade guard housing?
There is a beat up Porter Cable like mine on Craigslist for $95 about a hour and a half away. Maybe I just need to go buy that instead.
 

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I had the very same question, Mr. Gene.+1! Another thought I have is "in a construction setting?" Maybe the track saw is beyond my understanding, but, wouldn't it be easier on the pocketbook to create your own? How difficult can it be? No doubt, in the shop, our table saw does the same job. But, if you're continually unable to discipline your table saw, or are unable to manage to keep your fingers & body out of the line of fire of a spinning blade, then maybe the track saw is your answer. Personally, the closest I've come to one is of my own creation when my table saw is beyond the capabilities of the business at hand.
 

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I can see both sides of the coin buying a factory made track saw has the benefit of a track that connects in sections and is easier to store for mobile use plus it stays in place by itself and dust collection,but there's a price to pay for such convenience,the relatively high price compared to making your own. As for me I've just used a straight piece of ply as a guide and a standard circular saw. On the job or in the shop I don't feel the need for dust collection or the guard when you have a straight edge to use.Like all tools and operations we all take the approach that works for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jim and Mark,

Good insight, I guess all track saws still need some guidance so they don't loose their truness during cutting. Dust collection is a health concern for me and my clientele appreciates my attention to cleanliness. I am trying not to jeopardize my greatest source for referrals since well over 80% of my business comes from referrals. Like I said, I have made fixtures to assist the circular saw for many years. Its not rocket science. I just thought there was something in the market place I might be missing or unaware.
I just spotted on Craigslist this Porter Cable like mine. Mine was a left blade this one is a right blade. No big deal I can make it work. I just email this ad to get it purchased for $40 it looks clean and has the dust port on the front of the blade guard.

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/tls/4944727789.html

Mark,
Are you glad you purchased the EZSmart system? and would you do it again?
 

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I bought an Eurekazone track system years ago for a deck project that never got done. How does it work? No clue. It is in the original box gathering dust and cobwebs. I might pull it out this weekend and take it for a walk. Off leash because that's how I roll.
 

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Minnesota Marty,

I use a regular shop vac on my Festool track saw, and it works great. Once I get any Festool sander, I'll like spring for one of their dust extractors (variable suction control needed for their sanders). I bought the Boscjh VAC005 hose from Amazon for $35, and it's tool port is same as on the Festool hose.

Beams37:
You ask a good question. For me, I have a small basement shop, and it is almost impossible to have enough room on infeed and outfeed for an 8 foot long sheet of plywood. With the plywood sheet stationary, I can easily break down the plywood. The other reason is ease of handling. I have a contractor-style table saw, and managing a full sheet on it is extremely difficult. I got hooked on track saws while watching a Ron Paulk video on building your own workbench for a track saw. Check his videos out on YouTube. He is a contractor, so he needed portability. His bench is light, yet strong, and it's just pure genuis in its engineering for strength with minimal weight. Since my bench is never coming out of my basement, I buit mine stationary. It is shown in "My Workshop" if interested. It has 20mm holes like Festool's MFT, but is]ts footprint is much bigger at 36X84.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lee,
I did not know that a shop vac worked on a Festool saw. And thanks for the heads up on the Bosch Vac hose.
I have built Ron Paulks' tables for my job site. they are my version which is a little smaller in length. Ron's plans are great. Worth every penny.
thanks for the info.

Marty
 

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I no one minds me asking, why would someone use a tracks, as opposed to a table saw?

- Beams37
It's sometimes easier to make a cut with a track saw. For example, wrestling a 4×8 sheet of MDF or plywood and pushing it through your blade is awkward at best, especially if you don't have good-sized infeed and outfeed tables. I don't even want to imagine trying it on a jobsite saw (this question is about getting a track saw for a remodeling business, after all). Making the same cut with a track saw just requires you to plop the sheet down on a piece of foam on the ground, lay the track in place, and make the cut (you can also use a work support if you don't want to crawl on the ground).
 

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I have the Makita and have been very happy with it. The cuts are great, it's easy to use and setup, it uses the standard Festool type tracks, DC is very good with a shop vac hooked to it and it was reasonably priced.
 
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