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Need best plunge saw for bevel cuts: Bosch GKT 55 vs Festool T55

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Forum topic by vinc8x posted 08-15-2020 02:11 PM 3014 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


08-15-2020 02:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bevel bosch festool miter saw question

Hi all. I’m trying to build audio speaker boxes using veneered MDF, and need to bevel cut the panels pretty precisely.
I have a DeWALT DWS520 plunge saw and the best cut I can get is shown on the picture below. The saw just refuses to cut straight. So after multiple attempts I decided to give up and buy a plunge saw which cuts better. After long research I think I have 2 options: Bosch GKT 55 and Festool T55. Mafell is not sold here officially (I’m in Australia), so it is not on my list. Not sure about Makita SP6000, I’ve got mixed responses, so am afraid to buy it. It is not possible to return the saw back to the shop after using it, so I cannot risk buying wrong saw.
Those of you who own one of those or both, could you please comment on the quality of bevel cuts of your saw. Is it able to make straight bevel cuts? Does the connection line between 2 parts have a gap or imperfections?
Thank you for your help.


26 replies so far

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

495 posts in 714 days


#1 posted 08-15-2020 02:43 PM

Is your track straight?

I cannot imagine a it being the saw itself. Either the workpiece is not flat, and you don’t have enough pressure pushing it flat, the track is bent or something….

I get better cuts than that using my cordless Dewalt and the MDF straight edge guide I made out of MDF and aluminum U-channel.

I mean, I’m not opposed to you spending money, but that doesn’t look like the saw itself’s fault to me.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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ocean

230 posts in 1950 days


#2 posted 08-15-2020 04:32 PM

I would agree. Check your track and your work piece. Make sure they are flat and the track not bent/warped. If your bound to spend money, go with the T55. I have one and love it.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#3 posted 08-15-2020 11:12 PM

Thanks, the track is absolutely straight. The MDF sheets I cut are plain.
I have this saw for about 2 years, and tried virtually everything to make acceptable cuts. I’m a hobbyist and was sure it is my user error.
I kept pressure on the left side of the saw’s platform, on the right side, on the middle, it did not help. When I make 90 degree cuts, the angle at the start of the cut is also off.
The track is not bent, I’ve got it new from the shop, checked it carefully and handled it very politely. So based on your experience, now I think I’ve got a defective saw.
Thank you for your help.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6929 posts in 1706 days


#4 posted 08-15-2020 11:19 PM

The thing that sets the Festool saws apart is that you’re not just buying a track saw and track. They are part of an entire system with the MFT table and accessories to allow you to do many different operations that a track saw setup alone can’t handle.

If you want to save a few bucks over Festool, I saw a blog post where the author was explaining how he used a Festool track with his Makita track saw (he said they are compatible, but I haven’t verified that) and adapted it to the Kreg Adaptive Cutting System table.

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

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northwoodsman

584 posts in 4863 days


#5 posted 08-15-2020 11:52 PM

I would go with the Festool of your choices. Go through the alignment setops for your DeWalt first. I have the DeWalt and mine is dead on. There are several adjustments on the saw to tune it in. Like my table saw, it doesn’t get much use but I verify the accuracy at least once a year. It’s not a saw that you can just grab and always expect a perfect cut forever. It may have been dropped, mis-used by someone else, or ? I would imagine the Festool needs to be tuned periodically also. I have a friend that has the Festool and I’ll take my DeWalt against his any day. Do you have the clamps for the track to hold it in place. If your cut is off at the start are you allowing the track to overhang the leading edge by a few inches? To me it looks like your track may be moving or your saw isn’t tuned in to the track properly.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#6 posted 08-15-2020 11:55 PM

Just to confirm, the part of the track which was used to cut this piece, with a backlight, so any imperfestion would be visible:

And another cut, made very sloooooly, using almost new blade made by dewalt

The same problem, each and every time…

Yes, I use clamps, and the track does not move. The track is dead on the surface, as I use MDF supports on both sides of the piece, so it does have very levelled surface underneath. I also tried without supports, with the same result. I never dropped the saw, but it made this sort of cuts from the day 1. Thanks.

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#7 posted 08-16-2020 01:42 AM

Just checked the alignment, it appears the saw was misaligned out of the factory. Adjusted the blade to be parallel to the track, and it did not fix the problem. Going to buy different brand. So I understand any saw can make bevel cuts straight…

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Sark

414 posts in 1477 days


#8 posted 08-16-2020 03:12 AM

I can well imagine that the blade is not properly aligned. But when you checked the alignment what exactly did you measure, and how far out was it? Any conjectures on why that misalignment would cause the bad cut? Could be that the bearings are loose too…or that it is misaligned in more than one plane. I’ve given up trying to get precise cuts on my track saw system, but when I first got it, it was very accurate. No longer…I just cut oversize and run through the table saw.

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#9 posted 08-16-2020 03:49 AM

I have tried a few options: 1. out of the box, 2. the blade is completely parallel to the track, and 3. as per festool recommendations, where the rear part of the blade has some distance to the track, and this distance is equal to the width of a paper sheet.
All those manipulations changed the roughness of the surface of the cut and added/removed some burning marks, but had absolutely no impact on the problem I try to solve.
And the most important thing, it was this way from day 1, so I don’t think I over-used it and caused misalignment. I’m a hobbyist, not a pro

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1691 days


#10 posted 08-16-2020 05:17 AM

I’ve been using a DeWalt tracksaw since 2008, and I do not have this issue, nor have I ever. You say you’ve had it 2 years. You have a 3 year warranty. I’d be checking with DeWalt because either you’re not using it right, or it’s got issues. While you still have warranty, use it.

-- Think safe, be safe

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DrTebi

402 posts in 4384 days


#11 posted 08-16-2020 08:29 AM

I have the feeling you are trying to achieve absolute perfection… which I think is hard to achieve with a circular saw. I don’t know your workshop’s size constraints, but if at all possible, I’d go for a “proper” table saw. ‘could be a used one, if you don’t want to spend money.

I am saying this because I had a similar experience—my circular saw, coupled to a beefy aluminum track system—never got me perfect cuts. I believe it’s just the nature of the saw, being somewhat flexible due to the light construction. I ended up cutting plywood a bit oversized, and then eventually cutting it to final size on my table saw.

Any decent table saw will be much more solid and stable than your hand and a circular saw. I’d suggest, if you have the money to spare, spent your $AUD on a good table saw rather than trying to fix the circular saw.

View BuckeyeDennis's profile

BuckeyeDennis

106 posts in 815 days


#12 posted 08-16-2020 11:49 AM

I had a very similar problem with my Makita track saw. After a whole lot of diagnostics, I determined that the problem was with the stock Makita blade, not the saw itself. After I replaced it with a Forrest blade, I got beautiful straight cuts.

I also tried a Festool blade. It was good, but not quite as good as the Forrest, which has a thicker plate.

More details are in this post: https://www.lumberjocks.com/replies/5200148

-- Dennis 'We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.' Charles Swindoll

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northwoodsman

584 posts in 4863 days


#13 posted 08-16-2020 04:29 PM

Hey vinc8x, what are we looking at in your photo, I can’t tell. Is that a view from the top looking down? Or is it the end of the board (endgrain)? Thanks.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#14 posted 08-17-2020 12:55 AM


Hey vinc8x, what are we looking at in your photo, I can t tell. Is that a view from the top looking down? Or is it the end of the board (endgrain)? Thanks.

- northwoodsman


Sorry for that. For some reasons, the forum engine does not provide full-sized original pics.
It is a walnut panel which I bevel cut. I then made a picture of that panel holding it vertically with the cut down, touching absolutely plain veneered yellowish mdf sheet. In order to show the defective edge, I use a light on the back side of the walnut panel, so anywhere where the cut is not perfect, you see the area highlighted with the back-light.
The walnut panel has a big gap on the left, where the saw blade starts its work, and some tear-down at the end of the panel. I don’t care about the tear-down as I can sand it, but this gap on the left side (which is marked with red on the 1st photo) I cannot fix and cannot assemble the box properly. I’m just trying to make this edge straight.

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vinc8x

13 posts in 306 days


#15 posted 08-17-2020 12:59 AM


I had a very similar problem with my Makita track saw. After a whole lot of diagnostics, I determined that the problem was with the stock Makita blade, not the saw itself. After I replaced it with a Forrest blade, I got beautiful straight cuts.
- BuckeyeDennis

Thanks, I replaced the blades a few times. I tried Freud which preformed better, but still made some trouble, then I bought the original dewalt one and this cut is made with it. It is still very new.

But I must admit, you have a very interesting point. I’m going to try your method, thanks a lot.

PS. Just tried. It seems it did help very little or did not help at all, I cannot measure the gap precisely, but subjectively it is a little bit better, but still too wide. Thanks anyway…

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