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Track saw...corded or non...brand selection

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Forum topic by BB1 posted 01-09-2022 02:48 AM 1648 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BB1

3201 posts in 2311 days


01-09-2022 02:48 AM

My birthday was earlier this week and my husband said he wants me to pick out a new tool. (Yes, he is the best and knows a tool lasts longer than flowers!). A jointer would be great, but really am already cramped for space. He said – what about a track saw. I have the Kreg setup that attaches to a circular saw. I got it for our Murphy bed build and it worked fine to get all the plywood broken down to size. It is a bit frustrating in that the edge guide tends to loosen, etc, and the cordless Dewalt saw I have attached just seems to sap batteries quickly. So, I’ve been reading reviews and watching YouTube analyses. Would love to hear from the LJ on the following:

  • Would you go with a corded or battery version??
    I like the longevity of corded with no worries if I have a battery charged, but also know cords can be a hassle when working with large panels or if away from the shop outlets.
  • Brand?? From my research, appears Festool and Makita are the top. Right now I’m leaning toward the Makita as it seems to have top notch quality and features without as big of a price tag.
  • Track length? Seems Iike most come with one track (e.g., Makita has a 55 inch track), but do you have multiple to connect or other lengths?

Thanks for any insights you are willing to offer. And if there are other things I should be considering, please share those as well.


55 replies so far

View yamato72's profile

yamato72

54 posts in 418 days


#1 posted 01-09-2022 02:56 AM

I got a corded Makita last year. Got corded because any tool that I’m going to hook a vac to, seems pointless to pay for the battery version. Got the Makita because the reviews and the price were good. Had I wanted cordless that would’ve pushed me into Dewalt and the reviews for the Dewalt track saw weren’t the best.

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BB1

3201 posts in 2311 days


#2 posted 01-09-2022 03:01 AM

yamato72 – yes, good point as a cord is minor compared to the hose for dust collection. Have you found the Makita to be a good tool for you? Most reviews really rate it high.

View Loren's profile

Loren

11510 posts in 5111 days


#3 posted 01-09-2022 03:09 AM

If you use dust collection you’ll be tethered anyway. For use outdoors cordless would be a more viable option so it depends on the type of work you do.

Some people have trouble with “heeling” on the Makita but I think it can be adjusted. A lot of people don’t understand what heel is but suffice to say it’s an incurable problem in miter saws and is akin to the sort of thing requiring moving the trunnions on a table saw.

You’ll probably want to get a rail square and after that you might want to get a set of parallel guides. I bring this up because the TSO rail square is popular in the states and has a parallel guide system that attaches to it that features an extra quick mount that’s only compatible with Festool rails. Other than that there’s no big reason why you can’t mix Festool and Makita rails except the saw may require adjustment when switching. A 55” rail is able to crosscut a 4’ sheet but a little extra length is nice, which would put you in the Festool rail system.

I have a Festool saw and a Makita rail I use for some things and a much heavier Mafell saw I use for straightlining so I don’t have a long rail for the festool. You can get away with using non-Festool parallel guides and a 55” rail to do an 8’ rip on a sheet of ply by indexing the guides off the factory edge.

FYI parallel guides and rail squares don’t work with the DeWalt system.

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BB1

3201 posts in 2311 days


#4 posted 01-09-2022 03:24 AM

Loren – thank you for all that info. I need to do some more study related to the rail square and parallel guides as I have not read about those yet. One review included the Mafell which was the top rated and priced. Pretty sure that’s above my level.
I see me using this mostly in or just outside my shop so the cordless aspect may not be an issue.

Again – I appreciate all this information.

View Aaron312's profile

Aaron312

63 posts in 863 days


#5 posted 01-09-2022 03:44 AM

I bought a used Makita (corded) with a 55” Festool track. It’s beeen very good for me. Accurate, easy to use, good dust control with my Fein vac, and really good cut quality. I need to buy another track and connector one of these days.

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BB1

3201 posts in 2311 days


#6 posted 01-09-2022 03:47 AM

Aaron312 – nice to pick up a good used one! Glad to hear another good experience with the Makita.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

2401 posts in 1902 days


#7 posted 01-09-2022 03:59 AM

Have the corded Festool TS 55 REQ with a couple sticks of Festool track that join. Nice tool. Get both blades.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View Rich's profile

Rich

8139 posts in 2052 days


#8 posted 01-09-2022 04:46 AM

How do you intend to use the saw?

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

View RyanGi's profile

RyanGi

350 posts in 500 days


#9 posted 01-09-2022 05:06 AM

Love my Makita, corded model. I have two 55” tracks with the bracket to combine them. It’s my primary tool for breaking down sheet goods. The only issue I’ve ever had with it was trying to take too big a bite out of a walnut slab. I just needed to take it in multiple passes was all. Other than that, it does what I ask it to do and does it very cleanly. The dust collection is adequate but not perfect.

-- Ryan/// I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View Andre's profile

Andre

5253 posts in 3269 days


#10 posted 01-09-2022 06:28 AM

I have a Dewalt, actually went to buy a Makita but they had a special on the Dewalt which included short and long tracks. Only use it to break down full sheets and so far have only used long track 2 or 3 times, it is nice too have.
For hobby use it meets and exceeds all my needs, amazing how smooth and accurate it cuts. In hindsight I would of got the Cordless but seeing as it is my only Dewalt tool having another set of battery’s and charger would be a pain?
Have you considered a table top jointer, I would think that might get more use?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View kroginold's profile

kroginold

73 posts in 2512 days


#11 posted 01-09-2022 07:09 AM

I have the Makita cordless and have no complaints. It’s 36 volt as it uses 2 batteries. I use the Wen rails as they are well made and a bargain on Amazon. If you cut long rip cuts you can do as I do and leave 2 joined together. Once aligned they stay in line pretty well and are still much lower price than the long Makita or Festool rails. I’m not anti Festool either, as I like my Domino.

View wkndwrnch's profile

wkndwrnch

99 posts in 3832 days


#12 posted 01-09-2022 10:51 AM

I was considering the Makita track saw,until I found a Dewalt saw and 55 inch track and the 102 inch track used in excellent shape. I really like having the long track as well as the shorter track, I use both on a regular basis. How did I do without a track saw? This is the only “yellow” tool I own, but I really like the saw and the tracks.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7482 posts in 3956 days


#13 posted 01-09-2022 11:40 AM

Too often I’ve had batteries for cordless tools die only to find the replacements cost as much as the tool itself, or they’re no longer available. So I’ve relegated my cordless tools to only some drills and drivers. As for track saws, mine is a Festool bought when it was the only one available to me. I think most of the models available now are fairly good, but I’d try to stick with one that uses multiple makes of tracks. I especially like the saw-in-either-direction feature of the Dewalt.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3755 posts in 1064 days


#14 posted 01-09-2022 12:09 PM

I bought the corded Grizzly kit about three years ago when they had a really good sale. I don’t use it a lot but gets the job done. If outside the dust port does’ need a vac connection. The other thing is if you are like me I can’t man handle full sheets of plywood anymore. Sometimes I break them down in the big store parking lot (with a non track battery saw) and others I back the truck up to my shop an cut them on the tailgate so cordless may be nice there.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

9194 posts in 4040 days


#15 posted 01-09-2022 01:11 PM

Would you go with a corded or battery version??
Corded

Brand??
Festool because it’s a good system with many accessories.

Track length? Seems Like most come with one track (e.g., Makita has a 55 inch track), but do you have multiple to connect or other lengths?

The longest one to rip an 8’ foot sheet good without connectors and one to crosscut said sheet.
Connecting 2 shorter rails makes sense sometimes so keep your options open. If you go with Festool ask for the rail with the holes in it and sometimes the dealer will accommodate this exchange at time of purchase.

Public domain ^

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