Festool with guides vs. table saw

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Forum topic by Lalaland posted 08-31-2007 01:08 AM 15316 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 5054 days

08-31-2007 01:08 AM

Was wondering if anyone here uses the Festool products, the plunge saw in particular? How accurate is the saw with its various guides in ripping verses using a table saw? I have personally used one in laying hardwood flooring and doing some special work there. But hardwood flooring and intricate furniture work is very different, or maybe not? Any thoughts?

12 replies so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5112 days

#1 posted 08-31-2007 02:47 AM

The plunge saws along with an MFT and additional longer guides could easily do the job of a tablesaw. I prefer to have both as I like having multiple ways of doing a task or solving a problem, but with some know-how, the Festool stuff can do a ton of stuff. I mostly use mine to cut bevels and knock down sheet goods. I prefer a tablesaw because I’m use to setting the fence and ordering my cuts. You can use stop blocks and clamping elements and a tape measure and do the same thing with an MFT plunge saw and guides.

Take a look at for another alternative. I have this system too out in my garage. My tablesaw and festool stuff stay in the shop.

In terms of safety, the Festool stuff would probably win in most categories. I still wouldn’t part with my tablesaw, but with practice and understanding the system in both it’s applications and limitations, I’m not sure if there is anything I couldn’t do on my MFT that I can do with my tablesaw. I suppose I couldn’t create a destructive kickback with the MFT that I could with the tablesaw. (smirk)

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5038 days

#2 posted 08-31-2007 04:03 AM

Check out John Lucas has been testing the Festool line for about the last 6 months. Tons of information there. And about lots of other things as well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1527 posts in 5200 days

#3 posted 09-01-2007 01:21 AM

Similar questions, especially about things like cutting tapered table legs, have recently come up over at the Festool Owner's Group.

I don’t have a lot of table saw experience, and my Dad’s got a few shorter fingers because of some table saw experience, so I’ve no desire to work with a tablesaw that’s not either a SawStop or a euroslider of some sort. Among other reasons, that’s why I went with the Festool TS55 saw and MFT table.

I think for the most part it’s about thinking about your cuts in different ways. There are some dadoes I couldn’t cut with the Festool saw that’d be easy with a tablesaw, but I can cut them with a router. Technique for tapers took a little practice, and I’ll probably be refining my technique on that as I build more tapered leg furniture. Accuracy is mostly a matter of how much you’ve let the rubber strip on the rail wear, but since you can move it fairly easily, accuracy is easily within visual limits (if you can see the line to put a razor blade in it, you can push the rail up against the blade).

There are certainly some cuts that are faster or easier on a tablesaw, and some that are faster or easier with the Festool saw, for me the safety and portable shop make the Festool win, and if you’re comparing against a sub $1000 contractor’s saw, I think the scales tip towards the Festool. If you don’t want the dust collection, you might also look at the EZ Smart rails and a matching saw, but the Festool gets so much stuff right that I’m a convert.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View John's profile


20 posts in 4012 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 08:46 AM

I would say for overall good value go with Eurekazone over festool a lot of festool guys have both or switching to Eurekazone for a lot of good reasons. At this time you can use any saw on the Eurekazone track system even festools saw.

-- John Mississauga Ontario

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 4265 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 03:15 PM

I Love my Festool TS55 plunge track saw but I also have a tablesaw. I mainly use the Festool saw to cut down large panels and then I square the pieces on the tablesaw. Achieving square pieces with only a track saw is very challenging as well as making repeat cuts. Maybe the Festool MFT solves this issue.

-- Ted

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4150 days

#6 posted 03-21-2011 03:35 PM

My Festool TS55 is the “table saw” I can easily take with me when I go to work at another location. It also does some jobs in my workshop more conveniently than the TS or CSMS. It definitely plays an important role for me but it is not a TS replacement in my shop.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4442 days

#7 posted 03-21-2011 09:51 PM

I cannot imagine switching from a Festool to the Eureka Zone EZ System. The Festool is a lot more accurate and the plunge feature is very useful in some situations plus the dust control is hugely better and the cost is similar.

As far as replacing a table saw, You probably could but it the track system, whichever one, would be slower and certainly not as accurate.

Both have a place in your shop but if I had to pick one, I would pick the table saw.


View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 4267 days

#8 posted 03-21-2011 11:36 PM

I own a Sawstop, a sliding compound miter saw, and a TS55+MFT/3

There are plenty of tasks they share in common. However, like always, there are some that are faster/easier on one or the other and a few tasks that can only realistically done on one of them. For example, there’s no way you’re going to try and cut down doors on the table saw, the TS55 is perfect for that task. On the other hand, cross-cutting 2×6s on the MFT/3 can be done, but it’s a whole lot easier and faster on the miter saw.

For cutting down sheet goods, it’s hard to beat the TS55. When you lay down the rail, the cut is going to be where the edge of the rail lies. Not close, not almost, but exactly, every time. With a little care, you can cut your plywood down to finished size and the edges are almost flawless, just as good and often better than my SawStop. But once you get down to a certain size, the SawStop+Incra fence is far, far faster and even more mind-blowingly accurate.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View TooTall's profile


6 posts in 3719 days

#9 posted 03-22-2011 03:34 AM

I have both saws and use them both. The track saw is very accurate. However you need to become familiar with the guide strip that is stuck to the track. Once you have that mastered it is great for cutting 4X8 sheets of plywood in half. Then you have more manageable pieces for your table saw. Angle cuts are so much easier with track saw. My life would be much more difficult without it. You could get along the track saw, but you really need a table saw as well. The track saw is also more portable, you can take it every where.

-- Bob P, Wisconsin, http://[email protected]

View John's profile


20 posts in 4012 days

#10 posted 09-19-2011 09:25 PM

There are a lot of tools that do the job how safe they are is another thing or we could say forgiving.
Keep an eye on Eurekazone EZ-One system and other tools and you will see for yourself what the future is.
Eurekazone is not cheap buy any means but they are working on dropping prices not raising them.
Nothing against Festool they make some good tools I’m sure and you you have the money to spend go for it after all it is your money.I agree you get what you pay for in most cases but there a little to ritch for me.

-- John Mississauga Ontario

View John's profile


20 posts in 4012 days

#11 posted 09-19-2011 09:29 PM

Mastercraft has a pretty good plunge saw out at this time at a good price when on sale,Well it’s really a combo saw you can use it in what ever mod you like has a combo metal blade with it.

-- John Mississauga Ontario

View AttnToDetail's profile


16 posts in 3513 days

#12 posted 09-23-2011 06:30 AM

About a year ago, I wrestled with the same debate over a table saw vs the Festool plunge saw and ended up with the TS75 with the MFT. My attraction to the Festool was its German quiality, ease of storage (i have very limited space) and basic “think out of the box” concept. I have been very pleased with the quality and accuracy of cuts. I am not arguing it could replace a table saw or miter saw, but it has brought me a long way. Working with smaller pieces is difficult and making repeat cuts is a challange. I over came the repeat cuts by basically cutting 3 pieces at once (thats 3 on top of each other). A little piece of advice: accurate cuts and square pieces came with the help of a good combination sqaure and triangle square working with the hard side of the Festool guide rails. Also, I enjoy using the qwas dogs with the MFT. The bottom line is the Festool plunge saw and guide rails are a great tool, but it is unconventional which requires some unconventional thinking. After some trial and error, this has been a joy to work with.

-- You can't rush greatness.

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