• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Advice - Bosch or Mafell plunge saw?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

GrumpyChap

Member
Joined
23 Jul 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
Hi all,

Just a DIYer but looking to get myself a decent plunge saw and I'm after some advice if possible. I recently purchased the Erbauer but had to return two of them because of problems with the rails and the saw itself burning out so on the hunt for an upgrade.

I've already done a bit of research online and YouTube (Peter Millard, Skill Builder reviews) and I really like the look of the Bosch track saw, particularly the track and the connector seems to get decent reviews compared to other standard track connectors. I'm largely going to be cutting down sheet material, bit of cabinet making and few other things.

Anyway, FFX seem to be the cheapest for plunge saw kits and I am considering the following options

1. Bosch - Bosch GKT55GCEFSNKIT2 165mm 240v Plunge Saw and FSN Guide Rail Kit (ffx.co.uk)
2. Mafell 2 x 1.6m rails - Mafell MT55PK1 230v 1400w Plunge-Cut Saw MidiMAX in T-MAX (ffx.co.uk)
3. Mafell 1 x 1.6 + 800mm + angle guide - Mafell MT55PK2 240 240v 1400w Plunge-Cut Saw MidiMAX with Rail Set (ffx.co.uk)

I can afford to get the Mafell if I want to but I'm questioning whether I actually really need it for the extra £130. Scoring function and fine depth adjustment sound like good features, how often I will use them I am not so sure, but the motor/power on Mafell seems to be rated highly - I guess the Mafell is probably going to last me a good while so for the price difference it seems worth it. Obviously the Bosch is a replica of the Mafell to some extent and without the additional features so I could go for that and leave room for some additional accessories.

Appreciate any views from those with experience of these saws or just any comments generally.

P.s. I do have Dewalt cordless tools and I did look at the 54v cordless version but then I'm venturing towards the £1000 mark by the time I add the kit up and at that point I would probably look at the cordless Mafell (struggling to justify such a huge cost for one tool.)

Cheers
 

Gordon Tarling

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2021
Messages
135
Reaction score
44
Location
S. Lincs
I bought the Bosch one about two years ago and have been very happy with it - it doesn't get used a lot, but It's invaluable for breaking down large sheets of ply etc. The one and only 'snag' that I've discovered is that thin kerf blades don't work with it - those blades are just a touch too thin for the design of the blade hub. Sorry, I have no experience of the Mafell.

G.
 

Blackswanwood

Still Learning
Joined
17 Nov 2018
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
788
Location
North Yorkshire
I spent ages researching (prevaricating) over this question and bought the Mafell package at no3 on your list. Ironically I had tried a Festool and Makita and was intent on buying the Festool but suddenly none were available. This actually did me a favour as the Mafell is excellent.

I cannot comment on the Bosch but doubt you will be disappointed with the Mafell.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,585
Reaction score
812
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Mafell. Better motor. Score and fine depth control are very good and dust extraction is excellent. I would not swap mine for the Bosch copy, mainly because I see this as a long term tool.
 

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,269
Reaction score
2,294
Location
@dougsworkshop
I went for the Mafell & have been completely happy with it, I bought a bare cordless saw plus rail package as it allowed me to use the Metabo batteries off my chop saw as they are a bigger Ah, 8 as apposed to 5.5 if I remember right.
Got a good deal from D&M that included the rail angle fence, don’t use it much but handy occasionally & negates the need for a rail square if that’s something you’re looking at getting.
 

Ntre25

Member
Joined
12 Jul 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Location
Reading
I've used the Mafell for 3 years and it is superb. It is a high quality track and rail saw which produces accurate and splinter free cuts. It is expensive but I have used it more than I anticipated.
 

C64

Established Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
18
Location
London
I bought the Mafell Mt55 double rail deal (#2 on your list) around 6 years ago from D&M tools and I think was around the same price as today’s price. Quite astonishing as yearly tool price inflation can get quite silly.

The Bosch package #1 is missing the track saw clamps and saw blade comparing Mafell package #2. The FSN clamps are £60 a pair and a decent saw blade from £15-20 upwards.
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
568
Reaction score
288
Location
Lancashire
I'm a 20 year trade plunge saw/guide rail user having gone Hilti WSC265, Festool TS55, Festool TS75, Makita DSP600 and Bosch GKT55ce (second hand). I still own all of these. I have had access to the Makita SP6000 anf Festool TS55R and TSC55R (cordless) through work on many occasions. I was loaned an MT55cc as a demo unit a few years back when the local dealership was attempting to pry my wallet open

The Bosch/Makita rails have a better OEM joining system to be sure, but thete are now some non-OEM rail joiners available for the Festool style rails which address that.

In terms of fit and finish the Makitas aren't quite as nice and the lack micro depth adjustment but in real world terms I am mostly cutting timber not grooving it (for which a router is more accurate in any case) so it makes little difference to me if I am cutting 0.5mm deeper than I strictly need to

The dual scale of the Festool TS55R, Bosch and Mafell are a greater convenience than having to remember to account for the 5mm depth of cut difference when on the rail, but TBH most of the time once you've set the DOC it stays set for quite a while - so arguably a nice feature, but worth an extra £100? Nah!

Dust extraction - the Mafell is marginally better, but a piece of gaffer tape over the hole in the side of tne casings of the others (or if you are posh one of those digitally printed plugs - Festool even hsve sn OEM version for their saws) more or less evens that up

If you want one USP for the Makitas it is that thdy have an effective anti-tip facility for doing long bevel rips. No other saw has that. Needs a Mak saw on a Mak rail, though

Clamps? Almost never need them with 99.9% cuts being done without. The only times you do need them are on tasks like trimming skiddy, laminate coated doors - and not often then (and Festool do some really handy Gecko clamps for their rails which also work on Makita rails), oh, and for...

Scoring cuts - not a much used feature either unless you do a lot of splintery plywood, MF-MDF, MFC or the like. The Hilti lacks this, as does the original TS55. All the others have it, although the simple way of doing this on even a cheap saw is to clamp the rail, run the saw to the far end, set the plunge depth to 1 or 2mm, plunge in, reverse the saw backwards to the start of the cut, unplunge, reset depth of cut to thickness of material plus 1mm, make the cut as normal. Hardly a deal breaker for once in a blue moon use.

As to thin kerf saws, they are a must for the cordless saws, but they wear out/blunt faster, are more fragile when they hit inclusions, are near impossible to get resharpened, flex in cut more readily (sometimes into your guide rail), can cost more, etc. So it is far from positive

So why buy a Mafell? It's red and shiny and it has a bit more snob factor to my mind. It is slightly more powerful than my original TS55, but if I want/need more power, or for that matter another 20mm DOC I pull out the TS75. I rarely need to. The MT55cc it isn't any better finished than a TS55 (from side by side comparison), although they are both nicer than the Makitas - the Bosch, however, is comparable in fit and finish. One big plus of the Festool/Makita type rails is that the rubber grip strips and the anti splinter strips are much cheaper thsn the equivalent items for Bosch/Mafell/Metabo rails and the anti splinter strips on the Festool/Makita type rails can be moved across 3 or 4 times before they need to be replaced. The Maffel type is single use anf lasts no longer. For a heavy user like me that is potentially significant saving

So is the Mafell really £130 better? I doubt it. But it is all red and shiny....
 
Last edited:

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,683
Reaction score
600
Location
Wiltshire
Mafell tools are fabulous, but it’s academic if you just can’t afford them, but if you can, I would.
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
568
Reaction score
288
Location
Lancashire
My P1cc really is good and delivers enough advantage to make it worth the extra (my missus might not agree), but the MT55cc, meh!

I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to have one, but logic dictates that I'd benefit more financially from replacing my Hilti WSC85 (made by Mafell) with the newer KSS80 and some guide rails first.

In my world, Tiddles, the bottom line is very important - but then my "toys" aren't really toys
 
Last edited:

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,585
Reaction score
812
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Scoring - I disagree with above from J&K. Track saws are often used a lot for sheet goods. I use the scoring system most of the time when I have the track saw out. Mafell system is a single button. Very simple and very quick. It leaves an extremely clean cut in plywood (I use a lot of play for cabinets and drawers). No errors in depth. The rotary marker for compensated (for track) plunge cuts is also very useful.

If the saw is to be kept long term the extra price is worth it. For trade use time saved usually has more value in labour cost saved, than the difference in tool price.

I have not used the Hilti ts, but my circular saws are Hilti and excellent.
 

Spectric

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
2,293
Reaction score
1,026
Location
North Cumbria
I can afford to get the Mafell if I want to but I'm questioning whether I actually really need it for the extra £130. Scoring function and fine depth adjustment sound like good features,
Been here and have already done the homework when looking at a tracksaw, been in engineering all my life but still got to that point where you are not convinced or have doubts, you think what am I missing out by not buying XYZ. I produced a simple comparison sheet and finaly went for the Makita 110 volt SP6000 after some feedback from @JobandKnock, it has a scoring feature if you need it . I have liked Makitas plain simple approach with their tools, functional and reliable without the bells and whistles which you can live without and their tracksaw is great, cuts 18mm ply with ease and so a good choice, again thanks J&K.
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
568
Reaction score
288
Location
Lancashire
Track saws are often used a lot for sheet goods. I use the scoring system most of the time when I have the track saw out. Mafell system is a single button.
So is the Makita system (single button). For many materials the anti-splinter strip is sufficient to prevent spelching (providing it is in good order). If you are using the scoring facility and clamps all the time it must take forever to do stuff.

And the rotary 5mm thing is also used by Bosch whilst Festool have a dual scale these days

But the Maf is red and shiny... whereas the Hilti was not shiney and had a couple of major design flaws, including a ridiculously weak cast alloy depth quadrant. I had two replaced under warranty and a third which broke when I hit metal in a floor. Loads of torque, but a bit too fragile for a site saw IMHO.

I'm not saying the Maf isn't s good saw - but in real world terms it is no more capable than other tools on the market whilst costing considerably more. I can understand the price difference when looking some other Maf products, e.g the P1cc jigsaw, MF26 groover, etc which are unique products, but the MT55cc, come on?
 
Last edited:

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,269
Reaction score
2,294
Location
@dougsworkshop
It takes seconds to use the clamps & if you are using the scoring facility over any long length of cut pretty important to clamp the track down as you don’t want any movement of the track over the two passes.
For me the biggest benefit of the Bosch/Mafell track is the ability to clamp the track close to the splinter guard which is excellent for running down long lengths of narrow section such as skirting, architrave 3x2 etc.
I really don’t get the comments about shiny, they are just another tool & as I’ve not noticed anything remotely shiny about them can only presume a personal problem with the brand.
 

Raymien

Established Member
Joined
9 Jun 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
12
Location
Norwich
I bought the Mafell MT55 with double rail kit in January and I’ve been using it as my exclusive cutting saw ever since. I think it’s amazing and I’d be lost without it.


Like you I started with the Erbauer and went through 3 of them before finally giving up. The first time I used the Mafell I was blown away with what an upgrade it is. Dust collection is fantastic, the quality of the cut is perfect. The rail connection is far far better than the ‘Festool’ style of the Erbauer ones. I’d say mine has had heavy use in 7 months and it’s never missed a beat.

I use it on an MFT with the Benchdogs rail system and it’s perfect for me. I cut down 3 sheets of MDF into 96 individual parts for 11 radiator covers in about half a day and the Mafell smashed it.

Get the Mafell. You won’t regret it!
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
568
Reaction score
288
Location
Lancashire
No chips - just hear and see enough BS in my day job. The reality is that all of the trade level tools are fit for purpose, that there is very little practical difference between them and that the price differentials are the most ridiculous thing of all about them. "Long" lengths of skirting with a rail saw - that's a good 'un
 
Last edited:

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,585
Reaction score
812
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Job&K - just because people disagree with you does not make them fan boys. The people who have commented here are by and large Mafell users. They have therefore been through the thought process themselves. The op was asking between Mafell and Bosch. Not for your views on all kinds of other stuff. The difference between them, including entirely different motor in the Mafell and some other feature differences, has been answered and the OP must decide whether those difference are important to him. Name calling always demeans the person doing it and never changes anyone's mind.
 
Top