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Advice - Bosch or Mafell plunge saw?

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Doug B

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"Long" lengths of skirting with a rail saw - that's a good 'un
I’m surprised you have never had to run any skirting down it’s length I certainly have.




Being able to clamp right near the edge of the cut as shown in the photo is a major advantage to the Bosch/Mafell track & one of the reasons I bought it for on site use
3F4A4A1F-1D99-4084-9A5D-8722CCD2804B.jpeg
 
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loc0

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I've got Mafell on Bosch rails (same thing but cheaper with different clamps) with 32mm spaced holes. When I was buying my kit this year Bosch was in constant shortage pretty much everywhere and when it finally got back in the stock price difference between the 2 was negligible. I went Mafell/ Bosch route because of GMF1600 router that I can use under the table, on rails, fixed base, plunge base with no hassle.
 

Ollie78

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Not read every comment here but just a quick option. If I were buying a rail saw now I would not buy a plunge style rail saw but something like the KSS from Mafell or the HKC 55 (which I have) . My reasoning is that they are more versatile, you can plunge them but also you can cross cut and they are much better to use without a rail for ripping thinner stuff with a fence.
Just the best value for money saws. I hardly ever use my TS55 since getting the HKC.

Also I vote Mafell over Bosch. The cuprex motor is very strong and the Mafell stuff is very "industrial" in design.

Ollie
 

Daniel2

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Comparing Bosch with Mafell is a lot like comparing a Ford with a Lexus.
Which should I buy, money's no object ?
Nothing wrong with the Ford, per se, but it's just not in the same class.
 

C64

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When I bought the MT55 several years ago, there were less competition with Festool TS55 being the obvious alternative whereas there are more choices today eroding some justification of MT55 price premium. It has proved to be very reliable saw but if it were to break tomorrow, I would get a KSS saw instead like Ollie78 suggested because accurate cross cutting is so convenient while still ripping much like a plunge saw.
 

ivan

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I believe Mafell make the Festool saw.
I have had 2 Mafell, bought the first, which plunges like a router on 2 columns, when I saw demo of scoring cuts on melamine. Axminster show, 20 odd years back? I also have the current version, bought because it runs on the wider Festool style track. Joining Festool track for cabinet accuracy is a bit fiddly. The mafell track system is quick and foolproof. However...
I find the narrower mafell track can be bowed by inching (millimincing??) one end when 2 rails are joined up for a 2M+ cut. The wider festool style doesn't do this. So I use mafell track for shorter cuts and a 3M festool track for full board cuts. The newish Mafell runs equally well on both rails. The vac clamped mafell track is great if you can get it at EU price, this OK for Bosch too I imagine.
Scoring is possible with any track saw, including the Lidl on which I have for rough work (3 yr replacement g'tee). However it does require 2 sequential depth settings. For best results climb cut at 3mm pulling towards yourself, reset to full depth and saw forward as usual.
The Mafell can do it simply, set full depth, push scoring lever to limit cut to 3mm. Disengage scoring and cut again. The official advice is to make 2 forward cuts, but for best results the 3mm cut should be a climb cut. HOWEVER be warned that if you forget to set the scoring lever and so attempt a climb cut at full depth, something very nasty will happen and you'll get an unexpected visit to A&E.
The scoring lever does NOT move the blade sideways (I think only the Mafell automatic job-see their site) and I suspect a crafty metal worker could arrange a 3mm depth limiter on some other saws, which could be simply pushed in and out. I would buy Mafell again, though.
 

TheTiddles

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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
Maybe articulating your position with some evidence and less emotional outburst will help you be taken more seriously.
 

johnnyb

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the purchase of a p1cc made me decide not to get a mafell plunges saw.i thought it was definitely over hyped and not the " wonder tool" reviewers raved about. its a nice very heavy odd tool that can use the world's most expensive blades to make tight curves in deep wood. use it with normal blades and it's not so clever in fact it's a blade bender.
I applied this to buying an mt55 I reckoned probably over hyped and packaged with a load of expensive mostly useless tat. have you seen the suction rail et al. I'm not saying its not high quality btw just overpriced overengineered and over gimmicky!sorry fanboys...
 

GrumpyChap

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Thanks for all the comments, interesting to see everyone has different views.

I think I've ruled out the Makita, wasn't keen on it to be honest and some reason felt a little underpowered when I had a go of it. Anyway, everywhere seems to have them out of stock. Looks like the Bosch is OOS too form FFX and loathed to pay upwards of £70+ from other sites as I can wait.

After a little more searching, I think I am going to go for the Mafell as I feel the price will be worth it and likely last me a good while. However, after reading Doug B's comment, I've been looking at the cordless version too. Currently, my workshop is outside in the garden until I get round to getting a shed built after house renovations - probably end of the year maybe longer. I wonder if the cordless makes sense over the corded in the longer term? I have outside plug sockets so corded is not an issue for me right now but may be when the shed is built. I don't generally use dust extraction outside when cutting either so if dust bag collection on the cordless Mafell is any good that could be a plus point - @Doug B any comments on that?

Also noticed the cordless only has one speed, unlike the corded version - are the speed settings just a gimmick or do they actually come in handy?

I am not in any rush to get a plunge saw, so I could wait another month if you guys reckon cordless is a better option or would i just be wasting money. Would probably look at bare unit and get Metabo batteries and railes separate. If not worth it, I might as well go and get the corded Mafell this week.

Thinking about it, I supposed that would bring the Bosch blue cordless plunge saw into play (GKT 55 18v GC) slight cheaper than Mafell, not heard good reviews on that tho.
 

johnnyb

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I have used the slowest speed for cutting kingspan with a 3m rail. made it nearly dust free. also for cutting acrylic sheet for showers.
I'm stuck with corded as my dust extractor triggers using 240v. mostly they trigger using Bluetooth these days.
if you don't have an extractor it's blooming messy. maybe get a cheaper saw and a dust extractor. that's the best advice your gonna get on this thread bro!
 

johnnyb

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also get some rip blades. they make life less snatchy with little loss of finish on general solid work. the cheap white blades on ebay are actually really good value(are they called lumberjack?) they do a 32 tooth which is a nice free cut
 

Spectric

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Comparing Bosch with Mafell is a lot like comparing a Ford with a Lexus.
If you put these two saws side by side then you will see they share common components, they both originate from the same initial design and are much closer in quality than a Ford and Lexus. Then compare specs, both weigh 4.7Kg, 1400 Watts and have a no load speed of 3600 - 6250 Rpm. Ok one gives the motor a fancy name but that is nothing more than sticking an XL badge on a car.

Bottom line is can the saw make a decent straight cut, yes they all can and so it comes down to the badge, some people just get mislead by a badge, the auto industry has made an absolute fortune out of badges and it took the Asians some time to get there heads round the concept.

As for cross cutting things like skirting, the wrong tool. The mitre saw is a better freind here, quick fast and accurate with no flafing around.

Another point is that a really skilled bloke will achieve the same results with any of these saws, some OEM's sell their products on the pretence of anyone can achieve professional results usng our products, ie the festool concept. If you want good tools that deliver under hard enviroments then just look at what is used on industrial building sites and fitouts.
 

PerryGunn

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...
I wonder if the cordless makes sense over the corded in the longer term? I have outside plug sockets so corded is not an issue for me right now but may be when the shed is built. I don't generally use dust extraction outside when cutting either so if dust bag collection on the cordless Mafell is any good that could be a plus point...
[I've copied the text below from my post on another thread as I don't think I can say it better by rewording it...]

Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom & flexibility that comes with cordless tools but, for anything that routinely needs to be attached to dust extraction, I'm quite happy with corded as I don't find the power cord any more of a hinderance than the extraction hose - my tracksaw being a prime example.
 

GrumpyChap

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That's a fair point Johnny b, I do have a wet/dry vac but only tend to use it inside the house than out since the garden is already in a mess, for now anyway!

If I'm going to attach a dust extractor then surely that defeats the object of having a cordless plunge saw right, unless the dust collection is good enough for the bag attachmen. Though from experience, most dust bags I've had that come with tools are naff.

Think I'm trying to justify going cordless simply because my existing tool set up is all cordless but I can appreciate certain tools are best hooked up to a dust extractor - sounds like a plunge saw is one of those cases
 

TheTiddles

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The usual argument is you’ve not got a cordless and hose-less vacuum, so what’s the advantage?

I’m thinking of a cordless circular saw for outdoor work soon, as I wouldn’t be using my lovely Mafell for cutting treated 4x2 and feather edge and the cable will get in the way. I suppose it’s down to the crux question for most things… what are you going to be making?
 

Spectric

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I'm quite happy with corded as I don't find the power cord any more of a hinderance than the extraction hose
Same here, you buy a corded tool and so long as you pay your electricity bill then it will work until the day it wears out, with cordless you are a slave to the OEM as you need to buy new batteries long before it wears out. I have brought new drill and battery kit deals because they worked out cheaper than new batteries.
 

Doug B

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Ive found the dust bag works extremely well @GrumpyChap, there’s a little bit of dust escape in scribing mode regardless of whether hooked up to the extractor or the bag but in normal use it’s excellent & there’s not a lot of difference between the bag or the extractor, but with a fully enclosed blade it’s hardly surprising that the dust is forced up through the extraction port.
 
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