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Advice - Bosch or Mafell plunge saw?

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Doug71

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Cordless for me whenever possible these days.

You can't beat just picking up a tool, using it and putting it down again without having to mess with power cables.

Batteries are better than they ever have been and manufacturers don't seem to change the fitting/style since the whole Lithium thing came along, I have been using the Makita LXT for well over 10 years and there is no sign of it being changed anytime soon.

Thinking about it I actually think batteries last longer than drills these days.

It all depends what you do but I reckon if you have say 6+ batteries and stick to one platform you can't go far wrong, the bare tools are generally good value.
 

niemeyjt

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Another Mafell vote here. Bosch used to be made in the same factory but the more recent Bosch saws were off-shored to Hungary - and they have suffered design and quality flaws (there are a number of Youtube videos showing some of the issues).

Furthermore, if looking to go cordless, Mafell are in the Cordless Alliance (CAS) whereas Bosch are not - so better choice of manufacturers.
 

johnnyb

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batteries have improved but are still a wear item( ask the woman that brought a hybrid car that needed new ones at over £1000!)
a new blade is much more important than slight variations in saws( at trade quality) the basic bearings the saws use are certainly identical so provide a similar cut quality. convenience features are nice but after years you adapt ie I know to add 6mm on my cut depth on the rail.
if it lasts over 15 years without breaking in daily use then the initial cost is irrelevant tbh. when buying used I would look out for a saw that's 240v that's been babyied in a home workshop as these haven't normally been broken in!
 

Barry175

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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
Run your makita 110v through 40mm euro oak in one pass and then tell me it’s just as good as my mafell.
 

Padster

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FWIW I have the Bosch with the rails and bag, I also added a short rail to use for cross-cuts ala @petermillard videos with my MFT.
I put a post back when I was looking that I would've loved one of the more expensive makes but my budget was my budget and as I'd never had a Track saw before you don't miss what you've never had!
I can honestly say I've been very pleased with my choice and haven't had any issues or not been to perform something because it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the top brands.
If you get a Bosch I doubt you'll be disappointed IMHO

Regards

Padster
 

peterw3035

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FWIW I have the Bosch with the rails and bag, I also added a short rail to use for cross-cuts ala @petermillard videos with my MFT.
I put a post back when I was looking that I would've loved one of the more expensive makes but my budget was my budget and as I'd never had a Track saw before you don't miss what you've never had!
I can honestly say I've been very pleased with my choice and haven't had any issues or not been to perform something because it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the top brands.
If you get a Bosch I doubt you'll be disappointed IMHO

Regards

Padster
Do you have any issues using the Bosch tracks on your MFT. On watching John McGrath he has problems with the saw hitting the dogs because the track is too narrow?? His solution was to run the Bosch on a festool track?? Anyone else have issues?
 

petermillard

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Do you have any issues using the Bosch tracks on your MFT. On watching John McGrath he has problems with the saw hitting the dogs because the track is too narrow?? His solution was to run the Bosch on a festool track?? Anyone else have issues?
It's a known issue with the narrower Mafell and Bosch tracks - the base of the saw overhangs the rail at the left hand side. Coming from the Festool side of things, I found it quite uncomfortable to use when I had the Mafell on loan for a few months.
 

Padster

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Do you have any issues using the Bosch tracks on your MFT. On watching John McGrath he has problems with the saw hitting the dogs because the track is too narrow?? His solution was to run the Bosch on a festool track?? Anyone else have issues?
I use the Guide Rail Dogs from Benchdogs no issues at all

HTH

Padster
 

danst96

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Mat
Do you have any issues using the Bosch tracks on your MFT. On watching John McGrath he has problems with the saw hitting the dogs because the track is too narrow?? His solution was to run the Bosch on a festool track?? Anyone else have issues?
Matt Estlea highlighted exactly the same issue, he had some other work around but I can't remember. Check out his review on the saw it might help although it's worth noting he's sponsored by Bosch so may not be entirely impartial.

For the money I couldn't look past the TS55 unfortunately with the whole festool ecosystem.
 

petermillard

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In what way uncomfortable Peter ? I use both the Festool & Mafell track saws regularly & can’t say I find either uncomfortable.
I'm used to putting my left hand on the rail's LHS T-slot ahead of the saw, Doug - purely a muscle-memory thing having used nothing but Festool & Makita pattern rails for ~20 years - and not being able to do that with the Mafell rails was like losing a hand; or maybe gaining one. I'm sure it's something you'd get used to with use, but I didn't in the time I had the Mafell. 👍
 

ivan

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I believe Mafell make the Festool track saw for them.
I have an old Mafell tracksaw that plunges on columns like a router. Bought after trade demo of score cutting on melamine. For this the Mafel chap did a 3mm climb cut (towards himself) followed by a full depth normal cut, away. At this time Mafell track did not have anti splinter rubber edge. I Also have the current model with scoring lever (this does NOT move the blade sideways, I think this is only on their automatic board saw). This simplifies the 2 depth cut procedure. The anti splinter strip does help, but for best results on chipworthy material use the scoring funtion, as this leaves both sides of the kerf clean cut.
The 3mm climb cut followed by usual full depth, the cut pairs, is best. This imitates the cut of a scoring panel saw.

But BEWARE! if you forget to push the scoring lever to limit cut to 3mm, you will get a very unexpected result from attempting to climb cut at full depth. And proabaly a very uncomfortable wait for attention in A&E. The "proper" method scoring cut, is done away from the operator, like the normal cut, so does not involve climb cutting.

With care, and if not in a hurry, the cut pair (3mm & full) mentioned above work quite well even on a cheap Lidl saw (bought for rough work, 3 yr replacement g'tee)

2M+ length of Mafell track (superb joining system) does not like you inching (milimincing?) one end into position, often gives a slight bend ie. not a totally straight cut. Mafell track is fine for board cross cuts, but the wider Festool track does not flex sideways noticeably when making a long board cut. I don't like the Festool joining system, a bit fiddly, so we splashed out on a 3M single Festool track.

The key to a good cut, apart from the blade itself, is ensuring the blade is running parallel to the track guide, there is minimal clearance between saw base and guide, and a good set of main bearings. Bearings come in various flavours and sizes, so variations in the main saw bearing shaft design, may account for some of the price difference. The Mafell main shaft has 2 deep groove bearings, one each end, but some saws have only one plain ball bearing.

None of the above is of much relevance for basic site work, but might interest the cabinet maker.

Apologies, this similar to previous post which thought lost when site crashed with an ooops!.
 
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ivan

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Holding Mafell track - you could always use the vac assited Mafell track?
 

ivan

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Bosch may be made by mafell, I don't know. But I'm pretty sure the Festool saw is made by Mafell.
What's important for a quality chip free cut is a steady blade -> mainshaft devoid of float and run out. Some judge of the level of engineering may be estimated from exploded parts diagrams -> bigger bearings of higher spec -> rigid shaft, and with good blade->teeth not jiggling the edge of the kerf.
 
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GrumpyChap

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Right now, I'm leaning towards a corded Mafell.

Whilst a cordless would be nice to have, I think it probably is just that. I'm still just a DIYer who's probably going to be using the plunge saw on a semi regular basis for the time being and after weighing it up, I don't think I'll be using it as often as I might think I will in my head to warrant going for the best of the best.

Even if I look at the Bosch, by the time I factor in the cost of clamps, it's near enough close to the cost of the corded Mafell. Unless anyone can talk me out of it, I think that's where I'm heading 😀
 

Nelsun

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I swapped to the Mafell for all the normal reasons and performed a warranty voiding plug-it lead swap (there's a YouTube for that) easily enough. The plug-it tail gets in the road sometimes but the trade-off is worth it IMO having a lead attached to the hose already. That, and I have plenty Festool rails already.

Having a reliable rail joining method (TSO connectors) all but negates the FSN rails advantages for me. The extra accessory slot on the Festool pattern rails sees a lot of use (stops, parallel guides and narrow ripping mostly) so I wasn't giving that up.

FWIW, Festool have just announced some new self aligning rail connectors which, I imagine, will be cheaper than the TSO ones. Not sure if they're on store shelves yet though.
 

PerryGunn

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FWIW, Festool have just announced some new self aligning rail connectors which, I imagine, will be cheaper than the TSO ones. Not sure if they're on store shelves yet though.
I think that's the FSV/2 connecting pieces - they're only being sold as a pair because they're not identical.

IIRC supposed to be available in October - RRP about £50
 

Spectric

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Ask yourself if any of the trade quality saws would not be capable of performing what you want from a saw, I think you will find that they are all capable of cutting sheet goods as well as each other, only prices change with Makita at £418, Bosch at £476 & Mafel at £600 all with two rails. My Makita cuts 25mm ply the same as 18mm ply and perfect cuts so what do you get from paying another £180 for a Mafel? The price differences are to close for people to buy say a Makita if the Mafel was so much better, and much closer with Bosch & makita so how are Makita and Bosch still in the market and selling their saws?
 
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