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Advice - Bosch or Mafell plunge saw?

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Doug B

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Because people want choice Roy, be that price, extra features or different features.
As has been expressed here some like the slot on the Festool track & I can see why that would be handy but I met a chap who liked his Mafell track as it will bend to the contour of the shape of the piece he was working on, the Festool track is more rigid & no good for his application.

In terms of company size Mafell are quite small according to Wikipedia they have 280 employees, they manufacture in Germany & their reputation particularly for timber framing machinery is second to non. Their tools are are probably over engineered & are certainly very well designed & for this you pay a premium.

Personally for work on site I find the Mafell saw the best I’ve used & I've used most, in the workshop I use a Festool saw because it is better suited to my MFT top, it’s horses for courses.

Most brands of car will get you from A to B but folks choose the brand they want to best suite there needs & it’s the same with tools.
 

JobandKnock

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Run your makita 110v through 40mm euro oak in one pass and then tell me it’s just as good as my mafell.
I don't have a 110 volt Makita (as I stated). I do have a 2 x 18 volt cordless (DSP600) with which I have cut 38 to 40mm beech and oak worktops. I have also cut down enough solid hardwood doors with it that I know it works on those, too, albeit slowly (partly because the ultra thin Eficut blades, like all thin blades, don't take kindly to being pushed hard). But in general for heavier work I'd normally judt use my TS75 - the 70mm depth of cut on the rails means I can handle any of the old heavy doors I have dealt with. Could your MT55cc trim a 60mm thick bank door in a single pass? No. But like somany comparisons it is a pontless one because any competent woodworker knows that there is generally more than one way to do a task.

To set some of the record straight, in terms of Mafell and Festool, Festool is a far larger firm, although hardly the size of Bosch. Festool invented the modern plunge saw and rail system but AFAIK the only other firm they've made rails for is Hilti. Makita have licensed the saw and rail technology from Festool for more than a decade. They also licence the Systainer technology from Tanos, a sister firm of Festool in the TTI (?) Group.

Mafell in the past bought in their jig saws (pre-P1cc) and power planers from Holz-Her in the same way that their cordless drills now come from Metabo, and the current LO50e plunge router comes from Festool. They have made the "nose" part of their biscuit jointer available to both Kress and AEG/Atlas-Copco/Milwaukee (whilst buying in their motors from Kress for the older LNF20 - I'm told the current LNF22 uses a Metabo motor in it in the same way that Steiner Lamello buy in motors from Metabo for their products). The only product that Mafell made for Festool in recent years was the OF2000 plunge router (also sold as the Mafell LO65). This model was replaced by Festool's own design, the OF2200e a number of years back.

Festool did buy in some products from Holz-Her, notably their belt sanders (BS75 and BS100) and eventually took over the power tools division of Karl M Reich (Holz-Her) about 20 years ago. That brought into the Festool range the belt sanders, laminate trimmers and one mitre saw as well as giving Festool their sister range of Protool which has since been rolled into Festool
 
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GrumpyChap

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Appreciate all comments and input but having considered everything I've decided to opt for the cordless Makita DSP600. Wasn't particularly impressed with the corded version when I tried but having looked at reviews online, the cordless one seems to be rated very well and good for value, so I'm going to give it a punt.

Building the kit myself which includes 2x1.5m rails, rail bag, dual DCR18D charger with 2x5ah batteries, additional case plus inlay for batteries and charger, additional pack of connector bars (suggestions online that 2 connectors work better than the standard 1 connector) and Saturday delivery for just a shade over £700 - seemed to be the cheapest for what I wanted. I've heard the Mafell dust bag works wonders with the Makita and no need for a dust collector, so I'll look into getting that as well as some decent quick clamps.

One thing that swung the Makita was the option to get more into their platform whereas if I was going to go down the Mafell route, I doubt I would be buying their expensive tools! I also noticed that Festool recently brought out their latest TSC 55 KEB version but the lack of reviews put me off a little, not to mention the best deal I could find was £879 for the full kit.
 

niemeyjt

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One thing that swung the Makita was the option to get more into their platform whereas if I was going to go down the Mafell route, I doubt I would be buying their expensive tools! I also noticed that Festool recently brought out their latest TSC 55 KEB version but the lack of reviews put me off a little, not to mention the best deal I could find was £879 for the full kit.
Sadly you missed my earlier comment on the Cordless Alliance - CAS - The Cordless alliance for your brands

There are other manufacturers who share a battery platform with Mafell.
 

johnnyb

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I've heard good things about that version. if it was me I would drop a 1.5 rail and get a 3m. and extra blades as I go through them at an alarming rate!
 

GrumpyChap

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I did read your post and I considered getting 2x10ah metabo batteries for the same price as mafell kit but I’m forking out a £400 premium just to get onto their platform - I could get a couple of extra makita tools for that cost.

I’m trying to learn from past mistakes where I just buy the best kit but never really use it enough to warrant paying that price, hence opting for the Makita.

Maybe in a few years I’ll consider upgrading if I get a lot of use out of it.
 

Spectric

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Most brands of car will get you from A to B but folks choose the brand they want to best suite there needs
They think they have made the decision but more than likely have been influenced by the marketing departments, it is amazing that people are subconsciously being programmed by all the advertising and marketing is just another field of Physiology, the power of persuasion.
 

JobandKnock

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I've heard good things about that version. if it was me I would drop a 1.5 rail and get a 3m. and extra blades as I go through them at an alarming rate!
Which blades are you using, Johnny? I keep the Eficuts for jobs requiring very clean cuts, but for the bulk cutting tasks I generally opt for the deWalt 42t thin kerf blades which survive hitting inclusions, etc a lot better.
 

Spectric

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Because people want choice Roy, be that price, extra features or different features.
Yes that is what you have, a choice but what I am saying is that the price differences are close enough that if the Mafel is that outstanding and better in delivering a cut then you would not look at the Bosch and maybe only look at the Makita if your budget was that tight, for just another £182 I would have got the Mafel instead of the Makita if it was £182 better in performance.
 

GrumpyChap

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Which blades are you using, Johnny? I keep the Eficuts for jobs requiring very clean cuts, but for the bulk cutting tasks I generally opt for the deWalt 42t thin kerf blades which survive hitting inclusions, etc a lot better.
This might be a bit of a stupid question but I notice some of the Makita blades have different kerf thicknesses for different tooth sizes. Is that going to significantly affect the splinter guard and cutting if I use different sizes even though there’s 0.1 or 0.2 mm difference?
 

johnnyb

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I've used loads of different blades makita(ok) festool(good but dear) freud(negative rake) trend ( ok but only sharpen twice) and lumberjack ( good)
bear in mind makitas are 165 against festool 160( only matters on a score cut) I like 24 to 32 tooth as they are free cutting over 48s with little real difference.
cordless use a thinner kerf blade?
 

GrumpyChap

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I've used loads of different blades makita(ok) festool(good but dear) freud(negative rake) trend ( ok but only sharpen twice) and lumberjack ( good)
bear in mind makitas are 165 against festool 160( only matters on a score cut) I like 24 to 32 tooth as they are free cutting over 48s with little real difference.
cordless use a thinner kerf blade?
Well I was comparing these blades: The first 48T has a 1.8mm kerf, the other 48T a 2.2mm kerf and final blade which is 24T has a 1.5mm kerf.

Makita B-56708 Specialized Circular Plunge Saw Blade 165x20x48T | Powertool World

Makita B-09298 Specialized Circular Saw Blade for Plunge Saws 165x20x48T | Powertool World

Makita B-09167 165mm x 20mm x 24T Circular Saw Blade Specialized for DSS610 / DSS611 / DHS680 | Powertool World

I'm just worried if I interchange, it's going to affect my cuts.
 

TheTiddles

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Spectric

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I think the difference is between cordless and corded, the 2.2 kerf at 1.6 mm thick is std in the corded makita and I believe the efficut is aimed at cordless, 1.45 kerf and just 1mm thick but @JobandKnock will confirm hopefully.
 

JobandKnock

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This might be a bit of a stupid question but I notice some of the Makita blades have different kerf thicknesses for different tooth sizes. Is that going to significantly affect the splinter guard and cutting if I use different sizes even though there’s 0.1 or 0.2 mm difference?
Yes, it does. It is a minor plus for the Festool TS55/TS55R where they standardised on a 2.2mm kerf. I have standarised my kerf size on the TS55 at 2.2mm using Festool, Atkinson-Walker, Freud and Leitz blades. My TS75 has been adjusted so that the (thicker) blades line up with the TS55.

The cordless Mak I use with deWalt blades which I believe are 1.65mm, but for better quality cuts where I use the efiCut blades (1.45mm kerf) I shimmy the anti splinter guard over and retrim it. AFAIK this is something you cannot do with the Bosch/Mafell rails. Blade kerf on the Mak is not normally an issue as the saw can be in use for several months with DW blades, then maybe a couple of weeks on the efiCut. That saw has its' own set of Mak rails. Sorry, other than the efiCut I don't like the Mak blades, but TBH I don't find myself changing blades that often

In any case splinter guards tend to "shrink" (presumably abraded away by saw teeth) under heavy use and need to.be periodically repositioned. Makita splinter guard strip is cheap enough that it can be considered a consumable

The other thing I do is to send out blades for sharpening as a "set" with the request that all the blades in the set are ground with the same kerf. CNC grinding outfits can accommodate this request. It doesn't get round the fact that all manufacturers seem to say the same thing; that when you change blades, even to an identical new one, you should replace the anti-splinter strips. In reality it's a judgement call

I like 24 to 32 tooth as they are free cutting over 48s with little real difference.
cordless use a thinner kerf blade?
Cordless use thinner kerf blades, yes. On the TS55 I've used the 28t Festool blades qkuite a bit for breaking doen sheet materials. The 12t rip blade is stunningly fast cutting.

BTW the thinner cordless blades I find cannot be reground, but at £12 to £24 a pop (depending on the blade, ecfiCuts are a lot more) that isn't too bad
 
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Doug71

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This might be a bit of a stupid question but I notice some of the Makita blades have different kerf thicknesses for different tooth sizes. Is that going to significantly affect the splinter guard and cutting if I use different sizes even though there’s 0.1 or 0.2 mm difference?
It's not really the kerf that matters but the difference between the kerf and the thickness of the plate.

For example looking at the ones you list the blade with a 2.2mm kerf and 1.6mm plate has the same offset as the blade with the 1.85mm kerf and 1.25mm plate. The difference between kerf and plate on both is 0.6mm so the teeth on both project 0.3mm each side of the plate. The blade mounts in a fixed position in the saw so if on both blades the teeth project 0.3mm they will both cut on the same line (on the track side anyway).
 

Doug B

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Yes that is what you have, a choice but what I am saying is that the price differences are close enough that if the Mafel is that outstanding and better in delivering a cut then you would not look at the Bosch and maybe only look at the Makita if your budget was that tight, for just another £182 I would have got the Mafel instead of the Makita if it was £182 better in performance.
& that’s your choice Roy, I would suggest £182 is a lot of money for a lot of folks particularly if it’s a hobby rather than a profession, indeed you can buy a cheaper tracksaw for the price difference between a Bosch & Mafell package.
When I first had the Mafell demonstrated to me by their rep I could see the advantages of it over my Festool ts55 particularly for site work which is why I bought it otherwise I would have bought a cordless Festool & I wouldn’t alter that decision all these years later.
Just a point on using different makes of blades, although the kerf is the same size if the body of the blade is a different thickness to your previous make of blade it will alter the cut position on the splinter strip, either not being near it or re-cutting it.
I certainly found this many years ago when I tried a few cheaper brands, I now stick to one brand so I’m not having to alter/replace splinter strips excessively
 

Spectric

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Thats sound advice, had thought about the kerf but overlooked the blade thickness which would change the centreline of the blade. The one supplied is a 48 tooth blade with 2.2mm kerf and 8° hook, so far it cuts clean with ply, but I am sure someone with more experience will recomend something different.
 

TheTiddles

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It's not really the kerf that matters but the difference between the kerf and the thickness of the plate.

For example looking at the ones you list the blade with a 2.2mm kerf and 1.6mm plate has the same offset as the blade with the 1.85mm kerf and 1.25mm plate. The difference between kerf and plate on both is 0.6mm so the teeth on both project 0.3mm each side of the plate. The blade mounts in a fixed position in the saw so if on both blades the teeth project 0.3mm they will both cut on the same line (on the track side anyway).
That’s a good point, the first two will cut the same line on the inside relative to the rail, only the last one won’t and it’s not by a lot.
The small Mafell blades are the same kerf be that 12 or 40 tooth with thin plates on all of them… but crikey they’re expensive
 

GrumpyChap

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Excellent, thank you Doug that's really useful as I didn't know that. I'll have a dig around on blades based on the comments, not looking for professional finishes if the blades are expensive as I'm only doing home renovations mainly, but do want a blade that is half decent.
 
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