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Edited - Which track saw (rather than which circular saw)?

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elsmandino

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Hello.

I would be really grateful for some advice.

I am a complete novice to woodwork but would like to start doing a few jobs around the house and am looking for a circular saw - I currently only own a handsaw and jigsaw.

What I really need is something that can be used for accurately taking the bottom off doors, cutting kitchen worktops etc.

I have been looking at Screwfix, Toolstation, Amazon and a few other online tool sellers and there are (as is the case for everything, these days, dozens and dozens of differing models).

I would be really grateful for some advice on what to look for in terms of budget, brand, wattage, voltage, depth of cut etc.
 

Trevanion

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From the jobs you’ve described I would definitely be looking at a track saw rather than a traditional circular saw. The tracks ensure a dead straight and splinter free cut whilst a traditional saw can deviate and make a mess of a job even with a straight edge guide.

I didn’t buy a track saw for years and put up with the circular saw I had with a straight edge which was constantly not quite right and a general pain. I wish I had bought the track saw years ago as it’s that much better.

I’ve got a Makita saw but apparently some of the cheaper brands like Titan and Erbauer aren’t too bad value for money either.
 

elsmandino

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Thank you Trevanion.

It is funny that you mention track saws - I had never heard of them, until relatively recently, and they do look very simple to use.

During my research on them, I stumbled across a few sites that suggested that they were unnecessarily expensive, given that you can easily make your own guide and put the extra expense into a better regular circular saw.

As a woodwork novice, do you think that the extra money is well spent until I become more proficient?
 

Marineboy

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Yes, you could get by with a circular saw and straight edge, if you are willing to put up with loads of dust and cuts that need planing and sanding. That’s the choice to be made, and which way you go will depend on how often you expect to use the tool and how much time you have to do the remedial work that you just don’t need to do with a track saw.
 

elsmandino

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Thank you - I assumed that the circular saw/home-jig route was more hassle but ultimately ended up with the same results.

If the track saw gives superior results, I shall definitely go for one of those.

They are pretty pricey - can you recommend any model, in particular, that would do for a beginner?
 

RichardG

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I’d look at the LIDL parkside tracksaw for £65. This will do everything you’ve asked for and more, it’s surprisingly good for the money. There’re numerous reviews on this site plus a good YouTube review from Peter Millard.

I bought mind with the intention of upgrading once I’d discovered how I used it and what it’s short comings are but still haven’t....

Richard
 

deema

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Take a look on uTube at Peter Millards ‘10 Minute Workshop’, he did a review on a number of Track Saws from the most expensive to the cheapest. The results were very surprising. I think you will find his collection of videos on other subjects very helpful for the projects your likely to be doing. He is also a member of this forum.
 

Beanwood

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I agree with this- take a look at Peter Millards videos - there are several on track saws and tracks- I hunted down a Titan one after viewing them all.
 

elsmandino

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Thank you - I shall definitely have a look at those videos.

The LIDL tracksaws look amazing for the price - was that a one off thing or can they still be bought?
 

Trainee neophyte

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As an almost complete novice, my only recommendation is that you don't buy something cheap, hoping to grow into a better machine, later. Cheap usually means unusably inaccurate, and will be the difference between being able to create something, or giving up in frustration. As an example, I bought a cheap, yellow Chinese set square the other day. These things are everywhere, have a printed rule up to 40cm, and look the part. The one I bought (possibly for €1, don't remember now), is not square, and the ruler disagrees with itself - one side is 3mm different to the other. Buy expensive kit, but less of it, would be my advice. If you do want a table saw, don't get a budget one, unless your idea of woodwork is building farm sheds.

I am also wondering if I should have bought a band saw, rather than a table saw. Will need to buy a band saw to find out, but that is an even worse minefield than the table saw question.
 

Marineboy

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The only tracksaw I have used is my Festool. It is a superb piece of kit, and for me, worth every penny. But cheaper saws may be ok, and certainly many forum members say they give good results.
 

Woody2Shoes

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+1 for the advice that - given the sort of jobs you envisage - a track saw is the best option.

If you'd rather not wait for the LIDL one to come round for sale again, you can get the Scheppach equivalent (I'm fairly certain the LIDL is the same machine) - bigger B&Q shops sell them - or online.
 

woodbloke66

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elsmandino":3jv7ymg9 said:
Thank you - I assumed that the circular saw/home-jig route was more hassle but ultimately ended up with the same results.

If the track saw gives superior results, I shall definitely go for one of those.

They are pretty pricey - can you recommend any model, in particular, that would do for a beginner?
The hand held circular saw and guide (just a bit of mdf/ply) is great for rough cutting boards of oak or elm say, to approximate size but leaves a pretty rough cut and finish. As others have rightly said, the track saw will do a much better and more accurate job on trimming of lets say, the bottom of a door, which will then require very little further work.
I use a Festool TS55 but there are much more economic versions which will work fine - Rob
 

elsmandino

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Thank you. It seems to be absolutely unanimous that track saws are superior.

I am so glad I stumbled across this great forum now - you guys have saved me from an otherwise major mistake.

I do occasionally shop in LIDL and had no idea that they have repeated deliveries on these sorts of items - I assumed that they were a one off deal to get people in the shop.

If I knew that there were going to be more in, say, the next couple of weeks, I would definitely plump for one of those.

However, I know that s*ds law will have it that they won't have another delivery for months and I might have to look elsewhere.

The Festool TS55 looks amazing but is, to my disappointment, way above my budget/circumstances.

I had a quick look at Scheppach track saws and there seem to be a couple of models/variations out there, with varying prices. Do you know what I should be looking for?

I also had a look at Screwfix and this model seems to be getting some pretty good reviews and isn't ludicrously expensive:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-erb6 ... 240v/3875p
 

Cornersruns

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Titan from screwfix works really well, see Peter Millards youtube for setting up, especially the first cut to trim the splinter guard. The Aldi/Lidl ones seem Ok from what I've heard but they are only on sale once or twice a year.
The tracks grip really well so no need for clamping the track. Try the supplied blade, it's OK but not brilliant I replaced it with a freud for much better results.
An mft style top is a really good investment to go with the saw, the ones from RS_CNC_designs on ebay are nice and relatively cheap, they include 6 dogs as well. Well packaged and quick delivery when I bought mine.
 

elsmandino

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I have bought Titan products in the past and have found them to be more than acceptable for non-professional use.

I had a look on Screwfix's website and they don't seem to sell them anymore, which I find really odd.
 

petermillard

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Cheers everyone for the shout-outs, link in my sig to the YouTube channel.

For the OP.

Lidl Parkside Tracksaw (video #323) is good for the money, but only available once a year here in the UK and it’s gone. The Aldi Workzone Tracksaw isn’t great, IMHO you’d be better buying the Titan Tracksaw from Screwfix (comparison video #285) but it was on clearance earlier in the year and doesn’t seem to be listed on the site any more; wild guess, it’s being replaced with a new model - but who knows when??

I liked the Titan - it was my benchmark cheap Tracksaw since I compared it with the Festool (starts video # 071) and I compared it to the the Parkside in video #326.

Lots more in the 7-part Tracksaw Workshop series (starts video # 277)

Hope that helps. P
 

Honest John

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Just my 4 penorth. 12 months or so ago I bought the Triton system when it was on some offer. It’s a little dearer than the cheep ones but no where near the Maffell or Festool prices. I’ve never used any other track saw so I’ve nothing to compare but I’ve been totally happy with the results I’ve had with my Triton. Triton kit I own always to me has seemed to be of good build quality and the support from them has been good, although as I’ve said it’s not Festool, and indeed may not be any better than the Lidl or Titan offerings as I’ve never used them.
 

Lonsdale73

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When I was at your stage a few years back I bought a Festool TS55 and was blown away by. I used it mostly for breaking down sheets of plywood at the start of a project. I found I might not then use it again for months on end so earlier this year I sold it. Of course, regretted it almost immediately. I bought a Dewalt this time at about half the price of the Festool and I have found it quicker and easier to set up, the rail holds its position well without the need clamping and it cuts faster and cleaner. It's also cordless so can be used anywhere and that's one less thing to snag on the rail mid-cut!
 

TFrench

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I bought a cheap scheppach one to see how good tracksaws were and instantly ran up against it's limitations - gutless and tracks too short. I pretty quickly invested in a dewalt one (it was cheapest at the time of the "big" named brands) and haven't regretted it at all. In fact I can't remember the last time I had my normal circular saw out...
 

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