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matt

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Hi all,

Long time since I've visited UKW - as per usual, what brings me here is a prospecitve tool purchase. This time it's a plunge saw - after several years using a homemade guide with a circular saw I wanted greater accuracy, convenience, and cut quality. It will mostly be used for cutting down sheets. I think I've more or less settled on the DeWalt; however, wouldn't mind some second opinions re the following:

DeWalt with 1.5m track and 2.6m track vs. two shorter tracks and a joining piece?
In my mind, the former means less faffing around and greater accuracy; however, it's obviously more expensive.

DeWalt rather the Makita
The DeWalt has a riving knife and the depth guage takes into consideration the track depth too

Bosch - anyone got one? Any good?

Festool - why spend the extra vs. the DeWalt?
I know it's got the splinter guard on the other side of the blade. Personally I prefer the metric depth guage of the Festool. But, thereafter, what would make me spend the extra? Back to my earlier point about the guide rail - are Festool rails especially good and therefore accurate if joining two together - moreso than other brands?

Sell my old Makita 5703 circular saw?
Should I? Is there a reason to keep it despite having a plunge saw? One point I've seen mentioned is that it is easier to use without a track (because the blade depth can be locked)?

Many thanks
 

mbartlett99

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Not sure I can answer your questions but I can sure add to them :)

FWIW I bought a Festool second hand for exactly the same reasons you're considering it. The quality of cut, especially on laminates is absolutely great. They come up regularly on a popular auction site too, are you not considering 2nd hand? One thing that did surprise was that my Festool did really struggle on full depth cuts even with a new blade.

In all the many threads on plunge saws nobody ever seems to mention Mafell. I had a demo of the Festool and the Mafells at a show last year and if I was going to buy new would definitely bought Mafell over any other.

One item I would recommend are a pair of clamps to keep the track in position - cutting a 2.4m sheet is a real pain when one end wanders off the line while you're cuing up the other end to say nothing of being half way through a cut and clipping the track with your knee.

Sorry I can't be more use.
 

Modernist

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The De Walt is often ignored in these discussions but I have one and find it excellent with two tracks and a joiner, and clamps!
 

Triggaaar

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matt":2du3nc8n said:
wouldn't mind some second opinions re the following:

DeWalt with 1.5m track and 2.6m track vs. two shorter tracks and a joining piece?
In my mind, the former means less faffing around and greater accuracy; however, it's obviously more expensive.
How often will you be cutting over 1.2m? If it's a lot and not too expensive, sounds like a good idea. I'm fine with 2 short tracks, it's accurate if you set it up properly (ie, faff).

Festool - why spend the extra vs. the DeWalt?
I read what looked like a fair review of the two, and it didn't seem the Festool was worth it really. If you're rich and like green boxes, fair enough, but I'm very happy with the DeWalt.
 

chippymart

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I wouldn't recommend the Dewalt over the Festool. Their jointing system is poor and not a patch on the Festool. The Festool one I have is probably the best tool I have ever bought. What about the Mafell? Pushing the Festool for top spot now.
The new bosch will fit Festool tracks aswell and vice versa.
If your set on a dewalt, I would purchase one long and one short track and not one that joins. Must be getting close to the festool price then though.
 

Peter T

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I bought my TS55 last year to help me build new kitchen units out of Veneered MRMDF. Since I don't have a table saw, and no space for one, I considered this to be the next best thing.

I used two 1400mm tracks joined together to cut up 8 x 4 sheets. I also have an 800mm track for shorter cuts.

After cutting up a whole kitchens worth of MRMDF, the solid maple edgings, and the laminate work tops I can say that, with the appropriate blade, the TS 55 works impeccably with no hint of chipping or breakout.

Since then I've also used it for cutting 2 inch thick oak and, with the correct blade, it works fine.

Not much of a comparison I'm afraid since I've no experience of the other saws. All I can say is that, if you buy the Festool, you won't be disappointed.
 

matt

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chippymart":2v527ftn said:
I wouldn't recommend the Dewalt over the Festool. Their jointing system is poor and not a patch on the Festool. The Festool one I have is probably the best tool I have ever bought. What about the Mafell? Pushing the Festool for top spot now.
The new bosch will fit Festool tracks aswell and vice versa.
If your set on a dewalt, I would purchase one long and one short track and not one that joins. Must be getting close to the festool price then though.
Your point is one of the reasons I started the thread. Festool with a superior joined rail system but with some faffing around when switching between long and short cuts vs. DeWalt with a long and a short rail for similar money but no faffing around. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... the dilemma.

Mafell was on my list but so little information about it.

Thanks all for the feedback.
 

matt

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Youtube'd the Mafell. Looks like a great machine but... Expensive with a 2 short rail and connector rail solution. More expensive than the DeWalt with a long and short rail. Shame - out of all the Mafell seems most impressive.
 

mark andrews

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I've been using the festool since 2005 and have tried the makita and the dewalt, Didn't get on with either if I'm honest and know my pals dewalt burnt out after a year. The makita body feels cheap in my opinion
 

Mr Ed

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I've been using the Mafell KSP55F for 10 years now and its a brilliant piece of kit. The build quality is very good, at least on a par with the Festool if not slighly better.

The Mafell / Bosch rail system (they are the same) is very good, the significant thing being that the cam-locking connector piece means that the rails line up absolutely spot on every time, which I understand is not always the case with the Festool or DeWalt.

Ultimately you need to decide where you can justify the investment cost-wise, but I would definitely advocate 'buy once, buy quality' on something like this as any weakness in accuracy erodes the whole benefit of the tracksaw as a tool.

Ed
 

Paul Chapman

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matt":2kaj8p4t said:
The plot thickens.... I've just come across the Mafell KSS series. Still trying to find out more but it seems a lot more saw than the Festool/DeWalt/Makita/Mafell MT55 plunge saws:
http://youtu.be/mcZc3SnREAA

I bet it would be really simple to set up for repeat cross cuts too.
I have one of those. Brilliant piece of kit. Very accurate, excellent build quality and the flexible guide rail works really well.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Paul Chapman

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matt":362z2pkv said:
In you opinion, does it make a lot of table and mitre saw features redundant? Also, I need to cut 2.4m length boards - the longer rail seems very expensive!
I don't have a table saw so can't really comment on that. My experience of mitre saws is limited but I've never found them very accurate.

The KSS 300 which I have is a small saw but is ideal for what I do. I looked at a lot before I bought it and decided on the KSS 300 because it suited my needs. There's such a wide range of rail saws about these days that I think it's best to go somewhere where you can try them out.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Paul Chapman

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Modernist":3vp2ipwc said:
That Maefell looks really good. The only problem appears to be the price.
I bought mine a couple of years ago. Managed to get a good deal on it and with a couple of extra blades thrown in FOC. Seems to have gone up a bit since then.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Modernist

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matt":2h19ybgg said:
I'm beginning to think I should not be so focused on plunge saws... In hindsight I don't really need the plunge just a rail based cutting system...
Go on - take the plunge :D
 

MrA

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The only thing I can think of is that the plunge saw wont do rip cuts........ I have a cheapo skil rail that I use to chop boards down to size then cut accurately on my table saw.
 
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