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AJB Temple

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^ That mirrors my tripod experience almost exactly. I agree that to a large degree it applies to tools too.
 

sammy.se

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I understand your points, but it would mean any beginner/hobbyist/DIYer or even some professional joiners/carpenters/makers would literally need several thousands of pounds worth of stuff before they even glued two pieces of wood together.

The reality is, everyone starts with what they can afford, and builds up from there. The experience, enjoyment and progress along the way is what counts.

The person who can't afford a £350 tripod when starting out can still enjoy their craft/hobby, AND possibly produce better art than someone with all the gear and no idea.

Back to track saws, I am very happy with my £70 Parkside saw, it works and is safe (as far as I can see, unless someone can tell me otherwise, very happy to learn that).
Have I upgraded? yes.
Was it the wrong decision to buy it, as a first time user not sure if I want to make things? Absolutely not. And, eventually, all tools will bite the dust.

If you are saying that someone who has the money to spend chooses not to buy something good in the face of good advice, that's another issue...
 

robgul

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I understand your points, but it would mean any beginner/hobbyist/DIYer or even some professional joiners/carpenters/makers would literally need several thousands of pounds worth of stuff before they even glued two pieces of wood together.

The reality is, everyone starts with what they can afford, and builds up from there. The experience, enjoyment and progress along the way is what counts.

The person who can't afford a £350 tripod when starting out can still enjoy their craft/hobby, AND possibly produce better art than someone with all the gear and no idea.

Back to track saws, I am very happy with my £70 Parkside saw, it works and is safe (as far as I can see, unless someone can tell me otherwise, very happy to learn that).
Have I upgraded? yes.
Was it the wrong decision to buy it, as a first time user not sure if I want to make things? Absolutely not. And, eventually, all tools will bite the dust.

If you are saying that someone who has the money to spend chooses not to buy something good in the face of good advice, that's another issue...
Absolutely agree on the principles - and when you do upgrade/replace if the kit has been looked after it'll sell on ebay or Gumtree et al so there is a contribution to the new expenditure. My £100 Macallister track saw does the job that I need for the moment (with replaced blade from Saxon)
 
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beech1948

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I bought a Bosch track saw and 4 pieces of track inc a very long one. I have found it to be at least as good as Festool with a few added extras. eg The individual tracks are longer so better loading and unloading. Superb track joiner is much better than Festool.

I was late to getting a track saw and thought it was the dog's whatsits. That feeling was mirrored when I made myself a second bench 8x4 with 2x3/4 inch birch ply top with holes all over them to give me a massive MFT style top. Drawers and cupboards underneath on both sides and mounted on industrial castors/legs. An absolute game changer when matched to the track saw and a dozen bench dogs from company of the same name.

Now adding in along one long side two 4ft pieces with T track across the top edge and about 150 mm deep. When installed I will match this to a modified Bosch track to give me an MFT style hinged length of track. This bench makes a great assembly table as well.
 

ivan

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I first saw a mafell demo with the earlier plunge-on rods-like-a-router track saw, where the scoring cut was done backwards (climb cut) about 2mm deep followed by a normal cut at full depth. A very convincing result! I Later upgraded to the latest pivot plunge model because the scoring function was built in. There is no sideways movement involved. The saw is set to the desired depth; for a scoring cut Mafell reccomends engaging the scoring function which just limits the plunge, and making a normal cut of 3mm depth. The saw is returned and a full depth pass made. The shallow cut does reduce chipping quite well, but it's much better to score with a climb cut, drawing the saw toward yourself. This is potentially dangerous if you forget to engage the plunge limit.
I believe the mafell automatic saw which has a powered traverse along the track and back again, does have a miniscule side shift for the scoring cut, but this costs several thousand. Presumably reviews which assumed the plunge saw had the same feature, were not vigorously denied by the manufacturer, and the idea still circulates.
If you're not shure about shelling out, look out for a Lidl plunge saw, 3yr g'tee, costs about £69 with 2 short pieces of track. Buy some festool track (I use this with the mafell as it is more rigid over a full sheet) which will be useful later if you upgrade. I bought one for rough work - some site work at my parents' house. It works well, is quite sturdy, but presumably will wear out qute quickly. Incidentally their 12v drill bought for the same work (£14 with 2Ah battery and charger in a Lidl sale) is amazing at the price, and extra L-ion batteries are still just over a tenner.
 

Blackswanwood

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I first saw a mafell demo with the earlier plunge-on rods-like-a-router track saw, where the scoring cut was done backwards (climb cut) about 2mm deep followed by a normal cut at full depth. A very convincing result! I Later upgraded to the latest pivot plunge model because the scoring function was built in. There is no sideways movement involved. The saw is set to the desired depth; for a scoring cut Mafell reccomends engaging the scoring function which just limits the plunge, and making a normal cut of 3mm depth. The saw is returned and a full depth pass made. The shallow cut does reduce chipping quite well, but it's much better to score with a climb cut, drawing the saw toward yourself. This is potentially dangerous if you forget to engage the plunge limit.
I believe the mafell automatic saw which has a powered traverse along the track and back again, does have a miniscule side shift for the scoring cut, but this costs several thousand. Presumably reviews which assumed the plunge saw had the same feature, were not vigorously denied by the manufacturer, and the idea still circulates.
If you're not shure about shelling out, look out for a Lidl plunge saw, 3yr g'tee, costs about £69 with 2 short pieces of track. Buy some festool track (I use this with the mafell as it is more rigid over a full sheet) which will be useful later if you upgrade. I bought one for rough work - some site work at my parents' house. It works well, is quite sturdy, but presumably will wear out qute quickly. Incidentally their 12v drill bought for the same work (£14 with 2Ah battery and charger in a Lidl sale) is amazing at the price, and extra L-ion batteries are still just over a tenner.
Sorry but the above is not correct. The Mafell track saw (MT55) scoring cut is 0.1 mm to the left of the line used for the actual cut. It actually confirms this in the marketing blurb.

I am not saying this detracts from the overall quality of the machine which by all accounts is excellent but it has been commented on as leaving a perceivable line in a number of reviews.
 

Padster

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I’m going to throw my tuppence worth in here.....
Some will know I’m a relative newbie here and have found it a wealth of information and friendly helpful people.
Personally I’m upgrading/renewing my workshop (single garage). I started maybe 18mths ago with new basic benches along one wall to replace the miss mash of stuff I’d accumulated over the years, machine wise my main machine per se was a shop smith mkV (it’s actually for sale if anyone is interested) but with the garage rework I could look at individual machines, having now created more space and as the time and planning with the shopsmith was more than I wanted to spend.
Why the long story, well you make do with what you have, but the thing I realise now is the advice to get the best you can afford is sound...
I thought I needed the table saw function, and the fact I have dado capability (used it maybe half a dozen times) was driving me that route but spent plenty of time researching (drives my wife mad!) and thanks to @petermillard and others like John McGrath and of course Peter Parfitt, I have decided that a track saw will suit my needs better, with a new MFT bench & incorporated or slightly separated custom router table.
I think I’d like the Festool or Mafell but can’t quite justify the outlay, but similarly believe a cheaper Aldi, Lidl, Erbauer won’t satisfy me long term so have just ordered and awaiting arrival of the Bosch GKT with track and accessories found in stock and on sale a little!
So that’s my story/opinion & what I decided based partly on all the contributions here and my research...maybe it will help....if not well it helped me 😉

Padster
 

Sean33

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Here is a journey of learning I made many years ago, twenty plus when I was into photography. I was looking at buying a tripod, now given all my years of experience in engineering and was given expert advice from experienced photographers I thought that a tripod was just a three legged item to sit the camera on so ignored it all and brought a £60 job. Soon having issues with the leg clamps and all I got from the guys in the know was "told you so". Went out and brought a better one for about £115 and less issues with the leg clamps but still not happy as it was not solid enough and some images were just not sharp. Last resort went a looked at the advice given and types of tripod recomended, went out and purchased a Gitzo 2220 tripod and ball head for about £350 and never looked back, easy to setup, rigid with no noticable resonance and could get so low. Sold the other two at a loss but gained a valuable lesson.
Couldn't agree more. Budget does have a huge factor in all of this but having been the impatient one on many occasions i have bought and regretted many a tool, whereas if i had waited and saved it would have saved me more. Its taken me far too long to realise and put into practise but, buy it once and buy it right is definitely the best piece of advice i have ever been given and the bonus is use the tool and the good stuff always has a decent resale value.
 

Padster

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I bought a Bosch track saw and 4 pieces of track inc a very long one. I have found it to be at least as good as Festool with a few added extras. eg The individual tracks are longer so better loading and unloading. Superb track joiner is much better than Festool.

I was late to getting a track saw and thought it was the dog's whatsits. That feeling was mirrored when I made myself a second bench 8x4 with 2x3/4 inch birch ply top with holes all over them to give me a massive MFT style top. Drawers and cupboards underneath on both sides and mounted on industrial castors/legs. An absolute game changer when matched to the track saw and a dozen bench dogs from company of the same name.

Now adding in along one long side two 4ft pieces with T track across the top edge and about 150 mm deep. When installed I will match this to a modified Bosch track to give me an MFT style hinged length of track. This bench makes a great assembly table as well.
@beech1948 Would love to see some pics I've been thinking of similar things after seeing Peter's video's and Matt Elsa's, although my additional new bench won't be as big as yours :censored:

Padster
 

Shane1978

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After seeing all of Peters tracksaw videos and having just built a garage that needed shelving, cabinets and a bench making I bought the Erbauer saw. My heart wanted the Festool, but I just couldn't justify the extra £300 or so, plus any extra rails I may need. Using some of what I've saved I bought the 3m Makita rail. I've only made some shelves so far out of cheap hardwood ply and from someone who's only ever done 'functional' wood wood before now with a hand me down circular saw that's older than me, I was amazed. My brother has also been borrowing it (as well as my garage, it incredible how people suddenly had jobs to do when you've got a big garage!) to cut laminated ply panels for his campervan and the cuts, at least to our eyes, are damn near perfect. I'm not suggesting it's as good as the Festool, but for occasional use I'm really impressed with it.
Have you tried the dust extraction? Any good? I’m not expecting perfect, but removing enough dust to keep the blade happy and my nose from running.. I’m happy to clean up a bit afterwards.
 

Gazzarose

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Have you tried the dust extraction? Any good? I’m not expecting perfect, but removing enough dust to keep the blade happy and my nose from running.. I’m happy to clean up a bit afterwards.
I have yes, albeit only with an old Henry hoover. Like many seem to do, I taped over the hole for the blade retaining bolt and whilst it probably won't score that highly in Peter Millard's black bag dust test, the extraction does seem to work well. My biggest problem is usually remembering to turn the hoiver on, which if I don't usually means suddenly being surrounded by sawdust. I have used it with just the dust bag on the back, and whilst it is better than nothing, it's obviously not as good as an extractor and if used for more than a few cuts at a time can block the port. But overall I'm pleased with it. I'm sure the likes of the Festool etal would all be a marked improvement, but after only using a 30yr old black and decker circular saw with no extraction it's a vast improvement. Although the last few jobs I've been doing in the garage, mostly shelves, I've also been using a router for dado slots and roundovers, any dust extraction gained when using the track saw and extractor is soon negated, routers are just plain messy no matter what I do. I'm hoping to make a router flattening jig sometime this year and that will bring a new level of mess!
 

Jameshow

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For me I buy a cheap tool if im not going to use it regularly.
My sds drill, multitool, recip saw all fall into this catagory - I cannot justify buying big brand tools for using once a year....

However my regular tools cordless drill, jigsaw, circular saw etc get used regularly weekly and as such I want a quality tool that both lasts and can accurately follow a line.

A track saw might fall into either catagory depending on him much you are it...

Cheers James
 

Raymien

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Reading this thread with interest...
I’d all but decided that I was going to replace my Erbauer track saw for a Festool, but I’m now starting to question whether I should opt for the Mafell or Bosch instead...
I’ve used the Erbauer for about 3yrs and it’s served me well but it’s now cutting off 90, and the dust extraction is rubbish, so I’m looking to upgrade it. 95% of what I cut is sheet good MDF, so I think an upgrade to a ‘decent’ one is worth it for me.

The Erbauer uses the same rails as the Festool, however they’re supplied as two 700s rather than one 1400 and I’ve never been convinced the joint has been bang on straight. In fact this is something that’s making me lean towards the Mafell (or maybe the Bosch) as it says here the rails are better. Being supplied with two 1600 rails is another plus as I don’t need to buy another rail to cut down sheets like I would if I bought a Festool.

Tool choices are never easy are they 😂
 

Spectric

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no, and not helped by the fact that if you buy something, you probably intend to keep it for the next 15 years.
Even more reason to buy quality and not buy twice, a good tool is not only a pleasure to use but gives years of service.
 

BHwoodworking

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avoid dewalt. arbour rpm is slower. = chip out par exelance.

makita isnt bad, but it still doesnt have the festool feel. festool invented the things.

get festool. thats the only really nice TS i have used

cant comment on maffel and bisch basch bosch
 

Raymien

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I've decided to go for the Mafell, just purchased and waiting on delivery in a few days. I'll let you know my thoughts, and as I've mentioned above, I have the cheaper Erbauer to compare with.

For me the positive reviews and YouTube videos from the likes to Robin Clevett, and the apparently superior rails were the reasons for the purchase over the Festool.
 

NormanB

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Here is a journey of learning I made many years ago, twenty plus when I was into photography. I was looking at buying a tripod, now given all my years of experience in engineering and was given expert advice from experienced photographers I thought that a tripod was just a three legged item to sit the camera on so ignored it all and brought a £60 job. Soon having issues with the leg clamps and all I got from the guys in the know was "told you so". Went out and brought a better one for about £115 and less issues with the leg clamps but still not happy as it was not solid enough and some images were just not sharp. Last resort went a looked at the advice given and types of tripod recomended, went out and purchased a Gitzo 2220 tripod and ball head for about £350 and never looked back, easy to setup, rigid with no noticable resonance and could get so low. Sold the other two at a loss but gained a valuable lesson.
How many accidents did you have with your cheaper tripods?😉
 

Doug71

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I've decided to go for the Mafell, just purchased and waiting on delivery in a few days. I'll let you know my thoughts, and as I've mentioned above, I have the cheaper Erbauer to compare with.

For me the positive reviews and YouTube videos from the likes to Robin Clevett, and the apparently superior rails were the reasons for the purchase over the Festool.
I was using my Festool a while ago and a local builder was watching me. He started picking my brains on track saws as he said he was thinking of getting one. I like to think of myself as quite knowledgeable on the subject so I gave him a good rundown on the pros and cons of all the different models from Lidl up to Festool and jokingly said but if you want the best get a Mafell. I saw him a couple of weeks later and thrown in the back of his pickup among the sand and breeze blocks was a Mafell saw and a couple of rails 😲 I had expected him to just nip along to Screwfix and pick up an Erbauer or something, when I asked why he got the Mafell he just said "Well you said it was the best?"!
 

Heluvaname

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avoid dewalt. arbour rpm is slower. = chip out par exelance.

makita isnt bad, but it still doesnt have the festool feel. festool invented the things.

get festool. thats the only really nice TS i have used

cant comment on maffel and bisch basch bosch
BHwoodworking, why do you say "avoid Dewalt"?
 

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