Track saws and thin blades

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JobandKnock

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My point is that manufacturers are relying on gimmicks to sell their products in the form of thin kerf blades.. thinner blades= Quicker cuts = bad cuts = slower progress & expensive mistakes.
I begrudge spending a ton and still having to do 2-3 times the work using a blade that is supposedly more efficient.
TBH I think thinner blades are the necessary evil which stems from the switch to cordless tools and as you rightly surmise are most often used to break down man made boards. A case in point is the Makita cordless plunge/rail saw (DSP600/DSP601) which comes with an ultra thin kerf blade (the Eficut) that cuts sheet stock beautifully when new - but it blunts relatively quickly (as do all thin kerf blades IMHO) and then it'll start to flex in the cut just the same as your saw does on hardwood. My solution has been to use the deWalt 165 x 20mm 42t blades that they sell for their cordless plunger as a general blade on my DSP600, but I don't really do much hardwood out on site (but plenty of hardwood ply).

I have always thought tracksaws were aimed at sheet goods and more specifically at man made rather than real wood.
My thoughts entirely.

I think that Festool (and others) recognised the problems of using plunge/track saws on solid materials many years ago, as evidenced by the range of blades offered in "standard" kerf (2.2mm for the older Festool corded tools - they sell purpose made 12 tooth ripping blade and a 28 tooth cross cut blade both of which perform better than the standard 48 tooth blades on hardwoods)

I just wish it was easier to source thicker guage blades for the mt55. I feel like it’s an easy problem to fix but every blade manufacturer I have bought from has succumbed to the thinner is better gimmick.
Well, the older Festool blades should just fit. What "elegant feature" is using a blade 5mm too small going to mess up?

Failing that, another supplier of 165 x 20mm blades is Bosch (who incidentally own Freud) and they certainly do 2.5 or 2.6mm kerf blades in 165 x 20mm like this example which are stiffer than the 2.2mm Festool blades. AFAIK both Atkinson-Walker and Leitz are suppliers of 165 x 20mm blades in a thicker kerf.

At one time for certain work on site, like cutting-out parquet flooring neatly or trimming hardwood doors, I used to use 2.5/2.6mm kerf 160 x 20mm Bosch blades from eBay partly because they were stiffer but also because they were cheap (and who wants to wreck expensive new blades?). The main downside is that the thicker kerf means you will need to swap the anti-splinter strip on the rails when you revert to OEM blades (on a Festool or Makita rail you just unpeel the anti-splinter strip, move it across a few millimetres, restick it and trim it). BTW these thicker kerf blades won't work that well with cordless tools as they hammer the batteries (tried it, not good)

One other thing is that when I've been faced with tasks like cutting down solid hardwood "bank" doors I have resorted to using a bigger, more powerful saw - my Festool TS75. They use a 210mm blade with a 2.4mm kerf and are less likely to suffer blade wander when dealing with 60 to 70mm thick hardwood doors

If I had a complaint on the TS55 it is that the motor is a little underpowered. It might be because I was trying to rip oak at full depth with the general purpose blade as I haven't got a 20T or lower blade.
I think I'd agree, but get a blade with a lower tooth count like the Panther 12t (for ripping) and that problem will be much reduced; for crosscut take a look at the 28t GP blade instead of the 48t blade which is designed for sheet materials
 
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JobandKnock

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is this track saw and it's use the new how to sharpen thread......??????
LOL

I started cutting 8x4 sheets big time in California nearly 50 years ago.....with NONE of the above.....
we made/cut a piece of ply the same distance from the inside of the blade to the edge of the saw base....then used that as a distance guide for the straight edge.....
we would cut up to 10 sheets at a time this way....must have done thousands in my time......
still do it this way now......ps, my straight edge is a 3/4 MDF off cut and must be over 20 years old....
just cant see the need for this fashion item.....sorry....
There is a world of difference between doing rough cuts in plywood sheething with a worm drive saw and doing precision cuts for, say, shopfitting with a plunge/rail saw. If what you are doing is cutting plywood sarking boards for roofs or sub-floors it is perfecty possible to get away with cuts that are slightly off - after all the joints can be caulked if needs be (for air tests, etc). As it happens I've done plywood sub-flooring with a plunge/rail saw and IMHO it produces a neater job faster than the old fashioned way, but I'm a relative beginner with only a few decades in the game and only two of them using a plunge saw and rail ;)
 

Blacks carpentry

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TBH I think thinner blades are the necessary evil which stems from the switch to cordless tools and as you rightly surmise are most often used to break down man made boards. A case in point is the Makita cordless plunge/rail saw (DSP600/DSP601) which comes with an ultra thin kerf blade (the Eficut) that cuts sheet stock beautifully when new - but it blunts relatively quickly (as do all thin kerf blades IMHO) and then it'll start to flex in the cut just the same as your saw does on hardwood. My solution has been to use the deWalt 165 x 20mm 42t blades that they sell for their cordless plunger as a general blade on my DSP600, but I don't really do much hardwood out on site (but plenty of hardwood ply).


My thoughts entirely.

I think that Festool (and others) recognised the problems of using plunge/track saws on solid materials many years ago, as evidenced by the range of blades offered in "standard" kerf (2.2mm for the older Festool corded tools - they sell purpose made 12 tooth ripping blade and a 28 tooth cross cut blade both of which perform better than the standard 48 tooth blades on hardwoods)


Well, the older Festool blades should just fit. What "elegant feature" is using a blade 5mm too small going to mess up?

Failing that, another supplier of 165 x 20mm blades is Bosch (who incidentally own Freud) and they certainly do 2.5 or 2.6mm kerf blades in 165 x 20mm like this example which are stiffer than the 2.2mm Festool blades. AFAIK bnoth Atkinson-Walker and Leitz are suppliers of 165 x 20mm blades in a thicker kerf.

At one time for certain work on site, like cutting-out parquet flooring neatly or trimming hardwood doors, I used to use 2.5/2.6mm kerf 160 x 20mm Bosch blades from eBay partly because they were stiffer but also because they were cheap (and who wants to wreck expensive new blades?). The main downside is that the thicker kerf means you will need to swap the anti-splinter strip on the rails when you revert to OEM blades (on a Festool or Makita rail you just unpeel the anti-splinter strip, move it across a few millimetres, restick it and trim it). BTW these thicker kerf blades won't work that well with cordless tools as they hammer the batteries (tried it, not good)

One other thing is that when I've been faced with tasks like cutting down solid hardwood "bank" doors I have resorted to using a bigger, more powerful saw - my Festool TS75. They use a 210mm blade with a 2.4mm kerf and are less likely to suffer blade wander when dealing with 60 to 70mm thick hardwood doors


I think I'd agree, but get a blade with a lower tooth count like the Panther 12t (for ripping) and that problem will be much reduced; for crosscut take a look at the 28t GP blade instead of the 48t blade which is designed for sheet materials
I have a mafell
Well, the older Festool blades should just fit. What "elegant feature" is using a blade 5mm too small going to mess up?
Mafell uses 162mm blades so 165mm blades risk cutting into the body of the saw. The depth adjuster is set for 162mm blade so that would be inaccurate with a 160mm. Not the end of the world but a rigid 162mm blade supplied at the princely sum I paid for it would have been better.
 

JobandKnock

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The depth adjuster is set for 162mm blade so that would be inaccurate with a 160mm. Not the end of the world but a rigid 162mm blade supplied at the princely sum I paid for it would have been better.
In that case try a Bosch 160 x 20mm 2.5/2.6mm kerf blade - the 2mm difference in blade diameter equates to you having to allow an extra 1mm on your depth of cut (so you loose 1mm off the maximum DoC). Mafell may saty that they've chosen their blade for optimum performance, but the reality is more likely that they are attempting to freeze out manufacturers of "standard" diameter blades in the same way that Evolution do (e.g. standard blade diameter but odd 25.4mm bore). I wouldn't expect many manufacturers to chase the 162mm blade market on the grounds that it is pretty small

I'd also try ringing Leitz (or Oppold if they still have a distributor in the UK) to see if they do a 162 x 20mm thicker kerf blade. They just might - after all they make Festool OEM blades and they might also make Mafell's blades, who knows?
 

redhunter350

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Were the worktops glued together? You’re not going to notice 1/2mm deflection unless you glue two pieces together or require a dead accurate cut line for matching cabinet parts. 1/2mm either way can mean a 1mm gap and 1degree off bevel can mean an open mitre when it comes to glue-up.
Hi, not sure what you mean by glued together ? The worktop was split down the middle to make two boards from each then used as the base, ends and centre sections for the units in the attached photo. Its now 4 years ago could not swear to 1/2 mm !!! but fine for the job in hand.
IMG_1631.jpeg
 

Blacks carpentry

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In that case try a Bosch 160 x 20mm 2.5/2.6mm kerf blade - the 2mm difference in blade diameter equates to you having to allow an extra 1mm on your depth of cut (so you loose 1mm off the maximum DoC). Mafell may saty that they've chosen their blade for optimum performance, but the reality is more likely that they are attempting to freeze out manufacturers of "standard" diameter blades in the same way that Evolution do (e.g. standard blade diameter but odd 25.4mm bore). I wouldn't expect many manufacturers to chase the 162mm blade market on the grounds that it is pretty small
They are indeed making it awkward for other manufacturers to eat their share of the blade market. I have used the highest quality Bosch blades on my old makita they are very good and allow a respectable amount of re-sharpening.
 

JobandKnock

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They are indeed making it awkward for other manufacturers to eat their share of the blade market.
They did the same thing with their 9in saw, too - the rest of the market (more or less) uses 235mm blades, Mafell currently uses a 237mm blade, their previous generation had 230mm blades. Regardless of how good their kit is nobody likes being forced to buy over-priced blades (to someone in the trades they are a consumable and often required at very short notice), especially as Mafell don't make their own blades
 

baldkev

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I have a mafell

Mafell uses 162mm blades so 165mm blades risk cutting into the body of the saw. The depth adjuster is set for 162mm blade so that would be inaccurate with a 160mm. Not the end of the world but a rigid 162mm blade supplied at the princely sum I paid for it would have been better.

Id be tempted to get a 165mm blade, put it in, spin it by hand to make sure it clears. My dw745 with a 254mm blade will take the 260mm blades from my makita choppy.
 

Blacks carpentry

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They did the same thing with their 9in saw, too - the rest of the market (more or less) uses 235mm blades, Mafell currently uses a 237mm blade, their previous generation had 230mm blades. Regardless of how good their kit is nobody likes being forced to buy over-priced blades (to someone in the trades they are a consumable and often required at very short notice), especially as Mafell don't make their own blades
You mean the mafell branded blades aren’t made in house? Not surprising
Id be tempted to get a 165mm blade, put it in, spin it by hand to make sure it clears. My dw745 with a 254mm blade will take the 260mm blades from my makita choppy.
no it’s too tight and might even foul the baseplate. There is very little wiggle room inside, it’s tightly engineered to create as much vacuum removal as possible
 

Spectric

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There is very little wiggle room inside, it’s tightly engineered to create as much vacuum removal as possible
No it's tightly engineered to prevent you using different blades, to many OEM's try and tie their customers into using their products only for no other reason than profit. Look at printers & cartridges as well as camera's and electronic goods with batteries, it is all a con.
 

JobandKnock

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There is very little wiggle room inside, it’s tightly engineered to create as much vacuum removal as possible
I have to agree with Spectric - there appears to be a bit of deliberate engineering at play here. In any case yo still need some space around the blade so that there is enough air being drawn to clear the dust. If the gaps were too tight your dust extraction would suffer
 

ivan

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I have 2 Mafell saws, an older version that plunges like a router on 2 columns, and the current one with a pivot. Both came with exceptionally thin blade bodies, which are OK on MDF and ply, but at 24 tooth, the cut is a bit rough. Both seem OK with standard Festool blades in both man made and treewood. A cheaper option to try is the Freud Pro range. The rip version works well for me in treewood, and with fewer teeeth it's even lower priced.
 

Blacks carpentry

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My Bosch expert 165mm does come scarily close to the housing but giving it a go anyway. The plate on the Bosch is 1.6mm which is better than the alternatives and do believe finding a thicker plate on a 165mm blade should be an easier task. There is enough adjustment in the depth screw to compensate for the extra couple of mm which is great.
 

Jake

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TBH I think thinner blades are the necessary evil which stems from the switch to cordless tools

Kind of agree save that unnecessary seems more appropriate for corded tools, can't see the harm in just splitting the two approaches to reflect reality. I think actually for corded tools it is chasing subjective power (ie trying to catch up with perceived power advantages of other tools).

Seems like dumbing down to me.
 
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