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Track saws?

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Jameshow

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Anyone have experience of the budget generic track saws?

Several makers like draper, silverline badge them up.

I know they aren't big brand quality buy aren't 3x price or 6x the price of festool.

Or has anyone got one for sale either budget or mid level?

Many thanks

James
 

Stevebod

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..got mine from Aldi for about £70?.....fine for what I have used it for so far, would be good to have another piece of track, but another piece of track costs virtually the same money I paid for the saw and the track!
 

BucksDad

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I have the Macallister one, @petermillard has reviewed the Titan which was the precursor to it and has a Festool v cheap tool comparison with it.

I really hate the fact it doesn't have soft start. It's a real jolt through the hand when you start it and I feel the need to have the extra focus when the saw is close to the end of the rail.

It came with a 24T blade and when I wanted to change it to a 48T, the hex bolt was very firmly attached and it took me ages to get it off.

I dislike the fact it comes with 2 x 700 rails. A 700 rail really has very few uses by itself.

It obviously doesn't come with a plastic case so it just sits in the box it came in which is now rather tatty.

I haven't investigated yet but I think the depth adjustment is out by about 2mm at the moment... as I say need to check it.

So basically I bought a cheap saw and got a cheap saw. Everything they've done to lower the price - no soft start, cheap blade, no carry case, small rails, cheaper design (blade change, depth adjustment), no clamps I have discovered and found annoying.

As a result, I've bought a new blade (£20), a set of clamps (£25) and realistically would want a new rail (£75-£100), so the initial £100 investment turns out to be closer to £250 if you add those extras.

Having said that, I believe there are some cheaper saws which do come with soft start, longer rails and clamps out of the box. (Lidl, Triton?)

Anyway, when I finally get my shed/workshop, I'm going to buy a TS55. It should last a lifetime with hobby use and with MFT and everything else, will be hugely versatile and forgo the need for a table saw in a small space and I also won't have to put up with everything I don't like about the Macallister.
 

Jameshow

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Thanks for the detailed information.

I look out for the Aldi one which I think is schappach badged as Aldi.
 

robgul

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I have the Macallister one, @petermillard has reviewed the Titan which was the precursor to it and has a Festool v cheap tool comparison with it.

I really hate the fact it doesn't have soft start. It's a real jolt through the hand when you start it and I feel the need to have the extra focus when the saw is close to the end of the rail.

It came with a 24T blade and when I wanted to change it to a 48T, the hex bolt was very firmly attached and it took me ages to get it off.

I dislike the fact it comes with 2 x 700 rails. A 700 rail really has very few uses by itself.

It obviously doesn't come with a plastic case so it just sits in the box it came in which is now rather tatty.

I haven't investigated yet but I think the depth adjustment is out by about 2mm at the moment... as I say need to check it.

So basically I bought a cheap saw and got a cheap saw. Everything they've done to lower the price - no soft start, cheap blade, no carry case, small rails, cheaper design (blade change, depth adjustment), no clamps I have discovered and found annoying.

As a result, I've bought a new blade (£20), a set of clamps (£25) and realistically would want a new rail (£75-£100), so the initial £100 investment turns out to be closer to £250 if you add those extras.

Having said that, I believe there are some cheaper saws which do come with soft start, longer rails and clamps out of the box. (Lidl, Triton?)

Anyway, when I finally get my shed/workshop, I'm going to buy a TS55. It should last a lifetime with hobby use and with MFT and everything else, will be hugely versatile and forgo the need for a table saw in a small space and I also won't have to put up with everything I don't like about the Macallister.
I think you may be a little harsh there - I have the MacAllister and whilst it has/lacks the features you list it certainly does the job for me as best described as a "serious hobbyist" - in fact it's so useful that I've just sold my table saw. I too swapped out the blade, although the one supplied wasn't bad. I have, just about, the luxury of being able to leave one rail and the saw on the bench (connected to my dust extraction system) so it's ready for use.
 

mikej460

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Have you watched @petermillard 's YouTube comparing these and their tracks? The tracks are often different designs which could limit future add-ons. I bought a Triton but bought an Evolution Track set 2 x 1.4m and 1.4m isn't long enough to cross-cut full width sheets so I then bought a Triton 1.5m track which solved the problem and is also much sturdier. I know use the 2 x 1.4s joined for ripping but that's not perfect for the same reason, however like most the majority of my sheet work is cross cutting.
 

DBT85

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I know my brother got the newer macallister one shortly after Peters video on it and he has no end of trouble with it. He came to me and mentioned it so I gave him my old Titan and he said its working fine. One of those instances that can quickly put someone off a type of tool cimnply becase of poor QC which comes from cheaper tools. From what he describes it seems the motor arbour may not have been mounted perpendicular to the rail slot. He could take it back but largly he can't be pineappled. He might bring it to me to have a look at though 😂

My Titan was fine, used it to cut a lot of stuff for my workshop including all the featheredge as I didn't have a big enough mitresaw. I soon bought the Festool and even just the soft start makes it a less chastening experience. but I get why that's not the entry point for a lot of folks.

The only issue with the Aldo and Lidl ones really is that they only appear once a year I think.

Clamps are nice but I only use mine on a handful of cuts.

I know lots have done lots with just tracksaws, but my own example is the birch ply bookcase I made for a friend. I'd hoped to use my tablesaw but for a host of reasons it was out of action so every panel was cut with the TS55. 93 in all.
 

Mickjay

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I have had the Titan saw for a few years and agree with many of the comments above regarding soft start etc but unless I win the lottery or it breaks I won't be replacing it! With a decent blade it fulfills its' purpose of cutting wood and sheet goods accurately, anything else is just fluff IMHO 😗
 

petermillard

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I like tracksaws, I have a few. All the entry-level and supermarket saws have some niggles, and at this sort of level the quality control is largely customer led ie return for exchange or refund. But the ones I‘ve bought have all been capable of doing the job they were intended for - straight cuts in sheet materials, conveniently and without fuss. Some do better than others, of course, and a simple blade change is one of the better upgrades you can make. The more you pay the more pleasant an experience you’re likely to have, but they’ll all do the job.

The only one I wouldn’t recommend is the Aldi/Scheppach for reasons detailed in the ‘cheap vs cheapest’ video, and that one particularly highlights the slightly bizarre approach some manufacturers have towards their guiderails, and guiderail compatibility. There’s a video on that too…

All my tracksaw vids are on a playlist here - there are a fair few.

Hope that helps! P

Edited to add; best value guiderails at the moment are the 1.5m from Excel - closest clone of the Makita-pattern rail I’ve come across, going for £35 just now. 👍
 
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glenfield2

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My Aldi one is fine for my needs - I bought a long track (sheppach I think) to replace the two short lengths it comes with and generally it’s ok for cutting down sheets of ply.
 

artie

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You've already got all the advice you need, but I'll chip in to say, my first track saw was from lidl, I think it was £49.99.
I used it for years and the only complaint I could make was that I always had difficulty removing the blade, for some reason it seemed to get tighter with use. Maybe just me.

After a number of years it started to have trouble cutting a straight line, so since the business was doing quite well, I decided to invest in a more expensive Makita SP6000.

In all honesty, it doesn't do anything the Parkside didn't do, it just does it smoother, quieter and more comfortably.

The rail is all in one piece, which although my work is not precision would be a bonus if you do very accurate cuts.
 

Johnwa

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I bought an Erbauer from screwfix, mainly after watching Peters videos on the subject. The saw works fine, no problem with the tracks and cuts fine, just use a scribing cut first. It's not a Festool or a Maffel but it does the job for me as a diy'er and hobby woodchipmaker.
 

phil p

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It might just be me, or I have very low expectations, however I have the Macallister and find it really good and for the price paid I can highly recommend.

Granted I’ve only used it a few times but it has been spot on but I’m only a casual DIYer.

Only thing I done was change the blade.
 

Spectric

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Well before the tracksaw I just used a length of angle iron and a Bosch circular saw which did exactly what my tracksaw does and is why I took some time to go the tracksaw route. Now along with a fence square it does make life easier and setup is no longer a pita. The important thing is that whilst a single track may be ok, the issues with cheaper saws may arise when it comes to joining two tracks together and remain straight and a decent saw may cost more but should have a better resale value.
 

PerryGunn

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Edited to add; best value guiderails at the moment are the 1.5m from Excel - closest clone of the Makita-pattern rail I’ve come across, going for £35 just now. 👍
It's a pity that Excel don't do a longer rail - I'd love a 2700 or 3000 instead of joining my two 1400 rails but I can't justify the cost of the longer Festool rails.
 

Chippymint

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We've all been here and guilty of buying budget tools and paid the price.
For me save up and buy the best you can. Accuracy, longevity and ease of use should be at the top of your thoughts. Initial tool price is not everything.
Good luck
 

Phil Pascoe

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robgul

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Is worth a look.
Hmm, it doesn't plunge by the look of it, running the blade guard along the rail with presumably an adjustable depth setting for the blade - the plunge, to me, is one of the attractions of my track saw.
 
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