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Thread: Track saw, too many options! help!!!

  1. #1

    Track saw, too many options! help!!!

    Once again coming here for advice.

    Finally understanding how badly I need a track saw and how poorly I’ve viewed them based on crappy tools. Watching YT videos on good TS I can see the error of my ways. As the wonderful ads make the TS seem like the perfect tool for all jobs if you buy the right attachments I am very confused as to what would actually be a good set of stuff. They will literally cut a kitchen sink and slice bread .

    As always, situation matters, I am a hobbyist with more money than skill. I buy high end tools even though I never sell my stuff. So likely Festool, still considering Makida but likely Festool. Corded because I don’t want yet another battery system (I’m just starting to move to the Milwaukee batteries and they don’t make a TS). I want to use this to break down my lumber when starting a project and final cutting sheets.

    So, Festool TS55. I know the HSK is supposed to be awesome for cross cutting your boards to rough and/or final lengths but I think I want the TS55 unless there is something about the HSK I’m missing.

    Now for the add ons. I can’t even get my head around what’s included in what and what I want to add on. I start reading about this track and that and get to one that supports the 32mm system and off my ADHD goes into what that is and do I want that, etc. Then there are a bazillion compatible jigs from woodpecker and festool that are “must have”. Oh, and the blade, half the time they say get the “good” blade.

    So, seriously, what should I be looking to get to handle 8 ft sheet break down and not hauling 8 foot lengths to my miter saw? What would be not needed now but I won’t regret it later?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    2,561
    If money is not a concern, I would recommend going up to the TS75 on the initial buy. The gain in cutting depth can be beneficial at times.

    IMHO, let the work you do drive what accessories you get by buying the accessories >when< you need them. Just buy the basic track saw package which will likely include the short track. Buy the long track to make 8' cuts. After that, buy as needed.

    In my experience, Festool rarely if ever puts their accessories on sale. So there has been no benefit to me to try to anticipate what accessories I will need.

    FYI, the "TS" short acronym is usually reserved for Table Saw. BS is for band saw. MS for miter saw. There are others. But that does raise the question of of what to use for track saws.... maybe TrS?? Hmmm.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 12-23-2021 at 12:12 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  3. #3
    Wise choice on Festool. I initially purchased both the 55 and the 75. I got the 75 during a reconditioned sale. For me, the 75 sat, unused for years, mainly because the 55 is smaller, lighter, so much more convenient to use. I did purchase several sized tracks and have used them all, including the one that's over 8 feet long. I know lots of folks join shorter tracks for make longer, but for me, it was worth it to have the right size ready to go when I need it. Now, if you really want to take full advantage of the track saw's capabilities, get the MFT as well.

  4. #4
    Get the TS55 plus a 55" and 118" track. That is really all you need--no joiners, clamps or anything else. Later you might find the need for a spare 55" track to cut down for fitting in tight spots and making short cuts. A 6-1/2' track is also handy.
    Last edited by andy bessette; 12-23-2021 at 2:41 PM.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    60,558
    ^^ This....good advice from Andy
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    I would go Mafell if money is no object. Otherwise the festool is a great choice. If your looking to break lumber down, I would get cordless jigsaw with your current battery platform.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southeastern CT
    Posts
    120
    I have both the TS55 and TS75, along with the MFT/3 setup and find them indispensable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    866
    As long as you have a flat cutting grid such that sheets lay flat, you will get finish grade cuts from a Festool with an appropriate blade. The dust extractor gets almost all the sawdust. Understand that a track saw is really specific to sheet goods. It will do solid wood but you have to jump through some hoops. In particular, stock that is less than 1/2 the width of the track presents support issues.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Putnam View Post
    ...a track saw is really specific to sheet goods...
    Perhaps many people might think so, but this is simply untrue.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    538
    I use the TS55 to put straight edge on 4/4 rough lumber, oak mainly, in addition to sheet goods. It struggles at time on the oak. For 8/4 oak, it is underpowered. If you are planning to edge rough lumber with it, go with the TS75. For sheet goods, it is fine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    200
    I previously owned the corded Makita and currently own the TS-75 corded. The Makita was somewhat underpowered when cutting 3/4” BB but I think a rip blade might have helped. Overall the Makita is a great saw for the money.

    The TS-75 has loads of power and I don’t mind the extra weight. I bought it for both sheet goods and hardwood cutting. My only complaint is the offcut splinter guard doesn’t work through most of the plunge depth range. I cut on 1” pink foam and rarely plunge deep enough for that offcut guard to work.

    Other than that, you won’t be disappointed. Great saw and works well with the 75” and 42” Festool tracks. I need to grab a 118” long one when I get a chance. And the rail works amazing with the Festool OF1400 router rail attachment.

  12. #12
    I've owned the Dewalt and the TS75. The TS75 is smooth, but the Dewalt with a good blade worked very well. You would be just fine with it if you want to save a bit of money. The Dewalt is a 2 & 1/8" cut so its between the TS55 and the TS75.

    https://www.dewalt.com/products/powe...track/dws520ck

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    6,472
    I have a Wen track saw and a TS55. The TS55 is more refined but with a good blade the Wen is perfectly acceptable.

    As far as sheet goods only - I disagree. I am building an 8’ long walnut bench and instead of wrestling 12” wide 1 1/4” thick 8’ long boards across the jointer to joint the edges, I clamped the two boards together and using the track saw I jointed the edges of both boards for a PERFECT fit. Also will use it to Square up the ends of the 8’ bench top. Many uses once you have it on hand.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
    Posts
    529
    The Festool TS55 is on loan from a friend and is a very nice tool. He may have a hard time getting it back. I will say with Festool it is quite easy to develop a brand loyalty. Their system is very well integrated and designed. Just keep in mind if you buy a Festool track saw you may end up with with a Festool dust extractor, sander, etc in the future.

  15. #15
    Once again, thanks. I went with the TS55 with 55” track. I considered the advise and what struck me was order the rest If I need it. I went with the 55 as it is light and I do mind extra weight. Probably should have looked at mafell again but I wanted to order it and get it before my vacation is done. I did buy screw clamps as I will need them on the current project.

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