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Thread: Milwaukee adds a Track Saw to the market

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    I'm not a big fan of cordless tools for jobs where you need to hold the tool in your hand that use a lot of power. Either the battery just doesn't last or the battery is so large and heavy the tool becomes awkward to use. SO I've held off getting a cordless circular saw. But I have come into a situation more than once where I need to make a limited number of cuts so battery power would be nice. Also when ripping a sheet of plywood with my 8' straight edge having to manage the cord is an issue. It sucks cutting 3/4 of the way through a cut only to have the cord get caught in the cut or on the edge of the track/ straight edge. It would be nice to have a saw that could do double duty. Both a regular circular saw (for cutting things like a 2x4 and also a track saw for ripping sheets of plywood.
    The saw you hope for does exist Alex. The mafell kss 40. Lightweight, circular saw, crosscut saw, track saw, all in one. The mafell tracks are the EXACT same as bosch tracks other than color, buy the bosch for a fraction of the price. Mafell is also on the cordless alliance battery system so metabo batteries (who make the mafell batteries) work in it for a fraction of the cost.

    It's pricey. The weakness of mafell is that Timberwolf tools controls 100% of the sales in the US and they appear to also be the ones in control of expanding sales to other stores. As such, the kit costs $1315 which includes saw, crosscut track, flexi track, systainer, two batteries. For your needs, this would cover everything. Having a rollup track might be intriguing to you for simply doing plywood cuts.

    The only weakness I see in this saw is that it has a small blade and wont cut a 2x4 when on the track. Depending on the type of work you do, this might not matter.

    As far as the milwaukee goes: It's good to see them continue to grow and I have unlimited milwaukee batteries. I already have the mafell cordless tracksaw so I wont be seeing red soon.

    Truly, the saws I want to see more of are the crosscut saws. Mafell is essentially the only company with an assortment of them. Festool has at least one with a corded and cordless option, but is rumored to be underpowered. Metabo makes some that are compatible with crosscut tracks, but the track and saw don't play together well. I like my mafell enough that it eliminated a 4" 6-1/2" and 7-1/4" circular saw from my truck. I use it to make general cuts, light framing work, trim work, scribing, flooring, and basic tracksaw duties. If I could get a 6-1/2" lightweight milwaukee crosscut saw... that would be a dream.

  2. #32
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    Coming from a circular saw and straight edge I would mark the cut and then clamp the straight edge the correct offset. Being a circular saw you can see the blade which is nice just in case I got the offset wrong. The dust collection on a track saw looks like you can't see it. That being said it must help reduce (or eliminate) flying chips. That's probably the worst thing about cutting sheet goods with a circular saw.

  3. #33
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    But with a track saw, Alex...there is no offset. The edge of the rubber on the track IS the cut line. That's one reason they are so nice to have and use.
    --

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

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Hall View Post
    The saw you hope for does exist Alex. The mafell kss 40. Lightweight, circular saw, crosscut saw, track saw, all in one. The mafell tracks are the EXACT same as bosch tracks other than color, buy the bosch for a fraction of the price. Mafell is also on the cordless alliance battery system so metabo batteries (who make the mafell batteries) work in it for a fraction of the cost.

    It's pricey. The weakness of mafell is that Timberwolf tools controls 100% of the sales in the US and they appear to also be the ones in control of expanding sales to other stores. As such, the kit costs $1315 which includes saw, crosscut track, flexi track, systainer, two batteries. For your needs, this would cover everything. Having a rollup track might be intriguing to you for simply doing plywood cuts.

    The only weakness I see in this saw is that it has a small blade and wont cut a 2x4 when on the track. Depending on the type of work you do, this might not matter.

    As far as the milwaukee goes: It's good to see them continue to grow and I have unlimited milwaukee batteries. I already have the mafell cordless tracksaw so I wont be seeing red soon.

    Truly, the saws I want to see more of are the crosscut saws. Mafell is essentially the only company with an assortment of them. Festool has at least one with a corded and cordless option, but is rumored to be underpowered. Metabo makes some that are compatible with crosscut tracks, but the track and saw don't play together well. I like my mafell enough that it eliminated a 4" 6-1/2" and 7-1/4" circular saw from my truck. I use it to make general cuts, light framing work, trim work, scribing, flooring, and basic tracksaw duties. If I could get a 6-1/2" lightweight milwaukee crosscut saw... that would be a dream.
    It's all about the batteries for me. I have lots of them too. Milwaukee has really stepped up it's game when it comes to the number of cordless tools they sell (like most of the other large brands). I have plenty in the basement shop, out in the garage, and in my other shop. So if one's dead I always have a spare sitting on the charger (which I have 4 of) ready to go. The only non M18 cordless tool I have is a Milwaukee M4 screwdriver with 2 batteries. It's mainly for the wife but I swear finding the second battery takes more time than just using a regular screwdriver some times.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    But with a track saw, Alex...there is no offset. The edge of the rubber on the track IS the cut line. That's one reason they are so nice to have and use.
    That's what I guessed. Not being able to see the blade means not being able to use the saw for anything other than as a track saw. I still would like to be able to just take one saw if working at a jobsite. One that could cut 2x4s and plywood.

    As it turns out Milwaukee makes a M18 cordless circular saw that's track saw capable. They just don't sell it in the US. I'm not sure if they will ship it to the US or how much it would cost. I'm not even sure if parts would be available if needed in the US. So it's possible they will sell it in the US sooner or later.

    m18fcsg66kit_121b.jpg

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    It's all about the batteries for me. I have lots of them too. Milwaukee has really stepped up it's game when it comes to the number of cordless tools they sell (like most of the other large brands). I have plenty in the basement shop, out in the garage, and in my other shop. So if one's dead I always have a spare sitting on the charger (which I have 4 of) ready to go. The only non M18 cordless tool I have is a Milwaukee M4 screwdriver with 2 batteries. It's mainly for the wife but I swear finding the second battery takes more time than just using a regular screwdriver some times.
    Haha it's all about the tool for me! The moment I gave up on trying to be a one battery platform it opened up endless possibilities. I simply focus on getting the best tool now, not the best tool for my batteries. I understand that some people aren't willing to spend that money, but for me, the financial investment of an extra set of batteries pays for itself with years of using a better tool.

    Milwaukee undoubtedly has the best in certain categories, but not all.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ...Festool also has the cord manager and recently updated it...
    Thanks for that tip Jim. I picked one up today. ...a little pricy, $25, but as the sales guy pointed out, it IS Festool afterall.
    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

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    Thanks for that tip Jim. I picked one up today. ...a little pricy, $25, but as the sales guy pointed out, it IS Festool afterall.
    I only learned about the update recently on a Bent's Woodworking video. My original one is missing and I'm using my track saw a lot more now with the temporary shop being as it is and that may even continue in the new shop. The new design is a nice enhancement over the original with that little bit more coverage to the very edges of the rail end.
    --

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

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    I've never used a track saw, are the tracks different between each brand? Right now I use a regular circular saw with an 8' Lufkin straight edge but have thought having a track that breaks down would be useful. 8' is kind of difficult to transport and being wood weather can be an issue. Like most, I'm invested on one companies brand of cordless tools. Started off with Makita when they were the only real brand (7.2v) but when I started having problems with their drills I switched to Milwaukee after using a friend's cordless impact. I wonder if Milwaukee will make an upgrade for their tilt-lok saws so it'll work with the track.
    There are several different track profiles. The Freud track is probably the most common and a lot of other brands pretty much directly copy it. Dewalt uses their own proprietary track that has a cut strip on each side of the track which is pretty inventive. I went with a Maffel saw which shares a common track system with Bosch track saws. I went with the Maffel because the track system is said to do a much better job locking 2 tracks together (end to end) and keeping them perfectly aligned for a perfectly straight cut. I "read" that other track systems are more prone to alignment errors when linking tracks. I am very please with my Maffel track saw but have only used other brands a hand full of times.

    If you are happy with your current straight cut system you will probably never miss having a track saw. If you do buy or even just use a track saw you will never want to go back to your old straight edge.

    I work in my shop. As much as a cordless track saw would be a really neat toy for me I would never be able to justify the expense. I have plenty of outlets and pull down ceiling mounted cords so have never found battery powered tools to be that much of an improved convenience in the shop. For around the house and such battery powered tools are great but I can't see "me" using a track saw much outside of the shop.

    My parents gave me the top of the line 18v Dewalt XRP drill about 30 years ago and I still use it frequently with LiIon and NiMH after market batteries. I have stuck with the Dewalt tools and they have always done everything I have asked of them so I have never had a reason to switch. I bought up a lot of used Dewalt 18v tools when everyone was dumping them for the newer Dewalt 20v tools hence I have a lot of Dewalt 18v tools that I would have never been able to justify paying retail for.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 07-07-2022 at 3:39 AM.

  10. #40
    Talked to a Milwaukee person today. He could not say what material the shoe of the saw will be made of. He did say the saw should be in stores by the end of August, contrary to it being reported as being available in October. Only time will tell.

  11. #41
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    I keep thinking of a track saw being added but I don't break down sheet goods that often and so far i've been getting 'close' cuts with a clamp down strait edge and a 30 year old pos circular saw. Now that I have a festool vac, I guess it's a future upgrade
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  12. #42
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    Justin, I've found the track saw to be quite useful for a bunch of tasks that are not "breaking down sheet goods". Somewhat recently, for example, I used it to make a base cabinet a half inch shorter during my laundry room renovation. (I've done that kind of thing quite a few times over the years) The one thing I would do if I ever replaced the TS-55 I have now is go battery operated for even more versatility. Bent's Woodworking on the 'Tube has a really good video from not that long ago when he had the opportunity to work with the new cordless Festool vs his existing tailed versions. He makes some good points about that. I've kinda got a taste for how useful a battery operated circular saw is "in general" with a Bauer I picked up last year to do some rough carpentry. The lack of a tail was really liberating and I use that thing a lot more than I ever expected to. I might use my track saw even more because of that kind of thing if so configured.
    --

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

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Justin, I've found the track saw to be quite useful for a bunch of tasks that are not "breaking down sheet goods". Somewhat recently, for example, I used it to make a base cabinet a half inch shorter during my laundry room renovation. (I've done that kind of thing quite a few times over the years) The one thing I would do if I ever replaced the TS-55 I have now is go battery operated for even more versatility. Bent's Woodworking on the 'Tube has a really good video from not that long ago when he had the opportunity to work with the new cordless Festool vs his existing tailed versions. He makes some good points about that. I've kinda got a taste for how useful a battery operated circular saw is "in general" with a Bauer I picked up last year to do some rough carpentry. The lack of a tail was really liberating and I use that thing a lot more than I ever expected to. I might use my track saw even more because of that kind of thing if so configured.
    A track saw might have been useful when I needed to take 1/8" off the bottom of the panels on the side of the fridge. We retiled the entire downstairs and the new floor is now 1/8" higher. The only place it was a small issues was those panels and I used my 30 year old saw and a straight edge clamped down. The track saw would have been a lot less of a pain to make that cut.
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  14. #44
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    I actually shortened the base of an armoire I built years ago when it had to move to the rooms upstairs in the 250 year old portion of our home because it couldn't be stood up without whacking the ceiling when rotating it. That was an "in house" track saw engagement and I was very thankful for the CT extractor, despite having to carry it upstairs for the short piece of remedial work. I happen to have a short Makita track that I bought from another 'Creeker awhile ago and it's been very handy for these kinds of trimming tasks. The latest version of Festool's tracks have provision for hanging them vertically or at any angle on a wall for precision cutting on a vertical surface.

    I used the tracksaw when I was re-doing the wide pine flooring in the first floor of that space as it was too wide to cut without flipping on the miter saw and the miter saw was also bolted down in a built-in setup at that particular time of my shop's evolution.

    Some tools have the ability to be problem solvers, even if they don't have the "main gig".
    --

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

  15. #45
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    My "Thank God I have a track saw" moment came about when I made a corner cabinet.
    I suppose I could have cobbled together some sort of questionable method of making the precise angled cut for the top, bottom and two shelves, but, the track saw did the job so easy it was a non-issue.

    Another place it came in real handy was just a week ago when I had to straight line some pieces of red oak - worked like a champ.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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