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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before doing some research on track saws, I'll admit I never understood why any would actually want/need a track saw for woodworking?

I always thought Track Saws were primarily designed for contractors cutting long mitres in kitchen counter tops.

I've watched dozens of videos woodworking sites, Twitter and YouTube. The vast array of quite impressive projects you can produce using a track saw.

I also thought Kreg's solution to allow circular saws to run on track would potentially make track saws irrelevant.

I doubt you could ever get the same speed, performance or accuracy using a circular saw on a tracks. The blade on most circular saws are a source of added vibration and tear out.

Festool was one of the only companies making Track saws a few years ago. They were off the charts pricey.

With Triton, Makita, Bosch and Dewalt, etc... making ,track saws there's a lot of great options outside of Festool.

Triton newest revision of their track saw is very refined and gives the Festool Track Saw a run for it's money with the quality of their current design.

I would never considered a track saw before seeing how the track saws could be used on more advanced projects. I always felt my Table Saw and Circular Saw had me covered.

I've seen the light and will probably buy a Track Saw within the next year or two.

What do you guys think of the track saws? Do you think they are worthwhile or do you feel there's other options that work just as well for less money?
 

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I already had a Fe$tool router and there vacuum system , so I broke down and bought there track saw .
I agree , there are others out there , and I'm sure just as good .
I wish I had known about track saws before I bought my table saw, as I never would have gone with a huge 53" fence on my table saw , and instead there 36" fence , saving me room .
The track saw for me is far better for breaking down sheet goods than trying to muscle them on my table saw , and I get far more accurate cuts . The track saw is especially helpful when things are out of square .
The owner of Windsor Plywood tells me he sold his jointer as he gets better results with his track saw . Can't verify that one though.

I have one Fe$tool track that has holes in it . It works on my track saw but it also fits a guide that attaches to my router , and can be used to install those holes for shelving pins .

Unfortunately the tracks are stupid expensive , as I want add a 10 footer , and it's $400
 

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It depends entirely on what type of woodworking you do. I bought the T75 years ago to cut some butcher block countertops for our kitchen remodel. It was the only saw that had the depth of cut I needed, the counter blanks were too large to safely cut on the table saw. I truly thought that the saw would be a "one off" and I would sell it after I was done. Then I discovered that I could use the saw for the sink cut outs, and the uses kept piling up. I use it to help break down the rough lumber I like to use. I hate trying to horse a 3/4 sheet of ply through the table saw, and being able to accurately cut ply, with no secondary cuts is invaluable to me. When I built my shop, the only 2 saws I had available were my miter saw and the track saw. Took me 18 months to get it done, but I never felt a need to dig through my storage that had the rest of my tools. In short I use the track saw for almost every project.
The added benefit to Festool is the "system" it creates. I use the tracks with my router all the time. If you can't tell I am a fan, and even though I am just a hobby woodworker, the saw and tracks have paid for themselves several times.
 

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Rick
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Bob I'm amazed how well the dust collection on the T75 works . One time I used it without being hooked up to its vacuum , and wow what a mistake .
I am so impressed with FesTools dust collection, that I sold my Makita Miter saw and bought Festools instead . It was over 2K after tax , but well worth it imo . I use it in the house with very little issues dust wise , and it has a few unique features that I haven't seen before.
Next FesTool on my list is there tool used for installing Dominos
 

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I popped for the Triton track saw while at Rockler a couple of weeks ago. There were a couple of factors. First was a ragged cut on some BB ply using my usual method. I just won't horse a sheet of BB through the table saw anymore. Second, I use the 60x60 inch sheets, and the other saws only offer 54 inch and 199+ inch tracks. Triton offers the 54, but also a set of 2, 27 inch tracks you can join. This give me 81 inches of track. A manageable length with plenty of room to clamp (I know they have gooey bottom layers, but I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy). My 4 inch DC has a connector for my 35mm hose that connects to the Triton. BTW, Triton has a pretty decent dust collection system itself. The other deciding factor for me is the quality and thoughtful design of Triton products. Finally, as great as Festools are--and they are great--they are just onreasonably high priced for me. But Festool would probably come with a divorce in my household.

And I like the gold color better than the pale green. How's that for shallow?:wink:
 

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I've seen the light and will probably buy a Track Saw within the next year or two.
What? How about Saturday? :surprise::grin::grin::grin:

Mine is a cheepie, but still gets the job done.

Here's a thought. Say you have a board that is bowed. Simply line the track and rip a straight edge! :smile: Now you have a board you can work with. Been there, done that.

Also, I use the track saw mostly to break down sheet good so I can handle them safely on the table saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I popped for the Triton track saw while at Rockler a couple of weeks ago. There were a couple of factors. First was a ragged cut on some BB ply using my usual method. I just won't horse a sheet of BB through the table saw anymore. Second, I use the 60x60 inch sheets, and the other saws only offer 54 inch and 199+ inch tracks. Triton offers the 54, but also a set of 2, 27 inch tracks you can join. This give me 81 inches of track. A manageable length with plenty of room to clamp (I know they have gooey bottom layers, but I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy). My 4 inch DC has a connector for my 35mm hose that connects to the Triton. BTW, Triton has a pretty decent dust collection system itself. The other deciding factor for me is the quality and thoughtful design of Triton products. Finally, as great as Festools are--and they are great--they are just onreasonably high priced for me. But Festool would probably come with a divorce in my household.

And I like the gold color better than the pale green. How's that for shallow?:wink:
The Triton has a router adapter and relatively econmical miter gate. Triton has surpassed the Makita in overall flexibility and accessories.

Dewalt has a good track saw but they made every propriety.

There's dozens of 3 party accessories available for the Triton, Makita and Festool.

I have look at the types of projects I'm doing. The Triton has the edge over the Festool for miter and bevel cuts more common in furniture design.

The top of the line Festool has the performance with thick cuts that would be impossible. I don't have any projects that will require it.

A lot word working magazines needs redo their tests to include the newest version of the Triton. I would hold it's own against the Festool 55.

I'm slowly buying the Router Incra Table a piece of two at a time from Amazon.

I think the track saw will make life easier when breaking down the hardwood plywood for the interior of the cabinet and drawers.

My Dewalt 7491 Table Saw can handle 32 inches. It works well with fir or birch plywood.

I couldn't image trying to break down a large piece of heavy oak, maple, or walnut plywood with a 7491's tiny table top.

That's were the track saw comes to the recuse.

I keep reading post about guys modifying circular saw for the job. Most circular saws are contractor grade and would make a huge mess out of any laminate or veneers.
 

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I should have been more specific in my first post. When I bought my track saw, Festool was the only brand available. I think any track saw is better than none. I used a circular saw and a piece of ply as a guide for years, and it worked fine for most projects. I found using a circular saw for plunge cuts difficult and unsafe, and that is one area that makes a track saw stand out. Dust collection is another. If I was in the market today, I would definately consider other brands.
 

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A local cabinet shop cuts countertops with a sliding miter saw set at 45 degrees. Never saw a track saw used for countertops- used to sell cabinetry and countertops.
 

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Bought the Makita a couple of months ago for a special order making table tops for Circle K (long story). I'm constantly amazed how you get a PERFECT cut using the track saw, and it's so easy to use. Makes me wonder why I was using that 30+ year old circular saw all of those years.
 

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I just noticed my post wasn't quite clear about tracks for the Triton and my purchase. I knew the Festool track was near $400. At Rockler, the new Triton plunge/track saw was on sale ($305) The long track was $88 and the 2=27 inch tracks (a good reason to get the Triton) were just about the same.

By connecting the 54 and one 27 ingh track and you have 81 inches of track, enough to make a 60 inch cut with room to spare, plus room for clamps. The other saws sell 54 and 108 inch, which is just too long to be manageable (most ceilings are shorter than that). With the Triton tracks, you can build that length when you need it. I don't use cruddy ply anymore, and that's all 4x8 (96 inch long).

I have a Triton TRA001 that is a superb tool, and I've been looking at their other tools at Rockler. Really nice stuff, and clearly thinking differently about tools and how they should function. I think Festool takes the same, out-of-the-box approach.

I had thought about the Makita and checked it out-good reviews. The DeWalt, well, I don't buy DeWalt anymore. I looked for a Bosch unit, mentioned in the first post, but the search turned up nothing.

I am curious about whether Triton has an accessory that would allow mounting a Bosch 1617 on, and that would run in the track? I just emailed for information on that and will post when they reply. I did find something like this in their list of router track accessories.
 

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I have a Triton TRA001 that is a superb tool, and I've been looking a their other tools at Rockler. Really nice stuff, and clearly thinking differently about tools and how they should function. I think Festool takes the same, out-of-the-box approach.

I had thought about the Makita and checked it out-good reviews. The DeWalt, well, I don't buy DeWalt anymore. I looked for a Bosch unit, mentioned in the first post, but the search turned up nothing.
I bought the Triton electric planer for flattening the joints when I glued up the body segments for my turtle planters - what had been a tedious job using block plane and Surform became a 5 minute job with the Triton. I looked at the reviews where they talked about the difficulty in operating the on/off switch, but I had no problems. As you said, Triton makes some nice, solid tools.

I was/am looking at the Sommerfeld mortise and tenon bit set for making cabinets, thinking that the P-C in my router table may not be up to heavy use cutting the joints and thinking I'd replace it with the big Triton - I'd have to buy another plate (and sell my Bench Dog lift which has worked well for many years) but I'm reading that the Triton will fit in the Rockler collection box so may go ahead with that when the time comes.

I have the Makita track saw, absolutely no complaints so far. I don't know about the Triton track, but the Makita is compatible with the Festool (I use the Makita saw on both Makita and Festool tracks). If the Triton is also compatible, I would highly recommend the GRS-16 square made by TSO Products

https://tsoproducts.com/tso-products-guide-rail-squares/

This clamps to the back edge of the Festool/Makita tracks and gives perfect 90° cross-cuts when breaking down plywood sheets. A little pricey, but it seems absolutely fool-proof and perfectly square cuts so far. The only negative is sliding the track in place while fighting the anti-slip strips on the bottom of the track - I've been considering removing them and replacing with a couple of strips of the cut line tape to keep the bottom even.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
A local cabinet shop cuts countertops with a sliding miter saw set at 45 degrees. Never saw a track saw used for countertops- used to sell cabinetry and countertops.
I think people are talking about the benifts of track saws are talking about solid wood countertops.

Most cabinet shops are selling MDF laminated counter tops. A Miter Saw with a zero clearance insert, circular saw or Radial arm saw should handle MDF countertops without any problems.

Triton should release a 1500 model with more guts for power users. The Triton's biggest let down is the lack of guts on the 1400 for thicker cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In most real world testing, if you install a quality Infinity or Freud blade, all the track saws will produce equal quality of work.

The vast majority of hobbyist wood workers would be wasting their money on the Festool track saws. Festool track saws are designed for people using them for contract or production work.

The average home wood worker is just not putting enough man hours in to justify buying a Festool over a Makita Track saw. You're not going to get a return on your investment for dropping the extra coin for the Festool version without the right project or if you're making not money with the equipment.

It you're making money with your trade, it's Festool or Maffel all the way to the bank.
 

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St4eve, I'm not sure what would be the difference in cutting countertops- wood or laminate with MDF base.
 

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John; the biggest issue in cutting laminate ctr.tops is getting a perfect chip free edge on your cuts. It has to be PERFECT every time. On a mitred joint it just screams out if there's any defects.
And no, I haven't mastered it. :(
"The blade, the blade!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
St4eve, I'm not sure what would be the difference in cutting countertops- wood or laminate with MDF base.
There's no grain in MDF. It's very hard to chip or tear out as long as the saw blade is sharp.

Melamine is not concern for me. I refuse to use toxic Melamine partical boards on any projects. Melamine is just pure junk plastered over flimsy particle board.

The whole point of wood working project is to make a higher quality product than the stuff at IKEA.
 

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Well I think the point of woodworking should be for the enjoyment of it. If you are making something to save money or make it better than ready made you may be spinning your wheels.
 
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