OK, maybe I should wade in with a British por-user perspective (or I'm a bit sceptical about a few of the points raised here). I've been a track saw user for 17 or 18 years having started out with a Hilti WSC255 and progressed to a Festool TS55 and TS75. I've used the Makita and Mafell, too
The reason I sold the TS 75 is it's just to big and heavy for my weak hands, even on a track. And I dont cut hardwoods on a track. From my perspective I dont get the large track saw, as anything the TS 75 can do I can do better using another tool. BUT, I work in a shop not on a job-site.
Try trimming a 60 or 70mm thick solid oak door or a similar thickness fire door (not an uncommon task on refurbs in older office blocks, hospitals, public buildings, etc) where the floor level may have changed (tiles instead of vinyl, etc) and you'd soon "get" the TS75. For specific uses on site they can be very handy, but TBH mine stays in the van most of the time
I wanted the 55 as I thought the 75 was a bit large and cumbersome, but after reading reviews about the weak arse motors in the 55 , I settled on the 75 .
Sounds like you've been watching "Mr. Skokum's" videos, but here's the rub: I've been running a TS55 for about 6 or 7 years, now - enough time to got through about 15 new blades and some 40 to 50 sharpenings - and that "weak arsed" motor hasn't failed yet. I am on my third replacement base, though, with a fourth one due (the result of running off the end of the rails). That experience of reliability and durability is far from being a one-off, either. What I would appreciate from Festool is a bit more torque/power, although I do find the TS55 to be sensitive to how sharp the blade is.
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.
In a trade environment? I'll wait and see
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.
I can't disagree with you there. One big plus of the Festools ], though, is that they have excellent dust extraction - but saws like this do need to be used with a good extractor and those cost as much as the saws themselves over here
Even if the Makita cost the SAME price as the Festool TS55 the Makita is still better, the cost saving is just a bonus.
Not sure how you work that one out. The Makita base is longer than the Festool - a minor point, but can be significant when cutting-down some sheet stocks which require a non-plunge cut to be made (e.g. materials such as Trespa - an HPL). Another thing I will say is that the Festool guide rails are anodised - Makita ones aren't (a big disadvantage for kit stored on site and in vans). I'd say the biggest difference between the two is that the Festool certainly has a better fit and finish, slightly better dust extraction and the Plug-It cord is far from a gimmick in environments where a vacuum may be shared between several tools as is common om many sites. Even so, had money been a bit tighter when I bought my Fes I'd have got a Mak and been almost as happy
so w/ short battery time...
how many batteries will you need....
how will you charge the batteries on site...
you need a gerator anywats for all the other stuff but temp power should have the 1st to put in ...
In the real world you often don't get temporary power where or when you want it, also some projects require rapid moives between different points in a building or complex, so there is a point to having a cordless rail saw for some workers. Not enough batteries? Then buy more! My Makita site kit has 12 batteries in it, mainly 5Ah. I rarely drain the lot in a day, but I always have one or two in reserve at the end of a day
The usefulness of a rail saw comes out when you are faced tasks such as making-up and installing 3 dozen individual MDF or plywood pipe boxings in bathrooms which are all different (because you don't need to plane-in any edges, just sand) or where, like we did recently, you spend 3 weeks of your life trimming-in 250 slatted oak ceiling panels round three sides to get them to fit in a mis-shapen Victorian church roof (we were converting it into a library). As an installation tool plunge/rail saws are absolutely brilliant - as a workshop tool I think I could do better with many other tools