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Thread: Track saws: Festool vs DeWalt vs Makita

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.

    Track saws: Festool vs DeWalt vs Makita

    While I am in the midst of several planned equipment upgrades, I thought I'd consider one of these. They all look pretty good on paper, and the relative price differences are about what I expected to see, but I would like to get some user input if possible. I would be inclined to go with the Festool if I thought that the cut quality and ease of use were clearly the best of the three, but I've heard it said that the DeWalt is virtually as good. Have heard nothing about the Makita, but I like some of their other stuff. In any case, I'd probably opt for a 6 1/2 inch unit.

    If anyone has an opinion they'd care to share, I'd appreciate it.

    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Can't speak for the DeWalt or Makita, but I have the Festool 55 (6½"), and I like it a lot. It's easy to use, cuts accurately, and the OEM blade (48 tooth) cuts splinter-free in most woods. The saw comes with a 55 inch guide, and I added another, and the connectors, to make a 110" setup for ripping plywood sheets.

    BTW, the Festool rep for my area doesn't recommend the bigger saw for anything other than framing type work. He also said the 24 tooth blade the bigger saw comes with isn't suitable for plywood or splinter-free cuts. You'd have to upgrade the blade for that (additional cost).
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I have the Festool near as I can tell the Mikita is the same just painted blue. The Dewalt might be fine but just looks and feels to clunky to me.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Wapakoneta, OH
    I also have the Festool 55. It's probably the only Festool I'll ever buy, but it's fantastic. I bought before the Dewalt came out. I like a lot of the Dewalt features better, like the 2 way track. But if it's about the same money, I'd probably stay with the Fessie. If the Dewalt (or Makita) saved some bucks, I'd go with them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I have a set of tracks I bought that you attach your own saw to a slider to use on. They work, but if I had it to do all over again, I'd get the festool...

    One of the problems with mine is that it robs you of some height. Not a big deal for breaking down sheet goods, which is about all I use it for.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    It appears grizzly will be releasing one soon, too:

    According to the comments, it's a rebranded Scheppach.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    I can't comment on the others, but I recently purchased the Festool TS 75 and have no regrets. It came with a 75" rail and I purchased the 118" rail also. I use fair amount of thicker material and wanted the extra depth of cut. It's first job was straight lining some cherry slabs I had milled several years ago and it cut them (2 3/4") like butter. Same results from straight lining some thick maple for a bed project. I'm glad I got the long rail. The saw seemed much lighter than the 30 year old craftsman it replaced and was easy to handle.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Seems I recall some other threads discussing various track saw options, either here or over at the Creek, and there was another brand whose name I can't recall and a new Grizzly now in the mix. You might look at those also. I went with Festool because of the rail system and integration within their tool line.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    It appears grizzly will be releasing one soon, too:

    According to the comments, it's a rebranded Scheppach.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    I have the TS75 (I bought it for a couple of specific projects the 55 didn't have enough cut depth for), and frankly the edges fantastic and glue ready (I've had people ask me how I sanded the edge of the plywood that smooth.. nope no sanding needed). The Makita and Dewalt came out slightly after I bought the F$, or I might have gone for one of those just based on price alone. I can't fault the festool quality in any way shape or form, but would have to look hard at the Makita if doing it again (it has more cut depth than the TS55, close to the TS75 and about the same as the dewalt).

    One other thing to note: this won't replace your skill saw! At least with the FT it doesn't work so well off of the rail, the plunge action and smooth base make it squirrelly and (imho) dangerous to use. So I still have and would recommend keeping a skill saw for rough lumber work
    Worth noting from there:
    "All three plunge-cut saws ride and operate on a Festool guide rail. However, Festool’s saw rides on a Makita track, but not on a DeWalt track."
    The Makita and Festool rails will actually connect to each other.

    The one (really) nice thing about the festool setup is how the tools work together. I also have an OF1400 and use the shelf pin jig on it with a rail to cut dadoes in sheet goods (clamp the rail, I have a couple of pre-cut standoff blocks to help position it correctly, put the router on the rail and done!). The shelf pin jig with the rail with pre-boarded holes is also the fastest way to drill shelf pin holes pretty much ever (except maybe a gang drill).

    Also note that the F$ and the Dewalt have riving knives the Makita doesn't, they help some.. I also use the back stop on the festool rail somewhat religiously after getting lazy once and having it jump back on me in a plunge cut.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I have a Festool and it works great, but I wish it had a dual edge track, like the Dewalt.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

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