bobcrosley

Budget track saw alternative deal

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I'm not sure if "bargain finds" are acceptable on Woodtalk as they are on some other sites, so please feel free to delete if it's not OK.

 

Occassionally, Woot.com has a deal on the Scheppach version of the Grizzly track saw, and they have it running currently now. I'm not sure of the availabiltiy outside the US, but in the US, it's the saw (with blade) and 2 25-inch tracks (with connector) for $120. 

 

Now if you look at this saw next to the Grizzly or Shop Fox version, you'll see the only difference is the injection molding color of the plastic. And reviews of the Scheppach show all of the same limitations Marc pointed out in his Grizzly review: spring is a bit tight, the blade isn't Festool quality and dust collection lacks compared to Festool. And the 2 tracks together only get you 50-inches. But the saw will work fine on the Grizzly tracks and can use Grizzly accessories. It can also use any blade that works on the Festool.

 

It's in no way a substitute for a Festool, but for a hobbyist, it makes a kickass alternative to a circular saw. Just thought I'd pass it along. I ordered one, and can post a review when I get it next week. As with all things on Woot.com, when they're gone, they're gone until they run the deal again.

 

 http://tools.woot.com/offers/6-1-4-inch-blade-plunge-saw-with-rails-and-connector

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The Festool TS-55 Plunge Cutting Circular Saw is what I call a "shop changing tool."  Once you have it, or really any tool in the Festool System, and you find yourself thinking "wow, this really is great stuff."

 

I am crazy for being cheap and I keep it no secret, but I do buy Festool. 

 

Congrats on the "bargain find."  I do hope it ends up being an excellent long-term solution for you.

 

miw

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Bob, how did the saw turn out for you?

At $250 for grizzly (with the drawbacks that are well known), I figured in that price range I'd spring the dewalt version. However at $140 with free shipping at amazon, scheppach is almost a no brainier (for someone like me who will only use it three times a year). Anybody else have experience with this saw?

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chrisphr,

I found that Marc's review of the Grizz can be your guide on this. They are the SAME saw. In fact, I made this image from various "non-Festool" saws available, and you can see that the only difference between the Grizzly, Shop Fox, Woodstar and Scheppach is the color of the main plastics.

 

post-7964-0-99525900-1383400016_thumb.pn

 

In fact, looking at Marc's video again, the blade on the Grizzly actually has a Scheppach logo on it, so I'm reasonably certain they have the same blade. The Scheppach suffers from the same problems as the Grizzly does that Marc mentions. The spring is tighter than the Festool, making plunging a 2 handed operation. The slick-tape strips on the track are too close together, making it a little wobbly. Looking online, some have fixed this by removing and replacing the tape further apart. Some have just bought slick-tape and added more strips. 

 

Unlike the Grizz, the Scheppach comes with 2 25" tracks and a connector (probably to make overseas shipping easier). It only has noe connector, instead of 2, so getting it aligned takes a few extra seconds. It can use Grizzly or Festool connectors. Dust collection is almost exactly how Marc described. Better than most circular saws, but not Festool level.

 

Cut quality with the stock blade is exactly what Marc describes. I replaced the stock blade with this one from Freud - http://amzn.com/B002IPHG9I - to see if I could get better results. I think they were a bit better. The "show" side is flawless, but you can get that with just about any decent circular saw with a decent blade.

 

post-7964-0-02082900-1383400773_thumb.jp

 

On the "bad" side, I think the "keeper" piece had less tearout than Marc's. Certainly the bits of tearout were smaller, and much closer to the end.

 

post-7964-0-00417800-1383400842_thumb.jp

 

And the "discard" spot had less than Marc's as well. And none of them went very far from the edge, unlike some of his that were probably 1/4" long.

 

post-7964-0-35431000-1383400950_thumb.jp

 

I think all of this was due to the blade, as, they are certainly the same saw. I leave it to you to decide if it's worth the extra $50 for that. I think the Freud is probably a longer lived blade than the stock, at least from previous personal experience.

 

I had a circular saw I needed to replace, and was finding that the ones with even basic dust collection were in the $100+ range. So for me, this was a no-brainer for the $120 I paid, to add the features of a track saw on top of that. If I already had a good circular saw that had the dust collection I was seeking, I don't know if it would have been as good a deal over using a good circular saw with some shop made guides.

 

I was actually writing a detailed review (which is why I had pictures) when your post came up. I might still write that review, but you've now basically read the important parts.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Bob

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That does help, thanks! I just recently had to cut down some plywood, but to sizes too large for the table saw. I went the home made saw guide route and the experience kinda sucked. I kept rocking the saw so it chunked up the edge of the jig, so will probably need to make another... or get a track saw. I think my setup was kinda unstable (used saw horses) so maybe I will give it another shot using 2x4 frame or styrofoam on the floor.

If unsuccessful, I think scheppach might be the way to go. Would love to get the festool, but I just wouldn't use it enough to make sense.

Thanks again for the review details, you should repost in the review section so no one misses it!

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