sheperd80

Makita Tracksaw Review

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Yeah I'm with Shane on the MFT...seems ridiculous to pay that much for swiss cheese MDF on spindly legs...until you own it.

I did test drive one a bit, but i cant say i really got to take it out on the freeway. Seems to me that i could get much of the same utility from something homemade couldnt I? Granted the cnc hole layout would be hard to duplicate without paying someone and getting closer to the Festool cost, but i dont know how much id use that feature anyway.

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What are you guys using it for?(aside from a basic clamping table). I have the festool clamps and tables with holes. Love that, worth all $100 invested. So where does the mft become worth it for you?

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18 minutes ago, sheperd80 said:

Granted the cnc hole layout would be hard to duplicate without paying someone and getting closer to the Festool cost, but i dont know how much id use that feature anyway.

Shane did it somehow, I'm sure he can help you.  As for its versatility, I haven't even scratched the surface.  I've only had mine something like a year and for about half that time I was dealing with a tree falling on my house...so I've only used it through basically one or two projects...so not at all.  But every time I'm in the shop I find some quirky way to use it, often for oddball clamping needs.  I plan to use it in conjunction with the OF1400 quite a bit.  Dadoes and sliding dovetails in case sides is one primary reason I bought it.

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Have you seen my workbench? I did a project journal on it. It is a beast with homemade mft top. It is extremely versatile and much better than an mft however, it is not very portable and I don't want to ruin the top by crosscutting on it. The rail on the mft is what makes it really special. On my workbench I can technically crosscut with a rail  by using rail dogs and regular dogs and a sacrificial piece under my cuts its just not as convenient as the mft. 

I bought the mft to have in the shop for cross cutting panels and using as a second work station (lighter duty work) with a second fes vac. I also take it on jobs which is AMAZING to have all that clamping capability and a nice worktable on site. You can clamp pieces vertically by using the front aluminum t slot and you can clamp horizontally anywhere on the table.

Unless you really understand the Festool ecosystem and how it all works together its just another good tool brand. Once I acquired just about every product they made and started using it all together thats when i got the genius of it, including the drills and centrotec system. 

If I was still working as a carpenter as my day job ( which i am not I am a fulltime Super) i would NEVER take ANY of my Festool tools to the jobsite. EVER. I take my tools to my day job for service calls or fine tuning something before delivery of a home and dont want to have to pay or call a sub back. I also bring my Festool stuff on my side jobs which is only me using them or one guy I hire. If you are working for someone else and thinking if it is worth buying Festool then Heeeeellllllll no! If you are working in your shop and are doing your own jobs where you can take care of your very expensive investment then i think its worth it ,

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Have you seen my workbench? I did a project journal on it. It is a beast with homemade mft top. It is extremely versatile and much better than an mft however, it is not very portable and I don't want to ruin the top by crosscutting on it. The rail on the mft is what makes it really special. On my workbench I can technically crosscut with a rail  by using rail dogs and regular dogs and a sacrificial piece under my cuts its just not as convenient as the mft. 

I bought the mft to have in the shop for cross cutting panels and using as a second work station (lighter duty work) with a second fes vac. I also take it on jobs which is AMAZING to have all that clamping capability and a nice worktable on site. You can clamp pieces vertically by using the front aluminum t slot and you can clamp horizontally anywhere on the table.

Unless you really understand the Festool ecosystem and how it all works together its just another good tool brand. Once I acquired just about every product they made and started using it all together thats when i got the genius of it, including the drills and centrotec system. 

If I was still working as a carpenter as my day job ( which i am not I am a fulltime Super) i would NEVER take ANY of my Festool tools to the jobsite. EVER. I take my tools to my day job for service calls or fine tuning something before delivery of a home and dont want to have to pay or call a sub back. I also bring my Festool stuff on my side jobs which is only me using them or one guy I hire. If you are working for someone else and thinking if it is worth buying Festool then Heeeeellllllll no! If you are working in your shop and are doing your own jobs where you can take care of your very expensive investment then i think its worth it ,

That ecosystem is what appeals to me. Tools designed to work together in multiple ways. Jigsaw, router and tracksaw that can use the same track which hooks up already squared to the same table that youll be clamping work to for the next operation, using another tool that was sitting neatly in its place with no cord dangling, ready to hook up to a single plug-it and dust hose that are attached to each other hanging right where you want it. No Christmas Vaction lookin surge protector nightmare, no box of dust extraction adapters. I get it.

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As for work, well i agree. Im reluctant to bring expensive tools to jobsites. There are times when i do though. Ive brought in the domino already but i dont leave it out or let anyone use it. And the tracksaw will have to come to work a few times no doubt. But people tend use my stuff if its out. Nothing more cringe worthy than walking in on a guy using your new blade to cut decades-old concrete-coated form boards.

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I'm a working super. When the heavy carpentry slows down, i usually have a backlist of projects like u mentioned, filling in between subs or finishing and fixing their work, tying up loose ends, etc. Doing what i can while still running or sometimes co-running a big job if my boss hasnt moved on to the next project yet.

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So youre right, sidework, and shop work is where i would most benfit from that system. Sometimes sidework is quick evening repairs or installs, sometimes it full weekend finish work where all the tools come out. Just using a ridgid vac on my tools in someones backyard or garage has gotten me tons of compliments and referals no doubt. Working in the rich neighborhoods i meet alot of dust-o-phobes. Its a big deal to them. Rolling in with one neat stack of surgical looking tools on a vacuum will go along way with people and thats what im building towards. Vac jigsaw router sanders etc. Maybe even a tracksaw depending on how this one treats me in an upcoming project. I just wish a trim router was part of that plan!

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On 11/26/2016 at 11:12 PM, bleedinblue said:

Well crap...I bought the Makita based on the overwhelming positive reviews.  Hopefully I didn't choose poorly.  I suppose it'll be easy enough to flip if the saw doesn't live up to expectations.

I have one and I love it.  I'll admit I was going from a dewalt circular saw and a plywood track I built to a beautifully machined tool, so the difference is night and day.  If you went from or are accustom to festool tools, you may be disappointed (though the price should have been your first clue).  For me, the point was that it was a value balance that worked with my budget and needs.  I haven't noticed as much play as described above, but it isn't perfect.  

 

For me, it is a tool almost exclusively dedicated to rough cutting wood that will either be re-cut later or that just doesn't need to be dead nuts on.  I would say I use is about 90% to break down sheet goods, and the other 10% to get a straight line rip on rough sawn lumber from the mill.  I use the jointer most of the time, but when it's really squirrely, I find the track saw can take as big of a bite as I need in one pass and then the jointer can do the finish work.  

I'd love for Makita to come out with a MFT table knock off for it.  I'd buy it in a heart beat.  It's on my list of shop projects but it's way down the list at the moment.

My biggest beef with the saw is the joining of two tracks. It isn't seem-less and there is play which can result in a bowed cut is the stock isn't flat.  Good ply almost always is, but the cheap stuff isn't and rough lumber rarely is.  Again, 2 minutes at the jointer will fix this, but it is an annoyance. 

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21 minutes ago, Chris H said:

I have one and I love it.  I'll admit I was going from a dewalt circular saw and a plywood track I built to a beautifully machined tool, so the difference is night and day.  If you went from or are accustom to festool tools, you may be disappointed (though the price should have been your first clue).  For me, the point was that it was a value balance that worked with my budget and needs.  I haven't noticed as much play as described above, but it isn't perfect.  

 

For me, it is a tool almost exclusively dedicated to rough cutting wood that will either be re-cut later or that just doesn't need to be dead nuts on.  I would say I use is about 90% to break down sheet goods, and the other 10% to get a straight line rip on rough sawn lumber from the mill.  I use the jointer most of the time, but when it's really squirrely, I find the track saw can take as big of a bite as I need in one pass and then the jointer can do the finish work.  

I'd love for Makita to come out with a MFT table knock off for it.  I'd buy it in a heart beat.  It's on my list of shop projects but it's way down the list at the moment.

My biggest beef with the saw is the joining of two tracks. It isn't seem-less and there is play which can result in a bowed cut is the stock isn't flat.  Good ply almost always is, but the cheap stuff isn't and rough lumber rarely is.  Again, 2 minutes at the jointer will fix this, but it is an annoyance. 

The festool MFT should work with the makita, since the ft tracks work.

I briefly used my makita yesterday.  No play that couldn't be adjusted out and the cuts were razor clean and perfectly 90* out of the box.  No problem with power through 6/4 cherry.  A more thorough review will come after I use it more.

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Update...

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In the interest of building a small mobile Festool job site system. I returned the Makita and grabbed a TS 55. If the TS doesnt impress then i can return it and go back to the Makita knowing that its a very capable tool.

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Ive had the Festool for 3 days now and im seriously considering going back. The Makita outperformed this saw in almost every way. Power, cut depth and cut quality. The TS was horrid until i did the "toe-in" adjustment, and its still not leaving as smooth an edge as the Makita. When i have time ill fine tune that more and see what it can do. The power difference is small but noteable.

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However the Festool shines in all the areas that the Makita failed. The adjustments and controls are all very precise and positive. I love the micro-adjust depth stop, the track cams, the bevel adjustment. It feels like a quality, expensive tool. But lacking all that the Makita still gave me repeatable cut quality without sounding like a blender full of spoons!

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Im gonna use it for a few days and decide but i gotta say that if it werent for the t-loc systainer and the plug-it then this thing would already be gone!

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7 minutes ago, sheperd80 said:

Power

I agree this thing could use some more power !  I mostly use it for sheet goods or 3/4" stock and its not really an issue there. 

7 minutes ago, sheperd80 said:

cut depth

How much more cut depth does the Makita offer and is it really that significant?

7 minutes ago, sheperd80 said:

cut quality

 

Something is wrong here. I have glass smooth finish on my cuts. I was getting terrible cut quality and adjusted it recently and It is perfect ever since. You followed the directions in the supplemental manual? It should be really good quality when properly adjusted. 

 

 

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Yeah i did the adjustment like that online supplemental manual suggests but i admit i did it a bit hastey so ill try again.

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The cut depth on Makita is 2-1/4 vs 1-15/16. It would only matter in a few cases. That alone would not change my mind but combined with the extra power, the makita seems like a better tool for cutting solid door bottoms, straight edging 8/4 material and a few other odd jobs.

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90% of the time this will be a sheetgood tool so those things arent instant deal breakers, but if the makita does just as well on sheetgoods and does other stuff then...

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3 minutes ago, sheperd80 said:

The cut depth on Makita is 2-1/4 vs 1-15/16. It would only matter in a few cases. That alone would not change my mind but combined with the extra power, the makita seems like a better tool for cutting solid door bottoms, straight edging 8/4 material and a few other odd jobs.

Ive cut 1 3/8" interior doors with no problem at all. I agree if you need this thing to be constantly cutting 2" thick hardwood go with the more powerful saw. But in that case, you should get the ts75...

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3 hours ago, sheperd80 said:

Update...

Wow.  I read be first line of this post and said "crap, I might have to do the same." Until I read the rest.  I was a little put off after my kickback last week, but I'll be sure to not make any haste decisions.

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Ive cut 1 3/8" interior doors with no problem at all. I agree if you need this thing to be constantly cutting 2" thick hardwood go with the more powerful saw. But in that case, you should get the ts75...

Yeah thats not a constant need, it would just be a nice bonus. But if it can cut 1-3/4 hardwood doors thats fine. Thats what all the interiors in our custom homes are.

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Wow.  I read be first line of this post and said "crap, I might have to do the same." Until I read the rest.  I was a little put off after my kickback last week, but I'll be sure to not make any haste decisions.

Yeah thats another thing i did like with the ts55 is that track stop. Eliminates kickback while plunging.

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Just now, sheperd80 said:

1-3/4 hardwood doors thats fine. Thats what all the interiors in our custom homes are.

WOW! Thats some serious doors, man. $$$

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Well ive done all i can to dial in the TS 55. The cuts arent great but acceptable. Two cut plywood edges come together in a pretty seamless joint with little to no tearout. But the edge itself has saw marks from both the front and back of the blade, telling me its probably not a toe-in problem anymore. Its hars to see in these pics but its consistent.

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No matter how much i tighten the rail gibs or how carefully i push i get these marks. Theres also a gouge whenever i plunge cut. Just enough to create a gap if that were on a joint.

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Its not a big deal, but the Makita left a better edge with little effort. Everything else about the TS is better though. Its much safer, (the makita wants to suck itself in and kickback when u plunge) better DC, and the fine adjustments are excellent. I love that you can fine tune it for exact cut depth.

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I would send back and get a new one, that doesn't appear normal.  1 question, have you checked the blade to see if you are missing any teeth or have a bad tooth?  I hit a piece of embedded metal and lost a tooth and the cut quality was worse than normal.  I know the saw is new, but stuff happens. 

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I returned the saw. The dealer was real helpful, i brought it in and we made some test cuts. He acknowledged something seemed a little off. We ran it alongside another saw and mine had a stronger vibration and the blade had a slightly sloppier feel to it when jiggled by hand.

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Brought the new saw home, exact same cut. Leaves a gouge like the pics above if i plunge into the piece and some blade marks along the cut, but i havent done any toe-in adjustment yet so we'll see what happens.

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That sucks, hopefully a little tuning gets it running better for you.  Always sucks when you drop a bunch of money on a tool and it doesn't perform the way it should. 

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On December 9, 2016 at 0:55 PM, sheperd80 said:

Yeah these houses are next level lol.

a48557b29791ffcbeb410f7f3c78f1eb.jpg

Exteriors are usually 3"

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Please do not give this address. @sheperd80, I thought we had a non disclosure agreement :D

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I saw a YT video yesterday from someone I don't recall complaining about the track not being flat.  Any complaints along those lines?

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Can you try plunging the saw well before the wood (leave about 8 inches of track ahead of the wood), then sliding the saw in to to the wood?  I never plunge in to the wood because I will usually get a cut mark like you show.

Now, having suggested that, the only problem with plunging before the wood and sliding is that the track is not supported where you plunge, so the track can sag, and possibly twist, and when sliding in to the wood, it may cut slightly off.  Ideally you really need to support the track before the wood with another piece of scrap wood the exact same width as the wood you want to cut, which means you need a work table a bit wider than the piece of wood you are cutting.

Also, at the end of the cut, don't "de" plunge until the saw comes to a complete stop.

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