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View Full Version : Anyone tried the DeWalt TrackSaw?



Stephen Tashiro
12-11-2008, 7:57 PM
The DeWalt TrackSaw, as advertised on this forum, looks interesting. Has anyone tried it? Anyone designed a stand to turn it into a panel saw - or does it already have such an accessory?

Art Davis
12-11-2008, 8:02 PM
I second the question: will it make a good panel saw.

The price, though, isn't a laughing matter---.

David Hawxhurst
12-11-2008, 9:18 PM
i've have http://www.eurekazone.com/index.html and use it regularly to cut down sheet good. having not used the dewalt i don't have a good comparison of the two. the dewalt looks very similar to the ez system from eureka zone. the ez system will allow you to use your existing circular saw which cuts down on the price. eurekazone also has its own following under the mfg forums here.

Larry Edgerton
12-11-2008, 9:27 PM
I've been using homemade guides with PC saws for over 30 years and do not see the need for something like this. In fact I see advantages, besides price to making your own. Its a gimmick.

Steve Schoene
12-11-2008, 9:47 PM
The concept is more than a gimmick. The quality of the cut can be significantly greater on the dedicated saw/track combination. I have the Festool and because of the "zero clearance" strip on the track, and attachment on the saw, I get saw cuts on plywood that are at least as good, smooth and tear-out free, as on my Unisaw. I haven't seen the DeWalt--I'm not sure they are actually available on this side of the pond yet.

Dan Friedrichs
12-11-2008, 10:05 PM
Rockler sent me a DVD about it - I watched it, and from what I saw, I don't think I'd pay more than about $150 for it (even if I were in the market for a track saw). It looked cheap, mostly plastic, and not especially more handy than a homebuilt jig.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually seen the saw, these are just my impressions from watching DeWalt's promotional DVD.

Dan Lee
12-11-2008, 10:17 PM
Checkout these threads by Mike Heidrick


http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=946790

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=93970

Mike Heidrick
12-11-2008, 10:20 PM
I own a corded dewalt track saw (contest tool I won). As tracksaws go, I have only used it and the TS55 Festool. The Dewalt is not better but still awesome. No problems with mine yet breaking down oak plywood.

I have played with a few ideas for it as a panel saw and really think I need the 108" track to make it work the way I want. May be cheaper to just buy a used panel saw in the long run though if you do not win the tracksaw and probably safer to do so as well.

Mike Heidrick
12-11-2008, 10:21 PM
Checkout these threads by Mike Heidrick


http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=946790

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=93970

We were posting at the same time.

Kelly C. Hanna
12-11-2008, 11:41 PM
Here's my take FWIW....

As far as I know this is the only track system that comes with a track longer than 75". This is the only feature that intrigues me other than the saw's ability to cut very near flush when cutting doors on the hinges [which I rarely do].

I have an 8' level that is straight as an arrow and I clamp it on my work 1.5" away from the cut line. Used it all day today on a cabinet job where I have set up shop in the lady's house [unoccupied of course] and my cuts are right on the money.

I have been very unimpressed with any other system and I have tried a couple of them. Any system where the tracks are assembled together with screws is a joke on the jobsite. I have one [won't tell ya which one], but the tracks were put together the first day I had it and immediately the screws extruded the aluminum track. I decided to keep it as a straight edge, but noticed not too long afterwards that when looking down the edge that it was not only bent in the middle, but the bend was enough to allow for a 1/16" diffference from end to end. Completely unacceptable for a straight line cut. I still have the set but it is only the two tracks at this point and they are gathering huge dust in the rafters.

I use the level and the saw I have rides against it with no issues and provides a perfectly straight cut. It dosen't take any more time to set up than the over $200 tracks I have tried in the past. I paid $45 for the level and the saw I use is a Hitachi that I paid $98 for.

I wanted the set that I found back in 2000 where the guide was a 109" straight piece and the saw base ran on bearings, but waited too long and it got discontinued for a two piece that replaced it. After trying the other one that was two piece and finding the flaws, I got the idea for trying the 8' level instead of wasting money on another flawed system.

Stephen Tashiro
12-12-2008, 12:10 AM
Thank you for the link to the threads, Mike. That was a thorough review.

Dan Clark
12-12-2008, 12:32 AM
Here's my take FWIW....

As far as I know this is the only track system that comes with a track longer than 75". This is the only feature that intrigues me other than the saw's ability to cut very near flush when cutting doors on the hinges [which I rarely do].
...

Kelly,

Festool has been making rail-guided saws and rails for years. They sell rails ranging from 32" to 197": http://www.festoolusa.com/products/guide-rails/197-guide-rail-fs-5000-491500.html.

Dan.

Mike Heidrick
12-12-2008, 12:35 AM
If you cannot find the dewalt Tracksaw, hit up a Festool dealer for a TS55 demo. They are pretty common. You will love that setup as well. Cost about the same.

Kelly C. Hanna
12-12-2008, 12:40 AM
Yeah I know....I didn't know they came that long....I even looked on the website before posting but I guess I didn't drill down far enough, I only saw the 75" listed. I did see the price though and had to chuckle. Imagine spending $500 on just a rail....must be nice to be able to do that. Us workin' folk just can't justify a cost like that when I can get the same result from a $48 level.

That said, the one piece rails are definitely better than those that have to be assembled to length. Glad to see someone is making them right these days.

Rick Fisher
12-12-2008, 6:58 AM
For the same money, I would likely want to see the Festool before buying the DeWalt.

Jason White
12-12-2008, 7:38 AM
I've tried one. I also own a Festool TS55.

You really can't go wrong with either. The DeWalt track allows you run the saw in the track in either direction. The Festool does not -- you have to flip the track around. Not a big deal, unless you're dealing with a really long track in a really tight space.

JW


The DeWalt TrackSaw, as advertised on this forum, looks interesting. Has anyone tried it? Anyone designed a stand to turn it into a panel saw - or does it already have such an accessory?

Thomas Knighton
12-12-2008, 7:48 AM
The Dewalt has an anti-kickback feature that I like. Does the Festool? IIRC, it doesn't but it's been a while since I looked.

Tom

Mike Heidrick
12-12-2008, 9:24 AM
The Festool does not have the anti-kickback feature. That might be handy if you were developing a panel saw idea. That feature can be turned on and off pretty easily so it would work great.

Festool TS55/75 have that nice anti splinter device on the guard though.

ALSO, It looks like there is another drawing for another free tracksaw on Dewalts site. You should enter - maybe a free one will make the decision real easy!

Thomas Knighton
12-12-2008, 9:45 AM
Thanks for the response Mike. I'm somewhat on the fence about the two saws, though I seem to be leaning toward the Dewalt. It'll be a while until I can afford one...though I will be entering that drawing. You just can't beat free ;)

Tom

Bob Marino
12-12-2008, 10:06 AM
The Festool does not have the anti-kickback feature. That might be handy if you were developing a panel saw idea. That feature can be turned on and off pretty easily so it would work great.

Festool TS55/75 have that nice anti splinter device on the guard though.

ALSO, It looks like there is another drawing for another free tracksaw on Dewalts site. You should enter - maybe a free one will make the decision real easy!

Mike,

The TS 75 does have an anti-kickback feature -the slip clutch. Also, both saws have have a limit stop, which also helps in preventing kickbacks.

I have not seen the DW, but looks good from the videos I have sen. It's good to have choices!

Bob

Gene Howe
12-13-2008, 11:03 AM
This looks like a viable alternative to Festool and Dewalt track saws.
Certainly less expensive. Everything I've ever bought from these people has been of excellent quality.

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/PPS-2.html

Kelly C. Hanna
12-13-2008, 11:46 AM
That's the one I used to want except it had a 108" rail back in '02. They only have the modular one now which is two pieces.

Jason White
12-13-2008, 2:03 PM
The Festool has a spring-loaded riving knife, which helps reduce or eliminate kickback.

The DeWalt has one, too. But the DeWalt also has another "anti-kickback" device, which I couldn't quite figure out. I think it's basically a built-in version of the Festool device that clamps onto the track to keep the saw from trying to go backwards during a plunge cut in the middle of a workpiece.

JW


The Dewalt has an anti-kickback feature that I like. Does the Festool? IIRC, it doesn't but it's been a while since I looked.

Tom

Mike Heidrick
12-13-2008, 2:53 PM
Mike,

The TS 75 does have an anti-kickback feature -the slip clutch. Also, both saws have have a limit stop, which also helps in preventing kickbacks.

I have not seen the DW, but looks good from the videos I have sen. It's good to have choices!

Bob

Bob is very correct about the slip clutch on the TS75. In my comparison we only compared a TS55 and Dewalt tracksaw.

If money is the same on the two saws, why not go with a dealer like Bob or Jason that we have as members on the forums. You would most certainly get the best customer service you could hope for and that is usually 24X7 and weekend support.

Dan Clark
12-13-2008, 4:51 PM
Yeah I know....I didn't know they came that long....I even looked on the website before posting but I guess I didn't drill down far enough, I only saw the 75" listed. I did see the price though and had to chuckle. Imagine spending $500 on just a rail....must be nice to be able to do that. Us workin' folk just can't justify a cost like that when I can get the same result from a $48 level.

That said, the one piece rails are definitely better than those that have to be assembled to length. Glad to see someone is making them right these days.
Kelly,

I agree about the cost. Pretty high. I have the 3000mm. I bought it just before the price went up in April. It was pricey, but nice to have for ripping 4X8 sheets of ply lengthwise.

With the longer rails, I think a big part of the price is the number that are sold and the cost of shipping. There are not many people who need a 5000mm (197") rail. And shipping something that's 16 feet long is probably a bit pricey.

Regards,

Dan.

Mike Heidrick
12-13-2008, 6:01 PM
If you do go Dewalt - for another $99 you can add on the 108" in a package I believe.

Burt Waddell
12-13-2008, 7:20 PM
I've had a couple different panel saw setups and find that the use of a guided saw is the best and easiest for me. I use both the EZ repeaters and EZ square along with the smart table. That allows me to take the repeater and do the rip cuts. Then I take the square or cabinet maker and do the cross cut. This literally allows me to put a sheet of plywood on the table and take off cabinet parts. With a combo of my age and health that really helps.

I agree with what someone said about cut quality. I've compared my EZ system to a unisaw with a 60 tooth blade and a Msakita LS1212 with a 96 tooth blade cutting the same stock. The EZ cut was better. That "Zero clearance" insert effect helps.

To give DIno a little credit, Eurekazone was the first with anti-chip protection on both sides of the blade. The EZ rail is the first bi-directional rail. Also, I don't think that I have ever heard kickbacks discussed on the EZ forum. The kickback problem is created with the front plunge saws.

I just recently sold my last unisaw and am moving forward with just the EZ system. So far - so good!!

Burt

patrick anderson
12-13-2008, 10:36 PM
just to stoke the fire here the makita version is available now as well

Thomas Knighton
12-13-2008, 10:41 PM
The Festool has a spring-loaded riving knife, which helps reduce or eliminate kickback.

The DeWalt has one, too. But the DeWalt also has another "anti-kickback" device, which I couldn't quite figure out. I think it's basically a built-in version of the Festool device that clamps onto the track to keep the saw from trying to go backwards during a plunge cut in the middle of a workpiece.

JW

Ah! Thanks for the correction.

Either way, they both look like great systems and well worth looking into for me since a table saw just isn't a viable possibility for me.

Tom

Burt Waddell
12-13-2008, 11:08 PM
The Festool has a spring-loaded riving knife, which helps reduce or eliminate kickback.

JW

Jason,

The riving knife actually does nothing to correct the primary kickback problem with Festool. As I understand it, the primary problem is caused by dust buildup inside the saw. This build-up can cause the blade to be in contact with the material being cut when it shouldn't be. Since the rail is rather thin, it doesn't take a lot of buildup to cause this. Festool includes a stop with their saws to help prevent injuries when this happens.


Burt

Jason White
12-14-2008, 8:14 AM
I use mine connected to a shop vac most of the time, so that's probably why I've not experienced this problem.

JW


Jason,

The riving knife actually does nothing to correct the primary kickback problem with Festool. As I understand it, the primary problem is caused by dust buildup inside the saw. This build-up can cause the blade to be in contact with the material being cut when it shouldn't be. Since the rail is rather thin, it doesn't take a lot of buildup to cause this. Festool includes a stop with their saws to help prevent injuries when this happens.


Burt

Bob Marino
12-14-2008, 9:24 AM
Jason,

The riving knife actually does nothing to correct the primary kickback problem with Festool. As I understand it, the primary problem is caused by dust buildup inside the saw. This build-up can cause the blade to be in contact with the material being cut when it shouldn't be. Since the rail is rather thin, it doesn't take a lot of buildup to cause this. Festool includes a stop with their saws to help prevent injuries when this happens.


Burt

Burt,

The riving knife hleps prevent binding of the wood, just like in a table saw. I have never heard of (though I guess it could happen) of kick-back with the Festool saw associated with a buildup of dust.
The "stop" is used to prevent kick-back when the saw is used for plunge cuts in the middle, or rather anywhere away from, the wood's edge, and/or to limit (hence it's called a LIMIT STOP) the saw's the saw's travel at the start or end of a cut.

Bob

Burt Waddell
12-14-2008, 3:26 PM
Bob,

'Just dug this old post to show you one of the reasons for my comments:

#34 (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showpost.php?p=436164&postcount=34) http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/buttons/report.gif (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/report.php?p=436164)
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/statusicon/post_old.gif 09-20-2006, 6:22 AM
John Stevens (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/member.php?u=3544) http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif
Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Delaware Valley, PA
Posts: 417


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Biddle
... does anyone use the limit stops for the rails? How well do they work?

Good thing you asked. I use one behind the saw for every cut. If you plunge the saw into the wood, it will kick back. Depending on how strong the kickback is, the saw may skip off the rail and gouge the wood or the guide rail. (Gouging a guide rail seems to be a rite of passage for Festool saw owners.) Placing a limit stop behind the saw prevents this from happening 100% of the time. It takes literally one second to put the limit stop into position behind the saw, so I figure it's cheap insurance.

I've never used a second limit stop at the far end of the cut, but I assume it would work as well in front of the saw as it does behind it.

Bob Marino
12-15-2008, 10:53 PM
Bob,

'Just dug this old post to show you one of the reasons for my comments:

#34 (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showpost.php?p=436164&postcount=34) http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/buttons/report.gif (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/report.php?p=436164)
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/statusicon/post_old.gif 09-20-2006, 6:22 AM
John Stevens (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/member.php?u=3544) http://www.sawmillcreek.org/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif
Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Delaware Valley, PA
Posts: 417


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Biddle
... does anyone use the limit stops for the rails? How well do they work?

Good thing you asked. I use one behind the saw for every cut. If you plunge the saw into the wood, it will kick back. Depending on how strong the kickback is, the saw may skip off the rail and gouge the wood or the guide rail. (Gouging a guide rail seems to be a rite of passage for Festool saw owners.) Placing a limit stop behind the saw prevents this from happening 100% of the time. It takes literally one second to put the limit stop into position behind the saw, so I figure it's cheap insurance.

I've never used a second limit stop at the far end of the cut, but I assume it would work as well in front of the saw as it does behind it.

Burt,

My response was to your statement regarding the buildup of dust as being a primary cause of kick-back. As I mentioned, that could happen, I just never heard of that being a cause. A regards John's post, I would disagree with him somewhat. I think plunging into the middle of a piece of wood does requires a bit more "practice" than simply cutting from the edge, (most of us don't do it near as much as cutting from the edge) but I have done it enough (making the plunge slooooooooowly) and have yet to have a kick-back, even without the limit stops (which I admittedly should use). The really good news is that the saw's blade automaticaly retracts into the saw's housing. If the Dewalt saw has better anti-kick provisions, I think that's great!
I would remind anybody using tools to be careful; in fact the only time I ever drew blood while using a woodworking tool was from my sander (ROTEX):o! I was not aware it was in the "on" position when I plugged it in and the edge of the pad sanded/sliced my finger (and not to a smooth finish either).
Bob