Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 44

Thread: Grizzly track saw review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Posts
    1,021

    Grizzly track saw review

    Hi all. In case you're interested in one of the bargain track saws, here's a review of mine. I've had it a week and have fussed around and adjusted it to get good performance. It took a few hours though, so I wouldn't consider these saws to be ready to go out of the box. With some work my saw is now performing beautifully.

    At first blush, this isn't a bad set up. The track is a nice extrusion. Mine was straight and butted nicely with the extension with no noticeable bump when sliding over the connection. Since I got a post card from Grizzly saying that my accessory kit including the track connectors wouldn't be available for a month, I made my own. The Grizzly accessory kit naturally arrived the day after I made my connectors, so now I have plenty. Grizzly track has the ability to accept two connectors, making a pretty stable 110" track. The only bad thing about the track is the placement of the glide strips, which I'll get to in a bit.

    The actual saw isn't terrible at all. I was expecting something more crude, so I was surprised at the fit and finish. I expect to get may years of use out of mine. There are some design and manufacturing flaws which will keep these saws from good performance. They're mostly all fixable though. Here's an overview:

    1)The plunge action is a little stiff because of the heavy spring. This doesn't really affect use, but a lighter spring would give the plunge action a better feel.

    2)There is a slight arbor wobble. I don't know if this matters, but my Porter Cable circular saw doesn't have any wobble

    3)The depth adjuster doesn't move easily. I remedied this by removing the adjuster mechanism ( accessible from behind the blade) and sanding the parts for a better fit. Mine works great now.

    4)The cutting performance with the stock blade is awful, at least with mine. The cut was labored and tear out was obvious. It might be OK for roughly breaking down sheet goods, but all of the cuts would have to re-done later with something better.

    I ordered an Oshlun track saw blade to replace the original. It was about $22 and matches the green graphics on the saw. It made a world of difference, even though it looks almost identical to the stock blade. The saw cuts much more easily and tear out is very, very slight. After I wear out this blade, I'll probably get a nicer Freud blade. At this time though, I didn't want to invest a bunch into a saw that I wasn't sure about. In my opinion, this is a necessary upgrade to make one of these saws work properly.

    5) The saw isn't stable on the track. There is about 1/8" of wobble side to side. If you take a look at the Grizzly track vs others, you'll see why. The Festool, Dewalt and Makita tracks all have their glide strips toward the outside edges of the saw plate. The Grizzly glide strips are in the middle, nowhere near the edges. They act as a fulcrum for the saw base. The glide strips are raised above the aluminum track, so a bit of pressure away from the center of the saw makes it tip in or out, ruining the cut. I have no idea why the track was built this way, but it makes the saw precarious and ruins the cut and user confidence. Fortunately, there's an easy fix.

    I double taped ~ 1/8" hardwood shim to the left side of the saw plate, and a tape-thickness shim to the right. These are essentially outriggers that stabilize the base and keep it nice and square. I used iron-on melamine edge tape, but might try some sort of teflon tape if I had some. After adding the tape, the saw is plenty stable.

    6) Dust collection is OK--much better than a circular saw. It could be better, though. A lot of stuff gets out ahead of the cut. I suppose it's the same on most track saws. I plan to make some Festool-style splinter guards for my saw, which should help contain the dust.

    Overall I'm happy with the saw. I'm not happy that I had to modify it to get it to work properly. On the other hand, I can't remember buying many power tools that didn't have to be modified to work well. Anybody buying one of these had better plan to at least buy a better blade and shim the base.

    As the ultimate test of the saw's ability to cut a crisp line, I crosscut some 3/4" Home Depot maple plywood scraps. The veneer on this stuff is microscopically thin and will tear out if you look at it wrong. I definitely am getting acceptable cuts, comparable to what I'd get on the tablesaw with a fine crosscut blade. I think that an upgrade to a specialty veneer/melamine blade would work even better. As it is, the quality of the cut is good enough for me.

    Here are a couple of photos of everybody else's track vs the Grizzly. Note where the glide strips are located.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by david brum; 03-28-2013 at 1:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Posts
    1,021
    Here are a few details. The first photo shows the base shims. The second shows the height adjuster mechanism--note that it is in inches!. Third photo is the stock blade. Fourth shows the accessory kit. The kit comes with some nice, acme thread clamps. These work great. It also comes with some cheesy clamps which you'd never use unless you had to. Nice little anti tip attachment and stopped cut attachment. The track connector is nice quality also, although not sure why you only get one.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by david brum; 03-28-2013 at 1:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Magnolia, Texas
    Posts
    545
    You definitely have me sold on it! Now I just need to leave it up on the computer screen so when LOML sees it she orders it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Posts
    1,021
    That definitely doesn't work at my house!

    As an aside though, I forgot to mention the advantage of a tracksaw from a safety standpoint ( always a good argument). Having the blade retract before you have to exit the cut is nice. I was previously using a straight edge and circular saw. It always felt awkward walking around the shop with an unguarded blade sticking out of the saw between cuts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    2,572
    Good review, and tips, David. How about the chip strip for the blade? Any problems?

    Rick Potter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    888
    Sorry to hear the Grizzly version has problems. I bought a Sheppach in Feb and compared it side by side with a T55. The stock blade did not leave a burnished edge like the T55, but everything else was similar including dust collection. I always cut on 1" foam, so I tend to get most of the dust.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crown Point, Indiana
    Posts
    858
    Excuse me for the following comments, but I could not quite understand the review.

    I guess that I wonder why I would buy this saw.

    Based upon the review, the blade has a wobble, the depth gauge does not work well and the saw is not stable on the track.

    Did I miss something? I can do as well with my old circular saw and a straight piece of wood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    897
    Hey Larry, he said the arbor has a wobble and the blade is junk. Not that the blade wobbles.
    I understand the review, it's very good. What I don't understand is the excitement to buy one based on the review.



    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    Excuse me for the following comments, but I could not quite understand the review.

    I guess that I wonder why I would buy this saw.

    Based upon the review, the blade has a wobble, the depth gauge does not work well and the saw is not stable on the track.

    Did I miss something? I can do as well with my old circular saw and a straight piece of wood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Magnolia, Texas
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    What I don't understand is the excitement to buy one based on the review.
    Thats easy to answer. I've used the festool ts55 and wasn't impressed with it. The saw motor sounded like it was about to blow up it grumbled so much and when you joined two tracks together they weren't straight. No matter what we did to align the tracks what ever we cut was never straight. Why pay all that money for something like that when for half the price I can by a track saw that will do the same thing as the festool.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    236
    I bought a Festool TS75 last fall, the single most expensive tool for my home shop to date. So the decision wasn't taken lightly. But I have zero buyers remorse.

    I took the saw out of the box, laid it on the track, trimmed the rail splinter guard, then proceeded to cut down a 3/4" ply sheet to makes drawers for a mudroom. The pieces were so square, I could flip them any which way and the equal lengths matched exactly with a finger touch, we all know what that feels like.

    I've used it a bunch and have yet to re-square or reset anything on the saw. From that perspective the price was worth the package.

    But the only downside to the TS75 is the size, it's big. Certainly excessive for sheet goods. But I also have tons of rough cut wood I'll soon start working on and that was the other main purpose for choosing the 75.

    I would certainly buy the Grizzly track saw to have a smaller, cheaper, lighter version, but not so sure now, if the setup requires a lot more time and effort to get it right. Even then not sure I'm sold.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Posts
    1,021
    How about the chip strip for the blade? Any problems?
    Nope, Rick. It works fine. It is probably 3/8" wider than necessary when new. It gets custom cut to the correct width on the first cut.



    Excuse me for the following comments, but I could not quite understand the review.

    I guess that I wonder why I would buy this saw.

    Based upon the review, the blade has a wobble, the depth gauge does not work well and the saw is not stable on the track.

    Did I miss something? I can do as well with my old circular saw and a straight piece of wood.
    That's a good question. The point that I was trying to make is that it's a decent saw, but takes some tuning out of the box to make it fully functional. I don't know about it being comparable to a circular saw and straight edge, though. There are lots of advantages with a track saw--that's why so many people buy them. This one is way cheaper than the alternatives and still has the important features, which is why people are excited about it. It agree that it's too bad that it requires modification.

    Sorry to hear the Grizzly version has problems. I bought a Sheppach in Feb and compared it side by side with a T55. The stock blade did not leave a burnished edge like the T55, but everything else was similar including dust collection. I always cut on 1" foam, so I tend to get most of the dust.
    That's really interesting. I assumed that the Scheppach and Grizzly saws were identical. It's possible that I'm overly picky....

    The foam is a good idea for capturing dust. I have a few scraps around the shop and give it a try.
    Last edited by david brum; 03-29-2013 at 12:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Bristol, Connecticut
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    Thats easy to answer. I've used the festool ts55 and wasn't impressed with it. The saw motor sounded like it was about to blow up it grumbled so much and when you joined two tracks together they weren't straight. No matter what we did to align the tracks what ever we cut was never straight. Why pay all that money for something like that when for half the price I can by a track saw that will do the same thing as the festool.
    I'd have to say that you are in the minority. Not that everyone that buys Festool becomes a devout green kool aid drinker, but I've rarely, if ever, heard anyone say that. I have a TS55 and couldn't be happier with it. I have two of the 55" guide rails and I can butt them together and they are straight as can be. I don't even have to check them, though I always do with a 3' straight edge. As for the saw sounding rough, I really haven't noticed. I use it primarily on sheet goods but recently I used it for an initial cut on rough 4/4 cherry and worked great.
    I Pledge Allegiance to This Flag, And If That Bothers You Well That's Too Bad - Aaron Tippin

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    236
    The Festool TS motors continuously control the blade speed to maintain optimum speed for whatever material is being cut. That's why it sounds that way. Not much different from a modern variable speed controlled router. I completely agree that joining tracks is a poor idea, works for some people and not for others. That's when a one piece 8ft+ track is needed and pays for itself in the quality of cuts over long runs. Hopefully Grizzly will introduce long tracks soon.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
    Posts
    1,698
    Blog Entries
    11
    I will have about 8 sheets of 3/4" hickory ply to break down for my kitchen remodel. I don't want to drink the green kool aid, or the yellow or blue, although I have tasted the last two. So that leaves my old B&D Sawcat and a straightedge or the Grizz tracksaw or one of its predecessors. My shop is too small to wrestle those big sheets onto my TS, I'd rather cut them into smaller pieces in the garage using a sheet of 1" foam on a sheet of ply on sawhorses.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Wakefield, MA
    Posts
    405
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    Thats easy to answer. I've used the festool ts55 and wasn't impressed with it. The saw motor sounded like it was about to blow up it grumbled so much and when you joined two tracks together they weren't straight. No matter what we did to align the tracks what ever we cut was never straight. Why pay all that money for something like that when for half the price I can by a track saw that will do the same thing as the festool.

    I have the TS 55. Everything in the above quote is the opposite of my experience. I use it mainly to break down plywood into more easily handled pieces, sometimes using the pieces right off the saw and sometimes further sizing them on my table saw. The two-piece track joins easily and gives a perfectly straight edge. I cut on a piece of foam insulation and get accurate, smooth cuts and great dust collection with the Festool vacuum.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •