I keep hearing really good things about the Festool saw in that it can replace the table saw esp. if not doing a lot of repetitive cuts. That it cuts very well, well enough to glue up. In comparison to the table saw. Any comments on this? Am thinking of buying the Festool or a new table saw for my shop
It may seem like a good idea, I have a ts55 and I love it, I would not give it up for anything. However, I would say that it is no replacement for a table saw. As you said the Festool isn't great for repetitive tasks for one. What if you have to rip a bunch of stiles for doors, or make a bunch of parts? Also you can't dado with a track saw. The table saw is just so much more versatile. I have bought tools before that meet my needs for the moment, not thinking about how my business can change or needs that I may have in the future. It never ends well. It is best to get the most versatile tool first and specialize later as you come to see your needs. Just my two cents.
Are you a professional furniture maker Ken? This question shows up on hobbyist sights where most of the woodworking is done on the internet instead of in the shop. My opinion is that you can't have a furniture making shop without the best table saw you can buy. Period! Think you can easily rip 1/4" off a 2" wide, 1' long piece of stock with a track saw?
I also use a circular saw infrequently, that really has no bearing here. All I am saying is that a track saw is a very specialized tool, no matter what the sales guy at the woodcraft or the Festool rep say, it cannot replace a table saw (I say that from personal experience, I heard a Festool rep claim that it could replace a table saw in a shop) I call BS. I do have experience here, I own both a table saw and a Festool track saw, and a table saw the Festool is not. I echo what Rich said, what if you need to take a small amount off a small piece not a job for a track saw.
I have the TS75 and although it is good for straight lining a boards edge to bring to the table saw or jointer and its great for cutting up sheet goods (up to 4 pcs at a go) It wouldn't and can't replace a table saw by any stretch of the imagination.
I would invest in a table saw!
I would also buy a circular saw and make a plywood guide for it to rough cut sheet goods and whatnot's.
I don't use the TS75 everyday but I do use my table saw.
Another consideration is simply that some work is taken to the saw, while other work has the saw taken to it.
I use a Festool saw for cutting to length the 2-1/4" x 42" x 120" doors we make. Can't imagine wresting them onto the panel saw. Conversely, I would never use the saw to cut rails to length, or rip out hardwoods.
Festool makes a fine tool, but is guilty of over-hyping the utility. They are targeting the small shop that knows they need table or panel saw, but hopes to get by on something less.
I do not understand the references to "hobby shop" when learning from pros continue to improve my skills and training from Philadelphia Furniture workshops and so forth. So am in my 2nd studies toward making fine furniture. The table saw has been a stand out for me, but the ability to learn from mentors are more important. In the National Park Service I have learn from the old timers that have skills that they have master over 30 years from restoration of historical structures using original techniques and using modern tools as well. So am on my way mastering some good skills. Asking questions of those that have already made mistakes and refined their skills is something I respect and feel that those people would be great to learn from. The ego can be a dangerous thing at time. But those that responded with good intent I appreciate. Going to stay with the table saw and eventually get a Festool.
Ego? Nothing to do with egos. You asked for comments, you got them. You are on a Professional Woodworking Forum, posting in a section called Professional Furniture Making, and you are asking if a track saw will replace a table saw. Professional woodworking is about speed, accuracy, quality, and lots of stuff about running a business. Hundreds of cuts need to be made a day. Anyone suggesting that a track saw replaces a table saw is either not making many cuts a day, or is working in an extreme niche business. To use the track, you have to lay out pencil marks, usually on both ends, grab the track and align it, grab the saw and make the cut, then move the track and saw away from the stock. Maybe you buy into their program and get the MFT, so you don't have to move as much equipment, but then you are size limited to what fits on the MFT. On the table saw, you set the fence and cut. Way quicker. Buy a Sawstop and safely make some money!
Both a track saw and a tablesaw have their place in most modern shops. One will never replace the other.
Modern marketing will target the upcoming woodworker with all sorts of tempting things that appear at first glance to stand in for more expensive (and intimidating) equipment. A good example is a router being used to make doors in lieu of a shaper. It will do it, but it is nothing like a shaper. The discerning woodworker should be able to spot this ploy quickly and take it in all with enough salt.
And the type of shaper? There is a big difference between a 1-1/2HP cabinet type vs a 8hp European with a real fence, interchangeable spindles, tilt and more. Once you have used a fine shaper, it is hard to look at a router table....
Same thing with those drum sanders. To the guy sanding away with a palm sander or similar, the drum sander looks like the Second Coming. But after using a real wide belt, the drum sander is then seen for what it is - an approximation of what is needed.
All just a variation of the "No free lunch" dictum.
If you think you could ever swing getting a slider (full sized one with 10' crosscut capacity),assuming you will have the room,I would forget the track saw.I have a slider,and use a tablesaw with a power feeder for narrow rips and dado's.With that combination,I have never needed a tracksaw,or ever had the desire to use one.But,if you know a full sized slider is not an option,then I think the tracksaw would be the next best thing rather than putting on some gadget on your table saw to cut panels,leave the tablesaw as a dedicated ripper.
I love my TS75 for cross cutting heavy sheets, jig making and truing live edge tops. I can't see joining or ripping heavy table tops when Festool track saw is is available. Choice between table and track saw, good quality cabinet 5hp saw all day long as my sleds and jigs are what is used 80%. And yes, if I had room for a slider I will some day love an Alten or Martin but until then you won't hear me crying until.
Thank you for the compliment. I am definitely pursuing a sliver of niche market like mentioned above.
Shop sq ft being the prize possession when you double equipment for wood and metal lead me to the TS75 plus after having domino and 6" 125RO sander they are hard to second guess.
The one draw back on their track saw is if you material is not perfectly flat the track is of no help. In big slabs I have had to shim and double stick tape so as not to get into trouble and don't want to loose slab thickness. Don't know of better solution and worried the shims might vibrate out w/ instant kick back. I am a clamp guy and clamping the track is frustrating as well when not perfectly flat. For sheets it's a real back saver.
Festool makes a good saw for installations and the dust collection is excellent so it can save you clean-up time. I was disappointed in the TS55 as a furniture and cabinet making tool. A track saw is most useful for straight-lining one board edge and for long angled cuts if you don't have a slider. I agree that Festool has overhyped what is essentially an installer's tool. I like the American made Eurekazone system better because (1) it is expandable to a rational repeatable panel cutting system at lower cost and (2) I found having to plunge the Festool saw annoying. I would rather just push the saw most of the time. In flooring cuts and doing sink cutouts the plunge feature of the Festool is useful. I seldom used the riving knife after owning the Festool for awhile.
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