I’ve been flat out recently getting the next magazine articles together (so sorry for being so quiet here – the combination of everything has been overwhelming, so I had to let some areas slip right).
One of the projects has involved making quite a bit of use of a rail saw, and in this case it was the Festool Tracksaw system, including the MFT/3 (multifunction table) that was extensively used, and as much as some are going to hate hearing it, it is bloody awesome!
This was the first time I had a chance to start putting them through their paces, and I was doing jobs on it that I would have struggled to work out another way, at least finding another way that was as easy. The more I use it, the more it becomes apparent that it is incredibly useful in the workshop. It doesn’t remove the need for a good tablesaw, or a SCMS, and both the SawStop and the Kapex got a heavy workout as well, but it was a real pleasure to use the right tool for each job.
The MFT/3 with the rail that flips out of the way was brilliant. Being able to drop the rail down in a consistent location meant that at one point I needed to shave off about 1/2mm, and I was able to set up for that accurately, and quickly.
If the MFT/3 was good, the TS55 running on the rail was even better. Precision height adjustment, accurate tracking made very easy given the saw is captive on the track.
I’ll shoot some videos of these doing their thing soon – cool tools. There are always many ways to skin a cat, some just make it so quick, easy and accurate. When I used to look at a circular saw, I saw a rough machining tool, inaccurate, noisy and dangerous. (My old man almost killed himself one year with a circular saw).
The Festool version is like comparing this:
Both will get you from A to B. Sort of.
Some people can’t see the point to anything more than the Lada. Or justify the price difference (the cost of a good coffee, vs a small house!) Although they both have 4 wheels and a motor, but that is about where the simularity ends, and the same applies to the difference between a basic Bunnings $50 circular saw, and a $1000 Festool. The longevity of one tool over the other is just one small factor in the decision.