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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll get to the point; I've decided I can use a tracksaw in my life and it's down to these two systems: festool ts-75 or eurekazone with a 10-1/4" circular saw (for my uses it would essentially be a dedicated "tracksaw"). The up front costs are pretty close but the cost of accessories is not.

Because EZ doesn't manufacture power tools, their system can adapt to what you might currently own. For instance, I don't know that I'd want to use my routers with a track but it seems that with the festool I'd have to buy a new router if I chose to do so. Not being too familiar with festool's track, I don't know if their are DIY approaches towards improving the functions or if one must keep buying more and more. I can easily see dropping an additional grand on random doo-dads but I'd really rather not as I'm budgeting this saw at ~$900.

Because EZ doesn't manufacture power tools, their system relies on tools not necessarily designed and engineered for more precision. If it's easy to get the blade set at 90 and 45 then I probably don't care but I don't want to constantly have to fine tune before cutting. I've put my hands on the festool and it certainly seems to fit the bill, but if I can have a little more versatility without having to seriously consider costs all of the time, that would be nice.

Anyone care to weigh in with their experience? Online research has lead me to believe that these two systems breed more contentious disagreement than religion and politics. I can't discern between blind faithful allegiance and practical reality.
Thanks!
 

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where's my table saw?
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consider a hybrid combination

I own the Festool TS75 and a bunch of tracks, and have yet to use it. It may be for sale. I got it originally to straight line rip 4 X 8 sheet goods, but designed my own 2 axis panel saw instead. I didn't like the idea of measuring twice, cutting once, and my table saw will allow me to rip 8 ft length easily one the sheet is cut into lighter, narrow pieces.

The E Z saw would would better for shorter, thicker pieces in my opinion. In this video it takes about 5 minutes to set up a cut for a 1 1/2" wide rip on a 24" long piece of 3/4" thick wood. It would take 10 seconds on my table saw. I couldn't stand that and it would drive me nuts.

If you are just looking to straight line rip up to 8 ft why not use an ordinary circ saw with an zero clearance edge guide made from 1/4" ply or hardboard? You'd still have to measure twice and cut once, however.

The videos I've seen of the EZ saw are impressive, but again a jig could be made of wood that would capture the edges of the saw base, keeping it inside the tracks for accurate crosscutting.
There are panel saw kits that do this quite well:
http://versatool.artisteer.net/products-rail-kits/panel-saw-kit/

I also got the Saw Trax panel saw guide system with 78" long rails, also unused, since I made my own panel saw. I know from experience that unless you have a 10 ft ceiling and can lift heavy 4 X 8 panels around easily, a vertical panel saw is the way to go. There are some kits or plans that allow for 2 axis travel for ripping, rather than pushing the wood through the saw, which requires about 24 ft of shop length. My panel saw, allows you to move the saw, not the wood, for ripping. See My Photos.
There are others on You Tube:
 
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I have a EurekaZone fence system. Likely purchased back around 2003. I am not sure when he started, but it may have been close to that time.

Mine is two sections of fence which can be joined to allow cutting an 8ft sheet of plywood, which is when I typically use this tool.

I have a base plate for a circular saw, separate ones for a jigsaw and router. I have only used the circular saw base.

The base plates ride on the central rib of the fence.

For a straight line ripping guide, this works well. The clamps are crude but work. He has much better clamps these days.

The video WoodnThings linked shows he has added a lot of other potential attachments to what he is calling EZSmart system.

He has always claimed he can get the same quality of cut with a circular saw as a table saw. I do not agree.

I use the tool when I need to cut sheet goods which are either too large for the table saw, or too difficult to handle by myself.

My circular saw blade is a good blade, but it cannot match the quality of cut from my table saw.

I have used the tool as a straight reference guide with the router, but just used the edge without the router plate. Also works well as long as the board is wide enough to be clamped with the offset needed for the router.
 

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This is a comparison I've read several times, often leading to quite an argument. Rather than suggest which is best, I'll only say I bought the TS 55 (before the Dewalt came out). I have several tracks, and the saw serves mainly 2 purposes: breaking down sheet goods, and straight line ripping rough sawn lumber. It excels at both. My sheet goods aren't "broke down" but rather cut to finished size...I don't repeat the cuts on the TS. I bought the 100" track (or whatever size it is) for the lumber, and a Tenryu ripping blade. Let me say: I hate the Festool company due to their marketing program and will not buy another tool from them. So, I'd like to use my router on the tracks and will make my own guide to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
thanks for the responses, they are all similar to the conversations I've had in my head (good to know I'm not crazy?). I'm looking at this option because I'm putting a small garage shop together in order to gain a little independence from the small shop I work for. Space, as anyone in a garage will acknowledge, is of utmost importance. Also, because I can't justify it simply for sheetgoods, having the ability to perform certain cuts in thicker (8/4, 10/4) hardwoods would help make the purchase easier to swallow. The ts-75 and the EZ system with a 10-1/4" circ saw are the only ones that would offer that. I've straight-line ripped and edge jointed long/unwieldy pieces with an edge guide and a circ saw and router but my system is a little too janky.

Woodnthings, I started this process by looking at your panel saw, in fact. I figured the vertical orientation would be easier but ultimately decided against it because, one, I actually don't have the wall space to spare, and two, I can make my space work if I don't have to make room for possible long clean up/finish cuts. I still use a cobbled together saw guide but I get tired of the clamping and double-checking my lines. The cuts aren't bad but I wonder if the base & track would offer more consistent better cuts. I have to admit, it's the perceived ease-of-use that is swaying me towards towards the saw. I was talking with some guys at a hardwood store and they were nice enough to invite me in to their modest shop (thank you, Sharchitecture!) to see how they integrate festool stuff with "regular" tools. They used the MFT but also showed me the long tracks and it seems pretty comfortable to just set it and cut.

Dave, I looked at their video previously, it looks like his system is pretty well-thought out. Do you find that, so long as you've adjusted your circular saw properly, the cuts are consistent when using the track? I will sometimes build case goods and miter the top and sides. I hate using my cross-cut sled on the table saw for those cuts on longer pieces. I was hoping that this system would make that a little less of a headache.

Fred, if I could be confident that I could adapt something to the rails, I'd be less cautious about the purchase. I'm wary of getting something and then being completely locked-in in terms of what I can do/buy. That said, I'm continuously impressed with the design of festool's stuff. The router I saw had a number of features that I can't believe no one else has bothered to include yet.
 

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If you want to do rips in NARROW stock (under 6 inches wide), I THINK you MIGHT have to go with the EZ track...

Does the festool tack allow you to make rips in narrow stock? Does anyone know how wide a piece of stock has to be before you can start ripping it with a festool track?

The Eureka zone system seems to allow you to make narrow veneer rips in thin stock. although the "table" seems pretty flimsy:

http://youtu.be/vrrjLYn-6WY

(On another note, What do I have to do to be able to embed a video directly in my posts here?)
 

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Stan did bring up a good point: ripping narrow stock requires some work arounds. The Fessie track is 7", if I'm ripping stock that's not that wide, I always have a second piece next to the workpiece to support the track. Since I'm only straight edging rough stock (I rip to size on the TS) it may not be as big an issue for me as it would be for others.
 

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Festool. Best rail saw on the market and IMO more versatile the the Eureka. Cut at any bevel angle and the cut is on the same line. Dust collection is awesome. The tools are built for a lifetime.

Not quite sure what is to hate about the marketing at Festool. Most people are just too stuck on the price of their tools too even give them a chance. Not a big deal, I like having nice tools to make my living with. I learned several years ago that I can't afford cheap tools.
 

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Ya.....but your impartial.....didn't you get the last one for free?? LOL........a festool or dewalt track saw is on my dream tool list for the next few years......need to sell a few more pieces first.
 

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where's my table saw?
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yep.....

:laughing::laughing:
I only have one son, so I don't have that problem, but there are days with him also..... :furious:
 

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I have had the EZ system for years and it has served me quite well. After 45 years of woodworking, I have learned that even the best tools are only as good as the user. Measuring and setup are absolutely critical. If your table saw is not set up properly, it won't work well. If you cannot or will not measure accurately, your track saw will not be accurate either.

I looked at the Festool system when I was track saw shopping. I found their pricing structure totally ridiculous. When the EZ system arrived, I took the time to set it up and it has served my well. Maybe that's the key!

Oh, and for the record: Nothing, not nothing can beat the accuracy of the Incra Jig table saw fence, if it is set up properly.
 
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