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Aldi tracksaw

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by Tigercubrider, 10 Feb 2019.

  1. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I was in aldi and bought ba tracksaw that I thought was 79.99 but was actually charged 59.99.
    I don't expect it to be brilliant but apparently it is a rebranded Scheppach

    I have access to a festool at work, along with a wall saw and table saw but for odd stuff around the house it can't be too bad? It came with two short bolt together tracks

    Are all tracks the same? Or are they brand specific?
     
  2. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but they are different. The Scheppach/Aldi tracks are slightly wider than the Festool/Makita-type tracks, but more significantly they join differently - the Festool/Makita type track uses two steel joiners, one inserted at the top of the track the other at the bottom, on the Scheppach track the joiners are both inserted from the same side. The thickness is also slightly different which would make for a bit of a bump as you transition from one to the other (and maybe some damage to the base). Finally the locating "hump" that the saw is guided by is subtly wider on the Scheppach track.

    Nevertheless they are an absolute bargain, but maybe not so much for someone who eventually plans to upgrade to, say, the Makita
     
  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    It does come with two 700mm tracks but I was hoping that I could buy a longer one or pinch the longer one at work if needed. Looks like if I really need a long track I can borrow the whole kit from work
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I don't quite get the idea of a track saw.

    Why not a circular saw and a straight edge?
     
  5. big-all

    big-all

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    2 marks lay track and cut about 10-15 seconds
    no tear out no clamping no plus 100 or minus 25mm
    trim around 12mm from a surface[doors skirting undercutting in situ]:D:D
     
  6. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    What B-A said, plus.....

    - The ability to make extremely accurate centre panel cut-outs quickly (think glazing panels in doors, hob cut-outs, access cut-outs in floors, etc)
    - The ability to easily and quickly make 1 and 2mm trim cuts off the edges of panels, doors, etc
    - The faciity that many saws have to make a backwards scoring cut on laminated/melamine coated panels which improves your cut quality on the edges of decor panels, etc
    - Far better dust extraction possible on the saw
    - Safer operation with the normal (self-retracting) plunge saw than with a fixed blade saw

    The biggest pluses though are the straightness of the cut, the quality of the cut and the greater speed. Not having to breath the dust is an additional benefit to me as I'm at the point where I now have allergies.

    Before I had a track saw I initially did everything with a batten and two clamps (slow, awkward to align the blade to the mark because of the batten offset, poor dust extraction and plunge cuts were difficult to do neatly)

    I then moved to a home-made track (basically a 2 x 1 PSE planted atop some 6mm plywood). This worked in a similar way to a bought-in track saw system, but the track edge would wear out, I would still chip the edges on laminated/melamine coated stock, I was limited to just under 8ft cut length (and dragging two made-up tracks, 5ft and 8ft, around site was a PIA) and there was still no plunge facility. It was a good half way house, much better than a batten and two clamps, because it was faster and easier to get accurate results than the saw and batten. It got even better when I bought a Holz-Her Mosquito saw (an early plunge saw which didn't have a rail system) because that made plunge cuts in worktops easily feasible

    Finally I bought a plunging track saw. I still have a couple of conventional rip saws but TBH they aren't used anywhere near as much as they once were

    It depends on what you do, but if you regularly need to make long straight cuts in quantity a plunge saw/track combination with a vacuum will make the job faster and easier and the cut more accurate and of quality better
     
  7. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    To clarify, the three main track systems designed for use with conventional rail/plunge saws:

    1. The Festool/Makita system. This is the oldest system around with Festool having introduced their FS rails before the new millenium. AFAIK the mark 2 version appeared in around 2006/7 at which point Makita also introduced their SP6000 saw which was very similar to the Festool TS55 of the period (possibly because Makita licensed the technology? they have licensed the Systainer box design from Tanos, another part of the same group as Festool). The Makita rails are identical in profile to the Festool "mk.2" rails with the exception of the extra lip to accommodate the anti-tilt feature of the SP6000 saw (missing on Festool saws). The rails can be connected and are interchangeable, so what works on a Festool rail will also work on a Makita rail and vice versa with the sole exception of the Festool TS75 saw (£600 and 210mm blade). Some of the lower cost system saws (e.g. Triton, Titan, LiDL/Parkside, etc) are compatible, although the rails may be a slightly different profile (e.g. the Titan guide "hump" is apparently slightly taller). The new Metabo system is supposed to be compatible as well (not sure)

    2. The Mafell/Bosch (new) system. The new Bosch rails are made by Mafell and so are compatible. They have a superior jointing system to that of the Festool, but TBH it isn't that much better. At present (Feb/2019) only the Mafell MT55cc, Bosch GKT55CE and Mafell MF26 saws use this type of rail - even other saws by Mafell aren't compatible and many require their own rail system (e.g. the Mafell KSS80ec). The MT55cc will also run on Festool rails and the track can be connected to Festool rails which might be useful for someone upgrading from a Festool-compatible system to the MT55cc who wishes to save some money on the cost of rails (at least in the short term). The compatibility is, however, only one way, so Festool/Makita saws won't run on Mafell/Bosch tracks. Some non-plunge Bosch saws (e.g.GKS85CE) are designed to run on the older Bosch rail (the FSN system) which was a few millimetres wider than the Festool rail on the cut side, but which utilises the same guide "hump" profile.

    3. deWalt are completely on their own with a saw/rail system which is incompatible with any saw made by anyone else

    Some rail accessories are interchangeable between systems, e.g. most of the clamps

    This synopsis is subject to revision as further information becomes available but is as accurate as I can make it (Feb 2019)
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2019
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  8. blup

    blup

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    Very interesting. I've read the Mafell/Bosch guide rails are superior particularly on the rail joints? The Makita and Festool track saws I've tried in store ran a little stiffly along the rails.

    I can see the advantages of a track saw for repetitive cutting of sheet goods on site

    I've found as diyer that a sharp blade on a decent circular saw will take a few mm off the bottom of a door, and good extraction will remove the sawdust.

    Circular saw straight edges have to be aligned to the cutting line which takes a little time. Greater accuracy can be achieved from making a t square from mdf, the short side being trimmed to the width of the saw edge to blade. IMO that's as good as a purpose built track saw, for occasional use.

    Do tradesmen use track saws for sink etc cutouts? Surely a decent jigsaw is more controllable and accurate enough, given the lipping of the sink will cover the cut line?


    Blup
     
  9. Gossamer

    Gossamer

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    I thought this but having recently brought a Titan track saw from SF I'm v.impressed.
    Its really easy and quick to make repeatable accurate cuts. No need for clamping most of the time and dust extraction is massively better than a circular saw.
    I now think of a circular saw as a 'construction' tool, for anything indoors like kitchens or joinery etc a tracksaw is the way to go.....IMO!
     
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  10. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I have a DIY jig made from Tufnol which does the same job as a track, and does not need to be set-back from the cut line as you do if just using a straight edge.
    Even with a straight edge, once you know the allowance for the saw plate witdth, its not really a big time issue in setting it up.

    So my thinking is that a circular saw is much more versitile to have in the first place, will do the extraction just as well and can be used with a jig or straight edge for accuracy, and so still fail to see the benefit unless you only ever cut sheets all day long and have no other use for a circular saw.

    I see more and more people talk about tracks as a "must have" tool, but I still can't see why, and think its just all hype.
     
  11. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The Mafell/Bosch are a little easier to align, but not that much, I'd say. The stiffness was almost certainly because the two tension adjusters (which take up slack between the groove in the bottom of the saw and the "guide hump" on the track were slightly over-tightened, that's all. All track/plunge saws have adjusters like this. The gliding action isn't frictionless, though. If it were the saw would be slopping about too much for a good cut

    Yes, but what if you need to do a 10° bevel cut across the bottom of the door to accommodate a rubber weather bar? Or if you need to trim a taper off the door from 0mm to 3mm? Or do the same from top to bottom of the door? Do that with just a saw and it will almost certainly be either inaccurate (not straight, broken-out, etc) or need cleaning-up afterwards. Rail saw? Clean cut in one, no spelching on the face, no tidying-up the cut afterwards. So a better quality cut and faster = more professional and cheaper

    Yes they do - the major part of the cut is done with the plunge saw on the rail around 4 sides and the cuts into the corners are finished with a hand saw or a jigsaw. The plunge saw makes an infinitely straighter and absolutely plumb cut from the top surface with minimal breakout. To get anywhere near as plumb a cut with a jigsaw and minimal breakout you need to make the cuts from the underside - and that may introduce inaccuracies in transferring the markings from the top surface. And the lines won't be as straight. Go the other way and use a downcut blade (T101BR/T101BRF) blade from the top face and whilst the cut will be clean edged it won't be as straight and it will go off plumb during the cut. Making jump cuts (manual plunging with a standard circular saw) is potentially fairly dangerous as the saw can kick back - and when attempted from the top surface will almost always result in chip-out, and from the bottom surface is risky in terms of accuracy. The fastest, most accurate method is always the plunge saw/rail way. It's not only worktop cuts that can require plunge cuts - there have been many other occasions when I've needed to make a trapped cut in a door or panel where the cut edge will be seen
     
  12. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Been there, done that. Your straight edge still won't allow you to make splinter-free cuts in melamine or laminate faced MDF, or delicate/splintery veneer-faced boards. And it still needs to be clamped in place which can mark some materials

    That depends on how much accuracy and time are factors. With a track you don't need to mark the cut line - just put a tick mark at each end of the cut, line the rail up and cut. Start to do any volume of cuts, such as maybe the 50+ cuts you might well need to make to put in store room shelving in a restaurant, or the many cuts needed to put in multiple pipe boxings in an old folks home, for example, and the time saving, repeatability and accuracy become significant advantages.... I've had this particular circular argument/discussion with many, many joiners over the last 20 years (especially when they were told the price of the kit). What's interesting is that they were convinced they are right at the time - but when I've run into them again on another job 5 or 6 or more years later (or more than 10 years as in one case last summer) it's remarkable how many of them have caved-in and bought themselves a plunge saw, rails and vacuum. What Gossamer says above is very true, "I now think of a circular saw as a 'construction' tool, for anything indoors like kitchens or joinery etc a tracksaw is the way to go....."

    OK. I'll admit to having a cordless 18 volt rip saw (a Makita DHS680 these days) for 8 or 9 years now and it gets used a lot. But the plunge/rail saw and the cordless rip saw aren't mutually exclusive - they actually compliment each other rather well. But then I do cut a heck of a lot of sheet material cutting (flooring, patress, exterior cladding, shelving, boxing, worktops, counter units, etc) as well more than a few less usual things (doors, window boards, soffits, fascias, cement board, etc) with a track saw. Saying that the extraction is just as good highlights to me that you've probably never used a professional plunge/rail saw in anger. The difference is very great. The only conventional saw that I've used which can get close to the Festool or Makita plunge saws in terms of dust extraction was the Makita 5017RKB - a saw specifically designed for cutting extremely dusty products like cement board

    But I don't think you've never used one, so how can you tell? I don't think it's a "must have" tool for every joiner, but in the interior fit-out trade where speed and accuracy are a must they really are extremely useful. Same goes for kitchen/bedroom/bathroom fitting, etc
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2019
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  13. opps

    opps

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    How accurately can you make cut outs with your jigs and circular saw?

    Can you use your circular saw to remove the lower part of fixed skirting boards?

    My old Festool Ts55 has no problems dealing with the above. That said, I do primarily cut sheet materials but not exclusively.

    Having used both types of saw, I know which I would rather own. I have used both and have never seen a clamp and regular circular saw that can leave a cut as smooth/clean as a decent plunge saw and guide rail- and I say that as a decorator that has spent years painting MDF cabinets.
     
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  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It will be the same result. The line is as straight as it could be, and yes it can be set up on skirting.

    This is the principle of the jig. I made mine from Tufnol, which is a resin/mdf product like worktop mitre jigs are made from, and it has a thin rubber non-slip mat on the back so often does not need to be clamped.

    [​IMG]

    I still think a jig and a saw is a better and more versatile option than a single dedicated tool and just as good to use.
     
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  15. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    But it still has far poorer dust extraction and it doesn't plunged - missed two tricks there, Woody, unless you have a Mosquito. Comparative useability is down to what type of work you do
     
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