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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately ive been getting some small custom cabinet projects and ive been cutting 3/4 sheet goods on just a dewalt portable table saw..get the lumber yard to break down 4x8' into 4x4' and i wrestle this piece onto my table saw that has a 20in rip fence. the dewalt it cuts very clean and straight with no tearout. the problem is with the 20 in rip fence. when i need a 24 in panel, i have to make two cuts, basically working backwards and subtracting the waste cuts and losing accuracy. some finished cuts were off 1/16-1/8.

i plan to eventually get a cabinet saw with a 50in rip fence but that would make a larger footprint in my temporary shop. plus the 600lb weight doesnt make it easy to transport so in the future at a permanent shop id get that and if my volume justifies it, cnc equipment...anyhow,

i was wondering with accuracy being my top priority and not so much about space requirements, i was looking at the Milwaukee 6480-200 panel saw or some sort of festool setup. both will cost right around the same ballpark. festool tracks and guide accessories can definitely add up.

is there a better option? besides the cabinet saw? if you had to choose between the two, which would it be...this setup would strictly be for accurately cutting cab cases.
 

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Are you making these cuts on the jobsite? That panel saw you showed will definitely cut faster than a track saw, but it will be hard to pack around with you. The Festool track saw works good and it's more versatile, just won't be as fast. You might want to do some more shopping around if you decide on the panel saw, I'm pretty sure I've seen ones a lot more portable than the Milwaukee you are showing.
 

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Just got the Makita track saw and 118" track. Both on sale adding up to a grand total of about $550. I have only used it a couple times and can tell you it's awesome. For sheet goods and for the price compared to Festool or a panel saw.....:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbup:

I have never used a Festool track saw but others here on CT have said they prefer the Makita over the Festool. If that helps...
 

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CrpntrFrk said:
Just got the Makita track saw and 118" track. Both on sale adding up to a grand total of about $550. I have only used it a couple times and can tell you it's awesome. For sheet goods and for the price compared to Festool or a panel saw.....:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbup: I have never used a Festool track saw but others here on CT have said they prefer the Makita over the Festool. If that helps...
I've only ever used the Festool track saw and not the Makita. But after I bought my Makita sawzall with a faulty blade holder that quit working after about three uses, and after them telling me the warranty won't cover it, Makita can kiss my ass. To my knowledge, Festool offers a pretty solid three year warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Are you making these cuts on the jobsite? That panel saw you showed will definitely cut faster than a track saw, but it will be hard to pack around with you. The Festool track saw works good and it's more versatile, just won't be as fast. You might want to do some more shopping around if you decide on the panel saw, I'm pretty sure I've seen ones a lot more portable than the Milwaukee you are showing.
ill be cutting these in my makeshift shop (garage). i want a fast and accurate solution. my thing with the track saw is having to set it up and measure each and every time i want the same cut...HOWEVER, if you say that the track saw is far more accurate than the panel saw, then this extra set up time would be worth the extra time for me i guess..maybe ill try one of the other more affordable brands.
 

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richpuer said:
ill be cutting these in my makeshift shop (garage). i want a fast and accurate solution. my thing with the track saw is having to set it up and measure each and every time i want the same cut...maybe ill try one of the other more affordable brands.
you got it, if you have lots of cuts to make and you are inside a shop, panel saw is the way to go, that's what they are for.
 

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I'm not a huge fan of panel saws. I think I get cleaner cuts with my track saw. I use the parallel guides for repeatable long rips, and the MFT for crosscuts. The nice thing is that it's very portable, which a panel saw is not.
 

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Get the track saw. It is actually more accurate than the table saw. It is truly a game changer.
Uuuuuuuuh...are you on crack?

Might be more accurate than your tablesaw.....


Get the tracksaw. It's nice. Accurate as you make it and portable.
 

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Uuuuuuuuh...are you on crack?

Might be more accurate than your tablesaw.....


Get the tracksaw. It's nice. Accurate as you make it and portable.
Hold the Crack~

I am of course referring to a jobsite table saw. Difficult to run full sheets through them which can lead to inaccurate cuts. Now if you want to spend all the time, and have the room to make nice outfeed and infeed tables, then you could equal the accuracy.
 

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I've only ever used the Festool track saw and not the Makita. But after I bought my Makita sawzall with a faulty blade holder that quit working after about three uses, and after them telling me the warranty won't cover it, Makita can kiss my ass. To my knowledge, Festool offers a pretty solid three year warranty.
I can understand that point of view. Sour taste in the mouth can turn you off to about anything. That is a very good point about the Festool warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Track saw with parallel guide for accurate repetitive cuts. The Festool parellel guides suck though. Too bulky and have to be on the outside edges of the material. That sucks if you're in a tight space. I had a set, and returned them within 2 days.

I've got these now, and they rock. And Incra T-track comes in a bunch of lengths. http://www.senecawoodworking.com/products/parallel-guide-system-for-incra-t-track-plus
I was watching videos on the festool parallel guides and didn't like how they clamped on the end of the work and it looked a bit floppy. The reviewers did say they were same repeatable cuts but someone said it may not be square. That could be an issue for me
 

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parallel guides do not, by definition make a square cut. They make a cut that is parallel from the reference edge. Exactly the same as a table saw. A table saw makes a cut that is parallel with the fence...Not necessarily square though.

Now crosscutting on a table saw with a good sled can square up lumber. I admit the track saw is a bit slow for that, though a festool MFT/3 is what I use to square my lumber after I have ripped it all parallel.
 

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When you cut with the trac saw....and the plywood is on a sacrificial piece of 1/2" MDF you get a clean cut top and bottom. The problem I have with the table saw is the saw rips the bottom of the cut. Large industrial panel saws clamp the wood and have a scoring blade that precuts the bottom side before the main blade comes through. You can get the setup for a unisaw that does the same thing, two blades.

Get the trac saw. You will be amazed at the options that open up once you have one.

I went green. They focus on dust control and have lots of stuff that interchangeable. It is expensive....but I never looked back.
 
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