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29-12-2020, 21:19   #16
bamayang
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Do you have a specific upper limit you want to work within cost wise? If so, what is it? Will you work in one place, or does it all need to be easily and regularly portable?

I have an MFT/3 and some DIY Parf'ed tops, and a range of dogs and rails. There's a lot of overlap in capability. If you can share some of 'how' you'll want to work, I'll be happy to give some pointers.

As far as the saw goes, there's really only one that I'd give a wholehearted recommendation for and that's the Festool TS55. There are some good options at lower prices, but the TS55 really has earned and deserves the reputation it has amongst those who have used one. If it's not badly abused, I can see it being as close to a lifetime tool as any power tool can be.

Thanks for the replies.
I’d probably accept spending up towards €1k between saw, tracks, dogs and other bits. I’d be looking at this as a long long term investment that I’d use for ever more. A grand seems like a lot when you say it out loud, but you’d prob spend 5/600 going for a cheaper option that you then might end up upgrading again in years to come. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that you should “buy once and cry once” with tools.
Lots of different jobs in mind I suppose but wardrobe units or bunk bed style builds for kids are in my mind.
I like doing bits of furniture also like coffe tables and the like.
Probably important to note though, it’ll only ever be a hobby or diy work.
Don’t really need much portability, have a reasonable sized work shop and do everything from there. Had thought about a table saw, but I hate using them, and especially hate trying to man handle large sheets onto them.
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29-12-2020, 21:20   #17
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i have a ts55. its great. best tool i ever bought. saying that i also have a dewalt 54v tracksaw that gets used a lot more because its cordless and is perfect for slightly less important cuts. i will use the festool on worktops and prefinished kitchen doors etc.

i never fell in love with the mft top. i have an older festool mft 800 that is used regularly as a clamping table but not realy for cutting on with the dogs or rail attached.
i rather a rail square
i use the clamping elements and dogs a lot for holding parts

If your cutting something then that needs to be 100% square how do you do that with a track saw and not use an mft? Like if you were making cabinets, do you just measure out the size and drop the track down on the cut line? I’ve no experience with track saws, but in my head I feel this would lead to out-of-square cuts.
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29-12-2020, 21:27   #18
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If your cutting something then that needs to be 100% square how do you do that with a track saw and not use an mft? Like if you were making cabinets, do you just measure out the size and drop the track down on the cut line? I’ve no experience with track saws, but in my head I feel this would lead to out-of-square cuts.
i use a rail square. it attaches to the rail to give you a 90 degree fench to hold against the side of the board. i cant fault it for accuracy.
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29-12-2020, 21:51   #19
JayZeus
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TS55 REBQ, with 48 tooth blade, second 28 tooth blade, FS1400/2 guide rail, Systainer etc. - €584 plus delivery (€15 or so for the order)

https://www.dictum.com/en/power-tool...ade-w28-729012

Second FS1400/2 guide rail - €99

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...s-14002-706840

2 x Guide Rail connectors @ €15 each:

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...fsv-706844?c=0

So that's €730 for those bits, leaving you with the option of a guide rail square like this for €119:

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...-729389?c=3016

Or my recommendation for a home workshop setup, the Parfguide MKII at €224 plus a sheet of MDF and two pairs of dogs:

https://www.dictum.com/en/drill-chuc...m-mk-ii-720774

Get a pair of long and at least a pair of short (or better still, 2 pairs of short) dogs and you're all set. €35-50 for those.

The one thing that's not included there is a dust extractor of some sort of course. Plenty of options there and you probably have something already. If you get the opportunity in future, look at any of the festool options, as they're also incredibly good once you get past the pricetags. But for between €850-1000 you'll have a tracksaw that will last you decades and give you immense satisfaction compared with trying to handle sheet goods on a DIY type tablesaw.

Also, keep in mind that with the Festool stuff, all you have to do is take care of it and you basically lose next to nothing on depreciation if you decide to sell it on.
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29-12-2020, 22:06   #20
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TS55 REBQ, with 48 tooth blade, second 28 tooth blade, FS1400/2 guide rail, Systainer etc. - €584 plus delivery (€15 or so for the order)

https://www.dictum.com/en/power-tool...ade-w28-729012

Second FS1400/2 guide rail - €99

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...s-14002-706840

2 x Guide Rail connectors @ €15 each:

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...fsv-706844?c=0

So that's €730 for those bits, leaving you with the option of a guide rail square like this for €119:

https://www.dictum.com/en/festool/fe...-729389?c=3016

Or my recommendation for a home workshop setup, the Parfguide MKII at €224 plus a sheet of MDF and two pairs of dogs:

https://www.dictum.com/en/drill-chuc...m-mk-ii-720774

Get a pair of long and at least a pair of short (or better still, 2 pairs of short) dogs and you're all set. €35-50 for those.

The one thing that's not included there is a dust extractor of some sort of course. Plenty of options there and you probably have something already. If you get the opportunity in future, look at any of the festool options, as they're also incredibly good once you get past the pricetags. But for between €850-1000 you'll have a tracksaw that will last you decades and give you immense satisfaction compared with trying to handle sheet goods on a DIY type tablesaw.

Also, keep in mind that with the Festool stuff, all you have to do is take care of it and you basically lose next to nothing on depreciation if you decide to sell it on.
Thank you very much, that’s incredibly detailed. I haven’t come across Dictum before, are they better value than elsewhere?
I had thought about the Bosh saw as well, but considering the RAVE reviews Festool gets, it doesn’t seem worth it for the very small savings involved.

I know a guy with the Parf system, so getting a loan of that to do one MFT table would save me a little spend.

Thanks again for that.
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29-12-2020, 22:14   #21
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Thank you very much, that’s incredibly detailed. I haven’t come across Dictum before, are they better value than elsewhere?
I had thought about the Bosh saw as well, but considering the RAVE reviews Festool gets, it doesn’t seem worth it for the very small savings involved.

I know a guy with the Parf system, so getting a loan of that to do one MFT table would save me a little spend.

Thanks again for that.
Getting the loan of the Parf system is great alright! I'd add that rail square in that case, if you have it in the budget. It's dead handy for those times you want a square cut but can't set up the workpiece on the MFT.

Dictum are great to deal with. German, in every sense. You might save a couple of tenners shopping elsewhere around Europe, but their efficiency and customer service is generally well worth it. They also never say something is in stock and then leave you waiting while it's back ordered. When you order from them, it'll ship out next working day, as it should.

They'll also do the Festool warranty registration for you, something which is often overlooked. That essentially provides you with 3 years of wear and tear included warranty (not on consumables like blades), AND theft insurance. If something you buy new is stolen, and it was registered to you by the dealer, you file a report with the Gardaí/Police and Festool will replace it for you on receipt of the report and an excess payment, usually around €100. You're back in business in no time, without the hit on your home insurance for example. That alone is worth a little extra IMHO, even for a hobby woodworker.

Keep us posted anyway!
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29-12-2020, 22:17   #22
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Getting the loan of the Parf system is great alright! I'd add that rail square in that case, if you have it in the budget. It's dead handy for those times you want a square cut but can't set up the workpiece on the MFT.

Dictum are great to deal with. German, in every sense. You might save a couple of tenners shopping elsewhere around Europe, but their efficiency and customer service is generally well worth it. They also never say something is in stock and then leave you waiting while it's back ordered. When you order from them, it'll ship out next working day, as it should.

They'll also do the Festool warranty registration for you, something which is often overlooked. That essentially provides you with 3 years of wear and tear included warranty (not on consumables like blades), AND theft insurance. If something you buy new is stolen, and it was registered to you by the dealer, you file a report with the Gardaí/Police and Festool will replace it for you on receipt of the report and an excess payment, usually around €100. You're back in business in no time, without the hit on your home insurance for example. That alone is worth a little extra IMHO, even for a hobby woodworker.

Keep us posted anyway!
i havent bought from dictum in years. im afraid to go to their site, my bank account could take a battering.

festool are stopping dealers registering for some reason in the new year . something to do with gdpr or similar. strange considering they have all the info anyway to sent it to you
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29-12-2020, 23:04   #23
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I find myself alternating between Dictum and Fine-Tools these days. They never let me down. The service they provide is exemplary.

I just registered the warranty myself via the MyFestool app for a new TXS (didn't go through when the dealer tried) and it was a doddle, so I won't mind if the dealers can't do it any more. It's pretty painless, but the convenience was good to have. GDPR doesn't get close to how finicky the privacy laws are in Germany, so I'm not surprised a spanner's been thrown in the works eventually.
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29-12-2020, 23:23   #24
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If your cutting something then that needs to be 100% square how do you do that with a track saw and not use an mft? Like if you were making cabinets, do you just measure out the size and drop the track down on the cut line? I’ve no experience with track saws, but in my head I feel this would lead to out-of-square cuts.
Rather ironically I was watching this video earlier today https://youtu.be/3C8XSWliOys it may help you decide or at least answer some questions.
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29-12-2020, 23:28   #25
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Rather ironically I was watching this video earlier today https://youtu.be/3C8XSWliOys it may help you decide or at least answer some questions.
peter millard has some great videos on the tracksaw. well worth watching a few hours of it
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29-12-2020, 23:33   #26
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peter millard has some great videos on the tracksaw. well worth watching a few hours of it
I don’t mind Peter parfitt of the new Brit workshop either.
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29-12-2020, 23:35   #27
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I don’t mind Peter parfitt of the new Brit workshop either.
he is great on his parf system. great calming voice
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30-12-2020, 00:02   #28
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Thanks for the replies.
I’d probably accept spending up towards €1k between saw, tracks, dogs and other bits. I’d be looking at this as a long long term investment that I’d use for ever more. A grand seems like a lot when you say it out loud, but you’d prob spend 5/600 going for a cheaper option that you then might end up upgrading again in years to come. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that you should “buy once and cry once” with tools.
Lots of different jobs in mind I suppose but wardrobe units or bunk bed style builds for kids are in my mind.
I like doing bits of furniture also like coffe tables and the like.
Probably important to note though, it’ll only ever be a hobby or diy work.
Don’t really need much portability, have a reasonable sized work shop and do everything from there. Had thought about a table saw, but I hate using them, and especially hate trying to man handle large sheets onto them.



I had the Festool TS 55 for a few years, excellent saw-you would not regret buying it. I sold it on and got this Mafell MT55 kit inc 800, 1600 & bevel rails, two re-branded bessy clamps and a carry bag from D&M for about €600 delivered ex Vat. I got TS 55 for €400 inc two rails within hours of listing it (so you will mostly get your money back which is good to know in case you don't like it). it was well worth the €200 to upgrade for me.


I loved the TS 55, used it for a lot of bits about the house, wardrobes and a murphy bed, coffee table, shelves etc. and it was brilliant-safe & easy to use, and accurate.



Using the Mafell is very similar, more or less identical apart from some of the controls-the depth adjustment is a bit finicky compared to the Festool for example; it has a lot more poke compared to the Festool (1400W motor), and the rail joiner is much handier to use and the blade change is more straightforward-though the Mafell blades are saucy to buy.


I would suggest having as look at one if you are spending up to €1K, both saws are excellent. I did most of my cutting on a sheet of 70mm Kingspan, thought about the MFT but its a lot of money for what it is IMO.
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30-12-2020, 00:12   #29
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Good to have alternatives Glyn.

I'd keep in mind that you can only use the Mafell on their rails. And things like the splinterguard can only be bought from them and could be a bit finicky to replace, although I don't have experience of that myself. I've done as Peter Millard suggested (I think it was him) and repositioned the ones on the Festool rails a couple of times before replacing, and then used the Makita 5M long splinterguard as a very affordable alternative.

And did I understand correctly that the options for 3rd party rail accessories are a bit limited for the Mafell compared to Festool?

I also quite like being able to use the back of the Festool rail as a guide for my router or biscuit jointer, and having the option to add the festool router and jigsaw guides in future appeals also. I like when things do double duty really well.

Not picking holes, genuine questions as you have the experience with both to be able to answer!
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30-12-2020, 00:46   #30
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The Mafell will run on Festool rails, there is a black plastic strip on the base you can remove by undoing a few grub screws-they even put a green coloured line on it The Bosch are the only other brand that can use the Mafell rails though.

Not had to change it yet, but the splinter guard works out at €25 for 3.5M, its a more flexible type rubber than the FS adhesive stuff, so it shouldn't ding up as easy; it slides in from the end so no messing about cleaning off the old adhesive.

I have not looked into getting a rail square, the sliding bevel short rail works perfectly for 90 deg cuts. Benchdogs have a rail square for the Bosch/Mafell rails for €120 though.

The Mafell rails are a lot thinner than the Festool rails, I was worried rthat they would be flimsy but so far they're great; easier to handle as they are lighter, but as you pointed out they do not have that heavy extrusion on the back that works as a great straight reference edge. However, the rail joiner is brilliant so I would take the trade off. You are absolutely right about sticking the the Festool track if planning to go down the green route re. routers and jigsaws.
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