Author Topic: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail  (Read 15136 times)

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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5288
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #90 on: January 22, 2021, 03:07 PM »
“ However, I do not know if I explain it well, I am talking about putting a Mafell MT55 saw, the best plunge saw in the world, on a Festool rail, adjust the slide in such a way that it is very rigid and grab the saw from the front and the back and try Turning it with force, the saw oscillates slightly visibly during force so adjustment without movement is impossible. On the Mafell rail, an adjustment is possible without visually appreciating an oscillatory movement.”

I’m not sure what you mother tongue is but you express yourself in English infinitely better than I could in any other language.

So, it seems you are talking about how the Mafell saw performs on the Festool rail. You noticed that it exhibits more yaw than it does on it’s native rail.

I used my cordless MT55 on Festool rail a few times before I bought some Bosch guide rails but the cuts weren’t very demanding and I didn’t notice any poor performance. Once I had a proper Mafell style rail l never used the MT55 on a Festool rail again so haven’t made a comparison.

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Offline periquito

  • Posts: 8
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #91 on: January 22, 2021, 04:42 PM »
I am from Spain, My native language is Spanish.

At first I didn't notice any differences either, it was when I made a lot of cuts and realized the bites in the anti-splinter band. I decided to evaluate both systems more closely and that's when I discovered that there is no way to adjust the Festool rail on the MT55 so there is no back / forth oscillation.

I am not saying that with the festool rails the cut does not come out straight, what I am saying is that sometimes it can be twisted a little in certain circumstances and this happens because there is too much free space between the channel and the tool, the wheels give adjustment margin but not even As long as this fit is perfect, the saw always moves a little when force is applied and this limitation can sometimes reduce accuracy a bit.

Of course, these problems will accentuate the more difficult and demanding the cut to be made.

Offline periquito

  • Posts: 8
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #92 on: January 22, 2021, 06:54 PM »

This issue started after I ripped several long pieces of maple to the same width using both brands of rails and noticed a difference in width between the pieces. The Mafell rails produced very uniform widths while the Festool rails produced scattered results. Some of the pieces from the Festool rails even had a different width on each end of the board. [mad]

I don't think the source of the problem is caused by the saws (MT 55, TSC 55 & HKC 55), by the manufacturer of the rails or by the fit of the saws on the rails. I think it's the material that Festool chose to use as a splinter strip is the issue. I believe it's HDPE and it tends to be on the brittle side.

It would be interesting to attach a material similar to what Mafell uses, to the Festool rail, cut the splinter strip and then compare.

This is precisely what I have commented that happens in my previous posts, but it is not how you suggest a problem with the splinter protection but rather the problem is that the saw does not fit with precision and rigidity in the channel, no matter how much the wheels are tightened adjustment, it is not possible to achieve a rigidity comparable to that obtained in the Mafell / Bosch rail.

And this taking into account that to reduce the oscillation in the festool guide you have to put it so hard that you have to have good arms to move the saw along the rail and it does not even equal the rigidity that you can get in the Mafell / Bosch guide on top of having a normal and fully functional glide.

I have the same configuration as you and I have the same symptoms. What already depends on each one the importance that you give to precision or how meticulous you are with these parameters, also, the materials you cut and the work you do but without a doubt the Mafell guide seems an improved design and is more suitable for professional use, where they don't have time for adjustments and need to work quickly and accurately.

I conclude that the Mafell / Bosch guide system is an evolution, it is more professional, more precise.

The Festool system is very widespread, with many accessories, it is feasible to make cuts without holding the pieces (With caution)

I do not agree with many comments about the best sliding of the Festool guides (with the MT 55) It glides very well, yes but only if the adjusting wheels remain loose, the saw can be used like this but it takes very little force The saw oscillates so the cut can be deflected relatively easily. How the saw is gripped will also have an influence.

On the other hand, with Mafell / Bosch guides, the jaws are very suitable and necessary, but if they are not used, you have to be very careful with the cut, the guide can be easily deviated

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2021, 06:04 AM »
This is precisely what I have commented that happens in my previous posts, but it is not how you suggest a problem with the splinter protection but rather the problem is that the saw does not fit with precision and rigidity in the channel, no matter how much the wheels are tightened adjustment, it is not possible to achieve a rigidity comparable to that obtained in the Mafell / Bosch rail.
...
Sorry, but you really should stop spreading FUD here.

It is the job of the saw to "not wobble on a rail".
It is the job of the rail to be straight on its reference surface - nothing more, nothing less.

What makes the Festool system work well, and not wobble at all, is the nylon skids which register the saw in the rail. Use a cheapo tracksaw with friction cams (like a Lidl or even the Makita) and your accuracy will be limited. Limited by the inadequate saw interface.

Your problem with a wobble is an UNSUPPORTED COMBINATION of a Maffel saw with a Festool rail.

Any issue with such a combination has absolutely nothing to do with Festool and everything to do with Maffel who (possibly) skimped on their Festool rail compatibility or you have a bad saw or it has bad cams etc.

You should warranty your saw with Maffel if you believe the saw is not fulfilling their claim in some way.


The rest of this topic is about people using their splinter guard as a reference and expecting spot-on accuracy which was never its (primary) purpose. The splinter guard job is to ensure clean cuts At this a hard-material is better as it put more point-pressure on the material being cut. That it can be used as a "quick & dirty" reference point which is often "good enough" is just a secondary benefit. That is a completely different topic from your saw not fitting well on a Festool rail.
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline periquito

  • Posts: 8
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #94 on: January 24, 2021, 04:39 PM »
As promised, I have tested the Festool rails with a Festool machine, the AG 125 De

Machine made in the Czech Republic

I have this machine since this past summer, it seems manufactured in July 2020, I have used it a couple of times but never on the Festool guidelines.

When testing the machine on the Festool guides I discovered that the rear plastic piece (in this case it is not a wheel but a piece of plastic and a screw) The screw has passed and it does not tighten the plastic piece against the guide. what the fastening is deficient.

A serious failure in quality control, I think it can be solved by changing the screw.

I'm sorry if someone has been offended or thinks their interests are affected but I have spent a lot more money on Festool tools than on tools from other brands and I can't help but feel disappointed, first of all with the Festool guides, good looking, many interesting accessories but the adjustment with the machines is not very good, it is not rigid and if you are not careful the cut can deviate

I am not saying that you cannot make straight cuts, what I am saying is that you cannot trust everything to the guide, it does not fit with enough rigidity to move the saw forward and not worry about applying a certain force on the machine to prevent it from the saw oscillates.

Because if someone buys these guides for approximately € 100, it is because they trust a perfect guide, since a straight cut can also be made by supporting the tool on an aluminum or wood guide for a much lower cost.

I have both systems and I am in a position to ensure that with the Mafell guides the oscillation is minimal, I have recorded a video with the saw on and using a lot of force, the oscillation is minimal and the applied force is great, so much that it displaces the guide itself. the surface, the rigidity is superior and therefore its precision is also.
 I also understand that in this forum there are many users of Festool tools and rails and I am sure that there will be many happy users but I am not because I invested a lot of money in this system and after evaluating it with the competition I feel the disappointment of those who made a decision wrong.

The videos where the problem is appreciated:

https://dai.ly/x7yw0q8

https://dai.ly/x7yw0ue


The channel surface on Mafell / Bosch guides is much smaller so they can afford to make a much tighter hole without increased friction that makes the tool immovable.

Therefore, the problem with Festool guides is with the design of their channel and it could only be solved (without changing the shape of the guide) with bearings or some other complicated fitting system at the base of the tool, something that would make the product and it seems that Festool is rather looking at how to cut costs and not spend money on excellence that would inevitably drive up the price of its tools.

What if I ask please is that you do not offend me with insinuations, in this post it is about comparing both systems, there is no possible comparison, Mafell / Bosch guide systems are clearly superior and starting with the precision of guidance and rigidity, something fundamental, first of all.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 05:28 PM by periquito »

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 475
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #95 on: January 24, 2021, 05:08 PM »
There are a lot of happy Festool users that own various tools... I can’t comment on the accuracy of the ag(c) 125 grinder on the FT rail, I’ve never seen the tool. As far as head to head which is better Bosch vs Festool rail. Can’t comment there. Never seen the Bosch rail. I have heard that the Bosch (mafell) makes a nice rail: aero fix, double clamps underside, better alignment with random tracks. Part of the appeal of the Festool is the use of an mft and the rail clamping in singularly into a 20mm bench hole. Most of the time I just drop the track on the stock and go. At the end of the day can I make a straight cut on the Festool system. As far as running a calibrated cut with a grinder I’ve only had one situation, but overall I’m pretty good freehand.

So I guess we can nitpick this or that with Festool. Like you can with Tesla - I don’t own one and never would? But out of the vast assortment of tools FT makes it’s a winner. Mafell does make some very ,very good tools. The two companies have different focuses and market segments.

You’re certainly entitled to your own professional opinion and your experiences obviously differs from mine. I think everyone is fairly objective on FOG so. Yah, maybe that attachment (point) falls short on the ag 125  🤷‍♂️

I agree in part about the Festool saw and the rail, it does take a bit of finesse and ability to get the desired results, but it is achievable.  You need to tighten down the cams for the track and back them off ever so slightly.  I do find depending on how you hold, apply pressure and move the saw linearly during the cut you can introduce some variance. It takes a steady hand, sharp blade and patience to let the saw cut the material. It’s not a worm drive Skillsaw Mag77 where you can shove the blade in Willy Nilly, drive into a DF stud or slap a demo blade on and reduce the pile into firewood.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 05:19 PM by mkasdin »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #96 on: January 25, 2021, 11:32 AM »
As promised, I have tested the Festool rails with a Festool machine, the AG 125 De

Machine made in the Czech Republic
...
Yeah, and you will hate me for this, but I have to say - specifically - the AGC attachment is likely the worst choice you could make to a comparison. It is a "rough building work tool" all the way in and out.

Lets get back on the track saws, which are precise tools. I do not have much time but will try to make a couple photos to show how the cams and the guide works on the TS/TSC line. I am not aware of a good video addressing the precision aspects of the design (both on rail and saw side). Hopefully it will be more clear why so many people are so adamant "this cannot be an (undamaged) rail issue".


Off-topic ref. the DCC AG sled as I have all the 3 AGC attachments and use it with the AGC 18 (with a shim).

Compared to AGC 125 (I had the Protool), the cordless one is less demanding vibration-wise as is heavier and has lower rpm.

The DCC rail-guide is excellent - compared to a freehand grinder. The dust extraction is a game changer - the primary reason for getting, at least for me.

But it is  a "1 mm here and there is fine" tool. That is not really an issue as better accuracy is actually impossible with a grinder due to the vibrations. The compatibility of the sled with the FS/2 rail system always seemed to me an afterthought. The DCC sled has its own wheels and does not really need a rail to work, the loss of already-low depth of cut to a ludicrous 20mm on rail is another reason. Additionally, you really want a dedicated "rough work" rail for using the DSC as it can damage a "fine work" enough to make it a problem for precise wood work.

The DCC sled could have been made more precise, but Festool chose not to bother apparently. Probably thinking it is "good enough" for the use case. One problem I am sure they faced is the vibrations of a grinder in operation. A cast slide would not work - it would be too fragile for the abuse these thinga must be able to absorb. A machined metal one or compound one would cost an arm, a leg and the second born's kidney..

In any case, the DCC is nowhere close to even the cheapest circular saw "slide" accuracy, not to mention an actual tracksaw. It is more accurate than free hand, but that is about it.

The DCC is not suitable for precise cuts - this is by design. The metal base of the slide is simply not made to the tolerances needed for such and it cannot be made such as long as it is a banded steel plate.

I do think it is "good enough" for its purpose though, so the only complain from me would be it could be a bit cheaper. As usual for a Festool thingie. :)


Now, how this may relate.

I would advise you check your rails for any damage of the reference surface - it is the first vertical surface closest to the cut edge. It must be exactly perpendicular to the rail flat part, be perfectly smooth and must have no marks you can see.

If you used it with DCC a lot, or for some heavy/rough work, it is possible your rail is damaged/used up and this is affecting the Maffel cams preventing them to engage properly - the cams can then be "jumping" out of the rail guide.

I personally use cheapo "BigShop" 700mm rails with the DCC as do not want to risk damage to my woodworking ones.

EDIT:
Replaced DSC (the name for the grinder + DCC set) with "DCC" to avoid confusion as the DCC can be used with other grinders in practice.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 08:28 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline periquito

  • Posts: 8
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #97 on: January 31, 2021, 06:11 AM »
I agree with you, the Festool DSC-AG 125 is a fudge.

It is very simple, for its quality the price is exorbitant, its price is around € 400 and manufactured in the Czech Republic, a country with a salary 3.5 times less than Germany ... Someone is making a lot of money.

Now the Mafell MT 55 is known for being the best plunge saw in the world, it fits better than the AG125 on Festool rails.

I think I said it clearly, the problem is in the shape of the channel where the tool fits, it is too large, too much surface, more precision is more friction. The system cannot be easily changed to ensure compatibility with your tools.

Mafell / Bosch opted for a smaller guide channel with less surface area, more precision can be achieved without increasing friction to intolerable limits.

Many things have been discussed in this thread about the advantages of one system or the other. I have both systems and in general I agree with most of what has been said but nobody had talked about the precision of guidance, it is superior with the Mafell / Bosch rails

I have two Festool rails one FS 1400/2 and another FS 1400/2-LR 32

Theoretically, the only difference between both rails are the holes for the LR32 system, but the reality is that with the same configuration there is more slip on the FS 1400/2-LR 32 guide.

Both guides have little use but it is visually appreciated that the surface of both is not the same. This causes that when joining both pieces the guidance is different in both pieces, in the FS 1400/2 it costs more to advance than in the FS 1400/2-LR 32

Festool must improve their products in general, you can see that they are very concerned about selling and making money but they are neglecting some important details. Confidence is hard to win but it is lost quickly, I am beginning to look at Festool in a different way, with a magnifying glass.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8903
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #98 on: January 31, 2021, 10:09 AM »
The DSC sled has its own wheels and does not really need a rail to work, the loss of already-low depth of cut to a ludicrous 20mm on rail is another reason.

Just curious, are you referring to this item the DCC-AG 125?

« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 10:51 AM by Cheese »

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2412
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #99 on: January 31, 2021, 02:16 PM »
Mafell / Bosch opted for a smaller guide channel with less surface area, more precision can be achieved without increasing friction to intolerable limits.
The surface (contact) area between rail and saw in Festool system is actually smaller. Saw only touches the rail on two plastic strips and 4 points inside the channel. All contact points are between anodized aluminum and plastic.
In Mafell/Bosch the contact area is along the entire machined channel, and the contact is between anodized aluminum and bare aluminum. Mechanically it is more similar to the old Festool ATF55.
In my experience Festool slides with less effort.

Theoretically, the only difference between both rails are the holes for the LR32 system, but the reality is that with the same configuration there is more slip on the FS 1400/2-LR 32 guide.
Both guides have little use but it is visually appreciated that the surface of both is not the same. This causes that when joining both pieces the guidance is different in both pieces, in the FS 1400/2 it costs more to advance than in the FS 1400/2-LR 32
The contact surface of both (LR32 and regular rail) is the same. They are identical extrusions. The reason you experience more friction on one is because the guide rib on it is slightly wider than the other. It shouldn't be, but it happens on rare occasions (poor quality control?). When you adjust your saw to one rail, it may be too tight when you move to the other. My rails happen to be all the same, but this variation has been reported by few people on this forum.
On Mafell/Bosch rail the guide rib is thin, and it is probably easier to manufacture it having consistent width.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 02:30 PM by Svar »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Festool FS Guide Rail vs Mafell F Guide Rail
« Reply #100 on: February 01, 2021, 08:25 AM »
Just curious, are you referring to this item the DCC-AG 125?
Yes! Well, kinda, both!

DCC AG is the correct slide name while DSC AG is the name for a set with grinder. The naming simple but always confuses the heck out of me.

On Mafell/Bosch rail the guide rib is thin, and it is probably easier to manufacture it having consistent width.
On Festool this is not machined to begin with - just the precision of the extrusion is sufficient.

I believe this is a superior approach - Festool instead invested in the high-quality nylon-style plastic "sliding strips" and in a pretty complicated plastic slider system on the reference contacts with the "rib". I am sure they also patented the plastic slider approach while at it...
This plastic slider has a secondary benefit - unlike the machined approach on the Mafell, it has a bit of "give" on the screw side which allows it to "absorb" a bit more of the rail width variance without losing precision on the reference surface which is not compressible.

I bought it because of the general "proper tracksaw" as these details are not marketed besides the "it just works well" which everyone notes. But I strongly believe the plastic-slider-with-some-elasticity approach is superior one relying "just" on tight machining tolerances. It is just smart engineering. I always love to see these. /Call me partial, if You will./
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:55 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH