Author Topic: How viable is TS55 & MFT as a miter saw alternative - Limited space  (Read 1534 times)

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Offline tim330i

  • Posts: 2
Yes, I know this has been asked a bunch.  I'm asking again because I'm extremely space limited.  I live in a condo and don't have a dedicated workspace.  I'll be using this setup on a project by project basis and have to work in each room as we're doing the project.  The project coming up is replacing the baseboards.

I don't have the storage space for a miter saw, table saw, etc., as we just have a small storage closet.

Are a TS55 and MFT a viable alternative to a miter saw for this type of work, or am I going to be kicking myself?

Thank you!

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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 849
I'm sure people do it, but a MFT isn't exactly small.

If your not doing really big boards, a very small cheap miter saw isn't very big, and is cheap.

I don't have one, but if you are looking for an accurate miter saw alternative, a saw like an HK55 with rail may be the answer if you are doing miters.

If you think your going to need skinny rips, you will want a table saw,  the smallest Bosch and Dewalt package up nicely for storage.  Smaller than a MFT, you can store them on their side, so they can be packed out of the way.

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 603
I do realise that this is almost my standard answer here but for me the HKC does most of the dutiies of a mitresaw upto the point where the cuts are off a small piece then its a pain in the neck.

I have a mitresaw in  my van toolsafe but often leave it there cos the HKC does so much.
If I'm putting a fair amounf of backmolds on and skirting I do pull the mitresaw out the van cos its faster.

My TS55 is OK but getting the cut to the degree is far simpler with the guiderail  that comes with the HKC.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 08:54 PM by demographic »

Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 115
Can you use the wrong tool for the job - definitely yes. Will it lead to efficient workflow, definitely not. Your decision if you want to spend extra time doing the job.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1850
Either one can't replace the other, if it can, they won't coexist. If I must choose, I'd go with the track saw because it's more versatile.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 877
Welcome to FOG :)

Would be good to put your country of origin listed.

Renting a miter saw would be a good option.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3097
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Do you already have a vac to hook up to either the track saw or the miter saw? Have you considered buying a quality miter box and a really good hand saw? With your space limitations, I would not go the power tool route.

Offline 05r50

  • Posts: 8
I’m experimenting with this right now. I downsized from a house with a dedicated shop space and had all the toys. When we moved I had to let them go and basically kept the miter saw and some hand power tools.

I have since added a TS 55 and MFT/3. Most of my miter cuts have been cross cuts to be honest. Not really doing bevels and crown etc. so I am trying to see if I can get by without using the miter saw and see how it works out.

Just last week a added some scribe moldings to cabinets. All just straight cross cuts. It worked on the mft once I got the setup dialed in. Used the stop flag for repeat cuts etc. I did have to use some scrap to jig up a hold down to keep the thin scribe up tight to the mft fence.

It would have been faster to use the miter saw.

If you are doing base skirting you can do that pretty easy with a manual miter saw and a coping saw for the back cut.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2005
I would say that, if you're looking for tools that will serve the greatest number of functions in a shop, it would be the TS55/MFT as opposed to a miter saw.

I owned a miter saw and I now own the TS55 and MFT, but currently not a miter saw.

Miter saws have a particular purpose; cross-cutting and mitering (or angle cutting). If that is all you need a saw for, it will be a very useful tool.

A miter saw isn't a replacement for a table saw or the TS55/MFT. Both the table saw and TS55/MFT can do much more than a miter saw, but not always with the same result of a tablesaw. However, a tablesaw or the MFT will take up much more space than a miter saw and it sounds like you don't have that space.

In the end, it would depend on what you require from the saw. If I could only buy a miter saw or a TS55/MFT, assuming space doesn't prevent the MFT from working, I'd go with the TS55/MFT just because it would be a more versatile saw (plus extremely high quality).


Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 234
For the power tool route, a vac and a Sys MFT along with an HK 55 will give you a very compact workstation for working with trim and baseboard. You will need some sort of additional support for pieces longer than 3 or 4 feet/1-1.5 M. And, you don’t have all the jigging options of a regular MFT, but it’s eminently workable for narrow-ish pieces. For storage, your “workbench is the same footprint as the vac, and gives you a place to store clamps and assorted bits and bobs. It’s not my regular set-up, but it has worked well for me on occasion.

Since you would be working in living space you will probably want the dust collection no matter what you use for cutting.

Another possibility might be one of the little flooring saws, and work on the floor.

Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 295
    • TSO Products LLC
For cutting angles - any angle not just the cardinal common angles you might be surprised what TSO's Multi-FUnction Triangle MTR-18 can do toghether with a Track Saw and guide rail in very small space but with very high accuracy:

It does not require an MFT or anything like that. put your matereial on any flat surface, supported by some insulation board and you're off and running!

If 45 degrees are what you need to miter , TSO's PTR-18 Precision Triangle  connects to guide rails and can do more than any other 18 inch Triangle on the market at this price.

Hope this helps some of you who had not considered the possibilities.


Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
There will always be variations in doing a job/project, that give the same or similar results. However, I don’t think certain tools can be substituted perfectly, there’s always a trade off.
In my pro workshop, we have all kinds of tools because, sometimes only a certain tool will do, or be practical enough.

In my personal workshop, like many space is always welcomed. I mainly use a plunge/track saw for breaking down sheet material, then the mitre and table saws take over.

I could lose the table saw, and mitre saw if I had to but, wouldn’t enjoy working this way, especially on bigger projects.

You could use a track saw for ripping, cutting mitres etc but, a decent table saw makes narrow rips much easier and quicker.
If you go with a track saw, get some TSO parallel guides, and the mitre square, these will make life easier, and more accurate.

Another option is a push/pull table saw, these type of saw will rip and cross cut from large stock, down to very narrow pieces, and do very accurate mitres.
You could then, not bother with a track saw or mitre saw. Festool do the CS 50 and CS 70, and there are other makes available. These saws aren’t cheap but, they can negate the need for other machines.

Personally, I couldn’t be without a plunge, mitre, and table saw but, it’s another option with limited space.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2800
I absolutely think that this can replace other tools - I have used this for many furniture builds and it works well. If space is limited you can pack it up into a small space for storage. The MFT is very versatile and can be used for much more than a cutting station - finishing, sanding, assembly are also capable and you can configure it to suite your task at hand.

I hope this helps.

Offline woodferret

  • Posts: 4
I recently did the finish carpentry in one of our rooms and a small 7-8" mitre saw is worth its space commitment.  Yes you can do the type of cuts with the track saw, but scarf joints and sneaking up on final lengths in a non-square room goes way saner on the mitre.  Where I could mostly build square like doors and windows, I could have lived with just the tracksaw.

TLDR - If you aren't doing compound cuts (miter + bevel) then a TS55 and MFT/3 should get you by.

These questions are always hard to answer, as I'm not you and can't really see what your space limitations are. As others have highlighted, the MFT/3 isn't the smallest per se even though it collapses down. This was my set up for nearly two years (but with a TS-75), and it got me by on the majority of my projects for angled and cross cuts. I had a cheap chop saw and never used it, mainly because of poor and inconsistent accuracy.

Flash forward to now, I have the MFT/3, TS-75 and Kapex. The Kapex is great for crosscut, angled, miter and compound cuts on stock that is narrow enough for the cut capacity. And for wider panels, the MFT/3 is great for cross cutting and the occasional angle cut (though this is rare in my work).

Hope this helps!

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 4283
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Hi @tim330i

I recently built a small shed in the back garden and would have done all of the cutting in the garden with my TS55, MFT3 and some of the UJK accessories. The weather turned and so some of the work was done in the workshop but I hope there is enough in this video to help:

This is part of a series I made about building the shed.

Trenching is very easy indeed and I tend to do multiple cuts and then finish off with a chisel.


Offline tim330i

  • Posts: 2
Thanks for all the great suggestions!  I'm not taking on the project until the fall so I'll be thinking over all the suggestions in this thread.

This is my first thread on this forum and I have to say I'm impressed.  Everyone was extremely helpful!