Author Topic: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails  (Read 2108 times)

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Offline vkumar

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Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« on: February 05, 2020, 05:11 PM »
Betterley Straight Line Connector look like a very nice product capable of producing near perfect edges.  How well does this compare anything else on the market.
Interested in your opinions.
Vijay Kumar

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Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 05:16 PM »
I have the Betterley rail connector. It works extremely well.  I can’t comment on any other products. It does pay to read the instructions.
Birdhunter

Offline xedos

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 05:22 PM »
There are no other competitors that I'm aware of.

That said, I find this jig totally necessary.  Especially with TSO's connectors.  A quality six+ ft. level as a double check is all we need.  We're cutting european kitchen panels that cost thousands of dollars each for demanding clients.   

Of course , you mileage may vary. 

Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 05:24 PM »
@vkumar - like Birdhunter, we have had a Betterley Connector in our shop for several years. Like their other products, it is a very well made tool which accomplishes what it promises.

It's limitations are what led us to develop TSO's very popular GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector discussed at length in an earlier FOG thread.

Hans

Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 05:27 PM »
Hans  @TSO Products what are the limitations of the Betterley product?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 06:05 PM by vkumar »
Vijay Kumar

Offline Roachmill

  • Posts: 197
Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 05:34 PM »
Tried the Festool connectors but they need checking, adjusting and can dent your rails if you're over-keen on tightening.
Makita connectors are not much cheaper, a bit more fiddly to insert and require checking but give a good tight fit with no danger of denting the rails.
Bought the TSO ones which are easy to fit, don't dent rails and I still check them... although they've never been anything but straight every single time.
All of the above share the ability to store the connectors in the rails themselves which stops you from losing them :D

Offline deepcreek

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 05:35 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Betterley StraightLine Connector.  I've used it to join rails for years with excellent results.  I am very demanding when it comes to precision (straight & square) and this accessory has never let me down.  I used to double check with a Stabila level every time I joined two rails (and sometimes three rails) but don't even bother anymore.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
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Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 05:58 PM »
Hans what are the limitations of the Betterley product?

@vkumar – while the BETTERLEY does a good job of aligning a pair of guide rails until you get both connectors installed – it’s concept can contribute nothing to helping the guide rails STAY ALIGNED.

We know the major OEM brand’s connectors are susceptible to being moved out of alignment, especially when the connected rails need to be moved about.

That is why TSO designed a “Keystone” connector profile combined with custom engineered large face screws to apply jack-screw vertical pressure resisting unintentional displacement of the “Keystone” feature profile. This results in much greater capacity to withstand misalignment in use. The GRC-12 large face screws also do not put divets into your guide rail extrusion t-slots.

If we have the slightest concern after manhandling a set of connected rails, we do what @xedos does: we verify continued alignment with one of our longer STABILA levels.

If, as @xedos wrote, “your mileage varies” then simply return what doesn’t work for you and get a refund.

Vijay, glad you asked!
Hans

Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 06:14 PM »
Hans thanks for your response.  The trouble is that I do not own a very long level. The  4 foot level that I own is an unknown brand. Thus I have no good way to verify the straightness of the joint.
I do get your point about divots caused by overtightening the connectors. The Makita connectors do not do that and I see your design is one step further than the Makita. But still the problem remains on verifying the straightness.
Vijay Kumar

Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 06:30 PM »
@vkumar - you point to a common problem we hear about. Woodworkers are becoming more knowledgeable and more demanding of their results. This leads to the realization that there is value in buying higher quality tools.

Top of that list: Quality layout tools. They are costly but last a long time with the care you will give them as result of the price you paid. You won't throw a STARRETT precision machinists' combination square around as you might with a stamped BIG BOX store version.

If you want to try a BETTERLEY Connector tool, we'll be happy to loan you ours. It's still packed up after a customer returned the loaned tool and decided to buy the GRC-12. Maybe we can make this a regular "try-before-you-buy" feature  [smile].

Don't obsess over this.
If you're just more comfortable with the idea of a BETTERLEY tool, just go with it. It's made well enough that you'll be able to get a good price for it when it's no longer used regularly.

Hans


Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 08:23 PM »
Hans @TSO Products thank you very much for your very generous offer. I will consider it. Obviously I am super impressed by your  GRS squares and your very impressive customer service.
Vijay Kumar

Offline jarbroen

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2020, 01:41 PM »
Anything that uses the Festool branded connectors will still be very fussy and prone to bumping out of straight.

The TSO connectors are definitely a step or two above the Festool version and alleviate the need for something like the Betterley 'checker'.

Another step above that is to buy longer rails or switch to Mafell tracks and their joining system.

I've tried all of the above combos (including buying $400 long rails that weren't straight) and currently am very happy with the Mafell tracks.  Of course, that means you can't use your TS55 or 75 and need a new saw...  So not a cheap option, but ultimately much less frustration for me. :)

p.s. I think those Betterley things are $150.  For that price you can get a pretty nice Stabila level which would be great to have if you ever do install/carpentry work.

Offline grbmds

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 03:39 PM »
I have no doubt that the Betterly and TSO connectors are better than Festool’s. However, when I decided that I needed a pair, Betterly was too expensive and I don’t believe TSO made their at that point in time. So I own the Festool connectors and, since I rarely use them, I realized that there is no point in spending more money on something that I hardly ever use and really works just fine for me for what I need to connect rails. I actually have not had a problem with the result but I don’t cut hundreds of board feet of long lumber so I don’t need anything better.

Randy


Offline xedos

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2020, 04:41 PM »
Quote
Another step above that is to buy longer rails or switch to Mafell tracks and their joining system.

I've tried all of the above combos (including buying $400 long rails that weren't straight) and currently am very happy with the Mafell tracks.  Of course, that means you can't use your TS55 or 75 and need a new saw...  So not a cheap option, but ultimately much less frustration for me.

One could have the best of both and use the guide rails from Metabo.  They utilize the Mafell/Bosch connector and fit Festool TS saws. The splinter guard is mafell design too, so no adhesion problems.  Bonus is they're $20 less for 200mm more length.

Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 04:44 PM »
Anything that uses the Festool branded connectors will still be very fussy and prone to bumping out of straight.

The TSO connectors are definitely a step or two above the Festool version and alleviate the need for something like the Betterley 'checker'.

Another step above that is to buy longer rails or switch to Mafell tracks and their joining system.

I've tried all of the above combos (including buying $400 long rails that weren't straight) and currently am very happy with the Mafell tracks.  Of course, that means you can't use your TS55 or 75 and need a new saw...  So not a cheap option, but ultimately much less frustration for me. :)

p.s. I think those Betterley things are $150.  For that price you can get a pretty nice Stabila level which would be great to have if you ever do install/carpentry work.
As @deepcreek pointed out the Betterley is about $ 110, a whole lot cheaper than switching to a Mafell solution and still using shorter lengths of rail, and the TSO solution is even cheaper.  I will stay with one of these options. Festool is pricey enough for me, forget about Mafell.
Vijay Kumar

Offline xedos

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 09:18 PM »
did you take a look at the cheaper Metabo rails ?

Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 09:43 PM »
I really do not need any more rails. But searching for Metabo rails leads me to pages that describe the rails but not to any website that sells them and how much they cost. Also no hits on connectors. Amazon has the FS 160 rail. Not much description . I imagine it is 1600 mm long but I can only guess,  If you have any better  links I would like to take a look at them .
I just found the connector tool  for the  Metabo . Makes the Betterley a bargain.
Metabo Connector FSV
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 10:46 PM by vkumar »
Vijay Kumar

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 617
Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2020, 03:38 AM »
Just bought metabo rails and joiner for my TS55. I’ll report here in the next week or so. On initial inspection I’m pleased, but usage will tell. . .

https://www.mtmc.co.uk/Metabo-Guide-Rail-System__c-p-0-0-12733527.aspx
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2020, 05:57 AM »
"The TSO connectors are definitely a step or two above the Festool version and alleviate the need for something like the Betterley 'checker'."

I've never used the Betterley connectors, but I tried a few others before TSO came out with their latest version. I liked the TSO design so I bought them and not sorry one bit.

My Bosch, Festool, and Makita connectors all collect dust now. Lot of money down the drain there. :-(

Maybe TSO and Festool could get an agreement going like they did with the GRS-16. Festool could dump their inferior connectors and license the TSO design. Seems like a win for both parties, TSO would sell more product and Festool would have fewer complaints about guide rail connectors.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 09:57 PM by Bob D. »
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2020, 09:15 PM »
quoting @Bob D. - "Maybe TWO and Festool could get an agreement going like they did with the GRS-16. Festool could dump their inferior connectors and license the TSO design. Seems like a win for both parties, TSO would sell more product and Festool would have fewer complaints about guide rail connectors".

TSO will keep an open mind. Depends how many requests Festool gets from customers for a better Connector.

Hans

Offline xedos

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2020, 10:01 PM »
I really do not need any more rails. But searching for Metabo rails leads me to pages that describe the rails but not to any website that sells them and how much they cost. Also no hits on connectors. Amazon has the FS 160 rail. Not much description . I imagine it is 1600 mm long but I can only guess,  If you have any better  links I would like to take a look at them .
I just found the connector tool  for the  Metabo . Makes the Betterley a bargain.
Metabo Connector FSV

perhaps a different browser or at least search engine are in order ?


https://beavertools.com/search/?cat=0&q=metabo+guide+rail

https://www.toolbarn.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=metabo+guide

https://www.factoryauthorizedoutlet.com/products/metabo-629010000-guide-rail-fs-80

Also , bear in mind that the bosch / mafell connector is not interchangeable with the Metabo one.   They are same design but smaller.   I suspect Metabo has done like festool/apple and made their accessories proprietary to some extent.   As you've pointed out the connector is stooopiidly priced.  But the connector is superior, and the rails work with Fesstool FS; so this meets the criteria laid out.

Like everything else - it too has drawbacks.


Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2020, 10:56 PM »
quoting @Bob D. - "Maybe TWO and Festool could get an agreement going like they did with the GRS-16. Festool could dump their inferior connectors and license the TSO design. Seems like a win for both parties, TSO would sell more product and Festool would have fewer complaints about guide rail connectors".

TSO will keep an open mind. Depends how many requests Festool gets from customers for a better Connector.

Hans

@TSO Products Just as I was about to order the TSO connector, its has gone out of stock. thanks I am sure due to his current thread. I was about to buy that and several other items. I guess I will have to wait till it comes back in stock.
And @xedos thanks but the  Metabo offerings do not interest me as they are limited and also I have a nice complement of Festool rails and all I was looking for was a good way to join them. Perhaps a 3000 might be of interest but a good joining method for my existing rails would be more practical in the interest of space.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 11:08 PM by vkumar »
Vijay Kumar

Offline jonnyrocket

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2020, 11:46 PM »
I bought the betterly alignment tool before TSO came out with their connectors and I have to say that I am happy with it. It does exactly what it was designed to do and it does it well. There’s never any question of the rails are in perfect alignment after using it.

To a recent friend that bought a TS55 I recommended both the TSO rail connectors and the GRS as must have accessories and he bought them and has been pleased with them. Had they been available when I got my rails I too would have preferred to go that route as it is less expensive overall

But for those that have a betterly and use it, it’s great at what it does!

Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2020, 11:50 PM »
Thank you @jonnyrocket . Your review was exactly the informationI was seeking.
Vijay Kumar

Offline Cheese

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2020, 02:14 AM »
perhaps a different browser or at least search engine are in order ?

https://beavertools.com/search/?cat=0&q=metabo+guide+rail

https://www.toolbarn.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=metabo+guide

https://www.factoryauthorizedoutlet.com/products/metabo-629010000-guide-rail-fs-80


[smile] [big grin] [smile] [oops] [dead horse]

The Betterley connector works well and because I live in the area, I was able to purchase a "cosmetic 2nd" for $50. These are offered up on a 2-3 monthly basis.

However, I've been using the TSO solution rail connector for the last 6-9 months because while the Betterly product does a great job in aligning the rails, it's still up to the actual rail connectors, which really means the actual rail connector geometry, to maintain the proper rail alignment. 

The design of the standard Festool rail connector allows some slippage unless the joined rails are handled with extreme care.

The design of the TSO rail connector produces a more robust product when 2 rails are connected together. One obviously needs to handle the joined rails with care, however the TSO rail joiner positions the joined rails in a much more robust manner because of the geometry of the connectors they employ.

Offline ChrisK_UltimateTools.Ca

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2020, 10:48 AM »
quoting @Bob D. - "Maybe TWO and Festool could get an agreement going like they did with the GRS-16. Festool could dump their inferior connectors and license the TSO design. Seems like a win for both parties, TSO would sell more product and Festool would have fewer complaints about guide rail connectors".

TSO will keep an open mind. Depends how many requests Festool gets from customers for a better Connector.

Hans

@TSO Products Just as I was about to order the TSO connector, its has gone out of stock. thanks I am sure due to his current thread. I was about to buy that and several other items. I guess I will have to wait till it comes back in stock.
And @xedos thanks but the  Metabo offerings do not interest me as they are limited and also I have a nice complement of Festool rails and all I was looking for was a good way to join them. Perhaps a 3000 might be of interest but a good joining method for my existing rails would be more practical in the interest of space.

@vkumar we have stock of the TSO connectors in the Vancouver area if you don't want to wait and feel like having us ship some down the coast. Decided to post up an ad for these in the Sales and Dealer area if anyone is interested.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 10:59 AM by ChrisK_UltimateTools.Ca »
Chris Knudsen
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Offline vkumar

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2020, 12:39 PM »
@ChrisK_UltimateTools.Ca I went to your site and tried to order it.  Unfortunately the shipping cost is $ 100 for shipping down the coast!!!  Even if it is Canadian thats a lot of moolah.

I'll just wait for TSO to stock it.
Vijay Kumar

Offline ChrisK_UltimateTools.Ca

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Re: Betterley Straight Line Connectors for joining rails
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2020, 12:08 PM »
@vkumar thanks for checking. Yes, the shipping cost online is most likely high as it does not calculate international shipping well. This would be something which we would usually process in the store to get much better rates, as $100 is very high.
Chris Knudsen
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