Author Topic: Inviting Recommendations for Starter Set of Guides & Dogs  (Read 542 times)

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Offline euromtns

  • Posts: 4
As I just wrote in a different post, I've been considering purchase of a different brand of saw guide (leaving EurekaZone) and considering Festool. I'm impressed by much of the guide ecosystem, including the MFT (and, unfortunately, impressively steep prices). I'm probably only going to use saw guide related products (both Festool & clones), am only an occasional DIY'er and putter-er. So with that in mind, would anyone care to offer suggestions for starter groupings of products?

Many thanks!

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Offline oberlin1

  • Posts: 35
  • Larry
Re: Inviting Recommendations for Starter Set of Guides & Dogs
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022, 10:59 AM »
Hi!  As someone who went crazy getting dogs (got this TSO set that is way overkill) would recommend just a handful to start.  If you want to take the plunge or a saw get the cordless TSC55 that seems to be well regarddd.

I am sure other helpful folks will chime in.

CXS, ETC-125, TS-75, CT-26E, LS-130, RO-150 FEQ

Offline euromtns

  • Posts: 4
Re: Inviting Recommendations for Starter Set of Guides & Dogs
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022, 10:54 PM »
Many thanks, Larry! Yeah, that seems like good advice (and probably more realistic for the $ limit I hope to keep, lol)!


Online mino

  • Posts: 1027
Re: Inviting Recommendations for Starter Set of Guides & Dogs
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 06:15 AM »
Will detract from the crownd here.

If you are a hobby user, for good cuts and happy tinker I would prioritize as such:

1) Rails, these are absolutely critical /most accurate, best anti-slip pads, best sliding pads/
 - get the Festool FS/2 1400 LR32, two pieces of them + a set of the Makita Rail connectors + 400x300 mm or so engineer's square in the $40 class (a DIN Class 1 or better equivalent accuracy)
If possible get the two rails at same time so are from the same batch or take calipers to make sure the "ribs" where the saw rides are exactly the same exact extrusion width. The FS/2 rails are absolutely worth the premium here.
The Makita connectors need alignment but provide the best accuracy and strongest joint at a price of a bit tinkering with aligning => best value for occasional use.
The engineer's square you need for two things - aligning the rails for joining and calibrating any square cutting setups for accuracy.

2) You absolutely REQUIRE good blades. E.g. the "standard" Makita ones are junk, and, basically, any blade you see below $30 is junk. Festool are very good, but there are cheaper and still quality options out there as well.
It is important to note here that a good blade has two properties: A) it is precise and B) it lasts long. As a tinker, you need the quality blades for the -precision- not the longevity.
ADD: I said "blades" because at a minimum you need two (three ideally) blade types:
 - a "cross-cut" blade for Wood in the 32-52T tooth range (a Festool 28T is the least-tooth that works OK), this is for cutting any "fiber" materials
 - a blade for chipboard/laminate in the 42-52T tooth range (different tooth profile to the "Wood" blades), this is for cutting any "dust glued together" type abrasive materials like MDF or chipboard etc.
 - optimally/optionally a rip-cut blade for Wood in the 18-24T range (a Festool 28T is the most-tooth that works OK)
If you get a 42/48 style tooth for plywood and cross-cuts, then a 18/24T for wood rip cuts is a must. For a hobby user though a 28/32T "Universal" blade would do fine for both tasks.

3) Get the Festool FS-WA adjustable rail square + the VL prolongation for it. You will need the square from 1) for this for calibration, but it is way more flexible compared to the other /fixed/ rail squares and is reasonably priced.

4) You want some type of a Parallel Guide setup. TSO PG system is an absolute gem. To save bucks, get just the PG set with the small attachments thingies, skip on the GRS squares per 3).

5) Get a quality saw /quality as in good bearings and no vibration of the blade/. The Makita SP6000J or anything better and you are good to go. As written, the TSC 55 is a gem, but it will NOT give you siginfficantly better cuts. It is "just" a better saw to use.

LAST: Do note the priorities ... they are about where to burn money. And do notice I put the saw at the end. You can get good /not excellent/ results even with a $100 big market plunge saw when used with the kit in points 1)-4).
OTOH you would struggle /comparatively/ if you get just a TSC 55 and have no proper "prepare & guide the saw properly" kit to go along.

My 3 cents.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 06:26 AM by mino »
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline euromtns

  • Posts: 4
Re: Inviting Recommendations for Starter Set of Guides & Dogs
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2022, 01:40 PM »
MANY thanks for your reply, Mino! (And please excuse my delay in acknowledging your response ; been intensely focused on another priority around here).

 I really appreciate the material that you've covered and the way you've done so ; brilliant!

item #1 : Much appreciate this item because I hadn't experienced any issues in this area with my previous system (EurekaZone ; maybe that speaks to the quality of work I was producing and didn't even realize it!). And I'd never have just guessed that the Makita connectors would be the optimum precision/ price combination!

Item #2 : Oh,, again, this has been less of a thought/ concern for me. I *do* have a few blades but have very seldom changed them. Maybe I was "ok" but it's now on my radar as something to keep in mind for better results.

Item #3 : Another area of my speculation! I've been wondering if I would find as much need/ use for a rail square if I'm using a CNC-drilled MFT-style top and other alignment parts/ accessories. And, could the top-referenced items produce more accuracy due to longer lengths of angle lines (vs. the shorter length of the square's edge)?

item #4 : I resonate with this as I was thinking along this line myself and now feel more confident about that as a choice. I was also wondering, though, would the use of a top (as I mentioned in #3 of this post) reduce the value of parallel guides for me? Maybe it depends on whether I might find a situation where cutting on the top isn't an option (or, at least, not a good one)?

Item #5 : Again, your view of priorities makes great sense! I'm hoping to use my Hilti for the time being, but your info will be helpful if I move to something else.

Again, thanks for your time to think about this and provide a truly well-written response!