Author Topic: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?  (Read 2331 times)

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Offline Prizen

  • Posts: 7
Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« on: February 02, 2020, 04:22 PM »
A little known small table saw / push pull saw, the Mafell Erika 85. Even in Europe there isn't much info available on them.

Of course they're expensive, but perhaps they fill the gap between the standard job site saw and the nice but super expensive panel saws.

Anyone have one?

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Online Lincoln

  • Posts: 64
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 06:27 PM »
Fair bit of info over at the Mafell Users Forum.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 672
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2020, 08:40 PM »
Not that small, looks small in pictures,  but look at the dimensions.

As you say, there is not much info out there. Forum doesn't have very much. There are some videos out there mainly by one guy using one.

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 430
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 09:28 PM »
Look again. Mafell recently produced a slew of videos on the updated Erika. Do a video search but only for the last year or last month and you'll find some more recent videos.
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Online Lincoln

  • Posts: 64
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 10:17 PM »
Yes, there are some good videos out there. Also, don't discount the German language ones, still worth watching if you're interested in an Erika.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2775
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2020, 11:14 PM »
@Tom Gensmer on FOG has an Erika and is a frequent contributor here and on the Erika User Forum. 

He speaks very highly of the saw.  It is expensive - about $4200 starting before you add extensions and other options, but the videos do look compelling.  I don't know how well they would perform for cutting large sheet goods but for joinery, furniture, and trim, they have some great features.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1977
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 12:04 AM »
These are the most through reviews of Erika 85 in existence:




« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 12:06 AM by Svar »

Offline Prizen

  • Posts: 7
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 03:52 AM »
Thanks all. Interesting that there is no experience from the average Joe call isn't trying to sell or endorse a product

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 195
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 04:46 AM »
If setting up a new, small workshop from scratch (and not for full-time, time-pressured professional work), do you think the Erika could sensibly take the place of both a small table saw and a sliding mitre saw?
(I can see there may be some inconveniences compared to having both items, but it's a very attractive machine.)

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 898
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 07:34 AM »
I’ve used the 85 many times as a chap who works for me owns one. I’ve also hankered after one myself for quite some time, and almost buying a few times, as recent as a week ago but, I was wrestling whether I wanted to pay the £3,000 plus for it.

They are a truly superb piece of kit, like most things Mafell. If used with in feed and out feed tables, you could negate the general need for a track saw, and mitre saw.
They’re built to such a tight tolerance for real accuracy. The motor is very powerful even with thick hardwoods.

The only niggles I hear are the price, the blade height doesn’t lock when in pull/push mode. Some say the depth alters after prolonged pull/push use but, I have to say, one time I spent a whole morning cutting this way, and the blade depth didn’t alter. The owner of the saw also said he’d not suffered this as of yet, and he’s owned the saw for two or three years.
There are also no mitre fence channels on the table top, so a sled can’t be used but, because it has pull/push, it’s not a big deal.
The latest model has a few little updates, including an LED light in the blade cover.
It’s a great saw, and if you can afford one, I’d recommend buying. It’s only a matter of time before I give in and buy one, or if my pal no longer lets me use his.

Great in a workshop, or mobile use.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 592
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 07:50 AM »
Thanks all. Interesting that there is no experience from the average Joe call isn't trying to sell or endorse a product

The Erika’s have been around for decades. In their home market so many are in use that a tablesaw is often called ‘Erika’. As for its internet presence: considering it has been a staple tool before the advent of the world wide web, those early reviews and reports may have been done on paper and in forums (remember when you had to phone in to a bulletin board server — that kind of forum).

If I were to add a tablesaw to my shop (not very high on the shortlist) — I would consider an Erika for sure. It is in the same price range of the TKS80 Festool has announced, but has a proven track record.

EDIT: Just saw the first price listing for the TKS80 and it is cheaper than a comparable Erika. At least the basic kit is. So…
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 07:56 AM by Bert Vanderveen »
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 195
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2020, 09:52 AM »
Thank you for your comments, Bert and Jiggy; very interesting.

I’m still looking for a space for a 'non-home-based’ shop, but it won’t be large as I'm in London. The idea of something of that quality and accuracy, which can be folded and moved out of the way is appealing. I suppose the way to think of the high price is to compare it to the combined cost of a good table saw and a Kapex… then it’s slightly less frightening.

(My inclination is to spend more on nice, versatile kit rather than on renting a larger space!)

I can’t imagine cutting down from 8 x 4 sheets on the Erika, but I have TS55 for that. I hadn’t thought about of the lack of fence channels, but as you say it has other ways of working around that. (I have a very basic mitre saw with limited capacity and poor DC and no table saw.)

Quite an investment then (well, not really an investment at all in my case - just an expenditure!), but very tempting. If I take the plunge I will, of course, report back here…

(Trouble is, I have also been dreaming about a Bridge City Jointmaker Pro… My mother was quite a keen woodworker years ago and left me a few handtools and a little bit of money - I think she would have approved of buying the JMP more than ‘some fancy power tool’; I love the idea of it, but I don’t know if I’d have the projects do it justice.)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 09:55 AM by Euclid »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6896
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2020, 10:30 AM »
Here's a series of 7 videos on the Erika.

https://www.timberwolftools.com/mafell-erika-85ec-pull-push-saw

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4547
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 10:47 AM »
To the “average Joe” the Erika works in a weird and unfamiliar way and it costs way more than an “regular tablesaw”. The people who buy an Erika generally aren’t the people who run to Facebook/Instagram/YouTube to gloat about the new kit.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 898
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2020, 12:25 PM »
@Bert Vanderveen Bear in mind though, the Festool TKS80 does have the SawStop tech and safety but, it is not a pull/push saw.
This is one of the features that has always drawn me to the Erika 85.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 879
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2020, 12:42 PM »
Thanks all. Interesting that there is no experience from the average Joe call isn't trying to sell or endorse a product

The Erika’s have been around for decades. In their home market so many are in use that a tablesaw is often called ‘Erika’. As for its internet presence: considering it has been a staple tool before the advent of the world wide web, those early reviews and reports may have been done on paper and in forums (remember when you had to phone in to a bulletin board server — that kind of forum).

If I were to add a tablesaw to my shop (not very high on the shortlist) — I would consider an Erika for sure. It is in the same price range of the TKS80 Festool has announced, but has a proven track record.

EDIT: Just saw the first price listing for the TKS80 and it is cheaper than a comparable Erika. At least the basic kit is. So…

Initial price might be, but I don't think it is after the accessories for either are purchased.

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 704
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2020, 01:32 PM »
@Tom Gensmer on FOG has an Erika and is a frequent contributor here and on the Erika User Forum. 

He speaks very highly of the saw.  It is expensive - about $4200 starting before you add extensions and other options, but the videos do look compelling.  I don't know how well they would perform for cutting large sheet goods but for joinery, furniture, and trim, they have some great features.

I have a 120V Erika 70 and just adore it. It completely replaced my miter saw (I sold my Kapex to go towards the Erika) and portable table saw. Plenty of power for ripping, variable speed makes working with aluminum much nicer. VERY precise. I like that I can use it in its "stock" configuration as a compact cutting station, or I can expand the ripping width and add the sliding table. Saw folds up compactly and since it replaces a miter saw and table saw, it frees up space in the van and/or shop, and has a small footprint when working on-site.

With the table extensions, you can rip ~30". Depending on how you set up the sliding table, I think you can cross cut something like ~32".

Plenty of provisions for dust collection, including a passive cardboard box you can use in lieu of a dust extractor. I generally use the collection box when working on-site, as it does a good job of collecting most of the chips, it reduces the load on the electrical circuit (fewer blown breakers), and it frees up my dust extractor for other tasks.

When combined with the TSO TPG parallel guide system, the Erika is a very efficient tool for breaking down sheets, and it's quite fast to convert from a crosscutting platform to a ripping station.

Long term, I'm saving up for a KF-700 so the Erika can just live in the van, but in the mean time it performs shop work just fine.

At ~$4k, these saws are not inexpensive, but on the other hand if you add up the cost of a good miter saw, a good table saw, and all of the associated stands, fences, etc.... the price delta decreases, and the quality of the Erika speaks for itself.

As @Michael Kellough noted, most guys who buy Erikas are doing so to accomplish work, and are generally less interested in filming, editing, posting, and curating videos online.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 01:38 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline Luzzy

  • Posts: 117
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2020, 04:49 AM »
I too have an Erika 70 but a European 240v that I use a simple transformer on. What Tom said! Mine stay predominantly in my shop but it is a dream to use any configuration. Expensive  but well worth it.

Offline simonh

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Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2020, 07:05 AM »
Decisions!

Erika 85 lots of praise for it's accuracy. Hard to find demo's of the machine. Or, the Festool CS70, part of the Festool system so things like the MW1000 extension table should hook up, or the Kapex wings for cross-cut... Don't know about comparable accuracy between the machines. Both are push/pull so possibly no need for a mitre saw. Track saw for larger sheet materials provides better results of bringing the tool to the workpiece.

TKS80 is marketed as a table saw on the UK site, no push-pull, probably envisaged in-conjunction with a mitre saw and a track saw for large stuff.

TKS80 has saw stop... but would be probably used in conjunction with other tools such as mitre saw / track saw which don't have any such technology.

So I guess the question is then whether a table saw is any more dangerous than a mitre saw for finger related accidents if you use things like push sticks and feather-boards / Jessem clear-cut stock guides (maybe a Microjig thingy if you use the table saw for joinery cuts rather than router table)... and use the hold down on the mitre saw or Fastcap 10 million dollar stick.
-Simon

Offline Alex

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Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2020, 05:29 PM »
So I guess the question is then whether a table saw is any more dangerous than a mitre saw for finger related accidents

It is more dangerous, because you have to push the wood into the blade. That makes all the difference.

Offline simonh

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Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2020, 06:43 AM »
So I guess the question is then whether a table saw is any more dangerous than a mitre saw for finger related accidents

It is more dangerous, because you have to push the wood into the blade. That makes all the difference.

You're quotation removed the entire context it was put in!
-Simon

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 898
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2020, 06:57 AM »
To be fair, any tool can be dangerous and cause terrible injuries, if it’s misused.
I try to make a point of leaving power tools alone if I start getting tired.

Offline Len C

  • Posts: 87
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2020, 11:55 AM »
Average Joe here.

I have had an Erika 70 with all the trimmings for 6 years now and no regrets over the cost. Agree with all of the comments made by Tom. There are very few cuts I cant make safely with the Erika.   Mine spends 6 months of the year in Arizona sharing a small garage with my wife's car then gets loaded in my pickup to spend the rest of the year in New Mexico.

Expensive yes, but I enjoy using it so that's what matters to me.

Offline Alex

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Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2020, 02:42 PM »
So I guess the question is then whether a table saw is any more dangerous than a mitre saw for finger related accidents

It is more dangerous, because you have to push the wood into the blade. That makes all the difference.

You're quotation removed the entire context it was put in!

As if that context was needed......

Offline Prizen

  • Posts: 7
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2020, 04:20 PM »
@Tom Gensmer

I have a 120V Erika 70 and just adore it. It completely replaced my miter saw (I sold my Kapex to go towards the Erika) and portable table saw. Plenty of power for ripping, variable speed makes working with aluminum much nicer. VERY precise. I like that I can use it in its "stock" configuration as a compact cutting station, or I can expand the ripping width and add the sliding table. Saw folds up compactly and since it replaces a miter saw and table saw, it frees up space in the van and/or shop, and has a small footprint when working on-site.

With the table extensions, you can rip ~30". Depending on how you set up the sliding table, I think you can cross cut something like ~32".

Plenty of provisions for dust collection, including a passive cardboard box you can use in lieu of a dust extractor. I generally use the collection box when working on-site, as it does a good job of collecting most of the chips, it reduces the load on the electrical circuit (fewer blown breakers), and it frees up my dust extractor for other tasks.

When combined with the TSO TPG parallel guide system, the Erika is a very efficient tool for breaking down sheets, and it's quite fast to convert from a crosscutting platform to a ripping station.

Long term, I'm saving up for a KF-700 so the Erika can just live in the van, but in the mean time it performs shop work just fine.

At ~$4k, these saws are not inexpensive, but on the other hand if you add up the cost of a good miter saw, a good table saw, and all of the associated stands, fences, etc.... the price delta decreases, and the quality of the Erika speaks for itself.

As @Michael Kellough noted, most guys who buy Erikas are doing so to accomplish work, and are generally less interested in filming, editing, posting, and curating videos online.

Thanks for the comprehensive response Tom.

Two questions:
1. How do the TSO parallel guides work with the Erika?
2. Put of nothing more than curiosity, what do you cut Aluminum sheets for?!!

Thanks again

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 704
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2020, 10:06 PM »
@Tom Gensmer

I have a 120V Erika 70 and just adore it. It completely replaced my miter saw (I sold my Kapex to go towards the Erika) and portable table saw. Plenty of power for ripping, variable speed makes working with aluminum much nicer. VERY precise. I like that I can use it in its "stock" configuration as a compact cutting station, or I can expand the ripping width and add the sliding table. Saw folds up compactly and since it replaces a miter saw and table saw, it frees up space in the van and/or shop, and has a small footprint when working on-site.

With the table extensions, you can rip ~30". Depending on how you set up the sliding table, I think you can cross cut something like ~32".

Plenty of provisions for dust collection, including a passive cardboard box you can use in lieu of a dust extractor. I generally use the collection box when working on-site, as it does a good job of collecting most of the chips, it reduces the load on the electrical circuit (fewer blown breakers), and it frees up my dust extractor for other tasks.

When combined with the TSO TPG parallel guide system, the Erika is a very efficient tool for breaking down sheets, and it's quite fast to convert from a crosscutting platform to a ripping station.

Long term, I'm saving up for a KF-700 so the Erika can just live in the van, but in the mean time it performs shop work just fine.

At ~$4k, these saws are not inexpensive, but on the other hand if you add up the cost of a good miter saw, a good table saw, and all of the associated stands, fences, etc.... the price delta decreases, and the quality of the Erika speaks for itself.

As @Michael Kellough noted, most guys who buy Erikas are doing so to accomplish work, and are generally less interested in filming, editing, posting, and curating videos online.

Thanks for the comprehensive response Tom.

Two questions:
1. How do the TSO parallel guides work with the Erika?
2. Put of nothing more than curiosity, what do you cut Aluminum sheets for?!!

Thanks again

Hi Prizen! My apologies for not elaborating, I meant to say the Erika works great in conjunction with a track guided saw (for the initial sizing cuts when working with sheet goods). I use the MT-55cc, and while I prefer the native tracks, I appreciate that it is compatible with Festool tracks, allowing me to use the TSO accessories.

For aluminum, I am primarily cross-cutting aluminum decking materials, and aluminum extrusions.
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Offline simonh

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Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2020, 03:48 AM »
I used to own the Elu/Dewalt flip-saw which converted between mitre/table saw. But, the design was showing its age and it wasn't really that accurate for anything other than rough work IME. So I swapped to table saw/mitre saw. But I still keep toying with the idea of a push-pull saw  (CS70 vs Erika 85) and getting rid of my mitre saw as it mainly lives on the floor unless I drag it onto the workbench for cross-cutting longer lengths. In a small shop been able to put a longer length on the table saw with a clamp and outfeed table and just pull to cut seems appealing. But, then I'm also torn with the shiny new TKS80 although I think that could just be the koolaid factor hence my ramblings above. Maybe, if I sit tight something will come along to satisfy all my wants.

Mafell UK often demonstrate at the UK tool shows, but I've never seen an Erika even on the stand :(

I don't want to hijack this thread... but if context and what safety precautions are taken doesn't matter... and using Alex's logic... a Push-Pull CS70/E85 saw is a dangerous to fingers when pushing wood into it but becomes safe when pulling the blade to the wood [unsure]. Oh wait... are we onto radial arm saws... My last post on this subject. No more  [big grin]
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 03:58 AM by simonh »
-Simon

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 144
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2020, 12:27 PM »
I did look into the Erika, but found it too expensive at the time. Now that having seen all the features I might consider it more closely side by side with Festool CS 70/50. It certainly has some one off features.

As described by you here, I’m too curious about safety whether pushing wood towards the blade or move the blade with clamped or hold down wood.
You might not be familiar with the most popular saw amongst contractors and framers here in Scandinavia - there is a saw called “Gjerdesag” and it is the most useful tool on any construction site in house building. It does rip, cross cut, bevel and mitre, some with huge capacity. What is unique with this saw is that it has a bar that you lift the saw blade when cross and mitre cutting.
Bear in mind that this saw is not intended to “fine” work.

Link to one of very few videos showing its features (Note that the blade is spinning away from you and not towards as most)

I have been playing with an idea of mounting a handle bar in my CMS module, to make the TS work as a upside down plunge saw. I do also think of flipping the module 90° to have the blade spinning away from me when using the reversed plunge. That way I can clamp the wood and plunge up, with hands at safe distance. Have anyone tried something similar?



« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 12:40 PM by FestitaMakool »

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 879
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2020, 01:48 PM »
Festita

Thanks for posting the video of the Gjerdesag setup.  That is certainly unlike anything I've seen here in the US, except the "jump saw" feature often seen at a lumber yard.

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 210
Re: Mafell Erika - own one or ever use one?
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2020, 01:49 PM »
Gee, thanks a lot for this thread... lol  It's making me consider saving up for a really expensive toy, I mean tool.

I recently picked up the MT55 and P1CC - I have been SUPER impressed with the tools. 
The Erika has popped on my radar a few times and I think 'cool, but expensive and do I need it'.

What I'm wondering is what are some of the limitations of the Erika?  Like is it awkward if you're cutting large cabinet panels to size after you've done initial cutting with the tracksaw?
How is it for ripping long pieces of ply for say shelving?
There are some things that I do with the tracksaw, but would be great if I could improve efficiency and speed(and repeatability).

I don't currently have a table saw (but do have a Kapex) and don't really consider getting a true table saw because of the space it takes up.  The Erika looks like it would stow away nicely and expand when I need it.