Makita is among the top-selling track saw brands today, thanks to its quality and attractive price point. Another trusted track saw brand is Festool, better known as a high-end tool brand designed for professional woodworkers. If you’re deciding whether to get the Makita X2 LXT cordless track saw or the Festool TSC 55 REBI-F cordless plunge circular saw, this in-depth comparison will give you the information you need to make the call.
Makita vs Festool Track Saw Comparison Chart
|Model||Makita LXT Track Circular Saw||Festool TSC 55 REBI-F Track Circular Saw|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
|Voltage||36 volts (dual 18v)||36 volts (dual 18v)|
|Battery Pack||2 18v LXT Lithium Ion Slide Style||2 18.2 Li 5.2 ASI|
|Variable Speed||2,500 to 6,300 RPM||2,650 to 5,200 RPM|
|Variable Speed Settings||Dial, 5 levels||Dial, 6 levels|
|Plunge Mechanism||Push Button||Sliding|
|Bevel Capacity/Angular Range||-1° to 48°||-1° to 47°|
|Bevel Positive Stopper||22.5º|
|Bevel Hard Stop||Yes||No|
|Cutting Depth||90°: 55.6 mm|
45°: 40 mm
|90°: 51 mm|
45°: 43 mm
Ergonomics and Comfort
Both the Makita and the Festool track saws are well-built and have smooth mechanisms, but the Makita’s has a slight edge when it comes to comfort
Both the Makita and the Festool track saws are thoughtfully-designed for ergonomics and comfort. When using track saws, the quality and comfort of the grip are important. Japanese manufacturer Makita’s grip design edges out the Festool, as its track saw has rubber over-mold on both its main handle and foregrip. On the other hand, the Festool track saw only has a rubber over-mold on its main handle, but nothing on the foregrip.
Their plunge, bevel, and depth adjustment mechanisms are smooth and efficient (more on this in the next section). The measurements and scales of the Makita and the Festool are also written clearly in a color that can be read easily when working on the track saw.
Plunge and Bevel Mechanism
The Festool has a slightly better plunge mechanism while the Makita cordless track saw has better bevel mechanism and capacity
As mentioned earlier, these track saw brands both have smooth mechanisms that are easy and safe to use. The Festool TSC REB has a slightly better sliding plunge mechanism. It works really smoothly but also offers enough resistance to give the user some feedback when making that plunging movement.
While the Makita LXT’s single-point mechanism is also very smooth, some feel there is not enough resistance, which could cause a safety issue if the user doesn’t know the track saw well. Since it is too smooth, the user may plunge too quickly into the material and cause a kickback. It should be noted that the Makita track saw has an anti-kickback mechanism on the saw bed to ensure safety.
As for their bevel mechanisms and capacity, the Makita is the clear winner. Its bevel capacity ranges from -1° to 48°, a degree more than the Festool’s -1° to 47°. The Makita LXT’s bevel mechanism also comes with a hard stop lever should the user want to stop at 22.5º or 45º.
While the Makita’s bevel mechanism is better overall, the Festool is equipped with a safety mechanism that allows the track saw to adjust to -1 degrees for easier and safer back-cutting.
The Festool track saw’s push-style depth adjustment mechanism works better than the Makita
Festool’s depth adjustment mechanisms show how much thought they put into helping make more precise adjustments with ease. It is equipped with a push-style mechanism (the green mechanism that says ‘FS’ in the photo) whereas the Makita track saw uses a knob for depth adjustments. This allows the user to adjust to the desired depth more easily and precisely.
The Festool TSC track saw comes with two depth indicators on its depth adjustment gauge: the top one shows the depth when on top of the track while the bottom one shows when the unit is not on the track. Another win for the Festool is its micro-adjust feature which lets you dial in the depth of cut very precisely and more accurately than when using other track saw brands like Makita.
Another difference between the Makita and the Festool track saw is their total depth of cut with a track. The Makita’s total depth of cut at 90º is 55.6 mm, while its cutting depth at 45° is 40 mm. On the other hand, the Festool track saw’s total depth of cut is 51 mm at 90º, while its cutting depth at 45° is 41 mm.
The Makita LXT track saw has slightly better variable speed settings than the Festool TSC-55
Looking at the material of the speed setting dial alone, the Makita LXT’s looks sturdier and better-built. Even beyond that, the Makita still has a slight edge over the Festool’s variable speed. The Makita has five speed settings and it generates a no-load speed of 2500rpm to 6300rpm whereas the Festool track saw has six speed settings and produces a no-load speed of 2650rpm to 5200rpm.
Performance and Power
The Festool cordless track saw is slightly more powerful than the Makita
Both the Makita and the Festool track saws are powerful and reliable power tools that will be a worthy addition to your workshop. Both can cut different wood types with good accuracy and efficiency. With that said, the Festool has a slight edge over the Makita track saw as the latter seemed to slow down a bit when dealing with full-depth cuts. This is probably because of the Makita’s Automatic Speed Change feature that adjusts its speed and torque while cutting.
Despite the fact that both track saw brands are equipped with two 18-volt batteries, the Festool has a slightly longer runtime than the Makita. The Makita LXT uses two 5.0 amp Lithium-Ion batteries while the Festool includes two 5.2 Lithium batteries. With that said, both cordless tools run for quite a while and can handle cutting many projects on one full charge.
Changing the blade is slightly easier on the Festool than the Makita track saw, but the Makita wins when it comes to its battery platform and guide rails
The German manufacturer Festool’s track saw may have a longer runtime than the Makita, but the Japanese brand wins when it comes to its battery platform. If you want to have an ecosystem of cordless tools, the Makita is your best bet as it carries an extensive array of tools compatible with its 18v batteries and charger. On the other hand, the Festool has only recently started rolling out cordless power tools.
Though changing the blades might not be often done, you’ll want a straightforward way of switching saw blades in the event that you need to. Both the Makita and the Festool provide a quick and safe way to change the blades, but the German brand takes it up a notch through its Fast Fix feature.
To change the blade on the Festool, simply pull the “Fast Fix” lever by the main handle, then plunge the saw until it clicks and locks in place. Its blade arbor automatically locks in place. This automatic arbor lock is simply faster, easier, and more straightforward than Makita’s mechanism.
The Makita LXT cordless track saw offers overall better value for your money, but professional woodworkers will find the Festool TSC 55 a worthy investment
Either cordless track saw will be a great addition to your workshop. They are powerful, durable, and efficient. With that said, the Makita LXT simply offers better value for your money as it not only come at a lower cost, but also comes with a wider battery platform of cordless tools. While it may not be as powerful and its mechanisms not on par with Festool’s, the Makita LXT is still an impressive power tool for its price.
If you intend to use the cordless track saw for professional use, the Festool TSC 55 REBI-F is a worthy investment and will last for years. It is slightly more powerful than the Makita with top-notch mechanisms. With that said, the downside of the Festool TSC 55 REBI-F would be its hefty price tag and the lack of other cordless power tools that also use the track saw’s 18v battery.
Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API