What power tools/accessories have folks found useful?

I’ve been doing more work with larger sheet goods, and of course, buying in larger sizes, then breaking them down is a good way to save money — has anyone found any surprisingly useful/affordable tools for this?

Naturally, what I really want is a Festool or Makita Track Saw, but I’d like to apply the 80/20 rule — can one get 80% of the functionality by paying 20% of the price?

Ages ago, Craftsman had a small saw which I’ve always regretted not buying:

but it seems to be available once again under a different brand name:

I’d get the track as well (and would hope it would fit in the cloth case which is now being offered)

The alternative/upgrade would be a battery-powered Makita (I’d probably break down and get the saw/drill combo pack) but I’m not seeing that it specifically works with a track.

Is there some third-party track which folks would recommend? I see that Kreg has one…

I have a powerful battery operated Milwaukee 6 1/2in circular saw and I use straight edges (49 and 98in) to cut my sheet goods to size. I made blocks that I use to offset the straight edge. I though about making myself a track to guide to hold the saw, there are many designs I saw on YT. but they are so big to store after. The straight edges and blocks are smaller and easier to store. I guess that this meets my 80/20 rule.

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I bought the festool track saw over 10 years ago and have never regretted it. But I’ve been renovating my house so the amount saved vs hiring trades easily has paid for it.

You need a vacuum (the festool ones are really nice) to use these saws and add a couple different size tracks and maybe a dust deputy, quick release clamps… and you could have bought another Shapeoko… haha

There are other saws now that are very similar and 1/2 the price. I think the Makita tracks are interchangeable with festool.

I have a mini saw like the one you show but I never use it.

A track saw is almost 100% replacement for a table saw for me. Perfect rips require careful measurement but that’s about it. The zero clearance edge makes everything just so easy, often I just use the anti friction nature if the track and dont even bother clamping the track. BTW: Ridgid foam insulation make a great support for breaking down plywood.

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A track saw is great but probably have a circular saw. I make a shooting board for my Ridgid circ saw. My saw has a 5 inch base plate. I also have a DeWalt cordless saw with about 4.5 inch base. So I cut a 12 inch by 4’ and or 8’ 1/2 inch plywood. Then I cut a 1.5 inch piece of plywood by 4’ or 8’ and glue and screw it leaving 5.5" between edge of base and 1.5" cleat. After glue is dry I run circ saw down making a zero clearance edge. The turn around and run your second saw on other side making another zero clearance on second side. Mark each side for which saw. I also have some skate board deck tape that is basically psa 120 grit sand paper on bottom to prevent slippage. Then to use mark both ends of plywood and line up on the line and saw on waste side of cut. I get 4x8 3/4 foam sheet to cut on. Be sure to adjust blade height to cut through material plus 1/4 inch into foam. To start cut you may need to hold blade guard on saw open until you get 2-3 inches into cut. The only thing to go wrong is you lat the saw wander away from center cleat but you can back up and clean up cut but waste side may need to be straightened.

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I love saving money but…

One year I had good tax return and bought a festool tracksaw and their small mini vac, as well as an orbital sander… it’s all such a joy to use. First, it’s easy to lug around, and there is zero dust. I had a door sticking to carpet at work and was easily able to shave it a little without making a mess.

Also I just have a small portable table saw , and I am not comfortable handling full-size sheet goods on it (plus I don’t have the room to maneuver). The track saw makes it so easy to knock down plywood into rough (or not rough) shape.

Plus it’s just a good saw. Highly highly recommend!
The sander is dope too.

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Will- let me rephrase

I have never- ever- heard anyone with a Festool track saw say they regret buying it.

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If you have the money, and need a circular saw, get the festool.

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I was trying my best to not shill for festool but I agree if you can afford it just get the tracksaw and vacuum… you wont regret it. And i have to say my experience with festool has been excellent (not as good as carbide3d though)

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Buy once, cry once. I recommend Festool wholeheartedly, and if I had to do it again, I’d buy cordless. Any vacuum will work, but the Festools are super quiet and efficient. Several homeowners on my job sites have remarked that they can’t believe that “shop vac” is so quiet! Makita will work on Festool rails and vice versa, so you can get rails less expensively. I understand that the battery operated Makita track saw is a good saw, and probably perfect for a hobbyist.

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I guess I’m lucky living in San Diego! Th&h has good prices, selection, and will make 2 accurate cuts (with a $20k panel saw) for free. They also have a big/scary radial arm saw to accurately crosscut hardwood boards for free.
@WillAdams I forgot to mention that before Th&h upgraded to that panel saw they used a Festool track saw. It seemed to work quite well, but their panel saw is awesome and much nicer than Home Depots’!

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I picked up the Kreg Accu-Cut, specifically for cutting down sheet goods, and haven’t been disappointed. It may be that I’m just blissfully ignorant, but I already had the circular saw and for ~$75 I consistently get long, straight cuts.

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I have the dremel…called a SawMax in New Zealand and cut the whole of my water damaged particle board floor out of my ensuite to replace it with ply. It powered through the job and still gives good service. I’d like a better fence than the plastic one it ships with but might try to make one on the Shapeoko one day.

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