Festool vs Makita Track Saw: Comparison and Review

operating a Makita SP6000J

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Although many woodworkers rely on a track saw to get a seamless cut quality, it wasn’t a common sight in a wood shop until recently. Because of this, its selection wasn’t as varied as other cutting tools in the market. 

Lucky for you, we conducted several Makita vs. Festool track saw tests to see which of the two brands is worth buying.

Festool or Makita Track Saw?

Portable Option
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
Best for Beginners
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
• Variable Speed: 2000 to 5200 RPM
• Bevel Capacity: -1° to 48°
• Carbide-tipped Saw Blade
• Dust Collector System
• Aluminum Guide Rail System
• Spring-loaded Riving Knife
• Cordless Track Saws
• Festool Guide Rail
• Bevel Capacity: Up to 45°
• Cutting Depth Adjustment
Portable Option
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
• Variable Speed: 2000 to 5200 RPM
• Bevel Capacity: -1° to 48°
• Carbide-tipped Saw Blade
• Dust Collector System
• Aluminum Guide Rail System
Best for Beginners
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
• Spring-loaded Riving Knife
• Cordless Track Saws
• Festool Guide Rail
• Bevel Capacity: Up to 45°
• Cutting Depth Adjustment

About Makita

Makita has been catering to the needs of professional woodworkers since 1915. Given their long industry expertise, we weren’t so surprised to find out that the brand has a wide-range selection of corded and cordless power tools under its belt. 

From track saws and table saws to circular saws, they make sure that these tools deliver enough power despite the lesser weight. If you scanned their products as our team did, you’d also notice that Makita offers a complete selection of blades and accessories suitable for different woodworking tools.

Our Top Pick: Makita SP6000J

Compared to a typical circular saw, Makita SP6000J offers more portability. Because of this, this unit can be used around the job site with fewer movement restrictions. Upon closer look, we noticed that the Makita guide rails are made of anodized aluminum. It means that it can produce more precise cuts without the risk of excessive tearing. 

Although Makita tracks are lighter than other track saws, it runs with a powerful 12-amp motor and an impressive variable speed of 2000 to 5200 RPM. Makita track saws are also capable of bevel cuts up to 48 degrees angle. 

About Festool

Although the company has been around since 1925, Festool track saws didn’t come into the picture until the 80s[1]. Despite their belated industry entrance, Festool tracks became known for their professional-grade quality and smooth-cutting operations. 

Besides Festool track saws, the brand is popular for innovating cordless tools like chainsaws, drills, jigsaws, etc. Although Festool products are a bit costly, they are user-oriented and focused on delivering the utmost convenience and efficiency. 

Our Top Pick: Festool TS5 Req-F-Plus

If you’re a woodworking beginner, the guide rails attached to Festool track saws like TS5 Req-F-Plus can help you achieve laser-straight cuts without any hassle. On top of that, this cordless track has a riving knife and anti-tipping features. Thanks to these, your new track will produce less kickback than other tools.  

This Festool product also has a Fast-Fix system, making blade changes easier. With its advanced plunge mechanism, you can expect this cordless track saw to execute depth adjustments without any hassle. 

Features of Makita SP6000J and Festool TS55 Req-F-Plus

Overview of Features

Key Features & Info Festool Track Saw Makita Track Saw
Model Code TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS MAKITA SP6000J
Power Source/ Category Electric Cordless Tools Electric Corded Tools
Power Capacity 1200W 10-Amp
Blade Size
(inches)
6 1/4 6 1/2
Min RPM
(Under No
Load Settings)
2000 2000
Max RPM
(Under No
Load Settings)
5200 5200
Plunge
Mechanism
Sliding Push Switch
Bevel
Cutting
Capacity
-1 Up to 47 degrees -1 Up to 48 degrees
Max Cutting
Depth (90
degrees)
2-1/8″ 2-3/16”
Max Cutting
Depth (45
degrees)
1-7/16” 1-9/16″
Top Features Cordless Power Tools Scoring Feature
Adjustable Depth Settings Electric Speed Controls
Fast Blade Change System Integrated Current Limiter

Power

Both Makita and Festool track saw options offer reliable power output. However, given that the latter has a battery-powered limitation, the Makita track saw has a slight advantage in terms of power capacity and run time. It carries a 10-amp motor, so users can rely on it to handle tough materials.

Depth Adjustment

The two saws can be adjusted at a 45 and 90-degree angle. You’ll need this feature if you plan to do angled cuts with a track saw. As you may know, bevel cutting requires more focus and flexibility than straight cuts. 

The slight difference between Festool and Makita track saw options is that TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS lets the users control their micro-points. Because of this, the highest accuracy rate is guaranteed. 

Variable Speed

Given that Makita and Festool track saws came from reputable brands, it’s no surprise that both models offer industry-standard variable speed. In a no-load configuration, both track saws can shift from 2000 RPM to 5200 RPM operation without any problem. 

For this particular Makita track saw, no speed inconsistency should hinder users as it runs with electronic controls. Through this feature, the RPM settings will be maintained more accurately. 

Performance

Upon using both units, the Festool track saw more resistance because of its springs. However, it’s crucial to note that its Makita alternative offers smoother operations. On top of that, it features better release mechanisms. 

As previously mentioned, mobile track saws like TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS have limited operational time because of their battery capacity. Due to this, the track saw operations might need to halt when your tool needs to charge. This limitation doesn’t apply to Makita as an electrical outlet powers it.

Guide Ridge Width

If you want a smooth cutting operation, you must get a track saw with a reliable guide ridge. Fortunately, both track saw options are wide enough to deliver accurate cuts. 

However, if you measure the units as we did, you’ll discover that the Makita track saw is .3mm smaller than Festool’s guide ridge. 

Splinter Guard Strip

Anyone familiar with track saws will tell you that tearing is normal when making your first cut. However, the units we featured in this comparison post feature a splinter guard strip that lessens potential tear-out and improves cutting accuracy. 

During our close inspection of both products, it’s hard to ignore that Makita opted to use softer material for their guard strips. But regardless, its rubber-like construction still makes it decent for accuracy. 

On the other hand, Festool designed its track saw selection with a hard polymer. This tough material boosts the precision of the tool. 

Non-slip Strips

During our team’s testing, we also noticed that the two tracks have non-slip strips. You may not know, but this feature provides users with a more stable cutting experience and an additional layer of safety.

Thanks to these strips, both tools can grip tightly into the rails and move without any interruption. But in this Festool vs. Makita track saw comparison, it’s apparent that the latter is equipped with a narrower strip material.

Glide Strips

Another feature that’ll aid a smoother cutting experience is the glide strips. Your track saw’s weight is carried by this component, which ensures more friction during the cutting sessions.

At first glance, you might think these two track saws have similar-looking glide strips. However, trust us when we say that Makita has a wider and more serrated top surface than Festool strips. 

Extra Features

For high-powered cutting tools like these track saw selections, it’s important to get models with reliable dust ports. And while both units have dust collection systems with similar dimensions, Makita’s inserts don’t get in the way of other knobs, unlike Festool. 

If tool safety tops your list, we’re sure you’ll find Festool’s riving knives as they prevent rip cuts that often lead to kickback. It helps keep the piece in place so it wouldn’t engage with the blade’s teeth. 

Overall Winner: Makita SP6000J Track Saw

Some might argue that cordless models like Festool track saw deliver more convenience, but our resident woodworkers still find Makita SP6000J’s consistent power and speed far superior. 

In an economic sense, it’s a cheaper option that can deliver the same feature and capability as its premium alternative. Despite the lower price tag, you can be sure that Makita is made of long-lasting and durable material.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.