Festool vs Makita Track Saw — Comparison and Review

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When I first started woodworking, track saws weren’t as popular as they are today. In fact, they were somewhat rare in most workshops, and the options available were limited compared to other cutting tools.

Thankfully, times have changed. I’ve personally put the Makita and Festool track saws to the test to determine which one stands out. Let me share the results with you.

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
• I can adjust the speed anywhere from 2000 to 5200 RPM, depending on what I need.
• The beveling is pretty flexible, ranging from -1° to 48°.
• It comes with a carbide-tipped blade, which is durable and sharp.
• The dust collector system is a lifesaver, keeping my workspace relatively clean.
• The aluminum guide rail system gives me precision in my cuts.
• The spring-loaded riving knife adds a layer of safety.
• It’s cordless, giving me more freedom to move around.
• Comes with the reliable Festool guide rail.
• The bevel capacity is up to 45°
• I can easily adjust the cutting depth
Portable Option
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
Makita SP6000J Track Saw
• I can adjust the speed anywhere from 2000 to 5200 RPM, depending on what I need.
• The beveling is pretty flexible, ranging from -1° to 48°.
• It comes with a carbide-tipped blade, which is durable and sharp.
• The dust collector system is a lifesaver, keeping my workspace relatively clean.
• The aluminum guide rail system gives me precision in my cuts.
Best for Beginners
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Track Saw
• The spring-loaded riving knife adds a layer of safety.
• It’s cordless, giving me more freedom to move around.
• Comes with the reliable Festool guide rail.
• The bevel capacity is up to 45°
• I can easily adjust the cutting depth

About Makita

Makita has been catering to the needs of professional woodworkers since 1915. Given their long industry expertise, I wasn’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 to circular saws, they make sure that these tools deliver enough power despite the lesser weight. If you scanned their product selection, 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. This has allowed me to move around job sites with much more ease. And after working closely with it, I’ve observed that its guide rails are crafted from anodized aluminum. 

This not only ensures precision but also minimizes the chances of tearing, which is vital for any craftsman aiming for flawless results.

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 unit has a riving knife and anti-tipping features. Thanks to these, your new track saw 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 the 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

Having worked extensively with both the Makita and Festool track saws, I can attest to their reliable power outputs. Yet, in my hands-on experience, the Makita track saw edges out just a bit. 

Its 10-amp motor not only provides a bit more power but also a longer run time, allowing me to tackle even the toughest materials with confidence.

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

After personally using both saws, I felt a bit more resistance with the Festool track saw, likely due to its springs. In contrast, the Makita offers a smoother user experience and boasts superior release mechanisms.

And while some mobile track saws, such as the TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS, have limited run time because of their battery constraints, the Makita’s reliance on an electrical outlet ensures uninterrupted work—a real game-changer in my book.

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 I 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. 

You Might Be Interested: Track Saw vs. Table Saw 

During my 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

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

In my many sessions using track saws, I’ve found that the glide strips play a pivotal role in achieving a smoother cut. They bear the weight of the saw, creating just the right amount of friction needed during the cutting process. 

It’s these small details that truly enhance the experience for professionals like me.

At first glance, you might think these two track saws have similar-looking glide strips. However, trust me, the Makita unit 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, I’m sure you’ll like 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. 

Read Next: Which is the Better Tool Maker: Sidchrome or Kincrome

Overall Winner: Makita SP6000J Track Saw

Some might argue that cordless models like Festool track saw deliver more convenience, but I 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 headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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