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  #71  
Old 01-15-2016, 01:02 AM
gtd gtd is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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I wasn't sure whether I should start a new thread or just add my first impressions of the EZ track saw to this thread. A few days ago I took delivery of a 108" EZ track package (2 54" rails) and an SSRK kit. I don't really have much woodworking experience at all, but want to DIY some trim moldings and also some cabinets. I plan to work with mostly 1/2" and 3/4" MDF and plywood sheet goods. For my first project I needed to rip some MDF. I tried to tackle the job with a Skil saw that I purchased a few years ago and a clamping straight edge. In short order I messed up two cuts by not keeping the saw base against the straight edge. I ruined a few more cuts due to errors in measuring for the saw base and blade offset. I thought that there had to be a better option and started researching track saws.

I actually ordered a Makita track saw with two 54" rails, but then decided to go with the EZ track. The rails and connectors for the EZ track seemed like they would be superior to the Makita rails, especially for ripping 8' cuts, although the Makita track saw looked pretty sweet.

For a saw I originally picked up a Ridgid 3205 after positive comments about it from the EurekaZone sales rep I spoke to on the phone. The Ridgid base did fit the Smart Base like a glove, and I generally liked the Ridgid saw. However, the rear hinge of the saw seemed a little loose to me and I got to thinking a saw with a brake would be a good idea. So before actually attaching the Ridgid 3205, I went to another big box store to check out a Dewalt DWE575SB. I liked the Dewalt OK, but a Hitachi C7BMR was available at $109. That's the saw I came home with and attached the EZSmart Base while the Ridgid went back to the store.

Today we had some unseasonably warm weather so I slipped out of the office a little early and gave the EZ track system a test run. Plunged into the zero clearance track insert, then cut the anti-chip edge, connected the two rails and was ready to start ripping. It was fantastic! Cut after cut right on the money. It was so easy and so much faster than what I was doing before with the straight edge. I don't have a work table or bench, so I was just set up on the driveway with some 1" rigid foam atop 2x4's. Not very comfortable, but it worked fine for what I needed to accomplish. The Hitachi is nice, not nearly as loud as my old Skil saw, and the Freud Diablo 40T finish blade did a perfect job for me.

I went back and forth on whether to get the SSRK. My router experience consists of routing a few doors and jambs for hinges. I want to get set up to make use of a router but don't have a router table and am limited on space at the present time. Laney's videos showing how to use the SSRK persuaded me that it would work for me. I'll see how it goes. The price seemed pretty steep, but it really looked like the best fit for me.

So, my first impression with the EZSmart track saw system has been very positive with no regrets or buyers remorse at this point. I'm hopeful that my experience with the SSRK will be positive as well. Adding dust collection for the saw is high on the To Do list, as well as organizing the shed so I can get a more suitable work environment set up for my budding woodworking hobby. I've learned quite a bit reading through posts on this forum and wanted to share my EZ experience.

~GTD
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  #72  
Old 01-15-2016, 04:34 PM
Minnesota Marty Minnesota Marty is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Posts: 52
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GTD,
Great for you. I am glad that the EZ system is working well for you. Glad you posted on the forum and always bring more feedback since I think that is one of the big benefits of this forum.

Marty
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  #73  
Old 01-15-2016, 08:18 PM
kenk kenk is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 291
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GTD,

I am so jealous that you can cut wood in your driveway!! I ran out to the garage without a coat this week to check to see what kind of blade is on my Makita saw and thought I was going to die out there - single digits in degrees Fahrenheit.

Your story is EXACTLY what I went through. My wife loves to tell the story of me messing up so many plywood cuts that I flung the Craftsman circular saw across the driveway and under her truck. I assumed that it was the saw and not me, so I went and bought a better (more expensive) Craftsman circular saw. The same thing happened! I didn't toss this saw because it was expensive (better). So I made one of those homemade cutting guides where you fasten a length of plywood with one straight (factory) edge on top of a wider length of hardboard and then prep it by running the saw against the straight plywood edge to cut the width of the hardboard to match the saw cut width. With great expectations I set about making my first perfect cut with my better (more expensive) saw and my new homemade cutting guide ... only to have the saw travel off to one side ruining yet another cut. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it was - though the saw managed to survive the event.

It was at that point that I started searching for a better way ... and found the EZ SMART system. I bought two 50" tracks and the EZ Ready version of the same Hitachi saw you are using. The EZ system completely changed my relationship with plywood!!! (At the time I was using a radial arm saw for crosscuts). So easy. So straight. No tears.

The EZ system is a circular saw's best friend!!

Ken K.
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  #74  
Old 01-16-2016, 06:00 PM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Balko, OK
Posts: 226
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Glad to hear another positive review. For me, breaking down large sheet goods and cutting dadoes and grooves (with the SSRK) are much easier with my EZSmart system. Repeatable miter cuts still need work.
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