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Old 03-31-2015, 12:17 AM
Minnesota Marty Minnesota Marty is offline
 
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Location: Cottage Grove, MN
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Default First Impression with EZ track system

Please allow me this introduction. Marty here and I am from the eastern side of the Twin Cities Metro area I live close to the bluffs of the St. Croix River. I can almost see the Wisconsin cheeseheads from my front porch. Hence the name Minnesota Marty. I own a design build remodeling company. Have been in business since March 2, 1992. We are not super high end but we are not cut and paste either. Maybe later I'll run my website in my profile for all to see some of our work. I put on the tool belt as needed and the older I get the more I want to put it on.
The reason I am here is I believe in track sawing. Hauling those table saws out is difficult. We have built jigs and fixtures to make cutting material easier with a circular saw. I believe I own 5 circular saws. And I would like to get a plunge type circular saw with some type of track system.
I was in Woodworkers Store last week and I was highly disappointed at the treatment the the EZ system got from their salesperson. He had nothing nice to say about the EZ system. Somebody from EZ needs to get out in those stores and do some sales training. This 20 something salesperson was not doing EZ any favors. I should add that I know have realized that Woodworkers store no longer handles Festool. They did have a DeWalt track saw on display. This clerk wanted to sell me the Airo system. Hell, I had that 20 years ago and I still use it today, that's nothing new. Poor, poor, poor on Woodworkers stores part. As I was checking out with some magazines the manager came over and tried to strike up a conversation about the EZ system with me.
So, my first impression with EZ system was not good. Then I had one heck of a time getting on to this forum. I never got the confirming email to authorize me to post on this site. I finally contacted the site administrator who did respond in a timely manner. I am also a member of the Kreg forum. Now that's a forum that knows how to promote their products. From the outside looking in, EZ has a long way to go.
On the plus side I think that EZ has a system that could really be the ticket. It just needs to be demonstrated.
I am a wood burner and while splitting wood I decided to join this forum and see what I can help people with and in turn what I can learn from doing that.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:53 AM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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Welcome to the forum, Marty. I'll post more later, but just wanted to say welcome.
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2015, 07:44 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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Here's some info based on what you wrote. Hope it's helpful. Some of it you may already know. I'm a woodworker (hobbiest).

I've used both the Festool and the EZ system. Some others from this forum have also used both the Eurostyle saws and EZ system. The big difference is between the front-plunge (Euro) and rear plunge saws. Another is startup cost for a track and a saw. If you already have many circular saws, it's much lower startup cost for the EZ system. You can try it out by buying the track, sawbase, and couple of clamps, then set up one of your saws. If you like it, there are many other parts to the system.

I tend to like the overall system better than Festools, especially not being nickle-and-dimed (add several zeros) to death paying exhorbitant prices for little parts of the system. EZ is a substantial, durable system, capable of lots of flexibility and accuracy that you can build as you need them. It's a very high quality system and unique in it's way. In most ways I like the EZ system best. I like the repeatable cuts possible with my EZ one (table) system. I like being able to gang-cut a bunch of pieces at once. It can cut large pieces of plywood easily and accurately. The router kit is great (SSRK only, not the SRK). It can cross-cut and rip equally easily. The one thing I prefer Festool for is that you can just throw down a track and make a single cut easily.

The weakness right now is what you are pointing out. EZ started as a single-owner system and not so long ago changed to a partnership. You can read about this on the site. I believe they are still getting things together, though placing their product in many venues was a major accomplishment. There are some decent youtube videos that demonstrate the products if you look on their website, but the hands-on presence in various stores and other places is not there yet. They need more videos. I do find some of the videos to be a cut above many of those produced by major companies. For instance the new Bosch sawstop-type saw video is very short on tech info, it's hard to figure out how it works from their promo video. The Kreg videos leave things to be desired, making things look better than they are for their tracksaw system, for instance. I use the kreg pockethole jig all the time. They have great clamps, too. But think they should just stick to what they do best.

Anyhow, the EZ videos do show how to do various things, including tool assembly instructions. I figured out how to use all of their tools from this, though perhaps the average person is not going to do that. The old videos with Dino are worth looking at. Not slick, but you can see the system in action as it actually is, not as they want it to appear. Also videos from others especially Dik. These are all on youtube. But you are right, a person should not have to be searching all this to find out how it works. It should be there in the store. I don't understand why a store like you mention does not do a good job.

The forum is run independently of Eurekazone, from what I understand, though obviously there's a connection. The owner of the original company used to comment regularly. The new folks have not stepped in yet. Not sure it's comparable to the Kreg websites.

I agree with you about the need to get more info going to match the presence of EZ products in the stores, but I imagine it's a process. Hopefully it will happen soon.
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Last edited by Goblu; 03-31-2015 at 07:49 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2015, 10:29 PM
Minnesota Marty Minnesota Marty is offline
 
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Katie,
Thanks for the reply.
I can see that EZ is a company in transition. That is very apparent. The product is not that challenging from the manufacturing standpoint. The rail system material is off the shelf aluminum extrusions that if you google Aluminum extrusions you will see several mfg'ers of those types of extrusion. They don't manufacturer any power tool component they use other manufacturer's. When you buy Festool you buy a festool saw, router, sander, etc. along with Festool "accessories" that make the job easier and quicker. And in a non-hobbiest or a for profit venue those "nickel and dimed" cost are not as significant because if we save time we make more money. But, the hobbiest the time saving aspect is not as great. So, I can see where Festool accessories for the hobbiest is significant.
I have looked at some of the old videos and you are correct. It is like trying to watch paint dry. That was the point I was trying to make with Kreg. They have entry level woodworkers products and they create videos that get people excited about using their products. So, from a marketing standpoint they are heads and shoulders above EZ.
I don't know yet if I am going to try the EZ system. I have been looking at the Toronto Tools unit which is not entry level by no means.
For right now I am going to use my handmade crosscut jigs and track saw jigs for my Ridgid 6 1/2" circular saw. It weighs only 8 lbs. and works like a champ. We are installing cedar siding tomorrow and we will get it done with those jigs as we have in the past.
And again thanks for the reply.
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2015, 10:46 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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Marty, I'd be interested in where you say these are off the shelf. It was my understanding that the EZ extrusions were patented designs and so were unique. I've looked at the 80/20 extrusions, but they are not the same. There are sets of clamps, and other accessories designed for EZ, and of course the saw base. I don't see this with the other extrusions and don't want to make jigs for them all.

Yes, I can see that Festool costs go down if you are doing this as a business. I'd love a domino, for instance, but no way cost effective. If I were doing this for a business, I'd buy one in a flash. Not so sure about their other tools.

The forum used to be very lively, but not so now, as you can see.

In any case, good luck with whatever you choose.
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Last edited by Goblu; 03-31-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2015, 11:27 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
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Welcome to the forum. Katie is right, all EZ extrusions are patented and custom made strictly for EZ, In fact they may now be made by EZ (at least that was the plan back when I was a consultant for EZ).
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2015, 10:22 AM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty View Post
Katie,
...
I don't know yet if I am going to try the EZ system. I have been looking at the Toronto Tools unit which is not entry level by no means.
For right now I am going to use my handmade crosscut jigs and track saw jigs for my Ridgid 6 1/2" circular saw. It weighs only 8 lbs. and works like a champ. We are installing cedar siding tomorrow and we will get it done with those jigs as we have in the past.
http://www.torontotool.com/
An obviously well thought out and constructed unit. In a day-to-day work environment, if I was working in one spot and had a helper to assist in moving material on/off the table, I might be tempted to consider one of these. The affordable entry price point is certainly appealing- you get a lot for your dollar.

The down-side, to me, tho, is the fact that one has to man-handle the material onto the machine, and work around the parameters of the machine itself; I work by myself. EZ does all that the Toronto Tools machine does, and lots more; and, in a smaller work environment, AND allows me to adapt the tool to changing work environments, depending on what task is at hand; on the jobsite, the adaptability of the EZ track is unrivaled (even w/home-made jigs). I've found, when I go to the jobsite, if I have a couple of sections of EZ track, maybe an EZ square, some EZ clamps, and my story stick, I'm good for 90% of almost any job, from dealing with sheet goods to lap siding to rough framing tasks to remodeling demands, switching from wood products to cement siding/trim and back again to wood, etc. The portability/adaptability, not to mention the robustness of the EZ extrusions, works well for me on the jobsite. If I need to work on sheet goods on the ground, no problem; if I need to work on sheet goods on the roof, no problem; if I'm straight-line ripping long timbers, no problem; cutting off rafter tails, no problem; need long-angle cuts where wall siding hits a roof? no problem; need precise vertical or horizontal cut-outs in a wall, no problem; etc. etc. All of it done w/EZ track.

Then, there's the EZ SSRK router attachment- sweet. (here's one fun project: http://www.tracksawforum.com/showthr...=butcher+block)

I agree w/Katie- perhaps try out some EZ track/clamps for a while to see what you think. I'm guessing you'll quickly get 'addicted' to it's versatility.
fwiw,
Rick
ps welcome to the EZ forum
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2015, 12:30 PM
sean9c sean9c is offline
 
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Never seen that Toronto Tool thing before. That's quite the contraption. Sure a lot of thought and fabrication went into that thing. Seems to sell for about the same price as equivalent EZ. Sort of makes me wonder about EZ prices but that's for another time.
IMO it has the same drawback as EZ has in that you have to rely on a circular saw. Circular saws just aren't designed for precision cutting.
Important to not forget that a big advantage to EZ or any tracksaw system is space efficiency. With a tablesaw or the Toronto Tool saw you need room to move the material, infeed and outfeed. With EZ and the material remaining stationary you can get by with a lot less workspace and a lot less energy spent moving material.
If you're looking at EZ you can get an awful lot of work done efficiently with a Universal Edge Guide and a Cabinetmaker.
If in your application you are going to be doing a lot of bevel cutting you might want to remember that with EZ using a regular circular saw you are relying on that saws bevel cutting ability and accuracy.
You can't by EZ extrusions on Google they are custom made for EZ. EZ will never manufacture their own extrusions
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:46 PM
Minnesota Marty Minnesota Marty is offline
 
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Ok, you guys know more about the EZ company then I do. If you say the extrusions are proprietary then I guess they are. They just look pretty common from what I have seen. I still maintain that from what I see from the outside looking in, which at this point is the only way I can, I see a well thought out product with a company not eager to get and maintain new customers. I go to their dealer to buy and I was talked out of it.

I was ready to buy. Then I try to join the forum that promotes their product and it takes me 4 days to get on so I can ask questions.
I am not a pessimistic guy but something about this just doesn't seem right. I could be wrong. I just don't want to hitch my wagon to a product that isn't going to be around.

Heck, far as I know my Woodworkers Store isn't going to be around. Something happened between Festool and Woodworkers store because as of the first of the year everything of Festool left their stores. But, that might be a discussion for another time.

Rick, I appreciate you taking the time to explain how you use it on your jobs. that was helpful. I work with one helper most of the time. I also sub out the physically demanding stuff. At 61, I try to save what gas is left in the tank. And that is precisely why I am looking at tools that help me to be more productive on the jobsite.

So much for now. I got to get back to work.

Marty
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2015, 02:54 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty View Post

At 61, I try to save what gas is left in the tank. And that is precisely why I am looking at tools that help me to be more productive on the jobsite.

Marty
heh-heh...... Great way to state it, Marty ("try to save what gas is left in the tank"); being a few years older than you (and still wearing the ol' toolbelt), I can definitely relate.

I also appreciate your perspective re. EZ-the Company (public presentation/image; will it be here for the long-haul?), and how that might relate to the longevity of their product. The good news goes like this: EZ track works- today, yesterday, tomorrow. With or without EZ supplied ACEs (anti-chip edges- there are alternatives), or with/without track saw bases (you can make your own), or with/without EZ clamps (use your own). So, if you have EZ track, you can begin to utilize it immediately, w/the convenience of Eurekazone Company backing you with available 'parts' (ACEs, clamps, etc.). IF Eurekazone Company disappears, your track is still useable, just like it is today. I think that's part of the appeal for me: once I possess it, my continued use of the EZ product is not dependent on the Company any more, other than for 'convenience' items. I'm not sure if that could be said for some of the other track-saw suppliers?

It would be great if there happened to be an EZ user near you, so you could 'sample' the goods before deciding. I'm in Texas, so that's a bit far (unless you're coming down for some great BBQ? ).
Rick
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