Author Topic: Festool/ Mafell Rails  (Read 13737 times)

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Offline Cheese

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Festool/ Mafell Rails
« on: April 17, 2015, 11:04 AM »
 Quote from JimH2

   
    "No matter what anyone buys take a look at the Mafell rail system. To say it is vastly superior to the Festool one is an understatement. The ends are perfectly square and their rail connector bests the use of two metal rods with recessed screws. I know you buy the Betterley rail squaring tool, but why should you? I am all in on Festool rails with virtually ever size except to 106" (too short for plywood) and the 197" (too long to be practical). The reason for all the lengths is that connector system is marginal at best. Festool could easily best what they currently have, though it would disappoint a lot of people."





@JimH2
I take it that the Mafell rails won't work on Festool tools?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 01:49 PM by SRSemenza »

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Offline JimH2

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 12:10 PM »
@JimH2
I take it that the Mafell rails won't work on Festool tools?

They won't, but the Mafell tools will work with the Festool rails. There is a plastic insert in the foot that can be removed to allow them to ride the rails (so to speak). You can search for "Mafell on Festool rails" for more info.

And Bosch (Europe/UK only) makes the exact same rails as Mafell (or one makes the others or licensed it).

Offline elfick

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 03:13 PM »
OK, has anyone investigated using Festools on a Mafell/Bosch rail? Their rail system with all the accessories looks amazing.

Offline jnug

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Mafell rail system
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 03:30 PM »
     Not commenting at all about what works and won't work Mafell to Festool or Festool to Mafell. But I have to admit to being surprised at how reasonable the pricing was for their rails. Again it might be a mute point in my case if they won't work with the Festool TS75. But they are not all that pricy. Nobody paying for Festool rails would be bowled over by the prices I am seeing for the Mafell rails.




« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 03:54 PM by SRSemenza »

Offline JimH2

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 04:53 PM »
OK, has anyone investigated using Festools on a Mafell/Bosch rail? Their rail system with all the accessories looks amazing.

They work. There are videos on YouTube you can watch (I think).

A quick read and rapid response to an earlier question got me. The correct answers are:

No: Festool on Mafell rails
Yes: Mafell on Festool rails (A good interim move until you can purchase some Mafell rails).

The unfortunate thing about the rails is that the longest one sold in the US is 5.2ft. The rails come in 2.6, 3.6, 5.2, 6.9, and 10.2 ft. Even though the connector is great I'd prefer having the 10.2 ft rail for sheet goods.

So the only way to do sheet goods is to purchase two 5.2ft rails as a 5.2ft & 3.6ft is too short (you need at foot on either side of the material).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 01:02 PM by JimH2 »

Offline Linbro

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 05:49 PM »
No, you can't use Festool tools on the Mafell guide rails.
Mafell make the rails for Bosch.
Yes, they are far superior to the Festool rails. (I have/use both brands)
The Mafell MT55 (plunge saw) will work on the Festool rails, but the better rail was part of the reason I upgraded to the Mafell saw, but I kept a couple of Festool rails for use with my 1400 router.

Offline elfick

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 03:12 PM »
Are the dimensions of the Mafell rail available anywhere? It seems like an interface plate might make it possible.

Offline Linbro

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2015, 06:10 PM »
That's the other great thing about the Mafell/Bosch rails - you don't need an extra foot either end of the rail, you can cut the full length from start to finish of rail.

Offline JimH2

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 08:22 PM »
That's the other great thing about the Mafell/Bosch rails - you don't need an extra foot either end of the rail, you can cut the full length from start to finish of rail.

Good to know. I bought the P1cc, but am holding off on rails until I get the MT55. Another plus for Mafell.

Offline jacko9

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2015, 08:25 PM »
Good discussion and since I haven't purchased a track saw (yet) I'm interested in this comparison from users of each or both saws and track systems.  One question I have is can I connect the Mafell saw to my Festool Ct extractor without a lot of interface issues?

Jack

Offline thedude306

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2015, 08:55 PM »
Good discussion and since I haven't purchased a track saw (yet) I'm interested in this comparison from users of each or both saws and track systems.  One question I have is can I connect the Mafell saw to my Festool Ct extractor without a lot of interface issues?

Jack

No issues with the Mafell saw on the CT extractor.  I had a CT36ac in the shop for a couple weeks and it connected fine. 

I know some guys think this is crazy, but the Mafell/bosch rails are one of the best parts of the track saw.  There are lots of other great things about the Mafell, but the rails are far superior IMO.  Both saws have good points and will serve you well, but the rails put the MT55 over the top. 

There are lots of items available for the mafell/bosch rails as well, you just can't get most in NA.   I've chosen to import some of those and it's been great.
Brad T.

Offline Linbro

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2015, 08:56 PM »
Yes you can, Jack. I run my MT55 with my CT Midi. The 27mm hose fits straight in, but I use the 36mm hose with the Festool reducer. Dust collection is superb.

Offline Luzzy

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2015, 10:35 PM »
My own personal saws are Mafell MT55,KSS300,400. For work we use The TS55/75 and a bunch of different rail lengths.

The main reason i switched personally to the Mafell saws was initially the tracks. I hated the Festool connection system and having to align it with another tool after connecting. With the Mafell F160 rails it's fast and simple and straight. I don't need long lengths because the shorter ones just work.Even when connected.

The MT55 is a great saw and I would say built like a tank. The TS55 is also a pleasure to use. But the rails system of the Mafell wins hands down. Oh and that little KSS300 , well it's an incredibly compact but ridiculously versatile saw.

Offline jacko9

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2015, 12:06 AM »
Thanks for the info guys,

Jack

Offline ScotF

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2015, 01:07 AM »
I have both Mafell and Festool rails. Mafell rails attach to each other much easier than Festool as others have said. The rubber strips are mounted inside a channel so no coming off or messy adhesive to deal with and the sides are machined so that they are dead straight and square. They are thicker and more rigid. There are two clamping channels on the bottom so you can clamp thin stock right on the cut edge, which is nice when working with narrow stock. The plastic cap on the end prevents the hose and cord snagging the entire width of the rail.

Festool's rail system has more NA accessories and I actually like the green strips on top that the saw rides along - less friction and less wear to the base plate of your saw. But, attaching rails is a pain and the plastic end piece to keep the hose and cord from snagging only covers part of the width of the rail and your cord can sometimes get caught in the channel.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2015, 02:11 AM »
That's the other great thing about the Mafell/Bosch rails - you don't need an extra foot either end of the rail, you can cut the full length from start to finish of rail.

I am not sure I follow ........ what is different that makes it so you don't need extra rail for run in / out at both ends of a cut?

Seth

Offline Linbro

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 03:09 AM »
The saw base stays locked onto the rail for the whole length - it has a continuous groove that accepts the rib on the rail. Maybe the base is longer than the TS55? I only found this out when I first cut the splinter strip.
I should have said, you still want some run in/out, you just don't need anywhere near as much - eg. the 2100 rail is plenty long enough to rip a standard 2040mm door.
And yes, you can tighten /loosen the saw to the rail.

Offline elfick

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 04:00 AM »
Are the adjustment nibs inside the diameter of the blade? It seems like that would be the only way to increase the cut length.

Offline andy5405

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 06:45 AM »
I always enjoy a "Top Trumps" tool discussion when someone is banging on about Festool. The Mafell user steps in and it's normally game over.

Offline elfick

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2015, 11:01 AM »
Anyone able/willing to put together a sketchup of a mafell rail? Or get a good pic of the profile and some dimensions?
I checked the ketchup warehouse but didn't find anything and google hasn't turned up an useful images.
I'm convinced an interface shoe would allow the TS to ride the mafell rail.

Offline JimH2

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2015, 11:12 AM »
The saw base stays locked onto the rail for the whole length - it has a continuous groove that accepts the rib on the rail. Maybe the base is longer than the TS55? I only found this out when I first cut the splinter strip.
I should have said, you still want some run in/out, you just don't need anywhere near as much - eg. the 2100 rail is plenty long enough to rip a standard 2040mm door.
And yes, you can tighten /loosen the saw to the rail.

I will caveat this with I like to be plunged before entering a cut (unless a plunge cut is required).

One other note on the rails is the splinter strip which is huge improvement as it slides into a profile on the edge of the real. Mafell really put some thought into their rail design (groove for saw base, slide in splinter strips, easy multiple rail connections, etc). I attached an image that highlights their rails.

I have never had much luck replacing my Festool ones. I have tried a lot methods, but none seem to work. Thinking is was the tight roll it comes on I took the time to layout under the rail and allow it to go flat before applying it. It seems the adhesive is just not as good as what comes from the factory. On my next replacement I am going to take some fine sandpaper to scuff up the adhesion area.


Offline Qwas

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2015, 12:18 PM »
Let me point out a big difference in these 2 guide rail systems. The most important thing on the rail is the channel that the saw will be riding on. This is important for saw stability and safety. Since this channel is the highest point on the guide rail, you need to think about it getting bumped and knocked around.

The Festool channel is over 5/8 inch wide and 1/4 inch tall. It also has radiuses edges. 

The Mafell channel is 1/10 inch wide and 1/8 inch tall. The edges have no notice radius.

The Festool channel will be more "solid" (less willing to bend) to side forces. The Mafell channel, with no radius, is very likely to get nicked and damaged during transport without the bag. I would keep a file handy to smooth out those nicks.

Looking at the Mafell MT-55 saw base, I would say you need as much guide rail overhanging the workpiece as you do with the Festool system. The MT-55 saw base is very similar to the TS-55 saw base. You can google the saws model numbers and go to "images" to see the bases.

Both guide rails have about the same thickness so there are no advantages there.

Offline Locks14

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2015, 01:45 PM »
Let me point out a big difference in these 2 guide rail systems. The most important thing on the rail is the channel that the saw will be riding on. This is important for saw stability and safety. Since this channel is the highest point on the guide rail, you need to think about it getting bumped and knocked around.

The Festool channel is over 5/8 inch wide and 1/4 inch tall. It also has radiuses edges. 

The Mafell channel is 1/10 inch wide and 1/8 inch tall. The edges have no notice radius.

The Festool channel will be more "solid" (less willing to bend) to side forces. The Mafell channel, with no radius, is very likely to get nicked and damaged during transport without the bag. I would keep a file handy to smooth out those nicks.

Looking at the Mafell MT-55 saw base, I would say you need as much guide rail overhanging the workpiece as you do with the Festool system. The MT-55 saw base is very similar to the TS-55 saw base. You can google the saws model numbers and go to "images" to see the bases.

Both guide rails have about the same thickness so there are no advantages there.

Hello All.

First post here, been a long time lurker but this post caused me to want to join.

I am a long time Mafell user and also have some significant investment in Festool. I like both equally as brands, but favour some tools over the other between the two brands.

Festool have the better routers, the domino machines are unique and fantastic and Festool try to innovate more than any other tools manufacturer I can think of.

That said the jigsaw and track saw from Mafell is far superior.

As for the above comment, having used both, the Mafell rails are far superior.  Their shape and profile make them less susceptible to deforming and as noted above less of the rail length is wasted compared to Festool. As for the height of the channel, etc this is certainly a difference but neither a pro nor a con. The Mafell rails I have had for 6+ years take daily use and transport without being wrapped in cotton wool and never have they got nicked or needed filing down. It's a moot point and clutching at straws to try to justify this as a benefit.

The most important aspect of the rails IMO, is the fact that they align perfectly when connecting two rails together and two 1600mm rails joined are just as good as a single rail of the same length, there's no need to buy the bigger rails unless you are 100% shop based and use them all day every day.

I have also used the Bosch equivalent that Mafell make for Bosch and that is 95% as good as the Mafell saw at approx £100-£150 less money and uses the same rails.

So my preference would be:

1) Mafell
2) Bosch
3) Festool

Offline saweet

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2015, 03:38 PM »
locks14 - I couldn't of said it any better myself !

Offline jnug

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2015, 11:41 PM »
Seems a shame that the Bosch track saw is not available in the US so that we could at least have a look at in the flesh.

The Mafill design for the rails does look very nice. Has the look of a precision instrument. I was wondering if there anything about the Mafill/Bosch rails besides that connecting system that makes them more of a precision instrument than the Festool. In other words, if you don't have to connect them up and putting aside the strip and whether it is easy or hard to install, is there anything about the Mafill/Bosch rail that makes it more on a precision measuring/marking instrument than the Festool?

Offline ScotF

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2015, 12:44 AM »
The sides of the rails are machined and thus perfectly straight and square. The rubber strip fits in a channel and so will not come unglued. The protector on the end covers the enter width of the rail and so no chance of the cord/hose snagging at all. There are also two sets of track on the bottom allowing for clamping stock right at the cut line - so you can work with really narrow stock safely. The rails are slightly thicker too - so a little more rigid.

Now - I personally like the little green strips on the top of the rail of Festool rails to aid sliding the saw and protecting the saws shoe and so that is a plus for Festool. But the Mafell rails seem to be a little better engineered in most other areas IMHO.

Offline elfick

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2015, 09:02 AM »
as noted above less of the rail length is wasted compared to Festool
Can someone please explain why this would be the case?
Are there no adjustment nibs? If so, are they closer the the middle of the saw? If not, is play a concern?

You really don't need as much track lead in/out if you are willing to plunge into the material. I don't have my TS with me to measure, but on the 55 I suspect it is approximately 6-8". The actual lead in would be from the rear nib to the blade centerline. Lead out would be from the front nib to the blade centerline.

Regardless, I don't see how this is a function of the rail rather than the tool.

I had originally jumped on the thread because The Mafell rails do look very well engineered and have a couple improvements over the Festool rails. I had been thinking of an interface shoe to allow the TS to run on a Mafell rail, but after playing with a few ideas, it didn't really make much sense. The Mafell rail is already thicker and adding a shoe which would be, at a minimum, as thick as the height of the guide spur, would significantly reduce the TS cut depth.

An interface shoe may still be a good idea for the flexible Mafell rail, but for the rigid rail, it seemed better to address the shortcoming(s) of the Festool rail. So far, it seems the posted benefits of the Mafell rail are:

   1) Thicker, thus more rigid
   2) Nicer splinter strip
   3) Two clamping channels
   4) Machined ends
   5) Better End cover
   6) Significantly better connector

I'm playing with some ideas for #6.

For the rest, I can't really see that there is much to be done except to design a new extrusion that combines the Mafell rail design with a Festool channel. I don't see any reason this couldn't be done. Googling for "custom aluminium extrusion" gives quite a few hits. The only downside to this is that you'd loose so cut depth due to the thicker rail. The EZSMART Guide Rail Extrusion probably comes close. http://www.eurekazone.com/product_p/ezxh736264.htm

To be honest, though I see the benefit in all this items, only the connector makes enough of a difference to me to be worth pursuing.

Offline promark747

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2015, 09:49 AM »

So far, it seems the posted benefits of the Mafell rail are:

   
   5) Better End cover
   

As for #5, it bugs me that Festool hasn't redesigned this simple little piece.  From what I've read, this end cover was for the previous generation of rail, and Festool didn't change it when they came out with the new ones.

Offline jnug

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2015, 12:27 PM »
I would think the the way the strip interfaces to the rail itself would have been easy enough to address in the original design. Its an extrusion right. So you just design the extrusion with a slot for the strip and BANG.....no more adhesive for strip to rail interface. Sliding a composite or rubber into a the slot of an aluminum extrusion has been around for a pretty long time now. So unless Mafill has some sort of use patent floating around, that one would seem to have been a matter of just thinking about it long enough to come to that conclusion.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Festool/ Mafell Rails
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2015, 12:41 PM »
I would think the the way the strip interfaces to the rail itself would have been easy enough to address in the original design. Its an extrusion right. So you just design the extrusion with a slot for the strip and BANG.....no more adhesive for strip to rail interface. Sliding a composite or rubber into a the slot of an aluminum extrusion has been around for a pretty long time now. So unless Mafill has some sort of use patent floating around, that one would seem to have been a matter of just thinking about it long enough to come to that conclusion.

Think floor sweeps/weather strips on the bottom of storm doors. They all slide into an extruded slot. However, if Mafell has a patent on the rail, maybe they've included the slot as one of the claims on the patent.