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  • EZ smart/Festool question

    I have a sub that does work for me on a fairly regular basis. He's a door specialist and that's it. He only does exterior doors for me in the Philly area (exterior doors can be a royal PITA in Philly since most of the houses are brick and very old, so it's not worth my time to do them). He's basically a kid and doesn't have much money to put into tools right now though. I let him use my Festool TS55 the other day for a couple of door openings that were way off. He went nuts over it and now he wants one. I suggested to him that he look into EZ Smart instead because it's a lot less money if you already have a saw to use with it. He'd only the need the rails and base plate. Only problem is, he only has a 7-1/4" saw and I'm not sure if that is going to be able to handle 1-3/4" doors for him. The TS55 cuts a 1-3/4" door no problem. Does anyone have an EZ smart system that can verify what the cut depth is with a 7-1/4" saw? I looked on their website but couldn't find this...

    There's no point in him getting it if it won't cut that deep. I told him that I'd buy him the Festool if need be, and I'd just deduct a little from each job he does for me until he pays it off. I'd rather see him go the cheaper route if possible though.

    Anbody care to comment?

  • #2
    Re: EZ smart/Festool question

    Lou, I have the EZ & you're right in your conclusion that a 7 1/4" saw won't cut 1 3/4" deep. In fact, IIRC, it doesn't even cut 1 1/2" deep. You'd need an 8 1/4" saw in order to cut to the depth you're looking for. At that point, would you be looking at investing in both a new saw & the EZ? Might be better off with the Festool, if that's the case.

    Greg
    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: EZ smart/Festool question

      Originally posted by Lou Miller
      IDoes anyone have an EZ smart system that can verify what the cut depth is with a 7-1/4" saw? I looked on their website but couldn't find this...
      I have the EZ smart and I know a 7-1/4" saw will not cut 1-3/4", I think it may even be short of 1-1/2". The 8-1/4" saws will cut 1-3/4" but I would push him towards the Festool system.

      *edit* I guess I had an old window open and didn't see Greg's post. It seems that great minds...
      Jon Blakemore
      www.RappahannockINC.com

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      • #4
        Re: EZ smart/Festool question

        Kid plays his cards right he might be able to get a bargain. When he calls them, ask to talk to the repair shop. When trade shows end, all the "used" tools get pawned off at a discount. I got one of my rotex's that way for a decent chunk off. Might save him a buck.
        Real trucks run on compression

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        • #5
          Re: EZ smart/Festool question

          Thanks everyone. I'm just going to buy him the Festool and let him pay me back over time. Maybe something like $20 a door he does for me. He typically does about 7 or 8 doors a month for me, so it won't take much more than 3 or 4 months for it to be paid off. Most of the doors he does for me are really out of square and require some odd cuts, so this type of saw will pay for itself over time, IMO. I know I use mine all the time for tapered cuts and so forth and it's great.

          I've never used an EZ, but it seems odd that the rails and base plate take that much away from depth of cut. Almost an inch or more? That's a good bit, IMO.

          I will check on a discounted one first, thanks for the suggestion.

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          • #6
            Re: EZ smart/Festool question

            The EZ Smart does not even cut a 1-3/8" door. The reason is that the base plate is probably 3/8" thick and the track about 3/8" too. Other than that, it's great.
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            • #7
              Re: EZ smart/Festool question

              Not to nitpick, but at least one of them has to be thicker than 3/8" then. My 7-1/4" saws cut to 2-3/8" with just the saw itself. That means you'd end up with 1-5/8" with just 3/8 and 3/8. Just seems like a lot of depth to lose with them. The Festool, with a 6-1/4" (or is it 6-1/2"?) blade cuts to 1-15/16" (actually it's closer to 1-31/32") while on the rail. Their bigger saw (7-1/2" blade) cuts to 2-7/16" while on the rail. You only lose 3/16" for the rails with Festool.

              EZ is a heck of a lot cheaper though. He loved how nice the saw was more than anything else with the Festool, so he'll be happy as can be to get it. Now when he tries to raise his prices with me, I have some leverage to use against him too. :)

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              • #8
                Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                My understanding is that if you use the ofset plate with the EZ system you can cut a 1 3/4 door with a 7 1/4 saw. Of course that dimishes the efficiency of the system, but if bucks are short.

                I just make a regular shooting board out of 1/2 Mdf or plywood and use my standard saw. Costs me about $20 to do that.

                Kirk

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                • #9
                  Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                  Originally posted by Greg Di
                  The EZ Smart does not even cut a 1-3/8" door. The reason is that the base plate is probably 3/8" thick and the track about 3/8" too. Other than that, it's great.
                  1x guide and 7-1/4" saw cuts 1-3/8" with room to spare.
                  www.telianconstruction.com
                  Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. - Zeuxis, 400 B.C.

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                  • #10
                    Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                    For me the depth of cut was a huge issue. I also do a lot of doors. I didn't like the idea of having to cart around an 8" plus circ saw to cut doors. The idea - as recommended by the EZ crew- of "Flipping" the door over to make the second cut seemed crazy to me. 1 3/4" 8 foot by 4 foot mahogany door should be picked up and moved as little as possible as far as I am concerned...but maybe I'm just weak....

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                    • #11
                      Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                      I did the same thing for years. I still have a setup that I made with 1/4" hardboard and 3/4" plywood for a fence. Sure, it works. However, I used the Festool once and that was it for me, I had to have it. Probably not necessary, but I'm glad I have it. One big difference between the two is that the home mage jigs can still allow the saw to wander off the fence or straight edge. With the Festool, and EZ, they are held in place by a raised rib that keeps the saw exactly where it's supposed to be. You really have to try awfully hard to make anything but a straight cut. Also, with the Festool, you usually don't need to clamp it to the work piece. The rubber on the bottom of the rails holds it in place for you. Granted, these are small differences, and might only save you a few seconds on each cut. Add up all of those few seconds over the thousands of cuts that many of us make, and these tools will eventually pay for themselves.

                      I break down sheet goods with mine mostly. I consider it one of the best tool purchases I've ever made. Could I do without it? Sure, I made do with just a chalk line and no guide of any kind for years. Now that I have it, you couldn't get it away from me.

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                      • #12
                        Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                        Originally posted by Lou Miller
                        Also, with the Festool, you usually don't need to clamp it to the work piece. The rubber on the bottom of the rails holds it in place for you. Granted, these are small differences, and might only save you a few seconds on each cut. Add up all of those few seconds over the thousands of cuts that many of us make, and these tools will eventually pay for themselves.
                        It's more than a few seconds to clamp a shooter board to a door. If you undercut doors by the hundereds it's a huge saving in time and energy and no piles of sawdust to clean up or inhale. My Festool saw has paid for itself many times over.
                        I had to cut down 112 SC maple doors in a nearly finished building last December. I didn't have the Festool for the first 6 I cut down I used a skil saw and a shooter board. After I was done it took me the best part of an hour to clean up the sawdust off the ceiling tiles, windows and light fixtures. The remaining 106 were done with the Festool, all I had to deal with were offcuts and a little bit of sawdust direstly under the sawhorses.

                        dave

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                        • #13
                          Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                          There was a previous post that I never had time to respond to where someone kind of got a little upset with me for saying something like the EZ is a Volkeswagon and the Festool a Prosche. But I guess what I really meant was, the Festool is a saw & guide system. The EZ is only a guide. It's a darn good guide system, too. I've used mine a LOT. But recently I wanted to start using a totally dust-proof system and only the Festool falls in that category--it's a saw and guide and vacum and sander and router and etc. system. Plus the Festool is a once-in-a-lifetime tool. That makes a big difference to me. It's a great low-vibration, low-noise tool.
                          Gary

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                          • #14
                            Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                            Gary, On some of the woodworking forums that I read, there's a lot of heated debates as to which of the two systems is better. Some of these debates get a little ridiculous. For a hobbiest, or homeowner, I can certainly see where the EZ is more than enough tool. For people like us though, I really think the Festool is the superior tool. Dave K gave a good example of how the Festool system excels at the stuff we do. I couldn't be happier with mine. My only complaint, and it's a big one, is the initial cost. I bought the TS55, the MFT1080, an additional 55" rail, the accessory package, and a hose to hook up to my Fein vac. It cost me a total of a little over $1100. That's an awful lot to pay for any tool, IMO. I don't think mine has paid for itself yet, but I'm sure with enough time it certainly will. EZ is a whole lot cheaper, but I think it's limited moreso than the Festool is. I guess it depends on what you want to do with the tool.

                            I have a love/hate relationship with all of my Festool stuff. I hate paying for it, but I love the results I get with them.

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                            • #15
                              Re: EZ smart/Festool question

                              Lou, I look forward to being able to justify my next Festool purchase.(I can talk myself into it pretty easily) I, like you, love the way the saw performs and as long as it is making me money, I will gladly pay the price for the better quality tool and not look back. We get a certain satisfaction from the way a tool feels and performs and that adds to our enjoyment during the day. ;) Bill

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