I have two 50" rails that I've had for about 2 years. I use it with my circular saw for knocking down sheet goods before I take them to my basement shop. I tried two other guide rail systems prior to using the EZ and it's a VERY good system. You have to attach a special base to your circular saw to run on the guide rails. Installation took me about 10 minutes. That involved 8 minutes to read about it, 1 minute to think about it, 1 minute to install it.
The rails work with zero clearance. If you look at the picture of them, the white extrusions in the side are removable and trim to the offset of your saw the first time you run the saw down the rail after that becoming a zero clearance (cut side) guide.
I havn't used their router plate but read that it is also very effective.
The clamping system on the rail takes some getting used to as you have to take into account where the clamps are going to fall.
I made this cutting table so the under rail clamps always have some place where they are not in the way:
The nice thing about this system as you can use your a saw/router you already have.
Now, I haven't used the Festool system, but it looks like it uses antislip pads on the bottom of it so it doesn't have to be clamped at all. The EZ system is less money and with a good blade in a saw you already have, it's more economical than the Festool system. Whether it's better, I doubt it, Festool stuff is pretty well thought out and equally well made, but the EZ smart system is excellent and one of the things that I've purchased that I wasn't hitting my head on the wall for getting.
I had no idea the Eurakazone title of the recent thread you posted to link to was about the EZ Smart stuff.
I never looked at that thread. The first time I heard the name EZ Smart was last week at our Breakfast meeting when Mack in Brooklin mentioned them. He even sent me the link and I didn't even remember the name Eurakazone in it, nor the name remind me of any recent thread titles. Walking and chewing gum at the same time has always been so hard for me, now this!
The other link has got lots of good info. I've only had a chance to go over a bit of it, and so far it seems to answer a lot of the comparison questions I've been wondering about.
Next week there's a Festool seminar at Frank Pellow's in Scarboro and I wanted to get my head wrapped around some of this stuff before going. Hope I have the time!
I have the EZ Smart 100" It has done everything promised. Absolutly accurate. There is a whole section dedicated to it over on Sawmill Creek, the inventor/manufacturer resides over there. One of the things I do like about it is the price promise. You can get the consumable parts, ie" ZCTI and guide parts at todays prices forever! I've been looking at there router attachments and I'm pretty sure I can jig something up on my own. Check them out on ebay.ca, you can usually get it for around $10 cheaper at the ebay store. I would highly recommend this system.
I have most of what they make and there system is top of the line well made and ease of use.
Without saying one is better then the other but is my choice because of price and quality also very good support.
Its like anything you will love it or hate it. I think it is the best on the market can do it all and use any saw made.
I have this rail for 3 years and it is still my "table saw" (due to limited space). It works fine for my purposes. It does not look as fancy as FT, but I don't think it cuts any less smooth than FT, especially with the makita 8 1/2 and freud blade. You can do lots of things with this rail system. I have built various things from dinning table to beds with it. I had no problem doing the edge joint with this rail but now I start to do more with hand tools so my record #7 works just fine for me jointing the wood.
In general, the rail system works as it claims. It is cheaper than FT, and it is made in USA, no 2 price differences between canada and USA, no problem shipping to Canada (i am in Calgary, AB). The owner, Dino will do anything to help you out. Not because he wants to sell his product, but he's just a nice guy.
I still wish I have the space for table saw, but I can leave without it for now and continue using this EZ rail. and I hope my new toy, the RIKON 14" bandsaw will fill in something that I am missing from not having a table saw.
If all you want to do is cut wood, EZ is fine. If you want to expand way beyond what EZ can itself expand at its maximum to, such as 32mm hole drilling for shelving or cabinet hardware, and want a saw that is truly superior to go along with your cutting tasks, then Festool is the way to go, even at the higher price all around.
I primarily looked at EZ to deal with panel crosscutting breakdown reasons, which was a major issue for me in my one car wide garage shop. But as I learned the bigger Festool advantage, EZ just didn't make sense to take further steps to advantage my ww foreseable future needs and wants.
Take the time before you buy anything EZ, to truly understand what you want and need now, and down the road potentially with what Festool can do, and suddenly Festool does not seem that expensive. Many have even found that they don't even need such perceived shop staples as a table saw or even got rid of the ones they had, even cabinet saws.
Take the time, like I did, to look at your BIG PICTURE before you take a course you may learn to regret later. I'm glad I did, and for me, it took years to get my head wrapped around it, and ultimately found that although I've spent a lot of money on a Festool army of tools and accessories, I wish I did it sooner. It saves you money in the long run, is an integrated system, speeds mundane tasks, increases my enjoyment using superior equipment, and actually saves me money even as a hobbiest.
There's a slew of things you can do with a Festool setup that you can never reasonably do otherwise, whether it be time or equipment available wise. Of note, is their specialization at dust extraction. NOBODY does this overall remotely better, or if close, unless you are into industrial situations spending tens of thousands. You may not think dust extraction is a biggee right now possibly, but as you get older, or get the issues with dust creeping into the rest of your house, Festool is the answer.
Even if you want to resell your Festool, typically they garner 80 cents on the dollar used, and sell readily. Most folks selling are upgrading, hard times, or had bought/needed now redundant
equipment. I just saw a guy sell one of Festools' older model track saws for that range, and it was gone in a day (ATF 55). I don't think (although I could be wrong, and you should investigate this yourself also possibly) that you can recoup the same with what is essentially the copycat of Festool with the EZ Smart alternative.
What I perceive also good about EZ; Dino seems to be a stand up guy dealing with hIm on the phone and pretty well everything I've ever read about him online; excellent system in itself, and even some threads on SMC I've read of people owning both saying how EZ is better at FT in some applications, but vice versa as well; EZ is compatible with multitude of saws, whereas FT is with their proprietor saw which they invented, and only as a result of their patent running out are there any other plunge/track saws now on the market now..
Good luck with your choice(s). You need to spend time wondering/pondering/extrapolating/conjuring/idealising/estimating etc, etc, what is best for you. Not an easy task for most.
I can't help with a comparison. I can just comment on my recent Festool experience. Lost in the Woods may be referring above to my recent ATF 55 purchase (from The Swap Meet here). I knew it was coming without the rails, but I had no idea how much the rails cost. I was a little bothered paying ~$300 for 110" inches of aluminum (55" rail $120 each connectors $20 each, 2 required). I nearly resold the saw instead. But I'd already played with it some, and was starting to develop a bit of a crush.
Last week I started slicing up some ply and MDF in my garage using the aforementioned purchases and I was very impressed. Rail systems are quicker and more accurate than I'd guessed and I was able to slice through several sheets at once quickly. I'm quite sure I'll get my return on investment on this. I'm an asthmatic marathon runner (okay, I haven't run one in 2 years and since then I've become more married and less thin, but plan on getting back in to it, maybe. Okay fine, but the asthma thing is real.) So dust is a pretty big deal to me. Even without the dust extractor connected, all the dust came through the dust port (and I was wearing my N95 until I left the room).
Yesterday, shortly after receiving a bonus at work, I slipped and fell in to Atlas tools and accidentally bought a Festool barrel jig saw. It's also wonderful. We cut up some hard maple at the store with the 'D' handle jig and the edge left was shinny smooth, which I didn't think possible with a jig saw. I want the new Rotex 90... It's safe to say, I've drunk the green cool-aid as the above Kevin says. I'm not sure I'm always going to get the best bang for my buck, but I'm pretty sure I'll never regret my green purchases.
Sorry to say but I did look at the big picture and picked EZ over FT. Why because it is a better system all round and if you looked at EZ system today it is built better and can do just as mutch and in most cases more then FT. Lots of FT owners want the EZ track for there FT saw and now that is also possible. Yes Eurekazone is the small guy and still around after 10 years against the big guys and still going strong. But please dont tell people that FT is better then EZ because it just not true but in your opinion it is and thats fine. In my opinion EZ or Eurekazone is a better deal all around and is a true system not just an upsell money machine. I know and have heard this going on for years about the two of them just judge for yourself and dont listen to all the bull out there people will always think because thats what they bought so its the best.
I only back EZ System because it is a fair player out there to you and will not try and sell you anything you dont need they even help you build your own table and show you how tell my who else does that. This is a system you pay 1500.00 and thats it your set nothing else to buy. It was not the first guy on the block but it is a better system because of one thing like the price and quality and strength. It cant do it all yet but can match and even do more then whats out there today and will get better at it where the others just sell something new to add to there flaude system already and guess what they don't care.Why I get upset with this crap about who is best because they think they are and thats just not true please just compare for yourself don't listen to me or anyone else have an open mind and I know what one you will pick out of four on the market now.