Mafell vs Makita : cordless plunge saws Dec 2, 2018 14:49:19 GMT -5 jimbouk, chippiegary, and 2 more like this
Post by aas on Dec 2, 2018 14:49:19 GMT -5
I'm in the lucky position to have both the MT55 18 bl and the Makita DSP600, so can make a comparison. I paid about 700 euro for the Mafell without batteries, it came with a systainer, parallel guide, dust bag, and depth guide, and the standard 1.8mm kerf blade. The Makita was about 270 euro in a cardboard box - no extras - and a 1.4mm kerf blade.
The Mafell runs on 1x 18v - I'm using Metabo 8,0ah's, the Makita 2x 18v, I'm using 5,0ah's.
I use both Mafell and Festool rails, my Festool rails are mainly for the OF2200 router guide, so the splinter strip has been cut to match the Mafell MT55. It was easy enough to adjust the Makita up to the same cut line.
The Mafell oozes quality and is several steps ahead of the Festool (caveat : I only ever owned the TS55, grossly under powered, the TSC55 is apparently more acceptable). Power using 1x 18v battery is less than the MT55cc (which I also have), but on a par or better than the TS55. One of my reasons for buying the Mafell was to use the MT55 blades I already own, but I do wonder if it could do with slightly thinner blades. Cutting normal sheet material, there is no problem, but 12mm solid surface and the you can hear the difference in the motor. Also ripping 40mm solid wood (with a Festool panther blade) is near the limit. Physically speaking the battery position on the Mafell is an ugly after thought, like growth! - form definitely came after function.
The Makita feels cheap after the Mafell - it's usuall Makita quality, i.e. very good, it's just the Mafell is that good. There are a couple of things I don't like, but not deal breakers. The plunge depth setting is a plastic wing nut - a bit fiddly after being used to the push and slide on the Mafell (and Festool). I also feel that the trigger needs excessive pressure. Several times the saw has stopped mid cut, only for me to realise I haven't kept the pressure up on the trigger. Cutting sheet material is a breeze. Even using the standard supplied blade (a new kind of scalloped cut on the teeth) the saw breezes through rip cuts, tried up to 50mm thick. Obviously there is the 2nd battery pushing power up, but also the blade is over 20% thinner than the Mafell. The slight downside is that there is evidence of very slight blade deflection in the cut, but is minimal and remains a glue ready cut, but would need sanding or planing if it were to be visible. Physically, the saw looks more of a beast with its two batteries.
If you need to regularly cut melamine or finished particle board, I would go for the Mafell. It's thicker blade gives more stability to the cut - it really is a precision saw. If you just need to cut straight but the finish is not too important, the Makita is a lot cheaper and very powerful. I've purchased this as my 'beater' plunge saw and it will fill the role very well, but it would suffice as the one and only if on a tighter budget - it is significantly cheaper than the Mafell.