Do your woodworking projects require that you make long and accurate rip cuts? If that is the case, you can achieve that fast and effortlessly using a track saw.
Although a track saw might resemble a circular saw, the two are not the same. With a track saw, you can make long and accurate cuts, thanks to the included guide rails that help you to move in a straight line while cutting.
Also, track saws act like plunge saws. You can lay them flat on the workpiece so that the blade can protrude from the bottom and plunge into the workpiece to cut it.
Therefore, once you purchase a track saw, you can be sure to accomplish plenty of projects including those you can perform using a table saw, miter saw, or radial arm saw.
When shopping for a track saw, however, I can assure you that it will not be an easy task.
Track saws are made available by lots of manufacturers, and worse still, all models are not the same, which means that it is up to you to do your research aiming to locate the best track saw.
To help you with that, we did our part and narrowed it down, and provided a buyer’s guide that will help you make an informed buying decision. Read on.
Top 7 Track Saws Comparison Table
|Picture||Name||Power Consumption||Blade Diameter||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Festool 575387 Ts 55 Req-F-Plus Plunge Cut Track Saw||1200 Watts||6-1/4 inches||4.7|
|2. Triton TTS1400 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Track Saw||1400 Watts||6-1/2 inches||3.5|
|3. BOSCH GKT13-225L Tools Track Saw||1560 Watts||6-1/2 inches||4.4|
|4. Makita SP6000J Plunge Circular Saw||750 Watts||6-1/2 inches||4.8|
|5. Evolution 027-0004C Multi-Material Circular Track Saw Kit||1500 Watts||7-1/4 inches||4.2|
|6. DEWALT FLEXVOLT DCS520T1 Cordless TrackSaw Kit||360 Wh||6-1/2 inches||4.6|
|7. WEN CT1065 |
Plunge Cut Sidewinder Circular Track Saw
|1100 Watts||6-1/2 inches||4.5|
What to Consider When Buying a Track Saw
What’s the size of the track saw’s blade? Well, you must know that track saws come in different blade sizes. Small models integrate blades with a diameter of up to 4.5”, and such blades are suitable for cutting material that is around 1” thick.
Medium models integrate blades with a 6.5” diameter, and such models can cut materials with a thickness that is around 2”. On the other hand, larger models integrate blades with a diameter of 8.5” thick, and they are best suited for cutting material that is about 2.75” thick.
Therefore, think about the thicknesses of the materials you will be cutting so that you can get a track saw with the ideal blade sizes.
Second, you will want to think about the maximum speed the track saw can achieve. Typically, powerful commercial track saws highlight motor speeds ranging from up to 2,000 RPMs and up to 5,000 RPMs.
For the best value for money, we recommend that you purchase a track saw with an adjustable speed. The ability to adjust the speed allows you to work on different materials with the required accuracy and speed.
For instance, you can use the higher speeds for softer wood including plywood and framing lumber.
On the other hand, lower speeds are suitable for dense wood including walnut to protect the wood from unsightly burn marks and to maintain the good cutting condition of the blades.
Tracks come in different lengths to let you handle different projects. Depending on different manufacturers, you will come across tracks ranging from 24” long to 197” long.
Therefore you will want to determine the possible lengths of the wood you will be working on to make the right purchase. However, you could opt to purchase shorter tracks and use extensions to lengthen your track if need be.
The shortcoming of this is that you could end up with an inaccurate cut if the tracks fail to connect precisely. On the other hand, purchasing longer tracks could obstruct you when working in a tight space. Therefore, try and determine the ideal track length for your projects and you will be good to go.
Corded vs. Cordless
Track saws are available in two types; cordless and corded models. In most cases, corded models are hyped because of their powerful nature. These models are required to be plugged into an electrical wall outlet for them to perform.
The fact that corded track saws do not use batteries means that you do not have to worry about a low battery in the middle of your project. Hence, you will never have to deal with unsightly saw marks because of the need to change a battery.
Cordless models on the other hand use batteries. These models are not as powerful as the corded track saws. However, because of the integrated batteries, you can use them anywhere, which makes them an ideal choice for portable track saws.
If you opt to purchase a corded track saw, you must pay attention to the cord length to ensure that is adequate depending on the location of your power outlet source. Moreover, the power cord should be long enough to give you more range while working with long tracks and long pieces of wood.
Therefore, ensure that your tracks saw has a long power cord and if it is not adequate, purchase an extension cord that will let you obtain the required reach.
Top 3 Best Track Saw Reviews
Achieve a perfect cut every time using the Festool 575387 Ts 55 Req-F-Plus Plunge Cut Track Saw. This saw can deliver straight, splitter-free, and glue-ready joints when paired with the included guide rail.
The guide rail is 55” long so that the saw can make precision cuts up to 49” long.
Reasons to Purchase the Festool 575387
Spring-loaded riving knife
To begin with, this tool features a spring-loaded riving knife. Also referred to as the splitter, the riving knife enables the cut kerf to stay open while keeping the material far from the back of the blade.
This prevents the material from pinching the blade to reduce the chances of kickback while keeping you in control at all times.
Nothing stresses a track saw user like changing the blades of the tool when the need arises. While using the Festool 575387, this doesn’t have to be challenging. The saw features a fast fix system.
This system locks the arbor and the switch simultaneously. The benefit of this is easy arbor bolt removal for fast, easier, and safer changes of the blades.
Included Guide Rail
For the best value for money, the track saw comes in a bundle that contains a guide rail. The guide rail is made of aluminum that is durable and lightweight to enhance portability.
Also, the rail features non-skid self-clamping strips. The dual strips prevent movement during the cutting process for accurate cuts and guaranteed user safety.
Integrated Splinter Guard
An additional benefit of the track saw is the integrated splinter guard. In particular, there is a guide rail splinter guard and a replaceable splinter guard on the TS track saw.
These features result in zero tear-out cuts to reduce material wastage and the need to redo the work.
Ability to Provide Precise Material Processing
Finally, for precise material processing, we recommend that you use the Festool 575387. The saw features a micro-adjustable depth indicator.
The indicator features two cursor lines. Using them, you can ensure accurate material processing, whether you are using the guide rail or not.
For fast, clean, and accurate cuts through different types of wood, we recommend the Triton TTS1400 Plunge Track Saw. It is a performance-ready track saw that comes with a blade, a pair of carbon brushes, and a dust outlet adaptor.
The track saw features a flat blade housing. This enables it to work right up to the edge of the workpiece, a measure that makes it an excellent choice for cutting hardwood flooring or trimming the doors.
Reasons to Purchase the Triton TTS1400
Fast And Safe Blade Changes
This track saw can facilitate fast, easy, and safe blade changes. It adopts a blade change mode. In this mode, the lockout power switch activates to protect the saw from starting when changing the blades for guaranteed user safety.
Better still, there is an easily accessible shaft lock that allows you to access the blade through the blade guard without having to remove the cover.
Soft Grip Handles
What’s more, the Triton TTS1400 is one of the best track saws that is comfortable to use. It features soft-grip handles.
These handles deliver a more comfortable use and better control to ensure your comfort while handling projects that take a lot of time.
Mode Selector Dial And Three Working Modes
The TTS1400 track saw integrates three operation modes. These include the blade-change mode, plunge mode, and scribe mode. The blade mode allows for fast blade changes without sacrificing safety.
On the other hand, the plunge mode provides accurate and stable cuts without sacrificing maneuverability while the scribe mode facilitates long and straight cuts suitable for trimming doors and hardwood floors without splintering.
To ensure quick transitions between the modes, a mode selector dial is included to assist with the changes.
Ability to Provide Accurate Cuts
Another reason that makes the TTS1400 track saw an excellent investment is the ability to provide accurate cuts. To facilitate this, the tool integrates a bevel adjustment that adjusts the cuts from 0-48 degrees for precise angle cuts.
Adding to that, the saw features a constant speed control that maintains the control of the saw for accurate cuts while gliding through the wood.
Last but not least, the track saw houses a powerful motor. The 12A, 1400watts motor provides a variable no-load speed of 2000-5300rpm.
As a result, the track saw can cut through the hardest woods while providing speeds of up to 5000rpms for increased speed and efficiency.
The BOSCH GKT13-225L Tools Track Saw is an excellent choice for a track saw that is designed to deliver quick and precise cuts. The saw features constant electronics so that it can maintain its speed in more demanding jobs.
Also, it includes a specialized 48-tooth 6.5” track saw blade that provides smooth cutting results.
Reasons to Purchase the BOSCH GKT13-225L
The Bosch GKT13-225L has a plunge mechanism. This action enables the saw to provide the power and precision that is required for making table-saw quality cuts on wood and wood-based products.
As a result, besides providing quality cuts on wood, the track saw can deliver accurate cuts on plywood and particle board while ensuring an accurate depth of the cut.
Single Pivot Point
Second, the track saw incorporates a single pivot point. Because of this, the track can be positioned in the same way while making bevel and non-bevel cuts from -1° to +47°.
When looking for a durable track saw that is safe to use, the Bosch Tools Track Saw is an ideal choice. It adopts an overload protection system. This system protects the motor from overheating, a measure that ensures the longevity of the saw.
Efficient Extraction of Dust
Another benefit of the track saw is the ability to maintain a clean working space. The saw integrates a dust extraction and swiveling hose port.
The port can connect to a portable vacuum cleaner for efficient extraction of the dust to help you maintain a clean working area.
Track Guidance System
Finally, this tool integrates a track guidance system. Ideally, there are front and rear knobs that adjust the fit of the saw to the track. This helps to deliver precision end-to-end cuts and plunge cuts for the best cutting experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Track Saw?
A track saw is a handheld circular saw that features a long rectangular guide rail also referred to as the metal track. During use, the saw slides on the rail, a measure that enables it to make long and precise cuts
A track saw is mostly used by DIYers and professionals, thanks to the lightweight design, ease of use, and high levels of accuracy.
How to Use a Track Saw?
Before using the track saw, ensure that you have set the right saw blade for the task. The blade must be sharp so that it can cut through the material easily.
Next, adjust the riving knife so that it is located at the right distance to prevent kickbacks. Once you have adjusted the riving knife, set the proper cutting depth so that you can cut smoothly and achieve accurate cuts. Next, secure the guide rail to the guide rail and attach the metal track to the workpiece.
During use, press the plunge release so that it can extend the blade from the tool’s housing. Next, press the trigger that activates the motor before releasing the plunge release.
Allow the blade to reach the maximum RPM then feed it into the workpiece. Hold the track saw firmly onto the workpiece moving on the metal track along a straight line.
What Is a Track Saw Used For?
A track saw is designed for cutting through wood products only. You should never use it for non-wood materials including aluminum, steel, or melamine to avoid damaging it and the blade.
You can use the saw to make cross cuts, long rip cuts, or angular cuts. Also, a track saw is efficient for slicing large pieces of wood into smaller rectangular pieces.
Should I Buy a Table Saw or Track Saw?
Well, the answer to this question depends on your needs.
If you need a portable type of saw, we recommend that you buy a track saw. At the same time, a track saw is a better investment when you need a high-quality saw for cutting large pieces of boards.
The reason is the handy design, the ability to accommodate larger pieces of wood, and the included track that enables the saw to stay stable when cutting long pieces of wood.
On the other hand, table saws are a better choice for milling operations. These saws provide a higher dimensional accuracy because of their fence system. This system also provides higher repeatability which makes them more accurate in milling operations.
Can You Turn a Circular Saw Into a Track Saw?
Yes, you can convert any circular saw into a track saw for a percentage of the amount you could spend purchasing a track saw. To do so, you will be required to get a few more accessories including the track to actualize your conversion.
Can You Cross Cut With a Plunge Saw?
Yes, a plunge saw can perform crosscuts and you can also use it for long rip cuts, or angular cuts. The saw integrates a blade that spins and cuts with more sophistication enabling it to make such cuts accurately.
How Does a Track Saw Stay in Place?
A track saw derives its stability from the track. On the underside, the track features stick rubber strips that secure it to the working surface. As a result, the track saw doesn’t slip or move away from the guide rails.
Can a Track Saw Replace a Jointer?
No, despite the ability to provide a straight edge, a track saw cannot replace a jointer. The reason is its inability to joint small, especially thin lumber fast and accurately.
What Can I Cut With a Track Saw?
Track saws can cut a variety of wood-based materials including hardboard, plywood, wood, OSB, and particle boards.
These tools excel in cutting large pieces of wood with accuracy, which makes them a better choice than a circular saw or table saw in such applications.
Can You Cut Angles With a Track Saw?
Yes, track saws are mainly used for delivering accurate angular cuts, cross cuts, and long rip cuts.
For what it is worth, a track saw is a must-have tool in woodworking projects. These tools can simplify the task that is involved when making cuts without sacrificing accuracy.
So, if you do not own a track saw, consider getting one of the reviewed products, and rest assured to make your wood cutting projects more enjoyable.