A track saw is the best choice when it comes to cutting long lengths of timber to width, whether you’re ripping sheet goods or making large cuts. Saw blades work on top of a workpiece rather than through a table saw, making them a safe and accurate alternative for your next project.
The DIY movement has helped to popularize portable saws, which have been around for a long time but only in recent years have become more common. Portable saws are a useful tool for producing quick, accurate, and consistent cuts on materials such as plywood, timber, and medium-density fiberboard. In many cases, the ideal track saw can handle the job of a miter saw, table saw, and radial arm saw all in one.
The most accurate track saws may be set in place and cut to precision. When purchasing for a track saw, look for a high-performance one. Top-of-the-line track saws like those on the list below are quick, dependable, and powerful enough to complete any task.
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 1.1 1. BEST OVERALL: Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2 Inch Plunge Circular Saw Kit
- 1.2 2. RUNNER-UP: DEWALT Flexvolt 60V MAX 6-1/2 Cordless TrackSaw Kit
- 1.3 3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Shop Fox W1835 Track Saw
- 1.4 4. UPGRADE PICK: Festool TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Saw with T-Loc and Rail
- 1.5 5. BEST PORTABILITY: Kreg Circular Saw Track
- 2 When purchasing a track saw, there are several factors to consider.
- 3 FAQS:
- 4 Conclusion:
Our Top Picks
While this article has provided you with a lot of information to consider when purchasing the finest track saw, you may be wondering which ones are the greatest on the market. The following list of some of the top track saws available can assist you in determining a high-quality tool that meets your demands and budget.
1. BEST OVERALL: Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2 Inch Plunge Circular Saw Kit
The Makita SP6000J1 Plunge Circular Saw Kit has everything a professional may need in a track saw. A 55-inch track is included in this kit, as are any extra tracks if needed. The saw itself, on the other hand, where the kit really shines. This plunge saw has a 12-amp motor, bevels from -1 to 48 degrees (with positive stops at 0, 22.5, and 45 degrees), and a depth of cut of up to 2 3/16 inches. It also contains a depth-stop function, which is activated when the lever is flipped, allowing for a fast pass through the material, shaving only 1/16 of an inch deep. Users can adjust the RPM speed between 2,000 and 5,200 with a dial on the handle.
The Makita is a fantastic saw that doesn’t disappoint in any way. One issue with an 8¼-inch blade is that it might help the tool muscle through thicker materials.
2. RUNNER-UP: DEWALT Flexvolt 60V MAX 6-1/2 Cordless TrackSaw Kit
The DEWALT DCS201K Cordless TrackSaw Kit is a great choice for a DIYer, woodworker, or carpenter who wants a heavy-duty saw in a cordless package. This saw runs on DEWALT’s 60V batteries, which automatically change the voltage of the tool they’re connected to. Typically, a 20V battery is used in TrackSaws. This version runs on 24V, which means it can operate for longer than most battery-powered circular saws. It also has the capability to plunge cut, allowing you to begin your cut in the middle of a workpiece if required. This kit has a 6½-inch blade with bevels up to 47 degrees. The depth of cut is 2 ⅛ inches, and the RPM range is 1,750 to 4,000.
The bevel action on this model has no positive stops to keep it in place at any degree mark, which is a feature that some people seek when purchasing.
3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Shop Fox W1835 Track Saw
Shop Fox has your answer if you’re searching for a track saw but also want to save money. When working on the track, this track saw can cut materials up to 1-1/32 inches thick with Shop Fox’s guide rail and plunge cuts. The Delta DND4975 features a 9-amp motor that spins at 5,500 RPM and bevels up to 45 degrees. It also includes kickback protection.
The Shop Fox suffers from a few flaws, which is why it is so inexpensive. The track must be purchased separately; there is no speed adjustment; and the cable is short, only 6 feet long. Despite those limitations in mind, it’s an excellent product at this price.
4. UPGRADE PICK: Festool TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Saw with T-Loc and Rail
When it comes to power tools, there isn’t another firm that puts more thought into its creations than Festool. The TS 55 is a corded plunge cut track saw with a maximum cutting depth of over 2 inches. The Irwin Extremely Strong Electric Chainsaw is one of the most powerful chainsaws ever produced. The saw features a highly efficient motor that gives you plenty of power for almost any job or task. It has an enormous 14-foot cord, allowing you to work up to 20 feet away from your power source. Its 13-amp motor with variable speed. It also has several safety precautions, including mechanisms to prevent pinching the blade and reducing kickback. Slow-start technology is also included to keep the saw from leaping on startup.
The drawback is self-evident—this saw is pricey. But for the money, you get one of the top names in the track saw and power tool market with an amazing performance tool.
5. BEST PORTABILITY: Kreg Circular Saw Track
Track saws meet the portability criteria when it comes to job site tools. If you want to keep your load light, though, a Kreg Circular Saw Track is an excellent addition to your toolkit. The secret to the Saw Track is its adjustable sled that fits any circular saw with blades on both sides, making it versatile and adaptable to use with any saw and all types of blades. On the track, the towed saw blade is guided by the sled to maintain a tight fit and minimize splintering while increasing accuracy. The starting block on one of Accu-Cut’s finest features is a great way for the user to get started with the saw’s motion and clear the blade guard away.
There is one significant drawback if you choose the Accu-Cut route: The sled lifts the saw base away from the material’s surface, reducing the thickness of what you can cut.
When purchasing a track saw, there are several factors to consider.
Track saws aren’t new, but they’re still relatively new to the home DIY market, therefore you may not be familiar enough with them to make an informed decision about the best track saw for your needs. Here are some things to think about when purchasing a new track saw.
The thickness of the material a track saw can cut is determined by the size of its blade. The majority of track saws use 6½-inch blades and are capable of cutting materials up to 2 inches thick. Track saws with blades bigger than 8¼ inches cut a substance closer to 2¾ inches thick. Miniature track saws feature 4½-inch diameter blades that can cut any material thicker than 1 inch.
Speed settings are one of the most significant distinctions between track saws and circular saws. The user may regulate the speed to stay clear of burning the wood, dulling the blade, and producing more splinters than necessary. A track saw’s speed adjustments are usually in the range of 2,000 RPM on the low end and 5,000 RPM on the high end. The high-speed settings are ideal for a soft material like framing wood or pine plywood. When cutting dense woods like locust or walnut, it’s usually best to dial the speed down toward the lower end of the spectrum. The slower speed avoids ugly burn scars and maintains your blade in excellent working order.
Adjustable bevel track saws are considerably more adaptable and versatile than other versions. The most of a track saw’s work is making 90-degree square cuts. Bevel cuts, on the other hand, may save the user an extra step in the manufacturing process. When constructing bookshelves or furniture, cutting 45-degree bevels on boards or sheet goods increases the surface area for better glue contact. It also eliminates the need for edge-banding to conceal unsightly plywood edges.
Cords on a track saws, like circular saws, should be strong enough to get the job done. However, it’s difficult to express their strength in a way that the consumer can comprehend. Most track saws have been designed after sidewinder-style circular saws, and they like to brag about their amps on the box. Amperage, on the other hand, refers to the amount of electrical current a motor can draw without breaking down. Power is not precisely what it means.
Based on the battery’s voltage rating, power is a little simpler to gauge in cordless saws. A 20V battery-operated saw will generally be more powerful than an 18V manual one. There are exceptions to this guideline, but it is a good rule of thumb.
Corded vs. Cordless
The question of whether corded or cordless power tools is superior has been debated for ages. The story of the track saw goes on.
A corded saw may feel more powerful on the surface, and you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries. This is particularly beneficial in the middle of a tough cut (such as a thick piece of oak or walnut). Unsightly saw marks will always be present if you must stop in the middle of a cut to replace the battery. A cordless saw, on the other hand, doesn’t have a power cable to get caught up on the end of a big board while you’re ripping it to width. This can also force you to stop and adjust the power cable, resulting in similar unsightly scars.
It all comes down to what is more essential for the user: limitless power (wherever there’s electricity) or limitless mobility (as long as there are available batteries).
A longer cord length can have an impact on the usefulness of any circular saw, but especially a track saw, even if it doesn’t appear to be much of an issue. Roofers and framers often remove the standard cable from their circular saws and replace them with 25-foot cables so they don’t have to use an extension lead. With a track saw, the longer the cord, the farther you can move large tracks and materials. They’ll usually get in the way. If you’re cutting an 8-foot plywood sheet with a 6-foot extension cord, you might be dragging the extension cord behind you as you cut. The cable may eventually get caught up at the track’s end.
Of course, by hanging the cord off to one side or the other of the workpiece, it is entirely avoidable, but a longer distance will assist prevent the cable from tangling on a workbench or sawhorse.
For obvious reasons, tracks can be of various lengths. Crosscutting a 12-inch wide board with a track saw is simple, but it does not require a 4-foot track. Similarly, a track saw’s greatest task is ripping plywood sheets, but resetting a 4-foot track halfway through the cut would be inconvenient.
Cutting with the track saw does have a detrimental effect on the cut. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a lengthy cut that isn’t as straight as you intended. This defeats the purpose of using a track saw in the first place.
Some of the tracks are modular, and they’re ideal for job site work where you can connect smaller lengths together to create a longer track. For the workshop, however, a 2-foot, 4-foot, and 8-foot track is preferable for fast and simple setup as well as consistent outcomes.
Saw blades on track saws are simply circular saws with track-mounted bases. Nonetheless, the fact that a track saw is safer to use than a circular saw over extended cuts makes it more versatile. The track guides the saw blade along a predetermined route, so you can look forward and see if anything is stopping it from kicking back. If the saw kicks back, the cam locks in several versions will prevent it from returning.
Some carpenters pinch the base of their circular saw with their free hand, putting their fingers dangerously close to a spinning blade. While these are experienced builders who may have done this a thousand times before, there is always the chance for human error. Saw blades that cut on the pull rather than pushing are both safer for novices and pros since they eliminate the need to guide the saw with a free hand.
What is a track saw?
A track saw is made with one purpose in mind; to make straight, accurate and fast cuts in sheet material. They are also known as overarm routers because of the way they fit over the material like an arm. There aren’t too many companies that manufacture these tools, but there are quite a few brands that offer products in this category. Their durability, weight and overall construction can vary widely making it important to do your homework before you purchase one of these power tools.
What are the benefits of using a track saw?
The number one benefit is speed. Track saws make straight cuts quicker than any other handheld or stationary power tool on the market. Accuracy is another key benefit. With the saw’s guide fence, it’s almost impossible to make a mistake when cutting. That means less sanding and finishing time required once the cuts are made. Finally, track saws are incredibly portable which makes them ideal for job sites where space is at a premium.
What are the drawbacks of using a track saw?
The biggest drawback is the price tag. Track saws are more expensive than most other power tools on the market. They also require a level of skill to use effectively. If you’re not comfortable using a circular saw, you’ll definitely want to avoid using a track saw as well. Finally, they can be a bit bulky and difficult to transport from one job site to the next.
Can I use a track saw for curved cuts?
No, track saws are designed for making straight cuts in sheet material only. If you need to make curved cuts, you’ll need to use a different tool such as an oscillating saw or miter saw fitted with a special sled.
What type of saw blade do I need for a track saw?
Most track saws are designed to use blades that have teeth on both sides of the blade. You cannot use a standard circular saw blade with a track saw. There are a few brands that offer special blades designed for use with their tools only. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s documentation before you buy any type of blade or accessory for your new power tool.
As you can see, there are a number of excellent track saws on the market that will make your woodworking tasks easier and faster. With the right tool for the job, you’ll be able to breeze through projects with ease and get superior results. Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line model or something more affordable, there’s a track saw out there that will fit your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Go shopping and get started on your next woodworking project.