If you are a woodworker, whether professional or just a DIY project enthusiast, you already know the importance of track saws. If you are looking to join the woodwork industry, stay with us as we take you through the process of getting this very vital tool in the trade.
It is not just about buying a track saw, but about getting the very best track saws that will make work easier, more enjoyable, safe and give the best end results. It may be a little hectic picking out the best model given the many models available in the market, and that is where we step in.
In this article, we are going to guide you on how to pick the right track saws, give details on things to consider when buying a track saw and give you our top ten picks on the best track saws in the market. Our list is made from a well-informed, expert point of view. We considered all the important factors including performance, design, versatility, power, pricing, and durability.
Things to Consider
There are various aspects that you should put into consideration when picking out a track saw. These are important factors that will help you determine the quality of the given track saw. Let us take a look at some of these factors.
Precise Track Alignment
Track saws are well known to deliver clean cuts. Ensure you set up the track properly, align the rail track with the work-piece and clamp or bolt it down to keep the piece steady when working on it.
Just like with any other tool, safety to the user and those around is the most important thing when operating a track saw. Luckily, there a lot of measures put in place to maintain safety at all times. One of the features set for safety is an anti-kickback system that works to ensure the user is safe from minor injuries resulting from accidental control issues.
Other than being a safety measure, anti-kickback features also enhance tool accuracy. Another safety measure is an electric brake; it is much easier and faster to stop an operating saw with an electric brake than it is for a regular saw. Track clamps are yet another important feature in a track saw.
This a feature that applies to corded saws. A track saw can either be corded or cordless. Experts say that the most efficient ones are the corded ones. The longer the cord, the easier it is to use the saw. A cord should be long enough to enable you to maneuver around with ease.
This is provided for by the bevel capacity of the saw. You may want to check whether the saw offers the anticipated angle cuts and the angle range it offers.
Getting a powerful motor with great speed is important. A good saw with a great motor will always give you good results. Saws with powerful motors may be a little expensive compared to those with low power motor, but definitely worth the amount.
Speed is measured in revolutions per minute and a good saw has at least a speed of 2000 rpm. Other than the maximum speed, you also want to get a track that can change speeds. This is because some materials do not need very high speed while others need high speed in order to get that clean cut.
Track saws are lubricated at the factory and do not necessarily require further lubrication. Proper cleaning is necessary. Clean the tool using a piece of cloth to get rid of dust, oil, dirt, etc. This will go a long way in maintaining the tool in its best condition.
One major benefit of using a track saw over other saws, is the quality of cuts it delivers. A good track saw should deliver a clean cut in wood materials. This is important since you will not have to smooth out the piece once you are done the cutting, it is readily workable. DEWALT, Makita, and Festool are some of the top brands when it comes to delivering clean cuts. They are generally high-quality and greatly functional brands which have smooth finishing.
Bevel capacity refers to its ability to cut at a different angle. A good track saw is one that enables you to cut at an angle. Note that there are some which only lets you cut at 90 degrees, which may not be very efficient for all the tasks that a track saw should perform. If you are looking to perform angled tasks then you better get a saw with bevel adjustments. It improves the tool’s efficiency. Most models with bevel adjustment options range from -1 to 48 degrees.
Most track saws come with dust ports to collect dust and debris left. This helps save time and makes it possible to use a track saw in an already furnished house without having to worry much about the mess left behind.
A miter cut is a cut along the length of the piece of wood at an angle other than 90 degrees. It enables you to cut out different shape cuts on the material.
Best Track Saws Reviews
Now that you are familiar with what a track saw is, how it works and the factors to consider when choosing the best track saw, here is our list of the very best track saws to choose from.
1. DEWALT DWS520K 6- 1/2-Inch Track Saw Kit
DEWALT is known globally for its excellent work in manufacturing high-quality industrial tools. This exemplary track saw kit is yet another addition to durable, high-performance tools. It delivers precise, straight and splinter-free cuts on wood.
Its 12A, 1300W powerful motor enables it to effortlessly cut through hardwood of up to 2- 1/8-inch thickness. It has four low-friction slide strips on its top side which enable it to work smoothly along the track for a perfect cut. It also has a continuous anti-kickback system to enhance control mechanism; it only allows for forwarding movement, therefore, it prevents kick-back.
It has a universal 1- ¼-inch dust port which collects a large percentage of excess dust and debris. It has an efficient working blade with a laser-cut plate and precision crushed teeth for perfect cut quality. It is highly versatile and can be used as a table, circular and panel saw so it is a 3-in-1 sort of tool. The blade diameter is 6- ½ inches and a bevel capacity of 47 degrees. It weighs 11.5 pounds, with no load it has a speed of 1750-4000 rpm and comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Incredibly accurate and precise clean saw cuts.
- Dust collection feature makes it more appealing.
- Has an anti-kickback feature for improved safety to the user.
- Extremely powerful; can cut through hard wood effortlessly.
- Very durable, highly efficient and comfortable to use.
- Relatively pricy.
2. FESTOOL 575389 Plunge Cut Track Saw
This is a highly-accurate saw. It is efficient and only occupies a small space. It has two adjustable depth indicator lines, which help to make straight cuts on or off the guide rail. It can easily be described as one of the most powerful and precise saws in its class. Delivers splinter-free cuts and is very durable.
It comes with a 3-year warranty, it is light in weight, it weighs 13.6 pounds, and its durability and quality of work delivered to ensure you get value for your money. It can be used for panel cutting and other roles too. It leaves edges smooth enough to be used immediately without further smoothening.
It also features a powerful 120 volts motor that can easily cut through wood, melamine and other material. Made of durable metal material, this tool is surely made to last. This powerful tool can cut up to 2-15/16” deep off the track and 2-13/16” deep on the track.to get flawlessly straight and crack-free cuts, use it with Festool guard rails. It also features the new FastFix feature which allows for speedy and easy saw blade changes on the tool.
- Very clean cuts.
- It has a powerful motor which can cut through hard wood and other materials easily.
- It is easy and comfortable to use, even for a first-time user.
- It is quite pricy.
3. Festool TS 55 REQ Track Saw
Its design and compact size make it highly efficient. It is one of the top performers in the woodwork industry and is perfect for use both at home and at job sites. A combined spring-loaded riving knife keeps the cut kerf open and keeps material away from the rear part of the blade, therefore, lowering the chances of kick-back.
It is accurate and quite versatile. It is also very portable, and easy to use and operate. It is among the most advanced plunge cut saw with micro-adjustable depth controls for accurate material handling on or off the guide rail. To prevent it from sliding and causing injury, it has grip material at the bottom.
Its guide rail and an incorporated splinter guard on the TS provides for zero tear-out cuts minimizing on the amount of material wasted and saving time which would have been used on rework. Delivers nothing but the best results on any surface with the two sizes and 9 blade types. High accuracy cut levels guaranteed.
Festool tracks are generally heavy-duty tools that provide precise cuts, are easy to use, clean and maintain. Festool TS 55 is well-designed and sturdy and can be used for various tasks. It has a rotating dust port that keeps the hose away from the operator for safer use.
The splinter guard technically gets rid of all splinters. Its fast Fix blade changing technique enables easy change of blade. Here is how it works; the power switch is turned off locking the arbor from rotation and the cutting blade is positioned for easy removal and installation.
It is perfect for sheet cutting, door trimming and any other task that requires precise cutting. It comes with a cover plate to improve on the dust collection feature by further covering the blade up. It weighs 19.56 pounds, has a 10-amp motor and allows for speed adjustment.
- Increased safety to the user provided for by the swivel dust port.
- Multiple Material Control allows for speed adjustment from 2000 rpm all the way to 5000 rpm.
- It is a quality tool that offers optimum results.
- Precision cutting; its variable speed control system delivers clean and immediately workable cuts.
- Its ergonomic design makes it comfortable for prolonged use.
- Riving knife keeps the cut kerf open to prevent binding of the workpiece.
- Quite pricy, but worth every coin.
- Does not cut very deep, could improve on the cut depth.
4. Triton TTS1400 6- ½ – Inch Plunge Track Saw
This exceptional saw comes with a 48TCG saw blade which cuts through material very efficiently. It also has a dust outlet adaptor and a pair of carbon bushes. Blade change option; it has an easy to access shaft lock to allow for fast change of blade. It is also a very handy tool with an anti-kickback system for improved safety to a user when in use.
It has a mode selector to enable the user to switch between the three modes; free plunge, scribe, and blade change modes. This highly-rated track saw delivers clean straight cuts. Its blade is flat-designed to improve its performance. It is a great choice for tasks like trimming doors and cutting any kind of hardwood and many other tasks.
Its universal vacuum system adapter and 360 degrees outlet ensure dust and debris are well handled. It delivers expert results every time and can be used to smoothly cut through any type of wood and you can always be sure to get very accurate and clean cuts. It is also very stable and can perform bevel cuts.
It has guide rail track locks for improved stability. Soft-start and continuous speed electronics optimized for various required cutting circumstances for a given material. It comes with a limited twelve-months warranty, a speed of up to 5300 rpm and is made of aluminum. At 90 degrees it can go up to a depth of 2- 1/8 on the track.
If what you need is a versatile tool that can perform various tasks at home and in the workplace, then this Triton track saw is just what you need to get. It has the power, speed, and precision required for high-quality results. With a 12 amp, 1400w motor, it really is one of the best saws in its class.
- Powerful 12- amp motor with a speed of up to 5300rpm.
- Easy blade-changing.
- Bevel capacity of up to 48 degrees.
- Mode selector to switch between different modes.
- It is quite fragile and does not stand well to wear and tear.
5. Makita SP6OOOJ1 Plunge Saw Kit
Delivers splinter-free precise and accurate cuts. It has a great cutting size 2- 3/16 inches at 90 degrees and 1-9/16 inches at 45 degrees. Its cord is quite long measuring 7.9 feet. The user is able to control and maintain speed under load for smooth finishing outcome. Makita SP6000J1 has a powerful 12-amp motor which easily cuts through hardwood and other materials.
It is a sturdy tool that comes with a guard rail, a carrying case, a hex wrench, and a saw blade. It is a full kit! The speed control trigger makes work easier and more efficient as you will be able to apply the required speed to a specific material; some materials are best cut under slow speed while others require a much higher speed for a smooth finishing.
It is a simple tool; easy to use and clean and delivers splinter-free, flush cuts. The only downside to it is the pricing, it is quite pricy, but considering the many useful features it’s packed with, it definitely is worth the amount and will serve you for a long period of time.
- It has a powerful motor therefore highly efficient.
- It has an electric control board which enables the user to regulate and control the tool at variable speeds.
- It is sturdy therefore very durable and fit for everyday use.
- Delivers clean, splinter-free cuts.
- It is relatively expensive.
6. SHOP FOX W1835 Track Saw
This is one of the very best track saws in the market. It is built to last and stay in its best condition throughout, delivering relatively good results. It is a portable tool which accurately cuts through wood and sheet goods without the use of a table or panel saw. Its motor is not very powerful but does well in simple tasks like splitting plywood. It can also be used for bigger tasks, although the end results may not be as pleasing.
It is a low-budget item which is suitable for home tasks, therefore if you just want to perform some simple repair jobs in the house or you have some DIY projects to accomplish then it will serve you just fine, without going broke while purchasing it.
- It is quite affordable
- It is easily portable
- It comes with a dust port therefore suitable for use in a furnished house as not much dust will be blown all over.
- It is not very powerful
- It comes with few accessories; you may have to buy additional accessories to get it working.
7. Grizzly Industrial T10687-6-1/4” Track Saw
Next, up is the T10687, which is sold as saw only. One thing that every buyer likes about it is its affordability. So, if you are looking to save some money, then this is one of your options. It does not work quite well with hardwoods and other tough materials but delivers quite remarkable results with softwoods. Its plunge-cutting action eliminates flip-up blade guards and it has a riving knife to prevent kickback, therefore, making it much safe when in use.
Although it does not deliver very good results with hardwoods, for an item of its price, it does a commendable job. It is suitable for use on materials such as double-coated MDF boards and solid wood worktops. It is a good replacement for the traditional circular saws.
- It is very affordable.
- Works well for simple at-home repair jobs.
- Its riving knife improves safety to user as it prevents kickback.
- It does not deliver high-quality results with hard woods.
- Low-quality plastic.
8. DEWALT DCS520T1 Cordless Track Saw Kit
This is yet another great track saw it by DEWALT, the world’s leading industrial tools manufacturers. It has a straight plunge mechanism for ideal ergonomics. When used with the track saw double edge tracks, it delivers perfect straight and clean cuts. It has a continuous anti-kickback technique to prevent kickback, therefore, improving safety. It also has a riving knife which also works to eliminate any chances of kickback when being operated.
The initial no-load battery voltage is 20 volts. This cordless track saw kit is quite convenient and portable but delivers results as good as that of a corded track saw. Its brushless motor easily saws through hardwoods of up to 2- 1/8” thickness. It can be used without the track although it is advisable to use it with the track for the best results.
It is a good replacement for a table saw in making straight cuts. It is easy to set up and use and ensures safety to the user. It also has a good dust control system. The fact that it’s cordless makes it more efficient, no wires in the way; this also makes it much safer.
- Cordless but works just as good as a corded track saw.
- It has an anti-kickback system and a riving knife for enhanced safety.
- Delivers clean, straight and perfect cuts.
- Is easy to operate.
- For you to get the best results, it needs to be used with a track which is sold separately.
9. True Trac 105TPC Universal Track Saw Guide, Combo Kit
It helps cut sheet goods to precise dimensions and makes work much easier. It may take a little effort to set up, but once you have set it upright, it really is easy to use. The true track saw system has jointed splinter guards on either side of the track, this enables you to easily and smoothly cut you through the material. It disregards the need to set up measurements, also controls tear-out and splinting on the face of the cut material.
It is uniquely designed with anti-chip bands held with tiny T-slots for easy replacement later. The adapter plate zeros itself out when mounted on the track with the aid of the double rises with opposite beveled ends. The double rises cater to the combination of two parallel channels along with the whole extent of the track.
The true track saw lets you rip straight through any material even with a rough brink. Trim off irregular bits along the material’s edge to produce a straight and smooth line. It contains everything needed to mount any circular saw.
It produces perfectly clean cuts.
Easy to use and clean.
Ensures safety to the user.
- A little difficult to set up.
- You have to drill holes in the metal base of your saw.
10. Makita XPSO2ZU Cordless Plunge Circular Saw
This high-quality saw is a great choice when chopping or slicing through large wood boards and other wood pieces. It is battery-powered; it has two LXT batteries that deliver higher power, speed and operational time. Its Automatic Wireless System (AWS) is Bluetooth enabled for power on/off communication between the tool and the dust extractor system. It has a double front and rear bevel supports to offer extra firmness for improved accurate bevel cuts.
It has a variable speed control mechanism; speed ranges between 2500 to 6300 rpm for great functionality on various materials. Combined with the optional guide rail system which is sold separately, it produces precise cuts with slight splinting. Noise is greatly reduced by the AWS. The saw is a combination of powerful Makita brush-less engine with automated velocity switch technology for top performance. The saw has a soft start and an electric brake for greater efficiency.
- Powered by 2 LXT batteries which are very powerful.
- Has an Automatic Wireless communication system which reduces noise and eliminates cords.
- It uses Star Protection Computer Controls for better efficiency and prolonged battery life.
- Has a dependable speed control dial for better performance.
- Does not come with guard rails, you have to buy them separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Track Saw?
if you constantly work with wood whether professionally or just for home tasks, you must have heard about a track saw. For individuals new to the wood industry, you may have heard about them or maybe not. Now, what is a track saw? A plunge saw, commonly referred to as a track saw, is a sort of a circular saw but more efficient and developed.
While a circular saw has its blades exposed spinning on the arbor, a track saw has its blade hidden within the tool, therefore able to produce much cleaner and accurate cuts. A track saw is also much safer to use than a conventional circular saw.
Most track saws have features such as dust ports, speed control systems, guard rails all of which improve their efficiency. A track saw is generally a versatile, accurate and portable tool used to perform various tasks. It can be used as a panel, table, miter and circular saw therefore very handy.
It works efficiently on hardwood and other materials. Although a track saw maybe a little pricier than a circular saw, it is totally worth the money spent on it and you will get better results with a track saw than with a circular saw. It saves time and makes work easier and leaves behind a dust-free work area.
How to Use a Track Saw?
For first time users, it may be a little difficult to operate one, but it really is not that difficult. You just need to keenly follow instructions provided in most user manuals. There are a few tips you need to have at the back of your head every time you operate a track saw. Always remember to;
- Use the track saw the right way; use it for wood pieces, avoid using it on other materials such as metal. Using them on non-wood materials destroys the blades and may also pose a danger to you and other people around. Remember safety first.
- Ensure your saw blades are sharp enough before getting to work. if you have the right saw blades and the blades are sharp your work will be much easier and less labor-intensive. It will also save on time spent to complete a given task. You are also assured of getting optimum results with sharp blades.
- The riving knife which is a safety measure; prevents kick-back, therefore, ensuring safety to the user, should be well placed before an operation. Ensure its properly aligned with the blade.
- For a quality cut, the proper cutting depth should be set. Different track saws have different depth limits, so depending on your track saw, set the depth accurately for a greater outcome.
- Firmly hold the saw when cutting through the material to prevent kickback. A track saw normally has to handles for better grip.
- You can always use a rail track which will guide you for improved accuracy. It will ensure you get splinter-free cuts.
- Once you have activated the power, give it time to power up and reach its full speed. You can always regulate speed depending on the material you are working on.
How Do You Set Up a Track Saw?
The basic parts of a track saw are:
- The handle; which is the part used to hold the tool when cutting.
- Power switch; the button used to power the tool on and off. Always ensure everything is installed well before switching the tool on, otherwise, it could be a danger to you or may cause the saw to break down.
- Bevel adjustment; for saws with bevel adjustment, it is possible to choose various cutting angles.
- Blade; the part that does the actual cutting. It has teeth-like structures and is secured by clamps or bolts.
- Other parts of a saw include; cord, blade guard, plate, motor, and other accessories.
Setting up a track saw varies from one track saw to another. Here is a general description that you can follow to set up any given track saw. First, fit the saw tightly into the guide rail, if you are using one that is. Tighten the cams to the base plate to be able to smoothly glide the saw on the track. Once the saw is well placed on the track, slide the saw against the track to remove an excessive splinter. You are now set to work on your material.
What Track Saw Blade Do You Need?
choosing a saw blade depends on the saw you have. It should fit well and be compatible with your saw type. There are however some blades which are compatible with various track saws like the Freud and Forrest blades which fit TS55 track saw, Makita saws as well as DEWALT track saws.
The key is to get a blade that fits exactly into your track saw since some saws require smaller blades while others require much bigger blades. You must ensure that you get the specifications for your track’s blade size before buying a new one to replace the worn-out blade.
A good blade has sharp teeth to deliver a smooth surface. You know its time to change your blade when it starts binding, when it leaves a not-so-smooth surface after cutting or when you use a lot of effort to get work done, more than is normally required. You may consider sharpening the blades before buying new ones, although this might just be a temporary solution to your blunt blades.
What Track Saw Should I Buy?
Consider a number of factors such as the workload you expect to use the track saw for. This will help you pick out the best saw; some saws are best suited for hardwoods while others just perform simple tasks on softwoods. Another factor to consider is the speed of the track saw.
Different saws have different speed limits, and speed limits combined with motor power determines the efficiency of the tool. Another important factor is the kind of finishing you wish to get at the end of the day. Some saws offer smoother finishing with clean, splinter-free cuts than others.
So, if the quality of the cut matters to you, you may have to dig deeper into your pocket to get the best track saw. Track saws can be affordable or pricy, it depends on the model you pick and the features they come with. In most cases, pricier models tend to have additional features compared to the cheaper ones.
If you are looking to buy a track saw, then you may need to understand every detail about them first before purchasing one. We are going to guide you on how to choose the best track saw and get to compare it to other power tools. Read on to get a better understanding of these tools. Here is what you should look for in a track saw;
- Motor power; is the very first thing you need to look out for. A good saw should have at least 9 amps or more.
- Cutting capacity; is the ability and quality of cutting obtained from a saw. It accounts for various aspects ranging from; the cutting depth and also the type of materials it can cut. You do not want to buy a saw that cannot cut through hardwood when what you want to do is to cut hardwood.
- Blade quality; actual cutting is done by the blade; it is, therefore, a very important feature to think of when buying a saw. If you get a saw with good quality blades, then you may not have to regularly change the blade and this will save you a good amount of money.
- Corded vs cordless saws; a corded saw uses electricity for its power source whereas a cordless saw uses batteries as their main power source. A corded saw only requires electricity to function for as long as you may need it to, with a cordless saw, you have to regularly check to ensure the battery is well charged before beginning your work.
If you try to compare a track saw to a circular or a table saw, a track saw is more portable, versatile, accurate and safer compared to these other cutting tools. This is why track saws are more popular.
Before the invention of track saws, it was almost impossible to get perfectly smooth and splinter-free cuts. But that is now a thing in the past, thanks to tracking saws. It is now possible to get clean cuts on a piece of wood which will be readily workable without having to sandpaper it further.
Listed above are the best track saws you could ever get from the hundreds available in the market. You should consider how much you are looking to spend, what task you are going to use the saw for and your general preference before finally settling for a given tool.
If for instance what you need is a cordless saw which works just as well as a corded saw, then DEWALT DCS520T1 Cordless Track Saw Kit would be your best option. It is important that you get to understand how each of the track saws works, the pros and cons and the specific features too. This will enable you to narrow down to the most convenient saw for you.
For experts, it will definitely be a walk in the park, but for individuals new to the woodwork field, or rather to the use of track saws, you may need a little guidance from someone more experienced or be able to keenly follow the given instructions.
You should also consider the durability of a tool when picking out one. It is better to spend just a little more money on a durable tool which will last for a long while than try to spend less only to end up with a not-so-durable saw, but this mostly depends on the amount and type of work you intend to use it for.