The 8 Best Track Saws Reviewed
In this Review, we took a closer look at the best track saw on the market today for you, with a comprehensive tool test. We compared all the important factors like performance, design, power, and price so that you don’t have to. Whether you are a D.I.Y advocate, or a seasoned professional, a good track saw is one of the best tools that you can add to your workshop. These sturdy, versatile power tools are perfect for making smooth, clean cuts in wood-based sheet materials. And, with the right blade, you can use your new track saw to make quick work out of lumber and other materials as well.
Table of Contents
- View the Best Track Saw on the Market, Below.
- What is a Track Saw?
- What Does a Track Saw Do?
- Track Saw vs Circular Saw
- What Track Saw Blade Do You Need?
- What to Look for When Buying a Track Saw?
But with so many models on the market, weeding through all of the different features, specs, prices, and reviews can be confusing. This can make narrowing down your options and figuring out which specific model you should buy seem like an impossible task. We have come up with our list of the top 8 tested track saws available today. Read through our review and buying guides, and we’re sure you’ll be able to decide which saw is best for your needs. We should also note, these products are great gift ideas for the D.I.Y practitioner in your life! Read on for our full tool test on these vital home improvement hand tools!
|Picture||Track Saw||Bevel Capacity||Maximum Speed||Power Source|
|Makita SP6000J1||48 Degrees||5,200 RPM||Corded|
|Festool 561438 TS 75 EQ||45 Degrees||3,550 RPM||Corded|
|SHOP FOX W1835||45 Degrees||5,500 RPM||Corded|
|DEWALT DWS520K||47 Degrees||4,000 RPM||Corded|
|Festool TS 55 REQ||47 Degrees||5,200 RPM||Corded|
|Grizzly T10687||45 Degrees||5,500 RPM||Corded|
|Triton TTS1400||48 Degrees||5,300 RPM||Corded|
|DEWALT DCS520T1||47 Degrees||4,200 RPM||Cordless|
Buyers Guide Questions
What is a Track Saw?
Track saws are similar to circular saws but can be mounted on a metal guide rail system, or track. Since the cutting blade runs along the track, this versatile power tool allows you to cut through sheets of materials such as doors, sheets of plywood, MDF, and melamine easily and accurately. While they look similar to the more affordable price circular saw, these useful hand tools are designed to tackle tasks that a common circular model simply can’t handle. Looking for something else? See our guide on the top chop saws.
The blade in a track saw retracts into a guard that only releases once you hit a lever that brings the motor assembly down into your work piece. This allows these saws to be used to make clean plunge cuts as well as enabling them to be used for more conventional cutting. This allows these saws to be used in place of a miter saw, table, panel, and circular saws (click for full guide).
What Does a Track Saw Do?
The main benefit of these models is that the base of the tool fits onto the channel of an aluminum guide rail, or track. Once secured, the tool can slide along this rail allowing the user to make precise, perfectly straight cuts even across long distances. Since the edge of the rails feature a pliable strip that supports your workpiece, it also reduces chipping along the cut line. This means that users can produce a more finished workpiece that doesn’t require sanding or finishing.
And since you can angle the guide rail in any direction that you want, it’s also the perfect tool to use to miter across large sheet materials without having to deal with the angle limitations presented by panel and table saws. Since most models feature a soft start and a variable speed control, they are perfect for cutting through materials of various toughness and thickness such as sheets of plywood, cabinetry, lumber, melamine, and even doors and moldings.
Another benefit is that most models feature a dust port that can be connected to a vacuum or dust collection system (dust extractor), allowing you to keep debris clear of your workpiece and your work area.
Track Saw vs Circular Saw
Since they look so similar, it’s easy to confuse a track saw with a circular saw. But just because they look alike doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable. These tools are actually designed quite differently, allowing a track saw to tackle projects and tasks that a conventional circular model simply can’t handle. The track saw, also called a plunge saw, is one of the most popular tools among DIYers, professional woodworkers, and tradesmen.
They cost considerably more than conventional circular saws but for a very good reason. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two kinds of power tools so that you can better understand why the plunge saw is such a versatile and impressive addition to any workshop. A circular saw is built with a motor, blade, base, and blade guard. When it’s time to cut a workpiece, you bring the blade close to the end of the object and adjust the depth of your cut by turning a knob that adjusts the base of the tool.
When you cut, the guard retracts back out of the way, allowing the blade to perform the cutting. Unfortunately, circular saws present several disadvantages. The first issue is that you are forced to cut from the end of the workpiece, limiting the applications it can be used for. Also, since the blade side is open, these tools produce a significant amount of dust and debris. The final major drawback associated with circular saws is that they aren’t capable of making a smooth, splinter-free cut and making long, perfectly straight cuts is practically impossible.
Track saws, on the other hand, are designed without a retractable blade guard since the blade is actually concealed within the machine itself. While it might seem like a minor difference, this design feature allows users of plunge saws to enjoy several impressive benefits. Since the blade is concealed within the tool, plunge saws can be used to plunge into any part of the material, not just at the end. And since the tool has a flat, smooth side, it can be guided flush against a wall or the floor.
Also, these models are designed for easier cutting depth adjustments since you simply adjust a sliding mechanism at the front of the tool. Plunge saws also have three other benefits, specifically: safety, better dust collection, and cleaner results. Since the blade is concealed within the tool, accidents are less prone to happen with one of these tools than with a circular saw. Also, since most come with dust ports that can be connected to vacuums or dust collection systems, using one of these models is practically dust-free.
Finally, these tools are designed to make accurate, precise cuts that don’t require much finishing and don’t have the jagged edges and splinters that circular saws produce. The final, and most significant, difference and benefit is the fact that plunge saws run along a track or guide rail. These rails come in a variety of lengths and feature a non-slip underside that prevents the guide from moving on your material.
And since these rails have splinter guards on the cutting edge, they keep your material firmly in place. Because of this, you can move a track saw along even the longest span of material and produce a smooth, perfectly straight cut that requires virtually no finishing.
What Track Saw Blade Do You Need?
Purchasing a blade for your new track saw is as simple as buying one for a conventional circular saw. The first thing that you need to find out is what size blade your tool is designed for. Most models use 612inch plunge track stock blades but there are some models that use larger blades such as 8 ½” blades. As far as the material that your blade is made from, there are several options available. The most common style is metallic alloy blades featuring a carbide tip.
These blades are designed to withstand heavy use without excessive wear offering a longer blade life. The other benefit of carbide blades is that they resist heat so you don’t have to worry about burning your workpiece along the cut line. Now that you’ve determined the size and style of your blade, you need to consider the type of material that you plan on cutting. Blades with as few as 14 teeth are perfect for cutting through lumber or wood pieces.
The downside is that, while they cut through workpieces quickly, the edge won’t be as finished. For work with sheet materials such as plywood and melamine, or if you want to achieve a smooth, finished cut, then your best bet is to purchase a blade with around 48 teeth. These blades will make finer cuts that won’t require any smoothing or sanding.
What to Look for When Buying a Track Saw?
When you’re on the market for a new track saw, there are a few factors that you should consider such as bevel capacity, maximum speed, and cord length. By looking at these three factors, you’ll be able to choose the perfect model for your needs. If you’re looking for gift ideas for the DIYer or professional in your life, you’ve come to the right place!
The bevel capacity of your tool is simply its ability to cut at an angle. While some models only cut at 90 degrees, or straight down, other models allow you to make angled cuts. This feature will increase the versatility of your saw, allowing you to use it for a wider variety of projects. Models with bevel adjustment capabilities can have ranges as wide as -1 to 48 degrees.
This means that it’s not only able to cut straight down, but also at angles that make it perfect for a wide-variety of projects and applications. For anyone looking to use their new track saw for a number of projects, the smart move is to purchase a model with a bevel adjustments that will allow it to tackle a variety of woodworking and other tasks.
- Bevel Capacity ( Degrees )
Maximum Speed (RPM)
The speed that a saw’s blade spins is measured in RPMs, or revolutions per minute, also considered is the feet per minute in many cases. The average model has a minimum RPM of around 2,000, which is perfect for slicing through most thin workpieces. But one of the most significant benefits of a track saw is its versatility.
And in order to make sure that your pro tool is capable of cutting through as wide a variety of materials as possible, you should look for a model with a wide RPM range. Many top models will have ranges up to 3,000 or even 5,000 RPM. This will allow you to tackle anything and choose from fast cuts or slower, finer results.
- Maximum Speed ( RPM )
A final thing to consider is the cord length of your new pro tool. You are going to be using your track saw along floors, walls, and guide rails. The last thing you want to do is have to mess with extension cords or realize that you can’t finish your cut because you ran out of cord. Ensure that the model you purchase has a cord that’s long enough to get the job done.
Some models will come with power cords that measure only 8 feet while others can have cords that are up to 14 feet in length. Another option is to skip the need for a power cord altogether and purchase a cordless model. There are some very impressive battery-operated models that offer you total freedom and mobility.
Our recommendation for the top pick on the market today is the Makita SP6000J1 6 ½” Plunge Circular Saw with Guide Rail. This powerful 12 amp model offers a slow start and a variable speed dial that opens it up to a wide-variety of materials and applications.
With bevel cutting capability from -1 to 48 degrees, it’s incredibly versatile. And it glides smoothly along the included 55” anodized aluminum guide rail for perfectly precise long cuts. Designed with rubber overmold twin grips, this power tool is perfect for extended use.
This track saw from Makita features a 3mm scoring ability which lets you make smooth, precise straight cuts every time. And its magnesium construction is lightweight but incredibly durable. At around $400, it’s simply one of the best models on the market today – with optional accessories too!
Our pick for top premium choice on the market is the Festool 561438 TS 75 EQ Plunge track Cut Circular Saw. A large 8 ¼” cutting blade lets this powerhouse make perfect 2 ¼” deep cuts through a variety of materials. And thanks to its FastFix system, swapping out stock blades can be done in a matter of seconds.
A 13 amp motor produces between 1,350 and 3,550 RPM of cutting speed and the soft start design ensures that every cut is accurate and clean. Variable speed control means you can fine-tune your blade’s velocity to perfectly match your material. And the spring-loaded riving knife prevents your work piece from binding and protects you from kickbacks.
Built to deliver impressive performance in the home or at a construction site, this sturdy power tool weighs in at around 13 lbs. and can withstand years of heavy use. At just under $800, it’s one of the most expensive models featured in our list but it’s also one of the most popular options among experienced DIYers, contractors, and professional woodworkers on the market today.
If you’re looking for a great value, our recommendation is the SHOP FOX W1835 Track Saw. This 9 amp, 120 volt power tool delivers a no load speed of up to 5,500 RPM and can perform precise cuts at 45 and 90 degrees. Designed with a riving knife that keeps the cut kerf open, this model prevents your work piece from binding on the cutting blade and eliminates the risk of kickback.
And, thanks to its low profile blade guard, you can easily cut within 5/8” of any wall. A maximum cut depth of 2 5/32” allows you to tackle a variety of projects quickly and even lets you slice through several work pieces at once.
With a dust port, sturdy design, and a comfortable grip, it’s a well-designed track saw that is perfect for any home renovation or woodworking project. And at under $200, it’s one of the top bargains on the market today.