Reviewerst Woodworking Best Track Saw System

Cutouts in wood, tile, PVC, or plaster are very common during construction or interior renovations and when decorating or furnishing your home. The track saw remains the best tool for making these cuts, both straight and bevel. This tool, relatively easy to learn, can be used by professionals and amateurs, but it is very effective.

I reviewed the best track saw models because of this tool’s popularity, where I considered all their characteristics and capabilities.

What is a track saw?

A track saw is a somewhat unique circular saw. An electric motor with a 1200 W to 1600 W power rotates the circular knives, which cut. Some devices, such as metal casing, guides, or non-slip handles, will allow for better handling and increased security. They can also make a variety of cuts (straight or bevel).

For a circular saw, the blade comes out permanently under the sole. On a track saw, the body completely covered the blade when the machine was not in use. It is held in place by a return spring. Thus, the visible part is not visible. You need to press the button for the blade to come out of the case and start spinning. After turning off the device after cutting, the blade will again be pulled by the spring to return to the housing.

Benefits of track saws

Benefits of track saws

The track saw is much easier to handle than a conventional circular saw. This is most noticeable when you cut the entire panel. Indeed, it is no longer necessary to make preliminary holes in the surface before starting cutting. It is enough to lay the guides on the surface. The blade will then cut through the surface. Once the slot is created, you can work your way through it. This saves a lot of time, especially when you have a lot of work done in a shorter or shorter time frame.

Using a track saw increases safety. Contact with the blade will not be possible since it remains in the housing and will only come out after the device has come into contact with the material being cut. In addition, manufacturers always equipped track saws with an automatic shut-off system that turns on the machine as soon as the blade is locked. This prevents the device from bouncing and causing injury.

Security

The first and probably the most notable difference between a standard circular saw and the track saw is that the blade is not visible and therefore not accessible when starting the machine, which keeps it away from fingers or materials that the saw blade could not damage.

Cut in the middle of the surface or at an angle

All the old carpenters have already shown us their ability to make cuts in the middle of panels with a standard circular saw, it takes practice, and at worst, it is hazardous. The track saw solves this problem for clean cutouts for sink inserts in particleboard, for example.

Making straight, angled, or grooved cuts with this machine is a snap because it offers multiple cutting tilt settings. To adjust the current angles (0 to 45°), all you have to do is release the knobs on the sole, tilt the engine block and then tighten the knob or knobs. For the cutting angle at 22.5° or 48°, primarily used by carpenters, two buttons must be released before performing the previous operations.

Two-step depth and tilt adjustments

The blade (48 or 60 flute carbide blades used in this review) is mounted on an engine block. This movable assembly allows the depth and inclination of the cut to be adjusted in two stages. You must first apply pressure to the motor block so that the blade penetrates the material, then push the device to cut. Once the operation is complete and releasing the tension, the assembly smoothly returns to the starting position thanks to a return spring fixed between the engine block and the sole.

Cordless vs corded

With the advent of the cordless tool, controversy has arisen about which is best for the job: a wired model or a cordless one.

On the one side an electric track saw is easy to start and operate and requires little maintenance. However, an outside outlet and an extension cord with the correct amperage will be necessary. Their constant power is ideal for long-term professional work.

On the other hand, if the construction site is not connected to the power grid, it is impossible to work with corded chains. And here you can see one of the advantages of the battery cordless track saws.

They are robust, easy to start, and more flexible. Cordless saws work anywhere. They don’t need an electrical network. Very convenient for external repair work on the roof of the house. However, keep in mind that they are limited in power and run time. And the saw power will decay exponentially towards the battery discharge. This is important to consider when planning a long cut.

How I tested the track saws

How I tested the track saws

Nowadays, many manufacturers present track saws with various functions. However, I decided to test the best track saws for cutting sheet material (plywood, melamine) with standard high-quality 48 or 60 flute carbide blades, so I tried them without changing anything. This test aimed to look at the cleanliness of the cut and the ease of use of the tool.

The tests were carried out on an insulating rigid foam pad. For cleaner work and safety, each saw was connected to a dust collector – BOSCH VAC090AH.

Our pick
Best Track Saw System
Makita SP6000J
Best Track Saw System
The Makita 6-1/2” Plunge Cut Circular Saw (model SP6000J) delivers precise and more accurate cutting when combined with an optional guide rail system constructed with anodized aluminum for smooth, straight cuts.

Best track saw system comparisson table

Power type Blade diameter, “ Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), “ Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), “ Speed, RPM Weight, lbs/kg
Makita SP6000Jbest overall corded 6.5 2.1 1.5 2000 – 5200 9.7/4 Review
WEN CT1065best budget corded 6.5 2.3 1.6 5500 12/5.4 Review
Makita XPS01PTJbest cordless cordless 6.5 2.1 1.5 2500 – 6300 11.2/4.9 Review

Best Сorded Track Saw Reviews

Makita SP6000J – best overall

Makita SP6000J

The Makita SP6000J is a plunge-cut track saw, which you can see in top track saw reviews. It has a power of 1300 W for a no-load speed of 5800 rpm. The cutting height is 2.1 inches at 90° and up to 1.5 inches in its maximum tilt at 48°. Regardless of the length and angle of the cut, the Makita makes long accurate rip cuts.

The unit is powerful enough and allowed me to cut through materials without any extra effort. Dust was well removed from the tool. However, most of all, I liked the ergonomics. As with the other devices of the Japanese brand, this track saw is characterized by good quality of manufacture. It is comfortable and straightforward to use and allows a large number of adjustments.

The Makita SP6000J is the best track saw for a successful full panel cut. By starting cutting where you want, you can get many jobs done quickly and efficiently. Its powerful motor provides excellent cutting performance and good depth. Precision is guaranteed because the blade of this machine is of outstanding quality. This best overall track saw is ultimately suitable for beginners as well as more experienced DIY enthusiasts.

Key specs

  • Power type: corded
  • Blade diameter, inch: 6.5
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), inch: 2.1
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), inch: 1.5
  • Variable speed control: yes
  • Speed, RPM: 2000 – 5200
  • Weight, lbs: 9.7

Pros

  • Electrical and mechanical safety systems
  • Soft start and speed adjustments

Cons

  • There are no stops on the guide that will prevent the saw from coming out

WEN CT1065 – best budget track saw system

WEN CT1065

Are you a DIY enthusiast looking for a good budget track saw? In this case, take a look at WEN CT1065. This is a reasonably powerful and efficient track saw for its budget. With 1200 W motor power, this track saw is designed for cuts up to 2.3 inches. I would also like to note the high rotation speed – 5500 RPM. This allows you to work even with rigid materials. I tested it on various materials, and the saw handled everything perfectly. And thanks to the soft-start function, it was possible to cut at any point on the material’s surface.

However, I should note some nuances in work with this best track saw. The saw handles, like the entire body, are made of hard plastic. It absolutely does not dampen vibrations that appear when working with particularly hard materials (metal or tiles). The situation is aggravated by the fact that the handles do not have a rubber coating or at least texturing. This is detrimental to the retention of the saw when working. Therefore, I needed to make some effort to cope with the vibrations.

Despite these inconveniences, the saw’s performance remains at the level of models from more expensive segments. And that’s why I can call the WEN CT1065 the best budget saw for woodworking.

Key specs

  • Power type: corded
  • Blade diameter, inch: 6.5
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), inch: 2.3
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), inch: 1.6
  • Variable speed control: no
  • Speed, RPM: 5500
  • Weight, lbs: 12

Pros

  • Compactness and lightness
  • It is possible to saw the workpiece from the middle

Cons

  • Bad plastic body

BOSCH GKT13-225L

BOSCH GKT13-225L

Another professional tool in this track saw comparison, BOSCH GKT13-225L, provides a power of 1400 W and an adjustable rotation speed of 3,600-6,250 rpm, which makes it possible to work with materials of different hardness. Regardless of the material, the cutting depth is 2.2 inches at 90° or 1.6 inches at 45°.

The design of this machine is very well thought out, which makes it a very ergonomic and practical tool. I did not experience any discomfort when working and did not move the saw because of this. The cuts in wood and plywood were smooth and clean — no torn edges. The proprietary Top precision disc supplied with the device also facilitated this.

In addition, user comfort is perfectly optimized to the various settings with a great track saw system. Finally, I cannot help but say about an effective dust removal system. The saw has a movable nozzle on the body, through which the dust collector hose never interferes with the work. This is an excellent device that is suitable for both DIY workshops and professional work.

Key specs

  • Power type: corded
  • Blade diameter, inch: 6.5
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), inch: 2.2
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), inch: 1.6
  • Variable speed control: yes
  • Speed, RPM: 3600 – 6250
  • Weight, lbs: 10.4

Pros

  • Long network cable
  • High blade RPM for clean, smooth cuts

Cons

  • Lack of soft start

Best Сordless Track Saw Reviews

Makita XPS01PTJ – best cordless model

Makita XPS01PTJ

The Makita XPS01PTJ is undoubtedly an exciting review unit. This top-of-the-line model allows you to make clean and accurate cuts at 2.1 inches at 90° and 1.5 inches at 48°, the standard for this class unit.

For a rechargeable device, 1400 W might seem like a lot. But I hasten to assure you that a 2x18V Lithium-Ion battery is enough for a dynamic saw operation. Furthermore, I really felt that the device was optimized to the maximum to avoid wasting a lot of power loss. What’s more, this saw is very quiet when it comes to noise compared to other models.

The ergonomics of the instrument are just as good. The handles are rubber coated, and the saw slides well along with the guide. High rotation speed, 2500 – 6300 rpm, makes it possible to work with wood and the most common sheet materials. In addition, for such purposes, many settings are making the saw very accurate and practically free of backlash. In addition, during the test, it turned out that changing the blade is very simple.

As a result, I can say that the Makita XPS01PTJ is a must-have for both an experienced craftsman and a professional and is the best cordless track saw in its class.

Key specs

  • Power type: cordless
  • Battery: 2x18V, lithium-Ion
  • Blade diameter, inch: 6.5
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), inch: 2.1
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), inch: 1.5
  • Variable speed control: yes
  • Speed, RPM: 2500 – 6300
  • Weight, lbs: 11.2

Pros

  • High-quality body materials
  • The precisely aligned cutting depth and tilt rails

Cons

  • Ease of tilt adjustment is poor

DEWALT DCS520T1

DEWALT DCS520T1

The DEWALT DCS520T1 features a robust and reliable brushless motor, delivering high power to get clean cuts in various materials and saws with minimal effort. It is suitable for all typical applications with a standard diameter of 6 inches and a disc seat diameter of 0.7 mm.
Like most track saws, the DCS520T1 provides satisfactory cutting depth: up to 2.1 inches at 90°, up to 1.6 inches at 45°.

A 1x60V lithium-ion battery powers the DEWALT DCS520T1, so I could rely on the entire RPM range (1750 – 4000) for quite some time without having to struggle with the electrical cable. It is running longer than most cordless track saws I have used. A massive plus for this model is that it comes with two batteries and a quick charger to swap them and optimize battery life during long-term projects.

The DEWALT impressed me with the quality and precision of cutting with the supplied 42-tooth carbide blade. Moreover, the DCS520T1’s lightweight, just 12.5 pounds, and the absence of a cord gave good maneuverability and ergonomics. And this does not depend on the hardness of wood species or even thick plywood. And in addition to all this, it also works relatively quietly.
With this saw, you will enjoy optimum working comfort, high cutting precision, and increased safety. In short, it is a powerful and versatile tool that meets the needs of the professional.

Key specs

  • Power type: cordless
  • Battery: 2x18V, lithium-Ion
  • Blade diameter, inch: 6.5
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 90°), inch: 2.1
  • Max. cutting capacity (at 45°), inch: 1.6
  • Variable speed control: yes
  • Speed, RPM: 1750 – 4000
  • Weight, lbs: 12.5

Pros

  • It is convenient to work with the tool even on the weight
  • High build quality – no backlash anywhere

Cons

  • Lack of backlight

What to pay attention to when picked a track saw

Motor power

The power of the installed motor is also in optimal proportion to the size of the saw blade. The low-power saw works with small blades (5 inches), medium-power – with medium (up to 8 inches), high-power – with the largest diameter. The more powerful the saw, the more productive it is and the more it can handle the most rigid materials. The power classification looks like this:

  • Models for home and household work – up to 800 W;
  • Versatile, convenient both for everyday life and for performing more complex tasks – from 0.8 to 1.2 kW;
  • Pro – above 1.2 kW of power.

Variable speed control

Cutting speed is associated with the speed of cutting workpieces and the ability to work with original materials. The more revolutions the saw can give, the easier it will be for it to cope with dense materials, such as wood. In addition, a saw with a high blade speed is less likely to jam in the part.

It should be noted that some low-power circular saws can have a large number of rotations, e.g., BOSCH GKT13-225L. With 1400 watts of power, this model has a disc speed of 6250 rpm so that a large number of rotations will not be a hindrance when choosing.

Track saw blade size

The diameter of the cutting wheel determines the rest of its working parameters. The class of the device depends on the maximum possible diameter: household, semi-professional, professional. The higher this indicator, the deeper the device cuts. That is, the diameter of the disc and the depth of cut – these characteristics are related in direct proportion. For example, a blade from 5 to 6 inches cuts wood down to 45 mm. A diameter of 8 inches will give a cutting depth of about 3 inches. A large disc is allowed to cut any material up to 14 inches, including metal.

Bevel capacity

Most models of track saws can cut parts in a straight line and at an angle of 45°. However, at the moment, models are already being produced that are capable of cutting at an angle of up to 60°. It is also worth paying attention to the maximum cutting depth at an angle of 90°. This characteristic shows how deep the cutting blade can enter the material of the part when the saw moves perpendicular to the surface of the workpiece. If you have to work mainly with thin products – up to 2 inches thick, then you should choose a circular saw model with the same cutting depth at an angle of 90° – 2 inches.

Track length

A track is a path your saw will follow. Obviously, the trail of your saw will determine the nature of the tasks that your saw will perform. Although you would use a long guide instead of a short guide, it would be difficult to use a short guide to protect against long breaks. Thus, starting with a slightly longer track provides more flexibility in your work.

However, a long-track saw kit requires more space and is, therefore, less affordable than a short one. It is important to remember this. The good news is that many manufacturers offer guide rails in different sizes. This usually means that you can purchase additional accessories when you need them.

Cord length

The length of the cord is directly related to the usability of the track saw. If you are going to do something like a roofing business and only have a corded track saw, then look for the tool with the longest cord possible, about 25 feet. The long cord allows you to work with materials of different lengths without using an extension cord.

Safety features

Track saws differ from circular saws only in the presence of a protective cover on the cutting blade and platform. And it is these criteria that make it safer. The casing itself is already good protection against the ingress of something foreign into the rotation zone of the disk. This protects your fingers and prevents unexpected impacts when cutting due to objects hitting. For example, with long cuts, thanks to the guide, the saw has a clearly defined path, and you can see where the cutting blade will pass and predict its behavior. Plus, the guide eliminates the need to guide the saw with your other hand. Instead, both hands are on the handle for added security.