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Details About the Main Thing: Track Saw vs. Table Saw

Details About the Main Thing: Track Saw vs. Table Saw
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Last Updated: 02 April 2021

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ARCHIE ADAMS

ARCHIE ADAMS

Editor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide

If you are a “do it yourself” fanatic, you definitely had a difficult time at some point trying to figure out whether you should buy a track saw or a table saw. Before purchasing a saw, you need to ask yourself “What material are you working with?” and “What cuts do you want to make?”.

What is a Track Saw
The track saw vs. table saw is a debate that is still confusing many woodworkers. It’s crucial to take note that these are two unlike machines with different build and capabilities. However, depending on the kind of work, you can always substitute one for another. Especially if you are on a tight budget

In this article will review each of these saws, their functions, and their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Track Saw?

It is commonly referred to as a plunge saw. A track saw is an electrically powered circular saw with a side aluminum rail along which the blade slides when cutting. This rail clamps on the wood you are working on, allowing you to make straight and accurate cuts across the material. Unlike the traditional table saw, which is fixed on a table stand with its blade exposed facing up, the track saw has its blade concealed facing down, away from the user.

Track Saw: What is It Used for and How to Use it?

As aforementioned, a track saw is a circular saw used to make plunge cuts, angular cuts, and long straight cuts. You can also use it to trim thin pieces of wood, melamine, doors, and long sheets. How does it work?

You have to adjust the depth you wish to cut. Hold the saw along with the material you want to cut. Loosen the depth adjusting knob until the blade goes below the board and tighten the knob.

Attach your guide rails so you can make perfectly straight cuts.

Now you are ready to cut. Push the plunger knob to release the blade, then press the power trigger to start the motor.

Makita SP6000J
DEWALT DCS520ST1
Kreg ACS2000
WEN CT1065
Makita SP6000J 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw
DEWALT 60V MAX Track Saw Kit with 59-Inch Track, 6-1/2-Inch (DCS520ST1)
Kreg ACS2000 Adaptive Cutting System Saw + Guide Track Kit
WEN CT1065 10-Amp 6.5-Inch Plunge Cut Sidewinder Circular Track Saw
$382.66
Price not available
$406.13
$118.06
Makita SP6000J
Makita SP6000J 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw
$382.66
DEWALT DCS520ST1
DEWALT 60V MAX Track Saw Kit with 59-Inch Track, 6-1/2-Inch (DCS520ST1)
Price not available
Kreg ACS2000
Kreg ACS2000 Adaptive Cutting System Saw + Guide Track Kit
$406.13
WEN CT1065
WEN CT1065 10-Amp 6.5-Inch Plunge Cut Sidewinder Circular Track Saw
$118.06

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros

  • Perfect for plunge cuts
  • It’s portable
  • Compact design and portable
  • Accurate cuts for long length
  • It’s cheap

Cons

  • Measuring and aligning takes more time

What is a Table Saw?

What is a Track Saw

It is an electric-powered saw usually fixed on the underside of a table hence its name. Table saws have been in the market for quite a long time. Generally, they are more powerful than regular power saws and more advantageous since they are versatile. There are various types depending on the user’s need, for example, a table saw for plywood.

Table saws are usually larger in size and mostly immobile. They are designed to be permanently fixed in workshops. They are also quite expensive.

What Can You Do with a Table Saw?

These machines are perfect for rip cuts, cross cuts, and dado cuts. Since it’s a versatile type of saw, it allows changing blades depending on user preference; for example, when cutting plywood on a table saw, you need to change the blade to thin and fine teeth to obtain a smooth cut edge. To change blades, lift the blade height, use a piece of wood to hold the blade, and loosen the holding nut. Put the new blade in position and tighten back the nut.

DEWALT DWE7485
SKILSAW SPT99-11
SKIL 3540-02
Metabo C10RJS
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
SKILSAW SPT99-11 10
SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
Metabo HPT Table Saw, 10-Inch Carbide Tipped Blade, 35-Inch Rip Capacity, Fold & Roll Stand, 8 x 13/16-Inch Dado Capacity, Jobsite (C10RJS)
$399.00
$651.21
$107.49
$569.00
DEWALT DWE7485
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
$399.00
SKILSAW SPT99-11
SKILSAW SPT99-11 10
$651.21
SKIL 3540-02
SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw
$107.49
Metabo C10RJS
Metabo HPT Table Saw, 10-Inch Carbide Tipped Blade, 35-Inch Rip Capacity, Fold & Roll Stand, 8 x 13/16-Inch Dado Capacity, Jobsite (C10RJS)
$569.00

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros

  • Easy to work with
  • Best for repetitive cuts
  • Can easily cut through thick wood and center of boards

Cons

  • Takes up huge space
  • Heavy and immobile
  • It is high-priced

Track Saw Vs Table Saw: Comparison Chart

When it comes to table saw vs. track saw, there are some notable differences in build and functionality. The table below shows a summarized comparison of the two saws.

Table Saw Track Saw
Use Rip cuts Plunge cuts
Portability Heavy and immobile Lightweight and portable
Type Benchtop Corded and handheld
Bevel Yes Yes
Price Expensive Cheap

Can a Track Saw Replace a Table Saw?

Can a Track Saw Replace a Table Saw

A track saw can, to some extent, be used in place of a table saw depending on the type of job done. Some jobs can be better done by a track saw than a table saw. This means you can convert a circular saw to a table saw. For this reason, most woodworkers would not want to spend money on a table saw, but a track saw.

Final Advice

If you have read through this article, you’ve probably noticed that both the track saw and table saw are useful tools for different projects. The track saw vs. table saw debate is not ending soon. If you have enough money to spend, you can buy both. However, if you are working on a tight financial plan, we recommend the best track saw since it’s cheaper, portable, and performs equally well as the table saw.

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