When it comes to woodworking projects, a great deal of cutting is involved. Much of that will be done on a table saw, but lugging full sheets to the cutting location, positioning them across the table, and then cutting them down multiple times is huge waste of energy and time. A track saw can save you a lot of that effort, allowing you to make rough cuts first, trim down larger pieces of wood, and then more easily and accurately use your table saw. Of course, finding the best track saw can be challenging – there are tons of different options on the market, all with their own list of features and benefits. We’ve taken the struggle out of the process for you, and compiled a list of the top track saws for home and professional users.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Track Saw Reviews
- 2 Makita SP6000J1
- 3 DeWalt DWS520K
- 4 Worx WX430L
- 5 DeWalt DCS520T1
- 6 SHOP FOX W1835
- 7 Bosch Tools Track Saw GKT13-225L
- 8 Festool 575387
- 9 DeWalt DWS520SK
- 10 Makita XPS02ZU
- 11 Track Saw Buying Guide
- 12 What Is a Track Saw?
- 13 Is a Track Saw the Same Thing as a Circular Saw?
- 14 What Benefits Can a Track Saw Offer?
- 15 What Is a Rail/Track?
- 16 Choosing the Right Track Saw Blade(s)
- 17 Corded or Battery Powered Track Saws?
- 18 What Features Matter Most When Buying a Track Saw?
- 19 Conclusion
The Best Track Saw Reviews
|Name||Power Type||Motor Capacity||RPM Range||Rail Length|
|Makita SP6000J1||Corded||12 amps||2,000 to 5,200||55 inches||Check on Amazon!|
|DeWalt DWS520K||Corded||12 amps||1,750 to 4,000||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|Worx WX430L||20V battery||20 volt/1 AH||Not listed||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|DeWalt DCS520T1||60 V battery||60 volt/2 AH||Not listed||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|SHOP FOX W1835||Corded||9 amps||Max 5,500||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|Bosch Tools Track Saw GKT13-225L||Corded||Not listed||Not listed||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|Festool 575387||Corded||Not listed||Not listed||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
|DeWalt DWS520SK||Corded||12 amps||Not listed||59 inches||Check on Amazon!|
|Makita XPS02ZU||18 V battery||18 V/5 AH||2,500 to 6,300||N/A – rails not included||Check on Amazon!|
Now that we’ve looked at a head-to-head comparison chart, we’ll dive into in-depth reviews on each track saw model we’ve listed. The goal is to help ensure that you can make an informed, accurate decision regarding your purchase.
The top track saw on our list is the Makita SP6000J1. It offers powerful performance, durability, and unlike most other models on our list, this Makita track saw actually comes with the rail. The saw weighs in at just 16.5 pounds, meaning that it’s lightweight enough for easy portability, but hefty enough for good control. It also comes with two blades – a 6.5-inch circular saw and a 6.5-inch 48T carbide-tipped saw blade. This track saw also comes with an interlocking carrying case, and the guide rail measures a full 55 inches in length. There’s also an included hex wrench to make changing blades simple and easy. The 12-amp motor also offers more than ample power for just about any cutting job you might have, making this a great option for home or professional use.
The DeWalt DWS520K is an excellent track saw for a wide range of uses. Powerful and durable enough for carpenters and contracting professionals, it is also well suited for home use. It features 12 amps of power with a maximum of 4,000 RPM. It weighs less than the Makita that tops our list, coming in at 11.5 pounds. That ensures excellent portability and also eases arm strain during use. Note that this is the bare tool only and comes with no accessories at all. It does not include any saw blades, nor does it include a rail. It fits 6.5-inch blades, and has a maximum bevel capacity of 47 degrees. It’s important to mention in this DeWalt track saw review that the tool is only designed to work with a zero-clearance track system, and it also features dual anti-splinter edges for straight, worry-free cutting.
Worx is becoming a name to contend with in the power tools segment, and the WX430L is a worthwhile addition to our list. It uses standard 6.5-inch blades, and is light enough to alleviate muscle strain and ensure good portability. This is one of only a few battery-powered models to make our list, and the 20V system is designed so that you can share batteries across multiple Worx tools (battery capable, of course). The saw comes with one wood-cutting blade, and features a flush-mount blade design to increase visibility and accuracy. The bevel gauge helps you reach the perfect angle with every cut. The blade guard is also a nice addition. Note that this track saw does not come with a rail. The track saw kit includes a 6.5-inch wood-cutting blade, a single 20V battery, and a five-hour charger, plus the saw itself.
If you’re looking for a track saw kit, the DeWalt DCS520T1 may be the right option for your needs. It includes the track saw, a wood-cutting blade, a wrench to change the blade, a battery and a T-Stack kit box, and a charger. This is a battery-powered track saw, though, so it may not be right for all users. One of the most interesting features of this DeWalt track saw is the built-in anti-kickback mechanism and riving knife that help to reduce kickback and ensure ease of use. It also has a low-profile guide for 90% dust extraction and hand protection, and is designed for use with dual-edged tracks. Note that this saw does not come with a rail.
SHOP FOX W1835
The SHOP FOX W1835 brings plenty of power to bear for home and professional users, although the 9-amp motor is a little smaller than some of the other corded models on our list. The motor maxes out at 5,500 RPM, which is something of a middle ground in our track saw review. Like the DeWalt above, the SHOP FOX comes with an anti-kickback mechanism, as well as a dust elimination system that can connect to a shop vac. The blade guard is low-profile, and the saw only weighs 11 pounds for excellent portability and usability. Note that this saw is capable of both plunge and straight cutting. The SHOP FOX track saw does not come with a rail, and it is not compatible with tracks/rails made by other manufacturers. However, a rail/track is available from the manufacturer as an additional accessory.
Bosch Tools Track Saw GKT13-225L
Bosch has been a best-selling name in the power tool industry for a very long time, and the company’s entry to the track saw segment is worthy of the brand’s reputation. The Bosch Tools Track Saw GKT13-225L uses a standard 6.5-inch blade and can be used for both plunge and straight cutting. It offers a single bevel pivot point for ease of use and “constant electronics” to ensure that there is always plenty of power available to handle whatever you might throw at it. This track saw kit includes a 6.4-inch wood-cut blade (48 tooth), as well as a wrench for changing the blades, an L-BOXX case, and the saw itself. Note that this saw does not include the rail/track, and that it should only be used with Bosh tracks, as the saw is specifically designed for that track’s dimensions. It also has a dust port on the rear that can connect to a shop vac.
This Festool track saw is a very worthy contender to our list. It offers the ability to achieve straight cuts each and every time, and never worry about splinters. The saw includes a spring-loaded riving knife so that the blade is not pinched and to reduce the chance of kickback. The unique Fastfix system ensures that you can quickly and easily change blades, as well. The rear vacuum/dust collection port offers easy connectivity for shop vacs, and the “micro-adjustable” depth indicator ensures that you’re always able to get just the right cut depth. This track saw also includes a replaceable splinter guard, and can accommodate multiple blade types. In addition to the saw, this purchase includes a flag window, a wrench, a vision panel, a splinter guard, and a fine-tooth saw blade. Note that the rail/track is not included with the saw.
Looking for a fast, efficient track saw that helps you achieve straight, accurate cuts all the time? This might be the ticket. The DeWalt DWS520SK delivers powerful performance and versatility, powered by a 12-amp motor that can handle wood up to 2-1/8th inch thick. The saw also features an anti-kickback mechanism for safety and better results, and the blade guard is low-profile for enhanced visibility. The DeWalt DWS520SK is one of only a couple of track saw kits in our list that actually comes with the track/rail. The track measures 59 inches, making it the longest option we review. Note that this saw is capable of plunge cuts as well as straight cuts, and the saw comes with a 3-year limited warranty, as well.
The final entry to our track saw review is the Makita XPS02ZU. Like the previous Makita track saw review, this one is quite positive and the saw’s position at the bottom of this list still places it far above other options on the market. This is a battery-powered saw that uses 18-volt batteries (included), so it may not be the right choice for everyone. The brushless motor also offers better performance and longevity over time. With a fully-charged battery, the company states that you can get 125 cuts with 4×8, .5-inch plywood. The Bluetooth connectivity allows wireless on/off functionality, and the rear vacuum port helps ensure a clean, dust-free workspace. Note that this saw does not come with the track. It does come with a 6.5-inch wood and MDF/laminate blade, and a hex wrench.
As you can see from our track saw review comparison, there are plenty of powerful, highly-capable models on the market. However, if you’ve never owned a track saw before, or you’re not quite sure what to look for in a model, buying one can still be a bit confusing. To help shed some light on these topics and others, we’ve created a comprehensive buying guide, which will help ensure that you’re able to find the best track saw or track saw kit for your specific needs.
Track Saw Buying Guide
Not sure how to choose the right track saw? Not sure what a track saw even is? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a professional replacing your trusted saw that’s on its way out, our buying guide has something to offer. We will explore a wide range of topics that impact your overall experience and will help ensure that you’re able to make an informed buying decision.
What Is a Track Saw?
First, let’s address perhaps the most basic question out there. What is a track saw? The answer is surprisingly simple it is a saw designed to be used with a track or rail to ensure the straightest possible cuts. It can be used to replace a table saw in some cases, or to make it easier to use a table saw for more precise cuts after trimming a piece of wood down before moving it to the table saw.
Is a Track Saw the Same Thing as a Circular Saw?
At first glance, you might think that there is very little difference between a track saw and a circular saw. It’s true that they do have a very similar appearance with what amounts to the same form factor. However, the functions are very different. The track saw is designed to be mounted to, you guessed it, a track. It also lacks the cumbersome blade guard found with circular saws.
There are quite a few other differences between a circular saw and a track saw, as well. For instance, with a circular saw, it is designed to be started at the end of a piece of material, turned on (blade spinning), and then moved forward into the area to be cut. That in itself is very limiting. There is also the fact that circular saws spread sawdust and debris, and that these saws often create splinters and result in a less than smooth cut surface.
With a track saw, the situation is different. These saws feature a very different construction than their similar-looking cousins. Unlike circular saws, the blade is not open. It remains tucked inside the body until you activate it. Then, it descends to the work area. This allows you to create “plunge” cuts rather than only end cuts, although a track saw can certainly be used to cut from the outside in. The saw also features technology that allows it to create smooth cuts free of splinters.
What Benefits Can a Track Saw Offer?
A track saw can offer quite a few benefits that make it a must-have option for your tool set, even if you already own a circular saw and a table saw. Some of the most important benefits to understand include the following:
- Reduced splinters/smoother cuts.
- Ability to work in tight spaces where a table saw cannot be set up.
- Ability to create straight cuts without the need for clamps or a straightedge.
- Dust collection capabilities (with specific models).
- Make any kind of cut necessary at any location, from the edge of the material to the center.
- Ability to cut many types of material, including wood, MDF, laminate, and more.
- With the track, all you need to do is line it up and cut. That streamlines and simplifies your process.
- No test cuts – the track shows you exactly where your blade will cut.
- You get improved portability over table saws.
- No re-cutting plywood – you get a final cut each and every time with no need to go back and re-cut.
What Is a Rail/Track?
The track, or rail as it is sometimes called, is one of the secrets to the track saw’s success. Simply put, it is a track that the saw rides in. Made of metal, each track is made to unique specifications and most are not usable with saws from another manufacturer. What that means is if you have a Makita track saw, you’ll need a Makita track. If you have a DeWalt track saw, then a rail made by Worx won’t do the trick.
Tracks, or rails if you prefer, are made with unique clearances designed specifically for the body of the saw in question. Most of them are zero-clearance affairs and they are usually made from aluminum for durability but also to reduce weight. Some have measurements marked along the edge of the rail, but most don’t.
Choosing the Right Track Saw Blade(s)
It’s important to note several things about track saw blades. First, they’re not the same size as the blade a circular saw uses. Most track saw blades are 6.5 inches, although some are larger, coming in at over 8 inches. You’ll want to make sure of the manufacturer specifications before buying replacement blades for your saw.
Most track saws come with a single blade, but some come with two. The default blade is a wood-working type that is relatively versatile. The second blade (if so equipped) is often finer, with more teeth. However, you will find that there are numerous types of blades on the market, as your track saw can be used to cut a wide range of materials. Some of the blade types on offer allow you to cut:
- Solid wood
Note that while many track saws do use a 6.5-inch blade, that does not necessarily mean that all 6.5-inch blades are usable. Blade thickness also plays a role, and you’ll need to consult your owner’s manual to determine what is true for your specific saw.
Corded or Battery Powered Track Saws?
As with other power tools, batteries have come to play a role in the track saw segment. That means in addition to brand considerations, you also need to think about the power source that you want. Battery-powered and corded models both have their pros and cons, and neither is a clear winner over the other.
You’ll find more corded models on the market than battery-powered options. That means you are more likely to find the right mix of features and price for your specific needs. You’ll also find that corded models generally have more power and better performance, and there’s never a need to stop and swap a battery (or recharge if you only have a single batter). Finally, corded models are usually less expensive than their battery-powered counterparts. In terms of drawbacks, corded models really only have one – they’re tied to an outlet. That limits your ability to work in locations that don’t have access to the power grid.
Battery powered track saws are very convenient. They’re also highly portable. They can go anywhere you might need, even areas where there is no direct access to the power grid. However, they do tend to cost more than corded models, so you will need to spend more at the outset. There are also fewer options on the market, so your choices will be more limited. Of course, you always need to make sure that your batteries are charged and ready to go, and because most units only come with a single battery, you’ll usually need to purchase a spare for additional cutting performance. Battery-powered track saws are often somewhat less powerful than their corded brethren, but that is not always a deal breaker, and as battery technology improves, it becomes less and less of an issue.
What Features Matter Most When Buying a Track Saw?
Choosing a track saw means having an idea of what the various features mean and which ones matter most to you. To that end, we’ll run through some of the most important features to look for when considering a track saw, whether it is battery powered or corded.
RPM – RPM is often a measure of power, but in a way that differs from amps or watts. RPM, or revolutions per minute, is a measure of how many times the blade can turn within 60 seconds. The higher the number, the faster the blade can turn, and the harder and/or thicker the material it can cut (when combined with the right blade, of course). However, high RPM does not immediately equate to a more capable track saw. You also need to consider amps. Also, the more powerful a saw is, the higher the price tag will be.
Bevel Capacity – Bevel capacity is a term used to describe the angle range at which you can set the blade. With low-priced, budget track saws, you may have no bevel, or may be limited to 90 degrees. However, with higher priced models, you’ll find greater range. Some offer incremental adjustability down to fractions of a degree so you can always get the right angle for the project, whether you’re cutting plywood or MDF.
Cutting Capacity – Cutting capacity in this instance refers to the ability to cut through thicker or thinner materials and is a function of blade size. Most track saws use a 6.5-inch blade, but some can be equipped with larger blades. The larger the blade, the thicker the material you can cut through, or the thicker the stack of materials, such as two sheets of plywood. The saw form factor and body size also impact this capability, as well, though.
Variable Speed – Variable speed models allow you to adjust the speed of your blade to match the needs of the moment. In the simplest example, a trigger would allow you to adjust the speed of the blade based on finger pressure on the trigger. More pressure would increase the blade speed, while less pressure would decrease the speed. Note that many track saws offer variable speed control, but this is not true across the board, so if you value the ability to control blade speed, make sure this feature is available on the model you purchase.
Anti-Kickback – Power saws have the potential to kick back when in use. This is a safety issue, and it can also cause damage to the material being cut. Higher-quality track saws use what’s called a riving knife that rides just behind the main cutting blade to reduce kickback potential, prevent the material from pinching the blade, and increase both your safety and the quality of the cuts you make.
Blade Guard – Like circular saws, track saws have a blade guard. However, make sure that your saw is equipped with a low-profile blade guard so that in addition to protecting you, it also helps improve visibility in front of the saw.
Dust Collection System – Most track saws on the market today have a dust collection system, but this is not true for all models that you will find. A good dust collection system allows you to connect a shop vac to the back of the track saw and automatically vacuum up sawdust and debris while in use.
In the end, there is a track saw out there for every budget and every need. Whether you’re a professional or a home user, you’ll find a tracksaw that fits your needs, your budget, and your feature requirements. From DeWalt to Worx, Makita to SHOP FOX, finding a high-quality cutting solution has never been simpler.
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