Best Track Saws of 2020

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Categories Saws
Ensure quality-finished DIY projects with one of these track saws.

The power tool market in the US, in 2016, was worth an estimated $4.6 billion (1). It shows that America is in love with power tools.

And track saws are no exception. Sometimes you need extra cutting capacity but don’t want to lose accuracy. Track saws are the ideal tool to use in this situation. Plus, they are multi-functional, because they are equally capable for use as plunge saws too.

So which is the best track saw and why should you buy one? Let’s give you the lowdown on track saws.


What Is a Track Saw Used For?

As the name suggests, a track saw runs along a fixed track, giving you the ability to make extended cuts accurately. It is ideal for trimming doors, plywood, and larger sheet materials.

Many professional carpenters and woodworkers like track saws for this reason, as well as their versatility. Track saws are multi-functional and can adapt to different tasks.

Benefits of a Track Saw

Portable

Unlike heavy table saws, track saws are so portable you can carry them under one arm.

Keeps on Cutting

Table saws have a finite capacity, so you are limited to the size of the cuts you make. Circular saws are less accurate because cutting along an extended line takes supreme concentration. Track saws will keep on cutting for as long as you have track and the material.

They are super-accurate and give a neat finish.

No Clamps

The backs of the tracks have rubber strips, so you lay it down, and it doesn’t slip. This makes them accurate and fast.

Collects the Dust

The dust collection system keeps excess sawdust safely inside the shroud. This is crucial if you want to avoid showering your surroundings in harmful pollutants like medium density fiberglass (MDF) dust.

Easy Set Up

Lay the track down, line it up with the marks on the board, and the edge shows you exactly where the cut will be. It removes the guesswork and means that there is no need to perform test cuts.

Works in Confined Spaces

Unlike a table saw that needs infeed and outfeed space, a track saw can cut extensive sheet material in the smallest room.

Makes the Best Quality Cuts

Track saws have the finest finish of any saws. Compared to a table saw and a circular saw, a track saw will cut so accurately that there is no need to do a clean-up of the cut.

No Limit Miters

There are limits to the miters on table saws that restrict what you can achieve. There are no such barriers with a track saw. The miter can be as long as you want and at any angle. Again, this speeds up the work progress while keeping accuracy.

Multi-Purpose

A track saw is a miter saw, a table saw, a circular saw, and a panel saw. No wonder professionals love it.

Safe to Use

Because the saw sits on a track, there is a minimal chance of slippage, and the track is rubber-backed, so it stays in place.

How to Choose the Best Track Saw

There are many things to consider when choosing a track saw. Get it right, and it will be your favorite power tool.

Speed

Track saw speeds are measured in RPM (revolutions per minute). This helps determine the saws cutting ability. The higher the RPM, the better suited the saw is to cut harder and more dense material.

The standard RPM of most track saws is 2,000, but you can get more powerful models that have 5,000 RPM. Some top-end models have variable speed control, enabling you to adjust the speed to cater to different materials.

Torque

It’s not all about speed. Torque is equally as important. Torque describes the force a tool uses to turn an object. Imagine a supercar without torque. Sure it has the speed, but how is that speed controlled and how does it translate to movement. A fast car without torque would be undrivable. The same is true for your power tool.

Bevel Capacity

The most basic models cut 90-degree angles, but choosing a saw with a bevel adjuster opens a whole new world of angles and cuts. It makes the saw extremely versatile.

Power

The power of your motor is the difference between you cutting harder or softer material. Get an underpowered tool, and you will limit your capabilities. Look for a 9 amp motor if you want the saw to tackle most jobs with ease.

Keep in Mind

The bigger the motor, the more money you will spend.

Soft Start

Soft start describes the way the saw gradually warms up, increasing speed as it does. It makes the experience a lot more comfortable and stops your saw from jumping into life rapidly, which could cause a serious injury. It also increases your accuracy.

Corded or Cordless

Which option you choose depends on how often you travel with your tools and how far from a power source the job site is. Corded track saws don’t lose power, and you don’t have to fret about charging a battery.

But they do have distance limitations, and you need to be near a power source at all times.

Cordless track saws have no such worries. They are the go-anywhere saws that can operate in the remotest parts. However, you are constantly constrained by battery life and if you have enough juice. As the battery fades, so too does the performance of the saw.

Durability

Choose a brand you know and trust. Look around your tool collection. Is there a name that stands out? DeWALT, Makita, and Shop Fox are all brands that have a reputation to protect, so they will likely build saws that last.

Take Note

However, it doesn’t always follow that the most expensive models are the most durable.

Dust Collection

The dust collector is a must because these saws create a lot of debris, which contains harmful pollutants. MDF is especially dangerous if inhaled.

Track Length

Track length differs with each brand, but try and buy a saw with a track you can extend. Just make sure the additional track is compatible with your guard rail.

Blade

Get a track saw with the best quality blade. If you have to replace the blade, choose a model that has an easy blade removal system. You don’t want to take longer than necessary to swap out the blades.


The Best Track Saws of 2020

Not all track saws are created equal, which is why doing the research to find the pick of the bunch was crucial. We assigned a winner in each category to make it easier to see the strength of each choice.

1. Makita SP6000J1 Plunge Saw

Best Track Saw for Woodworking

Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2 In. Plunge Circular Saw Kit, with Stackable Tool Case and 55 In. Guide Rail
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Makita is a trusted brand in the power tool world and rightly features at the top of our review. This model has electronic speed control that maintains speed under load. This means it keeps the accuracy without losing any power.

It has a powerful 12 amp motor and is capable of delivering between 2,000 and 5,200 RPM. It also has a variable speed dial, so you can manually adjust the speed to cater to each type of material.

Why We Love It

Large Cutting Capacity

This saw cuts 2-3/16 inches at 90 degrees and 1-9/16 inches at 45 degrees. It means that it has a larger cutting capacity.

Torque Control

This Makita has a built-in torque control limiter to avoid burnout. It preserves the life of the motor, saving it from malfunction and repair.

Electronic Speed Control

This feature maintains the speed when the tool encounters tougher material and provides constant speed and accuracy.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

The track on this set is prone to warping, and some reviews have suggested that the materials used in constructing the saw are on the cheap side.

Additional Specs

Weight 28 lbs
RPM 5,200
Blade size 6-½”
Cord/Cordless Corded
Guide rail 55”
Warranty 1-year

2. Festool TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Track Saw

Best Premium Track Saw

Festool 575390 TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Track Circular Saw w/ 75' Guide Rail
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This Festool track saw has a 75-inch track, so making substantial 69-inch cuts is going to be easy with this tool. It has a spring-loaded riving knife to prevent kickbacks, and the micro-adjustable depth controls to ensure a precision cut.

The replaceable splinter guards prevent tear-out cuts and reduce rework, as well as material wastage. This saw comes in two size options, with a larger, 9-inch blade, and it also has a cordless option.

Why We Love It

75-Inch Track

A track this long means that most extended cutting tasks are catered to. That’s 69-inches of cutting edge. Ideal if you are trimming doors or worktops.

Riving Knife

The spring-loaded riving knife is one of the best safety features about this saw. Kickback is a problem, and the riving knife dramatically reduces this.

Fast Fix Blade Change

This saw has a fast fix blade change system that ensures the blade switchover takes place in minutes. It works by locking the switch and arbor simultaneously for easy bolt removal.

Soft-Start

The soft-start feature is excellent for building up speed gradually and increasing the accuracy of the cuts you make.

Keep In Mind

The Price

There is no doubt that this track saw is a high-quality bit of kit, but the price is staggering, even for a track saw. The track alone costs what a circular saw would.

Additional Specs

Weight 22.7 pounds
RPM 3,550
Blade size 8-¼”
Cord/Cordless Cord
Guide rail 75”
Warranty 3-year

3. DeWALT DCS 520 T1 Cordless Track Saw

Best Cordless Track Saw

DEWALT DCS520ST1 60V MAX 6-1/2' (165mm) Cordless Track Saw Kit with 59' Track
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Such a prominent name like DeWALT had to feature sooner or later in this review. This cordless track saw is part of their Flexvolt range. The battery is interchangeable and adjusts the voltage to meet the demands of the product.

It is a lightweight track saw, weighing just 12.5 pounds, and the rail measures 59 inches in length. Like the Festool, this saw has safety features like the riving knife that reduces the risk of kickback. This DeWALT also has a continuous anti-kickback mechanism for added protection.

Why We Love It

Trusted Brand

DeWALT is an American institution and has been producing tools for generations. Go to any job site, and you’ll find tradespeople equipped with DeWALT tools.

Cordless

Go anywhere with this track saw. It has a lithium-ion battery and is totally transportable. It means you can take the tool to the job site.

Interchangeable Battery

The battery is compatible with the entire range of Flexvolt tools. This battery is 60 volts, so if you switch it to a 20-volt tool, it lasts three times as long between charges.

Maximum Cut Depth

This saw has a maximum 90-degree cut depth of 2-⅛ inches, which means you should be able to slice through thick sheet material.

Keep In Mind

Battery Limitations

Having the freedom to go where you want comes with limitations. The lithium battery is not good at coping with colder temperatures and loses charge faster. Also, you need to remember to charge the battery before starting a job.

Additional Specs

Weight 12.5 pounds
RPM 4,000
Blade size 6-½”
Cord/Cordless Cordless
Guide rail 59”
Warranty 3-year

4. DeWALT DWS520K Track Saw Kit

Best Track Saw for the Money

DEWALT DWS520K 6-1/2-Inch TrackSaw Kit
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Once more, we feature a DeWALT track saw. We felt this was the best overall value for money. That doesn’t mean it is the cheapest, just the best overall price package.

It has a maximum cutting depth of 2-⅛ inches and weighs just 11.5 pounds. It has a 6-½ inch blade and a zero load speed of 4,000 RPM. It is excellent for plunge cuts, trimming, gang cutting, and lots more.

DeWALT is a quality brand, and this saw is no exception. There is a downside to this saw. The track has to be purchased separately, but you can buy the Powertec 55” Track for a fraction of the cost of other branded tracks. That’s why this saw is still the best value for money.

Why We Love It

Versatile

It is a versatile saw, making bevel cuts, trim cuts, gang cuts, plunge cuts, and many more. Remove the rail, and you have a powerful circular saw.

Value

This saw is still half the price of the Festool. Add in that for just over $100, you can purchase a universal track system, and you have a nice saw package for the money.

Continuous Anti-Kickback

With the continuous anti-kickback control engaged, the saw will only move forwards and reduces the chance of a kickback.

Keep In Mind

No Track

We’ve chosen this as a stand-alone saw that is good value. And if you add in a cheaper universal track, you have a premium track saw kit for not a lot of money. However, if you try and buy the DeWALT dedicated track, you will be spending a lot more.

Build Quality Issues

The lock and blade plunge switch is made of plastic and feels cheap.

Additional Specs

Weight 18.25 pounds
RPM 4,000
Blade size 6-½”
Cord/Cordless Cord
Guide rail Sold separately
Warranty 3-year limited

5. Shop Fox W1831 Track Saw

Best Track Saw for Beginners

SHOP FOX W1835 Track Saw
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Not everyone has a large budget, so it’s refreshing to see a track saw at an affordable price. This makes it a good choice for those learning how to use a track saw. This Shop Fox is four times cheaper than the DeWALT, and yet it retains many of the features. So, what has it got?

It is lightweight and has a low profile blade guard for making cuts close to the wall. It has a maximum cutting depth, without a rail, of just over 2 inches, and its powerful 9 amp motor generates 5,500 RPM. The only downside with this saw is that the track needs to be purchased separately, and that adds to the expense. But overall, for the money, this would be a great entry-level track saw for beginners.

Why We Love It

The Price

This saw has an unrivaled price. Instead of spending mega-dollars, especially if you are just starting out, why not get this saw as an entry-level model and graduate on to something better as you become experienced.

Features

Even though this is the budget option. it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to safety and convenience features.

Keep In Mind

No Track

While having no track is a minus point, we shouldn’t be too surprised given the price. However, if you want your track saw to run on a guard rail, you need to buy the track separately.

Torque

While it has a maximum of 5,500 RPM, it suffers from a lack of torque, which might affect the materials you can cut.

Additional Specs

Weight 12.79 pounds
RPM 5,500
Blade size 6-¼”
Cord/Cordless Cord
Guide rail Sold separately
Warranty 1-year

6. WEN CT1065 10-Amp Plunge Cut Track Saw

Best Budget Track Saw

WEN CT1065 10-Amp 6.5-Inch Plunge Cut Sidewinder Circular Track Saw
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We did a double-take when we saw the price of this saw. It had to feature as our budget option. It has a maximum cutting depth of 2-⅓ inches, so it is ideal for cutting large sheet material. The blade supplied with the saw is a 24-tooth carbide-tipped variety, and it has a 20 mm arbor.

This saw is ideal for plunge cuts and ripping, and when you purchase the track, you can make 100-inch cuts with ease.

For a budget choice, this is a great track saw, as long as you remember that you get what you pay for.

Why We Love It

The Price

First and foremost, it made the list because of the price. We are not suggesting this is the best you can get, but it probably is for the budget.

High-Speed

It is equipped with a 10 amp motor capable of delivering a maximum no-load speed of 5,500 RPM.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality

Something has to give for the price, and that usually means inferior quality materials. There is a lot of plastic in this saw, so it may not be as robust as the others on the list.

No Track

Okay, this isn’t a significant minus point given the saw price, but it is still a pain that you have to purchase the track separately.

Additional Specs

Weight 13.58 pounds
RPM 5,500
Blade size 6-½”
Cord/Cordless Cord
Guide rail Sold separately
Warranty 2-years

7. Triton TTS1400 Plunge Track Saw

Best Track Saw for Dust Collection

Triton TTS1400 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Track Saw 1400W
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This track saw packs a punch. It has a powerful 1,400-watt motor that generates 5,300 RPM. It has a fast blade change facility, and soft-grip handles for increased comfort and control. There is a plunge lock, variable speed control, and soft-start mode.

What sets this saw apart is the universal dust adaptor. It removes dust better than most of its rivals, making your workspace a safer environment.

The track is sold separately, so factor that into the budget, and it is a quiet track saw as far as saws can be. This generates 95 dB, which is the equivalent of a motorcycle engine running. When you compare that to the 107 dB of some of the models featured, you get what we mean.

Why We Love It

1,400-Watt Motor

The 1,400-watt motor generates 5,300 RPM. It means that it is capable of ripping through all wood-types.

Quick Blade Change

Why spend hours trying to change the blade, when in a few minutes the job is done. It comes with a free plunge, scribe, and blade change mode.

Dust Extractor

Dust extraction is the reason this track saw has featured on the list. It has a universal adaptor that removes almost all the debris.

Keep In Mind

No Track

It seems odd that so many track saws get sold without the track. Surely you need a track to call them track saws. This Triton is no exception. The track needs to be purchased separately.

Build Quality Issues

Some people have reported that the saw is packaged poorly, leading to damage in transit. Others have said that the angle guide settings are inaccurate, leading to poor quality outcomes.

Additional Specs

Weight 6.5 pounds
RPM 5,300
Blade size 6-½”
Cord/Cordless Cord
Guide rail Sold separately
Warranty 1-year limited

Track Saw Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight RPM Blade size Cord/Cordless Guide rail Warranty
Makita SP6000J1 Plunge Saw Woodworking 28 lbs 5,200 6-½” Corded 55” 1-year
Festool TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Premium Saw 22.7 lbs 3,550 8-¼” Corded 75” 3-year
DeWALT DCS 520 T1 Cordless Cordless Saw 12.5 lbs 4,000 6-½” Cordless 59” 3-year
DeWALT DWS520K Track Saw Kit For the Money 18.25 lbs 4,000 6-½” Corded Separate 3-year limited
Shop Fox W1831 Track Saw Beginners 12.79 lbs 5,500 6-¼” Corded Separate 1-year
WEN CT1065 10-Amp Plunge Cut Budget Pick 13.58 lbs 5,500 6-½” Corded Separate 2-years
Triton TTS1400 Plunge Track Saw Dust Collection 6.5 lbs 5,300 6-½” Corded Separate 1-year limited
Jump to the Full Track Saw Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Track Saw Better Than a Table Saw?

It depends what you are using it for. A table saw is great if you have space, and you want to make faster bulk cuts. So, imagine that you are cutting the frame for an extension, and have a pile of lumber to cut, a table saw will deal with this efficiently.

Track saws have their limitations because they don’t handle smaller pieces of wood as well as table saws. And track saws aren’t effective at cutting thicker workpieces.

But a table saw has limits on capacity and area. A track saw has no limitations. You can cut sheet material in any space and any angle. They are quick to set up and swift in their execution. Plus, there is no limit on the size of material a track saw can cut.

How Deep Can a Track Saw Cut?

Track saws have a maximum cutting depth of about two inches, so they aren’t suited to cutting thicker materials. This makes them better for cutting sheet material.

Track Saws vs. Circular Saws. What’s the Difference?

Track saws and circular saws look the same, but there are subtle differences. A track saw has an enclosed blade, which makes dust collection a lot easier. A track saw operates along a track that controls the accuracy and line of the cut.

Track saws are also better for making fine cuts that require minimal sanding. This means they are suited to fine detail work like trimming large sheet material. Track saws are limited to cutting large sheets of wood, so they are not usable when chopping small bits of wood.

Circular saws have an exposed blade, so they are a lot messier to operate. However, they are more versatile in that they can cut different workpieces, including small ones. They are also not limited to a track, so they are better for free-hand cutting.

Circular saws are lighter and more agile but do not cope with long straight lines because you need Herculean concentration levels to keep the cut accurate. Plus, the quality of the cut is less refined, meaning it requires rework.

How to Use a Track Saw

1. Select the Wood

Track saws are capable of cutting hard and softwood, as well as plyboard and MDF.

2. Select Your Blade

The type of material determines the blade you use. In this instance, for general wood cutting, a blade with 14 teeth will suffice. If you were cutting melamine or plywood, which tends to splinter easily, switch to a 48-tooth blade.

3. Set the Cutting Depth

Set the depth of the cut by adjusting your blade. Track saws don’t cut anything over two inches, so if you want to avoid kickback, try and stick to the thinnest sheet material and allow the blade to penetrate through the wood.

4. Set the Track

For anyone who had a model railway as a kid, this is almost as satisfying as laying a train track. The track comes in several parts and needs to be slotted together to reach the desired length. Place the track on your workpiece and line it up where you want the cut to go.

5. Place Your Saw on the Track

Slide your saw on to the guard rail and line it up to the edge of the sheet wood. Now you’re ready to start cutting.

6. Power Up

You will need to release the plunge switch and the power trigger at the same time. This drops the blade from the housing and starts it turning. Slide the saw towards the stock, taking care to let the blade work up to maximum speed as it makes the first incision.

7. Power Down

Allow the saw to progress along the rail, as you work towards the end of the cut. Apply steady, but gentle pressure and never force the saw to move faster than it should because this will affect the quality of the cut. When you reach the end, release the power trigger and allow the saw to come to a halt.


Let’s Get Back on Track

Track saws are worth every penny. They are versatile, lightweight, easy to transport, and above all, give you extended cutting options a table saw can’t deliver.

They are a woodworker’s best friend and an essential tool in their arsenal.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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