If you are a person who loves to indulge in the occasional DIY or a professional carpenter, you must have surely come across the track saw. If you are starting on a new project and want to understand how a track saw might benefit you, this might be the solution. Track saws can perform a wide variety of cuts across different mediums. It is recommended you have some basic knowledge about what is a track saw and its working. They come with a variety of features. It might be a great idea to buy one according to your project requirements.
What is a Track Saw?
A track saw, also known as a plunge saw. It is a handheld saw that uses a rail mechanism in its design. It slides on a metal rail, allowing it to glide across the cutting surface easily. Most saws are cut starting from an end or corner. However, you can directly use a track saw in the middle of the material to get the cut you desire. A plunge saw with track comes with built-in rubber clamps to hold them onto a surface with a proper grip. These are manufactured into the guard rails, preventing slippages while working on them. The cutting depth offered by the track saw is also pretty accurate and is equipped with a spring system.
The system ensures that the blade does not penetrate the material beyond a point. Since the control provided is quite great, you can easily cut out intricate design elements. It is also great to use in flush fittings as it can cut quite close to the surface. Track saws also have an in-built dust collection mechanism, making them more accessible during clean-up. These saws can require voltage anywhere within the range of 110-230V, making them handy for onsite applications. You can use them across a variety of mediums and surfaces. Anywhere ranging from laminated insulation components to doors – the track saw is equally effective on all. They also work great on plywood, MDF, particle boards, and OSB. So, if you are looking for a fine finish on the final product, a track saw is a great option.
Benefits of a Track Saw
- A track saw guide rail makes it possible to get more accurate cuts. Apart from that, the guard rail’s friction helps keep the saw stable during cutting. The guard rail is also adjustable, making it easier to change it according to your needs.
- If you are looking for accurate cuts with an increased sense of speed, then track saws fit the description perfectly. These saws are easy to set up depending on the height of the plunge. Once that is done, the end finish is consistently good.
- The track saw also makes it possible to cut smaller surfaces. All that is required is a couple of scrap pieces to pile below the workpiece and a guard rail. These are also great for bevel and miter cuts.
- If you have prior experience cutting roofing insulation, you know that it can be quite troublesome. Not only does the track saw provide great accuracy, but it also avoids a lot of mess being created. It helps to cut down the pieces at a lightning pace.
- They also make great tools to cut into laminates. Since laminates are quite hard and brittle, cutting them is tough. You don’t need to mask the surface when you start cutting in this case.
- If you want to cut a door flush to the end, this works great. Using a track saw, you can cut it very close to the edge without destroying anything in the process.
How Does a Track Saw Work?
The circular track saw moves in a straight path in the metal track. Simply attach the metal track to the workpiece, plunge the circular saw into the workpiece, and move it ahead along the guideways when you’re ready to cut. The track stabilizes the saw, so you don’t have to worry about slipping or straying from the marked line. Track saws have a wide range of applications due to the metal track.
Track Saw Vs. Table Saw Vs. Circular Saw
One of the main features that distinguish a track saw from a circular saw would be the ease of moving it around. Most circular saws are quite clunky in nature and cannot be easily carried out. On the other hand, a track saw makes for extremely easy portability. When it comes to work-sites, it is often difficult to move around equipment, which comes in handy during such situations.
The track saw also provides a greater range of cutting abilities compared to the circular saw. Its cuts can have varying depth and motion. This is something you won’t find in the other variants. If you are looking for better dimensional stability, a table saw might definitely be your option here. A table saw can perform highly specialized cutting techniques such as dados that the previous two cannot replicate. Its inbuilt fence system also ensures greater consistency while working on the wooden component.
Track saws are easier to use when cutting in a straight line. This can be attributed to the track system. However, if you want to use your circular saw for precision cutting, a straight-edged blade works. This is where the inbuilt track system or workbench for circular saw comes in handy. You do not need to ensure extremely precise movements as this automatically reduces the room for errors.
As mentioned earlier, track saw table come with an inbuilt dust collection mechanism that is bound to keep your workplace clean. With other types of saws, the amount of fine dust generated is quite a lot. In addition, you might face an issue using a track saw if you are fixed with the type of blade you are using. For a circular saw, you can easily replace the blades depending on the material you are cutting.
How to Use a Track Saw?
- The first step would be gauging the material you are working on and what type of blade would suit it the most.
- With the right set of blades, you can cut across various surfaces like wood, laminates, veneer, and insulation.
- Next, determine the depth of the cut you would be making and adjust the blade’s height.
- To prevent your workpiece from moving around, attach it to your workstation using clamps.
- Before the tool is used, ensure the power trigger and plunge release button are switched on for safety.
- Once you start the saw, you will observe the blade gradually protruding out before cutting.
- Before you start cutting, ensure that you rotate the blade to reach a high enough speed level.
What to Look for When Buying a Track Saw?
- Motor Power: Like any other power tool, the more the motor’s power is, the better would be the performance. The cuts might not be better if you opt for lower motor power. They will come out looking quite rough and choppy around the edges.
- Speed: Most commercially used track saws are within the range of 2000 rpm. It is also recommended to have those track saws that can change their speeds. Speed is often a good indicator of how powerful the tool is.
- Bevel Capacity: This refers to the ease with which the machine can perform bevel cuts. This is determined by tilting the blade and seeing the angle it makes with the axis. Bevel cuts are extremely popular when it comes to woodworking. Hence it would be beneficial to have a saw that can perform it seamlessly.
- Length of the track: You can choose from a wide variety of lengths depending upon your need. Your project will often determine the length of the track you might need. Ensure that your tracks are correctly connected before you begin cutting. This will give a much better finish.
- Depth Setting: Depth setting helps to set in the plunge that your saw can perform. A good depth control will allow you to have better control when exercising your cuts on the wood.
- Safety Features: Some safety features that are recommended you look for in a track saw include an electric stop button. Having a good kickback system can also provide good protection against slippage. If you are working on simple projects or DIY then opt between corded or cordless track saw as per our convenience.
If you have been hesitating to make that investment into a track saw, then wait no more. Track saws are excellent for a wide variety of uses. They are extremely convenient whether you want to make a tiny nick on the surface or cut through the material. Track saws also come in various sizes and features to adjust the requirement as per the budget. Most professionals recommend going for track saws to perform wonderfully and provide a very smooth finish.