A good track saw delivers a level of power and precision that you just aren’t going to get with other tools including the circular and table saw.
But for as necessary as this piece of equipment is to many woodworkers and craftsmen, it’s also a purchase that you are going to want to put some thought and time into.
Why? Well, they don’t exactly come cheap.
A good track saw is going to set you back a few dollars, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t great equipment available for great prices to the woodworker who is able to find them.
Chances are you don’t have the time and energy to look into this purchase the way that you would probably like to, and for that reason, we have decided to do something about it.
We did your homework for you! After plenty of testing and research, we have identified five of the best options on the market for you to consider. Read on for some awesome track saw reviews!
|Festool 575389||10 lbs||4.7/5|
|Triton TTS1400 6-1/2-Inch|
(Best for the Money)
|Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2-Inch||17 lbs||4.3/5|
|SHOP FOX W1835||13 lbs||4.1/5|
We start with our editor’s pick: the Dewalt. If you have used a Dewalt saw in the past this unit should feel like an old friend to you—featuring many hallmarks that have made this brand the power tool juggernaut that it is, all in one sturdy package.
First thing that you will probably notice about this tool is that it isn’t lacking in power. The high caliber 12-amp motor produces a speed of 3500 RPM which should give you enough juice to work through most standard stock and even harder materials without any trouble.
This unit is also loaded with safety features (which is particularly appreciated when you take into consideration the no nonsense motor).
Of course, there is the always appreciated dust port that will allow you to hook your dust collection system up for healthy lungs and an easy clean up. The unit also comes with a low key blade guard and an anti kick back riveting knife component that protects against kickbacks.
If there is one thing that we aren’t extremely crazy about with the Dewalt it is the blade change process. Changing blades with this unit is an eight step process that borders on tedious, especially if you find yourself needing to do it regularly.
While you will definitely get used to it eventually it’s the sort of thing that is sure to get on your nerves over time.
That aside it is a great tool available at a very moderate price when you factor in its high level of quality.
Coming in close second, we have the Festool. Those familiar with the wonderful world of track saws might know that Festool has a reputation for really rocking it when it comes to this tool.
Their experience really shows with this unit. In fact, the Festool probably would have been a strong contender for the top spot were it not for the price (a good deal higher than that if the Dewalt).
But is it worth the high cost? You’ll have to decide for yourself, of course, but for us the answer is a resounding YES!
The first thing you will notice about this tool is that it is designed to make insanely clean cuts. The guide rail system is designed to be laser straight, and the rubber lip on the rail of the unit is designed to eliminate the dreaded edge splintering that plagues the results of lesser saws.
In fact, Festool has a reputation for implementing a design on their track saws that vastly reduces the risk of splintering and tearing, so if you are looking for something with maximum clean cut potential, this is probably going to be the tool for you.
Like the last unit it also has all of the important safety features that you could hope for: blade guards a riving knife and the very necessary dust port. It’s a tool that leaves very little in way of complaints. Price aside you might also notice that the chord is a little bit shorter than most would probably prefer. Mildly inconvenient yes, but also easily remedied with an extension cord.
Coming in third in our best track saw for the money slot, the Triton. If you are looking for an efficient track saw that won’t put a big dent in your bank account, you would be hard put to find a better pick than this tool.
Now that said, there is a reason this tool did not find its way into our top two. You’re looking at something of a bare bones model here. However, we do believe that the unit does deliver in the areas that count.
The twelve-amp motor provides a variable speed range of 2000-3500 RPM and there is no shortage of safety features built in to make sure that the power doesn’t get the best if you. The blade guard, slow start, dust port, and anti kickback guard system should keep you safe.
Unfortunately, hard woods are going to test the limits of this device in a way that wood workers that crave clean cuts won’t appreciate. The harder the stock the more splintering and tear outs you should expect to encounter.
Hey, it comes with the price range, right? If you can look past these flaws and you don’t work a lot with harder materials this is still a good buy.
Like all three of the other tools we have examined today Makita has a substantial reputation in the world if power saws that this unit does very well to reinforce.
One of the first things that you will probably notice about the Makita us that it is another economical option. Though not quite affordable enough to find its way into our best for the money category it’s still an option to consider if you are looking for a budget buy.
In fact, bargain minded shoppers may be pleased to hear that while similar in price to the Triton the Makita is actually compatible with more accessories, which could, of course, be very useful for some users.
Let’s look at some specs shall we? First things first, the variable speed 12-amp motor delivers an rpm range of 2000-5200.
It also features a cutting capacity of 2-3/16″ at 90 and 1-9/16″ at 45, and magnesium components that are designed to make the tool both sturdy and lightweight.
The problems with this tool are mostly related to precision. When it comes to broader tasks like framing a house you shouldn’t have any problems making the cuts that you need.
However, if you are making fine pieces of furniture (which may indeed be the intentions of many woodworkers reading this) you might encounter a lot of frustration fiddling with the depth settings.
This may obviously prove to be a frustrating set back for many users, but it also shouldn’t be extremely surprising given the price range.
Coming in last (and we really do mean last) we have the Shop Fox. Let’s start by addressing the price, as that might be the best (and perhaps only) selling point attached to this tool. If are looking to spend the very least amount of money possible, this is going to be your best bet.
The reason that it didn’t win our “best for the money” category, is because it doesn’t perform very well. Yeah, kind of a problem, right?
The cut quality is going to be fine for working through plywood but that is about it which is a shame because at a glance it looks like an alright tool. It’s lightweight, it comes with a useful dust port, a decent motor (20-Volt, 9A, 1.1 kW, 5500 RPM) and a blade rim speed of about 9000 feet per minute.
Does this saw work? Technically it does but in reality, it doesn’t even really out perform a circular saw. If you are in a pinch and need a track saw that you will only be using a few times this may work for you, but otherwise, you are going to want to look elsewhere.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what is on the market, here are a few buying considerations that will help you to identify what features are important to you in a track saw.
Price is always one of the most obvious considerations when it comes to choosing a power tool, but it also definitely deserves mentioning.
Why? Well because there is a natural desire in us to want to find the best deal possible, but in the world of tools the best deal is not necessarily the cheapest option.
For example, you may have noticed on our own list that even though the Shop Fox was a good deal more affordable than some of the other options, it certainly was not similar in terms of quality.
Remember that quality is what you are looking for here. Even when searching for a budget buy, your focus should be on two things. First, you want a tool that is going to produce good, consistent results. Second, you want something built to last.
Shopping for value should get you both. Remember that the best deal is going to get you a good tool at an affordable rate.
The track saw is no joke and even the experienced woodworker is at risk for injury. The best way to mitigate this risk is by investing in a tool with ample safety features.
Components like blade guards, dust ports, and slow start mechanisms are all great ways to ensure that your tool is as safe for you and your family as possible.
While we are not advocating for snobbery here, there is something to be said for buying tools from an easily recognized manufacturer.
For example, Dewalt is one of the most easily recognized names in power tools. Why is that a good thing for your purposes? Well for starters that reputation probably did not come out of nowhere. Chances are the reason people recognize Dewalt as a quality option is because they have been making good stuff for a long time.
The other thing to consider is that off-brand or small brand manufacturers might not be around forever. This is a problem because it means that if your tool needs basic replacement parts somewhere down the line you might have a harder time finding them.
Of course, the tradeoff is that name brand tools are generally a little bit more expensive. As a shopper, you will need to decide for yourself what is important to you.
When it comes to power tools, it makes good sense that power would be an important feature, right? This is perhaps especially true of the track saw.
The more powerful the saw the easier it will be for you to work with harder stock, which can open you up to more versatility in your work.
Conversely, more power often means more money so if you know that you won’t need the extra RPMs you may potentially be able to save a little bit of cash by forgoing them.
The rail is the track upon which your track saw will operate. Naturally, the length of your rail is going to be an important feature that is really going to dictate what jobs you can and cannot do with this tool.
The good news is that pretty much all manufacturers are going to have rails of a variety of sizes, so you should be able to buy supplementary accessories later down the line if you need them.
Still, you want to do it right the first time, don’t you? If you can find a starter package that comes with a rail that skews longer that might be of great use to you.
Why? Well, while you can tackle short rips with a long rail, you cannot tackle long rips with a short rail. Starting with a little bit more length may open you up to some extra versatility in your work.
Now that said, longer rails will cost more, and they will also take up more space, which are both important considerations to keep in mind.
You may have noticed in the list above that we referenced how some saws struggle with making clean cuts. While this could mean a lot of things, one problem that you can encounter even with a good track saw is splintering around the edges.
Features like a splinter guard can go a long way towards ensuring that your cuts stay looking nice and pretty.
It is also important to understand the limitations of your saw. Unless you are buying from the top shelf it may struggle a little bit with harder stock.
Buying a tool that is capable of handling what you need it do is going to go a long way towards avoiding those nasty, splintery cuts.
Festool is particularly known for eliminating the effects of splintering cuts as they are one of the only major manufacturers to include splinter guards on the offcut side of the blade. This feature isn’t going to be relevant for all or even most jobs but you can think of it as an insurance policy when working with more expensive stock.
Dewalt does not implement this extra feature, but they also have a reputation for delivering nice clean pass throughs.
Of course, these are also two of the more expensive featured on our list. Sometimes if you want the best quality possible, you’ve got to be willing to pay for it.
The term “accessories” often has an optional connotation attached to it but in the case of the track saw there may very well be some things that you need to buy even after your purchase of the saw. For example (and this is a pretty big one) a lot of track saws out there don’t come with a track.
In case you were wondering, a track saw without a track is basically just an overpriced circular saw, which you probably aren’t looking for.
Now, is it absolutely necessary to get a saw that comes with a rail? No. There are plenty of reasons that you might decide to go with a bare bones, saw only package. Maybe you found a deal you can’t pass up that doesn’t include a rail, or maybe you just want the freedom to get a rail that is perfectly sized for your situation.
Whether you want to go this route or not is entirely up to you, but do pay attention during the buying process so that you know what you are getting yourself into.
You definitely don’t want to open your new track saw only to realize that you are missing the track!
Of course, there are other accessories to look out for as well: clamps, spare blades, etc. Different packages will include different things but regardless you just want to make sure you know what you are getting before you bust out your wallet.
Last but not least pay attention to the warranty available for the tool you are looking at. Warranties can come in handy with any purchase, but this is perhaps particularly true of the power tool.
Why? There are lots of parts and pieces, and if even one of them start getting a little bit funky it can disrupt the way that the tool works which can lead to an expensive repair or replacement down the line.
Getting a saw with a good warranty can save you a lot of money, and a lot of frustration.
So, there you have it: a few reviews of track saws to consider. It may help you to remember that we actually have a recommendation that should help make the difficult decision a little bit easier for you.
As far as we are concerned, the Dewalt is the best saw on this list because it is a high-quality product that is coming from a well trusted and well-established manufacturer. It also benefits from plenty of value considering all of the premium features that it comes with.
On the other hand, if your decision is motivated entirely by getting the best deal possible, you may consider the Triton, which we identified as the best track saw for the money. If you want a good product that is going to be as respectful of your budget as possible, this is definitely a good unit to consider.
Now, all these things said, we aren’t trying to tell you what to buy here. The tech has really improved with the track saw over the years and we now live in a world full of good options. We only hope that we have made the buying decision a little bit easier for you!
Also worth reading