Good and reasonably priced track saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-02-2020, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Good and reasonably priced track saw

I'm tooling up to do my first resin table and I'd rather not spend the $600 for the Festool track saw I'm seeing in all the videos. Is there a comparable model that performs as well? I definitely won't be a high volume producer. Don't need it to do any specialized functions. Just need it to have settings for cut depths and use a vacuum system.

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-02-2020, 08:00 PM
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Define "reasonably priced". DeWalt makes a saw thats gets good reviews, its priced around $400, Makita has one in the same price range. At the lowest end, Grizzly sells a kit for $300 that isnt supposed to be perfect, but works well enough to get decent reviews

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post #3 of 12 Old 01-02-2020, 08:36 PM
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Track saw VS standard circular saw

If you have watched You Tube videos and reviews on track saws, you will know there are two major difference in a track saw over a circular saw:
(1) The base of the saw "attaches" to the track so it can not deviate from running within or on the track.


(2) The track saw will "plunge" into a cut rather than start at the edge like a standard circular saw.


How important are these to you?
You can make your own track saw track that will attach to the saw base with a few simple modifications:



When breaking down plywood a plunge cut just isn't required.


A zero clearance track for splinter free cuts is very easy to make.


Dust collection on some standard circular saws is not the best because they are intended to be used outdoors or in non-enclosed spaces. Some are better than others:
https://www.handymanpicks.com/best-c...st-collection/


Still think you want/need one?
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Last edited by woodnthings; 01-02-2020 at 10:47 PM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-02-2020, 11:02 PM
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Good and reasonably priced track saw

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-03-2020, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good advice. And after researching alternative track saw systems I've decided I'm just gonna have to cheap out here as I've spent a lot of money on tools already.


So now my plan is to just get a good deep cutting circular saw that'll work well with a rigged straight edge guide...aka maple board and clamps.


Anyone recommend a good deep cutting circ saw that'll do the trick?

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-03-2020, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyheathhays View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. And after researching alternative track saw systems I've decided I'm just gonna have to cheap out here as I've spent a lot of money on tools already.


So now my plan is to just get a good deep cutting circular saw that'll work well with a rigged straight edge guide...aka maple board and clamps.


Anyone recommend a good deep cutting circ saw that'll do the trick?
Well, there again, define "deep cutting". Pretty much any circular saw that takes a 7-1/4" blade is going to have the same cut depth, maybe +-1/8". Youll get about 2-1/2" cut depth from most saws, little more or a little less but honestly nothing to stress about. Even with the 3/4" max thickness loss youll get from any guide, youll still have plenty of cut depth to tear down sheet goods

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-03-2020, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyheathhays View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. And after researching alternative track saw systems I've decided I'm just gonna have to cheap out here as I've spent a lot of money on tools already.


So now my plan is to just get a good deep cutting circular saw that'll work well with a rigged straight edge guide...aka maple board and clamps.


Anyone recommend a good deep cutting circ saw that'll do the trick?
I wouldn't suggest a board as a guide, it might be really straight, or it could be kind of straight. And it could change based on weather conditions.

Use Particle board, MDF, or a straight edge. There are a number of manufacturers of straight edges, I have a 100" Bora that I like.

What is your definition of "deep"?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-03-2020, 12:35 PM
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Basically with circular saws you can pay double for what an average 7 1/4" saw will cost you and get a 10 1/4" or double that again and get a 16 5/16", all depends on how deep you want to cut.

The proper blade for the job will make a world of difference with whatever saw you end up with, experience will pay a large role in using any circular saw.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-03-2020, 04:41 PM
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I went to Lowe's and bought a straight edge that is in two parts; secure it with padded C-clamps. Just take my time cutting cross-ways or length-ways. I do like the photo in post #3. Why didn't I think of that?

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-16-2020, 10:01 PM
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Don't know if it will help you, but what I have done for years is simply us a piece of 1/4" cabinet ply or MDF. I make it around 4'6" x the base of the saw plus a few inches. Carefully glue a strip of the same stuff a little more than the distance from the blade to the base edge, down the piece you prepared. After the glue drys I simply run the saw down using the glued down strip as an edge. Then run the saw down on the short side of the blade. It is close to zero clearance and will cut straight. I have them for certain router setups as well. The cost, about a buck or two. I keep a short one in my work truck just for trimming doors. Wherever you set the plywood edge is where the blade cuts.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-17-2020, 03:43 AM
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Track Saw

If/when you decide to fund the purchase of a good tracksaw, I fulky recommend the Dewalt series of saws. They are precision tools with excellent accuracy. Further, they offer great improvement at dust collection than typical circular saws. Most importantly, the Dewalt series saw have a kickback safety cutoff that is fantastic. Should the Saw begin to depart the track, it will apply the blade break and stop immediately preventing injury to the user. Well worth the $. It can be a substitute for a table saw in many instances making entry into power tool woodworking more affordable. BTW do NOT waste your money on the Kreg version. Complete waste and poor results.

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-17-2020, 02:01 PM
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If you are looking for the cheap-end, check Home Depot's website for the Wen Tracksaw. The same saw-different color as the Shop Fox & Grizzly. Only comes with two short tracks, but you can get two of the longer tracks and be good for plywood work. And the DeWalt quick track clamps work with it as well.

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