Buying tools is always a difficult and complicated ordeal. Not to mention the fact that hardware stores are a pain to navigate, and the alternative of ordering a large power device over the internet is associated with having to assemble it all by yourself, without the help of a qualified professional.
Big workshop tools, such as track saws are all the trickier since the various parameters that need to be considered make it a really specialized choice that is not to be taken lightly. It doesn’t only depend on the kind of saw you’re going to be using, but the tasks you’re going to be carrying out and many other factors. It takes a lot of research to check the best track saw for yourself, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to enjoy quality cuts for the years to come.
Speed, accuracy, cutting depth, and the blade all contributes towards the ways in which you can utilize the saw, as does the length and width of the guide rail you’re following as you’re cutting. Regardless of whether you’re a DIYer looking to get precise cuts for your projects or a seasoned tradesman expanding your workshop’s arsenal, this article will help you consider everything you need to keep in mind before making the purchase.
One of the fundamental components of a track saw is, of course, the blade. Not all of them are equal, though, as they vary in sizes and shapes. The most widely used size is 6.5 inches in diameter, and it can penetrate 2-inch thick material at most.
The general rule is that the bigger the diameter of your track saw’s blade, the thicker material it can cut through. It’s important to know about this distinction since if you’re planning to use the tool just to get straight cuts on very thin sheet-like materials, you can save a ton of money getting a miniature track saw with a 4.5-inch blade, capable of cutting through up to 1 inch of thickness.
Speed Settings and Bevel Capacity
If you really want to get a top-shelf track saw that is capable of withstanding long periods of continuous work, you should buy one that grants you the most control over the way it rips through wood and other surfaces. This is where speed settings and the ability to adjust the bevels in your saw will come in handy. Not all saws are adjustable in any way, and even fewer have the capacity for adjusting both speed and the bevel angle.
The best track saws implement variable-speed motors, meaning that you can adjust the speed of the blade from 2000RPM all the way to 5000RPM. This is especially useful if you often change between the types of wood you’re working with. Whereas the softer pieces, like plywood, are easier to cut and should be done on a faster setting, you shouldn’t really choose a high-speed saw mode when working with denser materials, like walnut. A slower setting will allow you to get more accurate cuts and avoid accidentally burning the wood.
Beveling is the art of making prettier and smoother edges by cutting a surface at an angle that is different from the standard 90-degree format. Adjusting the bevel to 45 degrees and rounding off these edges is particularly useful when creating furniture of all kinds. Regardless of whether you’re working for yourself or building bookshelves or tables for customers, the recipients of your creations are sure to appreciate the extra effort.
Safety and Motor Power
You should never buy a track saw that doesn’t have the proper safety certifications and components that protect you from accidentally cutting yourself. Of course, it’s impossible to find saws that are completely cut-proof, but there are things that can radically decrease the likelihood of injury. Make sure that your track saw comes with a blade guard and splinter guards to stay safe and keep the cuts limited to wood, where they belong.
When it comes to motor power, it is quite difficult to quantify in the case of track saws. The most common models come with a 12 amp motor, but it isn’t uncommon to find saws with 15 amp ones, as well. Amperage, however, doesn’t accurately represent the power capabilities of the track saw. When it comes to power, the basic question you should ask yourself is whether you want a corded or a cordless saw. It’s strictly a matter of preference, as it doesn’t really affect other parameters of the device.
As you may have already noticed, track saws are not as simple as they seem. There are a lot of intricacies and things to consider when picking one out, and making an uninformed decision can carry unintended consequences. A track saw is an improvement over the standard, traditional circular saw in almost every aspect — the addition of a guide rail doesn’t only allow you to make straight and precise cuts, but it makes the entire process much safer. Sure, it may lack the flexibility of its free-standing circular counterpart, but it makes for an unmissable addition to your workshop nonetheless.