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Sometimes it can be hard to pull the trigger, pun intended, on a new tool. If you have a table saw and a circular saw, you may be on the fence about whether or not to purchase a track saw. Knowing exactly what a track saw is used for and how it can benefit you could be the information you need to decide if you need one of these. We came up with five different uses for a track saw and our opinion about whether or not this saw is worth the money.
1. Cutting Long, Straight Miters
One of the best things about a track saw is the straight cut that it can provide. You don’t have to clamp anything down, and you can move through projects at a much faster speed. When cutting several pieces of wood over and over again with a circular saw, you have to make sure that every time your guide is lined up exactly as it should be. With a track saw, it is much easier to put the track down and cut over and over again. Your only limitation is the size of your track, but there are usually long tracks available for purchase if this becomes an issue.
2. Cutting Plywood on a Job Site
A track saw is an extremely light piece of equipment. It does not take much effort to carry a track saw around. Certainly, it is easier to carry a track saw than a sheet of plywood around. If your track is as long as the plywood itself, you can easily cut through a pile of plywood in a short period. This is a great way to get through a project fast without having to continually clamp your boards or carry them over to a table saw and try and cut them there. The track saw is a great tool to have on a job site for ease of use and versatility.
3. Cutting Drywall Boards
Drywall is a mess to cut. There is no way around it; there will be dust everywhere. If you are cutting drywall boards inside, be prepared for an extensive cleanup job. A nice feature on the track saw is the dust collecting option. If you can hook the vacuum right up to the track saw and eliminate even half of the dust, your day just got a whole lot easier. Depending on the saw you are using, you may also have the ability to cut two or three pieces of drywall at once. Think about what you can do with all that extra time?
4. Cutting Studs
We know that track saws are usually a bit more expensive than a circular saw. One of the things to consider is that the track saw can also work as a circular saw. You will likely not need your track when cutting studs so you can just use your track saw precisely like you would a circular saw. We love that you have this option, and it does feel like you are getting two saws for the price of one. With the circular saw and the table saw, you do not get this same versatility.
5. Laying Wood Flooring
If you have ever seen a wood floor put in poorly, consider yourself lucky. If wood floors are not installed precisely straight, the entire house can look like it’s crooked. Ok, we are exaggerating a bit, but still, it’s not a pretty sight. The track that you have to use with your track saw is a perfect length for making sure wood floors get installed properly. You can easily lay your track down on the boards and cut as you go to make sure that all seams and wall/floor joints are perfectly straight and level. In addition to the track being helpful, the track saw is so lightweight that it’s easy to lug around with you as you work on the floor. Add in the vacuum connection, and now you have a neat and efficient work site.
Is It Worth the Money?
Track saws cost more than circular saws, but they also come with some additional features. If you are still not sure if it is worth the money for you, think about these critical points.
- You won’t need clamps or a straight edge
- The saw is capable of collecting dust as it goes keeping the job site so much cleaner
- Ability to plunge and cut deeper if necessary, something a circular saw can’t do
- Lightweight and portable
- Track is easy to extend if needed
- The cuts are smoother and cleaner than other saws
- Small tool capable of a wide variety of things
The Bottom Line
There is no question a track saw has enough benefits to earn a place in your truck or garage. If you are concerned about spending the money on it, take a look at the benefits and think about how often those benefits would help your day go smoother. If you are finding that your circular saw or table saw are holding you back in any way, you will likely recoup the cost of a track saw rather quickly.