Track Saw vs. Table Saw: Which is Better for You?

Track Saw vs. Table Saw: Which is Better for You?

Track Saw vs Table Saw

There is always a right saw for any cut that you might want to make in the workshop. And although it is still a good idea to have several power saws in your toolkit it is not possible to have all of them.

Choosing the right saw depends on the materials that you want to cut and the cuts you intend to make.

But, picking between certain types like the track saw and table saw can be harder than it might sound.

While both track saws and table saws will be ideal in different situations, sometimes their applications will overlap.

And this is what makes it hard for DIYers, contractors, and woodworkers to pick between them.

Every woodworker seems to have an opinion on what to pick between the two. But, whether you have an idea on what to buy or not the key is to have as much information on each power saw as possible.

Track Saw

Most of the projects that many DIYers and woodworkers will do will require some long, precise and fast cuts. Also, it might be necessary to make the cuts away from the workshop. And it is because of these reasons that you might need to invest in a track saw.

Most of the projects that many DIYers and woodworkers will do will require some long, precise and fast cuts. Also, it might be necessary to make the cuts away from the workshop. And it is because of these reasons that you might need to invest in a track saw.

Like the table saw, the track saw features a fast-spinning circular blade, but that is where the similarities stop.

And so with the track saw you have to take the saw to the material instead of taking the workpiece to the saw as you would do when using a table saw.

With a track saw you could make long straight cuts faster and more precise than what you would get when using a table saw. Hence, it is a very reliable and handy power saw to have in the workshop.

The track that comes with this saw is one of its distinctive features. And it eliminates the need for measurements and guesswork as you only need to align it with the line you want to cut. Also, the track is handy in keeping the material in place to eliminate the need to use clamps.

The size and nature of this saw make it one of the best power tools to use in tight spaces as there is no need for infeed or outfeed space.

Track saws will perform most of the tasks of a table saw. But, most woodworkers will prefer to use it when cutting trim, ripping boards and making splinter-free cuts across panels.

It is also ideal when using it as a plunge saw as you can set a precise depth easily. And it is the best for wood flooring and sub-flooring

Pros

  • Light and portable. A track saw will not only do most of the things that you can do with your table saw but also you can move it from one job site to another quite easily. And this is because it is both lightweight and relatively compact. All you need to do is carry the saw with one hand and tack the track on the other arm.
  • Clean, smooth cuts. The track saw might not produce the cleanest cuts, but it will make cuts that are way smoother than what you get with a table saw. And so you can always be sure of minimal tear-outs when using it to cut MDF, plywood or even solid wood.
  • Perfect for tight spaces. When you want to make large cuts in tight spaces the track saw is one of the best power saws that you can use. And this is because unlike the table saw it would not require any infeed or outfeed space.
  • Does not take up a lot of space. The size of the saw and its compact nature also means that it will not take up any significant space in your workshop or even in your van when transporting it to a worksite.

Cons

  • Takes longer to set up. When working with a track saw you would need time to make the pencil marks for the cut, align the track (correctly) with the line and hook up the dust collector and everything else. All this takes time which means the saw always takes long to set up unlike the table saw where you only need to set up the fence and make the cut.

Table Saw

Table Saw

There are some power tools that you can always expect to find in any experienced DIYer or woodworker's workshop. And the table saw is one of these power tools.

The table saws are always the tool to turn to when you want to make most cuts. And this versatility is what makes it a handy power saw.

The dilemma on whether to pick the table or track saw arises from the fact that both have a fast spinning circular blade and they perform similar roles.

However, unlike the track saw, table saws will consist of a high-speed motor that is mounted beneath a flat table and with the blade protruding from the table. And it will rise out of the table and fall to control the depth of your cuts.

These saws are handy when you need to make numerous rip cuts or prepare a large volume of identical size pieces fast.

The table saw is a more powerful tool that will excel in cutting thick pieces of exotic and hardwoods. And it can cut large volumes of materials with almost no breaks at all. This power saw is what you would expect to get in large production workshops and many static worksites.

When you compare the table saw with the track saw it will shine most when it comes to making repetitive and narrow cuts.

Pros

  • Best for repetitive cuts. When you need to cut a lot of material into similar sizes the table saw is way much better than the track saw. And this is because setting the fence is easy when you need to cut piece after piece to a similar size.
  • Versatile. One of the things that make the table saw a favorite woodworking power saw is that it is quite handy and there are various cuts that you can use it to make. From ripping boards quickly and cleanly to making crosscuts and joinery, the table saw can do all this better than most other power saw types.
  • Makes cuts easy. It would take a lot of effort to mess up a cut when using the table saw because the fact that you take the material to the blade means that it is easy to control the outcome. Provided you position the fence and set it correctly you can be sure of getting precise cuts.

Cons

  • Require a lot of space. The table saw will have a significant imprint on your workshop and you will need to dedicate a substantial amount of workspace to it permanently. For woodworkers with small workshops or garages, this is a significant shortcoming. Also, using it require a lot of space (for infeed and outfeed).
  • Dangerous power saw. Although modern table saws incorporate various safety features to make them safer in the workshop, this is still one of the most dangerous power tools that you can use.

The Bottom Line

Track Saw vs Table Saw - infographic

While having both the track saw and table saw in the workshop seems like a great idea it is not always necessary.

A track saw is powerful enough, lightweight and highly portable power saw that you could use to make most of the cuts that you would with the table saw.

And so if you are looking for something mobile that you can use in various job sites that is also relatively safe it will be an excellent choice.

But if you are looking for something more powerful and versatile and do not mind spending more cash, the table saw will be an excellent choice.

Table saws are an excellent power tool for cutting both small and large materials, and it is hard to go wrong with any cut.

Best Track Saws

1. Makita SP6000J Track Saw

Makita 6-1:2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw

The Makita SP6000J power saw is a portable and very convenient tool to have in the workshop. It uses a powerful 12 Amps motor that ensures that you always get optimum performance when cutting various materials.

This handy track saw produces some smooth and splinter-free cuts, and it has a variable speed control dial that lets you pick any speed between 2,000 and, 5,300 RPM depending on the application.

There is also a convenient plunge release lever on the power saw that makes depth adjustment effortless and also makes it comfortable for the operators.

Makita SP6000J will be an excellent choice for trim and finish work and also when remodeling your homes. And you will never have to agonize about burnouts as it has a built-in current limiter.

2. Festool TS 55 REQ Track Saw

Festool TS 55 REQ Track Saw

Festool makes some of the best performing track saws in the market. And their TS 55 model is perfect for any woodworker or DIYer that wants something that can provide some straight and splinter-free cuts.

There is minimal chance of kickbacks when using this power saw thanks to the spring-loaded riving knife that prevents the materials from pinching the table.

The micro-adjustable depth indicator is also a great addition to this track saw as it ensures precise materials processing. And changing the blade on this saw will be easy and only takes a few minutes.

Best Table Saws

1. DeWalt DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw

DeWalt DW745 Jobsite Table Saw

At a total weight of just 22 kilograms, the DeWalt DW745 is one of the lightest table saws that you can get. It is also more compact than many others to ensure that it takes up minimal space in the workshop.

But besides the weight and size, it is also a high performing power saw. It features a sturdy 15 Amps motor that will provide up to 3,850 RPM

This table saw comes with a reliable fence system that will provide up to 610 mm rip capacity. And it provides for quick and tool-free adjustments thanks to the convenient guarding system that makes it easy to set up the saw for various applications.

The portable table saw will also feature a steel roll cage that will keep it safe from impact and drops on the job site.

2. Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Portable Table Saw

Bosch 4100-09 Portable Table Saw

The Bosch 4100-09 is also a portable table saw that would be a great tool to use in various job sites. And the stand that comes with the saw has an adjustable height for extra convenience.

It comes with a SquareLock rip fence design that will not only enhance the cutting precision but also make one-handed operation possible.

You will also never have to worry about kickback when using this table saw thanks to the anti-kickback pawls.

With the efficient motor that provides up to 3,650 RPM, no cut will be too severe for the Bosch 4100-09. And if you combine this with the large table surface, you have a saw with an impressive ripping capacity.

The table saw will also withstand rugged use and serve you for many years thanks to the high-quality machined aluminum construction.

Last Updated on