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Track Saw vs Table Saw

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Forum topic by CHISEL1 posted 02-22-2021 02:35 PM 490 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CHISEL1

2 posts in 107 days


02-22-2021 02:35 PM

I have an older craftsman table saw that I thought about replacing with a newer model. I do not currently own a Track Saw and thought that might be a better option? How much do you all use a Track Saw if you own one.
Sorry if this is beating a dead horse. I”m New.. :)


14 replies so far

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Rich

6785 posts in 1651 days


#1 posted 02-22-2021 03:11 PM

The horse is not only dead, but fully decomposed. I’m sure you’ll get many opinions on the subject however. Here’s mine:

If you just want a track saw, there are many modestly priced options out there. If you want a system based on one, the Festool MFT along with the TS 55 or 75 is the top-of-the-line. Kreg offers their ACS, which poses as a system, but IMO, it’s inferior to the Festool. You’ll also find many third-party accessories for the Festool that you won’t find for the Kreg.

With either one, and this is just my opinion, you’ll still need a table saw for certain things, but a small job site saw will suffice.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Kudzupatch

177 posts in 2270 days


#2 posted 02-22-2021 03:15 PM

Table saw is the heart of most shops. If you do a lot of work with sheet goods a track saw might be a good option. But for just a few bucks you can make a sled for your circular saw that will work for breaking down sheet goods.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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hotbyte

1055 posts in 4037 days


#3 posted 02-22-2021 03:26 PM

I added a track saw to about a year ago. I have used it a lot and wouldn’t want to not have one now. I had previously tried a regular construction circ saw and guide. The track saw is much better to get straight and square cuts plus the dust control is great. I not built a sled for my new SawStop table saw as I use the track saw for anything the sled would be used for.

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CHISEL1

2 posts in 107 days


#4 posted 02-22-2021 03:29 PM

Thank you for the information. I believe I will invest in a better table saw and call it good .

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Bill1974

172 posts in 4047 days


#5 posted 02-23-2021 06:34 PM

They both have their pros and cons. If you only had one you will wish you also have the other. With accessories, each one is gets better at doing what it doesn’t do well by itself.

I have a Ridgid portable jobsite table saw and a Makita track saw. I got the tracksaw for free, but have spent a decent amount on longer and shorter tracks, TSO right angle guide (a worthwhile investment), hoses, dust bag and champs. If I could go back spend differently, I would spend it on a nice cabinet saw and circular saw and a diy guide rail for the circular saw. But that’s me and my money.

I use my track saw more because my table saw isn’t able to do what I would like it to do. The cost of a track saw, rails and accessories for cutting perpendicular and parallel is in the same neighborhood as a nice table saw (depending on your opinion of nice).

In either case a space to use either is just as beneficial and important. The one plus side to a track saw is portability.

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Andybb

3259 posts in 1665 days


#6 posted 02-25-2021 08:58 AM

Two totally different tools. I recently got a track saw for a large table glue-up project. The track saw did a better job of jointing those big boards than the jointer did. Got a WEN with 100” of track for $250.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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david2011

137 posts in 4768 days


#7 posted 03-01-2021 08:13 AM

I have a cabinet saw and a track saw. I’m retirement age, both shoulders were banged up in a car wreck almost 20 years ago and they hurt when I handle heavy stuff. The track saw makes it much easier to break panels down to more manageable sizes and then I do the precision cuts on the table saw.

-- David

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Robert

4527 posts in 2542 days


#8 posted 03-01-2021 12:06 PM

To further flog the issue, the question isn’t TS vs TS, b/c a track saw cannot replace a table saw.

MFT table people aside, it’s all about sheet goods. If you don’t like/want to wrestle 3/4 sheets, you break them down first.

And all you need for that is a circ saw and straight edge.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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controlfreak

2007 posts in 663 days


#9 posted 03-01-2021 03:00 PM

My TS is not large or stable enough to process a full sheet of plywood. That is the job for the track saw so in my case I need both.

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StarBright

38 posts in 348 days


#10 posted 03-01-2021 03:32 PM

A circular saw with a good jig can do just about everything a track saw can do. You don’t need a table saw to do fine woodwork but it’s going to take a lot more time and fuss without one. Have you considered looking for an old Delta in good condition? Those are popping up for reasonable prices.

You could also get a quality Makita battery saw and attach it to a Bora guide system. Makita makes a nice 6 1/2” model that is accurate and light weight.

On balance, however, if you have the space for a table saw I don’t think you would find the track saw or circular saw/jig equivalent to be as useful or enjoyable as a good table saw. Even a quality job site table saw will give you easier repeatable precision over a track saw. Once your table saw is dialed in you can make 1, 100, or 1,000 repeated cuts without breaking a sweat. The track saw requires its own platform and you have to adjust and square it up for every cut.

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Andybb

3259 posts in 1665 days


#11 posted 03-01-2021 04:23 PM


A circular saw with a good jig can do just about everything a track saw can do.

- StarBright

I felt the same way until I got a track saw. Honestly, I know they both cut wood but other than that it’s like comparing apples to oranges or a drill press to a mill. They are two totally different tools. My circular saw with the jig does what I expect but my track saw even replaces my jointer on big long heavy stuff. If you are comparing a circular saw with a good jig to a track saw that probably means (no offense intended) that you don’t have a track saw. No comparison IMHO. I didn’t appreciate the difference until I got a track saw.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Rich

6785 posts in 1651 days


#12 posted 03-01-2021 04:33 PM


A circular saw with a good jig can do just about everything a track saw can do.

- StarBright

Umm, no. Not even close. A track saw benefits from the many available guides and fixtures that allow it to be used to cut perfect miters, repeatable parallel cuts, etc. If you want to start talking MFT, it goes even further.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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controlfreak

2007 posts in 663 days


#13 posted 03-01-2021 04:39 PM

When using a circular saw with a shop jig as a guide at least once during a project I would drift off the jig path. Naturally it would always be where I needed both sides of the cut. With the cost of plywood these days it has paid for itself. I have the Grizzly track saw and got it on sale for a great price a year or two ago. No regrets.

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Putttn

144 posts in 3340 days


#14 posted 03-01-2021 05:38 PM

Like everyone says, “what type of cutting do you need”. I had a Festool 55 and ended up selling it and buying a Sawstop PCS. Love it. I don’t cut many sheets of plywood and if I need a 4×8 cut I have it cut to fit in my Jeep.

-- Bill eastern Washington Home of beloved ZAGS

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