Jobsite Saw or Track Saw?

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Forum topic by econsigny posted 05-28-2013 04:15 PM 3152 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3374 days

05-28-2013 04:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jobsite saw track saw shop

I’m needing to choose between either a jobsite saw like the DeWalt 10” or the Bosch 10” or getting the Dewalt track saw with the short and long tracks.

I do all my woodworking in a second bedroom in our apartment (space is LIMITED) so buying an older, slightly larger contractors table saw is not an option. Trust me, I wish it was. Space and portability are top priorites, and I know that with either the track saw or these jobsite saws I could easily store them/move them when needed.

I know the tracksaws are best for plywood, and I do not know how much plywood I will actually be working with…some probably but rarely if ever will I break down full sheets of it.

And with the jobsite saws I have looked at rousseau stands:
which would be possible in my current workspace. Barely.

My first project is a small table/desk that will be made out of 4/4 walnut, so please take that in consideration. Furthermore, I also currently have a Dewalt sliding compound miter saw that can cut up to 10” or so.

So in light of all this, what do you recommend?

15 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8648 posts in 4659 days

#1 posted 05-28-2013 04:28 PM

like you mentioned- track saws are best for plywood. they are great for cutting out larger panels from sheet goods. you will find that they may not be the best when trying to trim smaller parts (making a 1×3 out of a 2×4 for example) or for cross cutting small equally sizes parts – a table saw can make those cuts safer, and easier. a 10” table saw can also handle thicker stock (hence why the track saws are aimed at plywood)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3979 days

#2 posted 05-28-2013 04:29 PM

The DeWalt tracksaw is an amazingly versatile tool, there are some cuts you can do on it that you can’t on a table saw, and the dust collection when connected to a shop vac is amazing. But having said that, it can’t replace a table saw for working on small pieces and trench cuts. I’d say a table saw is your best bet, but you’d really need a dust extractor to go with it. If budget is no object, look into the Festool track saw and CMS module that allows you to convert it into a table saw.

View econsigny's profile


9 posts in 3374 days

#3 posted 05-28-2013 04:37 PM

Ah this brings up another point: dust collection.

I know with the track saw connected to a shop vac dust collection is tolerable at best. What about the same setup (shop vac with cyclone filter) with a jobsite saw? Is that even an option?


View Loren's profile


11022 posts in 4658 days

#4 posted 05-28-2013 04:43 PM

I’d look at the Eurekazone system if I were you. The way
the system can be expanded and the way the clamps work
means it can be used to cut narrow parts with less
crazy setup hassles than other track saws.

With such a setup you can do a lot of stuff. A small
accurate table saw (like a vintage 9” Delta tilt-top)
or band saw for cutting joinery would come in handy
and of course the footprint is not much. Band saw
is less messy in terms of dust collection.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3981 days

#5 posted 05-28-2013 04:44 PM

I’d vote for a small, high quality job site saw.
Look for one with standard miter slots, capacity to run a dado blade and highest amps available, usually 15 amps.
Bosch saws are good, but I think over priced; still worthy of consideration.
Dewalt; some models can’t mount a dado, but they have a good fence.
I also would direct my attention to Porter Cable, Ridgid, and some Sears models are good as well.
I’m sure there are others, but those are available near my area. YMMV.

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4032 posts in 3981 days

#6 posted 05-28-2013 06:55 PM

Let me clarify that last statement.
If I had unlimited room and money, I’d have a SawStop cabinet saw and a panel saw for sheet goods.
Presently, since I don’t yet own a panel saw, I prefer to cut sheet goods on the floor, on top of a sheet of rigid foam with my Skil saw using a guide; kind of a homemade track saw setup.

You are in a very limited workspace, so that is why I suggested the jobsite saw. A track saw would be nice, but not as many capabilities as a table saw IMHO.

You haven’t mentioned noise, but an apartment location makes me wonder about that. I have thought about what I would do if I was in an apartment. I have considered a band saw, combined with a good set of hand tools, saws, planes, chisels, and a good work bench, would let me do a lot of furniture with a minimum of noise and dust.

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1294 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 05-28-2013 09:49 PM

IMO you will need both to succeed with the apartment set up. Track saw for panels, and a good quality small table saw for resawing and small rips etc. I am a big bosch table saw fan, but it sounds bigger than what your are intending. If you have the space for a bosch 4100 get it, and skip the track saw.

If that is too big, then I would go with a smaller d-walt table saw, and a track saw of some kind.

Edit: I navigated the link you included. I vote for bosch 4100. have 3 and have put them all through their paces. Very good saw at that label. I have put them in onsite cab situations and all kinds of stuff.

-- Who is John Galt?

View SebringDon's profile


95 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 05-28-2013 11:03 PM

I did pretty well with a circular saw, a couple of homemade tracks, and a crosscut box for a while, and turned out some nice stuff. I recently added a 14” bandsaw, and I can do everything I want to, so far at least. I’m gonna skip the tablesaw completely. I’m building this panel saw and will probably add a small EurekaZone track eventually.

-- Don

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3874 days

#9 posted 05-28-2013 11:18 PM

I would recommend building homemade tracks for circular saw and see if you can get buy without a circular saw until you have room for a full sized table saw. Otherwise, if you insist on a table saw , I would get the best you can so you won’t need to upgrade in the immediate or forseeable future. The Bosch saw would fit that description.

Some of the jobsite saws don’t take dado blades. You don’t want a saw without that capability.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3936 days

#10 posted 05-28-2013 11:18 PM

You mention that you know tracksaws are good for sheet goods; I recently used mine to rip 8/4 pieces of beech that were 10’ long and it was like cutting through thick gravy – almost no resistance… and it gave me just a little of cleanup on the jointer to do before glueup.

You will find you can use the tracksaw for more than plywood.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Harley130's profile


25 posts in 4503 days

#11 posted 05-28-2013 11:29 PM

Another vote and recommendation for the Eurekazone Tracksaw system. With the track and a good 7-1/4 saw along with their table system you can do about anything. Add the dust collector to the saw and hook a shop vac up and it is virtually dust free. If you follow Dino’s instructions on setting up the track the first time, you will be able to make spot on cuts. Regardless of what you buy dust collection will be a problem in a small space like a bedroom. A shop vac and exhaust fan in the window is gonna help.

-- Seldom wrong, but never in doubt. My Blog site:

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1782 posts in 3574 days

#12 posted 05-29-2013 12:51 AM

My current table saw will cut about 26” wide. I break down sheet goods the short way using this or this straight edge guide from HF. Very pleased with them.

For cutting the long way I would cut it rough free hand (maybe with a chalk box), then even the cut out on the table saw.

For an 8’ length over 26” wide, I don’t know what I’d do.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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Mainiac Matt

9816 posts in 3339 days

#13 posted 05-29-2013 01:06 AM

How well do you think your neighbors are going to tolerate your woodshop noises in the apartment environment?

Have you considered seeking out “real” shop space that you can rent? Some schools have clubs or adult ed. that use the shop space in the evenings. Woodworking clubs with fully featured shops, though not common, are out there… especially in retirement communities, or military bases, and membership might not be as exclusive as you might think.

If I had to make my go at woodworking in an apartment environment, I personally would go the hand tool route.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4587 days

#14 posted 05-29-2013 01:28 AM

It would be good if you could find a better place to work but if your going to do work in your apartment the I would suggest getting a small vintage saw and save your funds for a bigger saw when you have more space.


View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2879 days

#15 posted 05-29-2013 01:40 AM

I have found myself dealing with sheet goods. I have a table saw which needs to be sent to someone who will take the steps to make it a functional saw again. I am not going to bother. I found myself cutting panels with a circular saw (freehand) more accurately than my TS. (Ryobi)...

I had looked into a few track saw systems, festool…. Ridonkulous price. Dewalt… Still kinda steep… Makita… Rave reviews but apparently discontinued.

I had not heard of the eureka track system. It looks like a pretty sweet setup. Works with your router as well. Lots of goodies too. Portability is paramount for me, so before I go out and buy another contractor saw, I’m going to get a track saw. Save my pennies for that sweet saw stop cabinet saw down the line.

I’m glad you guys chimed in… Thanks!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

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