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ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Handy Home Master
If you are a “do it yourself” fanatic, you definitely had a difficult time at some point trying to figure out whether you should buy a track saw or a table saw. Before purchasing a saw, you need to ask yourself “What material are you working with?” and “What cuts do you want to make?”.The track saw vs. table saw is a debate that is still confusing many woodworkers. It’s crucial to take note that these are two unlike machines with different build and capabilities. However, depending on the kind of work, you can always substitute one for another. Especially if you are on a tight budget
In this article will review each of these saws, their functions, and their advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Track Saw?
It is commonly referred to as a plunge saw. A track saw is an electrically powered circular saw with a side aluminum rail along which the blade slides when cutting. This rail clamps on the wood you are working on, allowing you to make straight and accurate cuts across the material. Unlike the traditional table saw, which is fixed on a table stand with its blade exposed facing up, the track saw has its blade concealed facing down, away from the user.
Track Saw: What is It Used for and How to Use it?
As aforementioned, a track saw is a circular saw used to make plunge cuts, angular cuts, and long straight cuts. You can also use it to trim thin pieces of wood, melamine, doors, and long sheets. How does it work?
You have to adjust the depth you wish to cut. Hold the saw along with the material you want to cut. Loosen the depth adjusting knob until the blade goes below the board and tighten the knob.
Attach your guide rails so you can make perfectly straight cuts.
Now you are ready to cut. Push the plunger knob to release the blade, then press the power trigger to start the motor.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Perfect for plunge cuts
- It’s portable
- Compact design and portable
- Accurate cuts for long length
- It’s cheap
- Measuring and aligning takes more time
What is a Table Saw?
It is an electric-powered saw usually fixed on the underside of a table hence its name. Table saws have been in the market for quite a long time. Generally, they are more powerful than regular power saws and more advantageous since they are versatile. There are various types depending on the user’s need, for example, a table saw for plywood.
Table saws are usually larger in size and mostly immobile. They are designed to be permanently fixed in workshops. They are also quite expensive.
What Can You Do with a Table Saw?
These machines are perfect for rip cuts, cross cuts, and dado cuts. Since it’s a versatile type of saw, it allows changing blades depending on user preference; for example, when cutting plywood on a table saw, you need to change the blade to thin and fine teeth to obtain a smooth cut edge. To change blades, lift the blade height, use a piece of wood to hold the blade, and loosen the holding nut. Put the new blade in position and tighten back the nut.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Easy to work with
- Best for repetitive cuts
- Can easily cut through thick wood and center of boards
- Takes up huge space
- Heavy and immobile
- It is high-priced
Track Saw Vs Table Saw: Comparison Chart
When it comes to table saw vs. track saw, there are some notable differences in build and functionality. The table below shows a summarized comparison of the two saws.
|Table Saw||Track Saw|
|Use||Rip cuts||Plunge cuts|
|Portability||Heavy and immobile||Lightweight and portable|
|Type||Benchtop||Corded and handheld|
Can a Track Saw Replace a Table Saw?
A track saw can, to some extent, be used in place of a table saw depending on the type of job done. Some jobs can be better done by a track saw than a table saw. This means you can convert a circular saw to a table saw. For this reason, most woodworkers would not want to spend money on a table saw, but a track saw.
If you have read through this article, you’ve probably noticed that both the track saw and table saw are useful tools for different projects. The track saw vs. table saw debate is not ending soon. If you have enough money to spend, you can buy both. However, if you are working on a tight financial plan, we recommend the best track saw since it’s cheaper, portable, and performs equally well as the table saw.