If you have a circular saw, you know that there is only the smallest of measurements in difference when it comes to a perfect cut versus a cut that’s all over the place, ruining your stock.
Even the hobbyist or contractor with years of experience under their belts can make these mistakes – and they can often be very expensive ones, as you end up wasting stock thanks to cutting through using incorrect measurements.
But, how can this be avoided? Quite easily, in fact. If you have a circular saw guide rail. These aim to make your work more precise, so these mistakes can be avoided.
That’s why we’ve created this guide for the best circular saw guide rails that you can find on the market today.
If you want to read the entire article but don’t have the time at the moment, we’ve created a quick list below, of the five circular saw guide rails covered – so you can come back when you have the time.
- Kreg KMA2700 Circular Saw Track
- Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
- DeWalt DWS5100 Dual-Port Folding Rip Guide
- Festool FS-1400 Guide Rail
- WoodRiver Guide Rail
In this article, I’ve done my best to compare the five best circular saw guide rails – so you can have the best advice when looking at purchasing one for your circular saw.
There are many circular saw guide rails that can be found on the market, so I’ve done all the hard work for you – so let me know what your favorite model is in the comments below, and let’s get started on finding you your perfect guide rail.
We start our review of the five best circular saw guide rails by looking at the Kreg KMA2700 Circular Saw Track.
This model has been classed as ‘one of the best’, by professionals and critics alike – and we’ll delve into why these reviews are so favorable. With many circular saws, it can be difficult, as you’d have to push your material into the saw itself – when it should be completely the opposite.
The KMA2700 holds the track in place, without clamps, too – and this is thanks to the anti-slip guide strips which aims to reduce movement and shaking when cutting. You simply have to align the Guide Track with your marking to enhance the accuracy of your cuts – which makes your work much easier, doesn’t it?
And that’s exactly what you’re looking for in quality guard rails, and we’ve covered the qualities and specifications in the list below:
- Cuts up to 48” plywoods and other large panels
- Make rip, angled and cross cuts
- Starting block included
- Guide Track for accurate cutting
- No clamps necessary with anti-slip guide strips
- Anti-chip strips that support material during the cut prevent splintering
- Take the material to the saw instead of the opposite way
- Anti-slip coating
- Accu-cut is perfect for both the beginner and the experienced professional
- 1 x Universal saw sled
- 2 x 26.5″ Aluminum guide tracks
- 2 x Track connectors
- 1 x Starting block
- 1 x Track indicator clip
My Favorite Feature: Anti-Chip Strips
- Angle your cuts with maximum precision without danger of splintering, thanks to the anti-chip strips
Purchasing guard rails serve an important purpose, in keeping your material accurate when making cuts. However, one of the most important features that you’d want in your guard rails, is the ability to prevent splintering from occurring.
Enter the anti-chip strips on the KMA2700, which serve the main purpose; to keep the surface of your material from chipping when working. As well as preventing splintering from occurring, the anti-chip strips prop your material when making the cut, and allows you to bring your saw to the material, rather than the opposite way.
If you find that your circular saw is powerful and makes extremely accurate cuts, yet your main issue is chipping away at your material, (which can be a very inconvenient and expensive mistake), then this is a great feature for you.
The Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide is one of the best guide rails when it comes to the value you receive in exchange for the money you pay. This is important when it comes to choosing the best add-ons for your saw, which will elevate your need into a want.
For its’ value, the Kreg Rip-Cut does not cut down on the additional features that enhance a circular guide rail. It features a ruler, which is added onto your chosen material, which allows it to guide your circular saw when making cuts.
This is great news for those who’ll be using the Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide to make crosscuts and to rip through woods – which it can do up to 24” from the edge of the board. With this ruler, you won’t need to damage your stock with markings; as this is inclusive within the guide itself. What else is there to love about this saw guide? We’ve included some noteworthy features below:
- 24” wide crosscuts and rip cuts
- Make multiple cuts in the one setup
- Compatible with most circular saws thanks to the universal, sled
- Reversible edge guide
- Oversized edge for precise control
- Take the saw to the material rather than the opposite way
- Bullet points of what’s included in the box (sourced from Amazon)
My Favorite Feature: Reversible Edge Guide
- The Kreg Rip-Cut is perfect for both the left and right-handed person, with the reversible edge guide
In a perfect world, all the tools and accessories would work with both left-handed and right-handed users in mind. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world, and it can be difficult for even the most seasoned professional to use a right-handed accessory when they’re a leftie.
This is where the Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide has its users in mind, by providing the reversible edge guide, which allows it to be paired with almost any circular saw, and used across both left and right hands.
Of course, the drawback with the Kreg Rip-Cut is that you won’t be all to do as many cuts as you’d like, thanks to the limited size of the guide. Yet, if you’re looking for a guide rail that is perfect for both uses of hand and provides great value for money, look no further than the Kreg Rip-Cut.
It couldn’t be a tool or tool accessory review without a DeWalt product, could it?
The DWS5100 from DeWalt has a 12” to 14” capacity to make cuts, and this length is completely dependant on the blade’s position within your circular saw. The DWS5100 has a 12” has a 12” ripping capacity on its left side, and a 14-½” rip capacity on the right side, which allows you to make maximum width cuts.
It’s built with durable aluminum, which is also lightweight – meaning the DWS5100 is perfect when it comes to transport from site to site. The DWS5100 can also fold, reducing the space you use – perfect for easy storage.
These aren’t the only features that you’ll enjoy when it comes to the DWS5100, as you’ll see below:
- Max weight of 1.2 lbs
- Fold length of 19” and up to 3” wide
- 12” to 14” range when it comes to ripping capacity
- Laser markings which won’t wear over time
- Lightweight and durable aluminum construction
- 1 x DEWALT DWS5100 12-Inch Dual-Port Folding Rip Guide
My Favorite Feature: Laser Etched Markings
- Make accurate cuts for many sessions without fail, thanks to laser-etched markings which won’t fade
Over time, the natural wear and tear of tools and accessories can be seen – especially when important markings or guides have been made which are coated with dust over time, or slowly fade away due to years of use.
This can be perfectly avoided, yet how exactly can it be done? The DWS5100 includes laser-etched markings which won’t fade over time, and this will make sure that your materials are cut with precision for years to come.
The laser-etched markings will work under stress, preventing damage over time, unlike alternative markings or imprints.
What are your thoughts on these markings? Let us know in the comments below.
The Festool FS-1400 Guide Rail is extremely versatile, available in lengths ranging from 32 to 197”, for a total of eight different lengths. This means you’ll have the perfect guard rail for whichever application and job you’re tackling – however, it’s important to note that the Festool FS-1400 doesn’t come too cheap.
Yet, that’s the price you pay with quality design, and it’s also the reason as to why the Festool FS-1400 receives incredible reviews from the woodworking community; no matter the experience level. Not only will the Festool FS-1400 enhance your cutting performance, but it can also save you time and money by reducing the amount of material you end up wasting.
We’ve added some of the features you’ll love in the Festool FS-1400 in the list below:
- Eight different lengths ranging from 32” to 197”
- Can easily be connected with a guide rail connector accessory
- Takes the circular saw to the material
- Integrated splinter guard
- Non-skid clamping strips to prevent movement during work
- Rubber lips press onto the workpiece for splinter-free cut edges
- Precise angle cuts up to 45° on both sides
- 1 x Festool FS-1400 Guide Rail
My Favorite Feature: Integrated Splinter Guard
- Aligns perfectly to your line of cut, which not only saves time but protects against damage
When making cuts against the grain and even across, you can always be at risk of tear-out and splintering, which can massively affect the overall performance of your cut, and an end result that you definitely wouldn’t be looking for.
The splinter guard, which is integrated directly into the Festool FS-1400, will allow for cuts to be perfectly aligned, and the rubber lips will press onto your workpiece and prevent your material edges from splintering.
To round off our review of the five best guard rails available, we have the WoodRiver guide rail.
The WoodRiver Guide Rail can be found on the expensive end of the scale when compared to the other guide rails reviewed today, but there are definitely some good reasons as to why it’s worth its price.
Firstly, let’s talk about the heavy-duty aluminum extrusions, to which the guard rail features two of – measuring at 56”. This allows you to make almost any cuts, such as cutting at acute angles, ripping through quickly, crosscutting or routing – to which these can be done on almost any sizes.
The aluminum designs gives the WoodRiver guide rail a lightweight, but durable finish – meaning it can withstand pressures and the constant movement if in transit between sites.
What else is there to love about the WoodRiver Guide Rail? Find out in the list below:
- Two 56″ Guide Rail components
- Guide rail clamps to secure the guide rails
- Aluminum design
- Clamps swivel about the “T” shaped anchor at any angle
- Guide rail component has a 2-1/8″ x 1/2″ profile
- 1/4″ T-tracks
- 1 x WoodRiver Guide Rail
My Favorite Feature: Guide Rail Clamps
- The guide rail clamps will lock your guide rails at each end, preventing them from moving and allowing for increased accuracy
When it comes down to it – the purpose of the guide rail is provided accurate cuts, and to also stop your stock from moving around when making these cuts. If your material is free and moves when locked into place, this will create irregularities into your stock, meaning you’ve spent good money on wasting stock.
The guide rail clamps sized material, up to 56” into place and will enhance your cutting skills – allowing for the stock to be locked into place, and the design to be perfect.
It can be a difficult decision when looking for a clear winner amongst many similar products, however, there’s one guide rail which stands above the others when it comes to its design and features; the Kreg KMA2700 Circular Saw Track.
The KMA2700 holds the track in place with anti-slip guides, and will result in perfectly cut wood – which is well worth its price.
Of course, it’s all a matter of preference – so we’d love to hear yours; what’s your favorite guide rail we’ve covered today?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.