If you’ve ever worked with bulky sheet goods, you’ll know that getting a precise cut can sometimes be tricky. If this is you, allow me to open your eyes to the track saw, capable of perfect cuts that leave no splinters! Well then, what is a track saw used for?
A track saw specializes in cutting large sheet products into precise, accurate, and splinter-free cuts. It can miter carcase sides, cut angles, cut trim, cross-cut considerable sections to the correct length. Because the blade plunges into the material, internal cutouts are easy to do.
If you’re wondering whether a track saw will be a welcome addition to your workshop, then know that the following details will be great for helping you make an informed and educated decision.
What Is A Track Saw Used For?
Track saws are crucial woodworking equipment that makes cutting sheet products to a rough size considerably easier. A track saw may be used to miter carcase sides, cross-cut huge sections to length, and cut angles on large pieces, in addition to rough cutting them to size. These are all activities that are difficult to do with a table saw.
Furthermore, a track saw performs well when ripping boards, cutting trim, and splinter-free panel cuts. The track saw is also a great plunge saw when working on wood flooring or subflooring since you can set it to a specific depth, and it won’t let you down; you have the ultimate in control.
Track saw cuts are just as smooth as the table saw cuts, whether the material is solid wood, plywood, or MDF. On the other hand, a track saw performed a superior job cutting melamine, creating virtually flawless cuts with only a few tiny chips on the waste piece’s top. On the face-down side of a table saw, small chips are unavoidable.
Because the blade of a track saw plunges into the material it cuts, it makes it easy to make internal cutouts. For example, if you’re doing a cutout for a kitchen hob or a sink, you can make that specific cut quickly, efficiently, and accurately with a track saw and a guide rail.
Since the guide rail has a rubber strip that holds firmly to the top surface of the material, it enables you to make clean, splinter-free cuts with much less effort required.
Can You Joint With A Track Saw?
A jointer plane may be used to connect lengthy boards; however, mastering this activity and doing it well requires considerable talent. A track saw is an excellent addition to most shops for those searching for a quick and straightforward procedure.
It enables any shop, large or small, to prepare sheet items quickly, safely, and accurately. You can cut to width and attach timber and plywood above eight feet with a long track.
After your material has been cut to width, use a hand planer to clean off the edge; a low-angle jack or a smoother works well. There’s no need for a lengthy plane to finish the work because the track saw has already flattened the edge.
After removing the saw marks with a few fast passes, the boards should be ready to glue into the panel for the job at hand. Make sure the planer is set up correctly, and the blade cuts evenly to prevent cutting a bevel on the edge of the board with the hand planer.
To ensure you are not creating a new bevel, verify every few passes with a square along the length of the board.
What To Look For When Buying A Track Saw?
If you operate in the woodworking industry, you’ll need power equipment to cut through various materials, and saws are at the top of the list. Saws are made up of a variety of sharp blades or chains that can cut through multiple materials, and the motor within them allows for a lot faster operation, more precision, and less risk of error.
When thinking about everything a track saw needs, consider its:
- bevel capacity
- blade size
- Portability (whether it’s corded or cordless)
A track saw with the ability to perform bevel cuts is beneficial, as it may improve your woodworking results and allow you to work on a variety of projects. Corded track saws should have a 10A to 20A output motor; however cordless track saws require a 20V battery to retain enough power to run the blade properly.
The size of the blade should be proportional to the thickness of the material to be cut. Most track saws have 6 12” long blades and can slice into materials up to 2” thick.
Speed control settings are available on regular track saws, allowing you to avoid dulling the blade or cutting more than you need to. A track saw with variable speeds ranging from 2000 to 5000 RPM is usually a good choice.
Although corded track saws are typically more powerful, cordless track saws are more portable and simple to use. You will, however, need to replace the batteries occasionally, particularly if the track saw loses power in the middle of a cutting task.
Can You Use A Track Saw Without Its Track?
All track saws may operate as a standard circular saw without the need for a track. However, using a track to guide them ensures dead-straight cuts. The saw sits on a raised rail that keeps the cutting line straight, while rubber grip strips on the bottom keep the track from swaying during a cut.
Even on slippery melamine-coated particleboard, these grip strips keep the track in place effectively enough that it doesn’t need to anchor to the workpiece. However, clamping the track in place may still be good to eliminate accidental miscuts, mainly if dust builds up on the strips and reduces grip.
A track saw is a wonderous invention, but it is still a significant investment for most people – albeit one that pays off rapidly. It enables woodworkers of all skill levels to safely and efficiently tear and cross-cut boards and sheet products.