About Track Saw
A track saw comes with a track that can stick to the material for providing better accuracy. It is a circular saw for making a straight edge. However, it only utilizes the railing track for making a straight cut. You can make long straight cuts while working on freshly cut lumber.
These types of saws do not require any clamping between the table for the material. The track is stationary and holds it firmly. One of the best things about track saws is that they are very lightweight and easy to carry. It is affordable and has a fully enclosed blade that operates in conjunction with the track.
Main Parts of Track Saw –
Blade: The most common blade size is 6.5 inches in diameter. You will also find other blade sizes.
Track: There are different lengths of the track and some can even join two together to have a long track. The material for the track is aluminum which has grooves.
Speed Adjuster: A track saw lets you adjust the speed of the blade. It can be perfect for having better control.
Bevel Adjuster: You can easily adjust the track saw for making bevel cuts. It supports bevel cuts of up to 45 degrees.
Vacuum Port: In a track saw you will find a dust collection system. It also features an enclosed blade that helps keep the work area tidy.
Pros and Cons Of Track Saw –
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of track saw.
- Lightweight:A track saw is lightweight that enables easy portability. You can use the tool in any environment and start sawing.
- Precise Design:The design of the circular saw enables easy plunge cutting. All you have to do is to set the cut depth by making a couple of changes.
- Dust Collection:To make sure the work environment stays clean, it features a dust collection system. This can be ideal for your health and even prevent hazards.
- Low Power:Even the power by the motor drive of a track saw is relatively less. It will struggle while cutting thick hardwood.
- No Versatility:A track saw will not let you use it for a variety of projects as it lacks versatility.
- Set-Up:The setup can be very time-consuming. You will have to measure the angle correctly while bolting the panel to have a clean cut.
When Should You Use Track Saw?
A track saw can be perfect for breaking large sheet items. All you have to do is to keep the item on a flat work surface and roll the saw over the item. For best results, you can make use of a foam board or sawhorses.
You can even use the track saw for making perfectly straight cuts as it can make shorter cuts. Additionally, track saws are great for safe plunge cuts. This makes a track saw ideal for small workshops. In addition to this, it can be perfect to prevent any kind of woodworking injuries.
How To Operate Track Saw?
These are the guidelines for using a track saw –
- Protection: Make sure you use perfect hearing and eye protection to prevent any injuries.
- Blade: You will have to choose the accurate blade for the right task. For making rough cuts, it will be perfect for having a ripping blade with a low tooth count. A higher tooth count blade can be perfect for crosscutting.
- Setting the cut depth: Get the cut depth perfectly without sticking out too far. For this, you can utilize a depth gauge on the saw.
- Placing the track: Placing the track is an important task while using a track saw. The track must grip the project and it must prevent slipping. You will have to line up the edge of the track and clamp it down.
- Protecting the workbench: Ensure that you do not cut the workbench. You can utilize foam insulation under the board to prevent it from cutting.
- Begin your cutting: Opt for a higher speed while cutting softwoods. You must slow down your speed while going for hardwoods. Never inadvertently force the saw that could create a hassle on the edge.
About Table Saw
What makes a table saw ideal for woodworkers is that it comes in a versatile design. You can easily use it for making long cuts, ripping, or cutting long woods. It is a highly functional tool for woodworking workshops and lets you use it for different purposes.
One of the best things about a table saw is that you can use it for handling thick materials like plastic, metal, or hardwood. All you have to do is to change the blade and use it for a wide range of purposes. A table saw can be a cabinet saw or a mobile saw.
Main Parts Of Table Saw –
Blade: Usually, a table saw has a blade of 10 inches in diameter. Just like other types of saws, you can also install blades of other sizes.
Riving Knife: You will find a riving knife behind the blade. This helps prevent any kind of kickback and make sure the wood does not pinch after the cut.
Power Button: The power button allows you to set up the table saw. It is located mostly in the front.
Push Stick: With the push stick, you will be able to move material through the blade. With it, you don’t have to use your hands and stay away from the blade.
Blade Guard: To offer better safety, a blade guard protects your hands. Advanced woodworkers prefer to remove the blade guards.
Bevel and height adjustment: The bevel and height adjustment system come in the form of a crank wheel that you will have to raise and lower. There are models for tilting the blade for making bevel cuts by utilizing the same wheel.
Rip Fence: With the rip fence, there will be a wide cut as it runs parallel to the blade.
Pros and Cons of Table Saw –
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of a table saw that you should be aware of.
- Easy to Use:The one cutting direction of the table saw makes it easy to use.
- Better Accuracy:With a table saw, there will be better precision and accuracy at any length. You can quickly and safely work with different types of materials by having a permanent structure.
- Versatility:A table saw lets you use it as a miter gauge or a rip fence. This makes it perfect to have accurate pieces and use them for a wide range of applications.
- Dust Collection:There are models that come with a dust collection system that can be ideal for your respiratory health.
- Safety:Compared to the track saw a table saw can be dangerous. It will not do perfectly while making long and clean rips. You may also face problems while dealing with bulky materials or large sheets.
- Less Portable: Your table saw will saw at the workplace. It can be problematic when you are cutting or sawing off-side.
- Can cause Damages: One of the greatest disadvantages of a table saw is that it is not novice-friendly. When there is not the appropriate pressure or proper support, the boards can fly away. Even when the lumber is light, there can be chances of significant injury.
When Should You Use Table Saw?
You can use a table saw for different types of woodworking projects. It is a useful tool and will shine with repeated cuts. All you have to do is to set the fence and the cuts will be of the same size. Table saws can also be great for grooves and dados that lets you make cabinet panels.
You can make use of a table saw for repeatability, power, and accuracy. Whether it is creating the same results of blocks, fences, or crosscut sleds, a table saw will serve the purpose.
How To Operate Table Saw?
Follow these guidelines for using a table saw.
- Safety: Safety is a prime factor when using a table saw. Always wear eye and ear protection and ensure that the safety features are in place. You will have to inspect the saw before using it as it can inadvertently pull your hands into the blade.
- Setting the blade: You will begin by setting the blade that helps to clear the material. Make sure the blade does not protrude from the surface.
- Setting the fence: Always keep the rip fence secure. It is important to check the dimensions carefully.
- Using the push stick: To prevent the hand from getting close to the blade, it is advised to use a push stick. This can be very helpful in dealing with thinner boards.
- Maintaining pressure: Make sure the wood is pressed against the fence and on the table down. This helps prevent slipping of your hand. For this, you need to maintain pressure on the fence and table.
- Support for boards: Create side support and setup out-feed while cutting sizeable wood pieces. There can be excessive pressure on the blade if the wood falls off the table.
Comparison Table: Track Saw vs Table Saw
|Track Saw||Table Saw|
|Purpose||Cutting sheet goods||Woodworking of all types|
|Power||Low power||Incredibly powerful motor|
|Accuracy||Perfect for straight cuts||Serves great for bevels and straight cuts|
|Repeatability||Varies on track setting||Very high|
|Safety||Relatively safer||Highly prone to accidents|
|Size||Compact||Requires large space|
|Portability||Very portable||Poor mobility|
|Applications||Breaking down of large panels||Cutting of hardwood and softwood|
What Are The Parameters to Consider?
- Blade Size and Cutting Depth:The most common blade sizes of a table saw are 8, 10, and 12 inches in diameter. You can use the blade for cutting woods having a thickness of 4 to 6 inches. Hand saw blades are in the range of 4 to 8 inches in diameter. This makes it suitable for cutting woods of 2 to 4 inches. A hand saw blade has limited capability. Having said this, it can be great for occasional DIYers.
- Safety:A table saw makes higher RPM due to the large blades. This makes it very dangerous to operate. Additionally, it also makes a lot of sawdust that can be harmful to your eyes and lungs. On the contrary, a track saw is more compact and less dangerous than a table saw. However, it does produce a lot of sawdust.
- Dust Removal:Both track saws and table saws can come with a vacuum for removing sawdust and for having a healthy and clean environment. However, make sure you check the packaging and see if it comes with a vacuum dust removal system
Whether you use a table saw or a track saw, both serve great for your workshop. By knowing the features and functionality of the tools, you can have the right saw for the given project. A table saw is a tool that can be perfect for dealing with complex projects. A track saw lets you cut in the same size with a single rip fence setting. Both of them have similar needs and you need to make sure that it serves your purpose.