The track saw vs. table saw argument is not a new one. Many people have compared the capacities of both saws in cutting wood and have come up with many theories as to why each is probably better than the other.
For many others, e.g., beginners, this debate lingers — for some reason. Especially since both saws can make miter cuts, crosscuts, and rips!
Fortunately, this article seeks to address this conflict by comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between a track saw and a table saw based on a number of factors.
There may be some similarities between a track saw and a table saw in terms of cuts. However, they are different saws for different applications and have different features.
After conducting heaps of research and considering various factors, we arrived at the conclusion that the track saw is the better saw between the duo. And this is clearly not without reasons.
Firstly, table saws are not the most suitable saws when making cuts on irregular edges. In fact, chances are cutting warped wood with a table saw can cause a kickback and injuries. However, with a track saw, cutting irregular edges is easy.
Secondly, the track saw is your go-to saw if you want splinter-free and more precise cuts, not the table saw. Thirdly, you can also make angled and extra-long cuts without much ado using the track saw.
Also, you do not have to reference a straight edge against the fence or miter gauge, the track is your straight edge, so you can cut anywhere.
Furthermore, it is easier to maneuver heavier, longer sheets of wood alone using a track saw; with a table saw, that can also be impossible.
In addition, when it comes to safety, the table saw is one you must be careful with. According to statistics, the table saw causes about 40, 000 injuries annually in the US —10% of which lead to amputations. This is not the case with track saws.
These and many other reasons —which you shall find as you delve further into this article— made the track saw our favorite saw.
About the Track Saw
The track saw —also known as a plunge saw— is a flexible, lightweight cutting tool similar to a circular saw. It comes with a circular blade —mostly 6.5 inches in diameter— placed on an aluminum rail for support, a bevel adjuster, and a speed control switch.
This saw is ideal for making straight cuts with precision as well as in oblique directions. Other features of a track saw include an adjustable knob, a splinter guard, depth settings, a power switch, handles, and front handles, a plunge trigger, and an exhaust port.
The track saw is lightweight, and some models may come with a single, attached track or different sizes of replaceable tracks that can be attached to each other with the help of a rail connector.
Moreover, making a cut on this saw is simple, especially for plywood. Just place the straight reference edge of the track saw’s rail on the wood along the mark you made, and cut.
The cuts are splinter-free and precise. What’s more, this machine is affordable and may cost just as much as a jobsite table saw.
- Aluminum rail for support
- Dust collection system
- Makes splinter-free cuts and other cuts
- Comes with handles
- Rubber anti-slip covering on the rail to reduce chips
- Cut along irregular edges
- Great for cutting large sheets of plywood
- Little space for storage
- Makes longer miters
- Low power in some models
About the Table Saw
A table saw has four main parts: the circular blade, the stand, the motor, and the ardor. The motor generates the power, which spins the circular saw mounted on the ardor.
The table saw is mainly used for a wide variety of cuts, including kerfs, dadoes, crosscuts, rips, rabbet cuts, and short bevel cuts. These cuts are made possible by components such as sliding crosscut sleds and extension tables.
Also, a table saw can be corded or cordless. It can also be powered by electricity, a lithium-ion battery, or compressed air. Some are portable, while others are stationary. They can weigh a few pounds or a ton. No matter the type of table saw used, you are guaranteed an accurate, precise cut.
Straight up! A table saw is made up of four key parts: the circular blade, the stand, the motor, and the ardor. The motor’s what brings the heat, powering the circular saw that’s mounted on the ardor, and it’s what makes the table saw so boss.
What’s more? This saw’s got cool features, too. With it, you can handle all kinds of cuts, from kerfs and dadoes to crosscuts, rips, rabbet cuts, and even short bevel cuts. That’s all thanks to dope parts like sliding crosscut sleds and extension tables.
But hey, the real flex is that you can choose between corded or cordless table saws, powered by electricity, lithium-ion batteries, or even compressed air. Some of these beasts are portable as hell, while others are more stationary. They can weigh just a few pounds or be heavy.
But no matter what type of table saw you use, you’re always gonna get a cut that’s accurate and precise. There’s no doubt about that.
- Powerful motor
- Easy to set up
- Cuts with precision
- Best for cutting polished wood
- Has stands and dust ports
- Lightweight or heavy-duty depending on type
- Dust collection system
- Safety tech and anti-swirl features are available in some models
- Blade cutting depth is limited
- Causes serious injuries
Track Saw vs. Table Saw: Similarities
Both the track and table saw have some pretty dope features and you can see some of these are very similar. These saws are pretty much the same in some areas. Check them out:
Blade Disc Shape
You can spot this right away, not very hidden, is it? The track saw and the table saw have similar blade disc shapes. Their saws are both shaped like circular saws. They are certainly made of similar materials. They are also powered by a motor and have serrated Blades.
The track saw and the table saw may differ in some ways, but they both make clean, accurate, and precise cuts. However, when it comes to straight cuts, it’s best to stick to a track saw.
Both cutting machines come with phenomenal dust collection mechanisms—which include an easy-to-clean, spacious container and dust port. This can be located onboard, like in some table saws, or close to the saw for easy dust collection.
The track saws and the table saws are portable and can be moved around. However, not all table saws are portable; e.g., contractor and cabinet table saws are stationary due to their enormous weight. However, jobsite table saws are portable and come with wheeled stands for easy mobility and transportation.
Track Saw vs. Table Saw: Differences
Here are some differences between track saws and table saws:
When it comes to Blade movement when cutting materials, the track saws and the table saws vary. The track saw blade moves similarly to that of a circular saw, in an anticlockwise motion. Hence, it makes upward cutting strokes, unlike the table saw, which makes downward cutting strokes because its blades move in a clockwise direction.
The track saw is a lightweight work tool. It only weighs under 100 lbs. The table saw, on the other hand, weighs between 100 and 1000 lbs. This is with the exception of the jobsite table saw, which can weigh just as much as the track saw or below.
There is a huge difference between a track saw and a table saw when it comes to cost. It’s true that jobsite table saws and track saws may have similar prices, but most table saws are more expensive.
When faced with two great options, it can be difficult to make a choice. The best move is a side-by-side comparison. This is what we have done in this track saw vs. table saw review. We hope you find it helpful.