Many DIY and professional woodworkers have a hand saw passed down by a loved one. We cannot deny the wonders it can do. However, it is essential to have a diverse range of tools in your arsenal. Table and track saws are a couple of saw types. If you are wondering which one will work best for you, you need to know the track saw vs table saw features.
To get the best results, you must choose the right saw for a specific job. It largely depends on the type of cut you need and the wood you are working on.
Track saw vs Table saw
It is a versatile and powerful tool you can have in your workshop. A table saw is a must-have for a woodworker in modern times.
In simple words, a table saw is a mounted circular saw with the blade protruding out of the table. The woodworker simply slides the wood on the table close to the blades. This allows a swift and constant cutting experience. The table contains measuring marks for various cuts.
It gets the power from a strong motor and a quality blade. As the table saw faces grueling hours of work, these two make the ultimate difference.
Also Read This: Best Replacement Saw Fences
No one wants a messy and rough wood finishing. Table saws produce clean, smooth, and accurate cuts.
This productive piece in your inventory can make multiple cuts like crosscut, ripping, and dado cut. It doesn’t end here as you can accomplish miter cuts, square, and shape the edges of the wood.
You do not need to buy multiple saws to perform a diverse range of cuts. The various table saw uses make it an easy choice for professionals and DIY workers.
A cross-cut is the specialty of a table saw. This type includes cutting wood at a length of 90 degrees. Although any saw would do the job, the table saw produces smoother and accurate cuts.
While working, you do not have to work on 90-degree cuts only. Don’t panic, because a table saw can perform miter cuts too. Learn to smoothly adjust the miter gauge to create smooth corners of a piece you are finishing. The gauge uses a dial to adjust the angle towards the blade. This feature adds to the versatile nature of a table saw.
Every table saw has the freedom of changing the blade angles. A cast-iron wheel allows you to change direction to perform an accurate bevel cut.
The commonest use of a saw is performing rip cuts. These cuts are easy to achieve because you just have to cut down a large wood piece into smaller counterparts. The functionality of ripping quickly in table saws makes it popular on the job site. Make the measurements once, arrange the fence and adjust power. Now, the table saw will quickly rip through large pieces giving high precision results within no time. Hence, the process is straightforward without much effort at your end.
Are you renovating your old cabinets and fixing the broken shelves in the pandemic? You will certainly require few dado cuts here and there.
This type of cut requires expert-level skill. A table saw will assist in bringing multiple grooves together. Dado cuts make the whole process a lot easier saving up on glue and preventing a mess. You would need stacked dado sets on the table saw to complete this task.
This quality sets apart the table saw from the rest. It delivers continuous and high-quality work at a quick rate. Most often you require rips cut of a lot of wood of multiple clients. Thus, a table saw has no comparison in this regard.
The electric motor along with the circular saw delivers stunning 3000-5000 RPM depending on the capacity of each table saw. This dramatically reduces your time spent at the workplace.
A table saw usually comes with an in-built port. You have to connect a compatible vacuum cleaner to extract the sawdust. This would keep your workspace cleaner. A cleaner workplace is associated with high productivity.
The major drawback of a table saw is its size and heavyweight. It needs a fixed space in your garage or workplace. The tool isn’t easy to move around.
You have to lift and place the wood on the saw. The heavier ones, which you can’t lift will be left as is.
A shocking 65,000 people in the US face table saw related accidents every year. The built overall lacks safety. However, the newer versions have a safety mechanism to stop automatically when your hands get close to the blade.
This saw, like a table saw, contains a circular saw but is attached to a metal rail. Also known as the plunge saw, it works by plunging into the workpiece. The circular saw cuts along the straight line on the track saw guide rail. The track keeps in check that the saw does not come off the track and cut in the wrong direction. You can buy multiple tracks too, combine them, and cut larger pieces when required. The need for a track saw table often arises, so you can either buy one or use your DIY skills.
The single biggest benefit of owning this saw is portability. The built is compact and lightweight making it popular among woodworkers. Thus, you can carry it to your job site without the tension of moving it around.
Furthermore, it is the best fit for small shops as you can place it easily in tight spaces.
The step-up process is easy for the plunge saw. You don’t have to mark and guide the wood to the blade. Rather, a track saw is simply put on the desired area.
This makes it easy for the client to achieve accurate cuts. A table saw is good at accurate cuts, but a track saw can fulfill the task with relative ease. The rail guides the cutting process leading to the high accuracy of track saws.
The track saw is a versatile tool and can perform long rip, cross-cut, and angular cuts. The miter cut is difficult to handle because the track saw does not have a miter gauge. However, you will easily get angular cuts if you adjust the saw’s positioning. The track saw allows you to cut unsquared with relative ease. Just position your saw in any angle other than 90 and enjoy its magic.
The primary benefit is the long rips. This means the saw cuts long and heavy pieces of wood that cannot be loaded on a table saw. If we talk about a separate circular saw, it cannot give long cuts with high accuracy like a track saw. The metal rail allows the saw to keep straight and stable throughout the cutting process.
Similar to the table saw a track saw has an effective dust collection system. The sawdust goes to the shroud and you can clean it up later on. Hence, a cleaner and better working experience await you.
A track saw cannot rip through irregular pieces. The reason is you need to fit the metal track on the surface to cut. In case of an irregular surface, the metal track won’t work and give inaccurate cuts.
Even though the saw itself is portable, you need a larger space to accommodate it while using. The saw is placed upright in a shop’s corner. However, its full length will be a problem while working.
Which one is better for you?
Are you wondering can a track saw replace a table saw? Let’s see the difference between the two.
- A table saw is heavier and much difficult to move from one workplace to another. On the other hand, a track saw has lightweight. You can carry it to any job site. The compact design and portability reduce fatigue and occupied space. Thus, the track saw wins the track saw vs table saw battle in this regard.
- When using a table saw, you cannot load some of the large wood pieces. A track saw becomes handy in this situation as it cuts through large pieces which cannot be moved.
- The table saw excels in cutting strong materials continuously without many intervals. Its sturdy built comes at work here as it makes its way through thick hardwood pieces. The fence system allows the table saw high repetition. So, a table saw outperforms the track saw here.
- The table saw offer versatility through various cuts like dado and rabbet. A track saw is diverse in a way that it can perform jobs where you can’t carry a table saw.
- The setup process of a track saw is time-consuming. For an accurate cut, you have to make pencil boundaries at the cutting area and adjust the rail. A table saw does not require this preparation process.
If you closely understand the track saw vs table saw differences, you can better judge which one will cater to your needs. Each has benefits and drawbacks, but overall, these powerhouses need to be in your collection.