Ask WWGOA: Track Saw vs. Table Saw

Question:

Has WWGOA done a piece on the Dewalt or other Track Saw? I’m evaluating table saws and a new tool has come to my attention, the Dewalt Track Saw. I’m looking for bang-for-the buck, with the desire to stay under $1,000. I have >1,000 sf to work with, but I will do most of my wood working alone.

My question is this: The Dewalt Track Saw starts at about $599. Comparing apples to apples, at what price point do the table saws begin to noticeably out perform a $599 Track Saw? Thank you in advance for your time.

Submitted by Chip

Answer:

This is a great question and an interesting comparison. Overall, I think the spots where table saws shine the most compared to track saws, is on repetitive cuts and on narrow cuts. Imagine cutting a bunch of 1-1/2′ wide parts for face frames or door frames, and setting up the track on a 30′ long board for each of the cuts. Can it be done? Yes. As easy and repeatable as on a table saw? No. Even when the parts aren’t small, but you need a lot of pieces the same size, you can’t beat the ability you have on a table saw to set the fence and cut piece after piece to exactly the same size.

Now add joinery to the picture. A dado head can be used for dadoes, rabbets and box joints. Some track saws are capable of allowing additional tools, besides a circular saw, to use the track for other jobs like joiner, but it does mean buying the additional tool.

That being said, if you’ve seen my videos, you know I use a Festool track saw in my shop. I really appreciate being able to take the saw to the material, instead of the other way around, especially when I’m cutting big pieces or making unusual cuts that would be difficult on a table saw. I can also use the track saw for straight line ripping long pieces of solid wood-very useful.

Let us know where your buying decision takes you in this track saw vs table saw debate.

Thank you for your question.

George


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