When I moved here from Michigan I left some of my tools behind and had just been using DMS tools. Given the length of the shelter-in-place orders (and honestly, missing “owning” some tools) I want to pick up a track saw since many times simple home projects are a pain to take to the shop and back home anyway. I’ve looked at several review sites and models, but I wanted to ask the membership here for some suggestions.
Have you considered some 1” angle iron and a couple of clamps?
If you want to roll your own, check out Instructables for some good ideas:
I have the makita track saw. Got it a few years ago when I was remodeling a bathroom and had to deal with 30"x10’ Samsung Staron which is similar to Corian for a countertop. Great saw.
I used hardboard with a plywood strip as the guide for ages. Works with routers (and specific bit) too. (Each one requires it’s own).
The festool is nice, esp with the under clamping clamps. But not much of an upgrade. I would spend the diff for another tool or wood.
I used a skilsaw with a oak straight edge for years, thats fine for construction projects, but not precise enough for cabinetry or countertops. Tracksaws fully support the saw at the start and end of cut so the entire cut is perfectly straight. There isnt any noticible bearing play so when i was using a negative rake blade on the staron countertop the cut was shiny with no toothmarks. Glued joints disappeared. It was also really easy to cut a slight angle to fit the countertop to an inside corner.
So, I might have missed something here, but are you saying you used a tracksaw for the staron countertop? or something else?
I mean, part of the problem is that making any of the “good” ones requires tools that I no longer have access to. Rather than waiting around an additional month or so to do some home projects, I’d probably prefer to spend the money while I have the time, than save the money and then not have the time to make either the tool or the project.
Countertop was why I got it, but I’ve also used it to make a walnut veneered cabinet, recut a straight edge on warped wood, plunge cuts in plywood, cut plywood into smaller parts, a bike shipping case from a plastic called Bubble-X. Used the guide multiple times as a straight edge for a router. It wouldn’t be my first tool purchase but is a handy tool to have.
For a budget option the Kreg track actually surprised me. As long as you keep the sawdust cleaned off the bottom it grips the wood well and there is minimal slop in the cut. Setup is much like using a straight edge but without the clamping.
Ive always used a level clamped to the material for a strait edge.
For some scary reason, this review of 8 track saws was in my news feed
I have the EurekaZone EZSmart system and really like it. These guys were among the first to produce track saw systems but their marketing has sucked from the beginning.
Their clamping system is particularly nice - it clamps the wood from the bottom do there’s no interference with the saw.
I like it so much I picked up a second Porter Cable circular saw and permanently mounted their sled to it.
I’ll say there’s something wrong with their marketing! Here’s what my work computer behind VPN tells me about following that link:
Access Denied (content_filter_denied)
Your request was denied because of its content categorization: “Business/Economy;Suspicious”.
Wow! Well it’s a legit site. And nice device. Super accurate cuts.
Just in case this is still on someone’s “to-do” or “to-get” list:
I decided to go with the Makita since I needed a new saw and I wanted a track to go with it. The Makita had excellent ratings and the price was reasonable for a higher-end saw. Now I’m just waiting for it…
I realize @MattTeets may have already purchased,
but for anyone else that was following and interested, Kreg’s offering this space is on sale for ~$30 off: