Circular Saws

Track Saw Vs. Circular Saw With Guide Rail – Which One Is Accurate?

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Jacky C

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If you think that the woodworking industry is saturated and you can use different tools for the same purpose, then you might be wrong. The thing is, it is definitely possible to use the same woodworking tool for various purposes, but it can only happen once in a blue moon. If you want precise results and you want to shape your projects in the best ways possible, then you will have to get your hands on the best tools that are designed specifically for them.

Track Saw Vs. Circular Saw With Guide Rail

Most of the people get confused between the track saws and the circular saws that come with guides. As I have stated earlier, all the tools in the woodworking industry have specific uses, and the same scenario goes for the track saws and circular saws with guides too. The difference in their use might be slight, but the final results can be affected drastically.

Track Saws

Evolution - 027-0004C Power Tools R185CCSX 7-1/4" Multi-Material Circular Track Saw Kit w/ 40" Track
  • Designed To Cut A Wide Range Of Materials Without Changing Blades
  • Powerful 15 Amp, Hi-Torque Motor Accurately Cuts With An Adjustable 2 - 1/2 Inch Depth
  • Includes 40 Inch Track, Ergonomic Soft Grip Handles, Dust Extraction Port & Adaptor, And Premium 7-1/4 Inch Blade
  • 0-45˚ Bevel Tilt With Pivot For Compatible And Precise Cutting Capabilities

Track saws are the saws that come with a circular blade to operate. These saws are usually relatively easy to use as they are pretty much portable and can be used singlehandedly without any significant issues. Track saws are used to make straight cuts on any type of wood surface. But the actual point of attraction of these saws is that they come with a long rail attached along with them. This rail is usually pretty long and comes in a rectangular shape.

As soon as the woodworker starts cutting the plank or a wood piece, the rail guides the woodworker to make precise cuts. That is also one of the actual reasons why people prefer to go with a track saw when they need very accurate saws. Tracks saws do not only offer precise and accurate cuts, but they also offer smooth cuts along with furnished surfaces to the woodworkers. To offer stability, there are rubber strips integrated on the bottom of the rail so that it could easily hold down the material when you are working. These rubber strips do not allow the material to vibrate or change its position even the slightest that could ruin your whole project.

One thing to understand here is that the rail attached to a track saw is not permanently sealed. Woodworkers can detach it within seconds and make it portable. Not only that, but the woodworkers can also go with an after-market or DIY rail to work with their track saw according to their preferences.

  • Pros
  • Really easy to use
  • It comes with a guide
  • Great accuracy
  • Precise cutting
  • Portable
  • Detachable rail
  • Cons
  • Needs consistent surface
  • Rail adjustability problems

Circular Saw With A Guide Rail

Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide, Blue
  • Make rip cuts and crosscuts up to 24" Wide
  • Cut multiple pieces to the same size With just one setup
  • Use the oversize edge guide for precise control throughout the cut

As now we have understood what a track saw is, it is time to dive into the details of a circular saw with a guide. Circular saws with guides also work exactly like the track saws, but there is one significant difference between them. In track saws, they already come with a trail attached to them so that you can get onto the work right away. But in circular saws, the guide is not actually provided, and the woodworkers have to attach it separately for their purposes.

Circular saws with guides are also used to make straight and precise cuts. As the woodworkers can simply attach a trail on these saws, they can move precisely and accurately on a surface without missing out on anything to have the best possible cuts.

It does not matter if the cuts are 45 degrees or 90 degrees; woodworkers can perform all types of straight cuts with circular saws with guides. Just make sure to attach the guide rail properly and make it grip the material sufficiently to not face problems while working.

  • Pros
  • Support custom-built rails
  • Easy to attach
  • Detachable
  • Efficient
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Smooth cutting
  • Cons
  • Inaccuracy might occur due to custom-built rails
  • Requires separate rails to be built or bought
  • Consistent surface required

Which One Do You Need? Track Saw Or An Actual Circular Saw With A Guide?

This is the question that you might be seeking the answer to. The thing is, it solely depends on your preferences that what type of saw will suit best to your needs. That is why it is essential to evaluate different scenarios so that you can understand which saw you would have to pick.

Why Go With A Track Saw?

The first scenario is where you don’t actually have anything in your hands. This means that you neither have a track nor a circular saw with a guide, but you want to make straight, precise, and accurate cuts. So what would you do in this situation? In this situation, I would really recommend you to go for a track saw to make your life easier and your experience better. The reason why you should directly opt for a track saw is that you will not have to hassle yourself with the separate rails.

The company will provide you a rail attached to the saw, and you will just have to adjust it to start working. You will not actually have to search for a trail that could suit your preferences and the one that could easily fit in with your saw. One crucial thing to keep in mind here is that the track saws can offer you super-accurate cuts because they come with a suitable trail that is specifically designed for that saw. You are not finding a separate trail that could fit in with your saw to make straight cuts.

In simple words, if you want to avoid hassles and want to save your time, you should directly opt for a track saw.

Why Go With A Circular Saw With A Guide?

If we take a look at the second scenario, here, you have your hands on a circular saw. If you already have a good and working circular saw, then you can get the things done by attaching a guide to it. It is not really feasible to spend money on a new track saw when you could make your circular saw work just like it. But there are some conditions that you will have to keep in mind in order to get the same results as a track saw.

Make sure that the rail you are making or the one you have bought is perfectly compatible with your circular saw or not. If there is even a little difference, your circular saw with a guide might not be able to offer your precise cuts. But don’t worry, as most of the trails available come in a standard size and can fit with most circular saws without creating any issues.

If you are making your own trail by yourself, it is vital to make sure that the trail is accurately designed so that it could offer accurate cuts later on. Not only that, do not forget to place rubbers on the bottom to make it stable and sturdy while cutting.

Is It Effortless To Make Trails By Yourself?

If you are an enthusiastic person who loves to try out different things with utter creativity, then you will love to make your own trail. Do remember that you will have to get some specific tools to develop a trail that could help you get the precise cuts. There are hundreds of amazing tutorials available online that can help you with the whole procedure of making the trails.

If you are finding it too troublesome to proceed with, the only option that is left for you is to order a trail that you can simply attach with your circular saw.

The Verdict

So this is the actual difference between a track saw and a circular saw with a guide. Now it is up to you to pick any one of them according to your preferences and likings, and of course, the budget. Just make sure to understand the working of both to make your woodworking experience even better.

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