Need to cut plywood and other sheet goods? Track saws combine the portability and flexibility of a hand-held circular saw with the precision of a table saw. Just lay down the tool’s aluminum track wherever you want to cut, then clamp it to the sheet. Interlock the saw with the track and make your cut. The saw slides wiggle-free along the track, eliminating any of the side-to-side deviations inevitable with a hand-held circ saw. A replaceable, rubbery strip on the track edge presses against the sheet right next to the blade, so even chip-prone materials, such as melamine-coated MDF, cut with a perfectly smooth edge every time.
Although you could use this saw to cut dimensional lumber such as 2x6s and 2x8s, the tool is really meant for plywood, particleboard, melamine, OSB, and similar materials. And while it can’t do everything a table saw can, a track saw is more portable and far more compact.
That’s not all. Table saws are great for multiple cuts that are parallel to one edge of the sheet, but track saws have the advantage for angled cuts. Say you need to cut a wedge-shaped piece of ply tapering from 20″ wide at one end to 10″ at the other. Place the track along the cutting line and go—no complex set-up or special jigs needed. I own two—a Festool (about $900 for a saw and track kit) and a Dewalt model (about $800 for a kit). Both work very well. Other manufacturers are bringing out less expensive versions as these saws become more mainstream.
Festool Plunge Cut Track Saw TS 55 REQ-F-Plus-FS
DeWalt 60V Max Brushless 6-1/2 in. Track Saw Kit