What is Better Than a Table Saw?

A table saw is a versatile and powerful tool that can handle many woodworking tasks, such as ripping, crosscutting, dadoing, and mitering. However, a table saw is not without its drawbacks. It can be noisy, dangerous, expensive, and take up a lot of space in your workshop. If you are looking for an alternative to a table saw, you might be wondering what is better than a table saw?

A Track Saw

The answer is a track saw. A track saw is a circular saw that runs along a metal guide rail, or track, that ensures accurate and straight cuts. A track saw can perform many of the same functions as a table saw, but with some advantages. Here are some of the benefits of using a track saw instead of a table saw:

  • A track saw is safer than a table saw. A table saw exposes the blade above the table surface, which can cause kickback, binding, or injury if you are not careful. A track saw has a retractable blade that is covered by a guard when not in use. The track also prevents the saw from wandering or slipping off the cut line.
  • A track saw is more portable than a table saw. A table saw is heavy and bulky, and requires a dedicated space in your workshop. A track saw is lightweight and compact, and can be easily transported and stored. You can use a track saw anywhere you have a flat surface to lay the track on, such as the floor, a workbench, or a sheet of plywood.
  • A track saw is more versatile than a table saw. A table saw is limited by the size and shape of the material you can feed through it. A track saw can cut any size and shape of material, as long as you have enough track to cover it. You can also use a track saw to make plunge cuts, bevel cuts, and angled cuts, which are difficult or impossible to do with a table saw.
  • A track saw is more accurate than a table saw. A table saw relies on the fence and the miter gauge to guide the material through the blade. However, these accessories can be misaligned, worn out, or inaccurate, resulting in uneven or inaccurate cuts. A track saw eliminates the need for a fence and a miter gauge, as the track itself acts as a reference for the cut. The track also has a rubber edge that aligns with the blade, which reduces splintering and tear-out.
See also  How many slots does a toaster have?

How to Use a Track Saw

Using a track saw is simple and straightforward. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  • Mark the cut line on the material you want to cut.
  • Align the track with the cut line, making sure the rubber edge is on the waste side of the cut.
  • Clamp the track to the material, or use anti-slip strips to prevent the track from moving.
  • Set the depth of the blade according to the thickness of the material.
  • Set the angle of the blade if you want to make a bevel cut.
  • Plug in the saw and turn on the power switch.
  • Slide the saw onto the track and align the blade with the starting point of the cut.
  • Press the plunge button and lower the blade into the material.
  • Push the saw along the track, following the cut line.
  • Release the plunge button and lift the blade out of the material when you reach the end of the cut.
  • Turn off the power switch and unplug the saw.

Conclusion

A track saw is a better alternative to a table saw for many woodworking tasks. It is safer, more portable, more versatile, and more accurate than a table saw. It can also save you time, money, and space in your workshop. If you are looking for a tool that can handle most of your cutting needs, you should consider getting a track saw.