Track Saw vs Table Saw: Which is Best and When to Use Each

what is a track saw and when to use it

Any workshop will not be complete without a dependable working saw. ​Two of the more popular types of saws are the table saw and track saw.

If you’re wondering which one you should buy, this track saw vs table saw article outlines the important ​differences between the two saws, along with outlining each situation you should use the track saw and table saw for.

​What is a Track Saw?

A track saw doesn’t come attached to a table and a table slot, which are typical parts of a table saw. Instead, a track saw is a hand-held tool. It makes use of an aluminum track when cutting through a piece of wood which is secured by clamps or a rubber lip.

A track saw is a portable saw you hold with one hand. The retractable fast-spinning blade cuts through the wood from its top surface. It is used to cut through wood, creating seamless and efficient cuts that are ideal for a variety of woodworking projects.

If you prefer a saw that doesn’t come attached to a standing structure, the track saw is a good choice for you. Its handheld design means you can easily bring it with you from one workplace to another.

what is a track saw and when to use it

​When Should a Track Saw Be Used?

The track saw is often a good investment if you’re someone who works frequently in other people’s homes. With the track saw, working on projects like cabinet and door installations on-site is generally more convenient.

Another advantage to choosing a track saw is its space-saving component. Compared to a table saw, a track is considerably smaller and easier to store and keep. Not everyone can be bothered with having bulky equipment monopolizing their entire workspace. If space is your main concern, a track saw is will be your reliable work buddy.

With a track saw, you will also find that making clean and seamless cuts is easy. This is great for a variety of simple projects requiring straight, uniform cuts such as a door frame, DIY table, or a shelf. You can rely on a track saw as it produces efficient cutting results almost all the time.

Some track saw models may not be able to achieve certain cuts, such as miter cuts or dadoes. This can be easily addressed, as you can always purchase an additional tool that allows your track saw to produce versatile cuts.

​What is a Table Saw?

what is a table saw and when to use it

A table saw, on the other hand, is composed of a mounted circular blade jutting out of a table surface. It runs through an electric motor. The blade easily adjusts so it accommodates various kinds of angles when cutting through wood.

A table saw is a staple in many woodworking spaces. You will find that a table saw can be your most reliable piece of work equipment for many reasons.  A table saw is known to deliver a wider variety of cuts such as miter cuts and dadoes. Its attachment to a standing structure ensures better stability when cutting wood into the smallest or even the most intricate of sizes.

​When Should a Table Saw Be Used?

If you are planning to make deeper cuts or a variety of cut styles, the table saw comes highly recommended. The table saw, with its easily-adjustable mounted circular blade, makes it possible to achieve more complex cuts. Thick types of wood, such as oak, walnut, and birch often require deeper cutting.

If portability is not your priority, you will find that the table saw is a dependable equipment to keep in your workshop. Since a table saw comes attached to a standing structure, it will have to earn a stable location in your work shed.

Not all models of table saws are heavy and bulky, though. You can easily find models that come in more portable designs. In cases where you require both stability and a working flexibility in table saws, the portable models are a good choice.

If space is not a consideration for you, and if you frequently work from within the same location, buying a table saw will be a good investment. Many woodworkers are willing to forego space-saving advantages in favor of a durable and hardworking table saw that achieves a variety of deep cuts.

​What are the Similarities and Differences?

Similarities

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    Both a track saw and table saw are designed to cut pieces of wood according to different purposes.
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    A track saw or table saw operates through a motorized blade. This blade cuts through a piece of wood, thus transforming it into various shapes, lengths, and sizes. 
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    Both a table saw and a track saw can come in handy if you’re a woodcutter or a woodcraft maker.

​Differences

  • A major difference in the use of a table saw vs track saw is that a table saw is attached to a standing structure and the blade protrudes through a flat surface. A track saw is one which you use as a handier tool to cut through wood in a precise and quick manner.
  • The lightness and portability of a track saw is one of its distinguishing features compared to a table saw. Bringing the track saw to another work location is easier compared to hauling a heavy and bulk table saw, which can be near impossible to do.
  • As a handheld tool, a track saw allows for better space versatility during an actual operation. However, the use of a track saw can take a lot of set-up work, as it doesn’t come installed within an existing system.
  • Although the track saw is known to achieve clean and smooth cuts, it does not allow for much versatility in terms of cut styles. A table saw achieves almost any kind of cut, from ripping and crosscuts to miter cuts and dadoes.
  • Some types of track saws can accomplish dadoing, for example, but you will need to invest in another tool in order to carry this out.

Overall, a track saw is best for portability and making quick, clean cuts. A table saw allows for greater versatility in achieving various kinds of cuts, but it can be space-consuming.

the similarities and differences between a track saw vs table saw

Conclusion

Given the similarities and differences between a table saw and track saw, which one is the better choice for you? The answer depends on your woodcut style preferences and location requirements.

The track saw is an ideal option if you’re tasked to make clean and efficient cuts. If space is an issue and portability is a priority, then the track saw is a better option. However, if portability is not a concern and you require cutting stability and versatility, the table saw is a wiser option.

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