track saw

Best Cordless Track Saw

If you need to make a quick cut that is precise compared to those that could be made from table saws and circular saws, you came to the right place. Through this article, we shall learn more about track saws. Track saws could make more precise cuts. The tool itself is light and easy to transport. It is easy to set up as well and produces accurate cuts. With this, we shall feature in this article, the best cordless track saws based on the tests that we have conducted, their performance and features. 

Having a track saw is very convenient and ideal especially if you are doing carpentry work or doing some remodeling. Track saws could cut down doors, break down sheet goods and even trim stock. Aside from that, you could depend on them in terms of speed and make it easier for you to make parallel cuts on assembled cabinets, built-ins and many more. 

Track Saw Lineup

In this article, we shall compare different brands and models such as the following:

Best Track Saw Evaluation 

To be declared as the best, the products have to pass with flying colors the different categories that we have tested. We have tested the following factors/categories:

  • Precision and Quality of Cut – We have checked the accuracy of each track saw and we have also tested how easy it was to make adjustments. 
  • Run-time – this is important. Usually performance suffer whenever power increases.
  • Features – yes, we also compared their overall features and specifications
  • Ergonomics – aside from ergonomics, we have also considered functionality. 
  • Price – this is very important as the best track saw would also depend on one’s budget. 

Best Cordless Track Saw Features

Bosch GKT 18V-20GC 

  • 140 mm blade
  • 42 tooth blade
  • 20 mm arbor
  • 5500 rpm
  • Swiveling dust hose port and a lock-off mechanism
  • Overload protection
  • Electric brake
  • Single pivot-point for both bevel and non-bevel cuts, from -1° (for slight undercuts) to +47° cuts
  • Easy blade-change system – quick three-step blade swap with spindle lock and on-board hex key
  • Constant electronics to help maintain speed under load.

DeWalt DCS520ST1

  • This saw can run on the Makita, Festool, and Triton tracks
  • 6.5” blade
  • 42 tooth blade
  • 20 mm arbor
  • 1,750-4,000 rpm
  • Electric brake
  • On-track cut depth: 2-1/8 in. at 90 degrees and 1-5/8 in. at 45 degrees 
  • Continuous anti-kickback mechanism and riving knife prevent kickback when engaged
  • “Straight plunge” linkage mechanism for optimal ergonomics
  • Dual edged tracks
  • 60-volt Flexvolt battery 6.0 Ah

Festool TSC 55

  • 160 mm blade
  • 48 tooth blade
  • 20 mm arbor
  • 2,650-5,200 rpm
  • Electric brake
  • Cutting depth 2-⅛” at 90° and 1-11/16” at 45°
  • Depth of cut scale has indicators for use with or without a guide rail
  • Splinterguards on both sides of the blade
  • Angular range -1 – 47 °
  • Dual Voltage 18/36 volt [will cut with one battery]
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • TSC 55 Li 5,2 REBI-F-Set/XL-FS 

Mafell MT55 18M 

  • 1mm depth adjustments and depth indicator reverse for on-track or off-track plunge cutting.
  • Scoring function for cuts that must be tear-free on both sides such as cutting down doors. Scoring cutting depth is 2.5mm and offset slightly from the cut line. Score. Then deactivate the scoring function and then perform the parting cut.
  • Electronic riving knife.
  • The position indicator makes inside plunge cuts precise. Red slides show the exact position where cut enters and exits materials.
  • Single motion blade change drops the blade housing and automatically locks the saw blade and locks out the start trigger.
  • 35mm dust collector hose connection with detents to stop at various connector angles.
  • Chip guard drops down to the workpiece surface and effectively seals off the blade compartment for superior dust collection.
  • Extreme fine depth adjustment screw to be used with re-sharpened saw blades, veneers, or other fine accuracy requirements.
  • Angle settings are fixed at two locations at the front and rear of the carriage with a single point of adjustment at the front of the saw.
  • Saw blade – 162mm x 1.2 x 20mm, 48ATB Teeth
  • 18v Li-ion 99w-hr Battery
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • Bevel cuts do not re-cut rubber strips.
  • MT55 18M
  • 162 mm blade
  • 48 tooth blade
  • 20 mm arbor
  • 4850 rpm
  • Cut capacity –  57mm (2-1/4”) at 90 degrees and 40.5mm (1 -5/8”) at 45 degrees
  • The saw can run on Makita/Festool/Triton tracks in addition to Mafell and Bosch tracks.
  • Bevel range : -1 degree and +48 degrees

Makita XPS01PTJ

  • Cut capacity –  2-3/16” at 90 degrees and 1 -9/16” at 45 degree
  • Cut 11/16” from wall
  • Bevel -1 degree and +48 degrees [2 levers at saw baseplate for -1 and black lever for 48 degrees]
  • Positive stops at 22.5 and 45.  22.5 positive stop bypass
  • Line of sight – 90 and 45 detents [off track]
  • Auto speed change technology – adjust speed and torque
  • Mode indicator – solid green light at battery gauge in high torque mode.  Blinks green when overloaded
  • Electric brake
  • Soft start motor
  • Quick stop scoring button [near handle] – 2-3mm score cut.
  • An anti-tip lever at the baseplate
  • 2 knobs adjust baseplate in slide
  • Swivel dust port 1-3/8 ID and 1-3/4 OD.  Dust bag extra
  • Blue tooth auto-start wireless system (AWS™) enables wireless power-on/power-off with an AWS-equipped dust extractor
  • XPS01PTJ
  • 6.5” blade
  • 55 tool blade
  • 20 mm arbor
  • 2,500-6,300 rpm
  • 1.39 mm kerf
  • 18V X2 – brushless. Drains both batteries at the same time. Will not run off 1 battery
  • VS setting – 2,500 to 6,300 [5 settings]
Precision and Quality of Cut

We have tested all five track saws mentioned above. We have made cuts at 90 degrees and 45 degrees. Each saw has new blades. We also examined blade impressions on the wood and for 90-degree cuts, we could say that Mafell did a great job. It did not show any marks at all. Second in place is Festool with minor amount of blade marks. Makita came in third as it showed up-cut mark from its front blade and down cut marks from its back blade. Fourth in place is Bosch and Dewalt came in last as it has provided rough results. 

45 Degree Cut Results

We have done the same procedure as we have done with 90-degree test and the results were: Mafell for the 1st place then, Festool, Bosch, Makita and lastly, DeWalt.

Performance

In this category, we have tested the power and speed test. We have found that Makita came in first. It comes with two battery packs which has about 360 watt-hours. Festool has 185 watt-hours on the other hand which brings it to second place. 

Run-time Test

This pertains to the continuous cut your track saw could make through a 1-1/2” thick by 8’ long material. Upon testing, we have learned that none of the saws had thermal interruption which is very impressive for intense use. 

Makita was able to do 432 lineal feet of double stack ¾” plywood. Festool was able to do 176 lineal feet and Bosch was able to do 136 lineal feet. 

Cuts per watt hour

In this category, Makita won. It has a score of 2.40 which makes it rank 1st on this list and Festool came in last with 0.94. 

Overall Performance 

Upon summarizing both speed test and run-time test, Makita came in first followed by Mafell and Bosch. 

Comparison of Features 

In this category, we have compared 19 different features and rated each with 1 being the best and 5 as the least best. 

  1. Variable speed
  2. Hard case
  3. Electric brake
  4. Cut depth range
  5. Fine depth adjustment
  6. Scoring cut
  7. Depth of cut indicator [on/off track]
  8. Bevel Adjustment
  9. Positive bevel stop
  10. Track anti-tip
  11. Riving knife [electric vs actual]
  12. Dust bag
  13. Chip guard window
  14. Swivel dust port
  15. Battery gauge / LED feedback
  16. Track Compatibility
  17. Track Connector
  18. Track slop adjustment
  19. Blade Change

All in all, Mafell garnered a score of 34 points, Festool with 46 points, Makita and Bosch with 48 and 49 points. 

Details on Major Features
  • Fine Depth Adjustment – This allows you to adjust the depth of cut. Festool has a push button slide. Mafell on the other hand needs a wrench to adjust its depth scale. Bosch, also has a push-button slide and has a 1mm stops in both metric and imperial scales. It does not however, have a micro-adjustment. Makita has metric scales and a lock-knob slide adjustment. 
  • Bevel Adjustment –  this pertains to the control of bevel function. Mafell leads this category with a single control that could lock and unlock the bevel at both ends. Festool came in second with it using front and back locking bevel knobs. Makita in third with -1 to 48 degrees with 22.5 positive stop. It also comes with an anti-tip feature.
  • Riving Knife (Electric vs Mechanical) – This usually cuts pieces of sheet steel. Though it is a bit behind the kerf blade, it ensures that you are protected from kickback. Mafell has an electronic speed sensor which monitors your blade speed. DeWalt and Festool come with mechanical spring-loaded riving knives and unfortunately, Bosch and Makita do not have any riving knife. 
  • Tracks – this is considered as the heart of your track saw. It is a very important part which ensures accuracy. The best track goes to Mafel/Bosch. They have identical track connector. They have interchangeable anti-splinter strip and grip strip parts. They are also narrow, lighter and thinner. However, there are also some disadvantages such as They lack T-slot on top of their track and the base covers the whole width of the track. Second in place is Festool and Makita tracks. DeWalt came in third. DeWalt has unique anti-splinter strips for both sides. This means it allows you to cut in either direction. 
  • Track Connector – In this category, both Bosch and Mafell are tied in the first place. Both has single piece connector and is great with aligning tracks. They secure the connector in place and its clamps are unobstructed. Festool and Makita has two track connectors which ensures good track alignment. DeWalt tracks, unfortunately are difficult to align. 
  • Track “Slop” Adjustment – this varies in extrusions and machining combined with wear and tear. In this category, the adjustment is important for you to be able to have a high quality cut. In this category, Mafell is amazing. It comes with good dial adjuster with detents. Makita comes in second with its huge easy to turn knobs. Festool is a bit more difficult with its push on a replaceable plastic bar. While DeWalt needs a screwdriver to unlock.  
  •  Variable Speed – this would help you cut different types of materials such as Corian, hardwoods and softwoods. In this category, unfortunately, Mafell does not have any variable speed but rather it depends on its internal electronics to monitor brushless motor. With this, the first place goes to Makita with its amazing mechanical dial knob. DeWalt’s on the other hand is convenient and could easily be adjusted. Festool’s variable speed dial on the other hand is not that visible during use. 
  • Blade Change – One of the easiest blade change is Mafell. It has a single button control and it is well designed. It is very convenient as well. Festool on the other hand comes with a fast-fix level on its handle and it is also easy to do. Bosch is almost the same as Festool blade. Makita would need you to rotate its depth lock knob and plunge its saw. DeWalt is the most difficult in terms of changing the blade. 
  • Dust Collection – In this category, Mafell comes with a very efficient vacuum solution. Followed by Festool and Bosch and Makita. 
  • Ergonomics – This category is important as it improves the worker’s efficiency. For our first rank, it’s a tie betweet Festool and Mafel. Followed by Makita and Bosch and lastly DeWalt. 
  • Plunge Action – In this category, Festool, Mafell and Makita are at par with each other in terms of easy plunging. Bosch comes with a lower strength axial plunge spring. DeWalt also comes with axial spring. However, it is more robust. 
  • Adjustments and Switches – In this category, Mafell stands out. It comes with single bevel adjustment knob, single button blade change and intuitive setup and adjustment. Festool comes in second with its buttons and interfaces. Makita comes next with its traditional circular features.
  • Price – as for the price, DeWalt is the best in terms of affordability comes in second is Makita and lastly is Mafell. 

Best Value Track Saw

We choose Makita. Aside from having a good price. This saw also comes with amazing and decent features, solid track and great power and runtime. 

Best Cordless Track Saw

We choose Mafell. This saw has an overall first place features, ergonomics, quality cut and many more. 

Which Track Saw to Buy?

This would depend on your specific needs, uses and budget. We hope through the categories that we have presented above; we were able to help you choose one that would suit you the best. 

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