Circular Saw Vs Track Saw: 9 Differences [with Pros & Cons]

Typical handsaws are nice, but electric saws have begun to get very popular amongst the professionals. Why? Because they are easy to use, precise, and require lesser effort.

There are many types of electric saws in the market. Circular saw and Track saw both are two of the most popular choices among them.

But the problem is that their similar properties create confusion amongst the buyers when it is time to make a decision.

That is why it is best to understand the differences among them thoroughly. The easiest way to do so is to compare circular saw vs. track saw against each other.

We will learn to do precisely that in this article. So, stay tuned!

Circular Saw Vs Track Saw

Circular Saw: A Powerful Electric Saw:

Circular Saw usages
Circular Saw Usages, Benefits, Pros, and Cons

Before we begin comparing them, let’s first know about them properly. We will start with a circular saw.

A circular saw is a prime example of an electric-saw. It uses specifically designed rotating sharp-toothed discs to cut through materials like wood, metal, plastic, etc. While inaction, the blade continues it’s spinning motion around an arbor.

Circular saw first appeared during the late 18th century. Though its usual power source is electricity, you can use a hydraulic motor or a gasoline engine to power it up if the situation calls for it.

Key features

a) A versatile cutting tool

Circular saw is well-known for its ability to make crosscuts and rip cuts. Moreover, as you can use one saw to fit various depth-adjustable blades, you will use this device for various uses.

It means you can also use it for cutting different types of materials.

b) Fast and easy in usage.

The Circular saw is also very easy to use. Just chose and insert the blade, hold it in place, connect it to the power source, and start the device. You will get your materials cut in no time without much physical strain at all!

c) Safety precautions for protection:

Is aIs a super-sharp rotating blade capable of cutting through metal? Seems dangerous! So, to make sure that you don’t lose one or two fingers, this saw is equipped with a safety guard.

d) Types of the circular saw:

Due to its popularity, the circular saw has gone through many evolutionary modifications. Thus, there are many variations of this saw available in the marketplace. The most popular variations of the circular saw are-

  • Abrasive saw
  • Brushcutter
  • Carbide saw
  • Concrete saw
  • Miter saw
  • Panel saw
  • Pendulum saw/ swing saw
  • Table saw
  • Track saw/ plunge saw
  • The worm drive saw, etc.

The end of the list does not mean the end of the saw-types. There are more types available out there.

e) Usage of the circular saw:

  • If you have no problems with the jagged edge but need a quick cut, then a circular saw would be perfect.
  • Different models of circular saw come with several types of cutting capacity. Each one is specialized in a different cut.
  • For example, a circular saw is much more suited for any massive construction job, as the framing lumber.
  • These are perfect for performing cuts in tight spaces, which may seem impossible by the track saw.

f) Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Both left-handed and right-handed facilities are available.
  • Very easy to use
  • Provides the first cut
  • Different types are available
  • Doesn’t need oiling
  • Includes a Smaller motor that is less noisy to use
  • Cheaper than a track saw
  • You can handle it with one hand

Cons:

  • Cut less accurately than others
  • Heavier than the track saw hence hard to carry by hand
  • Can’t provide a smooth cut as expected.

[Read Also: Radial Arm Saw vs Miter Saw: Which One Is Ideal For Your Use]

The Track Saw: the Improved Version:

Track Saw usages

See? Having information is important. It seems like the track saw is just another type of circular saw.

The track saw is also known as the plunge saw or plunge-cut saw. This is a variation of the hand-held circular saw. What makes it different from its parent saw is that its blade slides on a guide rail while it is in action.

This hand-held circular saw is attached with a long rectangular rail referred to as Track. Besides the Track, a plunge saw also comes with rubber grips instead of clamps. Its accuracy, combined with easy usage, makes it a popular tool for professional carpenters.

Since it arrived in the 1980s, the plunge-cut saw has become quite popular among carpenters due to its ability to make long cuts in a fixable, pre-determined depth.

Key Features:

a) Highly accurate:

As mentioned before, the plunge saw is highly accurate due to its ability to slide over the rail. Thus the cut it makes is long, clean, and precise.

b) Time-consuming yet simple:

Before using a track saw, you need to first mark the materials followed by setting up the cutting-depth. Then you need to lay down the track and attach the dust bag. Only after completing these steps, you can begin your work.

It honestly is a time-consuming method. But after you are done with the prior arrangements, the rest is very easy.

c) A small device:

If you do not have too much storage space, the track saw will be perfect for you. Not only is it small, but also the tracks can be stacked upright.

d) No dusty mess:

A track saw comes attached with a dust bag. When you use it to cut through sheets, the dust gets automatically collected in the bag.

e) Usage of a track saw:

  • When you need a precise and smooth output in every single even with an extra money tag, go for a track saw.
  • This cutter allows you to cut a long straight line even up to 100 feet.
  • By the depth set up features having in a track saw, you can easily cut materials as your wish.
  • This saw can cut up materials in any angler shape you need, which can’t be seen in a circular saw.

f) Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Provides an immaculate and precise cut
  • No jagged edge is left while cutting
  • Light and portable
  • Collects the dust that is easy to dispose
  • Allows to set the different depth of cut as needed
  • It smaller and lighter size body leaves considerable space for you.
  • The absence of a blade guard gives you the freedom to notify the cuts.
  • Provides a massive cutting capacity

Cons:

  • Comes with a more fantastic price tag than the circular saw
  • The setup process is time-consuming
  • Doesn’t include any riving knife.

[Read Also: How to Round Edges on Wood without Router]

Difference between Circular Saw Vs Track Saw – with Comparison:

a) Differences in featuring

A circular saw doesn’t come with the long and rectangular rail in front, which is the main difference among these two.

The circular saw includes a protective guard that is absent in the track saw. But its absence gives you the freedom to make visibility at work.

The enclosed blade placed in a track show improves the dust extraction, whereas, in a circular saw, this feature isn’t included.

b) Differences in cut types

A circular saw can perform two cuts as the crosscut and the rip cuts, whereas the track show can provide three. It gives intricate angled cuts along with the cross and rip cuts.

c) Differences in flexibility

A circular saw is weightier than the track saw. Thus it’s not easy to carry it in hand whereas the track saw is.

The track saw is much more portable than the circular one. On the contrary, the circular saw gives a rapid cut than the track saw has.

Let us check the comparison chart below to make a more accurate judgment.

Saw Comparison Chart:

Circular SawTrack Saw
SizeComparatively biggerSmall
Accuracy levelAccurateHigh-accuracy due to rail
Cutting possibilitiesCrosscut, and rip cutCrosscut, rip cut, and angle cut
Cut-edgeSlightly roughSmooth and clean
StabilityRequires external clamps
ManoeuvreComparatively more massive and more challenging to maneuver

 

Lightweight and easy to maneuver

 

Safety-featuresComes with blade guardDesigned to keep your fingers away
Procedure timeVery quickTime-consuming
Portability Easy to carry and moveRails cause lessened portability
Cleaning procedureA messy procedure requiring thorough cleaningThe dust-bag automatically cleans up
PriceAffordableVery costly

As you can see, track saw is by far the better one suitable for professional-level work. But its price makes it hard for it to be purchased by many.

Cordless Circular Saw Benefits:

DeWalt Cordless Circular Saw Benefits

Aside from the traditional corded versions, circular saws are also available in cordless version. This version is extremely helpful in areas unreached by electricity.

If you work in a tiny workshop with fewer maneuver options, you might like to get a cordless version. With one charge, you will be able to use it for a long time and make intricate cuts inaccessible with a cord.

Not to mention, with the need to constant electric charging gone, if you work in an area prone to frequent electricity failure, you will be fine.

Plunge Saw vs. Circular saw Differences:

Plunge Saw vs Circular saw Differences

Despite the track/plunge seen as an improved version of a circular saw and many similarities, some significant dissimilarities exist. The critical differences between Circular saw vs. track saw are-

a) The Circular saw is less accurate than Track saw because of the lack of rail. The procedure of using a circular saw is swift while it is opposite for a plunge saw.

b) Circular Saw can make the crosscut and rip cut. But a track saw can make an angle cut along with these two cuts.

c) You will have to spend extra time cleaning up after using a circular saw. But the Track saw automatically shifts dust into its dirtbag. So, no cleaning activities for later. How nice!

d) The Circular saw comes with a blade guard to protect your fingers. But the entire design of the track saw makes it so that your fingers will never come into contact with the blade.

e) A circular saw can be transported easier than Track saw.

[Read Also: How to Attach Casters to Workbench Legs]

Circular saw’s popular brands:

As we a primarily working with a circular saw (Track saw/ plunge saw is a type of circular saw), why don’t we explore some of its famous brands? Let us check out Dewalt and Makita, the two most famous saw brands.

Dewalt

The founder of the DeWalt company is Raymond DeWalt, a person dedicated to improving the quality of woodworking machines.

Named after its founder, DeWalt is an American company that was formed in 1924. In the beginning, the company was based in Leola, Pennsylvania.

But starting from the early 1940s to 1949, the DeWalt Company began to expand rapidly, even started making national defense-level tools.

DeWalt Company began to develop good quality products like portable electric power tools and accessories since 1992. Their continuous research and inclusion of modern technologies had been increasing their products’ popularity since then.

Today, the company did not remain cooped up only in the USA soil. Instead, its manufacturing factories have spread into other countries as well. Overall, a great company with a highly versatile and successive history.

Makita

Unlike the DeWalt Company, Makita is a Japanese company founded by Mosaburo Makita. It is one of the oldest power tool manufacturing company, starting its venture since 1915.

The company’s beginning was as an electric motor repair and sales company and continued its expansion in electric power tools. In Japan, Makita was the first company to make and sell the portable electric planers.

Even today, Makita has been painstakingly working towards developing technologically advanced power tools. Their quality products had made them an internationally recognized brand amongst electric power tool lovers.

The final suggestion: which one to Choose or Better for You?

So, what do you think after seeing the circular saw vs. Track saw comparison? Should you get a circular saw or a track saw?

If you have cash in handy and is a professional needing a saw for frequent use, we suggest you get the Track saw. It is the superior one, after all.

But if you don’t have so much money lying around, or if you are not a professional, then why put a strain in your budget buying the costly cone? Get a circular saw. And get nearly similar services at a lower price!

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