Plywood is getting to heavy to battle on the table saw for me


Well-Known Member
So I looked into getting a panel saw but the price and the space it takes discouraged that idea. Then I looked at a track saw. It was a new tool to me that I was unfamiliar with. It is a type of circular saw with a level bottom with a track groove in it. It is bought with a track designed to hold and steer the saw. You can purchase a 52 inch track or the 102inch track. To use it the track is put on the board along the edge of the cutting line and clamped down using track clamps. The saw is slid onto the track and then pushed down to plunge the blade to the set depth(adjustable with settings larger enough to read even with safety glasses on) and then you just follow the saw up the board. The result is a full size plywood board cut by me better than I can do on my table saw. I'd put the cut accuracy result somewhere around 1/64 inch so far.

There seemed to be three main players; Festool, Makita and Dewalt. I went with Dewalt; cost was around $650 shipped with the two tracks and the special clamps ran $30 shipped. The track has a sticky bottom for holding itself to the wood but the booklet that came with it recommended using the clamps. I chose Dewalt over Festool because of price and went with Dewalt over Makita because Dewalt made the longer track and it had a riving knife on it. Also immediately replaced the blade with a Freud industrial blade as reviews regarding original blade life were not so high and the first run down the track cuts a line in the track edge that will be used for the life of the track to set up a cut.

So far it has been a great tool for me for safely breaking down sheet goods and even ripping wide boards where I wanted a close to perfect cut. So if anyone else is having difficulty holding up full sheets of plywood and keeping them flat on the table saw I highly recommend looking into the track saw; nice tool to work with so far.
They are a handy tool. You can build a home made version pretty easily too, maybe not quite as accurate but far more accurate than freehanding with a skillsaw.
They are a handy tool. You can build a home made version pretty easily too, maybe not quite as accurate but far more accurate than free handing or even just clamping a cutting stick on the piece being cut.with a skillsaw.
The homemade version is a giant step up from none for my older larger skillsaw but besides the accuracy of the track saw I really like the safety feature of the riving knife as well as the plunge cut style of the saw itself.

Lak, I haven't been able to post pics for quite a while. The deer hunter forum program says pictures loaded but then they won't show up on the post. So here are a couple of links to pictures
(Some ads show it cheaper but the ones I have seen didn't include the two tracks.)

Here is the You TUBE video presentation by Dewalt.

That rig is plenty cool. Something they show briefly in the video is working on a piece of foam insulation board. My contractor buddy showed me that trick, he even glues a sheet of insulboard to a sheet of thin plywood to make a durable backing board for cutting in the bed of the truck, on the ground, etc.

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