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Thread: Any reason to buy a circular saw if you own a track saw?

  1. #1

    Any reason to buy a circular saw if you own a track saw?

    I know they are basically the same thing, but was wondering if any of you have and still use both? I own the Makita track saw, but also have the opportunity to pickup their circular saw (XSR01Z) in in the box for about $75.

    I could see leaving my track saw as my "shop" saw and using the circular saw out on our property for mending fences and such. Just not sure if that is a personal justification for buying a new tool, or if I'd get other uses out of it as well.
    Keith Upton
    Aerodrome Accessories
    Epilog Mini 24 - 60w

  2. #2
    I don't think you should be without a circular saw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    46,599
    Most track saws are not really designed for heavier "construction" type work, so having a "regular" circular saw available for those activities is not a horrible idea. I still use my late 1970s/early 1980s orange B&D circular saw for that and keep the track saw for what track saws do best.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Kocher View Post
    I don't think you should be without a circular saw.
    I've got an old Dewalt corded circular saw, but now that I have the track saw (which is really just a nice plunge circular saw from Makita), I'm just not sure if it is necessary.
    Keith Upton
    Aerodrome Accessories
    Epilog Mini 24 - 60w

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
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    280
    It does not seem essential to have both but certainly handy. I would think you would keep a ply blade in the track saw and a lumber blade in the circular.

  6. #6
    a cordless circular saw or a cheap miter saw are imho better alternatives for $75.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
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    560
    I own about eight circular saws,give or take. I do not see them the same at all. A track saw is precision guided cutting where a circ saw can be precision in the right very skilled hands but really excels as a carpenters tool for framing lumber. As Jim said good tool for construction type jobs. I do use it occasionally to break lumber down to rough lengths, Mike.

  8. #8
    Thanks for your thoughts guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    a cordless circular saw or a cheap miter saw are imho better alternatives for $75.
    The one I found for $75 is a cordless circular saw.
    Keith Upton
    Aerodrome Accessories
    Epilog Mini 24 - 60w

  9. #9
    I have a TS75, but picked up a green ryobi CL special for $10. Theres a lot of garbage quick cuts that i would never want to use the festool on. Breaking down rough lumber thats 12"+ wide is easier and faster with the ryobi. Cutting dirty wood with the festool and its $$$ blade would make me cringe. I make the same cut with the ryobi and then carelessly put it on the ground. Its the same mentality of why you didnt see me out in my yard with the $200 woodpecker framing square when i was building my fence. Construction/Rough work is best done with a different tool set than what most of us would consider fine woodworking.

  10. #10
    Recently, I was on a high rise install. Being an older building the stairs and elevator were rather right and anything over a certain length just wasn't getting in. Long story short, thankfully the building manager had a cheapo cordless circular saw because my fancy Festool wasn't going to help me size 2x4s put in the van.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Upton View Post
    I know they are basically the same thing, but was wondering if any of you have and still use both? I own the Makita track saw, but also have the opportunity to pickup their circular saw (XSR01Z) in in the box for about $75.

    I could see leaving my track saw as my "shop" saw and using the circular saw out on our property for mending fences and such. Just not sure if that is a personal justification for buying a new tool, or if I'd get other uses out of it as well.
    Of course, anyone can have a track saw and a circular saw, or even two of each!

    But none of the responses so far show why function-wise we need a circular saw if you already have a track saw. That is what a circular saw can do but a track saw can't.

    So you don't need a circular saw, but you can have one if you want one.

    Simon

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
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    3,507
    I have a tracksaw and 3 circular saws. The plunge mechinism on the track saw makes it hard to use without the track. Plus you would to have to change blades to cut something else.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    336
    I find the track saw unusable without the track. Cutting 2x material or the like is not the easiest when you can't see what you are doing

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    80
    I was building a wheelchair ramp this week and used my old DeWalt corded circular saw to trim some branches on adjacent bushes. I don't have a track saw, but there are a lot of things for which it would not be smart to use an expensive tool but that are fine with an older cheaper machine. I wouldn't want a cordless tool for only occasional work unless it shared a battery with something that got used regularly, though.
    Zach

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Darmstadt, Germany
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    265
    I have two Bosch circular saws, and both work perfectly with the FSN rail system as track saws for breaking down sheet goods. The GKS 18V 57G cordless saw works well up to 19mm (3/4") plywood, but struggles when trying to cut two sheets of 15mm plywood at once. The GKS 85G corded saw cuts through three sheets of 19mm plywood like butter. It will handle four sheets of 19mm plywood, but I haven't needed to break down that many sheets at one time.

    To me, a track saw is a one-trick pony that is useless for carpentry. A circular saw that integrates well with an accurate rail system meets all of my requirements for carpentry and woodworking.

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