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Thread: Wider Table Saw or Track Saw

  1. #1

    Wider Table Saw or Track Saw

    Aloha from Hawaii, I live in Central Oahu and this is my first post. I have a Dewalt DW745 table saw and need to rip wider plywood. I'm torn between selling the 745 and buying a Dewalt DWE7491RS or keeping the 745 and picking up a track saw. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    691
    For ripping plywood, I would get a track saw of some sort. Or make one yourself. For me ,it is way easier to bring a saw to plywood rather than the plywood to the saw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    19,729
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-10-2019 at 9:33 PM.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

    - George Dyson (composer)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    950
    A lot depends on what you will be doing in the future. I downsized to a smaller space and decided to give up my table saw and get a track saw because I was going to be building many cabinets from sheet goods. I was blown away with how useful it was, and how quick and accurate cuts could be made. The track saw was a game changer for me.

    Then I needed to build door frames for cope and stick doors and face frames for another project. The track saw made it very challenging to do these types of thin rip cuts comfortably (even with aftermarket parallel guides) and I found myself purchasing a DWE 7491 RS after all. I'll never send a sheet of plywood over a table saw again, but for my work, I don't want to be without both even in a constrained space.

    Since you are thinking about the 7491 RS, the larger table and ability to take a full 8" dado stack were factors that mattered for my work. Also the tool-less quick change riving knife and the ability to set the miter slots and fence parallel to the blade have allowed it to be tuned very well. I haven't used the 745 so I can't directly compare them from experience. Having said that I'd opt for keeping the 745 and adding the track saw as the move to the larger DeWalt won't give you nearly as much flexibility as having the combo.
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 11-10-2019 at 4:06 PM.
    Dick Mahany.

  5. #5
    I bought a track saw and it's great for sheet goods. There is some setup for cutting the sheet goods - I have to put the sheet on something (foam or 2x4's) that keeps the blade from hitting the lower surface, mark out where I want to make the cut and then clamp the track in place. But the cut is very accurate. I used to do a rough break down of the sheet and then finish on the table saw - now I cut to final dimensions with the track saw.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    308
    I'm a recent convert to a track saw. I used to "rough" cut plywood with my circular saw and then finish cut with the table saw. I've never liked breaking down sheet goods with the table saw. The track saw has allowed me to cut the panels to final size as I'm breaking down the sheet and skip the table saw for "final sizing"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    1,880
    With a sacrificial back “foam rigid insulation” keeping your rubber strip on the track unblemished and actuate I find a track saw completely a real pita and slow vrs throwing a sheet down on a full size table saw. It’s much like breaking down and setting up a single shaper for multiple operations. It’s just annoying.

    On the other hand if you are talking the Dewalt saws I think that are lost in between a actual full size cabinet saw with proper 4x8 out feed table I’d say go track saw as it will be mc=UCD more manageable.

    I started with a track saw and full Festool kit MFT tables and all. I have since sold all my festool stuff except for my kapex a couple drills and may sanders. I even prefer porter cable and dewalt routers to festool. The dust collection even on festool with a router is still poor enough it did not warrant the boutique price for me.

    If I was you and you had the cash and space I’d but I powermatic 66 old general with a beismier or whatever fence make a outfeed table and be done with it.

    If the choice is the medium dewalt jobisite saw I’d go tracksaw.

  8. #8
    Can't argue with track saw or circular saw and straight edge for breaking down full sheets but if you're happy with your table saw maybe consider building it into a larger work surface to more comfortably and safely cut sheet goods.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    83
    For handling plywood and other sheet goods I much prefer a panel saw. Have a Safety Speed Cut H5 in the garage ALL sheet goods hit that first, always 90 degree cuts and rips are parallel, held down by gravity. Clamp a stop on there for repetition when needed or buy the fancy factory stop. When I first bought it I was young and strong enough to cart it around to the job site, no longer it hasn't moved in twenty years.
    Just something else to think about. Don't be afraid of a used one, motors are available new as well as other wear parts.

    GOOD LUCK

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Mahany View Post
    A lot depends on what you will be doing in the future. I downsized to a smaller space and decided to give up my table saw and get a track saw because I was going to be building many cabinets from sheet goods. I was blown away with how useful it was, and how quick and accurate cuts could be made. The track saw was a game changer for me.

    Then I needed to build door frames for cope and stick doors and face frames for another project. The track saw made it very challenging to do these types of thin rip cuts comfortably (even with aftermarket parallel guides) and I found myself purchasing a DWE 7491 RS after all. I'll never send a sheet of plywood over a table saw again, but for my work, I don't want to be without both even in a constrained space.

    Since you are thinking about the 7491 RS, the larger table and ability to take a full 8" dado stack were factors that mattered for my work. Also the tool-less quick change riving knife and the ability to set the miter slots and fence parallel to the blade have allowed it to be tuned very well. I haven't used the 745 so I can't directly compare them from experience. Having said that I'd opt for keeping the 745 and adding the track saw as the move to the larger DeWalt won't give you nearly as much flexibility as having the combo.
    Exactly that, my shop is a tiny 2 car garage with a 1993 Toyota pk up occupying 1 bay as a garage queen and the other by my automotive tools and some woodworking tools. I have very little space and always move my mobile workbenches and saws, router table out into the yard to work. The 7491RS captured me with the extended rip capacity and dado capability which my 745 doesn't have. Thanks everyone. I ordered the Makita SP6000J which came with a 55 in track and waiting for Black Friday to see if the price of a 7491 comes down to help me decide to pick one up as well.
    Last edited by Delwyn Ching; 11-10-2019 at 9:53 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,535
    Oahu is my favorite vacation place.

    If you need a 1 on 1 instructor, cover my expenses and I'll bee there to help you.

    Charley

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,191
    My personal feeling is that for the "average" woodworker who doesn't process a lot of sheet goods, a quality track saw is a good method for dealing with the job. Shop size is also less important and one can even cut (weather permitting) pretty much anywhere. Someone who uses a LOT of the material is going to find tools like vertical panel saws and sliding table saws more efficient.
    --

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    1,880
    Yeah I’d trade just about everything I have accumulated thus far in my life for a trade garage and a track saw in Oahu!

    Crap I’d take a tent on the beach and a surf board.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    Oahu is my favorite vacation place.

    If you need a 1 on 1 instructor, cover my expenses and I'll bee there to help you.

    Charley

  14. #14
    I would look at a wider tablesaw. It will pay for itself...

  15. #15
    I have a fairly large table saw and trying to break down a 4' by 8' sheet on that is difficult for me. Getting it up on the saw is hard, and pushing it through the saw straight was always a problem. Plus, I'm getting older and handling the weight of a 3/4" sheet of plywood is not as easy as it used to be. A sheet of 3/4" MDF is even heavier.

    So I'd rough cut the sheet with a circular saw and then do the finish cut on my table saw. With the track saw, I can do the finish cut with the track saw. The disadvantage of a track saw is the setup time - but it's worth it to me.

    If I had a big slider, I'd cut the sheet on the slider.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 11-11-2019 at 12:07 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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