Can You Use A Track Saw Without The Track? Do Or Don’t?

As a passionate woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, you’ve likely pondered whether you could operate a track saw sans its track. Trust me, that thought crossed my mind more than once! After extensive research and getting my hands dirty, I discovered that while it’s indeed possible to use all track saws without their tracks, it might affect the precision of your cuts.

So stick around as we delve deeper into this subject about whether can you use a track saw without the track. This exploration might just redefine how you tackle your upcoming woodworking project!

Can You Use A Track Saw Without The Track? Key Takeaways

  • Track saws can be used without the track, but it may affect the precision of your cuts.
  • Using a track ensures straight and accurate cuts, while freehand sawing may result in less accuracy.
  • Safety is a crucial consideration when using a track saw without the track, as there is a higher risk of accidents and blade wandering.

I myself have the Festool TS 55 cord track saw in my workshop and I can recommend it! You can see an in-depth review of this tool in my article Festool TS 55 Track Saw Review. My Honest Thoughts 

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

Understanding the Difference Between a Track Saw vs Circular Saw

track saw is a specialized woodworking tool that allows for precise and straight cuts by using a guide rail or track, while a circular saw is a versatile handheld tool that can make various types of cuts.

What is a Track Saw?

A track saw is a handy tool in woodwork. It makes straight, clean cuts. Its sharp saw blade runs along a metal guide or “track”. This keeps the cut very exact. You can use it for deep and thin cuts too. Track saws are also known for their excellent dust collection. Track saws are available as corded or cordless saws and are known as good table saw alternatives.

But, using it without its track may bring problems and less accuracy. So, safety comes first when we use this saw with no track!

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a power tool. It has a round, sharp disc or blade that cuts materials like wood and metal. You can use it by hand or mount it to a table. The blade spins fast to make straight cuts in the material. These tools are the perfect miter saw alternative.

Some people find this saw easy to carry around because of its size. It also cuts deeper than two inches which makes it good for thick wood pieces.

Circular saws are great for many jobs without needing a track. They offer wide range cutting abilities from crosscuts, rip-cuts to even more complex tasks such as bevelling angles and deep cuts that go beyond 2 inches depth limit! For builders and DIY fans, they love how flexible the circular saw can be on different projects.

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Can You Use a Track Saw Without the Track?

Using a track saw to make a cut without the track has advantages and limitations, as well as important safety considerations.

Advantages and limitations

I want to share some good and bad points about using a track saw without the track.

  • Track saws can work just like a circular saw when you don’t use a track. This is quite handy if you are in a spot where it’s tough to use a track.
  • Without the track, these saws are easy to move around which lets you cut from different angles.
  • You may not get clean and straight cuts if you don’t use a track. A track helps guide your cutting line.
  • Safety can be an issue here. Tracks often have antislip strips that hold the material steady as you cut. So, without a track, there’s more risk of slips while cutting.
  • The depth of your cuts could suffer too. Circular saws tend to cut deeper than 2 inches which might not be possible with every track saw.

Safety considerations

Safety is a crucial consideration when using a track saw without the track. Without the stability and guidance of the track, there is a higher risk of the blade wandering or veering off course, which can lead to accidents.

Additionally, freehand cutting with a track saw requires more control and precision to avoid kickback or binding of the blade. It’s important to use proper techniques and grip the saw securely while maintaining focus on your cuts.

Always wear appropriate safety gear such as goggles, gloves, and hearing protection to protect yourself from any potential hazards.

When to Use a TrackSaw

A track saw is ideal for jobs that require precise and clean cuts, especially when working with large or heavy materials like breaking down a sheet of plywood.

Jobs that require precision and clean cuts

When working on projects or carpentry tasks, there are certain jobs that require precision and clean cuts. Here are some examples:

  • Making furniture or cabinets: When constructing furniture pieces or cabinets, precise cuts are essential for proper fitting and assembly. A track saw can help achieve accurate and straight cuts in wood materials, ensuring a professional finish.
  • Trim work: Installing trim around windows, doors, or baseboards requires precision to achieve seamless transitions and clean lines. Using a track saw with a cutting guide can help ensure straight and accurate cuts, resulting in a polished look.
  • Flooring installation: Whether it’s hardwood flooring or laminate planks, precise cuts are crucial for a seamless installation. Using a track saw with a guide can help maintain consistency in the cuts, providing a professional-looking finish.
  • Joinery work: Joinery techniques like dovetail joints or mortise and tenon require precise cuts to create strong connections between pieces of wood. A track saw can assist in making accurate and smooth cuts, ensuring the joinery is solid.
  • Box making: Creating boxes or storage containers often involves making precise cuts to ensure the pieces fit together correctly. A track saw with its ability to provide straight and accurate cuts can be helpful in achieving the desired results.

Working with large or heavy materials

When working with large or heavy materials, a track saw can be a valuable tool. Its ability to make straight and precise cuts ensures accuracy and minimizes the risk of mistakes. The track provides stability, allowing for smooth cutting even when dealing with hefty materials.

Additionally, the use of clamps on the track helps secure the material in place, preventing any movement during the cutting process. This is particularly important when handling large pieces that may require multiple passes or deep cuts.

So, if you often find yourself working with sizable wood or other heavy materials, using a track saw with its accompanying track can greatly enhance your efficiency and produce high-quality results without compromising safety.

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When to Use a Circular Saw

A circular saw is the go-to choice when it comes to versatility and portability, making it perfect for jobs that may not require the use of a track.

Versatility and portability

Another advantage of using a circular saw is its versatility and portability. Circular saws are known for their ability to handle a wide range of cutting tasks, making them a popular choice among woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts.

Whether you need to make straight cuts, angled cuts, or even bevel cuts, a circular saw can usually get the job done. Additionally, circular saws are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport and use in different locations.

So if you have projects that require you to move around or work in tight spaces, a circular saw may be more convenient than a track saw.

Jobs that may not require the use of a track

There are certain jobs in woodworking that may not require the use of a track saw. Here are some examples:

  1. Cutting small or thin materials: If you’re working with smaller pieces of wood or thin materials, a circular saw may be sufficient for making straight cuts.
  2. DIY projects at home: For simple DIY projects around the house, such as building shelves or small furniture items, a circular saw can provide the versatility and ease of use needed.
  3. Quick rough cuts: When you need to make quick rough cuts that don’t require precise measurements, a circular saw can get the job done faster.
  4. Trimming or cutting irregular shapes: If you have irregular shapes or need to make curved cuts, a track saw may not be necessary. A jigsaw or coping saw might be more suitable for these types of cuts.


In conclusion, you can use a track saw without the track, but it may not be ideal. Using a track ensures straight and precise cuts, whereas freehand sawing may result in less accuracy.

It is recommended to use a track when using a track saw for better stability and control. Ultimately, the decision to use or not use a track depends on your specific cutting needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can You Use A Track Saw Without The Track?

A: Yes, you can use a track saw without the track. However, it is not recommended as the track serves as a guide for the saw and helps to ensure accurate and straight cuts.

Q: What’s the difference between a track saw and a circular saw?

A: The main difference between a track saw and a circular saw is that a track saw runs along a track while a circular saw does not. This track guides the saw and helps to achieve precise and straight cuts.

Q: Do I need to use clamps when using a track saw without the track?

A: Yes, it is highly recommended to use clamps when using a track saw without the track. Clamping the track to the workpiece helps to ensure stability and prevent any movement while making cuts.

Q: Can I use a track saw with no track?

A: While it is technically possible to use a track saw without the track, it is not advisable. The track provides the necessary guidance and stability for accurate and reliable cuts.

Q: How do I keep the track saw on track without using the track?

A: Without the track, it can be difficult to keep the track saw aligned. You can try using a straight edge or guide to help guide the saw along the desired cutting line, but it may not be as precise as using the track.

Q: Can I use a circular saw with a track?

A: No, a circular saw cannot be used with a track. Track saws are specifically designed to run along a track, while circular saws are not.

Q: Can a cordless circular saw be used with a track?

A: Yes, cordless circular saws can be used with a track. However, it is important to ensure that the track and saw are compatible and that the saw has enough power to make the desired cuts.

Q: Do track saws come with a dust bag?

A: Some track saws come with a dust bag, while others may require a separate dust collection system. It is best to check the specifications of the specific track saw model you are considering.

Q: Can I achieve beveled cuts with a track saw?

A: Yes, it is possible to achieve beveled cuts with a track saw. Many track saws have adjustable bevel angles that allow you to make cuts at different angles.

Q: Does a track saw have a riving knife?

A: Yes, many track saws are equipped with a riving knife. The riving knife helps to prevent kickback and keeps the workpiece from pinching the blade during cutting.

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