Track saws are extremely simple to use. You place them on your workpiece, align them with your marking line, and begin cutting confidently, knowing that your cut will be perfectly straight. But, do you need to clamp a track saw?
To prevent the workpiece from shifting and being damaged when sawing with a track saw, it is better to always use track saw clamps. Although most tracks are equipped with anti-slip strips so that the track will remain stable on most materials.
In this article, I’ll answer the question, “Do you need to clamp a track saw?” in greater detail. I’ll also demonstrate how to properly clamp and which clamps to use.
Clamping a track saw is one of the 12 track saw safety tips I discuss in this article . Before you get started with your track saw, be sure to read this article, because it is important to be able to work as safely as possible.
What Holds a Track Saw in Place?
If you look at the bottom of the track you will see a number of black rubber tires. With my Festool FS1400/2-LR32 and FS2700/2 tracks, which I review here, there are two, but this can differ per brand.
These two rubber tires have a soft structure and an anti-slip effect. Thanks to these two strips, the track will not move on most surfaces. I have tested these extensively on different types of plywood where the Festool tracks held up pretty well.
When used on smoother surfaces, such as concrete waterproof plywood, the anti-slip effect was slightly less, which seems logical. Yet there was still a decent resistance when I wanted to move the track. To make sure that no shift would happen, I always use clamps on this type of wood.
The soft structure of the strip also ensures that the track can adhere perfectly to the surface and will absorb any level differences.
Can You Replace the Anti Slip on the Track Saw?
It has to be said, tracks are not cheap at all, but they can last a very long time, which changed my mindset to invest in decent tracks.
The great thing about many brands is that they offer these rubber tires as a replacement. So if they are worn or damaged, you can replace these rubber anti-slip tires without any problems.
You simply remove them from the track and ensure that there are no glue residues left. If there are still glue residues, you can remove them with a glue residue remover such as the one you can find on Amazon. before applying a new rubber band it is important that there are no remnants of the glue remover present in order not to jeopardize the sticking of the new strips.
In most cases, the rubber bands have a self-adhesive backing. So the application is really easy and fast . When applying , make sure that the rubber band fits neatly everywhere and that there are no irregularities.
What Do you need to clamp a track saw?
In fact, you can clamp tracks with any clamp you have lying around in your workshop. So if you run out of your budget for a while, you can still continue with it for the time being.
However, regular clamps are not the best solution. You will have to clamp them on top of the track where you run the risk that they will get in the way.
Another disadvantage is that the pressure built up by tightening the clamp will cause damage to the track, which can later affect the sliding of the saw on the track.
So you can use regular clamps as an emergency solution, but I would still look out for the plunge saw clamps as soon as possible. My experience taught me that these are not only better for your track, but they also ensure that you can work a lot faster and easier.
Track saw clamps
Track saw clamps are specially designed for use on tracks . They have a narrow and long end that fits perfectly in the rail that is located at the bottom of the track.
By using these clamps at the bottom of the track, they will never get in the way during sawing. Another advantage is that you can just leave them on the track when you move the track from the position. So you don’t have to dismantle clamps, put them away, move the track, and put the clamps back. You’d be surprised to see how much faster this works.
There are different types of clamps that you can use for this, which I share with you below.
What Are the best Track Saw Clamps?
The three main types of clamps that you should definitely check out are the Quick Release Track Saw Clamps, Quick Screw Guide Rail Clamps, and the Quick Release Ratcheting Table Clamp. These will make clamping guide rails to your workpiece a lot easier than a regular clamp.
Quick Release Track Saw Clamps
Quick release clamps are well-known in the woodworking industry . They allow you to fasten different parts together with just one hand while holding the parts in place with the other.
These clamps are also used for clamping guide rails, and they have a narrow head that fits into the track rail.
Personally, I dislike this type because it is larger and clumsier than the ones below. Because of their size, they will be more difficult to use. They have the advantage of being slightly less expensive.
Quick Screw Guide Rail Clamps
Screw clamps are a lot nicer and easier to handle . They take up less space and so are easier to use than the quick-release rail saw clamps I discussed above.
The disadvantage is that you have to screw them to clamp the track to the workpiece and that screwing takes a little more time. I myself have both this type of clamps and the quick-release table clamps that I discuss below and I am increasingly inclined to grab the quick-release table clamps because they are both finer and more compact and faster to attach.
Quick Release Ratcheting Table Clamp
These are my personal favorite track saw clamps, as well as the clamps of many colleagues.
They are fine, powerful, and easy to use. So nothing but advantages.
They do have one significant disadvantage, however, and that is their price. They are significantly more expensive than the alternatives listed above. Working faster with these clamps, on the other hand, will undoubtedly save you a significant amount of time in the long run, so these clamps will more than pay for themselves.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration