The Ryobi PTS01 One+ HP brushless 6 1/2-inch track saw is not the most powerful or rugged one on the market. But at $300—which includes the saw, a blade, two 27 1/2‑inch tracks, an 18-volt 4.0-Ah lithium battery, a charger, and accessories—it’s a great value.

If you’re a power user, you could (and probably should) spend hundreds more for a “pro-grade” track saw. But not everyone needs pro-grade quality for what I consider to be a specialty tool for occasional use. What’s important is having a tool that works for the job at hand. Before track saws began to make their appearance on jobsites, I used a wormdrive saw and a shooting board to make straight cuts; with a small investment in the Ryobi saw, I can make those cuts much more quickly, accurately, and safely.

The Ryobi 18V One+ HP track saw has a brushless motor powered by a 4.0-Ah battery that spins the blade at 4,300 rpm.

Performance. Having used the Ryobi track saw on several projects, including a couple of decks and an interior trim job, I’ve found that power is not this saw’s forte. However, if the only thing standing in its way is 32 feet of composite decking or a door that needs resizing—both of which I tested the saw on—it’s smooth sailing. I also used the Ryobi to trim the edges of a 16-foot-deep pressure treated deck, with great results (Ryobi claims that the saw can rip up to 260 lineal feet per charge). Sure, other saws have longer tracks, or longer battery life, or are corded, but for 16 feet? The Ryobi handled the job easily.

The plunge mechanism is the same as on every other track saw I’ve seen and works smoothly. The shoe is plastic but seems plenty durable for occasional use, while the blade height adjustment is just as finicky as on saws that cost 30% more. One quibble is the saw’s rear-facing, nonadjustable dust chute: Without a hose attached to it, the port shoots dust onto both the track and the user; when attached, the hose sticks out right next to your hand. This is a minor chafe, however, as I work mainly outdoors.

The 6 1/2-inch saw has a rear-facing dust port that ejects sawdust directly behind it when not connected to a vacuum system.

Cutting capacity. When the saw is used with the track, its cutting capacity at 90 degrees is 1 15/16 inches; without the track, cutting capacity is 2 1/8 inches. You can cut bevels up to 48 degrees; at 45 degrees, the cutting capacity is 1 7/16 inches with the track and 1 9/16 inches without it. While the thumb release takes some getting used to, the bevel adjustment works fine.

The saw comes with a decent 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade, and the kit includes two 27 1/2-inch tracks that bolt together to form a single 55-inch track (additional sections can be bolted together to form a longer track). The tracks are on par with most others in the category in terms of functionality and are gummy enough to stay in place when you’re breaking down sheet goods, cutting door bottoms, or trimming composite or PT decking. As far as I know, though, the tracks can’t be used with any of the other tools in Ryobi’s 18-volt One+ system.

Photos by Mark Clement.

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