I am not an early adopter. When I first discovered track saws, it was a good five years before I bought one, primarily because of sticker shock. But once I did, I quickly found out what I had been missing, and it wasn’t long before I was regularly using a track saw for trimming doors, safely cross-cutting sheet goods, making long tapers, cutting wide shelving, and making all kinds of angle cuts.

Most of my track saw experience has been with models offered by Festool and DeWalt, the companies that first introduced them to market. Now, however, most tool companies make a track saw in both corded and cordless versions, and—surprisingly—one of the more affordable corded options is from Kreg Tools. Its ACS (adaptive cutting system) plunge saw has many of the same features—such as a positive stop position for blade changes, a chip guard, and a riving knife—as more expensive models from other track saw manufacturers. With its 6 1/2-inch-diameter blade, it can make cuts up to 2 1/8 inches deep at 90 degrees and 1 1/2 inches deep at 45 degrees; the bevel is adjustable from -1 to 47 degrees.

The Kreg ACS plunge saw has a 6 1/2-inch-diameter blade and works with the company’s 62-inch guide track. The saw features a blade-left design.

This saw also has one unique feature: The blade is on the left side, so it is easier for right-handed users to see the cut. I know, the track guides the cut, but I still want to be able to check it and make sure I’m not straying off my cut line or over- or under-cutting. It’s driven by a 120-volt, 12-amp, variable-speed motor with an electronic brake.

The saw comes with a small dust bag that catches a lot of dust, but it fills up quickly. If I am cutting outside or just making a couple of cuts, I don’t take the time to hook up dust collection, but the saw can also be hooked up to a standard vacuum.

When it comes to power, smoothness of plunging action, and adjusting the depth of cut, I can’t say it is quite on the same level as the best track saws I’ve used, but its performance is perfectly adequate for the kind of work I do.

The tracks are designed so that they can be joined together with special connectors and fitted with clamps.

Unfortunately, the saw isn’t compatible with tracks from other manufacturers. If you need a track longer than Kreg’s 62-inch-long guide track, you can join tracks together with available connectors. For some long cuts, I like to clamp the track, and Kreg makes a clamp that fits under the track. I’ve used its clamps but have discovered that clamps from other manufacturers fit the Kreg track fine and work better (of course, they cost more too).

If you are on the fence like I was about buying your first track saw, I think the Kreg saw is a great option for all but the most demanding users. The saw and a track sell for around $400 (the saw alone sells for $300, and a track sells for $100), so unless you are committed to cordless tools, the Kreg ACS plunge saw is an option worth considering. kregtool.com

Photos by Gary Striegler

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