Before I began sheathing the walls on the inside of my shop I was well aware that a track saw would come in handy when cutting the 3/4” plywood. The only problem I faced with that plan was my shortage of available power outlets since the electric system was not live in the building at the time. Low and behold there a solution for that! Makita recently released a new Cordless 6-1/2″ Plunge Track Saw that is powered by two18 Volt batteries…..Presto! The track and saw worked beautifully together throughout the entire process and served as a tremendous time saver. When cross cutting all this plywood, I simply made two marks at my cut length, aligned the tracks to the marks, then let the machine do the work. Here’s how it all works:
Most track saws require small clamps to attach the track to the material you’re cutting to keep the track from sliding around as you move through your cut. This unit comes with some ultra grippy strips of rubber adhered to the under side of the track. I was more than doubtful when I realized they decided to exclude clamps and pretty convinced the rubber would slide as the rubber material got loaded up with saw dust. Fortunately that was not the case at all. This unit has worked flawlessly when it comes to “staying put” and not walking around when you’re cutting material.
The track is made from extruded aluminum and matches the same profile as many other manufacturers such as Festool, DeWalt, and Triton. The anti-splinter edge works well on both square cuts and bevel cuts. Longer tracks are available and get coupled together using small steel links with imbedded set screws.
Mating the saw to the track is no struggle at all. The shoe of the saw has pre-formed features that locate snuggly on the aluminum track. Fine adjusters are located down on the top side of the shoe which are used to tighten the fitment of the saw to the track.
The saw will bevel from -1 to 48 degrees with positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Fortunately there has not been any apparent sacrifice in cut quality when moving from square cuts to bevel cuts. The max cut depth for square cuts is 2-3/16” and 1-9/16” for 45 degree bevel cuts. I gotta give props to the designers at Makita for including a tiny “catch” on the bottom of the saw. This catch is used to support the saw when it is beveled over so far that it would other wise tip over and off of the track….instead, the catch locks into the track which prevents the saw from tipping. Well done Makita.
Makita included a speed control knob allowing you to dial in the speed from 2,500 to 3,600 RPM. This option serves not only as a means of correctly dialing in the cut speed with respect to your material but also allows you to be a bit more conservative with your batteries if a charging resource isn’t readily available.
Ultimately this Cordless 6-1/2″ Plunge Track Saw feels and cuts very smooth. The plunging action tilts into the wood at an arch with just the right amount of spring push back. Plunging too fast will certainly yield some kick back which is the case with nearly any power tool I reckon. For me, this saw is a precision piece of gear and delivers precisions cuts. More than anything I value it’s ease of use, short setup time, and high quality performance. If you’re in the market for one of these saws, you can pick them up at the local Home Depot for about five hundred bucks….I know, they’re proud of them. However these saws are not only loaded with battery efficient technology that keeps your production moving, but the cut quality is just astoundingly top notch. It’s safe to say you could assign cut work to any green-horn and rest easy knowing he or she is working with a piece of gear that makes up for their potential lack of skill when it comes to straight cuts.
Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate. This review was provided in support of the ProSpective Campaign sponsored by The Home Depot. They supply the tool and I supply an opinion. The links in this review are affiliate links and provide a small kick-back to the website which helps to keep the wheel turning. Regardless, I genuinely appreciate your support.