DeWalt continues to be a leader in the pro tool market with their continued development of the DeWalt Flexvolt 60-volt tool line. This Track Saw is added to a slew of tools by DeWalt that not only perform exceptionally but are also incredibly versatile. By creating and growing the Flexvolt line, professionals, as well as weekend warriors, can now have the power and performance of high end corded tools without being handcuffed to a cord.
Track saws are much more than just a circular saw with a straight edge. When used properly, a track saw can do just about everything a table saw can do. In some cases, a Track Saw can even do it faster and safer. While there are some exceptions, Track Saws are surprisingly versatile, especially on a busy job site. DeWalt’s Flexvolt 60-volt tools are performing at the level of corded tools and it only makes sense they add a track saw to their lineup. With only a few brands offering the versatile tool, the options are slim. Let’s check out all DeWalt has to offer with theirs, in the DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review.
DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review Overview
DeWalt added a track saw to their already impressive line of 60-Volt Flexvolt tools in the first quarter of 2018. By using the 60-volt platform, DeWalt has been able to achieve the power of a corded track saw without all of the hang-ups of a corded model.
A track saw is an excellent addition to just about any workshop/worksite. If you are going to cut large sheet goods with a table saw, you will either need to have another person helping to support the material, or you will need a lot of outfeed and infeed support. Neither one of these options is the best possible way of making those kinds of cuts. Even though it can be done these ways, (I’ve done them both) you risk an inaccurate cut, creating a kickback, and losing control of the material. The last two of these situations can change a person’s life in a matter of seconds. Safety should always be the most important thing in a shop or worksite.
With a track saw, you can set up your large sheet goods on a set of sawhorses, on some other type of work support, or even on the ground if you have some sacrificial piece under the sheet goods. By moving the saw across the workpiece instead of feeding into the table saw blade, controlling the cut is much easier. Easier usually equals safer with better results.
The genius of a track saw is the way a cut is made. As the name implies, in order to use this saw accurately, you need to run it on a track. When you place the saw on the track, the saw blade runs right along the rubber edge of the track making cut setup a breeze. Once you plunge the track saw into the workpiece, the track that the saw is attached to keeps your saw in a straight line yielding results good as or even better than a table saw.
DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review Features
The DeWalt Flexvolt track saw is powered by a cordless, brushless motor and a 60-volt 2 amp hour battery to drive the 6-1/2″ blade.
A riving knife is a standard safety device found on most table saws to prevent kickback. DeWalt has smartly included one on this unit to prevent kickback when the saw blade is cutting. There is also an anti-kickback feature located on the bottom of the shoe which can be turned on or off by a dial on the top of the shoe.
When used with the DeWalt dual-edged tracks, perfectly straight cuts (in both directions) are very easy and fast to set up.
An enclosed low profile blade guard provides an extremely efficient dust extraction capability. When a dust collector is connected to the 1-1/4 inch swiveling dust port, 90 percent dust collection efficiency can be achieved.
A straight plunge mechanism is different from other track saws, so it takes a little getting used to but has better ergonomics.
Cut depths on this saw when it is used with the DeWalt dual-edged tracks are a 2-1/8 inch at 90 degrees and 1-5/8 inch at 45 degrees. The depth of cut is controlled by a thumb screw and has imperial measurements instead of metric which many other manufacturers use.
Bevel knobs are located in the front and back of the saw allowing you to set cuts up to 47 degrees.
Blade speed can be adjusted using the dial located at the top of the handle.
The t-stack case with molded foam stores and protects the saw, charger, and battery nicely.
DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review Performance
Prior to getting the DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw, I had used a lot of different systems that work with standard circular saws to break down and work with large sheet goods. I was trying out these systems to make my work safer, faster and to prevent having to take large sheets of plywood into my basement. I’m getting older and muscling ¾” sheets of plywood isn’t fun anymore.
What I found was even though these systems worked and were cheaper, setting up a cut took a long time and I wasn’t always confident in the results. This always made me feel uneasy when I was trying to make cabinets. Screwing up a cut could cost me money buying new material and time to go get it.
The DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw is an absolute dream to the other systems I have used. Laying out the track to make a cut is extremely quick and the saw rides on the track very smoothly.
I was leery of the rubber strips on the back of the tracks that are meant to hold the track in place, so I bought the optional DeWalt clamps. I quickly found out that with my plywood cuts, these are unnecessary. The tracks stay in place very well and I never once had the track wander on me.
DeWalt has three options for tracks. They have a 46-inch, a 59-inch and a 102-inch length of the track. Tracks can be lengthened with the use of an optional connector piece. I have gone the connector route in the past with other systems and I really don’t like the amount of time it takes to connect and then to disconnect when I’m in the middle of a project. Both the 59” and 102” track that hang on my garage wall. I love the fact that I can quickly switch between tracks whether I’m cutting down a sheet of plywood lengthwise or widthwise.
The power of the 60-volt saw is impressive, to say the least. This saw cut through everything I threw at it and never had to baby it at all.
The runtime with the 60-volt 2 Amp/hour battery is actually surprising. According to DeWalt’s runtime numbers, they were able to cut 298 linear feet of ¾” birch plywood before needing to recharge.
As for my experience with the saw, I never once had to stop my jobs this summer to charge the battery. Every day after I was done working, I just put the battery on the charger and it was ready for the next day of work. Now, I can’t say this would hold true on a busy job site, but if you demand more runtime DeWalt makes 3 and 4 Amp/hour 60-volt batteries as well.
The DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw uses a slightly different mechanism for plunging the saw into the workpiece. It is designed with a parallel linkage that causes the user to have to push the handle forward to plunge instead of rotating downward like many other saws. It takes a little getting used to at first, but now that I am comfortable with it, I like it.
The gauge used for setting blade cut depth is easy to adjust and I like that it is labeled in imperial measurements instead of metric.
The T-Stack case the saw comes with is very nice. The molded foam holds the saw in place snuggly and the case is very tough. This case is a huge step up from the Makita Track Saw case in my opinion.
The riving knife that plunges with the blade is one of my favorite features. Anytime you use a circular saw or table saw, there is a chance for binding the blade in the material that you are trying to cut. This can be caused by operator error or internal pressures found in the wood you are trying to cut. Either way, it happens, a bind can quickly make a cutting task very dangerous. A riving knife is one of the easiest and effective ways to prevent kickback due to binding. I love that DeWalt included this on their track saw.
When used with a shop vac or dust extractor, you can really minimize the amount of worksite dust your saw produces.
DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review Value
The kit as I have it Model #DCS520T1 includes the saw, 1 battery, charger, and T-stack case, is currently priced at The Home Depot at $499.00. You can also purchase the same kit with a 59-inch track, Model #DCS520ST1 for $579.00. This is comparatively priced to the corded version of the DeWalt track saw, Model #DWS520K which is priced at $424.89.
Because the DeWaltFlexvolt track saw does nearly everything a table saw can do, without a cord and most of the time safer, I find this a very good value for not only the professionals but to the weekend warriors as well.
DeWalt Flexvolt Track Saw Review Final Thoughts
Now that I have used the DeWaltFlexvolt 60-volt cordless track saw to cut down large sheet goods, I don’t know I could ever go back to what I used to do. I love this saw so much that I am always showing it off to people who come over. They can tell by my excitement how much I really like this saw.
Uncharacteristically of me, I’ve loaned this tool out to close friends a few times. The unanimous response when it comes back is “Wow! What a great saw.” I couldn’t agree more.