Recently we had the opportunity to attend Makita’s New Product Event where we got to see a handful on exciting new Makita products launching over the next several months in woodworking, concrete, outdoor power and many other categories. One product that was really a big launch for us was the Brushless Track Saw XPS01Z ($349,bare) or XPS01PTJ ($499, kit). If you’ve ever used Makita’s corded track saw SP6000J ($349) we’ve got good news if you liked it, bad news if you didn’t, they are very very similar. And the 55″ & 110″ tracks as well as all the other accessories are completely interchangeable.
The track saw historically has not been a widely used tool in the US but they are quickly growing in popularity with good reason. A common misconception is they are basically circular saws with a straight edge or that a table saw is always a better option. Neither are true, a good track saw is a very accurate cutting option with 1/32″ accuracy as well as within 1° on angle cuts.
For cutting down large sheet plywood, melamine or any cut larger than 31″ we would argue a track saw is an easier and more accurate option than lugging out a jobsite table saw, getting 2 people to make sure everything stays straight. We are not talking about replacing a stationary table saw with your customer built sled and an out-feed table but for on the job situations where you need that same precision. This track saw can give you pretty much the same accuracy even for 5′, 6′, 8′ cuts all in a compact package that fits easily in the truck and you don’t need a second person to help.
Here are just a few simple cuts, long angled cuts as well as some spare melamine that illustrates how this saw cuts on both top and bottom sides, no tape. The saw plunges down and is an upcut so any issues should show on the top of material. When you look at the bottom of material, in pic below, it’s a very nice clean cut on both sides of the cut as you might expect.
On the top of the piece since the track is there the side that the track is on works to reduce and chipping on it’s own while you can see small chipping on the side of the cut the track was not on, again no tape or any prep. Just something to consider the track on the side of the cut that’s important which might not be intuitive in different situations.
Power with this saw was terrific even when we were forcibly trying to push into the cut way harder than you should ever use this tool it worked flawlessly. We used the saw for several hours on/off putting a bookshelf together as well as doing some testing on various materials of 4’+, there was plenty of battery life left. By utilizing the 2x battery system with any full size Makita 18V batteries (we used 5.0Ah) we would expect this tool to make dozens and dozens of longer cuts without issue. This kit version does include the duel battery charger which would be handle but if you are already invested in the Makita system two single chargers side by side work just as well.
Dust collection was one issue that going cordless makes more difficult to address. Since there is no cord you cannot plug it into a dust collection unit that will turn on/off with the tool. Also if you are going cordless here the idea is probably that you would at least like the option to go cordless on the vac at some point. For a cordless vac you definately can’t let it run or the battery will to drained super quickly. Makita put a Bluetooth option on their Brushless 10″ Miter Saw which connects to their new Cordless Vacuum however that feature is not on this Track Saw. Is it a huge deal for you, could be depending on the situation, you can just manually turn on/off. Another option currently is to used the Makita 18V backpack Vacuum ($329) which has a on/off beltclip but we would guess there will be more options in the future for cordless dust collection.
For more info on Makita Tools give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 and they will be happy to help you find the right tool for the job!