As features get added to our tools we see an evolution across the board, one tool adds a better shank or recip saw goes to a tool-free blade changes and magically the rest follow. Circular saws are prime for a pretty substantial overhaul across the board, first off with more powerful brushless motors and higher capacity batteries, corded circ saws are going to be less and less common until one day it’ll seem as out of place as a corded drill on a jobsite. Circular saws are designed for portability, nothing fights that more than a cord so it seems pretty natural they’ll go away.
Where standard circular saw suffer the most is accuracy, these are traditionally rough cut tools, ripping stacked plywood or framing a house but not a go to for precision work. The Metabo KS 18V LXT 57 Circ Saw ($199, bare) is the first example of the next evolutionary leap in cordless circular saws to integrate track ready design, with the Bosch “Strong Arm” Circ Saw (see full MegaWattCrew Launch) later 2019 as well as Makita’s new XSH08 both with a similar design and we are sure others will follow very soon.
So what makes this design different, for starters integrated dust collection is just part of the design, certainly optional to use when needed but it should be super easy to collect dust, not fumbling around for an attachment that is probably lost. The big difference of course is the integration with the various track systems, Track Saws or Plunge Saws have not been big in US but in recent years have grown rapidly in popularity. We are seeing more and more brands bring them to the US or design new models from the ground up. While these tools offer a ton of benefits the are also expensive and not designed for rough work, so many people out there are Track Saw Curious but have not made the leap to buy an additional dedicated saw system for $400, $500, $800+ which they don’t even know if they’ll see the investment back in productivity.
It’s shouldn’t be an all or nothing equation and this next evolution of what we are calling the Hybrid Circular Saws will make that abundantly clear in pretty short order. Most people will buy the compatible Circ Saw for their cordless system, so no big leap there. Even if you are unsure of the benefits of a Track Saw to start, down the road invest in a track, maybe a shorter one, again small next step. We are convinced once most people get the taste they’ll be hooked, adding longer track, router attachment, yes please, and before you know it your full blown TrackHead.
To be clear this saw it not a Plunge Cut Track Saw, with the right blade and some practice you’ll be able to make some very precise finish cuts as good as any jobsite table saw but without all the bells & whistles of a true plunge saw. Good news is once you’ve got all the tracks and know the advantages, you’ll clearly know if a Hydrid Circular Saw is enough to get your work done or if it’s worth investing in a plunge saw in addition for finish work and keep the circular saw dedicated for rough work.
Do we think Milwaukee, Dewalt and everyone else will have similar track compatible designs on the next generations of circ saws, absolutely. We’ve talked with very few people who have used a track system for any length of time and said they didn’t like it, ultra portable, versatile and super accurate. Certainly if you hate track saws let us know below or if you think we are right on we’d love to hear from you as well so we can show it to the other tool brands and get more track compatible saws in our lives sooner.
Check out all the Metabo Cordless on Ohio Power Tool and give their pros a call, 800-242-4424, if you have any questions at all about any Metabo Products or applications.