Do I Need a Plunge Saw or a Circular Saw?

What is a Plunge Saw?

A plunge cut saw or track saw is a kind of circular saw that generally slides on a rail during operation and features an enclosed blade
The plunge saw can start its cut from the edge of the material or at any point along the material thanks to its ability to plunge to a set depth.

Plunge Saw Use Cases:

A plunge cut saw is often used to cut sheet goods and to cut holes for sinks and vents.
The plunge saw is great for long rip cuts in a number of various materials.
Plunge saws are ideal for materials where the dust from cutting is hazardous to your health such as fibre cement, natural stone, engineered stone and asbestos.
This is because plunge cut saws feature an enclosed blade at the top, giving it unparalleled dust control capabilities when used in conjunction with a suitably classed dust extraction unit (Learn more about this here)

Benefits:

  • Superior dust extraction capabilities.
    • Allows for a wider range of materials to be used.
  • Safer operation with a more enclosed blade.
  • Best for cutting sheet goods.
  • Ideal for repeatable and accurate cuts.

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly more difficult to use for crosscuts in timbers.
  • Often requires transporting rails.

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw or skilsaw is a motorized saw featuring a circular blade often with a partially exposed side.
A circular saw generally needs to start its cut from the edge of the material (with exceptions such as the HK 55 and HKC 55)

Circular Saw Use Cases:

Circular saws a mainly used for cross-cutting framing materials, decking, fence timbers and other non-sheet materials.
The circular saw is great for cutting beams and other timbers to length.

Benefits:

  • Better for cross-cuts.
  • Best for working with framing timbers and other linear materials.
  • More versatile.

Drawbacks

  • Inferior dust extraction capabilities.
  • harder and less accurate for use on sheet materials.
  • Produces a slightly rougher cut.
  • Less safe due to the more exposed blade.

Conclusion:

Although these saws share many similarities, they are both essential parts of any trade's toolkit as they both serve individual and unique purposes.

If you are after just one of these tools then you must consider your use case.
If you are primarily working with sheet goods such as benchtops or large MDF sheets then a track saw is ideal for you. (See below for our picks)
If you are primarily cutting linear timbers to length then a circular saw is a better fit.
If it's a combination of these things then you will need a combination of these tools.

Our Picks:

Festool TS 55 and TSC 55 Track Saws.


FESTOOL TS 55 FEBQ PLUS PLUNGE TRACK SAW WITH FS 1400 GUIDE RAIL

Festool

$1,140.00 ex.GST


The Festool TS 55 plunge saw has always stood out with its absolute precision cuts, maximum power and extreme durability. The usual reliability remains but the working speed is unprecedented: The New TS 55 F rail saw now saws at up to twice the speed. In addition, the new generation of cutting blades guarantees perfect cutting quality with maximum cutting performance. With accessories, such as guide rails and the angle stop, or sophisticated and tried-and-test details, such as the splinter guard and extraction system perfectly matched to the machine, the New TS 55 F provides excellent work results and a top-class sawing system for every challenge.


FESTOOL TSC 55 KEB CORDLESS PLUNGE SAW KIT WITH FS 1400 GUIDE RAIL (575464-4)

Festool

$1,704.00 ex.GST


Reliable, Quick, Precise. The Festool TSC 55 Plunge Saw is ideal for short cross-cuts and long rip cuts, especially combined with the FS1400 guide rail. This plunge saw is perfect for carpenters, furniture manufacturers, interior fitters, floor layers and serious DIYers with its unique integrated kickback stop technology.


Festool HK 55 and HKC 55 Circular Saws


FESTOOL HK 55 EBQ-PLUS CROSS CUTSAW WITH CLIP-ON FSK 420 GUIDE RAIL

Festool

$1,065.30 ex.GST


Ideal for the serious DIYer, furniture manufacturers, workshops, carpenters and any other trades alike. The Festool HK 55 Circular Saw demonstrates what modern circular saws are truly capable of. With a maximum cut depth of 55mm and compatibility with the FS guide rails and the FSK crosscut rails. Not to mention having one FSK 420 crosscut rail included


Festool Saw HKC 55 Cordless Circular Saw Kit (577443)

Festool

$1,182.00 ex.GST


Ideal for the serious DIYer, furniture manufacturers, workshops, carpenters and any other trades alike. The Festool HKC 55 Cordless Circular Saw demonstrates what modern circular saws are truly capable of. With a maximum cut depth of 55mm and compatibility with the FS guide rails and the FSK crosscut rails.

 

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