August 20, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Ryobi 18V ONE+ HP 6-1/2″ CORDLESS TRACK SAW Review

4 min read

RYOBI 18V ONE+ HP 6-1/2" TRACK SAW PTS01K

[specs_box align="right"]The new Ryobi 18V track saw arrived in our shop a month ago and we’ve been using it prior to this review. We immediately recognize that this saw will appeal to DIY’ers because it takes up less space, is easier to use, and is safer than a table saw. Not to mention folks living in condos/apartments who might be interested in DIY projects but have held off due to the need for a table saw. Now they can achieve table saw accuracy cuts without having to store a table saw

The Ryobi 18v track saw features a brushless motor, a 6-1/2” blade and when equipped with a 4.o Ah battery, it has a runtime of 65 crosscuts of cutting per charge by crosscutting ½” OSB plywood. The Ryobi track saw will provide users on the Ryobi battery platform the ability to make precise, accurate, and efficient cuts without the need for a table saw.

Specifications

Blade size: 6-1/2 in.
Arbor: 5/8 in.
Track: 2 x 27.5 in (included)
Cut capacity w/track (90°): 1-15/16 in.
Cut capacity w/track (45°): 1-7/16 in.
90° cut capacity (no track): 2-1/8 in.
45° cut capacity (no track): 1-9/16 in.
Bevel capacity: -1° to 48°
Track adjust and anti-tip adjustments
Adjustable depth control knob
Speed: 4,300 RPM
Dust Port: 1-1/4 and 1-7/8 in.
Warranty: 3-year limited

First Impression | Track Saw and Track

The first thing I noticed was the packaging. It was short, and I was expecting a long track. After opening the package, I realized that there were two 27.5” tracks, and when combined made a 55-inch track. I’m assuming Ryobi did this for packaging, transport, and store display reasons. My thoughts are that most folk will assemble the track and leave assembled at 55-inches.

The fit and finish on this saw screams DIY, there is a ton of plastic used in the construction of this saw, and even the base plate is plastic. Upon further inspection, the tool seems durable, but the saws adjustment knobs are not as robust as I’d prefer to see. The plunge mechanism is smooth and easy to use, and the track is solid and very well made.

The saw does not come with a variable speed motor and puts out 4300 RPMs, which is a bit lower than most of the track saws on the market.

Features

The Ryobi has comparable features to other higher-end saws, like track tension/adjusters and an anti-tip mechanism. The depth lock knob is clear and straightforward but does not slide easily.

The blade and riving knife can be removed easily, with an onboard Allen wrench. A second, onboard Allen wrench handles the track connection screws.

Ryobi Tracks

The Ryobi track has robust, well-made track sections, that feature heavy-gauge aluminum construction and are very stiff with little give. The track saw kit comes with 2 separate 27.5 inch tracks to equal a 55-inch track. Two connectors approximately 12″ long connect the two tracks. The connecting rods and corresponding slots have enough play that the track can be aligned perfectly by the user, instead of relying on it being true from the factory.

I found it best to use a level to connect the two tracks. Once everything was tightened up, the saw slid over the seam with no issue. The Ryobi 18v track saw, and the track are NOT compatible with other saws or tracks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: prior to using the saw for cutting you first must make a sacrificial cut to remove the excess rubber off track. This makes it so the track lines up with the saw blade.

Using the Saw

In use, the saw had plenty of power for the ¾” Birch plywood I was cutting. The Ryobi 18v track saw has a depth of cut capacity on the track of 1-15/16” when set at 90° and 1-7/16 in. when set at a 45° bevel. The bevel capacity can be adjusted from -1° to 48°.

The depth of cut, anti-tip, track adjustment, and -1 bevel degree lever is plastic and as a result, is not smooth to operate. This is certainly one area Ryobi could improve on.

I connected the saws dust port to my shop vacuum and it collected dust well but could benefit from a swivel to avoid the hose getting caught on the track. The port fits hose diameters from 1-1/4 and 1-7/8 in.

Price

If you’re already using Ryobi tools and have batteries, the saw + track kit is a screaming bargain at $329. There’s no way you can get a track saw, and track at that price point.
1. Bare tool: $329
2. KIT: $399
3. 2-track kit $79.00

Final Thoughts

The Ryobi 18v track saw is a good entry point track saw with an outstanding track. Its positioned perfectly for DIY folks on the Ryobi battery platform or for someone wanting to make more accurate cuts, without a table saw.

This saw is not in the same class as many of the pro-grade saws on the market, but its price sure got our attention, and it’s going to give users the accuracy of a table saw in a handheld form.

Woodworking News Source: A Concord Carpenter / ToolBoxBuzz

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