Six Best Circular Saw Guide Rails for Straight Cutting

Best circular saw guide rail system

Do you just want to know what is the best circular saw guide you can buy right now? Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide is your best choice.

Making a straight cut is not as easy as it first appears. This is the case, even with products that are made to cut straight like a circular saw. This is where the best circular saw track system will aid you.

What follows is a closer look at what makes the best circular saw guide as well as six products that could keep you cutting straight for years to come.

Best Circular Saw Track Guide Comparison:

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Top Pick
Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
The Runner-Up
Bora WTX Clamp Edge and Straight Cut Guide for Circular Saws...
Premium Choice
True Trac 105TPC Universal Track Saw Guide, Pro-Series 8ft...
Budget Option
E. Emerson Tool Co. C50 50-Inch All-In-One Contractor...
Title
Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
Bora WTX
True Trac 105TPC
E. Emerson Tool Co. C12
Length
24"
50"+ 50"
105"
Up to 50"
Client Rating
Prime
-
-
-
Top Pick
Thumbnail
Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
Title
Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
Length
24"
Client Rating
Prime
Learn More
The Runner-Up
Thumbnail
Bora WTX Clamp Edge and Straight Cut Guide for Circular Saws...
Title
Bora WTX
Length
50"+ 50"
Client Rating
Prime
-
Learn More
Premium Choice
Thumbnail
True Trac 105TPC Universal Track Saw Guide, Pro-Series 8ft...
Title
True Trac 105TPC
Length
105"
Client Rating
Prime
-
Learn More
Budget Option
Thumbnail
E. Emerson Tool Co. C50 50-Inch All-In-One Contractor...
Title
E. Emerson Tool Co. C12
Length
Up to 50"
Client Rating
Prime
-
Learn More

Why buy a Circular Saw Guide

If you have ever made a long rip cut with your circular saw, you are probably aware of how easy it can be to drift off of the marked cut line. While these saws have advanced over the years, they can still make crooked cuts no matter how many laser pointers or LED lights are attached to the tool.

This is why a saw guide is so crucial, especially for those who have limited experience or are just starting out in woodworking. A guide will hold the saw in place as you make the cut, providing a straight edge to the project you are working on.

Why not just make one?

Those who use top-notch circular saws with any regularity know that drifting cuts and frayed edges can become frustrating. One way to combat both is to make a guide that not only directs the saw path but provides zero clearance that will help prevent the wood from splintering as the blade cuts up through the surface.

That is why many older woodworkers made their own saw guides (my late grandfather made his from framing timber and plywood sheets).
This solution can be problematic for reasons such as:

  • Building a circular saw guide may be beyond the skill level of the woodworker, especially if they are new;
  • Homemade saw guides can introduce drift if they are not cut properly, to begin with;
  • Wooden jigs, including saw guides, will wear out quickly with use.

Tool manufacturers can create circular saw guides that are highly accurate, that are built to last, and offer features that a homemade jig cannot provide.

Why not get a track saw?

While a track saw will provide you with the benefit of a straight cut, as well as easier plunge-cutting capabilities, there are limitations to think about.

First off, the best track saws are more expensive than a circular saw. They usually come in the 6.5-inch blade size, which cannot cut as deeply as a standard 7.5-inch circular saw blade. Track saws will also struggle when working on surfaces that are rough or offer a bowed profile.

Simply purchasing the best circular saw track system for your circular saw can save you money and allow you to take full advantage of the features that your circular saw offers you.

Consider This When Buying A Circular Saw Guide

Guide Length
The most obvious feature at first glance is the length of the guide itself. Some products come as one piece while others will come in sections. Most manufacturers design their products so that you can add additional components if necessary.

One thing to keep in mind with the overall length will be where you use the guide. If you work in an open area where size is not an issue, buy a longer guide to cover making rip cuts in panels or other materials eight feet in length or more.

Conversely, if you have a limited space you will be working in, it will be necessary to scale down to a size that you can comfortably use in your work area without compromising safety.

Guide Width
You might be surprised how important this can be. A wider track will offer you more stability as you cut. The only time that a wider guide could be a problem is if you find yourself making rips cuts on a stock that is thin.

Remember to look for a width that can hold your circular saw base plate as well. Some products might be too thin (or too thick) to properly accommodate the saw’s base.

Materials Used
Usually, this will be a balance between durability and weight. Stronger materials will stand up to heavy-duty use for long periods of time, but will often weigh more. Lightweight guides are often made from materials that can wear out or become damaged easily.

If you are a casual woodworker, I think you can get away with a lighter design made from less durable materials. Those of you planning on using the guide often or on a job site might consider going with something a bit heavier.

Other Considerations
Some products make use of a clamping mechanism to stay in place, while others will use a base designed to offer resistance to movement. Clearance is something to consider, and I would suggest finding a guide that provides zero clearance to help with splintering.

Examine the guide to determine how it keeps the circular saw in place. Some guides can be used on a variety of saws, while other products are intended for specific brands. Finally, look for a circular saw guide that is easy to set up, allowing you to see marks easily for quick alignment.

Best Circular Saw Track System Reviewed


Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide

Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
  • Make rip cuts and crosscuts up to 24" Wide
  • Cut multiple pieces to the same size With just one setup
  • Use the oversize edge guide for precise control throughout the cut

OVERVIEW

This product from Kreg is designed to make repeatable rip cuts quickly and efficiently. It would prove ideal for shops making multiple builds of the same item or out in the field where similar cuts are needed throughout the day. It is designed to provide rip cuts up to 24-inches in width, allowing you to work on panels and wider boards without issue.

Pros

  • This comes at a reasonable price point. That will allow almost anyone, including those on a budget, to try it out for their rip cuts needs;
  • Base plate clamps are used to attach your circular saw to the saw sled. This design will be able to match up with a wider variety of circular saw products than other systems will;
  • A clear plastic piece with a red cursor is used for alignment. This will allow you to determine the blade path while still seeing the surface below this clear part.

Cons

  • This product is made from lightweight materials that may feel a bit flimsy to some users. That would be a disappointment for heavy-duty users, who happen to be the target audience for this product;
  • It is a bit more complex to use when compared to other systems. This is due to the three-piece design that will require assembly before it is used each time and it may require some getting used to.

Bora WTX Clamp Edge And Straight Cut Guide For Circular Saws

Sale
Bora WTX Clamp Edge and Straight Cut Guide for Circular Saws...
  • GET IT STRAIGHT – This rigid aluminum guide rail is a must-have accessory for keeping your cutting on track. Its long 100 inch length allows you to saw with precision and skill
  • CONTRACTOR’S COMPANION - This tool is made for use with the Bora WTX Saw Plate (sold separately), and can be conveniently paired with your own circular saws, routers, jig saws, and other power tools
  • LOCKED IN - The adjustable clamp end slides up and down the saw guide to fit any material being cut, especially sheets of plywood. The locking handle grabs surfaces for a secure edge that won't budge

OVERVIEW

This particular contractor-grade cutting guide provides 100-inches of straight cutting. It is broken down into a 50-inch piece along with an extension of the same length. You can use a mounting plate to fit almost any circular saw to it and the components are designed to handle professional workloads without fatigue to overall strength.

Pros

  • As a straight edge system, Bora designed this product to work with your circular saw, routers, jigsaw, as well as other power tools that you need to keep moving in a straight line. That adds a lot of versatility to this product;
  • The contact points that help to keep the guide system secure on your project are made with a softer material that will not damage it. This allows you to connect the guide without worrying about crushing fibers or fraying the edge that it connects onto.
  • This straight edge system is made from aluminum. That being said, it is thicker and has been designed to provide decent rigidity for an aluminum product;

Cons

  • Bora has designed this cut guide to work with a WTX saw plate. Sadly, that plate is not included here and must be purchased separately;
  • It uses an over-sized clamp lever to apply pressure to the project. This handle pushes below the material and may catch on your saw’s power cord if you are not careful.

Kreg KMA3700 ACCU-Cut XL

Kreg KMA3700 ACCU-Cut XL
  • Break down panels and plywood easily and quickly with cutting capacity up to 100"
  • Splinter-free cuts with tear-out protection from anti-chip guide strips
  • Make the cuts you need – anywhere – by taking your saw to the workpiece instead of bringing the workpiece to a fixed saw location

OVERVIEW

This second entry from Kreg represents a more traditional track guide. It is able to guide a circular saw for up to 100-inches, making it a great choice for woodworkers who work with large panel materials on a regular basis.

Pros

  • The strip itself is designed to be an anti-chip guide. That extra consideration will help to prevent the edges of your projects from being so rough by supporting the wood fiber as the saw blade moves up from below;
  • It uses anti-slip guide stripes along the bottom of the guide. This material will help to keep the guide in place and eliminates the need for clamps or levers to be used for holding the guide on your project’s surface;
  • This strip can be used with left or right-handed saw designs. A simple feature that provides support no matter what side of the saw your electric motor sits and which side you are working from.

Cons

  • This product comes at a higher price point that may put it out of reach for new woodworkers or those on a tight budget. Some may also feel that you will be paying for a name brand and not a design;
  • This circular saw guide comes in pieces that you can connect together. The problem with this type of design is that it can cause a slight variance in cut quality at the junction points along the track.

True Trac 105TPC Universal Track Saw Guide

True Trac 105TPC Universal Track Saw Guide, Pro-Series 8ft...
  • Standard kit includes everything needed to mount virtually any circular saw 6.25" - 8.25" (Specialty plate for 10"+)
  • Universal Adapter Plate is machined to precisely fit the double-bevel design of the track
  • Anti-Chip Strips prevent tear-out on the top surface of your cut, provide line-of-cut indication, and anti-slip capability

OVERVIEW

This product from True Trac comes at a very high price point, but its metal design is meant to stand up to heavy use in a busy workshop or out in the field. It makes use of an adaptor plate that is machined to fit onto the guide system and move freely.

Pros

  • It uses dovetail connectors between each piece. that will make connecting sections easy to do, and it should provide for a more secure purchase than that found on other sectional tracks;
  • An adaptor plate is used that you will mount your saw onto. That will give you a proper alignment between blade and track throughout the cut and keep the saw moving smoothly across the guide’s groves.
  • The metal used for this circular saw guide will withstand the workload a woodworker would place upon it. This is a guide that will last a lifetime if you take care of it;

Cons

  • The biggest design problem I see with this product is the saw attachment itself. The manufacturer calls for users to drill mounting holes into their circular saw base plate, something that many casual woodworkers will not be interested in doing;
  • It has a price tag that puts it out of reach for most casual hobbyists, especially considering that it is designed for a workload that they will probably not experience in their woodshop.

Festool FS-1400/2 55″ Guide Rail

Festool FS-1400/2 55" Guide Rail (1,400 mm)
  • Straight guidance: Easily create straight, splinter-free, glue ready joints when paired with TS Saws, or perfectly guided dados, flutes, or ploughs, with OF Routers.
  • System integration: A fully integrated system, use your Festool routers or jigsaw with the guide rail for expanded capability.
  • Non-skid, self-clamping strips: Dual clamping strips on the bottom prevent movement during the cutting operation, less setup time and better results.

OVERVIEW

This system from Festool provides users with 55-inches of straight cuts. It can also be used with a router to make dados, flutes, or even plow cuts.

You will want to make sure that your saw will sit properly on the guide or make sure you have Festool products to take advantage of this system. Multiple lengths can be attached quickly so that you can create a guide of the exact size that you need for your job.

Pros

  • They are easy to align with your cut marks. Simply align the splinter guard with your mark line to get saw guide into position for the cut;
  • This system employs a splinter guard made from rubber. This allows the guard to press on the line in front of, at, and behind the blade as you cut;
  • This circular saw guide uses a special material for holding it on the workpiece. This material is non-slip in nature and should not damage or mark the wood surface that it rests on while you cut.

Cons

  • Festool makes a variety of proprietary guides in this product range. You may have trouble using them if you do not have Festool saws or routers, however;
  • The manufacturer connection points leave a bit to be desired. They may not line up flush and could come apart easily if you are not careful when putting them together.

E. Emerson Tool Co. C12

E. Emerson Tool Co. C50 50-Inch All-In-One Contractor...
  • Straight Edge - E. Emerson’s Contractor Series self-clamping straight edge patented design has integral tubes running the length of the wide body construction, making it ultra rigid and light to...
  • No C-clamping - No more C-clamping! Achieve that truly straight cut using this self-clamping straight edge to guide your tools.
  • Extra Wide - This self clamping straight edge is extra wide for exceptional rigidity and has a low profile for obstruction-free cuts.

OVERVIEW

This product does not require separate C-clamps in order to be fastened to your project. The self-clamping mechanisms used are easy to operate and provide enough power to hold it into place while you work. The levers do not sit in the way of your saw as you cut either, and the low profile of the entire guide will allow circular saws to move over it as you cut.

Pros

  • It is made from aluminum and plastic components. These materials are lightweight, making this straight edge easy to carry around and use without strain throughout the day.
  • A straight edge design allows you to use any circular saw with this guide. That eliminates potential problems with saw bases struggling to mate up with guide surfaces;
  • You can use other tools, including routers, with this clamping straight edge. This provides you with more versatility and can allow you to support a variety of cuts, including plunge-cuts along with the interior of panels;

Cons

  • The lightweight aluminum is not the most rigid material that could be used. That may cause some flexing on surfaces that are not supported properly as you cut;
  • A straight edge design will not hold the saw as you cut. You will need to begin each cut carefully so that the circular saw butts against the guide at all times.

The Best Circular Saw Guide System?

I am confident that anyone can find a great circular saw guide among the products reviewed above. However, I do think that the best circular saw track system we looked at is the Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide.

It may not be the most rigid guide on the list, but that will not be an issue as long as you properly support workpieces that you are cutting. While you might need to use extra caution when starting your cut using a straight edge design, you will be able to use this guide on other tools such as your router.

It is a self-clamping system that is easy to align and fasten. Its aluminum construction also makes it lightweight, a feature that will also allow you to handle it with little effort compared to heavy-duty designs.

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