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 In Tool Reviews

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Tool: M18 Track Saw Kit 2831-21 Shop Now  

Manufacturer: Milwaukee

MSRP: $639 (includes saw, 6ah battery, charger, and Packout XL toolbox)

Few tools in recent memory have been as hotly anticipated as Milwaukee’s new track saw, and the new M18 Fuel model does not disappoint. It doesn’t break much new ground, but it’s a well-built, thoughtfully designed saw that checks all the right boxes. 

On paper, the saw is right up there with (if not surpassing) the class leaders. The blade is 6 1/2″, providing a depth of cut is 2 1/4″ at 0° and 1 5/8″ at 45°. The motor provides up to 6300 RPM and can be adjusted for different materials, all the way down to 2500. Milwaukee claims 90% dust collection efficiency, which seems believable based on my experience during testing. The kit includes a high output 6ah that was more than adequate for what I was doing- I never managed to run it down in a single session.

If the numbers don’t impress you, actually using the saw should. It was just a pleasure to use, cut after cut. The plunge mechanism as a whole was especially impressive — it featured fluid operation and adjusting the depth of cut was the easiest of any track saw I’ve used before. I was happy to see that Milwaukee chose to utilize a riving knife instead of relying on electronic kickback protection. Boards can carry tension, and a mechanical solution to prevent binding is just going to be more trouble-free long term. I did find it odd they didn’t include the correct size of hex key to adjust the knife though.

I also want to give a quick shout-out to the Packout XL tool box that comes with the kit. Not only is it nice to have a tool case that’s part of a larger system, but I also appreciate how it’s large enough to hold everything included in the kit with plenty of room to spare for blades, extra batteries, and other accessories. 

The track (unofficially) shares basic compatibility with the Festool/Makita tracks, though it includes a lip for anti-tip when cutting bevels. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the design as a whole, the PW staff has noticed that they’re not particularly robust. A small deflection in the track is all it takes to move your cuts out of square. All of that being said, the compatibility is probably a fair trade-off for many users. The tracks are sold separately in 31-inch, 55-inch, or 106-inch segments, and you can connect multiple tracks together with a track connector.

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