Accu-Cut Grows Up

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This article is from Issue 87 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Kreg Accu-Cut XL

Woodworkers, DIYers, and professional contractors took notice when Kreg Tools introduced a track saw system in 2016 that allowed users to attach their existing circular saws, bypassing the expense of a designated track saw. The Accu-Cut’s main limitation was its cutting length—just enough to crosscut a full sheet of plywood. Favorable reviews were matched by an outcry for a longer track. At last, the new Accu-Cut XL offers all the benefits of its predecessor, but with the “full-sheet-length” capacity that had been missing with the original. 

This guide system saw plenty of use in my shop and at a house renovation project. One of the best features of this system is the way that the sled attaches to a circular saw. After initially positioning the pair of clamps used to connect your saw to the baseplate and setting the registration stop, the saw can be removed and attached to the same position on the sled in less than a minute. In addition to being an obvious cost savings, the ability to use the same saw for both track and freehand cuts is a huge convenience on a jobsite. (Note: The sled works with right and left-bladed saws. Worm-drive saws aren’t recommended because the motor’s weight falls behind the sled instead of over it.)

I was initially hesitant about making cuts without using clamps to hold the track in place, but I needn’t have worried. The track’s weight (significantly more than typical clamp-on straightedge guides), combined with the grip of anti-slip guide strips, kept the track securely on the plywood. Like other track saw systems, the initial cut through the strip creates an accurate cut line that facilitates line-splitting accuracy with subsequent cuts. The guide strips also reduce chipping along the cut. Unlike other tracks, Kreg’s track has guide strips on both sides, doubling the track’s working time before you need to attach a replacement strip.

Unfortunately, the Accu-Cut XL cannot make beveled cuts. The fault is not with the track, but is due to the design of standard circular saws. Because of the way most saws pivot, adjusting the bevel angle would cut into the track. But if you need a convenient, accurate way to make straight cuts in sheet goods and long boards, Accu-Cut XL gets you there for a good price.

NOTE: For folks who already own the 48" Accu-Cut, Kreg now offers an “Expansion Pack” for $89.99 that doubles the cutting length. This kit includes two 26-1/2" sections of track, six steel track connectors, and new anti-slip guide strips.

—Tester, Tim Snyder


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