best plunge saw

Best Plunge Saw in the UK (2021 Buying Guide & Reviews)

Last Updated on 3 May 2021

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Increasingly eclipsing the less practical circular saw, the spring-mounted circular blades on plunge saws are ideal for precise and consistent cuts through the hardest woods. 

However, with so many plunge saws on the market today, it can be tricky to choose the best model. After testing the UK’s most highly-rated products side-by-side, we determined that the best plunge saw is Evolution’s R185CCSX

Taking a left-field approach to this niche market, the R185CCSX is less of a true plunge saw than our other shortlisted contenders. However, it still offers the practicality and versatility of a plunge saw. It’s also cheap, comprehensively equipped, well-regarded and surprisingly lightweight.

Below are the key criteria that shaped our choice when choosing the best plunge saw in the UK.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick for 2021:

Evolution Power Tools R185CCSX Multi-Material Circular Saw and Track (Combination Pack), 1600 W, 230 V, 185 mm
  • Multi-material: 185 mm Japanese tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade included cuts steel, aluminium, wood with embedded nails, plastic and more
  • Powerful: 1600 W hi-torque motor, optimised gearbox and blade system, increases motor and blade life to cut through a variety of heavy duty materials; electric brake stops the blade in seconds for additional safety
  • Accurate: 0 degree - 45 degree level and 0 - 64 mm adjustable cutting depth with ergonomic, soft grip handles provide maximum control, versatility and precision; channelled air flow and base indicators ensure optimum visibility of your cutting line
  • Instantly workable finish: No heat and no burrs and virtually no sparks when cutting mild steel
  • R185-TCT blade, 1020 mm track and 3 years limited warranty included

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Feature Presentation

Plunge saws all work in the same way, but their capabilities vary by product. For instance, asthmatics and people with allergies should look for a machine with a dust extraction port capable of connecting to a vacuum. Not only does this minimise irritants in the air, but it also ensures timber particles can’t obscure cut lines. Ideally, look for a dust extraction port that rotates through 360 degrees as this reduces the risk of disconnection as you move the plunge saw around.

Other key criteria to look for on the spec sheet include the machine’s wattage, which determines how powerfully it’ll slice through harder woods. You also want to ensure there’s a blade of at least 165mm, ideally with tungsten carbide tips (TCT) for effective slicing. 

Speaking of slices, the tracks which plunge saws ride along tend to come in several pieces. The fewer parts you have to assemble before running a plunge saw down them, the better. And in terms of cutting depth, anything over 50mm should be sufficient – our candidates range from 55mm to 65mm.


Staying on Track

One of the key benefits of a plunge saw over a circular saw is the track it can travel along. Two of our shortlisted products come with tracks as standard, though Triton bucks the trend by making you purchase a track separately. Tracks tend to be manufacturer-specific, though Festool tracks can sometimes dovetail with other saw brands.

It’s also worth noting that plunge saws are sometimes referred to as track saws by manufacturers or selling agents, but there’s no distinction between the two. Confusingly, the Evolution plunge saw in our guide is described as a ‘circular saw and track’. Without those last two words, you’d be looking at an entirely different market. Still, the fact the Evolution rides on a track makes it essentially indistinguishable from a conventional plunge saw. 

In case you were thinking about making do without a track, this ProTrade blog explains the benefits of investing in a guide rail for your plunge saw.


Cutting the Cord

Although it’s possible to purchase cordless plunge saws, we recommend the peace of mind provided by mains powered hardware. Mains power is still the dominant method of powering plunge saws as even the lithium-ion batteries supplied with high-end cordless devices tend to have a limited running time.

It’s also worth noting that these machines are heavy objects, so you don’t want to add any extra bulk. Even without a battery fitted, a typical cordless plunge saw will tip the scales at five kilos.


Taking the Plunge

Plunge saws are specialised devices that you may not need if you consider all the other options. If you’re unsure whether a plunge saw is suitable for you, our review of the 21 different types of saws will help you decide.

Plunge saws tend to be easy to get to grips with, so you won’t find complex user guides bundled in with any of our shortlisted products. 

Two of our three selections come with everything you need out of the box, including a track and a blade. If your plunge saw doesn’t come with a TCT blade as standard, it’s worth upgrading to one, ideally between 165 and 185mm in diameter. This YouTube video explains the importance of choosing the right blade and installing guide rails where necessary.


Best Plunge Saw – The Top 3 in 2021

After many hours of research and testing, we found the three plunge saws below to be the best models in the UK: 

1. Evolution R185CCSX

Evolution Power Tools R185CCSX Multi-Material Circular Saw and Track (Combination Pack), 1600 W, 230 V, 185 mm
  • Multi-material: 185 mm Japanese tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade included cuts steel, aluminium, wood with embedded nails, plastic and more
  • Powerful: 1600 W hi-torque motor, optimised gearbox and blade system, increases motor and blade life to cut through a variety of heavy duty materials; electric brake stops the blade in seconds for additional safety
  • Accurate: 0 degree - 45 degree level and 0 - 64 mm adjustable cutting depth with ergonomic, soft grip handles provide maximum control, versatility and precision; channelled air flow and base indicators ensure optimum visibility of your cutting line
  • Instantly workable finish: No heat and no burrs and virtually no sparks when cutting mild steel
  • R185-TCT blade, 1020 mm track and 3 years limited warranty included

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

On paper (or on-screen), it’s hard to see why Evolution’s R185CCSX is so much cheaper than the other products on our list. It weighs about the same as the Triton and has considerably more power than the Lumberjack. It offers the key benefits of both but without their drawbacks – a win-win!

It’s certainly difficult to argue with Evolution’s specifications. Weighing just 5.1kg and supplied with a 185mm TCT blade capable of slicing through wood with embedded nails, its high-torque 1600W motor is equipped with an electric brake capable of stopping rotation within a few seconds. It can be tilted to 45 degrees, with a 64mm maximum cutting depth, easily beating the Lumberjack.

It’s only when you start studying the specifications that the R185CCSX’s affordability begins to make sense. The track is a modest 1020mm in length and comes in three separate pieces, which might be insufficient for bigger jobs. 

Although there’s a dust extraction port, it’s less flexible than the Triton’s. Most significantly, the Evolution lacks the extensive parallel edge guide, which helps with edging cuts. 

The R185CCSX is a circular saw on rails rather than a traditional plunge saw, which might be an issue for some buyers because it lacks the retractable blade guard found on plunge saws. These guards enable smooth edging cuts, reduce dust exposure and simplify changing cutting depths.

ProsCons
Affordable and lightweightTechnically, it’s not an actual plunge saw
The most powerful model on testLimited dust dispersal
Comes with a dust extraction port 

2. Triton TTS1400

Triton TTS1400 - 1400W Plunge Track Saw 230V
  • Easily accessible shaft lock for fast blade-change
  • Plunge lock for safety
  • Soft-grip handles for comfort & control
  • On-board tool storage
  • Universal vacuum system adaptor with 360 rotational outlet

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Named after its wattage, Triton’s TTS1400 is a relatively stylish piece of equipment with an apricot chassis, and a semi-cylindrical soft-grip handle suitable for left or right-handed users. 

Drawing on 45 years of manufacturing experience, it’s a robust plunge saw with plenty of valuable features, including a 60mm cut depth.

The Triton is the only plunge saw on our list to feature a dust extractor port with 360-degree rotation, which will benefit anyone with chest issues. The dust extractor helps you follow precise lines along the workpiece, while an anti-kickback feature complements the non-slip rubber grip. 

The 1400W motor produces speeds ranging from 2000 to 5500rpm, while its soft-start function and overload protection should reduce the risk of anything untoward happening.

One of the few black marks against the TTS1400 is the absence of a track rail. The track rail has to be purchased separately, and rails from other manufacturers are incompatible. However, there’s a 48-degree bevel range – the highest in this test. The Triton is also safe, with the power switch locking during blade changes. 

Last but not least, the TTS1400 comes with a 165mm TCT blade and on-board tool storage.

ProsCons
Many user-friendly featuresNo track rail as standard
Wide range of speedsSome question marks over longevity
Integral tool storage 

3. Lumberjack PS165

Plunge Saw
  • Compatible with Festool, Makita & Evolution rails.
  • Over-moulded main handle with on/off trigger and plunge release controls.
  • Easy bevel and depth adjustment
  • 1400mm extruded aluminium track with non-slip base and low-friction glide strips for fast, repeated, straight cutting.

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lumberjack’s offering is the undisputed heavyweight of our comparison, weighing in at seven kilograms! That’s two kilos more than the other products on this list, making this a poor choice for the faint-hearted or weak-wristed. That said, the PS165 does sit on a durable cast aluminium base – and unlike the Triton, it comes with two 700mm sections of extruded aluminium track. This track offers a non-slip base and low-friction glide strips with two clamps. 

Everything you need to get cutting comes out of the box, including a standard blade that you may want to upgrade.

At a modest 1200W, the Lumberjack is down on power but remains powerful enough to slice through solid timber all day long. 

The over-moulded main handle sits beside a trigger and separate plunge release control, while a prominently positioned speed adjustment dial can raise the rpm to 5200.

There’s no dust extraction system on the PS165, and it loses a few degrees of adjustment compared to the Triton at 45 degrees. Also, it’s 55mm cutting depth isn’t the deepest on our list. On the bright side, the supplied 700mm track sections are extendable with third-party tracks from the likes of Festool.

ProsCons
Everything you need in one boxLacks power compared to rival models
Sturdy aluminium body and trackNo dust dispersal method
Straightforward controls 

Best Plunge Saw – Final Thoughts

It’s easy to rule the Lumberjack out of contention for the title of ‘Best Plunge Saw’ in the UK. While it’s 1400mm track and out-of-the-box practicality make the PS165 a worthy purchase in its own right, it lacks desirable features found on the other products we’ve tested. There’s no dust extraction system, for instance, while its 7kg weight counts against it. And although it’s not the most expensive product we’ve tested, it’s hard to see what you’re paying for compared to our cheapest option.

Splitting the Triton and Evolution is more complicated. The Triton would perhaps be the purist’s choice – a conventional plunge saw with handy built-in storage and convenient soft-start function. However, the Evolution is cheaper, cuts deeper, and comes with a track. If you can forgive the missing side plate and its less comprehensive dust extraction system, its lightweight and significantly lower price tag represent compelling benefits. It’s our winner – but only just.


Best Plunge Saw – 2021 Comparison Table

ModelPowerTrack supplied?Tool storage?WeightDust extraction?Rating
Evolution R185CCSX1600WYesNo5.1kgYes8.5
Triton TTS14001400WNoYes5.5kgYes8
Lumberjack PS1651200WYesNo7kgNo6