Triton plunge, track saw review
After a couple of weeks delay, here's the promised review of the Triton plunge/track saw, Model TTS 1400. I purchased this on sale about a month ago from Rockler. I also purchased the 59 inch long track for it and the two, 27 inch short tracks, since I wanted sufficient length to cut 5 ft sq BB ply.
First step was replacing the stock blade with a 165 mm Infinity purpose built blade. This had a slightly wider kerf than the Triton and the carbide teeth look to be slightly wider and noticeably thicker for potentially more sharpenings. Replacement was easy. There is a small switch with two overlapping symbols beside the top of the plunge handle. This is the setting for changing blades. Press down on the handle and the blade goes down just far enough to reveal the bolt and washer that hold the blade on. The saw clicks and holds this position until you are finished. Slide the blade out toe bottom slot, slide the new blade in, put the washer and bolt back in and tighten. There is a push button that when pressed in, locks the blade so it won't rotate. A handy item is that the Allen wrench used to loosen/tighten the bolt bits in an opening in the upper handle so you won't lose it.
Next order of busines was connecting one short track to the long one, since you must trim the rubber hold down strip before first use. I was disappointed to discover that one of the short tracks did not quite line up with the long track, in fact, this raised portion caused the saw to hang up slightly when passing the joint. I will see about a replacement. The other segment lined up correctly. Be sure to get the alignment right before tightening the set screws on the connectors. The connectors are two strips so the set screws engage the top and bottom of the two T tracks into which they fit. There is a very tiny bit of plan that will permit you to aligh the two tracks before cinching them down tight with the supplied allen wrench. I stowed the wrench in the instruction book, otherwise I'll lose track of it.
You trim the edge using the scoring setting. The same switch that allows changing the blade has a second symbol with a line drawn through the edge of a circle for the scribe cut setting. This limits the plunge to about 3/16ths below the track. I did this with two 2x4s set side by side. The scribe cut was clean and crisp. This produce a nice clean edge on the rubber. The anti friction tape of the tracks did their job so sliding the saw was smooth and easy.
The knobs... The blade side of the saw contains several settings. The trunion adjustment allows setting the blade angle anywhere from 90 to about 48 degrees. Very solid and seems to be precise. There is a depth of cut limiting know that you set so the teeth just clear the workpiece. I think I set it to go too deep, so as the teeth came up out of the workpiece, it tore out fine splinters in the outside. The cut was very clean under the rubber hold down side.
If you look at the pictures, you'll see several strips cut from the same piece of BB ply. The top edge is the roughest and was cut with my DeWalt 18v circular saw with a fairly fine blade. It was the exit side of the cut. The middle narrow strip shows the tearout from the Triton on the unprotected edge. This ply has been sitting in our very dry weather for months and I think that contributed to the problem. The third strip was cut with the Triton with blue tape on the edge and has almost no tearout. Blue painter's tape will be a regular thing for me. I think I also need to reduce the depth of cut so the whole gullet isn't visible below the workpiece. A shallower angle slice might help with tearout. The only problem edge is the one not supported where the blade exits. All other edges are very clean. I have not tried a piece of melamine, so I can't comment on chip out. I suspect that with the Infinity blade, scribing and keeping the good side down, it will be slight
Dust collection was quite good. The picture shows the residue after 3 cuts. The DC port happened to fit into a hose I got from Lowes. I'll be using some of Rockler's stretchy tape to seal this a little better, but there was no dust flying around at all. My hose terminates in a 4 inch connector that fits into my HF DC unit. I use the same setup to clean out my table saw, but I'll keep the hose in the garage shop with the track saw. I was expecting mediocre performance on DC, so this was a very pleasant surprise.
It takes a little while to figure out what all the knobs do, but they mostly have to do with fitting the saw tight to the track.
Power on this saw seemed to be a little light. You will want to let it run up to speed before plunging, then let it wind to a stop before lifting the saw off the track. It is close to 10 lbs, and if I had to lift it all day long, it would be unpleasant. If I were doing construction, expecially finish work, I'd pop for the Festool, but for my purposes the Triton TTS1400 is a very nice choice
Over all, I'd give this an 8.5 to 9 on a scale of 10. Worth the near $500 I paid for the whole kit and kaboodle. But I will definitely be using painter's tape or scoring cuts with it for best results.
Nice to get back in the shop again.
The more I do, the less I accomplish.
Last edited by DesertRatTom; 09-27-2017 at 07:33 PM.