This is what I found out about plunge saws. Note that all the below is from research – I am not an expert.

In particular note that I have also included some comments about safety features, again, gleaned from t’internet. If you value your fingers do your own research to be sure. With that said, onwards!


here are three terms I was vaguely familiar with but did not completely understand until doing my research:

riving knife

table saw vs plunge saw

..or to be fairer portable table saw vs plunge saw. Surprisingly, you can get a decent portable table saw for not much more than a high-end plunge saw

Table-saws are the go-to machine of choice for the experts (although they tend to use heavy fixed position versions to portable models), but plunge saws have their place, particularly for amateurs and occasional users:

They are easier to use without incident, take up less room, and can do many of the things a table saw can do. In one area they have a significant advantage too, namely when cutting large (e.g 2.4×1.2m) sheets since they can be taken to the workpiece, rather than the other way round.

Having said all this, in the long-run the more accomplished amateurs – even when enthusiastic fans of plunge saws – typically end up with a table-saw too. So it seems the plunge saw has its limits…

circular saw vs plunge saw

The main advantages are of the plunge saw are:

in the interest of balance I should point out there are various adaptor kits that can be used to augment a standard circular saw to give it some of the advantages of a plunge saw (c.f Eurekazone track saw). These kits have the obvious advantage of not requiring you to buy an additional saw – assuming like me you already have a circular saw – but are not readily available in the UK.  And of course it is possible to use a circular saw with a piece of straight timber as a guide, although this is less convenient than using a purpose designed rail.

a plunge saw (aka rail or guide saw)

so which is the best plunge saw? .. tune in for the next instalment.