Bosch Track Saw

A professional track saw that delivers accurate, repeatable, high-quality cuts.

Bosch GKT13-225L Track Saw

Bosch GKT13-225L Track Saw



MANUFACTURER:Bosch
MODEL:GKT13-225L
PRICE:$799.99
SOURCE:Dealer Search
KEY FEATURES:
Motor:13 Amp, 2,300 RPM
Speed:3,600 - 6,250 RPM
Blade Size:6-1/2"
Arbor Size:20mm
Depth of Cut: 90° with rail - 2"
90° without rail - 2-1/4"
45° with rail - 1.40"
45° without rail - 1.65"
Bevel Adjustment:-1° to +47°
Key Features:Soft start
Overload protection
Constant electronic circuitry (maintains speed under load)
Electric brake
Plunge cut alignment indicators
Weight:10.4 pounds
Cord Length:12-1/2'
Warranty:1 Year
Includes:6-1/2" 48-Tooth Blade (PRO648TS)
Blade Wrench
Vacuum Hose Adapter (VAC024)
Carrying Case (L-BOXX-4)

For anyone who does a lot of work with sheet goods and shop make panels, a track (aka 'plunge') saw is a tool well worth the investment. A good track saw enables you to quickly and efficiently make accurate, repeatable straight and angled cuts on sheet goods and solid stock. Track saws are especially useful when dealing with large, heavy sheet goods or shop made panels – it's considerably safer and easier to bring the saw to the work piece, rather than attempting to manoeuvre large stock over a stationary table saw. These saws make virtually splinter-free cuts, and because of their ability to plunge the blade down at any place on a work surface, they're ideal for making inside cuts.



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800mm, 1000mm, 1600mm and 2100mm rails
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800mm and 1600mm shelf hole rails
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Miter guide (FSNWAN)
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Track clamps (FSNKZW)
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Rail connector (FSNVEL)
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Rip fence (GKTPA)
The Bosch GKT13-225L is the latest entry into the plunge saw league. The saw comes with a blade, vacuum hose adapter, and storage case. The various rails (aka 'tracks') and accessories that complement the saw are shown in the table above.

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Comes in a durable L-BOXX

The lockable, stackable, L-BOXX is made of a tough polymer plastic – it protects your investment when not in use and makes it easy to transport the saw to and from a job site. The wide top folding handle stores into a recess in the lid for stacking, yet allows you to carry the L-BOXX like a conventional tool box. There are also recessed side handles, which makes it more convenient to carry two-handed when several of them are stacked together. The plastic locking clips at the front of the box are easy to open and close, and in the closed position they are flush up against the box, less likely to get snagged on anything. The box is large enough to also store a couple of rail clamps, dust bag, and spare blade.

The GKT13-225L is equipped with a 13-amp motor that delivers variable speeds from 3,600 to 6,250 RPM. Because I primarily cut cabinet grade plywood, I always leave the speed dial at the maximum speed setting. As with most saws today, this one is equipped with electronics to prevent motor overload and to maintain constant rotational speed under load. As well it has a soft start – so there is less strain on the motor bearings, shaft, and brushes, and you won't experience a sudden jerking motion when the saw starts up – and an electric brake that stops the blade from spinning within a few seconds, so you can put the saw down without any kick back, or worse, accidentally marring your workpiece.


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Built-in safety feature

The Bosch has an integrated trigger and lock-off release, which acts as a safety feature so that you can't inadvertently power the saw on when picking it up. To start the saw you have to push the lock-off release upwards with your thumb, and then depress the trigger with your forefinger.

Just ahead of the trigger/lock-off is the depth lock lever, which covers the shaft lock button (inset photo above) that you depress when changing the blade. The hex wrench is conveniently stored in the handle. Blade changeover is pretty simple – much the same as you do on a circular saw.

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At the back of the saw is a rotating chip diverter that does a pretty good job of ejecting dust away from the work area. Bosch doesn't supply a dust collection bag, though I've found that dust bags from both my miter saw and biscuit joiner fit onto the saw's chip diverter. When making a few cuts the dust bag works well, but most of the time I connect the saw to a dust extractor – there is very little dust left on the stock or around the saw or guide rail.

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Bosch rails: top side (left); bottom side (right)

In order to benefit from precision, splinter-free cutting you'll typically use the saw and rail together. However, you can use the saw without the rail, for example when you want to make quick, rough cuts on dimensional lumber. Rails come in four lengths, and are sold separately. The right one for you will depend on how you process your sheet goods. I find the 800mm and 1600mm rails work well together. With the 1600mm rail I can crosscut full sheets, and using the optional 14" rail connector can join the two rails to rip full sheets.

Made of anodized aluminum, the rails have high strength and are both wear and corrosion resistant. On the bottom of the rails is a replaceable splinter guard strip (blue, right photo) and two replaceable traction strips (black, right photo).

The splinter guard extends past the side of the rail – the first time you use the saw it cuts the strip to match the saw blade. This guard acts just like a zero-clearance insert on a table saw, helping to eliminate chipping and tearout.

The traction strips keep the rails from moving about on smooth surfaces – plywood, MDF, laminate, melamine and the like – while you cut. They also help prevent the rail from marring the surface of the work piece. The strips on the Bosch rails are only 1/8" wide and my first impression was that they wouldn't be very effective. But, as I found out after using the rails for over a month in the shop, they provide excellent grip.


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Rail clamps secure the rails on rougher stock

The rails are somewhat less effective on rougher stock, so in situations like this I use the optional track clamps that firmly secure the track to the workpiece. The clamps mount easily on either end of the track.


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Narrow channel in the track saw base rides on a guide rail rib

Built into the track saw base plate is a narrow channel that fits over a matching rib on the top of the guide rail. This keeps the saw perfectly aligned with the edge of the rail. Over time the saw might develop a bit of side-play due to normal wear and tear. You can adjust any side-play via two
cam adjustment wheels on the top side of the saw base plate. This enables you to keep the saw gliding freely along the rail without binding or without your having to exert undue force on the saw.

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Durable maganesum base plate

The completely flat, totally smooth low friction base plate on the saw is made of cast magnesium, which provides a smooth, tough, lightweight, and rigid cutting platform. Moving the saw over the guide rail is effortless, and because the saw rides on a guide rail rib, you can stop and restart your cut without being concerned that you'll alter the cut line. I would have liked to see a couple of anti-friction strips on the base plate (or on the top of the rails) to prevent abrasion between the two surfaces.

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Precise, easy to set cutting-depth adjustment

The depth cutting scale is super easy to read and to set. You simply squeeze the depth stop slider (under the red cutting depth indicator in the photo above) and move it upward or downward until the cutting depth indicator points to the correct depth of cut. The scale is conveniently in both metric and imperial units. You do need to add 1/8" or so to your desired cutting depth in order that the blade teeth extend below the bottom surface of the stock you're cutting. The 2" maximum cutting depth at 90° (two layers of 3/4" ply) is more than I'll ever likely need.

When cutting with a rail the little red depth indicator is oriented as shown in the photo above. When not using a rail you rotate the indicator 180° to account for the absence of the track. A very smart feature indeed.

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Accurate bevel adjustment

I don't do a lot of bevel cutting with a track saw, but if you do, you'll likely appreciate that the Bosch offers a bevel tilt range from -1° to 47° in 1° increments. The scale is clear and easy to read, though the pointer is hard to see. To set the bevel angle you loosen bevel lock knobs (one at the front, another at the rear of the saw), tilt the saw until the pointer is as the desired angle, and then, re-tighten the lock knobs.

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Override buttons for -1° and 47° angles

I like that the saw has a positive stop at 45°. If you do need to tilt beyond 45° you simply press the 47° button on the front of the saw to bypass the 45° detent. At the back of the saw is another button to tilt to -1°.

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Fast and efficient plunge cuts

It's a breeze to make accurate plunge cuts using the two limit marks on the side of the saw – there's a starting limit mark just back of the blade (top photo) and a red ending limit mark imprinted on the clear plastic viewing window (bottom photo). All you need to do is pencil in the beginning and end of the cut line on your stock, lay the guide rail along the cut line, and then line up the starting limit mark on the saw at the beginning of your cut line. Cut until the red ending limit mark reaches the end of your cut line.

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While superb for sheet goods, it's very useful for solid stock as well

The GKT13-225L comes with a 48-tooth carbide blade that I've find delivers excellent rip cuts and crosscuts on sheetgoods and solid wood.

Cutting with the saw doesn't involve much in the way of guesswork. Once you lay out a cut line you don't need to make any additional measurements. You simply line up the edge of the splinter guard with the cut line, and then cut away. Done deal. This makes cutting not only precise, but incredibly fast.

The cut on the top side of stock is always flawless with absolutely no tearout. The cut on the bottom side ocassionally shows some tearout.

The saw doesn't have a retractable spring-loaded riving knife. Because I almost always use a plunge saw to cut plywood, rather than solid wood, I'm not too concerned.

If you're in the market for a professional level plunge saw that's easy to use and delivers consistently accurate, repeatable, high quality cuts, then the Bosch GKT13-225L just might fit the bill. 

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