The saw arrived in mint condition in a formfitting, stackable hard case. Makita also sent along a guide rail, rail clamps, and a rail angle guide, all of which were equally well packaged and undamaged. The saw was accurate right out of the box and needed no adjustment for 90, 45, or 22.5 stop sets. The rail was perfectly straight and flat when laid on sheet goods and held its place well.
Guide-rail setup. The guide rail has several rows of gripping strips that contact the work surface and do an amazing job of keeping the rail in place. When you first use the rail, adjust the two round knobs on the saw’s rail slides until you have no lateral movement while maintaining a smooth sliding action . Also, as part of the setup, you'll need to make a pass through from a piece of scrap, which aligns the chip guard (the black rubber edge on the outside of the rail) with the blade.
First cuts. Makita’s innovative “score” setting restricts the depth of cut to less that 1/16 inch with the push of a green button mounted on the side below the trigger housing. This feature reduces chipping of the veneer because the saw doesn't bring panel waste up through the cut from below. The result of my first cut was a clean, accurate, chip-free finish.
The real test. The first real test was to cross-cut some ¾-inch cabinet-grade panels. The depth scale is in front of the motor and, although it's well laid out, it's in metric . But with a few calculations, I was able to set the depth to 21 mm (a hair over ¾ inch, for us old guys).
Cross-cutting on the table saw in our shop has always been a two-person gig because the left-hand outfeed is just 2 feet wide, but it was a breeze with the Makita Track Saw. After placing the sheet on the build table, I was able to comfortably and accurately saw the sheet to size on my own. For this exercise, I didn’t use the angle guide but simply aligned the track with measurements I had made.
To read more about the Makita SP6000J track saw, check out the original article at ProToolReviews.com for specs and details about variable speeds, compound miter cuts, and more.