I’ve teamed up with Kreg Tool Company and am very excited to tell you about their newest product, the Adaptive Cutting System!
The Adaptive Cutting System (ACS) is a complement of three main items: the Project Table, Plunge Saw, and Guide Track. In addition to this, there are several accessories to expand the functionality of this system.
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Here are a few links to the specific products I mention in this review:
- Master Kit, ACS3000 (Project Table, Plunge Saw, and Guide Track)
- Plunge Saw & Guide Kit, ACS2000
- Project Table, ACS1000
- Rip Guides, ACS405
- Parallel Guides, ACS415
- Project Table Extensions, ACS440
- Track Horse
Affiliate links are used on this page. See my disclosure page for info on affiliate programs.
Kreg Adaptive Cutting System Tool Review
- Plunge Saw & Guide Track
- Project Table
- Set Up
- What Do I Think?
ACS Plunge Saw & Guide Track
This is the heart of the Adaptive Cutting System. The fit between the saw and track is such that you can dial in the accuracy by using the two tracking controller knobs on the saw base. This allows you to decide how tight or loose the saw fits to the track.
Another cool feature is the anti-kickback mechanism on the saw base. When engaged, this prevents the saw from being pushed backward on the track.
The saw itself is very straight forward to use and has all of the adjustability that’s typically found on a standard circular saw. The main difference is that with this plunge saw, you have a safety interlock that prevents plunging or turning on the saw before depressing the switch interlock button. At first I couldn’t quite get the hang of this interlock switch, but after a few minutes of getting acquainted with the tool, I had no trouble.
ACS Project Table
The Adaptive Cutting System Project Table takes the Plunge Saw and Guide Track to a higher level of efficiency. With it, you can set up stops for repetitive cuts and the built in scales allow you to accurately set the width of cut needed.
A really nice feature of this product is how it integrates with the Guide Track. Unlike some other multi-function tables, you aren’t required to lift the track vertically for easy loading and unloading of work pieces. Kreg’s approach here is to simply have the Guide Track pivot at each end on a pair of hinges. If you watch my video, you’ll see this in action.
This table gets bonus points for being able to collapse and roll out of the way when extra space in the shop is needed!
Set Up the Adaptive Cutting System
Just like with any tool, proper set up is critical if you’re wanting to be efficient and accurate. I will admit that when I first opened up the boxes and saw the user manual, I was a little worried. 🙂 But, I was soon relieved when I saw the numerous diagrams and that it was a multi-language document! I don’t know about you, but I like to read by looking at the pictures…
Setting up the saw and table is a pretty easy afternoon activity. Give yourself another 10 minutes to become familiar with the operation sequence, and you’ll be making dust in no time flat!
It’s also worth mentioning that Kreg released some very good videos on the setup of both the ACS Project Table and the ACS Plunge Saw & Guide Track. You can check those out below! You’re welcome 🙂
Cutting With the Adaptive Cutting System
Now this may seem a little obvious, but I’ll quickly run you through how to make a cut with this system. Set your depth of cut to be about 1/8″ deeper than the thickness of what you’re cutting. If you’re not working on the Project Table, just line up the Guide Track on the work piece with the anti-chip strip on your cut line. Then depress the interlock and squeeze the trigger to turn on the saw. Smoothly push the saw through the cut, then raise the blade and release the trigger when the cut is complete. Pretty self-explanatory, really.
If you’re using the Project Table, there are a few differences in operation. First off, you’ll want to set the guide track height. This is done by loosening the star knobs on the hinge at either end of the table. Next, set your work piece under the Guide Track and lower the track so that’s resting on top of your work piece. Next, push the hinge up from the bottom (plate the knob touches) until it’s almost closed and then tighten the knob. I know that probably sounds a little involved, but it’s much easier than you might think. Repeat this step on the other end and you’re just about ready to cut!
The big advantage of using the Project Table is when you’re making repetitive cuts. By using the scales on the table, you can set the location of your cut without having to mark it out first. Couple that with the Versa Stops (which help to locate your work piece on the table) and it’s easy to accurately cut multiple parts.
There’s a ton of versatility in the size and angle of cuts that can be made with this system on or off of the Project Table!
Here’s a shot of some miters I cut on the saw.
I’m really happy with these results!
Kreg Adaptive Cutting System Accessories
The ACS is not short on accessories to expand the standard system’s functionality.
The Rip Guides are intended to be used with the Guide Track independent of the Project Table. These secure to the back side of the Guide Track and allow you to make repetitive cuts up to 13″ wide.
The Parallel Guides are similar to the Rip Guides in that they secure to the back side of the Guide Track. The difference is in their capacity, though. These guides allow you to make cuts from 12″-96″ wide!
The last accessory I’ll mention is the Table Extension Bracket. As you may have guessed, these are to be used in conjunction with the Project Table. These brackets allow you to attach a 2×4 framed extension table to the side of the ACS. The other end of the extension table can be easily secured to the Track Horse.
What Do I Think?
First off, I think this is a big addition to the market for modular woodworking solutions. By price point alone, it’s a much more affordable option than the current selection.
In terms of build quality and accuracy, I am impressed. The quality is what I’ve come to expect from Kreg. Yes, they make some of their parts out of plastic and that might make some folks uneasy, but after years of using their products regularly, I have no concerns with this system standing up to the normal wear and tear of an active woodworker.
So, would I recommend this tool to a shop with minimal equipment and short on space? Absolutely!
But would I still recommend it even if you have a table saw and miter saw? Yes, I would. Even with those tools in my shop, there are still several cuts that would require breaking a setup or making jigs to accomplish. There are some instances where being able to very accurately use a “circular saw” would be the ideal approach. The Adaptive Cutting System is an answer to that need.
As always, if you have any questions, let me know. And until next time, have fun making something!
Kreg Tool provided me with this product. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the sponsor. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
My question is similar to the one the ‘other’ Steve posted here (grin)…
I too am a casual woodworking hobbyist with limited work space. My powertools consist of a good quality Bosch jigsaw,
a cleverly designed jigsaw table from Neutechnik that converts the jigsaw into a (somewhat) precise cutting tool, and a Dewalt plunge router.
I’d like to get into more complex, challenging projects and have debated for quite some time the relative merits of a portable table saw vs
a track saw / router table combination. Would the Kreg ACS along with a decent quality router table enable me to accomplish anything that the table saw might provide? Frankly I’d prefer not to have to acquire the latter, both for safety reasons and because it seems like the portable ones lack the precision afforded by higher end hybrid and cabinet table saws. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Steve (possibly ‘other’ Steve? lol)
The simple answer to your question is yes. If you’re choosing between a job site style table saw or an ACS, I’d go with the ACS just about every time. I think it’s certainly a more versatile option than a job site saw and the accuracy is better than any job site table saws I’ve used.
Hope that help!
You can ignore my second attempted comment (and this one as well!) as I thought it might not have gone through, and thus I repeated myself.