Last updated: August 10, 2021
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Welcome to our big guide rail test 2022. Here we present all the guide rails that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best guide rail for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a guide rail.




Summary

  • To make sawing with your hand-held circular saw even more precise and efficient, guide rails are an excellent accessory.
  • The hand-held circular saw must be stable on the rail, so that a high level of safety is guaranteed. There are various ways to attach a guide rail.
  • For a non-slip rail, manufacturers usually use a base made of foam rubber. Furthermore, screw clamps offer an additional possibility to fix the guide rail. Last but not least, some companies also offer quick clamps, which are attached in a very short time and are similar to the principle of the clamps.

The Best Guide Rail in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a guide rail

What are the advantages of using a guide rail?

If you use a hand-held circular saw, you will have noticed that it can be quite difficult to make a precise cut. But with the use of a guide rail you can overcome this problem. Hand-held circular saws are mainly used for cutting wood, where precise work is often not crucial.

However, for fine work, such as design TV tables, precise sawing is an important factor for a flawless job. To make this possible, the use of a guide rail is highly recommended, especially for furniture work and interior finishing, because they ensure a precise cut.

Circular hand saws with guide rails are not only more effective when cutting to size, but also much safer to handle. (Image source: 123rf / Alina Koteneva )

Most guide rails are equipped with a splinter guard. If you saw without protection, you will find that splintered saw edges occur frequently and are very annoying. The splinter guard presses down on the workpiece during cutting and thus prevents the problem described above. In principle, rails are indispensable, especially for high-quality workpieces.

By resting the accessories on the processed wood or other material, the do-it-yourselfer avoids the risk of scratching or unintentional damage. Circular hand saws with guide rails are not only more effective when cutting, but also much safer to handle. They are especially recommended for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers so that there is a high degree of safety.

The rails enable you to make an exact and precise cut with the hand-held circular saw.

What material should a guide rail be made of?

To ensure safe working with the hand-held circular saw, it is advisable to look for bars made of robust material, such as aluminium. The softer the material, the higher the risk that the circular saw will cut through it.

Aluminium rails are therefore preferable. Furthermore, the density plays a decisive role in the selection of your guide rail. If the rails are too thin, there is a risk that the circular saw will slip off when cutting, so a certain thickness is important. Note that a guide rail can cause a few millimetres of cutting depth to be lost.

If you use a hand-held circular saw with a 55mm cutting depth to trim a 52mm plank on a guide rail, it will usually not cut all the way through. Therefore, with thick planks of wood, it is sometimes necessary to complete the cut from the opposite side.

What are the alternatives?

If you have not been convinced of the advantages of using a guide rail, you will have to turn to alternatives. One possibility is to replace the rail with a wooden batten. This is attached firmly to the workpiece with appropriate screw clamps.

However, this has a disadvantage. The wood can easily be sawn up by the saw and end up being very dangerous for the user. You can also make your own guide rail. There are numerous detailed instructions on the internet that place great emphasis on important points such as splinter protection and a non-slip surface.

What do guide rails cost?

The average price of a guide rail is about 50 euros, depending on the manufacturer. Depending on quality, length and accessories, the amount spent on a guide rail varies. The cheapest models start at about 20 euros.

As a rule, this price range includes only one rail without any accessories, such as screw clamps. Most guide rails, where you can also find high-quality products, are offered for about 50 euros. Expensive rails, which have a very good quality, are in the price sector of 80-90 euros.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate guide rails

In the following we describe the factors that are important for buying a guide rail. These are criteria such as:

  • Length
  • Weight
  • Material
  • Fixation

In the following paragraphs we describe what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Length

An important criterion that you should consider when buying a guide rail is the length. As a rule, the most common bars on the market have a length of 0.70 to 1.60 cm. If your log is longer than the guide rail, it will be difficult to cut it to size.

To get around this problem, some manufacturers offer connecting pieces for their rails. These can be connected to each other at the groove, so that even longer workpieces can be easily sawn to size.

Weight

The weight of guide rails can vary depending on the material. The range is from 1.5 kg to 6 kg. For the user, the right weight can be very advantageous for working with circular hand saws. Light rails are easy to move and pose a danger to the do-it-yourselfer. Difficult rails, on the other hand, rest more stably on the workpiece and offer greater safety when sawing.

Did you know that good guide bars can withstand between five and ten saw chains with regular use? The better the chain tension and the better the lubrication, the longer a guide bar will last.

Material

The material is one of the most important criteria in your purchase decision. When working with a hand-held circular saw, the guide bar must be made of robust material. This reduces the risk of the saw sawing through the bar and putting the user in danger. As a rule, the most common guide rails are made of aluminium.

The earth metal is very robust and therefore well suited. One disadvantage, however, is that aluminium rails do not have a high density. This means that the guide rail is kept thin and is rather unsuitable for work. Therefore, when buying an aluminium rail, you should also pay attention to the thickness.

Rails made of robust material are more suitable in case they are damaged by the saw.

Fixing

When working with guide rails, there are different ways of fixing them. Regardless of the method, the guide rail should be held in a stable position before sawing. Additional clamps are often supplied for this purpose. These screw clamps are attached in different ways. As a rule, special points are marked for fixing the screw clamps.

Quick clamps offer another form of fixation. These are inserted into the groove and subsequently clamped from both sides. Some quick clamps are designed like a gun and can be adjusted with a trigger. Furthermore, some guide rails have a foam rubber on the underside. This is intended to keep the rail firmly in place on the workpiece so that it cannot be displaced.

A guide rail makes cutting with a hand-held circular saw more precise and can also contribute to greater safety during use. (Image source: 123rf / Eakkachai Nimaphan)

Facts worth knowing about guide rails

How are guide rails attached?

If you want to use a guide rail, there are several ways to attach it to your workpiece. Screw clamps offer optimum hold and good strength. Some rails have special places where the screw clamps are attached. Alternatively, you can purchase special fastening accessories from some manufacturers.

For example, from the manufacturer Festool, which provides a stable hold with quick clamps by simply clamping the workpiece and the rail. Some guide rails are equipped with a rubber-like base. They ensure a certain stability with the substrate, but are not recommended.

Did you know that you can make a simple guide rail yourself with material costs of only 10 euros? Glue a 1400x70x9mm and a 1400x200x6,5mm multiplex board on top of each other and cut off the outer half of the narrower board so that you don't have to make any sacrifices in cutting depth by using clamps. The guide rail is ready for use.

Image source: George Pastushok / Unsplash

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