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Review of Powertec T-Tracks - Save 50% over Rockler T-Tracks

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Review by Dan Thomas posted 07-25-2018 10:06 AM 3857 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Review of Powertec T-Tracks - Save 50% over Rockler T-Tracks Review of Powertec T-Tracks - Save 50% over Rockler T-Tracks Review of Powertec T-Tracks - Save 50% over Rockler T-Tracks Click the pictures to enlarge them

[EDIT] Apparently, I misunderstood the “review” category. So please forgive me for only pointing to my YouTube video. Here’s a more comprehensive review.

The only t-tracks I’ve used in the past have been from Rockler. 3/4” wide, 3/8” thick, and made from aluminum. They work great, and if you buy them on sale, they’re not too terribly expensive.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed on Amazon that Powertec has t-tracks that appear to be virtually identical to the Rockler t-tracks, at up to half the price. I say “up to half”, because how much cheaper they are depends on whether you buy a 1-pack, 2-pack, or 4-pack. But even a 1-pack is significantly cheaper than a comparable Rockler t-track.

So I bought one, and from now on, Powertec t-tracks are my t-track of choice. And not only because they’re cheaper.

The only downside is that Rockler’s t-tracks come in a nice reusable plastic tube, and Powertec’s came in a plastic sleeve like a sandwich wrapper (see pic). I like to reuse the Rockler tube, but it’s not worth spending $10 or $12 more for it. :)

The dimensions are identical to the Rockler t-track, at 3/4” wide and 3/8” thick. Both t-tracks can be bought in varying lengths – I bought the 36” version. Technically, Rockler’s is .743 inches wide, and Powertec’s is .751 inches wide. I suppose this could theoretically be an issue depending on how you cut your dados, but I use a 3/4” router bit, and Powertec’s t-track fit just fine.

They look pretty close to identical, except for different paint, and different hole size, which I’ll get to in a moment. Powertec’s paint is more metallic, which looks great to the naked eye, but doesn’t show up on camera quite as well. Of course, this isn’t an issue for most people. It appears to be a good quality paint.

The pre-drilled holes are in the exact same location. So exact, that I took out a Rockler t-track and replaced it with the Powertec t-track, and the holes lined up perfectly.

Here’s the part I like best, though: While Rockler’s t-tracks are pre-drilled for #6 screws, Powertec’s is predrilled for #8 screws. I much prefer #8 screws for holding down t-tracks that could be under stress, so this is perfect.

All in all, I think the Powertec t-track is a great buy. I’ve received a few comments on my YouTube video from people who’ve used them for a while, and everyone seems to like them.

Here’s a link to my video review, if you’re interested:


View on YouTube

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker




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Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days



23 comments so far

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

342 posts in 2031 days


#1 posted 07-25-2018 10:32 AM

thanks for posting

-- Petey

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#2 posted 07-25-2018 12:41 PM

You’re welcome!

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2928 posts in 1939 days


#3 posted 07-25-2018 01:02 PM

So where is the review? You found cheaper tracks and like them is that the review? What size are they, what the thickness,how are they packed,what do they come with? That would be good info for a review this is more of a come to my YouTube channel then a review. You should have taken the time to write a real review as you did making a video.

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#4 posted 07-25-2018 03:06 PM

diverlloyd – I changed the review to be more informative. I’m new here, and didn’t realize that just pointing to a video isn’t acceptable. Thanks for pointing that out.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8263 posts in 2410 days


#5 posted 07-25-2018 07:04 PM

I agree that #6 screws are not the way to go when mounting T-Track.

The Rockler T-track is not painted, rather it is anodized. If the Powertec is actually painted, then I wouldn’t be interested, as metal to metal wear and tear will eventually chip any painted surfaces.

FWIW, the T-track at Peach Tree Woodworking is usually a good deal.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#6 posted 07-25-2018 07:13 PM

The Powertec is anodized, according to their website. I’m afraid I don’t really know the difference, personally.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View ScottM's profile

ScottM

662 posts in 2228 days


#7 posted 07-25-2018 07:32 PM

Orange Aluminum also has pretty good prices on T-Track as well. Looks like the dimensions are a little different though.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3397 posts in 2070 days


#8 posted 07-25-2018 08:00 PM

In general, there are two different type of the t track. The 3/8” tall and the 1/2 tall. The 1/2” tall one seems to be significantly stronger.

One should look up anodized. In general, the anodized surface is an electrolytic passivation of the surface and form a thicker oxide layer. It is much better than a painted layer.

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#9 posted 07-25-2018 09:23 PM


It is much better than a painted layer.

- Redoak49


Yeah, I kinda figured that from the way people talked about it. :) Thanks for the info!

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View jeff's profile

jeff

1087 posts in 3546 days


#10 posted 07-26-2018 06:13 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8263 posts in 2410 days


#11 posted 07-26-2018 12:49 PM

If you get into the exact geometry and descriptions you’ll see that:

some of the 3/8” t-track has thick walls and narrow slots and only works with the thin special T-nuts (thin flanges and 5/16” threaded studs)

some for the 3/8” t-track has thin walls and a wide slot, so it can work with standard 1/4-20 nuts or bolt heads.

The 1/2” t-track is thick walled and works with 3/8-18 nuts. This is a lot stiffer, but required thicker stock.

I used to think it was important to be able to use standard nuts, but over the years I’ve accumulated a drawer full of “jig hardware” and I prefer using the special T-nuts (sold by Rockler and others). I stick with the 3/8” thick t-track and try to keep a 4’ section on hand.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View dday's profile

dday

155 posts in 1511 days


#12 posted 07-26-2018 04:31 PM

Got some on order—with some nuts and star knobs.. and a couple of clearance saw blades while I was at it.
Thanks for the review.

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#13 posted 07-26-2018 05:12 PM

Cool! Glad to help.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1522 posts in 1296 days


#14 posted 07-27-2018 12:39 PM

I enjoy your postings- the quality and content are very good.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

76 posts in 78 days


#15 posted 07-27-2018 01:11 PM

Desert_Woodworker: Thanks! I appreciate it very much.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

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