Bora NGX Clamp Edge Guide System
Bora NGX Clamp Edge Guide System Features Solid Concept with Room for Improvement
So you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get more from your circular saw. Using a track system to get accurate cuts is a great way to avoid the expense of a dedicated track saw or table saw. The Bora NGX Clamp Edge system is one option.
Bora NGX Clamp Edge Design
Clamp Edge Saw Guide
The foundation of the Bora NGX Clamp Edge system is the guide, or track if you prefer. Thinner than standard track saw rails, the saw plate glides over this guide to help you keep your cuts straight.
We checked our rails out of the box and they were good and straight from side to side. There was a little bit of a bow from front to back but it didn’t have any effect on the accuracy of our cuts. Considering that the very sheet goods tracks like this are designed to cut also bow, it’s not a big deal.
The saw plate attaches to the bottom of your circular saw’s shoe and makes it fit on the guide. Three points of contact hold your saw in place.
We tried a couple of different saws on the plate—DeWalt’s FlexVolt Advantage and the Ridgid Octane circular saw—and were able to fit both correctly. It takes a little work to get it right, but the plate clamps give you plenty of adjustability to secure them.
To make sure your saw is square to the plate, there are tick marks to help you gauge the distance from the clamp rail. They’re effective, but black or white marks would help them stand out much better.
The plate material is also somewhat flimsy and relies on the build of the circular saw’s shoe to stabilize it. That comes into play when you’re making your cut. If you put much pressure on the saw to the left or right, you’ll introduce a little bit of bevel to the cut.
By design, the clamping side of the plate is flush with the rail base and rests lightly on your material. The grid design on the bottom was able to put small scratches on our material. It’s no big deal for rough cuts, but we’d like to see a cover over it for when you’re working on finished wood. You can even cover it with painter’s tape for a quick solution.
Because the guide construction is tool plastic running along an aluminum track, it’s not as smooth as dedicated track saws. One upgrade might be to add adjustable tension nylon rollers like you see on track saw shoes. Using it in its current design, you can go with a dry lubrication spray to decrease the friction.
Bora has two styles of clamps that come in the Deluxe Set we’re reviewing. One is for standard straight cuts and another style you can use straight or for cutting angles.
We LOVE the concept of the locking handle clamp. To use it, set your guide, pull it so that the fixed end butts up against the far end of your material, and then snug the clamp up to opposite end. Push the handle forward and it locks the guide down securely.
It holds well and prevents any guide movement. However, we noticed that it pushes against the side edges of the rail enough to kick them out slightly. As we slid the plate toward the clamp, it created additional friction that we had to force our way through to complete the cut. We found that our results were a little better by setting up to start on the clamp side so the extra friction was at the beginning of the cut.
Reinforcing the guide on the clamp end and switching to a rubberized design on the pieces that kick out to the side could help with the next version.
We switched over to the other track clamps and that eliminated the stickiness concern. The issue we ran into was that on a 4-foot cut across sheet material, there wasn’t enough room on the guide to use them. Other lengths are no problem—it’s just when you’re right on the edge of the guide length.
Bora NGX Clamp Edge Guide Pricing
You can piece together your Bora NGX Clamp Edge system the way you want or start with pre-configured sets that add more value. We tested the NGX Deluxe set and it runs $179 and the Premier Set (includes the T-square attachment) runs $199. Here’s what you can expect to pay for other components:
- 50-inch Clamp Edge Guide (with clamp): $64
- 50-inch Clamp Edge Guide Extension: $57
- 100-inch Clamp Edge Guide (2 pieces): $117
- 36-inch Clamp Edge Guide: $58
- 24-inch Clamp Edge Guide: $50
- Saw Plate: $57
- T-Square Attachment: $29
- Non-Chip Strip: $18
The Bottom Line
Conceptually, we love what the Bora Portamate NGX Clamp Edge system is working to accomplish. In practice, several areas of the design could use some improvement to get consistently great results. Once they do, we believe this will be one of the top add-on track systems out there.
In its current form, it can undoubtedly help DIYers make more accurate cuts in sheet goods and avoid the expense of a table saw or a dedicated track saw—if the quirks of the system sound like ones you can work with.