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Great saw well worth the money!!

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Review by SCABrown posted 09-05-2011 06:42 AM 3428 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great saw well worth the money!! Great saw well worth the money!! Great saw well worth the money!! Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’m starting over with my workshop and this is my First purchase for it.
I ordered this saw back in June from my local Woodcraft, It arrived 3 weeks later in their store for me to pick up. The saw and rail came very well packaged and received no damage from UPS’s punishment. The manual is very nicely done and is easy to read. The action is like butter and glides effortlessly down the rail. You will cut the splinter strip on the guide rail on the first cut, but that is normal so don’t panic like I did. One thing that takes some adjustment to is the metric system that Festool uses, I’m still working on converting the fraction system that I’m so used too to it. Allthough I will never totaly get rid of the system. Another thing I found with this saw was that the dust collection port does not directly hook up to a standard 1 1/4” port, So I dedicated a 1 1/4” hose for dust collection with a Festool hose end. The dust collection on this saw is great even with it being hooked up to a standard Shop-Vac and not a Festool dust extractor, which I will be getting in the future. I’ve been using this saw off and on for the past 3 months, the more I use it the more I like it. I’m now offically hooked on the Festool system because of the quality and performance of this saw!!

-- Aaron




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SCABrown

18 posts in 1266 days



6 comments so far

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reggiek

2240 posts in 1994 days


#1 posted 09-05-2011 07:49 PM

I concur. Iv’e had mine for several years now and I haven’t found a better way to cut down larger panels…even on the TS. The rails are so accurate that I can even cut to finish size with this saw….and the tearout protection on the rails is also excellent as your panel does not end up looking ragged on the cut.

The only complaint everyone seems to have is the price of these guys….and there are several debates about this in the blogs. I’m not rich, nor a tool snob either, but this tool is a definite good buy and excellent value.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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TheOldTimer

223 posts in 1810 days


#2 posted 09-05-2011 08:11 PM

I have two Festool sanders and the dust extractor here in the shop. My next purchase was to be the TS 55-EQ. I purchased the latter tools thru a few comissions but with the economy the way it is now the saw is on the back burner. Being retired from my previous profession we have to learn to live on a budget. Festool is quite expensive but the quality is such that the tools will last a lifetime. When pulling plywood or sheet goods out of the truck I place them onto a table and brake them down with the circular saw in oversized lengths and widths. This makes cutting them to dimension on the table saw much easier on this Old Timers back.

Have a great holiday and stay safe:

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

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blackcherry

3186 posts in 2547 days


#3 posted 09-06-2011 12:02 AM

Four stars in my book, best money ever spent, worry free performer. Here a work station I built using my TS55 just for added storage….BC

View SCABrown's profile

SCABrown

18 posts in 1266 days


#4 posted 09-09-2011 07:43 PM

Glad to hear that everyone else has had a plensent experience with Festool products.

-- Aaron

View mbs's profile

mbs

1478 posts in 1664 days


#5 posted 09-10-2011 05:42 AM

I agree with the comments on the saw. My first purchase was a sander and vac. Then I got the saw, the router and the 32 mm hole drilling system. I got a good deal on another used sander. My wife just bought me the 10 volt drill with the right angle attachment. I’m a big fan of festool. I’d like to have one of thier jig saws next

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Galt's profile

Galt

11 posts in 1111 days


#6 posted 01-15-2012 02:45 AM

I have a bunch of other Festool stuff that I’ll be reviewing, but I just wanted to add my two cents on the 55.

I had a 75 and a 55, so it gave me a great opportunity to compare them side by side. Well that was real simple, and I’ll make this easy for anyone vacillating between the two. Just get the 55 and be joyful. It is an absolute delight to use. The 75 is only if you do a lot of thick counter top or door work – otherwise, it’s just too darn heavy and bulky. It’s still a great saw, but way more than anybody needs for breaking down panels or box buildin’.


I have no room for a table saw any longer, but I really don’t miss it a bit. A large part of the reason why is the cut table that I built that allows me to process sheet goods using all of the Festool system bells and whistles , but on a nice big table. I highly recommend this to anyone with the dough and no space, who likes the Festool system approach. Also I’ll post some pics as soon as my daughter returns from overseas with my camera.

Anywho, my table is nominally a 4’ by 8’ version of the Festool Multi Function Table that their system is designed around… sort of. When I built mine they were in the process of rolling out their new tables and clearancing the old ones. The old were two sizes, a small and a large (the 1080), that were replaced with a kind of medium one (the MFT/3) that was right in between. The new one also has a different aluminum extrusion profile on all four sides from the originals, which were more of a fancy T-slot style. Just by happenstance I ran across a guy when selling off the other gear, who had purchased (2) 2 meter sections of the profiles from Festool direct when they were still available (the new profile is probably available by now, but wasn’t yet when I was first doing this). I had a pair of the old 1080 tables that I had planned on attaching to one another, but this allowed a better alternative. I stripped the 1080 and used the long side rails from it to form the short side rails on my bigger table. The two meter sections went along the long sides, as well as attaching the two short sides from the 1080 to get me past 8’ in length.

The base was simple enough, just a big birch plywood box on locking casters that had (4) drawers along each side. The sizing worked out great, each drawer is deep enough front to back to allow me to get two short stacks of Systainers (the branded tool boxes that Festool re-lables for all of their stuff), one right behind the other, on each pull out using 22 1/2” full extension bottom mounts. The top is captured between the profile sections that are held together using the same corner castings that were originally on the 1080. The top is a piece of MDF (just like the regular Festool MFT section). I used the 1400 plunge router and 32mm hole drilling guide rail system to replicate the hole pattern and spacing that the 1080 table used, and the result is a giant pig of a storage/work table that holds what was six very tall stacks of Systainer tool boxes.

The profile rails allow you to attach a sliding fence and angle stop that turns my table into a giant compound miter saw of sorts. The guide rails can be used for cross cutting or ripping and attached directly to the table edge. This keeps you consistently square once all is set up, and therein lies the beauty of their system approach. No denying it however, that their pricing is the ugly part, but you truly do get what you pay for.

The rails of course also allow you to use their routers, trimmer, jigsaw, Domino joiner, etc. with the same precision and repeatable accuracy. The metric can be a pain, but a few new scales from the Starrett guy on Ebay and I never looked back. I will say that I read a lot from folks who use the Festool saw and guide rail system for rough cutting to feed their table saw. I don’t get that at all.

My first cut is my finish cut with this system, using the proper blade and zero clearance equipment. The ease of moving the blade past the material, instead of the material past the blade makes all of the difference at the end of the day. My sheet goods are shipped flat, unloaded onto a flat cart, wheeled in and slid off and onto the cut table. All I do is slide stuff and stack it. Between the outstanding dust extraction (they are real persnickety about differentiating themselves from the dust collecting crowd), and not having to bend over and pick up or flip whole sheets of MDF or melamine, the Festool system has made cabinet building something I can honestly see myself doing til I drop dead. I can still chew the fat with the sheet humpin’... but gosh it feels good not to have to. And at the end of the day, I’m so clean my wife doesn’t believe that I built anything.

Which brings me to another gotta have (assuming your nuts too when it comes to spending money on tools). Their dust evac systems with the handle and boom arm. I have an older 33 model on each side of my table and they cover everything from my router table and Kapex to my scroll saw, and the monster in the middle of the room. With the overhead arm and an assortment of adapters and hoses I can reach anywhere without getting all tangled up or tripping myself. My shop is a veritable shoe box, so I use a small Delta/Oneida hybrid system for the band saw, plane, jointer, combo sander, spindle sander, and it kinda sorta helps with the lathe. With a flow through fan, an overhead electronic filter and a micron trap on the Delta, everything stays so nice and clean I almost hate to walk into anybody elses shop.

Festool is kind’a big bucks, but if ya go all in the rewards make ya smile every day that you use them. Quiet too, did I mention that? The dern tools are louder than the vacuums, and even the tools are quieter than most. Good stuff ain’t cheap.

-- “It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” - Dr. Ron Paul

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