|Review by woodtechbbq||posted 10-03-2011 05:37 AM||6495 views||1 time favorited||4 comments|
Festool TS 55 EQ Plunge Circular Saw
Festool is one of the top tools manufactures in the world. This circular saw is the workhorse of the festool building system. The guide rails are the secret behind this tool. They come in several lengths and can be connected end to end to make rails of any length. The TS 55 comes with the 55” rail.
The Saw: The TS 55 EQ sports the a 1200 watt 10amp variable speed motor. This motor spins the 6 ¼” 48 tooth blade from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm. It has a vertical cutting depth of 2 1/8” (1 15/16” on the rail) and a cutting depth of 1 7/16” at 45 deg. This saw comes with a SYS 4 and weighs 9.92 pounds. Festool incorporated a riving knife and a integrated blade changing system. The dust collection for this unit top notch when hooked to the festool dust extractors.
Saw Accessories: The TS 55 comes with a Fine 48 tooth saw blade but festool makes several blades for use in different materials.
• Fine 48-Tooth Saw Blade (Product No. 495377): This blade has a smooth cut. Rips and cross cuts are glass smooth.
• Panther 14T Saw Blade (Product No. 495372): This is festool’s rip saw blade.
• Universal 28-Tooth Saw Blade (Product No. 496304): The universal blade is used for glue line quality rip cuts in wood and plastic.
• Solid Surface/Laminate 48-Tooth Saw Blade (Product No. 496309): This blade is used for cutting laminated flooring and solid surface counter tops.
• Aluminum/Plastic 56-Tooth Saw Blade (Product No. 496307): Use this blade to cut aluminum materials.
Other accessories for the TS 55 include a parallel guide (Part No. 491469) and a cover plate to improve dust collection.
The Rails: The guide rail system brings panel saw accuracy to a portable system that makes it fantastic for breaking down sheet goods or for use on the construction site. I also use mine to straight line rip my rough stock after the faces are flattened. The first cut made on the a new guide rail trims the splinter guard to align perfectly with the edge of the blade. The splinter guards should be replaced every time you replace a blade. The guides have two rubber strips on the bottom that keep the rails from sliding around on the work piece. The rails can also be secured using clamps in the track along the bottom.
Limitations: While the guide rails make this a wonderful saw for cutting sheet goods and large panels it does not handle small pieces well. Festool makes a parallel guide for cutting smaller parts but I haven’t had a chance to use this accessory yet so I can’t say if this makes it a full table saw replacement or not.
Recommendation: While I don’t believe that this saw with the guide rails is a replacement for a table saw I do highly commend this system to anyone who does woodworking. I have been using this saw for two years now and I have zero regret with buying it.
-- Jason Leinberger, http://woodtechbbq.squarespace.com/