Anyone use the Festool TS55 REQ Track Saw? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I really want to get a table saw, But there is no way I can store one in my home, even a collapsible one. The one I was drooling over is the Porter Cable 220 at Lowes. But since that is out of the question, I am looking at the Festool TS55 REQ track saw. It is a specially designed circular saw that sits on an aluminum rail. The rail is aligned with the cut line and the saw does the rest. I know one can make your own saw guide to do the same thing but the Festool has some really nice features.

1. the sight line is the same whether the cut is 90 degrees or 45 degrees
2. the Festool is almost completely enclosed. All the sawdust exits through the dust port whcih can be connected to a vac.
3. the Festool blade is nearly flush on one side so you can make a cut only a fraction of an inch from a wall (good for cutting laminates in floors)
4. It cuts nearly splinter free
5. The track or rail is rubber backed so it does not slide on the wood.

The big disadvantage, cost. It is nearly $600. A couple of people I know have the saw and swear by it. It does nearly everything a table saw can do.

So my question has anyone here use it and what are your thoughts?




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post #2 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 11:18 AM
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I did my entire build here with one: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465617/triple-gjallarhorn-othorn-build

It works great. Completely co-dependent on your measurements but as long as they are spot on the line will be perfectly straight and square. For my build it was faster to use the track saw over the table saw with all the angles and non-square pieces I was dealing with.

Highly recommended. The dust collection system is fantastic as well if you want to pony up the dollars.
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post #3 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 01:27 PM
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I don't have the dust collection system but I do have a Festool Tracksaw and guide system. Yes, it's expensive but it's a really nice tool! I don't regret making the purchase.
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post #4 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 01:29 PM
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u could just buy a regular track saw for half that
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post #5 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 01:43 PM
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The Festool tracksaw has a genuine feeling of 'precision' that I haven't experienced in lesser priced products.
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post #6 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 01:44 PM
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I haven't read anyone who's regretted purchasing it.

With that said, I also own a TS-55, a multi-function table, multiple rails, and one of their routers. Dust control is really nice! The rail system, when used with or even without their tables, allows you to make precise cuts that would be difficult or nearly impossible to do otherwise. No regrets here.

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post #7 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 02:24 PM
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I have owned a Festool track saw for 5 years and have used the heck out of it. It is just fantastic for working with sheet goods (plywood, MDF, etc.). The saw comes with a 55" rail. I also own a 105" rail, which lets me break down plywood sheets in the long dimension. You can fasten two 55" rails together but I haven't ever tried to do so. The long rail is expensive (like everything else Festool).

Speaking of expensive, when I bought mine the vacuum hose was not included. Assuming that's still the case, you will need to factor in that cost.

A couple of other reputable companies make competing track saws -- I believe Makita and DeWalt each have their own version. I don't have any experience with any except the Festool.

A track saw is wonderful for working with sheet goods but it is frequently not ideal for working with solid wood. Once the workpiece gets too narrow or too small, it becomes difficult to position the guide rail for a safe, accurate cut. Festool's MFT table can be outfitted to make these cuts accurately and safely, but the MFT set up like this would be as expensive as the saw. On the other hand, if storage space, not cost, is the main concern, then a Festool track saw and a tricked-out MFT would be a nice alternative to a tablesaw.

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post #8 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 02:27 PM
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The Makita saw is nice too, but limited on some accessories and adjustments. I was told to stay away from the DeWalt saw from my local shop(who sells all three brands).
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post #9 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 02:28 PM
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Incidentally, you don't have to have a Festool vac to take advantage of the saw's awesome dust collection. Festool will happily sell you a hose that fits non-Festool vacuums. I hook mine up to a Ridgid shop vac.

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post #10 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I know that DeWalt, Makita and now Grizzly makes track saws, but all the reviews say they do not perform as well as the Festool. The Grizzly is half the price but has a number of design issues. I am still leaning to the Festool unless someone can make a convincing argument otherwise...

regarding the vac, I havea 5 gallon ShopVac. Do you think the ShopVac has the capacity to work with the Festool?

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post #11 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
regarding the vac, I havea 5 gallon ShopVac. Do you think the ShopVac has the capacity to work with the Festool?

The more suction the vac generates, the better the dust collection will be. For most vacs, the biggest limitation on suction is a dirty or plugged filter. You can swap the existing filter for a new one and instantly improve the dust collection. The question then becomes, how can you keep the filter from getting dirty and plugged again? I use bags that fit inside the vac and act as a pre-filter to contain the vast majority of the dust and chips. It works quite well. The bags cost a few dollars and changing them out can be messy -- I take the vac outside when it's time to change the bag -- but for me, it's a cost-effective alternative to a high-dollar vac.

I may eventually add a Dust Deputy to my vac, which would let me eliminate the bags
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post #12 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 04:35 PM
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I looked at Festool's options. I was ready to buy one. I had originally decided that I wanted a SawStop table saw instead of my Unisaw, and I wanted a right-tilting model, so I went to my local Woodcraft to buy one. While there - I saw the Festool tracksaw, and that put everything on hold.

I decided to look into tracksaws a bit further and do more research. While I love the idea of a track-guided tool, where the wood is stationary and both hands are on the tool, the plunge saws seemed a little awkward to use. I've used a standard circ saw on a shop-made guide-board for years, but wasn't really happy with the approach.

After a lot of research, I chose Eurekazone's option. For what I do, the fact that I can achieve cabinet-quality cuts with a commodity-priced saw and blade was a huge selling point. I initially bought it to break down sheet stock, with the idea that I'd square things up and do finishing cuts on my Unisaw. I quickly found out that there was no need to cut things twice, the tracksaw is plenty accurate.

I'll be honest, this approach is probably not for everyone, as there is a little bit of assembly required, and the end user is expected to "figure things out". It is not unpack the box, plug it in, and go. This is the "DIY" section though...so that shouldn't be an issue.

For me, using a tracksaw has been a game-changer. I have a Unisaw with a nice aftermarket fence that I have owned for close to 15 years now. I think that I have turned it on once in the last year. In comparison, I use my tracksaw multiple times each week.

Whatever tracksaw option you choose - it is a better way to cut sheet stock, though I have used mine to cut far more than that. While I initially bought it to cut plywood, I've cut plastics, tile, and aluminum (sheet, extrusions, and 1" thick plate) on it so far. Just use the right blade and feed rate, clamp the track in place on the workpiece, and the saw will cut a straight line.
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post #13 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 04:36 PM
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Aah ...

That Dust Deputy is a nifty widget! I want one. I'll use it and my existing Shop Vac to add dust collection to my Festool setup.
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post #14 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 04:39 PM
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I have the dewalt model since I have a dewalt router. It's not quite as good as the festool but I have zero complaints. Shop vac works good as a dust collector with a little mod. I've found that its way more accurate than my cheaper table saw ($400). Setting up a table with scrap 4x8 sheet to cut on makes it a breeze to make multiple cuts in minutes.

I built a full size rack that matches my midatlantic in a couple of hours. It actually took longer to paint it than cut and assemble.

Great tool!
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post #15 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 05:11 PM
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If you decide to go green get the TS75 - more nuts and more depth

Note: I say that because I cut a lot of very, very hard/dense Australian hardwoods, the 55 isn't up to it. If just sheets the 55 is fine, but I still prefer the 75 for the power and multiple stacked sheet cutting

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post #16 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 05:18 PM
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I have the Makita track saw. I shopped around and found a refurbished unit on Amazon which saved me substantial bucks. It looks like new and functions perfectly. One advantage the Makita has over the Festool is that it has a lock lever that attaches it to the track for bevel cuts. It's also a little more powerful than the standard Festool , cheaper too. The main advantage of the Festool is that it's integrated into the whole Festool system.
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post #17 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 06:13 PM
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I have a eurekazone track system, and I like it a lot.

I do, however, sometimes think I might be happier with a track saw that keeps the same line for angle cuts. I can make angle cuts, bit they are less convenient to line up.

The dust deputy is totally worth it and works very well. I've filled my dust reservoir a few times already and haven't had to change my vac filter. The vac reservoir pretty much stays empty, and the filter stays clean. smile.gif

-Max
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post #18 of 174 Old 05-21-2013, 11:32 PM
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Hi Jon

I'm a wood working hack myself but I'm glad I bought the Festool bugger if I could make a straight cut without it smile.gif . One thing I found is your buying into a system ,I also bought the parallel cutting guides for those multiple long cut downs . Heres a couple of pic's of my projects bass bin's and a pair of Alpine SWR-12D4 tapped horns .






Saw blade selection is nice as well .

Cheers

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post #19 of 174 Old 05-22-2013, 06:54 AM
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I went with the Dewalt based on price and I liked the double-sided track, and that I could get a router adapter for cheap. All have served me well, and I have nothing but smiles. I get the impression that the Festool is a very premium product (it seems that their entire product line is quite clever, if pricey), but I also get the impression that you really reap maximum benefit if you fully subscribe to the Festool ecosystem of compatible tool systems. I'd say that ANY track saw will probably be a worthy buy, and the more you spend, the more you get. My table saw is getting pretty lonely lately.
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post #20 of 174 Old 06-03-2013, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post

Setting up a table with scrap 4x8 sheet to cut on makes it a breeze to make multiple cuts in minutes.

For cutting plywood sheets, I lay a sheet of 2" rigid foam insulation board on my tablesaw and its outfeed table. The plywood goes on top of the foam board. I set the depth of cut to go through the plywood and 1/4" or so into the foam board. Very convenient and easy to set up.

For cutting MDF, I flop the insulation board on the shop floor and do the same thing. MUCH easier than wrestling a heavy sheet of MDF up onto a cutting table. Also, some cuts are just easier to make when you can kneel over the workpiece.

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post #21 of 174 Old 06-05-2013, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

The more suction the vac generates, the better the dust collection will be. For most vacs, the biggest limitation on suction is a dirty or plugged filter. You can swap the existing filter for a new one and instantly improve the dust collection. The question then becomes, how can you keep the filter from getting dirty and plugged again? I use bags that fit inside the vac and act as a pre-filter to contain the vast majority of the dust and chips. It works quite well. The bags cost a few dollars and changing them out can be messy -- I take the vac outside when it's time to change the bag -- but for me, it's a cost-effective alternative to a high-dollar vac.

I may eventually add a Dust Deputy to my vac, which would let me eliminate the bags
s:

The dust deputy will catch larger particles, but the bag/filter is your only barrier between the fine particles and your lungs. Oneida's Dust Deputy won't eliminate the bag, but it will greatly reduce the number of changes required.

That said, I have a TS55, and various goodies including parallel guides, and the CT26 collector and Dust Deputy. My only regret is I should have purchased the Festool version of the DD that fits on top of the CT series dust collectors, instead of the "pail" version.

The saw is great for large cuts that are clumsy on a table saw, but set up is tedious for repetitive cuts, even with the parallel guides. This saw is a great addition for those who don't want a cabinet saw with a monster table in their shop/garage.

Edit: Relatively speaking, it's also the quietest circular saw I've ever used.
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post #22 of 174 Old 07-15-2013, 04:06 PM
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I am a finish carpenter/ cabinet maker so i use a lot of tools everyday.
i have a ts-55 and a bunch of other festool products. the ts-55 is by far the best tool purchase i have ever made. once you have it you will wonder how you ever managed with out it. if you can swing the cash you wont regret it.
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post #23 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 10:00 AM
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TS 55 REQ Plunge Mechanism Issues

"Festool has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada of a potential problem with the plunge mechanism on some TS 55 REQ Plunge-Cut Track Saws. While investigation is continuing, Festool, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), intends to recall affected units. If you have a TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Track Saw, please discontinue use immediately and call Festool directly at 1-855-784-9727. "

Just want to spread the word.

Edited link title for clarity.
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post #24 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 11:45 AM
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My brother has been in woodworking all his life and loves his Festool TS55. We recently used it when we built some horns. Nice little setup!
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post #25 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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I have a Festool TS 55. I use it all of the time. It works so well it is hard for me to picture that there could be something wrong with it.
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post #26 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 11:53 AM
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The TS-55REQ is their newest version, probably not the one you or I have.

Mike
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post #27 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face2 View Post

The TS-55REQ is their newest version, probably not the one you or I have.

Hum I have the REQ. Will give them a call and see what they say.
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post #28 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 12:16 PM
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As I understand it - this only applies to the TS 55 REQ. There is either an obvious issue with the saw hanging up on blade retract or there isn't a problem at all.

I've got no doubt that Festool will stand behind their product.

Just wanted to spread the word.
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post #29 of 174 Old 07-16-2013, 12:39 PM
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Aah ..

Mine is the older one. Good!
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post #30 of 174 Old 07-19-2013, 11:44 AM
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I have the new one (REQ) and called.

Didn't have any specific information on the issue beyond that something is wrong with the plunge function.

Their options:

1) UPS Label to return saw -> New saw + gift shipped back
2) UPS Label to return saw -> Upgrade to TS75 for free
3) UPS Label to return saw -> Full refund

Not bad.

Ti
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