Festool HK55 worth it for a newbie Circular saw??


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Having designed circular saws and tested about 50, I can promise you that 95% of the cut quality is down to the blade and the rubber strip on your track.. Nothing else comes into contact with the wood... (excluding something where the blade has more run-out than a drag-along cart)

I promise that if you stick a cheap blade on your festool with 12 teeth and something like a Sweedex blade on the Evolution with 90T, I can promise you that I will get a cleaner cut with the evolution.

What you are paying for is how it feels to use the saw, the balance of the saw, the shape of the handle and the over moulded rubber on the touch points, The sound it makes when you turn it on.. Quality control and factory setup will be better for a tool that costs £500. You might find you have to spend 30 minutes setting the blade to 90 degrees and adjusting the base so the blade runs parallel to the track...

Safety-wise, I'm not convinced having the blade stop slightly quicker or an anti-kickback feature on the track is going to stop me doing something stupid. I personally hated the anti-kick back feature where it stops the saw sliding backwards on the track. I often slide the saw forwards and backwards when setting up the cut. (with the saw off)
Good blades have always been the thing to aim for. More teeth, better the cut finish. I'm not sure about the anti kickback on this Erbauer plunge saw yet...

It's only over the past 3~4 years I've become aware of "plunge saws" or "tracksaws"... with acquainting myself with woodworking videos on YouTube. My last place of work gave me little opportunity to spend time on woodworking as a pastime plus other 'life requirements' took time away. My workshop - such as was at the time - became a dumping area after my mother passed and family stuff needed a 'store' place.

That said, previous to that, a big part of my working life was spent around selling tools of various types working in builders merchants to trade and DIYers. Also working in a hardwood timber merchant's store selling numerous hardwood, softwood and exotics as well as power tools (lathes, saws: radial arm, circular, bandsaw, routers, drills, lathes...) hand tools to trade (cabinet makers etc.,) and DIY/Craftspeople... It also involved helping out the machinist in the workshop with customers machining requirements. I learned a great deal about machine safety there - especially taking the old spindle moulder into account. Trade shows also twice a year... Back then a combination of track and saw wasn't known of unless you made your own straight edge up. I also spent time using a spindle moulder in a small pine furniture factory - training another person to do the job - and then being laid off because he was paid less than I was. Not his fault but... Five months later the guy I'd trained phoned me up to say the owner had done a bunk over a weekend, taking ALL the machines away, and the workers only found out when they went to work on the Monday... Not that that's got much if anything to do with this conversation 🙃😉.

I guess I'm trying to say I've learned over the past years of being around power tools to be very wary of them.

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