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The New Festool FS-SYS/2 Plunge Saw - Should I buy?

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Benchwayze

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Hi folks,

I need a better means of ripping down sheets to manageable sizes. At the moment I use home made cutting guides, cramps, and an Elu circular saw on trestles outside. Okay, but the ideal would be a top-end tablesaw with good table area. I just don't have space for one; not even the compact Bosch, which seems a serious piece of kit for its size. Thus, I am considering a track-saw or plunge saw. (If nothing else, I wouldn't have to store cumbersome MDF cutting guides, in the rafters! ) And I've seen this... :D

http://www.axminster.co.uk/festool-fest ... =ts55intro

With the Bosch table saw at over £500.00, the Festool isn't a ridiculous price, if it is as good as cracked-up.
If I buy one, it will be used only for sheet work, (It's designed for this I'd guess! :mrgreen: ) and I know there are other things a tablesaw can do. But I do have an SCMS, and enough other ways to cut joints, rebates, grooves etc. All things a tablesaw can cope with of course. For cross-cutting extra wide rough-sawn planks, I use a 'speed square' and the circular saw.

So, in my case, I think this new Festool saw would obviate the need for a table-saw, and would take up a lot less space. The way it's described, this saw is the ultimate, but then Festool would say that wouldn't they? So are they as good as cracked up? Any thoughts on that would be welcomed.

I know Festool have a 'cult' following, but at the moment I have no 'bright-green' tools at all. I'm not anti Festool except on pricing, so I'm trying to keep off the slope. Lately though I've been thinking about another large router and also giving the Domino the once over, on the 'Tube'. That slope is perilously close. :shock: I am just trying to make sure I don't leave anything for the Treasury! :lol:

If this seems a rambling post, my apologies! :mrgreen:

Thanks in Anticipation.

:D
 

9fingers

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I can't really see this offers anything much over a decent saw board and your existing saw for sheet preparation.
The guide rail would have to be joined each time for an 8' cut or stored in one piece and be about the same size as a saw board.
Unless you have 500 notes burning a hole in your pocket that is?
I'm sure the green machine is a very competent product but overkill for rough sawing IMHO
Bob
 

tomatwark

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John

Can't advise on the Festool.

But I have a Dewalt track saw I bought to do this until I bought the panel saw I now have.

It did the job excellently, the only thing I wish I had bought when I got it was a 2.5m track for ripping sheets down the length, I bought a 1.5m track as I already had a .9m one and a jointing piece.

This worked but would have been easier with a full length one.

Tom
 

cambournepete

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I have the original version and think that for the money it's unbeatable for cutting sheet materials to size.
I tried home-made tracks and they just didn't work for me.

I'd seriously suggest getting a 2700mm rail as well for long cuts. Joining 2 rails properly can be irksome to get right. The 2700mm gives you just enough room at the start and end of the cut.

It can be a bit of a slope though :)
 

Benchwayze

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Thanks for the replies friends.

Right... At the moment I usually get 8 x 4 sheets cut into 8 x 2s, 4 x 2s or 4 x 4s at the timber yard. I can just get a 4 x 4 in my boot, or propped up behind the front seats. The 8 x 2s are okay on my roof bars, for the 5 minute journey up the road! (I have successfully carried 6 x 4s from Romsey to Brum. Eight of them if I recall Bob! :D )

Back to the Festool.. I am with you Bob, up to a point, but I don't want this saw just for cutting down to approximate sizes, which I would then need to take to a table-saw for accurate dimensioning. (The sides of a kitchen cupboard for example). I am doing that at the moment, with my home made guides and the Triton Workcentre. Unfortunately, in table-saw mode, that needs constant fiddling to get the blade parallel with the guide slots on the table. So it's not exactly the D-Bs. So, I am looking at the Festool as an accurate means of cutting out components, on trestles and 2 x 2 battens, and I was wondering if the accuracy is good enough.

The widest cuts I envisage are from 4 foot wide sheets, and those only occasionally. I don't really have the scope to make things much bigger. If I do make long or wide pieces, then where feasible, I have to design them in modular sections. Okay, with an oak dining table, I will re-arrange my shop temporarily to cope. (That is, I move the planer out the way, or nearer the doors to give me space to feed on and off!) But cabinets can always be modular. So the Festool will be taking the place of a big table-saw. Just wondered if it's up to the job.

Seems it might not be quite up to that, so I'll have to think again; or take a cutting list to the yard, and hope the guy on the saw is better than me; which is highly likely of course! :mrgreen:
Thanks chaps.
I am obliged.
:D
 

Blister

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I have not seen or used a system like this

And I only have one Festool machine

But my question is this

What stops the rail moving on the work piece / sheet material ? if it slides one little bit its all over ?
 

9fingers

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Blister":1tey31gy said:
I have not seen or used a system like this

And I only have one Festool machine

But my question is this

What stops the rail moving on the work piece / sheet material ? if it slides one little bit its all over ?
Clamps that fit to the underside of the rail allowing the saw to pass over the top.

hth

Bob
 

Benchwayze

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Blister":a0f5rlhy said:
What stops the rail moving on the work piece / sheet material ? if it slides one little bit its all over ?
I thought about this Blister, but Bob has just cleared it up! :lol: :lol:
 

Paul Chapman

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Blister":2bmvhj53 said:
What stops the rail moving on the work piece / sheet material ? if it slides one little bit its all over ?
They sell clamps specifically for the rails so you can clamp them down and be sure they won't move.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Benchwayze

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I remember buying an Aluminium 'Clamp-guide' some years ago. I thought it was the answer I'd been seeking, but no matter how tight I applied the lever clamps, the darned thing kept slipping. Added to this was the flex in the middle of the 48" ally box section. I gave it away eventually, and made do with a 9" wide MDF strip and Bessey one-hand cramps.

But as I said, I am now looking for something to use as an accurate cross-cutter on wide boards. :)
 

custard

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9fingers":1xi5v8t8 said:
Blister":1xi5v8t8 said:
I have not seen or used a system like this

And I only have one Festool machine

But my question is this

What stops the rail moving on the work piece / sheet material ? if it slides one little bit its all over ?
Clamps that fit to the underside of the rail allowing the saw to pass over the top.

hth

Bob
Plus, on the Festool rail at least, there are (replaceable) rubber strips on the underside of the rail that provide a terrific friction grip. In fact I'll often rough down sheet material by just laying the rail on the sheet without any clamps. Add a clamp at each end and it really is secure across an eight foot panel. I've been using plunge saws for years, most recently Festool, in my view I don't think the Festool is that much better than my old Elu, but what really is different, and hugely better, is the current generation of track systems. If I were buying a new plunge saw my priorities would be, 1. get the best track, 2. get a saw that fits the track!
 

Paul Chapman

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Benchwayze":2fhzqbj8 said:
I remember buying an Aluminium 'Clamp-guide' some years ago. I thought it was the answer I'd been seeking, but no matter how tight I applied the lever clamps, the darned thing kept slipping. Added to this was the flex in the middle of the 48" ally box section. I gave it away eventually, and made do with a 9" wide MDF strip and Bessey one-hand cramps.
I've not used the Festool, John, but I have a small Mafell with the flexible rail. Based on my experience with that, I'd say that good rail saws are very accurate and far more accurate than any home-made guide.

Why not get along to some shows where you can try them out? I'm sure you'll find that they will do exactly what you want.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Londoner100

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The TS55 was my first Festool. I used to have a cheap table saw that was never accurate and took up too much space in the garage, the Festool was without doubt the best tool I have purchased and gets used for everything from ripping down sheet material to crosscutting timber to length. The finish on all timbers is brilliant and chip free and saves me from a lot of finishing work. I am not a professional but the tool makes me feel like one whenever I use it.

Ian
 

superunknown

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Just buy it, you won't regret it. I use mine all time and the quality of cut is superb. I have cut literately tons of sheet material up with mine now and never needed the clamp set. The rubber strips underneath are very good and work great.
 

Claud1

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The best saw of its type you can buy in my opinion, but as said before get the one piece guide rail for ease of use.

Claud1
 

Henning

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I can only echo the thoughts of the owners above. Absolutely fantastic saw, and one which has made my lack of proper tablesaw much less painful.
I still don't think it can fully replace a panel saw, but that's only because it takes a moment longer to mark both sides and then cut as opposed to setting the fence once.
All in all i am VERY happy with my TS55 and considering they added all improvements which i feel is needed on the new one, it's probably going to be excellent. It does take a little getting used to but then you will be able to produce some fantastic results IMHO.
 

Shrubby

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John have you looked for old Elu rails for your saw .I worked with a maker who used Elu saws and routers on a rail system . They were odd job tools though, most work done on the table saw
Matt
 

Bremner

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I've never used the Festool but I have a DeWalt track saw and for ripping down 8'x4' sheets theres nothing better, just line the track up with your cut line and run the saw, no measuring back from the base to the blade like on circular saws, easy peasy and accurate.
 

cambournepete

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Benchwayze":2ecx998u said:
But as I said, I am now looking for something to use as an accurate cross-cutter on wide boards. :)
I'm sure the Festool will do that for you.
As you're in Brum, why not pop over to Axminster in Nuneaton to see their Festool World?
Then you can have a play with the saw.
They've even got 25% off accessories at the moment :)
 

Benchwayze

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cambournepete":1ao6ettz said:
Benchwayze":1ao6ettz said:
But as I said, I am now looking for something to use as an accurate cross-cutter on wide boards. :)
I'm sure the Festool will do that for you.
As you're in Brum, why not pop over to Axminster in Nuneaton to see their Festool World?
Then you can have a play with the saw.
They've even got 25% off accessories at the moment :)
Thanks Pete.

Funny you should suggest that. I was looking at Festool World last night, with that thought in mind. I know Nuneaton well enough too, although I ain't not been to Axy. NP. Got a Garmin! So its a 'Good Idea, Son!'. I think I better leave the card at home though. I might come back with a new Domino as well. :lol: :lol:
Thanks again.
 
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