- 14 Apr 2021
- Reaction score
My point is that manufacturers are relying on gimmicks to sell their products in the form of thin kerf blades.. thinner blades= Quicker cuts = bad cuts = slower progress & expensive mistakes.
TBH I think thinner blades are the necessary evil which stems from the switch to cordless tools and as you rightly surmise are most often used to break down man made boards. A case in point is the Makita cordless plunge/rail saw (DSP600/DSP601) which comes with an ultra thin kerf blade (the Eficut) that cuts sheet stock beautifully when new - but it blunts relatively quickly (as do all thin kerf blades IMHO) and then it'll start to flex in the cut just the same as your saw does on hardwood. My solution has been to use the deWalt 165 x 20mm 42t blades that they sell for their cordless plunger as a general blade on my DSP600, but I don't really do much hardwood out on site (but plenty of hardwood ply).I begrudge spending a ton and still having to do 2-3 times the work using a blade that is supposedly more efficient.
My thoughts entirely.I have always thought tracksaws were aimed at sheet goods and more specifically at man made rather than real wood.
I think that Festool (and others) recognised the problems of using plunge/track saws on solid materials many years ago, as evidenced by the range of blades offered in "standard" kerf (2.2mm for the older Festool corded tools - they sell purpose made 12 tooth ripping blade and a 28 tooth cross cut blade both of which perform better than the standard 48 tooth blades on hardwoods)
Well, the older Festool blades should just fit. What "elegant feature" is using a blade 5mm too small going to mess up?I just wish it was easier to source thicker guage blades for the mt55. I feel like it’s an easy problem to fix but every blade manufacturer I have bought from has succumbed to the thinner is better gimmick.
Failing that, another supplier of 165 x 20mm blades is Bosch (who incidentally own Freud) and they certainly do 2.5 or 2.6mm kerf blades in 165 x 20mm like this example which are stiffer than the 2.2mm Festool blades. AFAIK both Atkinson-Walker and Leitz are suppliers of 165 x 20mm blades in a thicker kerf.
At one time for certain work on site, like cutting-out parquet flooring neatly or trimming hardwood doors, I used to use 2.5/2.6mm kerf 160 x 20mm Bosch blades from eBay partly because they were stiffer but also because they were cheap (and who wants to wreck expensive new blades?). The main downside is that the thicker kerf means you will need to swap the anti-splinter strip on the rails when you revert to OEM blades (on a Festool or Makita rail you just unpeel the anti-splinter strip, move it across a few millimetres, restick it and trim it). BTW these thicker kerf blades won't work that well with cordless tools as they hammer the batteries (tried it, not good)
One other thing is that when I've been faced with tasks like cutting down solid hardwood "bank" doors I have resorted to using a bigger, more powerful saw - my Festool TS75. They use a 210mm blade with a 2.4mm kerf and are less likely to suffer blade wander when dealing with 60 to 70mm thick hardwood doors
I think I'd agree, but get a blade with a lower tooth count like the Panther 12t (for ripping) and that problem will be much reduced; for crosscut take a look at the 28t GP blade instead of the 48t blade which is designed for sheet materialsIf I had a complaint on the TS55 it is that the motor is a little underpowered. It might be because I was trying to rip oak at full depth with the general purpose blade as I haven't got a 20T or lower blade.