Review: Festool Circular Saw

Review: Festool Circular Saw

Our favourite carpenter Tirbhavan ‘Tibby’ Singh Chodha has an exclusive lead on Festool’s HKC 55 Cordless Portable Circular Saw.

One problem we face on a daily basis is setting up power tools without the power leads stretching from one side of the site to the other and creating trip hazards.

However to stop you from falling foul and breaching health and safety rules, Festool has introduced its HKC Cordless Portable Circular Saw to its ever-expanding range of cordless power tools.

I completed a bespoke project in which I designed and built a timber canopy outside a bar. It was a complex job as there were a lot of large lumbers that had to be cut to size individually. This meant constant measuring and cutting, as no two pieces were the same size.

I would have set up Festool’s Kapex Sliding Compound Mitre Saw, but this would mean constantly sliding up and down the scaffold ladders. Therefore this was the perfect opportunity for Festool’s HKC to show me how portable it really is.

Powered by a single 18V 5.2Ah battery the HKC is very light and compact, making it very comfortable to use. More importantly this Lithium–ion battery is combined with a Brushless EC-TEC motor running at 4500rpm, making it very powerful.

However this very clever technology only provides enough energy for the particular work being done, thus making it more efficient and saving energy to get more out of each battery charge.

It has a cutting depth of up to 55mm which can quickly be adjusted using one lever to set the desired depth on a clearly visible scale.

It’s clear to see that everything’s thought through from functionality to safety. For example, there’s a handle to hinge back the protective cover making plunge cuts, ensuring your hands remain a safe distance from the saw blade.

Another fitting feature is the integrated riving knife inside the spring mounted hinged cover, making it possible to make plunge cuts in a safe way.

The next simple trick is in the magic of the company’s FastFix system which cuts out the struggle of changing blades and allows you to perform it single-handedly in a matter of seconds.

The angle of the blade can be adjusted with the central clamping mechanism form 0o to 50o. Free-hand cuts can be made precisely with the continuous indicator and the viewing window which provides a good view of the scribe mark.

However what’s unique about the HKC is that it’s not just a saw, but a mitre saw system. This is because it attaches to Festool’s FSK Cross Cutting Guide Rails.

Combined, this allows you to quickly and efficiently make accurate cuts every time. These guide rails are available in various sizes FSK 250, FSK 420 and FSK 670, depending on the requirement of the task.

For example you may want to change them if you’re cutting roof battens compared to sawing wider boards. The guide rail also incorporates a stop system, which is a fixed bolt underneath the guide rail which enables you to adjust the cutting angle, from -60° to +60°.

All these angles are marked out on the guide. This stop system ensures you can repeatedly make accurate cuts of varying angles non-stop.

In addition, to keep you going there’s an integrated rubber spring on the guide rail that returns the saw to the start position once you’ve made the cut, ready for the next.

As well as this retract function, the guide rails incorporate many other features like the splinter guard for splinter-free cuts and adhesive cushion strips to protect the work piece surface from damaged by marks.

Festool’s HKC 55 Cordless Portable Circular Saw is certainly a mark above the rest. I can sincerely say that the HKC made everything twice as quick, from the setting up stage to cutting the joists, noggins, rafters and fasciae.

Its portability increased my productivity and all of its features and functionality made my project more pleasurable and satisfying to work on.

For more information on Tibby go to www.tibbysingh.com

For more information on Festool click here.

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