Festool TS55 plunge saw

Festool TS55 plunge saw

Roger Bisby gets to work with the Festool TS55 plunge saw.

We have looked at the TS55 Festool plunge saw a number of times in these pages. The company introduced the saw some years ago and it has spurned many imitations which, far from putting a dent in their sales, has grown the market for these saws.

They have constantly come up with innovations to keep them ahead of the competition so coming up with a cordless version TSC 55 was therefore a natural step.

When I first saw the two 18 volt batteries on this saw I thought it was a 36 volt machine but the batteries are wired in parallel which means it produces 18 volts but twice the run time of a single battery machine. You can run it with one battery while the other is on charge or you can run the two.

There are two chargers in the kit so you can charge both batteries together. There is a fuel gauge that gives you a snapshot of how much is left in each battery, so you can take one off to recharge while the other carries on. It is also possible to run lower voltage Festool batteries on this machine.

Festool 2

The two chargers undoubtedly add to the expense, and Festool has never been cheap, but for those who like this brand it seems not to make that much difference that they push the price up a bit.

I was going to do one of those tests where I run through strips of MDF until the batteries run out but I decided to get on with some actual work instead, because the real story here is not the runtime but the dust extraction.

Whenever you run a dust bag rather than an extractor and hose you can expect to lose a bit of dust around the blade but the design of this saw means that over 90% of the dust ends up in the bag. This does presuppose that you are cutting on a closed cut rather than having the blade running into fresh air beneath the cut.

If you set the blade depth precisely you can achieve this even without a back up board.

The saw cuts like a dream and has perfect depth stop settings. I am aware that this is a new blade and most saws straight out of the box are impressive but the blade is the same as the TS55, so you can run it with your existing guide rails.

Festool has made this saw compatible with corded versions in every respect but the mains supply. If you need to work without mains power or just want the freedom to work without a dust hose and power cord then the TSC is well worth a test drive.

For more information, visit www.festool.co.uk

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