Author Topic: hk 55 and why I bought it  (Read 6287 times)

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Offline backhoebb

  • Posts: 6
hk 55 and why I bought it
« on: December 09, 2016, 05:12 PM »

Hi all, first real post although I've been lurking for a while ;D
2 weeks ago I finally took the plunge, ordered a hk55 with fsk 420, 55" guide rail and a rip fence. also got the ct26 and am loving it. a little bit of background may be helpful here, i have all the big machines in the shop, cabinet saw, dewalt sliding scms, 2 bandsaws, lathe, planer and a bunch of other stuff, but unfortunately my shop is a 15x15 room which makes feeding large pieces of material through the machines very difficult. also with college on the horizon i can't take all my big machines but there no way I'm giving up woodwork.

              so far my impressions have been mixed, I like the saw for cuts on mid sized material, 6-12" wide. on narrower material it seems unbalanced and hard to control, also on the 55" track, on narrower material I've been a little underwelmed, that said, I recognize that is was designed for framing material and i love it for that, I could frame and do baseboard all day with this thing:) dust collection has also been a bit of a letdown, not as good as i would have hoped and has left me thinking maybe I would have been better of with a ts55.
I i do have a few questions however, has anyone used this on an mft and had better results? also, the rip fence is great, I don't understand why no one talks about it, I love that thing and it does a lot to make the track saw more of a table saw replacement 
festool collection: hk55,55" guide rail, fsk420 rail, rip fence, ct 26

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Online copcarcollector

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 05:34 PM »
has anyone used this on an mft and had better results? a

On the MFT, as a cross cut saw? Wondering how that would work, the HK saws don't retract the blade the way the TS (track saw) saws do, not sure the HK saw could be used as a cross cut saw on an MFT, without cutting through the table / aluminum extrusions too...

Thanks for your review and insights though, always helpful to hear from actual users

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 06:40 PM »
has anyone used this on an mft and had better results? a

On the MFT, as a cross cut saw? Wondering how that would work, the HK saws don't retract the blade the way the TS (track saw) saws do, not sure the HK saw could be used as a cross cut saw on an MFT, without cutting through the table / aluminum extrusions too...

Thanks for your review and insights though, always helpful to hear from actual users

The saw can be used.  You will need to set the depth of cut and remember that at the beginning and end of the cut the blade is hanging down there. 

Peter
Scraps to Smiles.  To be continued.....  Stay Tuned.

Online copcarcollector

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 06:45 PM »
The saw can be used.  You will need to set the depth of cut and remember that at the beginning and end of the cut the blade is hanging down there. 

Did not know that is could be used, never really thought about it for MFT use I guess. Thanks!

Offline backhoebb

  • Posts: 6
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 10:22 PM »
Anyone else have an uncomfortable experience running it on a ts track? I really want to love this big but just haven't got there yet, for field work this thing is amazing though, the versatility is incredible.
festool collection: hk55,55" guide rail, fsk420 rail, rip fence, ct 26

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 01:02 AM »


@Peter Halle, @backhoebb  and @copcarcollector

Just went down to the Untidy Shop to check this all out. Had previously only used my HK55 with FSK420 for a few days and at fixed depths before my eye problems re emerged *. So I investigated plunge cuts by dry runs with no power and on edge of bench with a 1400 rail.

Certainly something to watch out for here. As can be seen in the third image above, there is little effective guard protection when the plunge is released because the guard is resting on the rail. Fortunately our Aussie models have an automatic blade brake activated by the power switch. Still, who would deliberately stick a finger in there?!  [tongue] [eek]


As to why I bought it?



When my eye sight safely returns, looking fwd to using it again.[big grin]

_____________________________________
* Eye sight returning, see - http://festoolownersgroup.com/general-friendly-chat/hospital-technology/msg487862/#msg487862
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 03:51 AM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 10:44 AM »
Over time I came to be annoyed with the plunge spring on the TS55 and eventually sold my old Festool stuff and started using a Eurekazone rail with a normal Hitachi saw.  The HK addresses the issue and I've moved back over to Festool.  There's a button on the saw you press to plunge to depth or release the plunge.  I haven't used it enough to have operating the button become second nature, but I think it's a good design, and safe enough.   The major difference is the dust collection is not as good as the old Festool saws and there's no splinter guard on the right side of the blade... both relatively minor compromises but if I was working in furnished homes I might want the better dust collection of the TS plunge saws.
Mafell PSS-3000, Mafell-Hoffman DDS doweler, Festool HK , various vintage machinery.

Offline Chris Wong

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 11:02 AM »
The major difference is the dust collection is not as good as the old Festool saws and there's no splinter guard on the right side of the blade... both relatively minor compromises but if I was working in furnished homes I might want the better dust collection of the TS plunge saws.

What type of materials do you mainly cut? Do you notice a difference in cut quality between the TS and HK saws with the thinner blade?
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com

The thoughts and ideas expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of http://UltimateTools.ca.  But Dan does say "hello".

Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 11:17 AM »
I build cabinetry mostly.  I never found the TS to be a great substitute for a table saw though any track saw definitely has some virtues in making straight cuts.  I'm sure the cut with a thicker blade is nicer with the TS saws but I haven't used the HK enough to notice.  With a rail guide the cut quality is acceptable for the installation and carpentry type uses I bought the HK for.  I usually cut plywood and MDF, melamine not much.
Mafell PSS-3000, Mafell-Hoffman DDS doweler, Festool HK , various vintage machinery.

Offline Rip613

  • Posts: 10
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 05:19 PM »
I've had anHKC for a couple of weeks now and have used it for framing , flooring, a built in and a quick loft bed for my son. I vacillated between the TSC and the HKC mostly because my dealer and the roadshow guy advised me to expect 'construction quality cuts' . Thanks to the 30 day guarantee, I pulled the trigger on the HKC. I've used it on both the FS and FSK rails, with the stock blade, a 48t 2.2mm, and the 32t 1.8. With the exception of the dust collection, I'm absolutely satisfied with the saw. The plunge operation with the FS rails took some getting used to. But its second nature now, and I actually like the fact that once you plunge it's locked , works great. As far a cut quality, the stock blade is not great, but with the 48 and 32 it's equal to my TS55. Obviously the off cut side is not as good as the TS with a fresh anti-splinter quard, but unless you replace it every time you change the depth of cut, it doesn't help.

Here's a sample of the 'construction quality cut' , good  enough for government work, as my old boss was fond of saying
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 05:33 PM by Rip613 »

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2429
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 12:01 AM »



Looking at both my TS55 and HK55 side by side, it is quite apparent that one is for carpenters, the other for cabinet and final fix related work. Sure both saws can cross over and sure both will plunge.

The TS55 has more features to aid plunging, including start and end engraving marks [Images 2 & 4], fully retracting blade [Image 3], integrated riving knife and splinter guards [Image 4]. With the FSK rail, the HK55 offers the potential for efficient cross cuts, ripping and compound cuts. Does it replace a sliding compound? No, but it sure is lighter.

The synical might say that these saws are as much about Festool Marketing as engineering. Two saws when one might have been OK. On the Australian Festool site the TS55R is headlined as a plunge cut saw, the HK55 as a circular saw. Leaving aside Marketing, could Festool have in reality designed and engineered 'a saw for all seasons'?

As discussed by others here, many will choose only one. On balance is the HK55 more versatile?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 12:12 AM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline backhoebb

  • Posts: 6
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 11:02 AM »
I would say the hk55 is more versatile and feels more powerfully. Although after using i wish i had got the ts55 instead. oh well, ill get a ts sooner or later. The saw is usable on a ts rail, but the rail really needs to be clamped down so that the rail won't move when you plunge the saw. I'm hoping to get a domino of1400 and ts55 in their future. got to get the truck up to snuff first though
regards
billybob
 
festool collection: hk55,55" guide rail, fsk420 rail, rip fence, ct 26

Offline backhoebb

  • Posts: 6
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2016, 05:49 PM »
Ok, 1 week update on the hk55
-on the fsk rail:
    on the crosscut or "fsk" rail the saw is great. its fast and accurate, although I often wish the dust collection was more effective. tilting the saw over has problems though, when beveling it very much wants to tip and i find it hard to control, might be user error but I feel that that is the on big flail of these captured rail saws.
My other gripe with the saw is cutting parts that are shorter than the distance between the moveable and fixed stop, If both where pins you could make a simple wood fence but because of funny shaped fixed guide stop  this is not a possibility.

-on the fs guid rail:
on the fs guid rail I've found it to be marginal at best, the rail really needs to be clamped down or it moves when you plunge the saw. with the rail clamped the cut quality is great though and it cuts very fast, I hope to get a mft3 soon and try it on the mft

-the rip fence! this thing is great for taking narrow strips of a wide board, not so great for ripping anything smaller than 4" total as it is hard to secure the material and the saw doesn't have enough to ride on.  the power of the saw really shows though, I was ripping 1/4" strips of a 12" wide piece of 8/4 mahogany and it powers through it with no problem .

final thoughts:
overall for the work i do and given that I have a 12" scms I wish I had got the ts55.
a ts 55, mft, and domino are in my future :)
festool collection: hk55,55" guide rail, fsk420 rail, rip fence, ct 26

Offline Rip613

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2016, 09:43 PM »
I'm curious with your problems with the TS rails moving. Are you pushing to raise the blade guard as you plunge? I've not experienced any movement. I did a bunch of rips today, some with a 15* bevel.

Offline Holmz

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 09:47 AM »
...
final thoughts:
overall for the work i do and given that I have a 12" scms I wish I had got the ts55.
a ts 55, mft, and domino are in my future :)

One brilliant feature of the Festool marketing is the 30 return.
It probably gets more people taking and chance and keeping a tool, than not, so it works out in Festool's overall favour to offer that option. We are all sort of paying for that return policy, as well as the service and warranty, in the price... and it is not like it is uncommon for these sorts of returns to happen.
Basically it is a premium tool, a premium price, which covers a premium service and return policy... And one of the reasons why they have a loyal following.

If you think you end up with both, then it does not matter a lot... Otherwise you could return it and get the TS55, if that is what you really want within the 30 days.
I ain't no mathematician but i have some negative and positive screwdrivers
I ain't no pilot but i have some planes.
I ain't no sucker but i have a vacuum.
And I has me some saws, and some sandpapers.

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 10:08 PM »
For the first time, today I used my HK55 attached to the CT22. It's hot here so decided to make a laminated bearer from 90X45mm MP10 in the shop, rather than outside.  First use of the saw in the shop. Nice not to be covered in saw dust.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 10:14 PM by Untidy Shop »
If you don't like Signatures, just go to Look and Layout and tick No Signatures.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Offline SHJ NH

  • Posts: 24
Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2017, 08:56 AM »
Dust extraction is not a best thing on the HK55, with the TS55 much better.

In a other topic:
I love mine. I use the same dust guard that I use on the TS-55, dust collection is a heap better. Only problem is one of the clamps needs a few seconds on a bench grinder to fit correctly. That one has me baffled.
HK 55 • FSK 250 • FS1400/2 (2x) • Carvex PS 420 • DTS 400 • RTS 400 • CTL SYS • CTL 26 • SYS CART (2x)

Offline PreferrablyWood

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Re: hk 55 and why I bought it
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 05:07 PM »
Dust collect can be improved with HK saws if you use this guide Festool ABSA-TS 55.
850 HL E Planer rustic head standard head angle fence, MFS 400x2, MFS extensions MFS VB 700 x 1 MFS VB 1000 x 2 . CMS GE, sliding fence, VB and 2x VL extension tables, OF 2200, Accessory Set ZS OF 2200 M,36mm 5m antistatik hose, CMS OF+ CMS TS 75 insert modules. SYS-MFT Fixing-Set,  3.5m sleeved hose, Syslite duo, Sys 4 sort 3 x3, Sys Roll, Sys 1 Box x2 , classic Sys 3-Sort 4, classic Sys 3 Sort 6 x2, Sys Cart x3 Systainer 4 x2  as toolbox with selfmade inserts Systainer 5 as toolbox with insert.
Festool 18V HKC 55 Li 5.2 EB Plus FSK 420,FSK 250, Extra blade for the HKC 55 W32.TI 15, CXS 2.6 Ah version, RO 90 DX, PDC 18/4 plus DC UNI FF depth stop chuck,AD 3/8 square socket holder FF chuck, Centrotec Bits; -->Bit holder and bit selection BHS 65 CE TL 24x, ,Bradpoint DB WOOD CE SET ,Zobo (Forstner) D 15-35 CE-Zobo SET ,Masonary/stone bits DB STONE CE Set,Extender BV 150 CE, Countersink QLS D2-8 CE Hook turner HD D18, end centrotec<--.  TS 75 EBQ, PSC 420, OF 1010, RS 300 EQ, CTL Midi, MFT 3, Parf dogs x2pair +Bench dogs x2pair, FS 1080, FS 1900 .  will get Domino DF 700 XL,  CMS insert BS 120 Belt sander.