Author Topic: Praise for the HK Saws  (Read 1354 times)

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Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2489
Praise for the HK Saws
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:35 AM »
OK - the depth of cut on a 45 is an oversight. Dust collection is not as good as the plunge saws. But, with those limitations said - I cannot say enough about these saws. I have both cordless and corded and they have become my dream team of saws to use processing solid wood. I think that the HKC is the best cross-cutting and the HK is great ripping, on and off the track. I have found it to have plenty of power for all kinds of hardwood, including 8/4. The thin kerf blade helps. It takes a little time to get used to putting it on and off a normal guide rail, but a little practice makes it second nature. The plunge takes a little getting used to, but again, a few cuts and I found it to become intuitive.

Anyone else really enjoy their HK or HKC saws?

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Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 432
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 08:51 AM »
Saying that the 45 degree issue is an oversight means that they did not do any testing for the US market. That level of arrogance or incompetence is hard to believe from Festool.

I will stick with my theory that it was a deal with Mafell to not have a 165 mm blade. Unless of course, it is demonstrated that a 165 mm blade will not work on the HK55. If a 165 mm blade works and takes care of that little nib on the 45 degree cut, then why hasn't Festool introduced a 165 mm blade?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4940
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 12:10 PM »
I enjoy using the HKC a lot. Lately I've been using it on a FS rail to cut cement board using a CMT diamond blade. Using it outside with just the dust bag, I'm impressed how well it collects dust even with the open style blade guard.  [smile]

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1466
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 12:56 PM »
Saying that the 45 degree issue is an oversight means that they did not do any testing for the US market. That level of arrogance or incompetence is hard to believe from Festool.
No, it's not hard to believe. Not the first time this is happening.

I will stick with my theory that it was a deal with Mafell to not have a 165 mm blade.
I heard this before, but find such conspiracy highly unlikely. They just stick with 160 mm blades they always had, that's all. TS55 won't cut 2x4 at 45 deg either. Is that also a deal with Mafell?
I'll stick with Occam's razor principle here.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 02:45 PM by Svar »

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 459
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 02:04 PM »
Love my HKC.  Purchased in part as I just liked the idea of a cordless saw that could go on the rails. But once I grabbed the FSK rail too It became an invaluable part of my workshop :)

If forced to just have one I'd choose the TS55, but the greater versatility of the HKC would be sorely missed. (like one again having a circular saw that can produce good freehand results :)
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Online Richard/RMW

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  • Posts: 1743
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 03:43 PM »
I grabbed the HKC during the trade-up promotion along with the PDC and am now descending into 5ah cordless Festool nirvana.

The original plan was to use it on the standard FS rails & I thought I'd goofed until I figured out the plunge feature. Guard retract is a mite clumsy but I'm getting used to it & I love how the saw cuts. Also using it with just the dust bag and collection is good enough. I got excellent cuts on prefinished maple ply for some shelves that were later edge-banded.

I'll probably grab the short FSK rail soon for crosscutting.

RMW

 
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 122
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 04:30 PM »
I am very pleased with my HK, as a hobbyist/weekend warrior I couldn't really justify a saw that can only be used on a track, so bought the HK. My only small regret is not going cordless, but I have a cordless DeWalt that can fill that need, albeit without the Festool's accuracy.

The bundled FSK 420 rail is a little ungainly for short cuts, it would be nice to have a choice of the 420 or 250 rail with bundled pricing.


Offline cgraham

  • Posts: 58
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 04:37 PM »
Love the hk saw. Have used it on composite decking and lots of azek. Just this week used it to crosscut 500 feet of azek on a new house build. Love the fact that you take the saw to the material and not the material to the saw, when  dealing with 18 ft lengths . Also the vinyl dust that sticks to everything is about 90% contained in that little baggie thing

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 175
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 05:45 PM »
I sold my TS55 and rails preceding a move and didn't need a track saw for awhile.  I bought an EZ-smart setup used and liked that, but the grass is always greener and I sold that to get an HK.   For the stuff I mostly do with a circular I'm not obsessed with dust collection and using the EZ-smart I found I preferred not having to plunge the saw.  That's what I mostly like about the HK.

I like the crosscut rail but I found I can't just jam it up against a piece of wood and get a square cut.   Maybe some users get that kind of speed down but for precision I find it pays to draw a square line or check the rail against a square before cutting.

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 953
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 06:58 PM »
isn't there an aftermarket blade that will extend depth of cut? probably wrong kerf which would throw off the inter-rail operability
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1466
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 07:33 PM »
isn't there an aftermarket blade that will extend depth of cut? probably wrong kerf which would throw off the inter-rail operability
Yes, there is a thread on that:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/hk-55-(-or-ts-55-)-ability-to-use-165-mm-blades/msg481913/#msg481913

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2489
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 08:49 PM »
isn't there an aftermarket blade that will extend depth of cut? probably wrong kerf which would throw off the inter-rail operability
Yes, there is a thread on that:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/hk-55-(-or-ts-55-)-ability-to-use-165-mm-blades/msg481913/#msg481913

You can buy DeWalt and also Mafell has thin-kerf 1.8mm blades that are 165mm. For me it is not a huge deal as I rarely need to cut 2X on a 4 degree angle and if I do, I actually have a big Mafell KSS80 - but that saw, as awesome as it is, weighs a lot and it tiring to swing all day long. The HK and HKC are very lightweight and easy to maneuver. the 160mm blades are good for most cuts I need to make. I really like the rip fence you can attach for off-rails rips - allows consistent strips around 9/16th of an inch wide. An auxiliary wooden fence screwed to the aluminum would allow thinner strips. I might get the cover plate and see if that dramatically helps DC.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 164
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 11:21 AM »
Saying that the 45 degree issue is an oversight means that they did not do any testing for the US market. That level of arrogance or incompetence is hard to believe from Festool.

I will stick with my theory that it was a deal with Mafell to not have a 165 mm blade. Unless of course, it is demonstrated that a 165 mm blade will not work on the HK55. If a 165 mm blade works and takes care of that little nib on the 45 degree cut, then why hasn't Festool introduced a 165 mm blade?

I'm not sure I follow the "oversight" train of thought.  Unless I'm mistaken, 2x4s are the same thicknesses in Europe as  N. America (metric vs imperial don't matter in this case).  So wouldn't European lumber dicers be in the same situation?

I would think this is much more simply, they have a TS 55 saw and thus a lot of their infrastructure, design and controls of the saws would be easy to just carry over to the HK, even if the kerf is changed.   I think there would be more of a case for them to make new versions of both saws with slightly bigger blades.  To do that though, your saw will start getting bigger and heavier in a hurry.

Additionally, how many 45s like that are people making?  Thats not something that comes up in framing.  Maybe something in a complex hip roof, but by that point you are into compound cuts and most likely just using a compound miter box at that point.  Maybe an end wall for a 12:12 roof, but again, how many of those are folks doing?  Maybe with some trim boards going around corners or lap joints, but then you are working with 5/4 material.

Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 02:59 PM »
I have used the HKC55 as well as the Mafell KSS50 a lot during this year/season and they are both awesome.

I initially thought the lack of 45 degree for 2X was a bit of a let down but the very few times I have had to do it I did get by with finishing off with a japanese saw. A lot of the work was done on 2x2 and in those cases I could just "mitre the bevel" if you get what I mean.

I haven't tried the HK (corded) and only worked with the short rail FSK250 which I think is perfect for what I do. (I have a few rails available too) but my main gripe is that it could have some more power and that the off cuts are generally not that smooth. But overall I think the HKC is one of the best things that have come out of Festools factory for a while - even considering it is a clone of the Mafell KSS concept I think Festool did their part in carrying it over with finesse.

In comparison to the Mafell the Mafell is better built, has a little more power and the batteries (I use Metabo LiHD) lasts longer for sure but I find the battery life on Festool (5,2 and 6,2) more than adequate when running a pair of batteries.

Good times!
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2489
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #14 on: Today at 01:57 AM »
Yeah. The HK is great at crosscut and stock 4/4 or thinner on rips. The corded has powered through everything no problem. The thin kerf blades are good. I have a Mafell KSS80 for the big stuff, but I am very happy with both version of HK for a smaller, lighter weight saw. The rip guide is a great attachment and I have ripped dozens of boards perfectly parallel and exact width using it. Much easier than using a rail and the accuracy has been welcome.

I agree that the Mafell are better built in many areas and have some of fine points dialed in...like the screws to hold their version of the edge guide and having scales to get exact widths without having to measure. But, the price is double Festool or more and the Festool is really good, in my opinion. FT also has refinements like the shoe and adjusting slop when using the guide rail. Also, the short track is nice for most cuts. The dust bsg is also not an afterthought.