Author Topic: Praise for the HK Saws  (Read 4098 times)

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Online ScotF

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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: 437
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: 5163
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

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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: 490
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

Offline Richard/RMW

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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: 133
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: 235
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

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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: 1563
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

Online ScotF

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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: 218
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: October 17, 2018, 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
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Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Online ScotF

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 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.

Offline Samo

  • Posts: 555
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2018, 12:51 PM »
I waited to purchase but have a large job coming up and took advantage of the promo.

Looking forward to working on my technique and using the plunge release lever as this guy does in the video cutting stringers.

Any advice or experience, tips?  Much appreciated.

 

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 490
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2018, 02:20 PM »
- Unlike my TS55 I find a bit of WD40 on the rail before use really helps it slide.
- If doing multiple repeat cuts, using the front handle stops RSI on your main hand.
- You don't have to release the plunge to slide the saw back like that guy does.
- The angle adjustment knob on the rail isn't a rocker despite looking like one, just undo the tightening knob and slide it up and down forgetting any kind of rocking action as that kind of force/twist stops it moving. Very unintuitive initially, very easy to move once you've stopped trying to 'rocker' it.

I got the 420 rail as my only one and am happy with the choice so far, for use with all sort of tasks. A particular project may persuade me to get the shorter or longer one one day, I can definitely appreciate the idea of a shorter 250 one for cutting timber stock (2x4 2x1 etc) as my 420 is a bit heavy and un-wielding for this beyond the occasional morning of cutting. If that's what someone is buying it for mainly, as an all day timber chop saw, I would def consider the shorter track!
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Samo

  • Posts: 555
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2018, 02:40 PM »
Ah!!!

Thanks, mrB. 

I have had some trouble moving the angle knob to the top, or up, on the rail and have been pulling the top tang out with my thumb and first finger.  It is a brand new rail and will try some lube.

Also, agree with your rail choice.  I saved a bit of time cutting three 2 x 4's at a time with the 420 rail.

Thanks very much, Sam

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 490
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2018, 03:05 PM »
Edit:  I'm tired and just repeating myself apparently :)
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Online ScotF

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2018, 01:06 AM »
I think the rip guide and short rail are two must-have accessories in my book. I really enjoy the short rail for 2x and 7-8 inch wide hardwood planks.

Offline tallgrass

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2018, 01:35 AM »
 Unlike my TS55 I find a bit of WD40 on the rail before use really helps it slide.

If you like that try their spray on dry lube, it comes in from their black can line. It is great, spay it on wait a little and then rub it off. slick as ice.  ;D

Offline gunnyr

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2018, 08:30 PM »
The HK series  saws are not just for framing! 

I used one to make the compound cuts to install these exposed beams. No way to put these things on a miter saw!  The HKC 55 allowed me to bring the tool to the work.  I used and HKC with a 48 tooth blade and made precise, repeatable compound finish cuts. 

Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|PRO 5 LTD|ETS 150/3|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Online ScotF

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2018, 08:58 PM »
Beautiful work, Jeff!! Thanks for sharing the pics!

Offline SoonerFan

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2018, 09:58 PM »
@gunnyr that is some terrific work you did.  Thanks for sharing the photo.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2018, 11:40 PM »
Nice stuff @gunnyr.........just curious the type of wood you’re using.

Offline gunnyr

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2018, 06:36 AM »
Nice stuff @gunnyr.........just curious the type of wood you’re using.

The beams were fabricated by an architectural millwork company.  They are three sided ash beams stained with what I would describe as a walnut/brown, top coated with a semi gloss poly.  It took three of us to get them up in place.  We used a template to make the initial cuts and then would need to fine tune a little.  Each piece made two or three trips up the scaffold. 

The result was quite impressive.  It’s nice to work on nice projects with great craftsmen!
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|PRO 5 LTD|ETS 150/3|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Offline Farming_Sawyer

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Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2018, 06:59 AM »
I love my HK. I spray Deep Creep in the 420 rail to keep it snappy. I use it almost every day. From bevel siding to interior trim, cutting out rotten flooring, framing and counter top installations. I bought the dust bag and use it every time I don't have my CT hooked to it. I bust bought the extra ts55 guard/fence to see if that helps with dust collection inside finished houses. On and off FS rails it works great and I'm already planning on getting a 670 rail to compliment the 420 as I have a few projects coming up requiring compound cuts on wider stock. Eventually I'll grab a ts75 as my dedicated track saw, but for right now im finding the hk the perfect balance and all-rounder.
CT 26E, RO125, sys-mft, sys-toolbox, a bunch of 30 year old tools I'm looking to replace.

Online ScotF

  • Posts: 2515
Re: Praise for the HK Saws
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2018, 05:21 PM »
I love my HK. I spray Deep Creep in the 420 rail to keep it snappy. I use it almost every day. From bevel siding to interior trim, cutting out rotten flooring, framing and counter top installations. I bought the dust bag and use it every time I don't have my CT hooked to it. I bust bought the extra ts55 guard/fence to see if that helps with dust collection inside finished houses. On and off FS rails it works great and I'm already planning on getting a 670 rail to compliment the 420 as I have a few projects coming up requiring compound cuts on wider stock. Eventually I'll grab a ts75 as my dedicated track saw, but for right now im finding the hk the perfect balance and all-rounder.
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