Festool Owners Group

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Other Tools & Accessories => Topic started by: Ajax on June 15, 2017, 10:38 AM

Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Ajax on June 15, 2017, 10:38 AM
I'm almost tapped out on my Festool purchases.  The only tool that I might consider buying in the future is the TS75.  I already have the TS55 and I would use the 75 for cutting thick hardwoods, although, with the Panther blade on the TS55 the need for a TS75 is less compelling.

Then I saw this from ToolNut
http://www.toolnut.com/dewalt-dcs520st1-60v-max-6-1-2-165mm-cordless-tracksaw-kit-w-59-rail.html
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Ajax on June 15, 2017, 10:43 AM
Love those Toughboxes too.  Kit comes with a cordless track saw, rail, charger, battery, and a Toughbox.

I have Systainers, Lboxxes, and Toughboxes.  Each has its pluses and minuses, but all are great storage solutions.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Ajax on June 15, 2017, 10:53 AM
I think if I didn't already have the TS55, getting the TS75 would be a no-brainer.  But what makes this Dewalt compelling is the cordless aspect.  Adds mobility with increased cut capacity at a lower price than the TS75.  What am I missing?
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Svar on June 15, 2017, 10:55 AM
What am I missing?
Cut capacity. It is 58mm versus 75mm in TS75.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Ajax on June 15, 2017, 11:14 AM
That's it.  My title should be TS55 Alternative.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: T. Ernsberger on June 15, 2017, 08:31 PM
The ts55 is a more refined tool.  The Dewalt has a very ackward plunge.  The only track saws that are worth looking at is the Festool or Mafell saws. 
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Bob D. on June 15, 2017, 10:36 PM
I've had my DeWalt track saw for a few years, and I never had a problem with the way the plunge action operates. I think the DeWalt saw (mine is corded but looks to be almost identical to this cordless version except for the power) is a good one but I don't like the rails nor the lack of accessories that are available from DeWalt and third parties to use with the saw.

The rails can be used to cut in either direction, but because of that there is only the one T-slot for the rail splice which makes for a not-so-secure connection and you have to always check that the rail sections are in line. The clamps which everyone seems to like are bulky and difficult to squeeze in the box with the saw. This box that comes with the cordless version looks to be larger so that may not be a problem. The bag for storing and transporting the rails has it's pros and cons too. I like that the bag zipper runs around on three sides so you can open it flat. The Festool bag does not. I like that the DeWalt bag has straps to hold each rail section and separates the two so they do not bang against each other in transit, the Festool bag has nothing inside. I dislike the pocket on the exterior of the DeWalt bag. You can't fit clamps in it as the opening is not big enough and its so deep that you can't put small things in there that you need like an hex wrench to tighten the rail splice. The clamping method is the same as Festool using a four setscrews which can leave dimples in the rail if over-tightened, not good. I like the pocket on the Festool bag as my TSO GRS16 PE fits in there nicely. If I could mash the two together and come out with the perfect bag that would be nice. But the bag is a minor thing overall I know.

I like that the DeWalt has a user-selectable anti-kickback feature, you can engage it or not but when its 'on' it works very well and does not hinder use of the saw in any way for me. The depth of cut is easy to set and accurate enough but I wish it had the micro-adjust that my TSC55 has so I could tweak it precisely when I need to.

Dust collection is OK on the DeWalt, but the TSC55 does much better even with the bag than the DeWalt does when connected to my CT36 or another vac. The DeWalt has the same stability issue as the Festool when making bevel cuts, you have to keep a hold on the saw. I would like to see both saws incorporate a feature that would secure the saw on the track.

So not ever having used this new DeWalt cordless saw I don't know how it compares to my DWS520CK but as I said they look very similar in features, power would be the only variable I can see and that is something I have never had a problem with on my corded saw, but I have not put it to the test really either. Best I have done is ripped some seasoned 6/4 cherry and it had no problem with that.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Dovetail65 on June 16, 2017, 12:57 AM
The ts55 is a more refined tool.  The Dewalt has a very ackward plunge.  The only track saws that are worth looking at is the Festool or Mafell saws. 

That's outrageous, the Makita is still better than even the newest TS 55...

And the DeWalt plunge is different, not award, it's only awkward if you are not used it it. The TS 55  is the weakest of the bunch. And I hate when anyone tosses the Mafell name out there without a disclaimer, it's apples and oranges and way to much money for most to even consider, even a Festool guy.

Now to the OP TS 75 alternative question if you need the power of the TS 75 question I would just get it, I dont know of an alternative for that type of power.  Mine was a workhorse, but overall I still have found exactly zero track saws as good as my Makita overall and sold my TS 75. It was just to big for me.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: glass1 on June 17, 2017, 08:30 AM
Dewalt, actually the plunge is smoother and easier on the wrists, it's a good saw but dust collection not quite as good, need a screw driver to tighten rail slop, no 45 degree stop and its a little more bulky than others. Makita, good power, light, anti tip, score feature but that darn short cord and the rail tightness are not as good as festool. Ts55 least power of 3, but it's a system and it's got that anti chip clip,most refined controls. The most appealing is the tsc55 as the bag seems to collect almost as much dust as a dust collector with no cords- cords with rails suck plain and simple. I have been eyeing the tsc. Speaking of saws I very much like the hkc55. Now I just want the 85. I would even consider an inverter.
Title: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Tayler_mann on June 17, 2017, 10:58 AM
My sign shop just fully switched to the default 20v/60v max tools. Worst decision we have ever made! They gave us a free drill for every 18v drill traded, impact for impact and etc.

The batteries take 1 hour and 45 min to charge from completely dead and the 60v batteries way a ton and do not last long under a 60v load.

I also have a friend that bought the dewault track saw because of the price. After one cut he immediately knew the mistake made. I did the same after our sign shop purchased the makita a few years back.

My woodworking company had the Festool track saw (55 & 75) and would never change that unless mafell brought a better warranty system and repairs to the us.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: glass1 on June 17, 2017, 01:40 PM
I have many flexvolt tools and batteries. They are excellent. Charge times are not slow with the rapid chargers. The dewalt cordless line is top notch. Your post has no credibility. Sorry to be honest but it's true.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: aloysius on June 17, 2017, 10:33 PM
I have many flexvolt tools and batteries. They are excellent. Charge times are not slow with the rapid chargers. The dewalt cordless line is top notch. Your post has no credibility. Sorry to be honest but it's true.

Much of what you've said is true.  Many others share your opinion.  In recent back-to-back testing DeWalt's cordless tools (their hammer drill & planer anyway) have come out on top using the testers' particular criteria matrix.  In some ways the Flexvolt system is a bit of a game changer, with capacities and capabilities in some tools beyond the wildest dreams of tool designers even a decade ago.  The key to these innovations is twofold:  battery & motor development.

Yet, I suspect that DeWalt is, in its tool development, perhaps a year or two ahead of not only its competitors in this regard, but also in terms of the development of its battery cell suppliers too.  A 6.0ah battery @ 18v becomes a 2.0ah battery @ 54v. when each bank of five 3.6v cells is instead linked in series.  So, in spite of all the actual power that becomes available when 15 cells are connected in series, the actual runtimes are fatally compromised.  A 15 cell battery pack is big & heavy too.  Thus any high current demand tool will require frequent, inconvenient & unproductive battery exchange for continuous use.

There's a 9.0ah battery recently released, but even this has a "mere" 3.0ah capacity @ 54v.  These batteries are even more monstrous.  I'd hate to be using one hand-held all day!  Until battery development eventually catches up with DeWalt's ambitions, and high current capacity individual cells are produced (Sanyo/Panasonic are developing 4.5ah 3.6v cells for release in 2019)  I suspect that these Flexvolt tools will be continually hamstrung with an inadequate storage capacity &/or ludicrously excessive weight.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Bob D. on June 18, 2017, 12:21 AM
I think the real power if you will of the FlexVolt is that it brings a number of tabletop tools into the cordless realm like their 12"" SCMS which is powered by a pair of FlexVolt batteries and the 10" portable tablesaw. Not saying they are the best or anything of that sort. They are the first of what will be many tools from a number of companies that will follow in the next year or two and as always the tools and batteries will get better. The 12" SCMS comes with a battery eliminator so you can also power the saw from 120V AC. Don't know why they didn't do that with the table saw. I haven't used but have handled 20V tools with the FlexVolt battery and they do feel clumsy. MY guess is because they were designed to be balanced with the much lighter 20V Max batteries and you stick that 60V on there its like someone duct taped a cinder block to the tool. I  could see a small bandsaw or a cold cut metal saw coming soon.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: demographic on June 18, 2017, 07:15 AM
I'd be looking at a HKC.
I have one and it really is a gamechanger.

I work on sites all the time and its lessened the amount of times I have to get my corded mitresaw out, set up cables and so on.

I'm not a fan of massive sliding compound mitre saws in a site setting, I just can't be trashed with carting them up several flights of stairs/ladders and for the one time a month I actually need that extra six inches of cut its just not worth the effort. I'll usually just use a non sliding mitresaw and finish the cut with a handsaw.

The HKC does a lot of those cuts, easy to take up a scaffold, can go on its own nice crosscut rails or the old normal Festool rails.

Other than Mafells version of the same thing (I'm sure its great but in the UK at least its way more expensive) I honestly can't see another tool (and none so far mentioned on this thread) that I regard as being as transformative.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Albertdebruijn on July 05, 2017, 11:29 PM
Hi Ajax, I do not own a Festool tracks so cannot comment from personal experience.
However, take a look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5RpGGZlv7w

I own a fair number of DeWalt tools (but not this saw) so fount this video when looking at the DeWalt tracksaw.

Best,
Albert
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Bob D. on July 06, 2017, 05:21 AM
Interesting video but speed is not everything. He shows nothing related to cut quality.
As someone who owns both the DeWalt corded track saw and the TSC55 I do not see
that great a difference in cutting speed on same or similar materials.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: mrB on July 06, 2017, 07:05 AM
The ts55 is a more refined tool.  The Dewalt has a very ackward plunge.  The only track saws that are worth looking at is the Festool or Mafell saws. 
That's outrageous, the Makita is still better than even the newest TS 55...

Well, I've had both Makita with it's rails and TS55 with its rails for about 5 years. And there is no way the Makita is better! I've made so many posts here about this that I don't want to repeat it all again. but While I strongly don't agree that the Festool and Mafell are the only decent considerations in this area, I also do not believe the Makita is as good as the TS55. It is possible to get the same results sure but I honestly don't think there is a single advantage the Makita has other than possibly the scribe function. But I have no issue performing that with the TS55 if I require.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Laminator on July 06, 2017, 02:10 PM
Just to eliminate what can be a large variable, the test needs to use the same blade for both saws.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: antss on July 08, 2017, 10:45 PM
Laminator has hit the nail on the head.

The video blogger is about on par with a snake oil salesman in my view.  A seasoned craftsman wouldn't try to rip solid oak with a 48t Festool blade.

Additionally the Dewalt std. blade is 165mm x 42t while the Festool is 160mm x 48 !

That means for a given depth the Dewalt has a lot less teeth in the cut ; which translates into better / faster ripping  ::). Of course the Dewalt will be faster.  Neither blade is ideal for ripping solid wood which is why you should be very skeptical of anything this guy says.

He makes no mention of how either cut veneered plywood, or crosscut quality. Nor does he tell us of vacuum capability and fails to point out that the battery saw won't trigger his vac and how that is a drawback.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: hopper on July 09, 2017, 08:19 AM
I think everyone is overlooking a VERY important aspect of the track saw in general.  My friend has a DeWalt track saw and it works good for cutting off doors and general ripping of stock, but when it comes to accurate cutting of sheet goods I find it lacking.  Let me explain before you roast me.  His DeWalt track has a splinter guard alone both edges so you can cut in either direction without flipping the track around, while this may seem like an advantage it can not be used with a MFT or Paulk style work top with dogs (eg ParfDogs) because this is no solid edge to put against the dogs.  Also, he can not use parallel guides to make repetitive cuts when building cabinets.  I use my TS55 for repetitive cutting and for square cuts using my Paulk inspire work bench.  The DeWalt would be useless for me.  So to buy or not to buy a DeWalt would depend on what you use it for.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: antss on July 09, 2017, 09:48 AM
You and he could use the Festool rails to accomplish what you're talking about.

Dewalt saw is available without their rail. The FT version is more expensive though.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Bob D. on July 09, 2017, 10:46 AM
I think everyone is overlooking a VERY important aspect of the track saw in general.  My friend has a DeWalt track saw and it works good for cutting off doors and general ripping of stock, but when it comes to accurate cutting of sheet goods I find it lacking.  Let me explain before you roast me.  His DeWalt track has a splinter guard alone both edges so you can cut in either direction without flipping the track around, while this may seem like an advantage it can not be used with a MFT or Paulk style work top with dogs (eg ParfDogs) because this is no solid edge to put against the dogs.  Also, he can not use parallel guides to make repetitive cuts when building cabinets.  I use my TS55 for repetitive cutting and for square cuts using my Paulk inspire work bench.  The DeWalt would be useless for me.  So to buy or not to buy a DeWalt would depend on what you use it for.

This is the reason I bought the TSC55, but still have my DeWalt track saw. Maybe down the road when I am comfortable with theTSC55 I will sell the DeWalt. I did make myself a set of parallel guides to be  able to make repeat cuts with the DeWalt track saw, but it must be removed each time from the track as it registers on the lone center guide of the DeWalt track which makes it a PITA to use. The lack of accessories both from DeWalt and third parties for the DeWalt track saw is most of what drove me to the Festool track saw. DeWalt has very little, only the router guide as far as I know.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: JimH2 on July 09, 2017, 02:05 PM
I think the real power if you will of the FlexVolt is that it brings a number of tabletop tools into the cordless realm like their 12"" SCMS which is powered by a pair of FlexVolt batteries and the 10" portable tablesaw. Not saying they are the best or anything of that sort. They are the first of what will be many tools from a number of companies that will follow in the next year or two and as always the tools and batteries will get better. The 12" SCMS comes with a battery eliminator so you can also power the saw from 120V AC. Don't know why they didn't do that with the table saw. I haven't used but have handled 20V tools with the FlexVolt battery and they do feel clumsy. MY guess is because they were designed to be balanced with the much lighter 20V Max batteries and you stick that 60V on there its like someone duct taped a cinder block to the tool. I  could see a small bandsaw or a cold cut metal saw coming soon.

Both of these tool are very nice. I have both and am more than satisfied with them. Do keep in mind on the tables that the blade is 8 1/4" and the table is slightly smaller than the corded version. I am getting as advertised run times out of both of them. For the record I have a Kapex that has never failed me, but I was not willing to risk purchasing a second given all of the complaints. As for the tablesaw it is a must have item when on-site. A tracksaw takes too much setup time for cutting smaller pieces. I realize you can do just about anything with a tracksaw (I have a Mafell MT55cc and a TS75), but for repeatability the tablesaw is an advantage.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: hopper on July 09, 2017, 02:28 PM
You and he could use the Festool rails to accomplish what you're talking about.

Dewalt saw is available without their rail. The FT version is more expensive though.

I think you're saying to use the DeWalt saw on the Festool track,  but I don't think it will fit on the Festool track
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Frank-Jan on July 09, 2017, 02:58 PM
It does, as do the makita and the mafell mt55.

(I tried posting a picture of the dewalt saw on a festool track, but I couldn't get the post to work, anyway just google dewalt plunge saw festool track)
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: hopper on July 09, 2017, 03:33 PM
It does, as do the makita and the mafell mt55.

(I tried posting a picture of the dewalt saw on a festool track, but I couldn't get the post to work, anyway just google dewalt plunge saw festool track)

I know the Makita tracks are compatible with Festool but have no experience with Dewalt compatibility.  I'll check to see if my buddy's DeWalt will fit my Festool track,

If the DeWalt saw was to fit the Festool track , would it mess up the splinter strip for the next time I use the Festool on that track?
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: demographic on July 09, 2017, 04:21 PM
I noticed that someone up the thread mentioned the score "feature" on the Makita saw.

Am I missing something here? Are there really people who can't manage to set the TS55 for a 1 or 2mm depth cut so it scores the line on the first cut?
Do they really need another little switch/button/whatever just so they can do that?

I'm not trying to belittle the Makita tracksaw, I've used one and it was nice but on the list of features that score thing just doesn't even get a 1% from me, just set the fuggin depth. Sheesh.

Quite like the anti tip thing mind...
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Frank-Jan on July 09, 2017, 05:36 PM

If the DeWalt saw was to fit the Festool track , would it mess up the splinter strip for the next time I use the Festool on that track?

The Dewalt saw has an extra groove in the base so it can also be used with festool tracks. It might very well cut the splinter strip closer to the rail, or cut further from the rail; but so could another festool saw.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Frank-Jan on July 09, 2017, 05:48 PM
I noticed that someone up the thread mentioned the score "feature" on the Makita saw.

Am I missing something here? Are there really people who can't manage to set the TS55 for a 1 or 2mm depth cut so it scores the line on the first cut?
Do they really need another little switch/button/whatever just so they can do that?

I'm not trying to belittle the Makita tracksaw, I've used one and it was nice but on the list of features that score thing just doesn't even get a 1% from me, just set the fuggin depth. Sheesh.

Quite like the anti tip thing mind...

I value the scoring feature higher than the anti-tilt feature, I have never used a makita plunge saw; but I also never adjusted my festool saw for making a scoring cut; I can't be bothered to reset the cutting depth twice for each cut.
When cutting a bevel you need to push down on the sawbase wether it has an anti-tilt feature or not, or it might tilt the guiderail with the saw, resulting in a bad cut.

I also dislike most of the "features" of the ts55r over the ts55 (while I liked most of the features of the ts55 over the atf55).
I hardly ever need to bevel further than 45°, or cut at -1°, but it makes calibrating the saw to 0° or 45° a pain. (My ts55 came calibrated out of the factory, and stayed that way for years. (it probably still cuts square now, whoever is using it))
I hardly ever need to cut close to an edge, but the ofset dustport gives me less space for my hand every cut.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: antss on July 09, 2017, 06:37 PM
Ditto here.   

Been using tracksaw near on two decades now and can only remember doing a score cut once.  It was on a panel that had a metal or aluminum skin.  I'm not even sure it was necessary then.

Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Cheese on July 09, 2017, 06:52 PM
I'd suggest you look at the TSC 55. That and the HKC are my go-to saws. In the last year, I've only pulled out the TS 55 ONCE. I actually think the TSC with 2 batteries, has more power than the corded TS. The TSC doesn't seem to bog down when pushed like the TS 55 does.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Jmacpherson on July 10, 2017, 04:22 PM
I'm a big fan of the HKC, used mine just the other day and all cuts were 100% accurate in pressure treated wood.
Started off on the MFT3+TS55 but switched to the HKC because it was more accurate and easier.

Question, is the extra kg of weight with the TSC vs corded noticeable or not really since its running on the rail?

Just to throw the cat among the pigeons for the lovers of the Makita tracksaw, the cordless 18vX2 brushless version is now available in the US and I assume in Canada too. - not sure on rest of world
Based on specs has more rpm than the corded version.

Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: Cheese on July 10, 2017, 07:25 PM

Question, is the extra kg of weight with the TSC vs corded noticeable or not really since its running on the rail?


Like I said, I haven't used the TS 55 lately but the TSC is noticeably heavier when lifting or placing it but once on the rail it's all the same.  [cool]

I also like the depth control adjustment better on the TSC, it's a one-handed affair. The control on the older TS takes both hands to operate.
Title: Re: TS55 Alternative
Post by: antss on July 11, 2017, 05:58 PM
anyone know if the TSC produces more torque than the plug in version ?