Author Topic: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review  (Read 44863 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« on: August 05, 2015, 09:22 AM »
I have owned and used a "Precisio CS 70 Trim Saw" for just over one year. In total I spent about 2,000 euros on this machine ($2,700 at the time of purchase).

In this review will I point out what I like and what I dislike about this machine and I will try to be as fair as possible.

PROS
Portable
Powerful enough
good looking
connects to festool vacuum
pull saw
pretty good dust collection

CONS
power switch broke, saw turned off and on at will (fixed it myself with a new part sent to me)
miter gauge fence is bowed
miter gauge bends when ripping
miter gauge does not sit on table at 90 degrees
design of miter gauge suggests precision cuts cannot be achieved (plastic parts, weak parts, poor engineerging)
does not accept most third part saw blades
miter track does not accept most or all third party track accessories
small table size on basic model
expensive, unfair price, in comparison to other machines in its class
expensive add-ons

SUMMARY
Because the miter gauge fence is a very flawed design, the machine cannot achieve accurate cuts. Therefore, it is very misleading to call this machine the "Precisio CS70". I believe this machine would be suitable for contractors who do not need to achieve high degrees of accuracy. For cabinet makers or furniture makers, this machine is terribly frustrating. I have a nobex miter saw that is far more precise than this machine at cutting miters, and the cost for it was only 250 euros with a fine replacement blade. For my intents and purposes this saw is largely unusable and must be replaced with a truly precision saw.

§

I am awaiting word from Festool in Germany as to whether or not they will take back this machine and let me replace it with other festool tools. I also own have a festool midi vacuum and a festool 1010 router. These are excellent machines. I am considering creating a video of the CS 70 in use to post on youtube so that other people know the degree of precision this saw is capable of.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 02:42 AM by MichaelW2014 »
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 686
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 12:44 PM »
Have you had a chance to try out the competing Erika 70? I've heard great things about it, hoping to purchase some time later in 2015 or early 2016...
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5761
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 02:35 PM »
I played with once just for a few hours. It seemed like a good saw to me. Only thing I didn't like was changing the blade

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6058
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 02:46 PM »
Sorry to hear you have so much trouble with the miter gauge fence. I never have any problem with it myself and think it is great. I get very accurate cuts with it, and it is rock solid, nothing bendy.

I don't understand why you think it doesn't take 3rd party blades, any blade with a 30 mm arbor hole will fit (up to 215 mm size). I have a couple of non-festool blades for it, from DeWalt, Bosch and two no-name.

I do not like the bigger fence CS 70 LA though, and changing blades is indeed a chore. After you're done sawing, you need to clean it very thoroughly, or you'll keep on strewing dust around when you move it.

The saw is meant to be mobile though, so that means it is more aimed at contractors and carpenters. If you're a cabinet maker, I figure you'd be better off with a stationary saw.
 

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 03:10 PM »
Have you had a chance to try out the competing Erika 70? I've heard great things about it, hoping to purchase some time later in 2015 or early 2016...

Never seen one in person. The Erika 80 looks intriguing. Actually, I wish i had bought that instead of the CS 70. It seems to be better built. Seems capable of precision. Not sure though.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 03:14 PM »
I have no problem with blade changes--not fun, but not so bad. I didn't say you couldn't find replacement blades made by third party manufacturers. There simply are not so many of them.

The miter fence is complete garbage. And this renders the saw..., barely usable? I don't know. I just wish I had never bought the saw. I will have to get a proper saw as soon as I have the money, if festool cannot fix the problem. Probably, I will also file a complaint if the problem is not corrected. As I purchased the tool through amazon, I probably have a case to make in a claim for selling a faulty product. The way i see it, the saw is a faulty product, absolutely. 
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 686
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 04:09 PM »
Have you had a chance to try out the competing Erika 70? I've heard great things about it, hoping to purchase some time later in 2015 or early 2016...

Never seen one in person. The Erika 80 looks intriguing. Actually, I wish i had bought that instead of the CS 70. It seems to be better built. Seems capable of precision. Not sure though.

Yes, I've never handled an Erika myself as they are exceedingly rare here. I'm looking at the Erika 70 mostly because it's available in 120V, the Erika 85 is only available in 240V here in North America. Best of luck to you!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 04:33 PM by Tom Gensmer »
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 587
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 04:33 PM »
My Erika 85 is being cleared through customs right now (poor thing). Ill post a review after I get to play around with it but suffice it to say Tom it is thousands of dollars cheaper to import it from Germany and since it has a universal motor that runs on 50-60hz your good to go here in the states.

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 04:41 PM »
Have you had a chance to try out the competing Erika 70? I've heard great things about it, hoping to purchase some time later in 2015 or early 2016...

Never seen one in person. The Erika 80 looks intriguing. Actually, I wish i had bought that instead of the CS 70. It seems to be better built. Seems capable of precision. Not sure though.


Yes, I've never handled an Erika myself as they are exceedingly rare here. I'm looking at the Erika 70 mostly because it's available in 120V, the Erika 85 is only available in 240V here in North America. Best of luck to you!

good luck to you too!
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 04:43 PM »
My Erika 85 is being cleared through customs right now (poor thing). Ill post a review after I get to play around with it but suffice it to say Tom it is thousands of dollars cheaper to import it from Germany and since it has a universal motor that runs on 50-60hz your good to go here in the states.

nice. hope you find it satisfactory. and hope it is dead accurate, given all the trouble and the cost of it. i look forward to your review.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline joinercp

  • Posts: 19
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 04:50 PM »
My Erika 85 is being cleared through customs right now (poor thing). Ill post a review after I get to play around with it but suffice it to say Tom it is thousands of dollars cheaper to import it from Germany and since it has a universal motor that runs on 50-60hz your good to go here in the states.

nice. hope you find it satisfactory. and hope it is dead accurate, given all the trouble and the cost of it. i look forward to your review.

We use the CS70 within a workshop environment and are pleased with it overall although it certainly does have it's flaws :There is slop of about 1mm and the blade change should be simpler. Dust gets clogged when ripping material over 40mm.

  The Erika has been getting great reviews and is a better built machine but like the CS70 it shouldn't cost the price of a 3 phase sliding panel saw
Domino XL, Precisio CS70, CXS, C15
Mafell MT55, Mafell Kss400
Virutex Lipping Planer

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 686
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 10:59 PM »

We use the CS70 within a workshop environment and are pleased with it overall although it certainly does have it's flaws :There is slop of about 1mm and the blade change should be simpler. Dust gets clogged when ripping material over 40mm.

  The Erika has been getting great reviews and is a better built machine but like the CS70 it shouldn't cost the price of a 3 phase sliding panel saw

Indeed! Here in North America the Erika saws retail for more than many Sawstop cabinet saws. I wish Festool would release the CS 50 in a 110v version, it is exactly the right size for my wants/needs....
CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400, MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x4), MFT/Kapex (x3), KA 65 Conturo, endless Systainers

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 03:17 AM »
the miter fence is garbage. without a good miter fence, this machine is worthless as far as i am concerned.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline dutchie

  • Posts: 136
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 04:39 PM »
the miter fence is garbage. without a good miter fence, this machine is worthless as far as i am concerned.
What exactly are you ripping with it? I never have any problems with it, but I don't try to rip big boards with it. For me I get repeatable accurate cuts to the same mm. By how much are they off with your saw? Or in other words, how accurate are you looking for? Perhaps you should look at fitting a Incra setup on your CS70? Something like this > http://www.fine-tools.com/incra-base-assembly.html

Also the Bosch GTS 10 XC gets a lot of good reviews and it has a fence which clamps on both sides of the table...oh and it's nearly half the price of the CS 70 (and made in Taiwan instead of Germany so that should explain most of the price difference).

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2015, 02:28 AM »
I am ripping small pieces of wood, nothing more than about 7cm thick. I have high quality blades on there by tenryu. i would say it's .25-1.5mm slop. that's just a guess. but also the angle of my miter fence is not 90 degrees with the table, so, the angle of my cuts is off. what degree of accuracy can you achieve on your saw? you have checked the angle of your miter fence with a reliable measuring tool?

I am going to put tape on the bottom of the miter fence to raise it up to 90 degrees.

Looks like neither my retailer nor Festool want to help me so I am just going to have to live with it for a couple of years. It sucks that the fence cannot be adjusted to "dial it in". it seems like the actual bar for the fence is a couple of mm too short. there is a plastic piece on the end of it touches the table when you clamp the miter to the table rail. this plastic piece might be a bit too big. i am not sure. it's either the plastic piece or the fence being too short. if i had a grinder i might try to grind down the plastic part. but i am nervous to do that because if that doesn't work then i am possibly in even more trouble.

i am seriously considering buying that incra attachment kit. i already have an LS25 so it is starting to make a lot of sense right now.
plus, my nobex miter saw gives me great cross grain cuts--so i don't really need the cs 70 for miter cuts. except on larger pieces of wood that require so much effort.

etc. thanks for your concern Dutchie

« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 02:33 AM by MichaelW2014 »
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."


Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2015, 05:19 AM »
there is info on this suggested thread for calibrating the angle positioning, but so far I cannot find info on how to calibrate the angle of the fence as it sits on the table.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline wrightwoodwork

  • Posts: 410
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2015, 05:52 AM »
Silly question is the blade 90 degrees to the table? Are you by any chance holding the work piece tight against the fence, instead of flat on the table. The table should be your reference point not the flat of the fence. 

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2015, 06:56 AM »
i'm just holding a carpenters square agains the fence and i see a triangular gap between the fence and the square. i use my feeler gauges and i get a .25mm feeler into the crevice.

i have tried tightening and loosening every bolt on the miter fence. nothing seems to work, at all. i have resorted to putting aluminum duct tape onto the bottom of my miter fence to move it up.

now i have already added two strips of this tape. the reading is .25mm. so i would have to add many more strips of tape to get it up to 0 (90 degrees).

"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline wrightwoodwork

  • Posts: 410
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2015, 07:55 AM »
Yes I get that the fence face is not square to the table. As long as the saw blade is 90 degrees to the table and the fence is 90 degrees to the table and you hold the work piece flat on the table and up against the fence you should get a square cut. The fence not being square off the table should not effect the cut unless you hold the work piece tight against the fence and lift it off the table. Without seeing what or how you're holding the work piece its a little hard to work out

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2015, 08:53 AM »
i'm not 100% sure what you are suggesting. are you saying i can just tilt the blade hmm. but tilt it to fill the incorrect angle of the fence, which is whatever constitutes a .25mm gap, possible?
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline wrightwoodwork

  • Posts: 410
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2015, 09:46 AM »
First of all forget about the fence is the blade 90 degrees to the table when set at 90. Is there any chance of posting some pictures of how you're holding the work piece to the table and fence or maybe a vid. Then maybe some of the the other members can point you in the right direction. My guess is you're using the fence face as your reference surface instead of the the table face of the saw and as it's not 100% correct its causing errors in your cut.  Is the table of the saw flat and not in twist. 

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2015, 10:10 AM »
First of all forget about the fence is the blade 90 degrees to the table when set at 90. Is there any chance of posting some pictures of how you're holding the work piece to the table and fence or maybe a vid. Then maybe some of the the other members can point you in the right direction. My guess is you're using the fence face as your reference surface instead of the the table face of the saw and as it's not 100% correct its causing errors in your cut.  Is the table of the saw flat and not in twist.

Yes, I can get the blade at 90 degrees to the table. I have a digital angle gauge that says the table is near flat at .1mm or so off from flat in some places. so i would say it is flat.

to determine if the fence is square or not to the table i use the table as my reference. i zero my digital angle gauge on the table. then i press it against the fence. the fence is screwy--i get a reading of "90.2" or "90.3".

i also use my shinwa carpenter's square to get a reading on the fence as it relates to the table. i rest the square on the table and butt it up against the fence, as you can see in the photo in my first post on this thread. next i use my feeler gauges to determine the size of the space between the bottom corner of the square the fence. i get a feeler gauge in the gap that is .25mm thick.

so, i am using the table as the reference. but after reading what you wrote i realize that it is not absolutely necessary that the fence be square with the table so long as it is evenly the same distance from the blade. or so i think is true.

i feel i need to get some high quality squares to double check my perception of this fence alignment. i don't trust my shinwa carpenters square.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline wrightwoodwork

  • Posts: 410
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2015, 10:35 AM »
Yep that's it

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2015, 11:04 AM »
hmmm, good point. thank you for expanding my mind. i am slowly getting my head around this. but, i still feel this situation is unresolved. because the fance is angled with an overhang type of angle, force could be restricting the movement of the wood when i pass it in a rip motion.

anyhow, i'm going to see how it works in a more controlled situation. thanks again for your help.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline Nigel

  • Posts: 641
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2015, 11:57 AM »
Basically it doesn't matter that the fence is not perfectly square to the table as long as it is nice and square to the blade, your work piece should rest flat on the table. The table or sliding table is the support not the fence which is the guide. I would also suggest forgetting feeler gauges and just use a good square or digital bevel to accurately calibrate you're fence.

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2015, 12:12 PM »
Basically it doesn't matter that the fence is not perfectly square to the table as long as it is nice and square to the blade, your work piece should rest flat on the table. The table or sliding table is the support not the fence which is the guide. I would also suggest forgetting feeler gauges and just use a good square or digital bevel to accurately calibrate you're fence.

i see, yes, the fence is not the support. but, the fence is angled as an overhang. so i am concerned that any pressure to keep the wood piece against fence will result in it being pushed into a wedge. this could restrict smoothness of travel down the table, in a rip action. so, i still believe it needs to be corrected. but, i definitely learned more about the geometry of working on a table saw. i learned more about my measuring tools too. i don't feel comfortable using the digital angle gauge. i need to watch some more videos on how to use them. i wonder how accurate it is. i think i would rather have a digital bevel as you suggest and a high quality square.
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."

Offline aas

  • Posts: 123
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2015, 12:54 PM »
I have had my Elu site saw nearly 25 years now, looks pretty tatty now, and the fence has always lent in towards the blade at the top. I made a zero clearance MDF insert for the table, and of course for a rip saw, the most important two things are that the fence is parallel to the blade, and the blade is 90 degrees to the table - tape measure for the first and a square for the second. You don't need a fancy square - a CD case, anything 'engineered' should be 90 degrees - if the worst comes to it, fold a sheet of paper in half, then accurately in half again and you have 90 degrees. The thing is, the saw cuts beautifully clean and square!

Most tools are mass produced and they need a little adjusting or modifying to get right, or to get how you want them. Don't be nervous about taking a grinder to it if it needs it - you'll save yourself the stress of it all, and you'll end up being proud that you sorted it out!

Learn to modify things, make jigs, make templates, make table inserts, fences etc., and listen to the comments (esp wrightwoodwork - he knows his tools!)... and if all else fails, buy the Mafell - it's on my shopping list too!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 01:55 PM by aas »

Offline MichaelW2014

  • Posts: 276
Re: Festool Precisio CS 70 Review
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2015, 04:39 PM »
I have had my Elu site saw nearly 25 years now, looks pretty tatty now, and the fence has always lent in towards the blade at the top. I made a zero clearance MDF insert for the table, and of course for a rip saw, the most important two things are that the fence is parallel to the blade, and the blade is 90 degrees to the table - tape measure for the first and a square for the second. You don't need a fancy square - a CD case, anything 'engineered' should be 90 degrees - if the worst comes to it, fold a sheet of paper in half, then accurately in half again and you have 90 degrees. The thing is, the saw cuts beautifully clean and square!

Most tools are mass produced and they need a little adjusting or modifying to get right, or to get how you want them. Don't be nervous about taking a grinder to it if it needs it - you'll save yourself the stress of it all, and you'll end up being proud that you sorted it out!

Learn to modify things, make jigs, make templates, make table inserts, fences etc., and listen to the comments (esp wrightwoodwork - he knows his tools!)... and if all else fails, buy the Mafell - it's on my shopping list too!

i hear you. thanks for the advise. i will do some more checks soon. btw ELU machines look great, just saw them for the first time.
§
"These saws can chew up lumber like a beaver recovering from a hunger strike."