Today we will check on two track saw models of one of the most reputed track saw producers; Festool. The models of concern are the Festool TS 55 REQ and TS 75 EQ plunge cut saws. Here we will first have a look at the track saw overview, as this article is for all; from professionals to newbies. So, if you are the latter one reading this, then it is better to stay acknowledged about the tool. Plus, it will be way easier for you to understand the differences between the two models of the same kind of saw. Let's begin!
Overview of Festool Track Saw
Before moving straight to the point, here is a basic synopsis of woodworking, typically for the beginners in woodworking. Woodworking can be categorized into two primary tasks: joining wood and cutting wood. These two are the most commonly carried out activities in woodworking. Well, that is all. But, as you go deeper into this, you will find that a lot of different kinds of cutting and joining techniques come under those two categories.
It is a complete assortment of a number of cuts and joins, mastering which makes you professional and it needs consistent effort and dedication, naturally. That is where the real challenge steps in. Though there are innumerable cutting and joining techniques, how would you know which is the best for which project?
So, the first step to this challenge is to identify the type of project that you have to be cut. For example, if you have two pieces of small sheet board and large sheet board, you cannot cut the larger one with the same tool that you use for the smaller one. Your tool requirement will change based on what you are going to cut. Again, there are more than one way to cut sheet boards. But, the challenge is about recognizing the type of board and choosing the appropriate tool to get the task done.
Traditionally, it is the table saw that is mostly preferred by the woodworkers. Why? This is because the table saws exhibit more power to slice a sheet board (like, a plywood). Plus, they ensure a cleaner cut. The only setback here is its ultimate act of cutting the sheet. To cut a plywood using a table saw, you need to first lift that huge mass of wood onto the table. Then you have to add extra physical effort to move that massive wood against the table saw to cut it through. This task is exceptionally challenging because it needs bigger space (both to install the table saw in your workshop and also to manage massive sheet boards within that space). Moreover, you have to have strong arms to deliver the outfeed required during the cut.
The second main option is a circular saw. Circular saws are fine for situations where precision and cut quality aren’t vital. The problem, however, is that circular saws don’t cut in a straight line without some type of fence attached to the sheet good, and their cut quality isn’t on par with that of a table saw. To remedy this, many people break down sheet goods with a circular saw, then move the piece to a table saw for the final cut. This is what I did, and it works adequately from a quality standpoint. From a time standpoint, however, it’s very time consuming, and it still requires a table saw with large outfeed support.
Differences Between Festool TS55 and TS75 Track Saws
Many of you might have a question regarding why Festool saw specifically? Here is the answer to it. Festool track saws virtually prevent the possibilities of the risks that generally occur while cutting a large piece of board. The Festool saws resemble and operate like a circular saw in a number of ways. There are, however, two key differences. First of all, Festool track saws smoothly cut along a rail guide, unlike a circular saw which is a free moving cutting tool. The rail or fence of the Festool saw adds perfection to its cutting while making straight cuts, everytime.
Second of all, the plunge cutting feature of the Festool track saws means that you can randomly begin and end the cut at any portion on the workpiece. Still, you will get precise accuracy in that cut. What is the best part of the Festool track saw? It is the cut quality of its blade that already gave a tough competition to its rival; the conventional, space-consuming table saw. So, the Festool saw delivers the cutting quality par excellence.
Working of a Festool Track Saw
It is simply measuring the required length to be cut, making the mark, and hence slicing the wood. Suppose, you have a 4′ x 8′ sheet board from which you have to cut out 3′ x 8′. So, you just have to place the guide rail in a way that the edge is touching each marking. Next, plunge the Festool track saw into the wood piece and ride the tool along the rail. Just as mentioned above, you will have the most aligned cut, perfectly straight piece of 3′ x 8′ plywood through uncompared cutting delivery. That is all about its working!
There is a functional difference the traditional table saw and Festool track saw; that is the procedure of taper cuts. Suppose you have to install a cabinet to the wall. For that you have to scribe a wood piece to the wall, where the wood has to be 14 inches wide on the top and 15-¼ inches wide at the bottom. Then you have to accordingly do the top and bottom width markings of the wood. Place the rail guide and plunge the track saw to cut through the workpiece. But, in case of table saw, you will have to mark the line of cut with a free hand cutting attempt without the rail guide in place.
Which is the better method? Of course the Festool one. It is the quickest and accurate process of getting the task done. There is simply no better way to get a precise cut which is exactly aligned to your scribe line on the wood-piece. The same thing is the most applied for making tapered legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture. Considering the ease of cut, Festool track saw is absolutely revolutionary.
There are two great track saw options from Festool: one is the Festool TS 55 REQ track saw and the other is a 1600W beast, Festool TS 75 EQ, with 2-¾ inches cutting capacity. The first one is the younger sibling to the TS 75 featuring a 1200W motor with a cutting capacity of 1-15/16 inches. Basically, there is no comparison between these two as both are equally admired by many. So, if cost is no bar to you, you know what to do!
But, here we are to guide you in buying the one that would perfectly meet your purpose. So, keep reading...
Festool TS 55 REQ
Festool TS 55 REQ is a lightweight track saw model weighing just about 9.92 Pound. That makes it easy to handle and operate. Other than that, it features a 1200 W / 10 amp motor with cutting capacity of 1-15/16 inches when used along the guide rail. It has an adjustment setting to manage cutting depth along with a bevel cutting range within 1° to 47°.Note: Make sure to properly clamp the rails before starting with the cutting job. As long as the rails are in position, the line of cut will stay aligned with the saw blade.
When to Use the Festool TS55 REQ?
If you do not have a high cutting depth requirement and generally deal with small to medium sized sheet goods, TS 55 REQ is easier to use. You can also use it to remodel wooden flooring after the installation. Just make sure that the wood piece is not thicker than 1-15/16 inches. Else, you have to go with the other model; that is the TS 75 EQ. However, according to the professionals, TS 55 is simply the most comfortable one because of its lightweight.
Festool TS 75 EQ
If you are looking for the most powerful Festool saw then Festool TS 75 EQ won't disappoint you. This track saw features a 1600W, 13 Amp motor with a cutting depth of 2-15/16 inches and has 8-¼ inches blade. The bevel range TS 75 is from 0° to 45°. With high power comes heavy weight; the saw weighs around 13.6 Pound.
However, as per most users, the Festool TS 75 EQ is a suitable option to meet more specific situations. On the other hand, if your requirement is not related to such situations, but more general purposes, then TS 55 REQ is the one you should go with. Still, there are certain tasks where nothing can beat this Festool TS 75 beast.
When to Use the TS 75 EQ?
Festool TS 75 EQ is mostly used when the user has a high power requirement with the highest cutting capacity. For example, while cutting hardwood like maple, oak, etc., for making doors and windows, you will definitely take the raw piece of lumber to convert it into a finished product. For that, TS 75 is simply second to none. You can even use this saw for cutting any rough wood for flooring purposes. Overall, the TS 75 EQ excels at anything put in front of it.
Another remarkable point to mention about the TS 75 EQ is it excels in the area of volume. Suppose you are a cabinet builder and you need to stack sheet boards that are perfectly cut in just a pass. This is where the TS 75 EQ is needed. It ensures cutting cabinet boxes in perfect sizes, that too within a short time. So, it is a real time saver if you are building a number of cabinet projects at a time.
Note: Be it the TS 75 EQ or the TS 55 REQ, make sure to use the cutting blade that is appropriate for the material you are about to cut. Because that is the ultimate workhouse on which the overall project depends. For example, a 36-tooth blade used on TS 75 is fit powering the rough wood stocks.and other general purpose cutting. It is not the best fit for cutting a finish grade plywood sheet. However, the cutting quality of a blade, with higher tooth count to finely plunge into the plywood, is virtually alike between the TS 55 and TS 75.
Similarities From Functional Standpoint
If you consider the functional standpoint of both the Festool saw models, then they are virtually identical. This is like an added advantage to using the Festool track saw; both the models allow accurate cutting of the projects that one may not usually try with a circular saw. Both the models employ the same kind of guide rails which can be interchanged between them (if needed). The track saws have the same pair of screw locks to fix the rail guide properly, so that the saw can smoothly cut through the workpiece with accuracy.
Both allow swift and accurate tool-less cutting depth control, and both feature the bevel cutting functionality. Added to that, both the track saw models offer an uncompared CT dust control system (which literally makes the dust non-existent) and a riving knife integrated to the tool to prevent kickback. The variable speed Modular Multilevel Converter Electronics allows you to adjust the cutting speed of the saw depending on the type of material you want to cut.
Easy and quick blade changing facility, plus a detachable splinter guard, ensuring flawless cutting of the workpiece are the two added features available in both TS 55 and TS 75 models. Not to mention, both the saws are quite time saving in doing tasks which might appear impossible doing with their counterparts.
As a whole, it is like an added advantage to using the Festool track saw; both the models allow accurate cutting of the projects that one may not usually try with a circular saw.
Whichever you pick, your choice should align with your purpose. That's it. Identify your task and choose accordingly as none is better than the other. Both TS 55 and TS 75 have their own significance in the woodworking sector and hence, cannot be compared specifically. While one is for cutting small to medium pieces of wood within a moderate depth of cut, the other is meant for cutting high volume, large lumber in just a single pass. Now, so much of the comparison, here is the real good news for you: both the saws are backed by Festool’s unique 3-year warranty period, inclusive of free shipping to and from the service center, in case the need arises.