Author Topic: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway  (Read 10701 times)

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Offline BTDT

  • Posts: 75
Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« on: February 16, 2011, 10:23 PM »
If there was a Festool product that could be known as the Gateway Festool this would be it for me. It also looks to be the same for a lot of other members of FOG according to Kreg's informal survey of first Festools. Once you get the TS55 it seems that you become greener than the Hulk.

The reason that I initially started looking at track saws was that a number of doors needed work in our house. (Or in one case of comedic error two newly installed doors needed replacing. I would tell you but it would involve crying on my part.) It became obvious to me that my existing circular saw would not be up to snuff cutting through a wet paper bag let alone a straight, clean cut. (No I did not attempt the install on the two doors.)

Besides cutting clean, straight cuts for doors I needed a power saw as I had none except a crappy old circ saw that was grossly underpowered. A table saw is out of the question given my shop size so I wanted something that would be better than a more powerful circ saw.

The more I looked at the Festool, the more I used my uncanny ability to rationalize the irrational. The Festool moved up my list rather quickly. That and the fact that there was a system of tools that I could potentially grow into if I needed to. With that I purchased the TS55 and have not stopped the green ride.

Pros
-The safety features make me a lot more comfortable than some of the saws that do not offer any.
-Depth adjustments are quick and easy. Not only that, there is no more guess work as to how deep I am cutting. Pictured below are the two cabinet sides on my MFT/3. Knowing the thickness of the stock and how to adjust for the guide rail I was able to quickly set the depth to properly make the cut.

32183-0

-Straight lines with the guide rails are simple.
-The weight is perfect for me. It is light and easy to carry/push. Here is a picture of the TS55 prepared to make quick work of some MDF.

32185-1

-The blade and splinterguard on the guide rail mean that I have had splinter free cuts.

Cons
-Dust collection for me can be spotty sometimes. I have the habit of stopping the saw as soon as I am through the wood rather than letting the saw run for a second so the CT22 can get the dust.

Conclusion
I love my TS55. I find it therapeutic to cut wood in my shop with it. The ability to cut in a straight line without a table saw is a godsend for me. I know there are other competitors out there but none offer the guarantee, the high level of service, or depth of innovation/system to make their cheap price provide the value I get from my TS55.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 11:54 AM by BTDT »

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Offline Chris Wong

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 870
  • I make things that challenge me.
    • Flair Woodworks
Re: Review of the TS55 - the gateway
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 03:05 AM »
For me, the gateway was the dust extractor (CT26).  That was my first Festool (excluding the Writex).  Then I decided it was silly to have the dust extractor with no tools to make dust.  (Yeah, right).  Anyhow, that led to the Domino and... well, that's it so far.
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com
First Festool was a free pencil.
Shipping live-edge cribbage boards around the world since 2010.

Offline TomGadwa1

  • Posts: 407
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 12:43 AM »
After the first cut I could not believe how well this saw worked. Then I tried the Domino. then I tried the OF1400. Then I tried the RO 125 . Then I tried the LR32 hole drilling set. Then I tried oh my GOD what is happening? Could I sliding on the slippery green Festool slope. Well maybe ....
TS55 EQ  OF1400 EQ  DFQ 500 Q  RO 125  LR32 SET  Guide Rail Acc Kit Parallel Guide Set MFK 700 EQ Set MFS700 ETS 150/3 EQ Domino Cutter Assortment T15-3 Drill Set RO 90 EQ Workshop Cleaning Set CT36 Kapex 120 MFT/3 LR32 1080 FS 1400 FS 1900 WCR1000 PSB300 Boom Arm Set Clamping Elements RS 2 E  Kapex UG Set Zobo Forstner Set Centrotech Installers Set OF1010 OF2200 ZS-OF 2200 SYS1000 Syslite CT MIDI FS 800

There Are Those That Can Do, There Are Those That Can Not Do, Those That Can Not Do Have Those That Can Do Do The Things That They Can Not Do So That They Feel That They Have Done Something.

There ain't no something for nothing machine.

Offline extiger

  • Posts: 254
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2011, 01:15 AM »
For me, it was the ATF 55. The predecessor of the TS model. Discontinued around Jan of 2006. Dust collection is sure better than having nothing.

Gary Curtis

Offline tjbier

  • Posts: 328
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 08:51 AM »
Yup, the TS55 is the reason I  got interested in Festool.
BTDT, if you think the dust collection is spotty, pull the vac hose and make a cut, then you'll think the dust collection is working great. lol
I thought the same thing a while ago, pulled the hose and watched all the dust puke out the dust port.
Tom- ps, I read these.

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1741
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 09:46 AM »
Yup, gateway is right.   I had to break down half a dozen sheets of MDF in my garage one winter.  Got halfway through the first sheet and dust was all over everything, including me.  I was all itchy and sneezy.  Went to Woodcraft the next morning and got the TS and CT.  Finished the MDF cutting and had maybe a tablespoon of dust on the floor and nothing on me.  And all the cuts were as precise as they would have been off the tablesaw.  No going back after that.


Offline agehall

  • Posts: 103
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 06:03 AM »
I agree. About a year ago, I bought my first Festool, a used TS-55. Now I own a CT-22, Rotex 150, OF-1010, Kapex 120, Vac Sys SE1+2, CMS with the TS-55 base, MFT/1080 and a bunch of extra systainers.

It's all like a drug, once you get your first taste, you are hooked. Even though I'm only doing some home renovation and small carpentry work, the precision of the tools and excellent dust collection is a deal-sealer for me, for my wife, it's the color...
TS55, CXS, BHC18 Li Plus, DF500, CT-22, CT MINI, OF1010, OF2200 EB Set, PS400 EBQ-Set, MFT1080, MFT/3 VAC-SYS SE1 + SE2, CMS-TS55, CMS-PS, CMS-OF, KS120+KA-UG-Set, RO150, RO90, LR-32 kit, 2xFS1400/2, FS800/2, FS1400/2 LR-32

Offline andy5405

  • Posts: 405
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 03:47 PM »
I actually started with a PS300 about 3 years ago and that was it till a few months ago when I got the TS55. With a couple of accessories the TS55 is around £500 in the UK. What you don't know at the time though is that £500 will become £5000 and there is not a darn thing you can do about it. It is an addiction and you can fight it and win sometimes but you know deep down you will always go back for more.

The great thing about Festool though despite the cost is not how great an individual tool might be but how it seems to change the way you think about how you work and the concept of a system. I thought I was doing OK but what I have found this year is that I'm completely rethinking how I do absolutely everything. It has been a painful process in some respects but I am close to becoming massively more efficient and it wouldn't have happened without exposure to Festool. It's an intangible but that is what I think is Festool's greatest gift. You end up thinking efficiency in everything you do.

Also you end up buying things that you wouldn't even have contemplated a few months previously. My latest thing is Sortainers. I used to think they were ridiculously over priced but can't get enough of them now. I also had a overwhelming desire all day today for an MFT3 which would have been so helpful today. I haven't succumbed yet but I know I will.

Offline Tim2178

  • Posts: 71
Re: Review of Festool TS55 (561 174) - the gateway
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 10:00 PM »
I am sooo glad to read that there are people out there JUST LIKE ME!  I have almost the exact same story as BTDT's. I Bought the TS55 to break down sheet stock and can now actually use those pieces right after the cut rather than taking them to my table saw.  The precision is AMAZING!  Then I added a boom arm that I made in my shop.  WOW is all I can say.  I made mine because I wasn't sure if it was worth the investment.  It started off as a temp.  The boom accessory is one that is worth its weight in gold!  I would recommend just buying one...mine took a couple weeks.  I think I under-charged myself on that one [smile]

Now I am adding a domino.  Can't wait to get it.

The TS55 has definitely made me see green from now on.

-Tim
TS55, FS 2700/2 raiil,  ETS 125, CT26, Domino