Festool has had its popular TS 55 EQ Circular out for quite some time, but a recent scoop of the new tool on a UK website told us they are releasing the next update soon. The company revealed a new version of the tool that is tweaked (and perfectly suited for) flush-cutting applications. The new model is the TS 55 R. Festool’s new circular saw has gotten at least some minor updates, and since the blade is now approximately 1/2″ from the edge of the now smooth and flat blade guard, it’s suitable for more applications than ever.
Festool began 80 years ago with its first portable circular saw and, while it’s unusual to see much innovation in this area, this company seems to set no such limits on its ability to manufacture new and truly useful features. Turning a circular saw into what is a quasi-flush-cut product is pretty enticing, though at 1/2″ they aren’t quite at the level of flush, but much closer than they were. The new saw’s blade guard is completely flat along its outer edge and everything, like the dust collector exit, is set inward so as to not disturb the straight outer edge. Since the tool requires much less clearance, it enables sawing right up to the edge of a wall – the blade rides just less than 1/2″ away. This makes it perfect for precise sawing of joints in floors and ceilings, or even when shortening doors – in place. Expansion joints can also be created quickly. Festool continues to have snap-in points and indentation for bevels, but also gave the new tool a -1 to 47 degree range, which is a significant improvement over the former model.
Of course, the saw continues to work perfectly with Festool’s existing track system so you can cut long lengths of board or ply material perfectly and with much more precision than using a panel saw or other method. It also includes their popular and innovative retractable spring-loaded riving knife.
Festool’s TS 55 R cranks up the torque of the new saw’s 1200W motor, so you can do more with less energy expended and cuts are smoother, even in harder working materials. It also increases the feed capacity of the saw to over 16 feet per minute.
Soft start, temperature and overload protection as well as the use of triple
motor bearings contribute to the tool’s durability.
Plunge cuts are nothing new for Festool’s Circular Saws, and the TS 55 R continues this feature, even with the new blade guard design. The tool continues to use the very practical transparent
window over the blade to give you a birds-eye view of the lead cutting edge when plunging into the work material. It gives a perfect view of both the blade and the mark on the workpiece, so you put the blade where you need it. The depth scale includes fine adjustment options for precise results and plunge cuts look to be just as easy with or without the guide rail option.
The Festool TS 55 R Flush Cut Circular Saw seems to be an impressive product that we’re hoping makes its way to the US soon. It’s not full of enough upgrades that you’ll want to trade in your TS 55 EQ anytime soon, but if you’re into Festool and were thinking about upgrading, now might be the time – assuming you can find it. The tool is available with or without a 1400 Guide Rail system.
Full TS 55 R System includes:
- Fine tooth saw blade HW W48
- Guide rail FS 1400/2
- Flag window; vision panel
- SYSTAINER SYS 4 T-LOC