Good alternative to the Festool TS55 REQ

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Review by TechTeacher04 posted 02-09-2016 01:36 PM 6947 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good alternative to the Festool TS55 REQ No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was asked if I would be interested in building sets for my districts Senior High Musical. The build required breaking down numerous sheets of 1/2 and 1/4” ply. Working alone with a small job saw would be extremely dangerous when cutting the 1/4” luan that is used to skin most of the pieces. A track saw became the safest option for breaking down the sheets accurately and quickly. I had narrowed my search to the Dewalt DWS520K, Festool 55 REQ and Makita SP6000K. The compatibility of the Makita and Festool systems and accessories was a huge selling point.

The Dewalt saw has a unique plunging action that none of the other manufacturers use. This concerned me, Mafel and Festool which were on the top of the price category use the same plunge action as the Makita. Cost is always a factor, the festool was out of my price range, but the Makita offered similar features for a $300 savings. If I choose to upgrade later the Makita track will work with the Festool saws.

The Makita gets 4.5 stars due to the metric depth markings that are molded into the frame. I love the ease of use and accuracy of the saw. I have yet to use the hold down clamps, the 3 rubberized strips keep the track stabilized when ripping and crosscutting ply. The anti-tip clips are a great feature when doing angled cuts. The scoring feature is also handy for melamine and thin veneered ply.

I use 1-1/2” solid foam as a sacrificial cutting surface, it is flat and easy to move and store. The dust shoot can turn, the dust bag for my DeWalt Sliding Miter saw fits when I do not feel like bringing dust extractor.

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5 comments so far

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#1 posted 02-09-2016 02:27 PM

Great review, I’m sold – thanks!

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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#2 posted 02-09-2016 04:54 PM

Thank you for the review. I have just recently put a track saw on my radar/wish list and this is very helpful!

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#3 posted 02-09-2016 07:02 PM

The Makita was my first choice, but then I came across the Dewalt on sale with a long track included, haven’t been sorry yet!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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468 posts in 2695 days

#4 posted 02-10-2016 12:26 AM

I looked at the same kit, the ability to carry the long track under my tonneau cover was a concern. I like the festool compatability more, all of my other corded and cordless tools are dewalt, it almost pained me to buy the makita. Noone in the area had a dewalt i could put my hands on, the makita is similar to the festool that is carried at my local Woodcraft store. Had somone had the dewalt i might be writing a different review.

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68 posts in 1902 days

#5 posted 06-29-2016 02:14 AM

I’ve been having trouble using a circular saw and various edge guides to break down plywood. I think this will be my next purchase for my garage shop.

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