Ripping with a Festool TS-55

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Forum topic by Floyd Hall posted 12-14-2017 01:23 AM 1074 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Floyd Hall

179 posts in 1045 days

12-14-2017 01:23 AM

Hi all,

I’ve posted a couple times about problems I having with ripping long boards. The cuts I’ve been getting from with my contractors saw are much better, but the problem is still there—burning, some warping. The saw has been tuned up and aligned about as much as it can be, so I’m wondering what else I can do short of buying a cabinet saw, which I really don’t have the room for right now.

A Festool TS-55 has come up for a good price. Will it properly rip 6/4 hardwoods, say 6-8i wide? And does it require a special set up to do so? I already have an 8ft straight and decent circular saw and I don’t need more than that to break down sheet stock right now. I’m only interested in this if I can rip properly—straight, without burning. I guess I’m a little skeptical that it can.

Any thoughts?


12 replies so far

View Dj1225's profile


75 posts in 2994 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 02:21 AM

If you use the track, reduce the speed of the saw, and have the proper blade then the Ts-55 will do a nice job.

Most of the time I have seen issues when people leave the saw on speed 6 and then try to bully through thick stock. No different than a table saw, you have to reduce speed in heavier stock.

-- Dave

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 02:27 AM

It’s a great saw but I think a pass on the
jointer or some work with a hand plane
will be required sometimes to get edges
ready for finish sanding.

The saws cut straight with the guide rails
but “english” from the operator and tension
in the wood can lead to saw marks and
burning in some woods.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

179 posts in 1045 days

#3 posted 12-14-2017 02:54 AM

How do you secure the board? And my guess is the board had better be planed as flat as it can be.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#4 posted 12-14-2017 03:04 AM

Festool sells clamps for the rail guides. DeWalt
makes some that are cheaper and arguably
easier to operate. Ripping stock narrower than
the guide rails is awkward but can be done
with elaborate workarounds Festool fanatics
have figured out.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

179 posts in 1045 days

#5 posted 12-14-2017 04:37 AM

Ha. I only ask because I’m in the process of putting together two work tables that could work with a system like this. But if I have to deal with a fussy setup, I won’t do it. I got a couple decent circular saws and two good straight-edges. No reason to put money into an expensive track saw. Might as well save it for a better table saw or jointer.


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#6 posted 12-14-2017 04:53 AM

Don’t get me wrong, track saws are hella useful,
especially on job sites. Duplicating the functions
of a good table saw with a cut off box requires
extensive jigs however, and the anti-chip strips
are useful for sheet goods.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

179 posts in 1045 days

#7 posted 12-14-2017 05:21 AM

Thanks. I looked at some of the videos. It really didn’t look like much more than a fancy straight-edge system. I am interested in Festool tools, especially the Domino. But I’ll probably just pass on this for now.



View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6245 posts in 3268 days

#8 posted 12-14-2017 11:51 AM

Sounds like you’ve made your choice, and certainly the right one for you. But I thought I add my 2ยข. For the record, I’m not a Festool fanatic and bought my track saw before some of the competitors were on the market. But a major use I have for it is straight edging rough sawn lumber….and it works great. In most cases the track doesn’t have to be clamped down, it holds quite well on it’s own. If the board has a little twist, the track can still be used with care. If it
s not wide enough I simply put another board next to it and lay the track on both of them. I’m not suggesting you change your mind, only that it works well. But in the end it is just an expensive straight edge guide system.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3071 days

#9 posted 12-14-2017 01:54 PM

If you’re burning wood your blade is dull.

View jonah's profile


2122 posts in 4073 days

#10 posted 12-14-2017 02:44 PM

There’s a lot of reasons for burning wood.

- A dull blade
- Misaligned blade/fence
- Improper feed rate
- Underpowered saw
- Improper blade selection (too many teeth, kerf too thick for the saw’s motor, etc)
- Warped wood
- Technique (not keeping wood tight to the fence)

The tricky thing is that it could be a combination of factors too, not just one.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1366 days

#11 posted 12-14-2017 03:39 PM

Yes you can rip 8 inch wide boards. The thickness is no problem as long as it is in the specs of the saw ( 2” for the saw you refer too).
However you cannot rip 6 inch wide boards without jumping through hoops.

View Floyd Hall's profile

Floyd Hall

179 posts in 1045 days

#12 posted 12-14-2017 06:51 PM

Thanks all.

I’ve been working out the issues with my contractors saw for months now. It’s got new blades and has been aligned and set up about as well as it can be, though I’ve been toying with the idea of putting a bigger motor on it because I like the mobility. Like I said, I have a small shop and someday I might was to rehab houses. Anyway, it’s cutting okay now. I guess if I want better cuts I’ll just have to buy a bigger saw.

This TS-55 just came up, but without the tracks. I’ve seen some of the videos and since I’m assembling two tables of equal height to work on slabs, I figured it might work. However, it doesn’t sound like it will work that much better than a standard straight-edge and circular saw, which I already have. This is no knock against Festool, which seems to make great tools. It just seems like I don’t really need this particular saw. If I did a lot of work with sheet stock, it’d be a no-brainer. I’d buy it.

Thanks again. I appreciate everybody’s help.


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