Festool Track Saw TS 55 REQ
Track saws are somewhat of a specialty tool so I’m going to preface this review with this:
Why A Track Saw?
Clean cuts. Safe, clean and fast, solo ripping or crosscutting of sheet goods. Glue ready joints in 1-1/2” hardwood counter-tops. Long angled cuts in sheet goods. Clean cuts. Cutting down doors with speed, ease, and no splintering or chip out. Plus with a long track or with two shorter tracks joined you can cut down sheet goods with minimal space. Did I mention clean cuts? The only downside is that some types of repeated cutting are not as easy as they could be. But otherwise the TS 55 is my go-to when I need a long straight finish cut.
My first impression of the TS 55 REQ is that it is very similar in size and shape to the TS 55. It has a quality look and feel and that well engineered Festool feel about it.
The Older TS 55:
I’ve used the older TS 55 for a few years and absolutely love it. The TS 55 does things circular and table saws can’t, and does some things they can, but more quickly and more safely. Plus the cuts are incredibly clean. With a sharp blade the TS 55 creates glue ready joints and splinter free cuts in finish plywood and other chip-out prone materials. But I did have a couple complaints with the TS 55.
I didn’t like that I couldn’t see the front edge of the blade when doing stop-cuts. The fact that the splinter guard stuck out from the body of the saw could be annoying now and again. It would be nice if the TS 55 could get a little closer to an adjoining vertical surface, like a wall.
A micro adjust on the depth setting would be good, and an adjusted scale to account for the thickness of the track, and maybe an inch scale to go with it since 99.9% of US carpenters use standard rather than metric. And while we’re at it a little back bevel (-1 degree) and a little more than 45 degree bevel would be nice, maybe 47 degrees?
The NEW TS55 REQ:
Bam! TS 55 REQ. If you haven’t already guessed every one of these minor flaws of the TS 55 have been addressed with the REQ. They even came up with something I hadn’t thought of. Mainly a riving knife that descends before the blade allowing you to restart cuts with precise blade placement.
In use the REQ is quite similar to it’s predecessor. Same track system, same blades, the REQ really is a refinement of the TS 55. So it you’ve used the TS 55 you’ll have a good idea of what to expect with the REQ. The buttons and lock knobs are easy to find and easy to use. There are positive stops at 45 and 0 degrees with an easy to use detent override to go to 47 and -1 degrees. The dust collection is very effective. There will still be some clean up but the vast majority of the dust collected during a cut gets sucked into the dust extractor.
Like it’s predecessor the REQ cuts cleanly, accurately, and quickly. No complaints here. Festool took a really excellent tool and made it downright stellar.
They changed things that needed changing and left all the stuff that was good alone. The TS 55 REQ also has the solid build and precision that have become the hallmark of Festool. The price is high but not astronomical compared to it’s competitors of which there are few for this specialty tool. If you’re in the market for a track saw you can’t go wrong with the TS 55 REQ.
TS 55 REQ Track Saw Specifications.
- Power Consumption 1200 watts / 10 amps 120 V AC
- Saw Blade Speed 2,000 – 5,200 rpm
- Saw Blade Diameter 6-1/4″ (160 mm)
- Bevel Cuts -1° – 47°
- (positive stops at 0° and 45°)
- Cutting Depth on Guide Rail 1-15/16″ (50 mm) at 0°
- 1-7/16″ (37 mm) at 45°
- Cutting Depth w/o Guide Rail 2-1/8″ (55 mm) straight down
- 1-11/16″ (43 mm) at 45°
- Arbor size .787″ (20 mm)
- Weight 9.92 lbs (4.5 kg)
- High-quality Carbide Blade 48-tooth (495 377)
- Guide Rail 55″ (1400 mm)
- Limit Stop
- Plug-it Power Cord
- Systainer SYS 4 T-LOC