Has Festool started something big? Is it a new revolution in woodworking? No, I’m not referring to the Domino. That’s old news. Today, I’m writing about Plunge Cut Saws , saws that have a riving knife and so much more.
When the Popular Woodworking team was in Las Vegas for AWFS (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings SuppliersÃ?Â®), we wrote about the invasion of riving knives. We specifically were discussing table saws. But, handheld circular plunge-cut saws fit the bill too.
At AWFS, we spent a great evening with Delta/Porter-Cable. After dinner and entertainment, we were allowed to look at and touch the new tools on display, and talk with company employees about them; these were tools not released at the time. One such tool was a plunge-cut saw. I held the tool in my hands and felt the balance, and looked at the plunge action of the blade. It was very similar to Festool’s TS55EQ saw and the plan was to release the new Delta/Porter-Cable version in Europe sometime in early 2008.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to use a TS55EQ (325 British pounds, US$481) for some work around my shop at home. I was overwhelmed at the ability of the saw. The tool runs on a track which made my cuts on plywood dead straight, and the finish cut was smooth and clean. I was so impressed that I assembled my information and thoughts into a Tool Test column for the April 2008 issue of Popular Woodworking (due to ship to subscribers this week and on sale at newsstands Feb. 26.) I highly recommend the TS55EQ.
Today, it was brought to my attention that a couple other companies have released or are releasing a handheld plunge-cut saw to the market , the European market. Makita has a plunge-type saw out in the U.K. while a DeWalt version is “Coming Soon.” Are they worth the investment? And, how do they stack up to a Festool saw?
Makita has released the SP6000K. It’s a 165 mm plunge saw that boasts a 1300-watt motor and a 55mm (2-1/8″) depth of cut at 90Ã?Âº. The SP6000K1 includes a 1.4m (nearly 55″) guide rail and is priced at 239 British pounds (US$354).
DeWalt ramps up the choices of the plunge-cut saw to work with other tools in the DeWalt line. You can get a plunge-cut saw (DC351KL) with a 28v Li-ion battery (DeWalt’s nano technology battery) an 18v battery comparable with Dewalt’s XRP line (DC352KB) or you can revert back to the old days and purchase a corded version (DWS520K). The only pricing I could find was for the DC351KL. DeWalt’s saw is priced at 509.79 British pounds (US$756.00). Click here for details.
We couldn’t get any information about possible U.S. release dates or how sales are in the U.K. market. If and/or when we get more news, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, check out the new saws. Maybe your next circular saw should be one with a riving knife that runs on a track. I hope each company has a released planned for the U.S. market , I can’t wait to get hold of each of these new saws.
What do you think? Is this saw strictly for plywood and sheet goods? Or, can you see using this set-up for all your circular-saw needs. Post a comment, but keep your eyes open for more information.