Rips for days

18th September, 2019

Author: Festool Australia Marketing Team

Ben Percy is a fine furniture designer / maker / teacher based in Sydney who's well acquainted with Festool, using it for his classes as well as his own business. You can check out his work here

We asked Ben to put our cordless plunge saw, the TSC 55, through its paces. He hadn't used the cordless version before so was keen to try it on a few jobs where precision and ease were essential but that'd also test the saw for power. 

Here are three applications he picked.

1 - Tasmanian Blackwood board rip

"Here I am using the 5m track to rip a straight edge on a 4.5m Tasmanian Blackwood board. I'm quite accustomed to running a board across my jointer to achieve a straight, square edge. Recently I've taken order of quite a few boardroom tables and it's near impossible to joint a board that length on my own. I couldn't believe how much of a life saver the TSC55 is! The speed and accuracy of the saw and track combined means that alignment and achieving a perfect cut is as simple as applying 2 clamps, attaching the hose and away you go. I was able to rip parallel edges on 8 large boards and have them ready for domino joinery and gluing in no time at all. The saw feels much safer with the elimination of the power lead which makes it easier to walk alongside when making long cuts. The dust extraction pulls right from the top of the cut and saves massively on the clean up and much better for your health. I am very impressed with the battery life and power of the saw when running dual batteries. It maintains full power right until the batteries require charging and not once have I felt the saw want to kick back or struggle cutting solid timber. It is now my go to for ripping a straight edge on solid boards or for producing angled cuts. With my panel saw, I need to know the precise angle to set the fence to which can take time. With the track, I can align it to 2 pencil marks and cut any angle or taper efficiently and reliably. It was never on my list of tools that I thought I would need, but since using it for the first time, I haven't been able to put it down. As a sole trader, the time it saves me in achieving perfect straight edges on long boards is amazing. I would highly recommend it for everyone in this industry."


2 - Surfboard rip

"The clamps were applied very lightly so as to not dent the surface. The curvature of the board meant that I had to ride up and over it. It cut through like a hot knife through butter and was perfectly straight, ready for the stringer to be glued on. Much cleaner and more efficient than any other way I've tried."


3 - Fitting MDF doors

"In this next image I am relieving the back edge of some solid MDF doors which will be inset into frames and hung with top and bottom pivots. When working out on site, it can be hard to make alterations to projects when all of my fixed machinery is back in the workshop. Normally, to make this type of relief cut I would have to load the panels and drive them back to the workshop to put through the panel saw. With the TSC55, I have already saved countless hours by being able to make extremely accurate cuts when and where I need them. The ability to set the saw on any angle and pass along the track means that I can have consistency across the 6 doors I was cutting. When time is money, this saw can pay itself off extremely quickly and save a lot of hours throughout the future. It is lightweight and readily portable, I feel like I've got my panel saw with me wherever I go now and it's great."


Comprehensive, hey?! Hopefully Ben's testing and insight gives you some ideas and helps streamline your processes.

If you've got any questions for us, feel free to send us an email

Until next time 👋


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