Plunge Saws vs. Circular Saws: Which Tool Delivers Superior Results for Trade Pros? – Festool Australia

Plunge Saws V. Circular Saws: Which is best?

If you’re looking for a power tool to create precise cuts in materials such as wood, laminate, aluminium, sheet plastics, or abrasive materials such as fibreboard sand cement, you’ll be looking at a plunge saw or a circular saw. Plunge and circular saws are an investment, so choosing the correct tool will save you money. There’s a lot to assess, such as design, functionality, price, and purpose. So, let’s talk about plunge saws versus circular saws and determine which tool delivers superior results for both trade professionals and DIY users.


Plunge saws, also known as plunge cut or track saws, have a circular blade that is plunged into sheet material to make straight clean cuts.

This power tool achieves a straight line by sliding along a track secured to the workpiece.

Festool plunge saws are compatible with various accessories to serve various purposes.

TSC 55K 18V 160mm Cordless Plunge SawTSC 55K 18V 160mm Cordless Plunge Saw
TSC 55K 18V 160mm Cordless Plunge Saw

Similar to a plunge saw, a circular saw has a circular blade with a handheld design, and it is used to create precision straight cuts into various materials.

Like plunge saws, it is versatile.

Festool circular saws are compatible with various Festool accessories, such as guide rails.


HKC 55 18V 160mm Cordless Circular Saw HKC 55 18V 160mm Cordless Circular Saw
HKC 55 18V 160mm Cordless Circular Saw

  “A circular saw will be perfect if you’re working on larger construction projects. Choose a plunge cut saw for fine woodworking projects needing a splinter-free finish."


Though there are many similarities, there are some critical differences between the average plunge and circular saw. Note that these differences might not apply to Festool saws, given their unique designs and comprehensive accessory ranges.


Professional splinter-free finish
Good dust extraction with accessories such as dust bags and extractors
Often includes safety features like antikickback and emergency brake
Variable speeds
Large range of accessories
Can create plunge cuts
Can be used on-site; requires a workbench and tracks
Clean cuts, cabinetry, door installation, frame making

Rougher cuts
Typically, no dust extraction or less efficient dust extraction
Potentially more prone to kickback
Usually, only have one speed
Fewer accessories may be available
Cuts should typically be started on the edge of the workpiece
Typically easier to manoeuvre and can be used with or without tracks
Construction, decking, timber floors, timber doors, crosscutting, doors
Precision cuts with FestoolPrecision cuts with Festool

Festool Plunge Saws and Festool Circular Saws

Festool power plunge saws and circular saws are similar. As with Festool plunge saws, you may find that the Festool circular saws offer more patented functions and features than similar saws on the market.

For example, both Festool plunge saws and circular saws have an extensive range of accessories, safety features, and dust extraction accessories. Some circular saws have variable speeds and can also make plunge cuts. Both types of saws are track-compatible, can create bevels, and offer variable cutting depths.

  • The HK 55 160mm Circular Saw, weighing 4.4kg, offers a variable RPM between 2,000 and 5,400 and features a quick-acting brake. This model includes a standard saw blade and a cross-cut rail.
  • The TSV 60k 168mm Plunge Cut Scoring Saw has a built-in scoring system for splinter-free cuts, a Kickback Stop for added safety, and a high power 6,800 rpm motor.

The primary consideration when choosing a saw is its intended purpose.

A circular saw will be perfect if you’re working on larger construction projects. Choose a plunge cut saw for fine woodworking projects needing a splinter-free finish.

Festool has a wide range of saws to choose from, so you’ll be able to find the perfect Festool saw for your projects.

Use Festool Accessories to Achieve Precision Cuts

One of the most critical aspects of the Festool plunge cut saw range is the variety of compatible accessories that help achieve perfect cuts.

Guide rails – select your guide rail according to the length of your workpiece to achieve straight, smooth cuts.

Splinter guards – ensure clean cuts on both the workpiece and the off-cut. They are available for all models of Festool plunge saws.

Guide rail clamps – Festool clamps are made to slide onto the track without hindering the movement of the saw.

Kickback stops – can be attached to the track to achieve exact cut lengths.

90 Degree guide rail square – attaches to the guide rail to help produce exact perpendicular cuts.

Adjustable angle stops – attaches to the guide rail to produce cuts between -60 and +60 degrees.

Guiderail adhesive cushion strips – replaceable cushions to ensure guide rails remain in place without sliding on smooth materials.

Adhesive splinter guards – adhere to guide rails to offer precise alignment to the cut line.

Saw blades – Festool has a range of plunge saw blades that can be matched to the materials you are working on to produce the best finish.

A selection from the Festool Saw range