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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sick of buying the same brand name tools that don't last. I've tried them all. The last straw was ripping 3/4" hard maple with my Milwaukee circular saw, which has been my favorite so far, but listening to the bearing cry for mercy, I had to stop what I was doing. My Milwaukee router recently seized while working with Sapele and that has seen pretty light use. To me, not so long ago Milwaukee tools were indestructible, now, nothing seems to last. So I went out and bought the Festool TS55 circ. with tracks. I was wondering if anyone used this saw like a regular circular saw (without tracks). My research tells me these things can withstand a lot of use but hoped someone could tell me from experience the up and down side. I have read the blades don't last that long and know they are a little pricey, but the quality/accuracy of cut will hopefully be worth the $. I won't be framing a house with it, but am curious if it has benefits beyond using it exclusively with the track. Thanks in advance.
 

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Not really a good idea to use it with out the rail.

What were you thinking about using it for without the rails?
I may be able to offer you a better solution.

Actually, I think that Festool's blades are some of the best. Buy a spare of your 'go-to' blade and find yourself a good sharpener, I spend about 8 bucks to sharpen the 48t blade that comes with the saw.

For ripping harwoods look at the panther blade.

They also make a 12t rip blade for more general cutting, cdx, adventech, osb, etc.

Oh, congrats on your new saw, and if you ever have a issue with it, Festool has the best customer service out there!!

Better get a CT pretty soon and take advatage of the dust extraction.
 

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I second what Warner said, don't use the saw without the rails, its not meant to be used that way and it could be dangerous.

Sorry to hear about your Milwaukee saw, Milwaukee is not what it used to be.

I picked up the new Milwaukee saw at the store the other day and notice a "made in china" label, too bad. If you don't have one already go grab a good old trusty tried an tried skilsaw hd77 or mag77, last time I checked they were good as ever.
 

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I have never used mine without the rails either, but you can use a 4 foot rail, on pretty much anything, absent a 2x4 or something...

I have used the 4 foot rail, on 'small stuff' before; 16-20 inches or so. If you use the clamps, you can go a little smaller if you need to... Be safe.
 

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I won't be framing a house with it, but am curious if it has benefits beyond using it exclusively with the track. Thanks in advance.
The benifit is the track. I was helping a buddy put up some 4 x 8 siding <<<Im a Tile guy. without the Fes and could not belive how long it took to cut out windows and angles on the gable ends. Once you start to use it you won't want anything else.

also

If you are thinking about using it for crosscutting little stuff the quick and dirty tip is to, pick up an 800 rail, 32", and a dewalt cross cut guide (http://www.amazon.com/DeWALT-DWS502...ef=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1253779565&sr=8-9-spell )


Enjoy the Slide down the hill and don't forget to drink the GREEN Kool-Aid:thumbsup:

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, I knew I would get some helpful answers here. I had seen it marketed that it was possible to use it for cross cutting, but having used it today on it's maiden voyage, I can see how that could be problematic, although not to difficult once you have figured out the saw a bit. It was awesome though after the first few cuts, and yes, the track is the benefit. It was like butter through that hard maple and the finish of the cut (no planing necessary, light sanding only) is definitely worth the price of the blade. There were times when it appeared that the motor "bogged down" (ripping 2 sheets of 3/4 birch at same time) but I was told to expect that as it is a function of its design. If this is as durable as "they" say, I think I'll be very happy with the investment. I can see how it will save me lots of time/labor. Now if I can re-mortgage my house, I can afford some more! I am seeing the Kapex down to $1300. Thank you again.

Codaman
 

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I was a solid "Milwaukee Man" for years, but recently I have had the same concerns. I am tough on my equipment but maintain them regularly. My 20 year old right angle drill is a trooper, but my circular saw, hammer drill and sawzall smell like burning electrical all the time, and I have specifically had a lot of trouble with my cordless screw gun. For sh#ts and giggles, I recently purchased a Ryobi angle grinder and belt sander. They are tough as nails. Maybe the reputation they have as being for hacks and DIYers is fading.
When a friend of mine showed up for a job with that Ryobi cordless circular saw about 4 years ago, I called it a "Barbie Saw". The name stuck, but it has outlasted my Milwaukee.
Anyone else have the same experience?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Didn't Ryobi buy Milwaukee a couple of years ago? Pretty sure I heard that. I was definitely a Milwaukee/Bosch/sometimes Makita man. I remember as a kid on jobs, seeing a trade guy walk in with Milwaukee gear and always being really impressed and couldn't wait till I had my own , but sadly no more. My tool repair guy who is primarily a Milwaukee dealer, who has been in business for 30 years is closing shop and going into the antique business! He was telling me the other day (brand new Dewalt sabre saw in the shop torched from an Ipe deck...the gears inside froze and cracked the front housing....pathetic) that the big box stores are the ones responsible for the demise of these name brands. They will tell Dewalt and such that they want 10,000 units but only want to pay $200 per instead of the original $300. the Dewalts and such then turn to their engineers and say "how can we make this happen". The engineers then start substituting the nuts and bolts of our beloved tools with plastic and chewing gum in order to make it "work". :shutup: I would like nothing more than to be able to support Milwaukee, but it just doesn't pay, literally. It costs. Sorry for rambling.

Codaman
 

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You're not rambling as far as I am concerned. We work hard for our money and put our equipment to the test everyday. When a replacement is needed, we are all faced with the "what to do" dilemma.
I don't do alot of tile work, but have a small backsplash job coming up and my wet saw took a final crap on the last job. I love the Dewalt products' advertising, but since I only do about 6 tile jobs a year do I spend the 1300 for the "right" tool, or what.
Oh, the decisions we face.
 

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I love the Dewalt products' advertising, but since I only do about 6 tile jobs a year do I spend the 1300 for the "right" tool, or what.
Oh, the decisions we face.
I think it is their best product.i have mine setup in the back of my trailer and use it daily. it has 65-70k ft installed under its belt so far....only one major problem (a buddy borrowed it and cracked its support arm when he dropped it:censored:. think it cost him $290 + a new blade to get it fixed for me)
Craig
 

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When will we learn not to loan tools to friends? I still do it against my better judgement and usually have to beg to get it back, then have to de-louse it and send it in for maintenance. And these are people I have worked with for 20+ years. I will never learn I guess:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Milwaukee was sold to Techtronic Industries of Hong Kong, China who manufacture Ryobi, Hoover, dirt devil and others. Sad, that's like saying Budweiser isn't American, oh wait, that was sold to European Inbev. At least Festool is American:oops:
 
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