Last week I was in Providence, Rhode Island for the JLC LIVE tradeshow and while there I saw a new cordless Festool track saw that is about to be released for sale in Europe. If and when it makes it to the U.S. market has yet to be determined. According to Festool, they brought the saw to Providence to gauge U.S. interest in the product, though I suspect they also hoped to whip up some enthusiasm in advance of the tool’s introduction.
The TSC 55 is in many respects the same as its corded cousins; it uses the same blade, rails, and accessories. What’s different is the power source—it takes one or two batteries. This is not the first track saw to run on batteries; DeWalt made a 36-volt model for about a year and then dropped it. And it’s not the only circular saw that takes two batteries; Makita introduced a 36-volt model early this year that accepts two of the company’s 18-volt packs. But the TSC 55 uses batteries differently; it has a 15-volt motor and can be powered by any combination of Festool’s flat 12-, 15-, and 18-volt batteries—including any of those batteries alone.
Another unusual feature is the dust collection bag—a first for Festool because until the development of a cordless saw it was expected that cutting tools would always be connected to corded dust extractor. While it’s possible to use a corded extractor (the saw includes a hose adaptor) it’s not actually necessary.