The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has yet to issue a notice, but a recall is in the works for Festool’s new plunge saw, the TS 55 REQ.
There have been reports of unspecified problems with the plunge mechanism that can create a safety hazard. Festool notified the CPSC and will be undertaking a voluntary recall of affected saws. Shane Holland, the administrator of the Festool Owner’s Group (FOG) posted the following statement on that forum:
Festool has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada of a potential problem with the plunge mechanism on some TS 55 REQ Plunge-Cut Track Saws. While investigation is continuing, Festool, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), intends to recall affected units. If you have a TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Track Saw, please discontinue use immediately and call Festool directly at 1-855-784-9727.
Lee Valley Tools, which sells Festool products, posted this notice on their website:
"Festool has advised all dealers to stop selling and to return all existing stock of the TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw (ZT561556) due to a potential performance issue. If you have a TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Track Saw, please discontinue use immediately and call Festool directly at 1-855-784-9727 (toll-free) for further information about your options."
Victor Rasilla has been testing a TS 55 REQ for Tools of the Trade and he experienced problems with the plunge mechanism of that saw. According to Rasilla, the tool is equipped with a dog that is intended to hold the saw in the partially plunged position while blades are being changed. The dog is activated by the FastFix lever; folding the lever out causes the dog to extend and engage with a detent in the back of the blade housing. The problem is the dog does not fully retract when the lever is folded back in so it tends to catch in the detent while the saw is being plunged (it doesn’t happen every time). This is at best annoying because it makes for rough plunging and at worst dangerous because it can prevent the blade from fully retracting at the end of the cut. Rasilla showed me the problem he was having and it looks to me like the dog on his saw is a little too long.
I called Michael Williams, the Vice President of Marketing for Festool, and asked if the problem Rasilla experienced is the one that caused them to notify the CPSC. Williams said he was not in a position to confirm or deny – not because he didn’t want to but because once a company files with the CPSC there are strict rules against speaking out before the agency decides whether or not there will be a recall. It can take months to issue a recall because the CPSC must go through a process that involves independently verifying what the problem is – even if the manufacturer knows exactly what it is. Williams encourages people who own TS 55 REQ saws not to wait for a recall but to stop using the saws and contact Festool. According to Williams the company’s goal is to remove from service those saws that may be unsafe and to make sure that everyone who buys from Festool is satisfied with the tools and service they receive. You can reach them by calling 1-855-784-9727.