Festool PD561438 Cordless Saw User Manual

TS 55 EQ
Circular Saw Instruction Manual
Important: Read and understand all
instructions before using this tool.
Conditions of 1+2 Warranty
You are entitled to a free extended warranty (1 year + 2
years = 3 years) for your Festool power tool. Festool shall be
responsible for all shipping costs during the first year of the
warranty. During the second and third year of the warranty
the customer is responsible for shipping the tool to Festool.
Festool will pay for return shipping to the customer using
UPS Ground Service. All warranty service is valid 3 years
from the date of purchase on your receipt or invoice.
Festool Limited Warranty
This warranty is valid on the pre-condition that the tool is
used and operated in compliance with the Festool operating
instructions. Festool warrants, only to the original consumer
purchaser, that the specified tool will be free from defects in
materials and workmanship for a term of one year from the
date of procurement. Festool makes no other warranty,
express or implied, for Festool portable power tools. No
agent, representative, distributor, dealer or employee of
Festool has the authority to increase or otherwise change the
obligations or limitations of this warranty. The obligations of
Festool in its sole discretion under this warranty shall be
limited to the repair or replacement of any Festool portable
power tool that is found to be defective as packaged with the
User Manual.
Excluded from coverage under this warranty are: normal
wear and tear; damages caused by misuse, abuse or neglect;
damage caused by anything other than defects in material
and workmanship. This warranty does not apply to
accessory items such as circular saw blades, drill bits, router
bits, jigsaw blades, sanding belts, and grinding wheels. Also
excluded are “wearing parts”, such as carbon brushes,
lamellas of air tools, rubber collars and seals, sanding discs
and pads, and batteries.
Festool portable power tools requiring replacement or repair
are to be returned with the receipt of purchase to Festool
(call 800-554-8741 for address details).
Some states in the U.S. and some Canadian provinces do not
allow the limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts,
so the above limitation may not apply to you. With the
exception of any warranties implied by state or province law
as hereby limited, the foregoing express limited warranty is
exclusive and in lieu of all other warranties, guarantees,
agreements and similar obligations of Festool. This warranty
gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other
rights which vary from state to state in the U.S., and
province to province in Canada.
Liability Statement
This product has been built to the high standards of Festool.
Please do not attempt to operate or repair this equipment
without adequate training. Any use, operation, or repair in
contravention of this document is at your own risk. By
acceptance of this system you hereby assume all liability
consequent to your use or misuse of this equipment. Festool
assumes no liability for incidental, special, or consequential
damage of any kind. Equipment specifications, applications,
and options are subject to change at the sole discretion of
Festool without notice.
Proprietary Notice
All drawings and information herein are the property of Festool, TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG. All unauthorized
use and reproduction is prohibited.
Written and Illustrated by Rick Christopherson.
© 2006 TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America and Germany.
Festool is a trademark and service mark of TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Warranty ..............................................................................2
Conditions of 1+2 Warranty .........................................2
Festool Limited Warranty .............................................2
Liability Statement .........................................................2
Proprietary Notice..........................................................2
General Safety Rules...........................................................4
Work Area Safety .......................................................4
Electrical Safety ..........................................................4
Extension Cords .........................................................4
Personal Safety ...........................................................4
Tool Use and Care......................................................4
Specific Safety Rules for Circular Saws.......................5
Causes and Prevention of Kickback ........................5
Respiratory Exposure Warning................................5
Tool Description..................................................................6
Technical Specifications.................................................6
Intended Use ...................................................................7
Single-Point Entry ..........................................................7
Setup and Adjustments......................................................7
Setting up a New Saw....................................................7
Adjusting the Guide Rail Gib Cams ............................8
Trimming the Guide Rail Splinter Guard ...................8
Trimming the Outrigger Splinter Guard ....................9
Replacing and Adjusting the Riving Knife .................9
Changing the Sawblade...............................................10
Setting the Blade Perpendicular to the Sole Plate....11
Adjusting the 45º Bevel Stop.......................................12
Matching the TS 55 to an Existing Guide Rail..........12
Instruction Manual
Operation ...........................................................................13
Setting the Blade Depth ...............................................13
Setting the Motor Speed ..............................................13
Turning On the Saw.....................................................14
Using the Outrigger Splinter Guard..........................14
Setting the Bevel Angle ...............................................15
Using the Guide Stop...................................................15
Using Dust Extraction..................................................16
Applications ......................................................................17
Straight-Lining Rough Lumber ..................................17
Crosscutting and Trimming........................................18
Plunge Cutting..............................................................19
Cutting Non-Wood Materials.....................................20
Soft Plastics ...............................................................20
Brittle Plastics ...........................................................20
Thin Aluminum........................................................20
Extruded Aluminum ...............................................20
Guide Rails ....................................................................22
Dust Cover ....................................................................22
Guide Rail Accessory Kit.............................................22
Rip Fence (Parallel Guide) ..........................................22
Systainer (System Container) .....................................23
Maintenance ......................................................................25
Routine Maintenance ...................................................25
Replacing the Guide Rail Gib Cams ..........................26
Replacing the Guide Rail Splinter Guard .................26
Changing the Motor Brushes......................................27
General Safety Rules
WARNING: Read and understand all instructions listed below.
Failure to heed instructions may result in personal injury,
electrocution, or fire hazard.
Save These Instructions
Work Area Safety
Keep your work area clean and well lit. Cluttered benches and
dark areas invite accidents.
Do not operate power tools in explosive atmospheres, such as
in the presence of flammable liquids, gases, or dust. Power
tools create sparks which may ignite the dust or fumes.
Keep bystanders, children, and visitors away while operating a
power tool. Distractions can cause you to lose control.
Electrical Safety
Double insulated tools are equipped with a polarized plug
(one blade is wider than the other). This plug will fit in a
polarized outlet only one way. If the plug does not fit fully into
the outlet, reverse the plug. If it still does not fit, contact a
qualified electrician to install a polarized outlet. Do not change
the plug in any way. Double insulation eliminates the need for
the three wire grounded power cord.
Avoid body contact with grounded surfaces such as pipes,
radiators, ranges and refrigerators. There is an increased risk of
electric shock if your body is grounded.
Do not expose power tools to rain or wet conditions. Water
entering a power tool will increase the risk of electric shock.
Do not abuse the cord. Never use the cord to carry the tools or
pull the plug from an outlet. Keep cord away from heat, oil,
sharp edges or moving parts. Replace damaged cords
immediately. Damaged cords increase the risk of electric shock.
Extension Cords
All due care should be practiced while using extension cords with
this tool.
► When operating a power tool outside, use an outdoor extension
cord marked “W-A” or “W”. These cords are rated for outdoor
use and reduce the risk of electric shock.
► Never use an extension cord that is damaged, such as cuts,
exposed wires, or bent/missing prongs.
► Use only extension cords rated for the purpose.
Use only extension cords rated for the amperage of this tool
and the length of the cord. Using too small of an extension cord
can cause the router to lose power and damage the tool.
Extension Cord Ratings
Cord Length
Size (AWG)
<50 Ft.
50-100 Ft.
100-150 Ft.
>150 Ft.
Not recommended
Personal Safety
Stay alert, watch what you are doing, and use common sense
when operating a power tool. Do not use tool while tired or
under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication. A moment
of inattention while operating power tools may result in serious
personal injury.
Dress properly. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry. Contain
long hair. Keep your hair, clothing, and gloves away from
moving parts. Loose clothes, jewelry, or long hair can be caught
in moving parts.
Avoid accidental starting. Be sure the switch is off before
plugging in the power cord. Carrying tools with your finger on
the switch or plugging in tools that have the switch on invites
Remove adjusting keys or wrenches before turning the tool on.
A wrench or a key that is left attached to a rotating part of the
tool may result in personal injury.
Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times.
Proper footing and balance enables better control of the tool in
unexpected situations.
Use safety equipment. Always wear eye protection. Dust mask,
non-skid safety shoes, hard hat, or hearing protection must be
used for appropriate conditions. (Ordinary glasses are NOT
proper eye protection.)
Tool Use and Care
Use clamps or other practical way to secure and support the
workpiece to a stable platform. Holding the work by hand or
against your body is unstable and may lead to loss of control.
Do not force the tool. Use the correct tool for your application.
The correct tool will do the job better and safer at the rate for
which it is designed.
Do not use the tool if the switch does not turn it on or off. Any
tool that cannot be controlled with the switch is dangerous and
must be repaired.
Disconnect the plug from the power source before making any
adjustments, changing accessories, or storing the tool. Such
preventive safety measures reduce the risk of starting the tool
Store idle tools out of reach of children and other untrained
persons. Tools are dangerous in the hands of untrained users.
Maintain tools with care. Keep cutting tools sharp and clean.
Properly maintained tools with sharp cutting edges are less likely
to bind and are easier to control.
Check for misalignment or binding of moving parts, breakage
of parts, and any other condition that may affect the tool's
operation. If damaged, have the tool serviced before using.
Many accidents are caused by poorly maintained tools.
Use only accessories that are recommended by the
manufacturer for your model. Accessories that may be suitable
for one tool may become hazardous when used on another tool.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Tool service must be performed only by qualified repair
personnel. Service or maintenance performed by unqualified
personnel could result in a risk of injury.
When servicing a tool, use only identical replacement parts.
Use of unauthorized parts or failure to follow maintenance
instructions may create a risk of electric shock or injury.
Specific Safety Rules for Circular Saws
Risk of personal injury.
Keep hands away from the blade and cutting area. Keep your
second hand on the auxiliary handle. If both hands are holding
the saw, they cannot be cut by the blade.
Keep your body positioned to either side of the saw blade, but
not in line with the saw blade. Kickback could cause the saw to
jump backward. (See “Causes and Prevention of Kickback”
Do not reach underneath the workpiece. The blade is fully
exposed under the workpiece.
Never use a dust extraction system when making cuts that can
result in sparks, such as cutting through nails and other ferrous
materials. Sparks and hot embers can cause a fire or explosion in
the dust extraction system.
Never hold the piece being cut in your hands or across your
leg. It is important to support the work properly to minimize
body exposure, blade binding, or loss of control.
Hold the saw by the insulated handles when performing an
operation in which the sawblade may contact hidden wiring or
its own cord. Contact with a “live” wire will make the exposed
metal parts of the tool “live” and shock the operator.
When ripping, always use a rip fence or straight edge guide.
This improves the accuracy of cut and reduces the chance for
blade binding.
Always use blades with the correct size and shape arbor holes.
Blades that do not match the mounting hardware of the saw will
run eccentrically, causing loss of control.
Never use damaged or incorrect blade flanges or bolt. The blade
flanges and bolt were specially designed for your saw for
optimum performance and safety of operation.
Causes and Prevention of Kickback
Kickback is a sudden reaction to a pinched, bound, or misaligned saw
blade that causes an uncontrolled saw to lift up and out of the workpiece
toward the operator.
When the blade is pinched or bound tightly by the kerf closing down, the
blade stalls and the motor reaction drives the unit rapidly back toward
the operator.
If the blade becomes twisted or misaligned in the cut, the teeth at the
back edge of the blade can dig into the top surface of the wood, causing
the blade to climb out of the kerf and jump back toward the operator.
Supports must be placed under the panel on both sides,
near the line of cut and near the edge of the panel as
The bevel adjusting knobs must be fully tightened before
making a cut. If the blade tilts during a cut, it will bind and
cause a kickback.
Use extra caution when making a plunge cut into existing
walls or other blind areas. The protruding blade may cut
objects that can cause kickback.
Kickback is the result of incorrect operating procedures or conditions
and can be avoided by taking proper precautions as described below:
Maintain a firm grip with both hands on the saw and position your
body and arm to allow you to resist kickback forces. Kickback forces
can be controlled by the operator if proper precautions are taken.
If the blade is binding or when interrupting a cut for any reason,
release the trigger and hold the saw motionless in the material until
the blade comes to a complete stop. Never attempt to remove the saw
from the work or pull the saw backward while the blade is in motion,
or kickback may occur. Investigate and take corrective actions to
eliminate the cause of blade binding.
When restarting a saw in the workpiece, center the saw blade in the
kerf and check that the saw teeth are not engaging the material. If the
saw blade is binding during a restart, it may climb up or kickback from
the workpiece.
Do not use a dull or damaged blade. Dull or improperly sharpened
blades cause excessive friction, blade binding, and kickback.
Support large panels to minimize the risk of the blade pinching and
causing a kickback. Large panels tend to sag under their own weight.
Respiratory Exposure Warning
Various dust created by power sanding, sawing, grinding, drilling
and other construction activities contains chemicals known (to the
State of California) to cause cancer, birth defects or other
reproductive harm. Some examples of these chemicals are:
► lead from lead-based paints,
► crystalline silica from bricks, cement, and other masonry
► arsenic and chromium from chemically-treated lumber.
Instruction Manual
The risk from these exposures varies, depending on how often you
do this type of work. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals:
work in a well ventilated area, and work with approved safety
equipment, such as dust masks that are specially designed to filter
out microscopic particles.
Tool Description
Figures 1a and 1b
a. Dust Collection Port.
i. Bevel Gauge and Lock Knob.
b. Spring Loaded Riving Knife.
j. Guide Rail Gib Cams.
c. Arbor Bolt.
k. Sole Plate.
d. Outrigger Splinter Guard.
l. Plug-it Power Cord Port.
e. Depth Stop and Gauge.
m. Speed Control.
f. Blade Wrench Storage.
n. Main Handle.
g. FastFix Arbor/Plunge Lock.
o. Trigger (On/Off Switch).
h. Auxiliary Handle.
p. Plunge Release and Trigger Safety Release.
Technical Specifications
Power Consumption
Speed Range
Blade Diameter
Arbor Diameter
Depth of Cut (without
guide rail)
Bevel Angle
1200 Watts (10 amps @ 120 volts)
2,000 to 5,200 RPM (no load)
160 mm
20 mm/Round
55 mm (2.2") @ 90º/43 mm (1.7") @ 45º
0º to 45º
4.5 kg (9.9 lbs)
UL745, CSA C22.2/745
All metric dimensions are binding. Sawblade dimensions are critical for safe
operation, and are presented in metric units only.
The TS 55 has several features to protect the motor from
The TS 55 has thermal overload protection. If the motor
overheats from extended heavy use, the electronic
controller will shut down the motor until it cools down.
This is to protect the motor from permanent damage.
Once the thermal overload has activated, simply wait a
few minutes for the motor to cool down before resuming
operation. The thermal overload resets automatically
when the temperature returns to normal.
The TS 55 also has over-current protection. If the electrical
current to the motor exceeds the safe limit (such as what
happens with a pinched blade), the motor is temporarily
disabled to protect itself. The motor is automatically reset
when the power trigger is released.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Intended Use
The TS 55 EQ, hand-operated circular saw, is designed exclusively for sawing of wood, wood-like materials, and plastics.
The saw may also be used for cutting aluminum when a Festool aluminum-cutting sawblade is installed. The tool should not
be altered or used for any other purpose, other than as specified in these operating instructions. Using the tool in
contravention to this manual will void your warrantee and may lead to injury. The user shall be responsible and liable for
damages and accidents resulting from misuse or abuse of this saw.
Single-Point Entry
Single point entry means that the sawblade
always enters the cut at the same location
regardless what the bevel angle is set to. The
pivot point of the bevel adjustment is
located at the bottom edge of the splinter
guard. This means that the cut will always
be along the splinter guard for any bevel
(Note that this is applicable only when the
guide rail is used. When the guide rail is not
under the saw, the bevel cut will move
slightly outward, away from the main body
of the saw.)
Setup and Adjustments
Setting up a New Saw
There are some simple setup procedures to follow before a
new saw can be used. Follow this sequence of inspections
and adjustments before using the saw for the first time. It is
important that these instructions be followed sequentially
before cutting the zero-clearance splinter guards.
!CAUTION: The riving knife is a safety feature of the saw to
prevent binding in the cut. All saw work should be
carried out only with the riving knife installed and
correctly set!
!WARNING: Always disconnect the saw from the power
supply before making any adjustments to the saw or
installing or removing any accessory!
With the saw unplugged, inspect the blade for damage
and make sure it is properly secured to the arbor. (Refer
to "Changing the Sawblade" on page 10 for more
!WARNING: Check regularly whether the saw blade is in
good condition. Saw blades which are cracked,
damaged, or deformed should no longer be used.
Instruction Manual
The riving knife is installed and adjusted at the factory,
however, you should verify that it is properly secured
and adjusted (refer to page 9 for more information).
Install the power cord into the [Plug It] receptacle on the
saw (refer to page 14 for more information).
Perform the guide rail gib cam adjustment procedure
described on page 8.
After completing all of the inspections and adjustments
listed above, cut the zero-clearance splinter guards as
described on page 8.
Adjusting the Guide Rail Gib Cams
The guide rail gib cams tighten against the rib of the guide
rail to remove any side-play from the saw during a cut.
Thumbwheels on the top of the cams permit easy
Place the saw on the guide rail.
Loosen both cams by rotating the
thumbwheels counterclockwise.
Working with one cam at a time, jiggle
the saw side-to-side while turning the
cam clockwise until the saw fits
snugly to the rail.
Repeat for the second cam.
Make sure the cams are not over
tightened by sliding the saw down the
guide rail. If the saw does not slide
easily, loosen the cams.
The cams do not need to be very tight for normal
operations. A tiny amount of side-play will not impact the
quality of a cut.
The cam action of the gibs allows for a large force to be
applied to the gibs from a small amount of turning of the
Over tightening the cams or operating the saw in abrasive
environments can cause premature wear. Periodically
inspect the cams for flat spots, and replace if necessary.
Trimming the Guide Rail Splinter Guard
The leading edge of the guide rail has a replaceable,
rubber, zero-clearance strip. The first time the saw is used
with the guide rail, this strip is trimmed to match the
sawblade. When trimmed to size, this strip reduces
chipping and tearout during normal cutting.
If you have more than one saw that uses the same
guide rail system, you want all of the tools to have
the same cutting path. Before cutting the splinter
guard, use the "Matching the TS 55 to an Existing
Guide Rail" procedure described on page 12 to
match one tool to another.
Set the blade depth very shallow (6 to 7 mm) so that
the blade teeth penetrate the strip by about half a
tooth, as shown.
Set the motor speed to its lowest setting (setting 1).
Place the guide rail on a stable surface with the strip
hanging over the edge so you don’t cut the table.
If necessary, adjust the guide rail gib cams as described on
page 8.
Cut the strip in a single, smooth, low-speed rip from one
end of the guide rail to the other.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Trimming the Outrigger Splinter Guard
The outrigger splinter guard is used to prevent chipping on
the offcut side of the sawblade. The outrigger can be
retracted away from the workpiece when not needed.
Before the outrigger splinter guard is used for the first
time, it needs to be trimmed to fit the sawblade.
Remove the thumbscrew from the outrigger and
slide the outrigger on to the front edge of the blade
guard as shown.
Insert the thumbscrew through the outrigger,
through the height adjustment slot, and into the
captive nut on the back side of the outrigger.
Raise the outrigger to its top position and tighten
the thumbscrew.
Place the saw on a stable surface so that the blade
can be plunged down without cutting the surface
(or use a piece of scrap wood).
Set the motor speed to its lowest setting (setting 1).
Start the saw and slowly plunge the blade to full
Replacing and Adjusting the Riving Knife
Periodically inspect the riving knife to ensure it is not bent and
has proper clearance away from the blade. Replace if bent.
Unplug the saw for safety.
Raise the FastFix latch lever and plunge the saw until it locks
into position (see page 10 for more information on the
FastFix lever).
Using the arbor wrench (stored in the auxiliary handle)
loosen the riving knife mounting screw.
If the riving knife needs replacement, slide it out of its
mounting, and slide a new knife back in.
Raise or lower the riving knife so there is a 2 to 4 mm (3/32
to 5/32 inch) clearance between the knife and the blade.
Retighten the mounting screw.
Instruction Manual
Changing the Sawblade
The TS 55 saw features the FastFix system for easier blade
changing. The FastFix system is engaged by raising the
FastFix latch lever and plunging the saw down. The
system includes the following features:
For safety, the power switch is locked out.
The plunge depth is locked in the position shown to the
right with the arbor bolt accessible through an opening
in the blade cover.
The arbor is locked from turning.
The riving knife mounting screw is accessible through
an opening in the blade cover.
Sawblade Checks and Warnings
Use only sawblades that are approved for use with the
saw and appropriate for the type of material being cut.
Use only sawblades with a diameter of 160 mm, and an
arbor bore of 20 mm.
Do not use a sawblade that is bent or warped.
Do not use a sawblade with missing or damaged teeth.
Removing the Sawblade
Unplug the saw for safety.
Although not required, you may wish to remove the
outrigger splinter guard for better clearance.
Raise the FastFix latch lever.
Press upward on the plunge lock release button and
plunge the saw down until it locks into position.
Using the arbor wrench (stored in the auxiliary handle)
loosen the arbor bolt by turning it counterclockwise.
Remove the arbor bolt and washer.
Retract the riving knife out of the way and remove the
blade from the saw.
Replacing the Sawblade
While retracting the riving knife, insert the blade into the
saw and over the arbor flange. Make sure the blade's teeth
are facing forward in the direction shown above.
Place the arbor washer over the arbor flange and rotate it
until the alignment keys engage with the arbor flange.
Replace the arbor bolt and tighten it firmly.
While pressing down on the auxiliary handle, lower the
FastFix latch, and slowly release the plunge.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Setting the Blade Perpendicular to the Sole Plate
This adjustment ensures that cuts are made square to the
workpiece surface. This adjustment is completed at the
factory and shouldn’t need to be adjusted unless the tool has
been modified or serviced.
The most accurate method for checking the square of the
blade is to make a cut with the saw and examine the
resulting cut.
For even greater accuracy, the procedure below uses a
method that amplifies a small measurement into a larger
measurement to make it easier to observe. This doubles the
accuracy of the adjustment.
Adjustment Procedure
Using the guide rail, carefully cut a small piece of wood
in half.
Flip the offcut board end-for-end so the cut-line is still
together but the board is upside down. (Don't flip the
board that was under the saw.)
Inspect the joint between the two boards:
This is a precision adjustment. Make sure the guide rail
and workpiece are securely clamped.
The piece should be at least ¾ inch thick by 12 inches
The thicker the piece, the more accurate the adjustment
will be.
For best results, the material should have a consistent
center, such as Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF),
plastic, or solid lumber.
Place the two pieces back together to verify that the
original cut-line is tight (Figure A). If the cut-line is not
tight, make a new cut.
If there is no gap then the adjustment is correct.
If the gap is at the top of the two boards (Figure B), then
turn the adjustment screws clockwise.
If the gap is at the bottom of the two
boards (Figure C), then turn the
adjustment screws counterclockwise.
Loosen the front and rear bevel lock
knobs (see image to the right).
Instruction Manual
Turn the two stop screws in the direction determined in
step 4. (Make sure to turn both screws the same
amount.) Each turn of the adjustment screw will have
the following effect:
1 turn equals 1 degree of adjustment.
1 turn equals ½ mm of gap between the boards shown
above (assuming ¾ inch thick boards).
Verify the adjustment setting by repeating steps 1
through 4.
Adjusting the 45º Bevel Stop
The bevel setting has a positive stop at 45º and is
adjustable for accuracy. In most cases, the bevel
stop should be set for 45º, however, some users
may prefer to have the stop set slightly larger than
45º for tighter miter corners.
The most accurate method for measuring a 45º
angle is to make a box as shown. Any error in the
angle will be compounded with each cut made.
Take a piece of scrap wood and bevel both
sides (double-sided bevel, as shown to the
Make sure the cuts are parallel.
The size of the wood is not critical, but should
be at least ¾ inch thick and about 5 inches
wide by 16 to 20 inches long.
Cut the piece of wood into 4 equal parts as
shown in the top image to the right.
Put the four pieces together to form a box.
Examine the gaps in the corners of the box:
Gaps at the outside corners indicate the bevel
angle is less than 45º. Loosen the setscrew.
Gaps at the inside corners indicate the bevel
angle is greater than 45º. Tighten the setscrew.
Verify any adjustments by repeating the
Matching the TS 55 to an Existing Guide Rail
If you have more than one Festool saw, and you want them
to share the same guide rails, you can adjust the TS 55 to
match the cutting position of a previous saw.
Clamp your existing guide rail to a small scrap of wood
(about 12 inches long) so it cannot move.
Using your existing saw, cut the piece of wood. Do not
move the guide rail after the cut is finished.
Place the new TS 55 saw on the guide rail.
Loosen the four hinge block mounting screws (2-front
and 2-rear).
Plunge the blade to full depth and hold it there.
Slide the front of the sawblade up to the edge of the cut
piece of wood.
Slide the back of the sawblade up to the edge of the cut
piece of wood, except place a piece of paper between the
blade and the wood. This paper serves as a shim to
space the blade slightly away from the wood at the back
of the cut. The saw’s cutting is improved if the back of
the blade is skewed slightly away from the guide rail.
Retighten the hinge block mounting screws.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Setting the Blade Depth
The TS 55 is equipped with a depth stop for setting the
depth of the blade during a plunge cut. Using the correct
blade depth improves cutting safety, cut quality, and motor
Effects of Too Shallow of a Setting
Higher drag on the sawblade, requiring more power and
effort to complete the cut.
Increased chance for kickback.
Increased chipping and splintering on the underside of the
cut, especially with melamine and veneers.
Increased burning of the cut, especially in certain
hardwoods like cherry and maple.
With the exception of underside chipping, all of these
effects are greatest with finer-toothed blades.
Effects of Too Deep of a Setting
Increased danger with more of the blade exposed below
the workpiece.
Increased sawtooth marks in the cut.
Increased top-side chipping and splintering, especially
without using the guide rail and splinter guards.
Blade Depth Recommendations
There are no set rules for
setting the depth of the
blade with respect to the
underside of the cut.
However, a common
industry guideline is to
have the gullets of the blade even with the underside of the
workpiece. This will therefore be used as a baseline to
describe optional depth settings.
If a material is prone to burning in the cut, increase the
depth slightly. This includes ripping hardwoods such as
cherry and maple.
Using a combination blade in solid wood may perform
better with a slightly deeper setting.
Using a coarse blade in sheet materials may be improved
with a shallower cut.
Cutting dense and/or hard materials may require a deeper
setting to decrease heat and load on the tool.
Cutting fragile or shatter-prone materials such as plastics
or countertop laminates is best with a shallow setting (and
low speed).
Cutting aluminum may be improved with a semi-shallow
setting, but not too shallow.
When Used with the Multi-Function Table (MFT) you may
wish to keep the blade
depth shallower.
Cutting non-fragile, nonshattering plastics such as
polypropylene or solidsurface countertops may
be improved with a deeper
More aggressive blades,
such as the Panther
ripping blade, can be used
at a shallower setting.
Using the Depth Stop
Press in on the index
pointer and slide it up or
down to the desired
When used with the guide rail, add 5 mm to the desired
depth to account for the guide rail thickness.
Setting the Motor Speed
The TS 55 has electronic speed control with soft-start
circuitry. The electronic controller will maintain the motor
speed even as the load changes. The speed control is
infinitely variable from 2000 to 5200 RPM. The optimal
speed of the saw is predominately determined by the type
of material being cut.
Soft wood products and veneer plywoods
Hardwood products
Plastic laminate countertops
Hard plastics
Soft plastics
Plaster and cementitious hardboard
Instruction Manual
Turn the speed control dial (shown on page 14) to the number
shown in the table to the left.
A Note About Speed Control
When you first turn on the saw and there is no load on the
sawblade, you may notice a slight “growling” sound from the
saw. This is normal, and is a result of the motor’s gears
reacting to the speed control.
The electronic controller in the motor controls the motor speed
by turning it On and Off very rapidly. This form of speed
control is called "Pulse-Width Modulation" (PWM), and is
common in most power tools with a variable speed control.
When there is no load on the sawblade, the pulsations of the
motor cause the gears to rapidly engage and disengage (called
backlash), and this is the sound you are hearing.
Turning On the Saw
To prevent unexpected start-ups, the power switch has an
integral safety interlock. Before the saw can be started, the
plunge release must be engaged.
Insert the Plug-it cord into the saw with the keyway lined
up with the key, and twist the end to lock it in place.
Press up on the plunge release lever.
Pull back on the power trigger.
Using the Outrigger Splinter Guard
The outrigger splinter guard is used when the cut to the
right of the blade needs to be chip-free. When not in use,
the outrigger can be raised out of the way. For bevel cuts,
the outrigger is easily removable.
Remove the thumbscrew from the outrigger and slide
the outrigger on to the front edge of the blade cover as
Insert the thumbscrew through the outrigger, through
the height adjustment slot, and into the captive nut on
the back side of the outrigger.
Place the saw on the guide rail, on the workpiece, and
lower the splinter guard down to the surface of the
Tighten the thumbscrew.
Inspect the bottom of the outrigger for burrs that could
scratch the workpiece.
Remove the outrigger when making bevel cuts.
For plunge cuts, there is an index mark to indicate the
blade position when the blade is at full depth.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Setting the Bevel Angle
When used with the guide rail, the blade of the TS 55 enters
the workpiece at exactly the same location regardless of the
bevel angle (see the picture on page 7). However, when used
without the guide rail, the cut position moves outward
slightly as the bevel angle increases. (The small notch at the
front of the sole plate indicates the cut position when the
saw is used without the guide rail.)
Remove the outrigger splinter guard.
Loosen the front and rear lock knobs.
Tilt the saw until the index pointer is pointed to the
desired bevel angle setting.
Tighten the front and rear lock knobs.
For bevel angles greater than 30 degrees, most of the
weight of the saw is beyond the edge of the sole
plate. Make sure to hold the sole plate down when
cutting to prevent the saw from tipping
Using the Guide Stop
The guide stop serves two purposes: it controls the saw’s
position and prevents a kickback during a plunge cut. The
leading edge of the guide stop prevents the saw from
moving backward as the plunge begins. The anti-kickback
lip engages with the sole plate of the saw to prevent the
back of the saw from lifting up at the beginning of a plunge
Slide the guide stop onto the T-slot of the guide rail with
the embossed arrow pointing toward the front of the
Position the stop behind the starting position of the saw.
When the blade is at full-depth, the guide stop is 3 ¾
inches behind the start of the cut.
When the blade is less than full depth, the distance
between the blade (cut) and the guide stop will be
For best results, you should always verify the blade’s
cutting position before staring the cut.
Tighten the thumbscrew on the guide stop.
Instruction Manual
Using Dust Extraction
The TS 55 can be used with or without a dust extraction
system. The chip diverter swivels to direct the sawdust
away from the work area when a dust extraction system is
not used.
For best results, however, a dust extraction system (such as
the Festool CT 22 shown below) should be used. Festool
dust extractors have the added features of variable speed,
and sensing when the saw is turned on. The vacuum will
automatically start when the saw is turned on, and will
remain running for a couple of seconds after the saw turns
off to clear the remaining dust.
Insert the extractor hose into the chip diverter (36 mm
inside diameter [1-7/16 in.])
Plug the TS 55 power cord into the auxiliary outlet on the
extractor (if so equipped).
Set the power switch on the extractor to “Auto.” (The
auxiliary power outlet is active only when the switch is
set to Auto.)
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
The TS 55 is capable of performing a wide variety of tasks. The following sections provide information on some of these
tasks. This is intended to be an introduction to the capabilities of the saw, but should not be considered as a comprehensive
list of its capabilities.
Straight-Lining Rough Lumber
Purchasing lumber directly from a saw mill is significantly
less expensive than buying from a home center. However,
part of the reason why the lumber is less expensive is
because it frequently has not been straight-line ripped.
Sawmills have special straight-line ripping tablesaws, but
they charge an extra fee for the service, and straight-lining
on a regular tablesaw is complicated.
The TS 55 can quickly and easily straight-line rough lumber
using the guide rail. Additionally, if the grain of the wood is
diagonal with the cut edge, the TS 55 can be used to re-cut
the lumber on a diagonal to match the natural wood grain
direction or to avoid defects.
Tips for Successful Straight-Lining
Use the correct blade for the cut. The Panther ripping
blade will provide the easiest cutting in any hardwood. A
coarse combination blade may be used for softwoods, or
Instruction Manual
for a finer edge, but it will take more effort to rip the
► The Panther blade is aggressive enough that you do not
need to fully expose the whole gullet as shown on page
13. For cleaner cuts, expose ½ to a full tooth of the blade
below the wood. The deeper the setting, the easier the
cut will be.
► For a less aggressive, combination blade, you may need
to set the depth so the full gullet is exposed below the
Choose the orientation of the guide rail to optimize the
board usage. This may have several different options:
► Align the cut with the natural wood grain orientation.
► Align the cut to avoid defects in the wood.
► Align the cut to maximize board width, while
eliminating curved edges.
Place the board on sawhorses or elevate it from a work
table so you do not cut into your work table.
Crosscutting and Trimming
No other saw on the market can outperform a Festool for
splinter-free, fine crosscutting. With other saws, the problem
is two-fold; getting a straight cut, and achieving a splinterfree cut. The TS 55 handles these problems effortlessly.
Tips for Successful Crosscutting
Use the correct blade for the cut.
► Crosscutting fine veneered wood should use the fine
crosscut blade. The Alternate-Top-Bevel teeth will slice
the wood fibers best, with virtually no chipping.
► Crosscutting soft lumber, or lumber-core veneers should
use the combination blade. With fewer teeth than the
fine crosscut blade, this blade will be more aggressive
for cutting, yet still provide good chip-free cutting.
► Crosscutting thick hardwood lumber, and difficult to cut
lumber should use the coarse crosscut blade. The coarse
tooth-count of this blade provides very aggressive
cutting of difficult material, but won’t provide as
smooth of a finish as the finer blades.
► Cutting plastic-veneer countertops or solid surface
materials should use the fine laminate blade. The TripleChip-Grind of this blade lasts longer in hard materials
and reduces chipping in man-made materials. The
triple-chip-grind will provide good cuts in wood
veneers, but not as good as the alternate-top-bevel fine
crosscut blade.
For small offcuts, overhang the workpiece from a work
table or saw horses (as shown below). For larger offcuts,
support both the primary piece and the offcut.
If the offcut is reusable, use the outrigger splinter guard to
prevent chipping.
Make sure the workpiece is secure. The lightweight door
shown in the example below would slide on the table if
not clamped down.
Make sure the guide rail is secure if it can move during the
cut. In the example below, starting the cut with the saw
behind the workpiece can cause the guide rail to tip up
and move. (The guide rail clamps are below the guide rail,
and not visible.)
Don’t start the cut by plunging the saw into the wood, as
this can lead to tearout at the bottom-back of the sawblade.
Start the cut with the blade down and behind the
workpiece, and advance the saw forward into the cut.
Setting the blade depth too shallow (just barely
penetrating the underside of the workpiece) can cause
tearout on the underside of the cut.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Plunge Cutting
Plunge cutting is used when the cut does not start at the
edge of the workpiece; it starts in the middle of the
workpiece. There is a wide variety of applications for
plunge cuts. The example shown below is for insetting a
maple butcherblock into an existing countertop. A square
cutout is made in the middle of the countertop, and the
butcherblock piece is inserted into the cutout.
Mark the beginning and end of the cut (red tape in picture
below). If the blade is at full depth, there are index marks
on the saw that indicate where the blade is positioned.
Always use the guide stop when making a plunge cut to
prevent an unexpected kickback (see page 15).
Whenever possible, put the guide rail on the side of the
cut that will be saved. If the guide rail is placed on the
offcut side, you must remember to account for the blade
thickness when positioning the guide rail (typically 2.2
Whenever possible, set the saw depth to its maximum
setting to minimize the amount of material that is not cut
by the blade. Make sure there is nothing below the cut
that you don’t want to cut into.
Instruction Manual
For cuts similar to the example below, support the offcut
piece before cutting all four sides to prevent it from
breaking the corners. Trim the corners (see image to the
left) with a handsaw.
General Procedure
Place the guide rail on the cutline.
Place the saw on the guide rail, and position it at the
start of the cut.
Install the guide stop on the guide rail, slide it up to the
back of the saw, and lock it in place.
Start the saw and slowly plunge it down.
Advance the saw through the cut until the end is
reached. Never back the saw up, as this can result in a
Cutting Non-Wood Materials
Soft Plastics
Soft plastics such as polypropylene won’t chip, but they will
melt. Therefore, a more aggressive cut with the blade set
deeper will reduce the melting.
Too shallow of a blade depth and the plastic will be more
prone to melting.
Too deep of a blade depth and the teeth marks from the
blade will be more prevalent.
Any of the fine-tooth blades with a slow motor speed will
cut this material with good results.
Clean up the cut edges with a cabinet scraper.
Brittle Plastics
Brittle plastics will both melt and chip, so cutting them is
problematic with most other saws. The TS 55 works great for
cutting this type of material.
Set the blade depth very shallow to reduce chipping.
Set the motor speed very low to reduce melting.
Use any one of the finer tooth blades for good results, but
the negative hook aluminum and plastic blade provides the
best results.
In clear plastics such as acrylic, if the cut is milky white, it is
a sign of melting. Note how the cut to the right is
Thin Aluminum
The problem with cutting thin aluminum sheet is that the
blade teeth can catch the edge of the sheet, and cut more
aggressively than expected. To reduce this, you want the teeth
moving nearly parallel with the aluminum surface (a shallow
blade depth).
The ultra-thin aluminum shown in the example was cut best
with the fine crosscut blade. The positive hook angle of the
blade kept the flexible aluminum tight to the guide rail in a
sheering cut.
For slightly thicker, less flexible pieces of aluminum, the
negative hook angle, aluminum cutting blade works best
because it cuts less aggressively.
Extruded Aluminum
Care needs to be taken when cutting extruded aluminum
because the blade may cut more aggressively than expected
on the various surfaces of the stock. This is most noticeable
with thin-walled extrusions.
With thin-walled extrusions, try to keep the blade teeth
parallel to the walls (see image above).
With thick-walled extrusions, try to keep the blade teeth
perpendicular to the walls (see image to the right).
Use the negative hook angle, aluminum-cutting blade, and
a moderate speed setting.
Be prepared for the blade to catch unexpectedly as the
cutting angle changes with each facet of the extruded
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Coarse Crosscut
Ripping (Panther)
With a low tooth count and a high
hook angle, this blade easily cuts
through general construction materials.
The high hook angle of the
Panther blade makes for effortless
ripping without burning the cut.
ATB, 12 teeth
487 377
ATB, 14 teeth
439 685
Tooth Type
Hook Angle
Item Number
Tooth Type
Hook Angle
Item Number
With a moderate tooth count and
hook angle, this blade provides good
results when a single blade is needed
for crosscutting and ripping.
ATB, 28 teeth
490 516
Fine Crosscut
Fine Laminate
Aluminum and Plastic
With a high tooth count, this blade
provides excellent, chip-free
crosscutting of lumber and fine
(cabinet-grade) plywood.
ATB, 48 teeth
491 952
The ultra-hard TCG teeth on this
blade provide chip-free cutting of
laminates and solid surface
materials without dulling.
TCG, 48 teeth
489 457
The negative hook angle and high
TCG tooth count of this blade
provides grab-free control for cutting
aluminum and hard plastic.
TCG, 56 teeth
439 686
ATB: Alternate Top Bevel. The ATB type blade slices through wood fibers,
first on one side and then on the other for clean cuts in natural and
manmade materials.
TCG: Triple Chip Grind. The TCG type blade is designed to cut through hard
materials. The trapezoidal tooth cuts the center of the kerf and the flat
raker tooth cuts the edges. This type of blade design is more resistant to
26-a Bevel Angle: All of the ATB-type blades shown above have a bevel
angle of 15°. This moderate bevel angle provides good chip-free cutting
without rapidly dulling.
26-b Hook Angle: The higher the hook angle, the more the tooth grabs the
material and pulls it into the cut. Ripping blades have a very high hook
angle to cut aggressively. Lower hook angles are used for harder
materials where greater control is needed.
Tooth Count: The more teeth a blade has, the smoother it will cut. Conversely,
blades with fewer teeth cut more aggressively.
Instruction Manual
Guide Rails
Additional guide rails are available in lengths from 32 inches
to 197 inches.
Guide Rail Accessory Kit
Item Number: 492 396
Contains: Miter Gauge, Splinter Guard, Guide Stop, Cord
Guide, Guide Rail Connection Bars, Guide Rail Clamps,
Dust Cover
Item Number: 491 750
The dust cover is for improved dust collection by covering the
openings in the side of the blade cover.
Rip Fence (Parallel Guide)
Item Number: 491 469
Use the rip fence instead of the guide rail for making a rip
using the edge of the workpiece as a reference.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Systainer (System Container)
Every Festool product is shipped in its own unique system container, called a "Systainer." This provides protection and
storage for the tool and accessories. All Systainers are stackable and can be interlocked together, including stacking and
locking atop Festool dust extractors.
Parts of the Systainer
Carrying Handle. The carrying handle folds flat when not
in use.
Cover Latches. The two green latches on the front of the
Systainer secure the cover. (These are also used for
stacking Systainers, as described below.)
Stacking Latches. The two gray latches on the sides of the
Systainer are used for stacking one or more systainers
Stacking Tabs. The stacking tabs are used to lock two
systainers together. There are four sets of tabs (two on the
front and two on the sides) of each systainer.
Stacking Systainers
For convenience in transporting Festool tools and
accessories, the systainers can be stacked and locked
together. The systainers are locked together using the
stacking tabs and latches.
Place one systainer on top of the other.
Release all four latches on the lower systainer by pulling
back at their top edges (step A to the right).
Slide all four latches upward (step B) as depicted by the
two views.
Snap all four latches back to their flat position (step C) so
they engage the stacking tabs of the upper systainer.
The image to the right shows two accessory systainers
stacked together.
Instruction Manual
Motor does not start
Possible Causes
1. Check that the cord is properly plugged into an outlet.
2. Make sure the outlet has power. Check the circuit breaker or try another outlet.
3. If used with a Festool dust extractor, make sure the selector switch is pointing to
"Auto". The auxiliary outlet on the dust extractor has power only when the
selector is at Auto.
4. Inspect the power cord (including extension cords) for damage or missing
5. The motor brushes may have worn and need replacement.
The guide rail gib cams won’t stay
The saw makes a "Growling" sound
when it is first turned on or idling.
The saw makes wavy cuts
Saw cuts are burning
Excessive chipping on the lower
edge of the cut
Excessive chipping on the top edge
of the cut
The cams may be worn and have a flat-spot. Replace the cams.
The friction washers may be worn or missing.
This sound is normal and expected. It is the result of the gears in the saw's heavy
duty drivetrain reacting to the speed control of the motor.
The electronic controller in the motor controls the motor speed by turning it On
and Off very rapidly. This form of speed control is called "Pulse-Width
Modulation" (PWM), and is common in most power tools with a variable speed
control. When there is no load on the sawblade, the pulsations of the motor cause
the gears to rapidly engage and disengage (called backlash), and this is the sound
you are hearing.
► Make sure the guide rail gib cams are properly adjusted.
► Inspect the blade for damage.
► Make sure the sole plate is not rocking on the guide rail.
► Keep the blade depth consistent during the cut; don’t raise and lower the blade.
► Forcing an ATB-type blade into the cut too fast can cause the blade to deflect.
► Make sure to use the correct blade for the material.
► Make sure the blade is sharp.
► Make sure the blade is installed correctly (not turning backward).
► Reduce the motor speed.
► If possible, increase the blade depth.
► Make sure to use the correct blade for the type of material and type of cut.
► A very shallow blade depth can cause chipping on the underside if the teeth are
barely protruding below the surface. Increase the blade depth.
► Make sure to use the correct blade for the type of material and type of cut.
► Inspect the splinter guard. Make sure it is flush with the cut line for its entire
► Materials prone to splintering may splinter more if the blade is set too deep.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Routine Maintenance
Any maintenance or repair work that requires opening of
the motor or gear housing should be carried out only by an
authorized Customer Service Center (name supplied by your
dealer)! Maintenance or repair work carried out by an
unauthorized person can lead to improper connection of
electrical wires or other components, which can result in
To prevent injury or electrocution, always unplug the tool
from the power supply outlet before performing any
maintenance or repair work on the tool!
Do not use compressed air to clean the motor housing of the
tool, as you could inject foreign objects into the motor
through the ventilation openings. Compressed air may be
used on other components, but personal safety protection
should be employed (hearing, vision, and respiratory).
Certain cleaning agents and solvents are harmful to plastic
parts. Some of these include, but are not limited too:
Gasoline, Acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), Carbonyl
Chloride, cleaning solutions containing Chlorine, Ammonia,
and household cleaners containing Ammonia.
To ensure proper cooling of the tool and motor, the cooling
vents in the motor housing must always be kept clear and
Keep the Sawblades Sharp
Using a dull sawblade can be extremely dangerous and
provide poor cut quality.
Dust and debris from some materials can be extremely
abrasive and cause components within the saw to wear
prematurely. It is important to keep moving parts cleared of
abrasive dusts.
As a general rule, keep the saw clean of all dust and
debris. Even soft-wood dust can be abrasive over time.
Examine all moving parts for dust and debris.
Instruction Manual
Never attempt to sharpen a sawblade manually. Special
equipment is necessary to properly sharpen a circular
sawblade. An improperly sharpened sawblade can injure
the operator, destroy the saw, and damage the workpiece.
The sawblades should be sharpened regularly, and only
by a qualified sharpening service.
Improper grinding of the carbide teeth of a sawblade can
result in serious injury to the saw operator.
Adjust and Inspect the Saw
To ensure the saw is in proper working order, periodically
inspect the operation of the saw and ensure it is properly
Keep the Saw Clean
Keep the bevel hinges clean of dust using compressed air
or cotton swabs. If the hinges wear due to abrasive
particles, the saw will not perform optimally.
Keep the blade area and dust extraction port clean of
debris. Debris can cause wear and reduce the effectiveness
of the dust extraction system.
Observe the function of the saw during normal operation.
Unusual sounds are indicative of pending problems.
A reduction in the cut quality indicates the saw is either
improperly adjusted or not functioning properly.
A reduction in cutting power or speed may indicate a dull
blade or a motor problem.
If any of the safety devices on the saw are inoperable or
disabled, immediately stop using the saw and have it
Periodically inspect the guide rail gibs cams for wear and
proper adjustment. If the cams are worn or misadjusted,
the saw will not cut straight.
Replacing the Guide Rail Gib Cams
If the gib cams are over tightened, or the saw is used in an
environment with abrasive dust, the cams may develop flat
spots and should be replaced. Maintaining proper
adjustment and keeping the saw clean will increase the life
of the cams.
Adjust the cams according to the procedure on page 8.
Unplug the saw for safety, and lay the saw on its side on
a stable work surface.
Using a T-15 Torx® driver, remove the screw that secures
each cam to the sole plate, and remove the cam and
friction washer.
The replacement parts kit will
include 2-cams, 2-friction washers,
and 2-screws.
Install the new cams and friction
washers with the screws provided.
Make sure the limit tabs are
pointing away from the guide rail
slot as shown.
Tighten the screws enough to
compress the friction washers, but
take care not to over tighten the
Replacing the Guide Rail Splinter Guard
The splinter guard prevents splintering and chipping of the
workpiece by holding the top edge of the workpiece down as
the teeth of the sawblade move upward against it. The
splinter guard needs to be replaced if it becomes damaged or
Peel the original splinter guard away from the guide rail.
As needed, clean residual adhesive and debris from the
guide rail.
Peel off the plastic backing from the new splinter guard
to expose the adhesive.
Without stretching the rubber, carefully place the new
splinter guard on the underside of the guide rail tight to
the alignment rib (14-b).
Make sure the splinter guard is firmly pressed down to
the guide rail.
Trim the splinter guard as described on page 8.
TS 55 EQ Circular Saw
Changing the Motor Brushes
The motor brushes wear out over time and need to be
replaced by an authorized service center. Festool does not
condone brush replacement by the end-user. Completion of
this procedure by an unauthorized service center will void
the tool's warranty.
The motor brushes are graphite bars that provide an
electrical connection between the motor controller and the
rotating armature. When the brushes have worn past their
useful length, spring loaded wear pins are exposed that
separate the brush from the armature contacts. This disables
the motor to prevent damage. For a shorter break-in period
without excessive arcing, new brushes have ribs that quickly
form to the curve of the armature.
CAUTION! Make sure the power cord is unplugged
before beginning this procedure.
Remove the four screws that secure the access cover
to the motor, and remove the cover.
Instruction Manual
Lift the wire connectors off the terminals on the brushes.
Remove the screw that secures each brush to the motor
housing. Be careful not to drop the screws into the motor.
Carefully lift the brushes up to remove them.
Insert the new brushes into the motor, and reassemble the
saw by reversing the previous steps.