Dual-voltage tools are still fairly new in the market, with Panasonic first launching their range of 14.4v and 18v dual-voltage tools back in December 2012, but they run off one or the other, not both.
As the uptake of cordless tools increases, manufacturers like Makita are running twin 18v batteries in series to provide extra grunt and runtime for applications that would normally require a corded tool. Festool states the TSC 55 offers 240-like power without compromise and is 24 per cent faster than conventional cordless plunge-cut saws – when running the maximum 36v setup.
Indeed power is the key word in the powertool battle as brands continue to push the boundaries in cordless tools, with brands such as Milwaukee stating many of their 18v cordless tools are producing the output of a corded product thanks to advanced motors and ever-improving brushless technology.
The brushless EC TEC motor on the TSC 55 combines with Festool engineering which allows the tool to run on a single 15v battery, two 12v batteries (24v), two 18v batteries (36v) or even a combination of batteries with different voltage batteries. A battery level indicator lets you monitor juice levels.
Lithium ion batteries are not cheap and having 36v tools that run off all batteries (or in the case of Makita’s circ saw, their more popular 18v range) reduces the barrier to entry and enables users to purchase the tool as a skin and run it off batteries they already have, building their kit over time.
The TSC 55 brings to six the number of tools in Festool’s 18v range, adding to brushless drills and hammer drills as well as a jigsaw. According to a Festool spokesperson there are more 18v tools on the way, although they could not clarify when or what.
The TSC also has a new dust bag with capacity for up to ten cutting metres, enabling cleaner work in various applications such as cutting doors, sawing recesses in kitchen worktops, cutting sheet material or working upstairs without dragging a cord behind you.
Festool also state the TSC 55 has adaptable speed respective to the application as well as an easy-change saw blade. It is compatible with all previous system accessories of the mains-operated TS 55 R including guide rails and accessories, parallel stop and saw blades and 15V/18V lithium-ion batteries and chargers.
Technical data TSC 55 REB
|Battery voltage||1x15V-2x18V (36V)|
|Idling speed (2x18V)||2650-5200 rpm|
|Idling speed (1x18V)||2650-3800 rpm|
|Saw blade diameter||160 mm|
|Cutting depth||0-55 mm|
|Cutting depth at 45°||0-43 mm|
|Connection Ø d/e||27/36 mm|
|Lithium-ion battery capacity||4.2 Ah|
|Weight (with 1x18V/2x18V battery pack)||4.6 kg/5.3 kg|