Festool released this new “all-rounder” circular saw, the HK 55 in August 2016 and as a cabinetmaker and long-time Festo user, I was keen when TTT asked me to give the tool a solid run for a couple of months and provide my honest feedback.
Some of the tool’s best features were more relevant to a carpenter than a cabinet maker, and having come from using Festo’s TS 55 circular saw, there were a few features of the HK 55 that took some getting used to.
However, overall I was impressed with what is another solid Festool product which has features that I am not aware of being offered by any other brand.
FSK Track Integration:
The saw actually locks into Festo’s FSK cross cutting guide rails, meaning you can wield the entire unit as one and you don’t have to hold the track with one hand while you’re cutting. This is a great feature and makes it very easy to use.
A rubber spring is also integrated into the track meaning the saw self-retracts after each cut, making docking or cross cutting really easy.
Probably the best feature on this tool is the easy angled cuts of 0° to 60° in both directions that the integration with the FSK rails allows for.
It’s really easy to set your angle on the fly and much easier than using a protractor or other measuring tool.
While this is not a feature I used a great deal, being a cabinetmaker, if you were doing roofing or stairs the angled cut system would be awesome and is a very impressive feature.
The HK 55 has an adjustable plunge depth of 0-55mm and a mitre angle setting of up to 50° however compared to my TS 55 Plunge Cut Circular Saw, I found that plunging was more complex and from a joiner’s perspective it is not the ideal tool for plunge cuts.
The reason for this is that as soon as you plunge down the tool is locked and you have to manually release the plunge lock or wait for blade to stop spinning before moving on to the next cut.
The plunge also pivots from the front of the saw as opposed to the TS 55 which pivots from the back. There’s not necessarily anything better with each style, it just took some getting used to the different system.
- When putting the HK 55 back into its box it must be adjusted all the way down to the full plunge depth or it won’t fit into the box. This is not the end of the world, but it was a little frustrating.
- For some time, I thought the allen key to change the saw blade could not be fixed onto the tool itself, which is the case on the TS 55 and pretty standard in most cutting tools. However after some Google research I found that the allen key is actually located behind the blade locking switch.
- I found that because the blade is more exposed, it doesn’t have as good dust extraction as Festool’s TS 55 circular saw and I also felt it is perhaps a little more dangerous than the TS 55.
Technical data HK 55
Warranty 36 Months
Power consumption 1200 watts
Idle speed 2000 – 5200 rpm
Saw blade diameter 160 mm
Angle range 0–50°
Cutting depth 0°, 90° 0–55 mm
Cutting depth 42/38 mm (45°/50°) 6
connection diameter 27/36 mm
Weight 4.4 kg