It’s hard not to like the TS 55 EQ ($500). The saw whips out one surgically clean cut after the next, thanks to a beefy arbor and triple motor bearings, a variable-pitch blade and an effective little green splinterguard on the waste side of the cut. You want panel saw-quality cuts? Festool delivers ’em.
The saw is rated to make 90° cuts up to 11-5⁄16″ deep or 1-7⁄16″ bevels when tipped to 45°. Its depth control is metric and locks positively on a sawtooth-style rack. To begin cutting, just pivot your wrist to drop the blade and riving knife … it’s effortless. And, that 10-amp motor powers up silky smooth.
Festool attends to the little details too: it has tool-less track adjusters, a Systainer® carry case that can be clipped to other Systainers for stacking and transport, a power cord that unplugs from the saw and a limit stop for setting plunge cuts.
Here’s another important distinction between the TS 55 EQ and the two greenhorns: Festool offers six different blades, mitering and parallel edge guide accessories and full integration into the company’s Multifunction Table (MFT) system. This is a mature, proven product line. Given how closely these three saws are priced, that heritage tips the scales for me.