New Blades for Track-Guided Saws
Five years ago, I bought a Festool TS 55 track saw that I use for cutting cabinet-grade plywood (Tools & Materials, FWW #187). I’ve always been happy with the performance of my Festool blades, but when Freud and Forrest recently introduced blades that fit the TS 55 track saw, I had to try them. The new blades also fit the Makita and De Walt track saws, but because the Festool requires a slightly smaller blade (6-1/4 in. vs. 6-1/2 in.), the depth of cut is somewhat sacrificed on the other saws.
I pitted the two new blades against a brand-new Festool blade in several ripping and crosscutting tests. All three blades cut better than my worn Festool blade and left a smooth surface. None of the blades showed any wear, but the Forrest and Festool had a bit of pitch buildup.
The Festool blade sells for $61. The Forrest is $91 (forrestblades.com) and the Freud is $50 (amazon.com). Since all three blades offer equal performance, I’d choose the Freud because it costs less and has a pitch-resistant surface.
Sharp teeth. New 160 mm blades from Forrest and Freud are sized for track saws like Festool’s TS 55. The Freud performed as well as the others, and costs less.