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Festool USA is bringing their cordless table saw to the USA, and it’s going to cost a huge amount of money.
Festool has not provided any press materials, and have not yet responded to any of ToolGuyd’s recent inquiries.
Because of this, I have not been able to confirm official details or USA pricing. However, Festool tends to maintain comparable pricing across different regions, and so their UK and EU pricing can serve as reasonably reliable indicators of what the USA pricing will be for the same tools.
For instance, the new Festool cordless dust extractor (without charger or batteries) is priced at £327.73 excluding VAT in the UK, which converts to $395.37, and €364.14 excluding VAT in Europe, which converts to $389.72. The vacuum sells for $399 in the USA.
The new Festool cordless table saw kit, CSC SYS 50 as shown here, is £1,811.06 excluding VAT in the UK, or $2,184.86, and €2,012.29 excluding VAT in the EU, or $2,153.65.
Currency conversions fluctuate and were accurate as of the time of this post.
This strongly suggests that the new Festool cordless saw will cost more than $2000 in the USA! I would guess that the USA pricing will end up being $2199 or thereabouts.
If you want the full kit with the roller stand, the UK price is £2,111.77 excluding VAT, or $2,547.64. The EU price is €2,346.41 excluding VAT, which converts to $2,511.25. If I had to guess, I would say that the USA price will be close to $2599, or maybe just a little lower.
The new cordless mobile dust extractor has very specific battery size requirements, and it’s unclear if the same is true for the new table saw. Either way, most users will probably want the kit, to ensure they can experience the optimum cutting performance and runtime.
Features include “exact height and angle adjustment by means of electric stepper motors” – basically motorized blade height and bevel adjustments.
Festool advertises that their saw’s “unique digital operation” is “more exact than with any yardstick.” Perhaps, but will the calibration hold during transport? Bring a square and angle gauge to your jobs to check.
Additional features include “IoT” where users can connect with the Festool Work app for data readouts and individual tool setting options, and MMC digital electronics – “processor controlled Multi Material Control power electronics” for “adjustable and constant speeds as well as temperature monitoring for work on all types of materials.”
Most premium brushless cordless power tools have similar electronic controls and monitoring.
The saw can make rip cuts of up to 280mm “with a secure support on the integrated fold-out table.” That’s about 11 inches.
Here’s the saw with its “fold-out table” lifted and secured into position.
For context, you can get the Dewalt 60V Max cordless table saw kit for under $550 at Amazon and other dealers, or the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless table saw kit for $599 at Home Depot and elsewhere. Both prices include a battery and charger.
The Dewalt has a rip capacity of 24 inches, and the Milwaukee 24-1/2 inches.
The Festool cordless table saw doesn’t look much more portable than other brands’ cordless table saws, although the fold-out table makes one-handed carry impossible.
Festool says the saw “can be transported with one hand in the practical Systainer format.” In other words, if you pack everything up in the tool case, then you can move the saw around one-handed.
The CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw is so compact that it fits into a Systainer.
But to be clear, it doesn’t fit into a regular Systainer, it looks to have a much larger custom-made Systainer tool case, which naturally adds to the cost.
Festool advertises a “quick-acting brake” for “safe work when planing, sawing, and routing,” but they’re talking about a motor brake.
Disappointingly, even with its modern electronics package, the Festool table saw lacks SawStop-type active injury mitigation and blade brake technologies, despite both brands being part of the same company.
Don’t think that Festool cannot integrate SawStop tech into one of their portable table saws, because they did just that a few years ago.
The rolling cart and work stand looks to solve some of the limitations inherent in the table saw’s small size, similar to how the custom Systainer enables one-handed carrying.
The optional “underframe” aids mobility, and also provides added workpiece support. But, the workpiece rides along the front lip of the hand cart platform. What happens if or when that edge suffers even the smallest amount of wear – is it going to scratch up whatever workpiece slides against it?
Festool’s marketing photos strongly suggest the cart is less of an option and more a must-have for workpiece support.
This tool is described as being “made for interior finishing.”
Festool also says that this saw is as powerful as corded saws and that “you won’t notice any difference in power.” Perhaps, but I would say users will notice the saw’s much smaller table top and cutting capacity before power becomes a concern.
Their marketing materials also say things like “uncomplicated spacer wedge (riving knife) changes – for hidden cuts and rebates (rabbets).”
Product images do show a riving knife, but it’s unclear if there are anti-kickback pawls.
Festool has an accessories section where they show off 5 compatible blade types, but they haven’t done an adequate job demonstrating the types of workpieces users can expect to be able to cut with the saw.
I have had good and bad experiences with Festool products. Some of my purchases have worked out well, but I have had serious buyer’s remorse over others. Festool has gradually lost much my trust and confidence over the past few years.
My testing and review experiences have been similar, with some tools being especially recommendable, and others equally as avoidable.
I can absolutely see the appeal of the new cordless table saw, especially if it excels at dust collection. But it also looks like it would fall short – literally – for many interior carpentry and finishing cutting tasks.
Surely a lot of hard work went into developing the saw, but it also exhibits the same overly complex and “part of a system” nature that I greatly dislike about some of Festool’s tools. But, that’s the way they do things, sometimes for the better.
I estimate that $2199 will be the minimum buy-in for the kit in the USA. I can’t imagine that it would be any less than $2000, given Festool’s pricing patterns and the saw’s known pricing in UK and European regions.
How essential is the “underframe” that Festool describes as a 3-in-1 solution that “demonstrates its full ability in combination with the CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw”?
From Festool’s pricing patterns, I estimate that this “optional” add-on will bring the price of the complete kit to at least $2500.
I think it will be closer to $2599, for cordless table saw, one set of batteries, chargers, the included Systainer tool boxes, and the mobile work center cart.
Factor in another $270 if you want a backup pair of batteries.
The saw retails for more than $2000, and they couldn’t find a way to add an AC power option?
Frankly, I might have entertained the idea of buying one if this was a corded tool at a fraction of the price, as I do see appeal in a small saw with fancy features and hopefully the same level of efficient dust collection the brand is known for.
But, not to mince words, I have not had great experiences or positive opinions about Festool’s 18V cordless power tools, and this skews my expectations about this one.
In my opinion, most users will probably need the full kit with the work support stand, which I estimate will end up retailing for at least $2500 in the USA, and likely closer to $2599.
I don’t even want to think about how much a larger version of this saw might cost.
With its modern and sophisticated design, which includes digital technologies, Festool’s new CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw redefines industry standards.
The question to ask is this – are there better ways to spend the same amount of money – or considerably less – on other tools that can perform the same cutting tasks?
For instance, you can shop other professional tool brands for a cordless table saw, cordless track saw, dust extractor, extra batteries, and still have money left in your pocket for more tools or accessories. There might even be enough of a price difference for a cordless miter saw and rolling stand.
Such a collection of alternate tools can do everything the Festool cordless table saw can do, albeit not in the same way. For the tasks the Festool saw can handle, will it perform easier, faster, or better than other tools?
That is exactly what Festool will have to demonstrate, and I don’t think they’ve done a good job of this so far.
I don’t care about “IoT” (internet of things) features for tools like this, I’m concerned about how often the motorized adjustments might need to be calibrated, checked, or maintained, and most importantly the table size looks impractically small to where it might necessitate having other tools or a larger table saw on-hand.
It also looks like users will have few options but to rely on Festool for compatible 168mm saw blades.
Festool’s social media and marketing hype machine will try to convince you this is an unbeatable solution. Is it?
I don’t think so, and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before there’s even a chance of changing my mind. Unfortunately, Festool stopped providing us with press resources nearly 2 years ago, and I haven’t heard from the last person who reliably answered hard questions, ever since last fall when I told them I traced “reader” comments to their USA headquarters.
What do you think – will this compact table saw “redefine industry standards” as Festool boasts?