Festool “Recharged 2023” Media Event

Festool “Recharged 2023” Media Event

Early last February, I was one of about 35 media guests invited to Festool’s U.S. headquarters in Lebanon, Indiana, to try out recent and yet-to-be-launched tools. Interestingly, only one of them was corded. I am not including pricing here, as this “Recharged 2023” event was a preview, and pricing was not yet determined at that time.

Ernie Conover in front of Festool Recharged event banner

Even though Festool’s new tool releases have been stymied during the pandemic due to supply chain interruptions and computer chip shortages, there are some interesting new offerings, and here are a few of the standouts.

CSC SYS 50 Cordless Table Saw

Making adjustments to Festool jobsite saw blade tilt
The CSC SYS 50 Table Saw’s blade is raised, lowered and tilted by electronics. The top button is for elevation and the bottom button is for tilt. Turning the knob gives macro (coarse) adjustment of either blade height or tilt, and pushing it in provides micro adjustment (fine). Imperial or metric is done by software setting, allowing users to work in either measurement system painlessly.

I finally had the chance to lay hands on this much-rumored cordless table saw, which has been out in Germany for some time. I was not disappointed, and in my mind the CSC SYS 50 was tied for the best in show. Running on two 18-volt batteries, this lightweight, portable table saw features electronic blade tilt and height control. It’s an elegant, well-thought-out new saw that would be at home at any construction site or small shop.

TSV 60 Track Saw

Setting up Festool track saw for melamine panel cut
Here the TSV 60 Track Saw is cutting melamine (the chippiest of all sheet goods) perfectly. You can see the small counter-scoring blade ahead of the main blade. Note the second motor for powering the small blade.

The second ground-breaking new tool tied for best in show is the TSV 60 Counter Scoring Corded Track Saw. High-end table saws have long sported a small counter-scoring blade ahead of the main blade. It turns in the opposite direction of the main blade and cuts a shallow (about a 1/32″-deep) groove, which then allows the main blade to cut through without any tearing of wood grain or chipping of laminate. The TSV 60 is so configured. As with table saws, the scoring blade on this track saw may be retracted for conventional cutting.

CTC MIDI 1 and SYS 1 Dust Extractors

Festool cordless saw set up on stand and connected to dust collector
Here the saw is attached to a CTC MIDI I Dust Extractor, another new cordless option that, like the table saw, takes two 18-volt batteries.

Festool’s current line of industrial HEPA tool-triggered dust extractors only work with corded tools. For cordless models, the existing plug-in dust extractors require manual starting and stopping. The new cordless CTC MIDI 1 and the CTC SYS 1 Cordless Systainer Dust Extractor (which has been on the market for a while) overcome this problem by way of Bluetooth connection to the tool for the stop and start function. It’s a helpful innovation for today’s battery-driven Festool lineup.

KSC 60 Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Festool cordless sliding miter saw on a stand
The author found the Kapex KSC 60 Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw up-to par with his corded version of the tool. The saw includes a dolly-style rolling stand with extension tables for added workpiece support.

Festool’s Kapex KSC 60 Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw isn’t brand new, but it was nice to give it a test drive. It worked with the same functionality as my plug-in Kapex 120 miter saw, which I have used for a decade. The KSC 60’s rolling (dolly-like) cart makes for easy transfer from a truck to a work location. Extension tables alongside the saw help ensure fully supported workpieces. For a jobsite where power has yet to be brought in, this saw’s cordless feature will be welcomed.

RCS 18 Recip Saw

Demonstrating Festool's RSC reciprocating saw
Festool’s new RSC 18 Reciprocating Saw made tough cuts without pummeling the user with extra vibration. It also has helpful dust collection.

Reciprocating saws are in most carpenter’s kits, and the new RSC 18 provided some useful innovations. First is dust collection, and the second is a gyroscopic vibration control system that enables the saw to cut more smoothly and transmit much less vibration to the user than other recip saws I’ve used.

GHS 25 Ear Buds

Festool's Bluetooth ear buds
Offering a 25 dB noise-reduction rating, these new GHS 25 Ear Buds should provide ample hearing protection for power tool use, plus the added convenience of Bluetooth connectivity for listening to music or taking a call.

Festool now offers GHS 25 Ear Protection Buds for safer work in noisy environments. I tried a pair on and found them both effective and comfortable, mainly due to a wide range of rubber adapter plugs that should accommodate any ear canal. According to the folks at Festool, these earbuds offer a 25 dB noise reduction and allow Bluetooth connection to your smart phone for music or calls.

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