We have lived in apartments until we bought our house about two years ago and I finally got what I had dreamed of for years – a workshop! I decided to get some proper woodworking tools but with the limited space available a large table saw or cabinet saw was out of the question. A good quality plunge-cut saw was therefore the natural choice to cut those large sheets of plywood.
I have only ever owned cheap circular saws in the past but after spending an evening or two researching the market I made up my mind on list of requirements. I wanted:
- Great dust collection
- Top of the line accuracy
- Sturdy construction that would serve me for years to come
- Good quality guide rails that could be extended for long cuts
I quickly got my mind set on the Mafell MT 55 cc after reading several reviews – it seemed to tick all the boxes above and after inspecting it at my local hardware shop I had made up my mind. With this said I have no way of justifying the price tag when taking into consideration how often I actually use it and that it’s only for hobby use but nothing beats the feeling of using quality tools so I went for it.
There is no doubt that Festool used to be king of the hill when it comes to plunge-cut saws and the Festool TS 55 R was one of the main alternatives that I considered. Their saws and the tons of accessories they offer are very appealing but everywhere I turned the Mafell MT 55 cc was just getting better reviews. Predominantly because of the build quality, better guide rails, the quick change of saw blades and the scoring function.
An interesting thread on the Mafell vs Festool can be found on the Festool Owners Group where even the Festool fanboys mostly favor the Mafell.
I have had the saw for around 12 months now and I am in no way disappointed. Everything that I have used it for has been absolutely perfect. Making adjustments is so easy, the motor is super strong and have never broken a sweat. Precision is perfect and I am very impressed with the dust collection.
The blade that it comes with has been perfectly fine for everything that I use it for. I have only ever tested the scoring function for the fun of it – in normal use I have never needed it because the saw does such an outstanding job without it.
I bought the saw with two 1.6 meter guide rails. This is a highly recommended setup. For cross-cuts of 4×8 sheets (1220×2440 mm) I use one guide rail and when doing the long cuts I combine them to get a 3.2 meter rail.
Pros and cons
The list of things this saw does well is pretty extensive:
- Great build quality
- Great dust collection
- Innovative features such as the fast blade change and scoring function
- Super strong motor
- Fast adjustment and spot on cuts every time
- Great guide rails (and if you already have Festool guide rails it will work just fine on them as well)
The only drawback I can really point to besides the somewhat steep price tag that it comes with is that if you have already bought into the Festool line-up with tons of accessories it may not be that the advantages of the Mafell saw over the Festool equivalent outweighs the benefits of having a Festool saw that works with all the other Festool accessories. But if you want the best stand-alone plunge-cut saw on the market I would strongly argue that Mafell MT 55 cc is that saw.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Mafell MT 55 cc is the king of the plunge-cut saws. Everything I have put it through it has handled flawlessly and even though I had pretty high expectations before buying it it has not disappointed one single time.
So I would not hesitate for a second to recommend it. It does come with a high price tag but I would say that here you get what you pay for – it is worth every penny and it is just that good!