Festool has announced their first-ever cordless reciprocating saw, model RSC 18.
The new Festool cordless reciprocating saw is advertised as being “really powerful,” “really fast,” “extremely robust,” and “for heavy duty sawing.”
Festool USA has not provided press materials, and it is unclear if or when the new reciprocating saw will launch here.
The Festool RSC 18 is described as being “made for the toughest day-to-day applications at construction sites.”
It features a brushless motor, variable speed trigger, and LED light. Festool says the saw’s anti-vibration system “reduces machine vibration by 40%.”
Features & Specs
- 32mm stroke length (1-1/4″)
- 0-3000 SPM
- Weighs 4.10 kg (9 lbs)
The saw is kitted with 2x 5.0Ah batteries, a charger, Systainer tool box, dust extractor attachment, and reciprocating saw blade.
As Festool is known for their attention to dust collection, it’s not surprising that the saw will ship with a vacuum adapter (RSC-AV).
These batteries will NOT fit the new Festool CTC Sys 18V cordless vacuum, or the brand’s cordless sanders. They should work with the brand’s new cordless table saw, as well as their other 18V cordless power tools.
Price: £589.82 excluding VAT (~$630 at the time of this posting)
Festool is also launching a line of bi-metal reciprocating saw blades. The blades will be color-coded yellow for cutting wood, and blue for cutting metal.
The Festool saw blade range has the right saw blade for any application, be it wood, metal or particularly abrasive and hard materials.
There will also be carbide saw blades for “extreme demolition work in all kinds of construction material.” These blades have a red finish.
The saw and blades will be launching in Europe in May 2023.
Update: Festool USA has not provided press materials, product details, pricing, or an ETA, but replied that yes, it will come to North America.
Festool says that their new recip saw is “extremely robust” and “for the toughest construction sites.”
It’s interesting to see Festool enter new product categories.
Nearly 3 years ago, Festool launched their first cordless power tool combo kits, which was the first time I considered their 18V products as part of a system, rather than a collection of individual solutions.
I described Festool’s 18V impact driver as being perfectly unexceptional. To put it plainly, I felt it was an average tool. In my opinion, a tool like that exists almost exclusively for Festool 18V tool users, which isn’t a bad thing, as opposed to the type of tool that can pull more users towards the brand. Might the same be true here?
Does this new reciprocating saw fill a hole in Festool’s 18V cordless power tool system? Yes. Will the saw deliver on Festool’s promise of being “really powerful,” “really fast,” and “for the toughest construction sites?” Will it be exceptional and competitive, or simply average?
I can’t say that “Festool” and “extreme demolition work” go together, at least in my mind. But, we’re living in a world where Milwaukee has become one of the biggest hand tool and mobile storage brands, and Harbor Freight’s professional hand and power tools, Icon and Hercules, have been gaining popularity.
This could be convenient for Festool 18V cordless power tool users – at the least. The more tools one can use with fewer types of batteries and chargers, the better – right? At best, are there any qualities that might pull tool users towards Festool’s cordless lineup?
There’s also the question about price. At the time of this posting, the UK launch price converts to around $630 for the two-battery kit with 5Ah batteries.
Can Festool’s first-ever cordless reciprocating saw win over demanding users, including existing Festool fans, given the competition from pro cordless power tool brands’ latest, greatest, and most powerful saws?
Would you choose a Festool reciprocating saw over Dewalt FlexVolt, Milwaukee M18 Fuel, Makita XGT, Hilti Nuron, Bosch Profactor, Flex, or other brands?
Demolish your wallet.
…. and boost your ego with our new status symbols!
In Denmark the price is almost the same as the Milwaukee fuel one but in a systainer with dust extraction in the basic edition
Absolutely, might be good but not that good.
I think of Festool as a brand for precision woodworking. If this is a tool intended to fill a gap in the product lineup, that makes sense – but not at $630. You might as well buy into a whole separate battery system at that price UNLESS this Festool reciprocating saw offers impressive performance (because you can get “impressive performance” for a whole lot less in another color).
Dust extraction on a reciprocating saw is kind of a neat feature I must admit. I don’t know if I would ever need that, but I imagine there could be, for example, a residential renovation-type application where you’re trying not to leave a mess.
Also, this brand has 18v batteries that don’t work with all it’s recently-released 18v tools? Ok…
I agree I see them as a precision finish work company.their sanders work amazing.i haven’t had much experience with anything else by them..600 plus for a recip is pricey.thats trying not to be rude.the high end is half that in like said earlier ..any other color.even Hilti isn’t that much,and it Hilti.
I had an idea that Festool would introduce a cordless power head. It would have multiple precision attachments available (Domino, etc.). This doesn’t look like a power head, but it would make the price tag more justifiable.
I agree – it may be undeserved but I treat Festool as a bit more fragile than other tools, perhaps just because of the cost.
Whereas every sawzall I’ve ever seen has been beaten back and forth like nobody cares, because people know it can take it.
I have my doubts that this saw is going to perform at the same level as the higher power options out there, like Flexvolt, Flex, Makita, Metabo HPT Multivolt, etc. I suppose it could be nice if you’re already invested in the Festool platform, the more tools on the platform the better generally speaking…but the price is very high, I’m betting you could buy another brand’s saw plus batteries, for less than this bare tool alone.
There are two controls on the saw I’m curious about. The first is that slider on the top of the saw in the middle where the tool is the thickest. Perhaps this is an orbital function? The other is the green button on the top surface of the tool above the trigger.
Is the shoe adjustable? I didn’t see a latch for that but the photos don’t show every angle of the saw. If it doesn’t have one this is disappointing. I can see it being cut from bargain priced models to save costs but it’s absurd that a high end model (which is certainly priced accordingly) doesn’t have that feature, though I must admit that Festool is not the only tool company guilty of that problem.
The shoe is in fact adjustable, the bigger problem I foresee is power. I would be willing to wager a lot, that it will be underpowered.
Milwaukee’s M18 Super Sawzall ships with a 15-cell 12Ah battery. Dewalt has FlexVolt, FlexVolt Advantage, and 20V Max brushless models with 8Ah, and 12Ah batteries increasingly common pairings.
Makita has their XGT 40V Max recip saw that’s well-paired with an 8Ah-equivalent battery.
I don’t see the Festool competing on even ground with these brands’ premium reciprocating saws with respect to performance, but it might not have been designed to.
Any Festool cordless reciprocating saw is going to appeal to some or even many of their 18V tool users.
This might also be the start, who knows.
Maybe one-handed or two-battery saws are also planned, in which case this fits right in the middle.
It seems strange for Festool to launch a reciprocating saw, but objectively speaking is that any stranger than more construction-focused brands coming out with cordless track saws?
If Festool wants to grow their cordless power tool business, this was an inevitable step.
What I am wondering is if it’s a standout tool Festool becomes known for, or a “me too” tool that simply broadens their lineup.
Plus its 9 plus lbs.thats old corded metal case weight.
That’s a fair assessment. Call me cynical but your latter statement sounds more on brand. It seems like they made a, dare I say, generic looking tool with the trick up its sleeve being dust extraction. (With the large chips recips make, do we really need it? Not really. I doubt many people really want it). I’m any case, I refer back to their drills and impacts. Quite underpowered, and leave something to be desired.
Although certain things are technically possible, such as a multi battery model, It’s also very off brand for a company like Festool. Power is primarily what makes a recip saw appealing. Beyond power and speed, there’s not much you can do to improve what it does; just removed material quickly.
In the case of things like Teack saws from constriction/trade focused brands, I don’t think the track saw is out of the question. It can prove to be very useful in construction applications. My favorite thing about the new Milwaukee is the staggered depth marks for track and no track depths. I think it’s good attention to detail.
What rubs me the wrong way is, you just know it’s going to be a slouch. (Sure, nobody has gotten to actually use it yet, but employing Occam’s razor, we know. It’s not going to defy everything we know with some wildly efficient and high powered motor or anything of the sort. To that point, they’re setting price accordingly. You’re paying for Lobster but getting a cheeseburger. I’d go as far as saying the bill of materials is likely substantially lower than the competitors with more powerful saws.
Anyhow, this is all technically speculation, I’d be very hard pressed to believe otherwise. A recip saw isn’t a scalpel, it’s an axe. I have full confidence that this product can be chalked up as a new toy for their fans. It certainly won’t be competitive in the performance arena.
I don’t want to come off like I’m bashing them. They’re sanders, dust extractors, etc. – they really swing for the fences. This one though, I just know, is going to be a miss.
This definitely feels like the Honda Ridgeline of reciprocating saws. Only made so existing brand customers don’t have to look outside the brand for a certain product.
Good analogy. Let’s just say it’s not attracting any new customers to the brand, rather, it’s just anther thing to sell its existing ones.
I really like Milwaukee’s M12 Hackzall. The M18 is good as well but heavier and they have a M18 regular sawzall as well. Probably get all 3 for the price of this thing and I’m not sure the Festool is a better solution to any of them. Just my opinion of course, but I don’t know how they gain any significant market share with the way thego to market. But, maybe it’s not for me to understand their strategy…
This seems out of their wheelhouse. They make precision tools – this is anything but. I can’t imagine it selling to many but the most hardcore Festoolers.
I’m dubious as well. Festool is a precision forward brand. They’re not particularly rugged or powerful, which are the primary criteria I’d want in a recip. It’s not so much an elegant tool as it is a brute force kind of tool. All I want is orbital action, robust build quality, and power for days, and Festool is not the brand that comes to mind with that being said.
I would comment but I don’t want to get scolded by Robert for questions the Festool thrown….
Is building overpriced regular tools going to cost them some of the mystique used to justify the prices on their fancy tools? No. Some people need the most expensive version of everything. Probably the most successful marketing ploy of the brand is high prices. They continue to impress.
Brand, voltage, and cell count set aside this looks like a solid reciprocating saw offering. It has a rafter hook, led light, adjustable shoe with switch on the bottom, adjustable orbital switch on top the motor housing, “stroke rate limitation” switch on top of the trigger handle (possibly for adjusting the strokes per minute?), spring insert and ejection of blades, reduced vibration (counterweight inside?), and dust collection adapter. Just think some reciprocating saws like the *cough* Flexvolt *cough* don’t even have half of these features. Some say it wont be very powerful. Sure the Flexvolt and others have higher voltage motors and/or 15 cell battery options, but throw Festool’s new High Power 8ah (10 cell 21700) and you could compete with many other brands. It baffles me why some of these newer high draw Festool tools don’t come with it. The midi/mini vacs, table saw, Kapex, and this recip only come with 5.2’s. As of right now there is no word on 8ah coming to the North American market.
Sticking with 5Ah batteries could be a cost-management decision. Or maybe 2x 5Ah batteries is considered more appealing than 1x 8Ah battery.
Either way, it’s moot. I also have not seen any news or mention about the 8ah battery potentially coming to the USA since it was announced in Europe in September – https://toolguyd.com/festool-18v-8ah-battery-2023/ .
Forgot to mention the price. Many say you can get better for much less but when looking at the competition of feature equivalent saws I am seeing that the “much less” may not be the case. The XGT with orbital kit is $499 ($130 shy of the Festool) and you get a bag instead of a modular box and you get two 4 ah’s instead of two 5.2 ah’s. The m18 Super Sawzall is $449 ($180 shy of the Festool) with only one battery but at 12ah. Also no modular case just a bag. I think the value is almost fair, keyword almost. Still a bit high but not as comparatively high as some make it seem in my opinion.
A Makita XGT 4Ah battery is equivalent in watt-hours to an 18V 8Ah battery. That’s partly why Makita XGT kits can be pricey.
So the difference there is 16Ah equivalent battery capacity vs 10Ah.
The Makita runs at 36V and its batteries are 21700-sized cells. Unless I’m mistaken, Festool still uses 18650 cells.
$180 more than Milwaukee’s super Sawzall kit, with a 12Ah battery and Rapid Charger is still a 40% difference.
Milwaukee also has an M18 Fuel Sawzall with hard case and single 5Ah battery for $319. I would assume the Festool to be close in performance to that brushless recip saw and other tools in its class.
It’s not a matter of spending more and getting less, even if that’s what it might look like at the surface.
For Festool 18V users, there’s the benefit of being able to use the same battery with certain other Festool cordless tools. But is that it? The answer to this question can make the difference between bringing new users into a platform and simply selling more tools to existing users. Most brands aim to do both.
“…it is unclear if or when the new reciprocating saw will launch in here.”
Wherever “in here” is, it sounds exciting! I want to watch it launch!
I am not a Festool enthusiast,but finally they are adding a little to there line-up.
I can see a cabinet installer using one if they have Festool batteries only .
There are tool brands that have better single use tools that are worth the hassle of keeping batteries just for 1 tool.
I tried a used fein supercut,since m12/m18 Makita (my battery platforms)didn’t have one worth using.
All 3 have added an equal or better since.
So am selling it.
Same with 23g pinner (Ryobi-m12),cordless shop vac (Ridgid-m18).
The biggest problem with Fein is too few tools in the line-up,and likewise Festool except they have 3-5 different battery systems in 18v alone.
Bosch 12v has the line-up, but not available NA.
The planer (now in m12),and sander ….not equaled yet except by Festool but too overpriced for me.
As a cabinet installer, I use whatever brand gets the best result.
So Bosch 12v, Makita 18v-x2,m12,m18 are what I will keep using.
Fein 18v ,Ridgid,18v,and Ryobi 18v tools I will be selling, to make life a little easier.
KC Tool’s Tool of the day is the Gedore 7 inches pliers wrench.
Half the performance, twice the price. Classic Festool. And of course anyone who questions the price is probably just a hack craftsman who’s jealous they can’t afford Festool 😉
I’m just surprised that they don’t have a proprietary blade holder so only their blades fit this saw.
Someone on their design team probably realized that an oddball blade holder would be a deal killer.
For all their big budget and slick marketing I still can’t wrap my head around what they are actually doing in these promo pictures. Plunge cutting an ‘X’ marks the spot in a 2×6? (I doubt there’s even a blade in the saw). Flush cutting an iron drain line on an interior finished wall? It’s not just Festool; Stuart has pointed this out many times before. I know these are actors/models and not tradespeople but none of these pictures (all four) look remotely real-world.
It just bugs me a little as to who came up with this scenario.
Festool seems to be floundering. A weird new track saw that takes odd blades compared to the ts55, a cordless table saw that is too small for most things, an ultra-premium track saw that takes more weird blades and has a scoring blade, and now a presumably underpowered reciprocating saw with dust collection. Festool used to make amazing sanders, vacuums, routers, and installation drills. Now they’ve started introducing more and more proprietary batteries that don’t even work with other tools in their system, or tools that only work with certain batteries.
Now they are also taking one of their best features, the Systainers, and making them tool specific too. The new table saw has a tool specific systainer, and this saw looks like it has a special systainer too.
If I’m going to pay $600+ for a reciprocating saw, I’m getting the Dewalt or Milwaukee premium saw, a shop vac, and a roll of ductape to tape the hose to the saw.
Someone else must make this for them, the same way Fien produces their OMT.
Price complaints aside, this looks like a nicely featured model. If it has legit active anti-vibe counterweights, that’s a suspiciously advanced feature for a ‘first effort’ blank sheet design. There are only a handful of active anti-vibe recip saws on the market so far, only two of them being cordless. (Skil Buzzkill, Bosch VC, Makita AVT, Hikoki UVP, etc)
If what we’ve seen from the above saws rings true for this Festool, the smoothing of the cut provided by the active counterweight is enough of an advantage that this thing should have no problem hanging with slightly more powerful 18v saws.
To my eye this looks a lot like a battery version of the Bosch ‘Vibration Control’ 14A reciprocating saw. Compare the shape and top cutout of the metal shoe, the blade release, and the general shape and angle of the ‘flared’ rubber boot. The handle and trigger shape/ergonomics also look identical.
A recip saw is mainly for demo work, and the odd other job. If any kind of precision, accuracy or nice finish on the cut is required, you don’t grab a recip saw.
Someone mentioned all these cool little features it has….really, a recip saw needs above all power, orbital cut is nice, and good blades. Anything else is pointless, including the dust collection…recip saws don’t make “dust”, they make shrapnel.
This tool launch is real head scratcher to me. I think they hired PT Barnum in their R&D and marketing departments.
The dust port seems silly now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the big three follow suit, especially with emerging dust regulations and the recent focus on cordless vacuums and accessories.
Definitely not something anyone will break out for slicing a pipe or any other quick sawzall job, but I can think of some situations where it would have been nice. I’d much rather vacuum rodent-infested wall debris at the source, vs letting it rain down on my person. Obviously a respirator is essential for that kind of work, and a full jump suit recommended, but anything to reduce the literal shit storm is time and money well spent.
Anti-vibe is no joke. Going from an old school tool to one with engineered anti-vibe is such a game changer on fatigue if you use it all day. Often times the tool actually performs better as well.
Festool should stick to what their good at, and that’s not Sawzalls , it’s track saws sanders routers , and other woodworking tools.
Dust extraction on a Sawzall , that’s ridiculous no one will use that.