Author Topic: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?  (Read 1250 times)

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Offline Cook

  • Posts: 2
Hi all,

Having just had my Bora edge guide for my circular saw shift, mid-cut, one more time than I can tolerate I am now in the market for a Festool track saw. I’ll be using it almost exclusively for cutting down plywood of all sorts for furniture making, as well as some hardwoods (not exceeding 1.5” thick, usually .75" thick) for the same purpose. I already have a Milwaukee M18 circular saw and an old Makita miter saw, so I’m hoping a track saw will fill in the gap in my cutting equipment while I save up for a SawStop and a new garage to fit it.

Here’s my question: can anyone tell me the difference between the TSC 55 KEB-F (576717) and the TSC 55 REB-F (201394)? The Festool website has “Li” in the description of the REB—is there a difference in the battery technology? Other than that the only difference I can find is the KEB is listed as a Plunge Cut Saw while the REB doesn’t mention that. The compare function on the website seemingly hasn’t been updated with these models as quite a lot of the categories are left blank when using the compare function.

Models: https://www.festoolusa.com/products/sawing/track-saws/576717---tsc-55-keb-f-basic-us vs https://www.festoolusa.com/products/sawing/track-saws/201394---tsc-55-li-reb-f-basic-us

Should I go with one over the other? I’m not sure when I’d need the plunge capabilities as most of the examples the website mentions are things I’d likely use a plunge-cut router for instead, but I’m merely a hobbyist so maybe I should be giving that function more consideration than I am.

I already dismissed the 75 Track Saw (too big for my needs) and the HKC (redundant with my circular saw and miter saw as I rarely work away from my house), but if I should be reconsidering either of those I’m happy to listen.

Final question: will my MIDI vac be enough for the TSC 55, or will I want to upgrade to the 26 or 36?

Thanks a bunch. Despite only owning a few Festool products this community has always been an invaluable resource for me.

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Offline Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 141
Easy stuff first:
  • Given your expected use case, the 55 sounds like a wise choice vs the 75 or the HK.
  • The REB and the KEB are both plunge cut track saws. They’re basically the same saw, with a couple of important differences. The KEB is the newer version. I don’t know if they will continue to make the REB long term, but given the differences, it’s possible.
  • The midi will work great

The two major differences between the REB and the newer KEB are the blade thickness and the riving knife/kickback prevention.

The KEB has a thinner blade, which means longer battery life and less dust. Some people are excited about the thinner blade, some are wary of the potential for deflection.

The KEB does not have a riving knife, while the REB does. The KEB has an anti-kickback sensor that contacts the rail and stops the saw if it senses the saw is coming up off the track. Some people think it’s unwise to remove the riving knife.

Here’s a pretty good walk through of the KEB’s features:


« Last Edit: June 20, 2021, 11:39 AM by Dr. P. Venkman »

Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 77
Hi all,

Having just had my Bora edge guide for my circular saw shift, mid-cut, one more time than I can tolerate I am now in the market for a Festool track saw.

I kid you not, that is exactly what brought me to a Festool track saw. Bora guide, check. Cordless circular saw, check. Bora edge guide walks a bit and screws up a cut or two, check. Circular saw can take a hike. Where I need precision, that thing will never come out.

Venkman has already given you a good rundown of the model differences. I pre-ordered REB right when the KEB was announced, but no release date had been given. After lots of thinking about it, I decided to keep the REB pre-order since I want the riving knife. Regardless, the track saw makes breaking down sheet goods a breeze. It's so darned easy to get a good cut. I almost feel like it's cheater mode.

You'd probably do good to wait for some in depth reviews and comparisons of the KEB and see if there are any glaring issues to come out. I doubt it, but... For what it's worth, both the Makita and Mafell cordless track saws already had thinner kerf blades, so maybe deflection won't be an issue on the Festool.

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1601
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
332747-0

When making 8 foot rips I like using a brace about midpoint to prevent lateral movement. 

HTH

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 12
For your use I would get the TSC55 with the riving knife.  When you  it the hardwoods you will need it.  Hardwoods tend to close the kerf from time to time.  I also have never had to brace the center that festool track on long cuts, whether using two tracks joined or one long track.  They stay out unless you are pushing sideways while cutting.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8720
Even though I already own a TSC 55 REB, I recently picked up the TSC 55 KEB for 2 reasons, ease of blade changes and ease of cutting thick stock.

For a lot of the stuff I do, I need to frequently flip between cross cutting & ripping and the Mafell MT 55 track saw excels at blade changing. Granted, the entire side of the Mafell saw flips out of the way but still, its lack of a riving knife really makes blade changing easy & fast. I'm expecting the TSC 55 KEB to be similar in this regard.

Secondly, I've noticed on several occasions how much easier the thin kerf HKC rips thick material compared to the thicker kerf TSC. The same thing goes for the Mafell MT 55. Both produce a better finished edge when ripping with the thinner blades compared to the TSC with the thicker blade. 

One way around the MIDI capacity problem is to simply use the dust bag on the saw. If I'm cutting outside I'll always use the bag on the TSC, HKC & MT 55. All 3 saws do a great job of collecting sawdust, there's not much that gets away.  [smile]

When ripping 5/4 stock, the bag fills up after about 30-40 lineal feet. That may not sound like a lot of ripping but it does show you how good the dust collection is and how fast the MIDI will fill up.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 01:39 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cook

  • Posts: 2

The KEB has a thinner blade, which means longer battery life and less dust. Some people are excited about the thinner blade, some are wary of the potential for deflection.

The KEB does not have a riving knife, while the REB does. The KEB has an anti-kickback sensor that contacts the rail and stops the saw if it senses the saw is coming up off the track. Some people think it’s unwise to remove the riving knife.


Thanks very much for this info, this is exactly what I was looking for—and thank you to everyone else who replied too. The video was definitely useful in explaining the differences. I'm not sure the choice is any easier, as I now want a saw that has both the riving knife and the thinner blade. The kickback stop seems like an extravagance I don't need—the pessimist in me feels like the more bells and whistles a tool has the more ways it can break—but I think my decision might be made for me as the REB is out of stock basically everywhere and from what I'm seeing the KEB is replacing it.

Thanks again!


Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 153
One thing worth noting is that if you do want the R-model with the riving knife, you can pay attention to the Classifieds section of the board. There will probably be some number of people here upgrading to the new saw and selling their old one.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8720
Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 REB Aluminum Blade Differences
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 10:42 AM »
I just received the aluminum blade for the KEB and immediately noticed several changes from the aluminum blade for the REB. The REB blade is on the left the KEB blade is on the right.




First was the weight, it feels like it weighs half of what the REB blade does. Check out the differences in plate thickness.




Looking at the photo and thinking out loud...maybe I should measure the thickness of the KEB carbide inserts because they seem to be  almost as thick as the REB inserts, if they are, that would be an issue with the splinter strip on the rails.

Also immediately noticeable is the KEB blade has F/FA tooth geometry




...while the REB blade uses TF tooth geometry.




Also, the gullets are a lot deeper on the KEB and the area of each gullet is considerably greater.






« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 10:50 AM by Cheese »