Festool Owners Group

FESTOOL DISCUSSIONS => Festool Tools & Accessories => Topic started by: Cook on June 20, 2021, 09:53 AM

Title: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Cook on June 20, 2021, 09:53 AM
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.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Dr. P. Venkman on June 20, 2021, 11:13 AM
Easy stuff first:

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:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v7_QQWZ3D9U
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Chainring on June 20, 2021, 02:05 PM
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.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: waho6o9 on June 20, 2021, 06:03 PM
[attach=1]

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

HTH
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Sci on June 20, 2021, 10:09 PM
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.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Cheese on June 21, 2021, 01:24 AM
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.

Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Cook on June 21, 2021, 08:02 PM

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!

Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Cypren on June 24, 2021, 05:08 AM
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.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 REB Aluminum Blade Differences
Post by: Cheese 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.

[attachimg=1]


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

[attachimg=2]


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

[attachimg=3]



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

[attachimg=4]


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

[attachimg=5]


[attachimg=6]

[attachimg=7]
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: 12T Panther vs 16T Panther
Post by: Cheese on September 07, 2021, 11:50 AM
Just ran across something interesting, just noticed that the "standard" rip blade in the US/Canada for the new TSC K saw is a 16T Panther 205559 while for the rest of the world the standard rip blade for the TSC K is a 12T Panther 205550.

The 16T 205559 blade is listed only on the Festool USA website and is not even listed on any of the other Festool worldwide websites.  [eek]  Just curious why.

FWIW...if someone in the US/Canada wants to use a 12T Panther blade in the new TSC K saw, the older 12T Panther 500463 from the HK/HKC is still available.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Crazyraceguy on September 07, 2021, 06:18 PM
That new F/FA tooth profile looks very similar to the new blades that we just got from the Leitz rep for cutting Solid Surface with the big beam saw. It cuts fantastic. The surface of the cut edge comes out glass-smooth and seam-ready, right from the saw, but it is a huge blade with a 4mm kerf.
We swap it in and out when cutting Solid Surface material, so I have no clue how it acts with other things.
My first though was that it looks like a merge of the ATB and Triple-Chip type teeth.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: 12T Panther vs 16T Panther
Post by: Cheese on September 08, 2021, 10:15 AM
That new F/FA tooth profile looks very similar to the new blades that we just got from the Leitz rep for cutting Solid Surface with the big beam saw. It cuts fantastic. The surface of the cut edge comes out glass-smooth and seam-ready, right from the saw, but it is a huge blade with a 4mm kerf.

Good to know that the new aluminum blade will also be good for plastics. FWIW...Leitz is supposed to manufacture Festool saw blades so Festool changing to the new F/FA tooth profile makes sense.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Crazyraceguy on September 08, 2021, 05:39 PM
I would just like to see them produce these blades in the thicker version to fit the older saws.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: glass1 on September 08, 2021, 06:07 PM
Or make a thinner riving  knife so we can use the new blades on the old tsc
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: Cheese on September 08, 2021, 09:47 PM
Or make a thinner riving  knife so we can use the new blades on the old tsc

This could be a pretty straight forward home project.  [smile]  An RAS or a RA grinder, some double stick tape and a calipers. You're only removing .4 mm of material or .015" or 1/64" of material. It doesn't have to be precise although you could have a machine shop blanchard grind your existing knife if you choose to go the more precision route. With the RAS or RA grinder it probably wouldn't take any longer than 20-25 minutes.

You could also use a belt sander and double stick tape.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: glass1 on September 09, 2021, 06:46 AM
True…. But it would be nice to have both riving knives. Than one can use both blades.  More often than I could have imagined I wind up doing long dados with the tsc which means multiple cuts. That .4mm adds up.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: notenoughcash on September 09, 2021, 07:19 AM
iirc the ts still as a RK.  is there any reson why you couldnt get the 1.8mm knife of the ts and put it on the old tsc.

i have had the riving knife off my tsc before, its easy to do, you only need a t15 bit.

i have considered dooing it before though.
Title: Re: Track Saw TSC 55 KEB VS TSC 55 Li REB: Differences, Thoughts, Recommendations?
Post by: usernumber1 on September 09, 2021, 12:07 PM
if youre doing dados you dont really need a riving knife