Festool has announced a new 18V cordless track saw, model TSC 55K, that they say delivers top-of-the-line precision and innovation, as well as unparalleled accuracy cut after cut.
The new Festool TSC 55K features first-of-its-kind integrated kickback-stop technology.
Track saws are already often used when for tricky cutting tasks, as their plunge-cutting capabilities can provide more control and a safer cut compared to trying to cut into the middle of a board or sheet with a traditional circular saw. Added anti-kickback measures seems like another step forward.
With the new kickback-stop technology, the Festool TSC 55K can detect the moment kickback occurs during a cut, and as the saw begins to lurch backward towards its user, the saw will seize motor rotation, halting the blade. After the kickback stop activates, the saw is immediately ready to use with zero downtime.
The new TSC 55K features a similar 18V battery power system as its predecessor, and it can be operated using one or two batteries. Generally, you’ll want to use two batteries for the best performance.
Festool is also launching new thinner kerf saw blades that also feature new tooth geometries for improved cutting performance and longer blade life.
The saw can be used with a dust collection bag or separate dust extractor vacuum. Using Bluetooth-equipped batteries will allow for wireless activation of Bluetooth-equipped (or retrofitted) vacuums.
Pricing and Availability
There will be 3 purchasing options.
Cordless Track Saw TSC 55 KEB-F-Basic (576717): $499
Cordless Track Saw TSC 55 5,2 KEBI-F-Plus (576718): $699
Cordless Track Saw TSC 55 5,2 KEBI-F-Plus-FS (577008): $799
The Basic configuration is the “bare tool” option, as shown above. The Plus option is the full kit, adding in (1) rapid charger and (2) 18V Bluetooth-equipped 5.2Ah batteries. The Plus-FS option is the full kit bundled with a 55″ guide rail (FS 1400).
ETA: June 15, 2021
Questions and Answers
Is the depth scale in metric or imperial units?
The cutting depth scale is in imperial units in North America versions, and metric for countries outside of North America.
Are there any other differences aside from the anti-kickback tech?
Comparing the new TSC 55 KEB with the previous version, TSC 5 REB, there are two major differences. First, the Festool TSC 55 KEB has the “Kickback Stop” anti-kickback technology as discussed above. But also, it forgoes the riving knife of the older TSC 55 REB model.
There are other benefits as well- thanks to the new thin kerf saw blades, Festool has realized up to 50% longer runtime per charge.
On their website, Festool says that the new saws cut up to twice as fast. This is due to the new blades not only cutting with a thinner kerf, but the tooth profiles have been updated with a new cutting geometry.
Thanks to our new generation of saw blades and the concentrated torque of our cordless track saws, you will be able to work up to twice as fast with an extended battery range. Maximum cutting performance meets perfect cutting quality.
Festool also says that the brushless motor delivers as much power as their AC-powered track saw [when powered by two batteries].
What is the kerf size?
The TSC 55 REB blades cut with a 2.2mm kerf, and the new saw blades for the TSC 55 KEB have a 1.8mm kerf.
Are there other blade differences?
The new blades provide a longer overall life of up to 40% compared to the previous version.
Festool TSC 55 KEB Saw Blades
Since the previous model had a riving knife designed around a 2.2mm kerf, the new 1.8mm thin kerf blades are NOT recommended for use with previous machines (TS 55, TSC 55). For a riving knife to function properly, it needs to closely match the saw blade diameter. If your kerf width is thinner than your riving knife width, that’s going to be a problem.
Here are the new SKUs:
WOOD RIP CUT HW 160×1,8×20 PW16 (205559)
WOOD UNIVERSAL HW 160×1,8×20 W28 (205560)
WOOD FINE CUT HW 160×1,8×20 WD42 (205561)
LAMINATE/HPL HW 160×1,8×20 TF52 L (205562)
ALUMINIUM/PLASTICS HW 160×1,8×20 TF52 A (205563)
Diamond saw blade ABRASIVE MATERIALS DIA 160×1,8×20 F4 (205564)
This seems to be another benefit of the Kickback Stop feature – it will function independently of saw blade thickness, type, or material.