Adjusting My Living Space for the TSC 55 KEB Track Saw
I am a sculptor, and my studio space is quite limited. In fact, my living room doubles as my creative sanctuary. Owning a table saw poses a challenge due to the dust it generates and the difficulty of maneuvering materials inside the confined space. That’s where the Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw comes in. This innovative tool is the perfect solution for my needs, eliminating the need for me to figure out how to squeeze it through my front door!
TSC 55 KEB Track Saw in My Living Room
To accommodate the new Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw, I made a few adjustments to my layout. In the center of my garage-sized studio, I have a 2′ x 7′ workbench. After setting up the workbench and covering it with 1″ rigid foam, I am now ready to cut full 4×8 plywood in my workshop. This would never be possible with a table saw.
K is for Kickback Stop Technology
The TSC 55 KEB introduces an innovative Kickback Stop technology that both astounds and impresses. Unlike its predecessor, it no longer features an integrated riving knife. This means that gripping the blade is much easier. Additionally, the choice of blade is less critical, although it still affects performance. Festool has replaced the riving knife with a spring-loaded metal piece that resembles a cleaver. This clever mechanism follows along the workpiece and senses when the blade or saw lifts off the material, preventing kickbacks.
Amazing Dust Collection
Festool boasts that the Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw Dust Bag collects 90% of dust, while the use of a Festool dust collector can result in up to 98% cleanliness. Most of the time, I keep a small duster attached to the saw while making cuts. On occasions when my hose falls short for diagonal cuts on 4×8 plywood, I easily remove the dust bag. Surprisingly, after numerous cuts, I found more dust inside the saw’s case than on the material I was working with.
Reviewer’s Note on Dust Bags:
Dust bags are not flawless. While they come with a lid to prevent dust from escaping when not in use, the lid can sometimes get caught between the workpiece and the saw, hindering forward movement. However, you can easily flip the hanging lid over, keeping it out of the way. Adding a clip to the bag would be a simple solution to prevent this issue.
Unmatched Power and Clean Cuts
The TSC 55 KEB Track Saw addresses previous concerns about power. While watching official Festool training videos with Brian “Sedge” Sedgeley, I discovered that the key issue lies in using the correct blade for the task at hand. This saw utilizes specialized blades designed specifically for thin cuts. By using these blades, I have effortlessly cut through various materials, including plywood, MDF, and even nine 2x4s simultaneously. The speed and precision of the cuts, along with chip-free edges, surpassed my expectations.
TSC 55 KEB Controller and Track
The controls of the TSC 55 KEB Track Saw are user-friendly and well-designed. My saw comes with imperial measurements on the depth gauge, while Festool provides the option to add a metric scale later if desired. The only minor issue I encountered was with the cams used to secure the saw to the track. The ones at the front worked fine, but the body of the saw obstructed the ones at the back. To overcome this obstacle, I found it easier to remove the battery. It seems this has been a long-standing problem with Festool track saws.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
The Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw, like other Festool tools, exudes excellent craftsmanship. Although it lacks the heft of industrial-grade tools, it possesses a refined feel suitable for cabinet shops. The tool’s ergonomic design ensures comfort throughout the day, with no strain on my wrist regardless of the angle at which I held it.
In my opinion, the Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw is a top-tier track saw that can rival Mafell track saws. With its 36V power and redesigned line of blades, it effortlessly tackles any job swiftly. Furthermore, Festool’s unmatched attention to dust removal shines through in this new track saw. Whether you are a first-time track saw user, looking to upgrade, or in search of a cordless option, the Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw is guaranteed to meet your needs and endure the demands of heavy daily use. It’s a must-have for cabinet and furniture makers.
- TSC 55 KEB Basic (no battery, charger, or rails): $499
- Festool TSC 55 KEB Plus (includes 2 batteries and charger, no rails): $699
- TSC 55 KEB PLUS FS (includes 2 batteries, charger, and rails): $799
- Model: Festool TSC 55 KEB Track Saw
- Battery Voltage: 18 or 18 X 2 Volts
- Cutting angle: -1 to 47 degrees
- Maximum depth of cut (0/45 degrees): 2-1/8″ (55mm) / 1-11/16″ (43mm)
- Saw Blade: 6-1/4 x 1/16 inches (160 x 1.8 mm)
- Speed (no load) 1 battery: 2650 – 3800 minutes
- Speed (no load) 2 batteries: 2650 – 5200 minutes
- Weight with 2 batteries: 12 lbs (5.3 kg)
- Warranty: 3 years