What is new with Festool’s updated TS 55 F and TSC 55 K track saws?
Festool has updated their popular line of track saws. The biggest change is that the new F versions have thinner saw blades than the previous R series. The width of the saw blade has gone down from 2.2mm to 1.8mm. The cordless TSC 55 K also has a new KickbackStop Technology, and no longer has a riving knife.
Both the normal and cordless model now use thin 1.8 mm kerf blades, which are supposed to cut up to 2 times as fast as the previous 2.2 mm blade. This is not only due to the thinner blade (which means less material needs to be removed, so it can cut faster), but also due to a different design of the teeth.
While the 2.2 mm blades had alternating left and right facing teeth, the new blades also have a center tooth, called a ‘trapezoidal cross-cut tooth‘. The fine blade also has fewer teeth, down to 42 from 48 on the previous model. Check the image below for a comparison of the different tooth geometries.
One downside of the new system is that you cannot use the new blades on the old models, nor the old blades on the new models. The reason for this is that the riving knife is a different size. Using the 1.8 mm blade with the old 2.2 mm riving knife on the TS 55 REBQ would not work as the riving knife wouldn’t fit properly through the saw kerf. Using a 2.2 mm blade on the new model would mean the riving knife would not work, making it unsafe.
For a full overview of all the new blades and a compatibility check, see this page on Festool’s website.
The thinner saw blades are also beneficial for the battery life of the TSC 55 K. The saw is still powered by one or two 18V batteries, but they can last up to 50% longer due to the improved blades, which require less power to cut (as less material has to be removed).
Another change found on the cordless TSC 55 K is that Festool has added a special KickbackStop Technology. This technology stops the blade almost instantly when it thinks kickback is taking place, which is a useful safety improvement. It also has what looks like spring-loaded riving knife, which extends when the KickbackStop is triggered. This then pushes the entire saw away from the workpiece, preventing any further continuation of the kickback.
Check the two videos below for a demonstration of this technology.
The reason why the KickbackStop technology is only found on the cordless TSC 55 K and not on the standard TS 55 F is that the fast motor break only works on brushless electric motors. It does not work on the brushed motor of the TS 55 F.
The new TS 55 F and TSC 55 K have just become available for purchase in Europe. The North American models will be available around June 15.
The TSC 55 K is available in three models: The bare machine (TSC 55 KEB-Basic), a version with batteries and chargers included (TSC 55 KEBI-Plus), and another version that also has a guide rail as well (TSC 55 KEBI-Plus FS).
In the case of the TS 55 F, there are two basic models, the TS 55 FQ and TS 55FEBQ. The difference is that the FEBQ model has variable RPM (E for Electronic) and fast motor break (B for Break).
Both of these models are sold either in a basic version in a systainer, called the Plus model, and a version with a guide rail included, called the Plus-FS model.
Are you planning to upgrade to the new Festool track saws? Do you think it’s worth the upgrade from the previous R versions? Share your opinion in the comments below.
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