By S. Albert
on 2015-07-24 Good cuts, dust collection a bit better than competition; some frustrating design, though
This Festool Kapex sliding compound miter saw (SCMS) works well, but I have a hard time rating this greater than three stars for glaring omissions, and honestly the price does factor into it. Yes, you're paying for quality and German engineering/manufacturing when buying this saw, but honestly, there are really good SCMS alternatives available for at least $800 less than this price. Get this saw if you have the initial funds to outlay, want good cuts, a bit better dust collection, and also have another $1000 for accessories that definitely make the functionality 5-stars.
+ Dual lasers are just great.
+ Slide forward design of the rails really does keep you from worrying about how much clearance is behind the saw.
+ Better than average dust collection for a SCMS, but you're still going to have to clean up a bunch afterwards. Maybe a 10% improvement over competitors that also use dust collection. (My cheapo Harbor Freight SCMS dust collection included!)
+ The angle finder tool is a nice accessory that I'm shocked was included. You know we'd all buy it if it was an add-on! :)
- I find the depth stop for plunge cutting doesn't really stop the blade if you push just a *little* too hard downward. The stop has about 1/8" of play, which doesn't make those super accurate cuts unless you ginger the saw. Poor design on the stop.
- It is insulting that you must pay $102 to get crown stop/t-track functionality... for *each side* no less! Plus, the Festool crown stops then restrict use of the Festool extensions
. The base $1450 price for the Kapex would be justifiable if ingenious crown stops were integrated with the base unit somehow.
- To get the touted better dust collection you *need* a custom-built 5' (1.5m) D36 hose. Festool D27 hose does not provide enough suction and all the standard Festool D36 hoses are too long. Oh, and standard 2.5" (D50) hoses do not fit this SCMS. Keep that wallet out!
- I really need two hold down clamps to work efficiently with a SCMS- I expect most people would, too, if they once used two clamps. Get ready to buy it separately
- No Festool Plug-It power cord. More space could have been saved on the rear by removing the extra cord storage.
- The base scratches really easy. Just using a composite straight edge tool I somehow gouged it up. Be gentle!
- The saw's countersunk screw-down attachment points are round. I would have preferred hex-shaped holes for bolts in the four corners. Note, there are two 0.5" hex holes for use with the Festool clamping kit
, but I would only use two bolts if I was also using a MFT top (see below).
- You really need to wait for the blade to stop spinning before lifting it up after a cut. I've had cut offs get sucked up and jam between the blade and the dust hood. I never had this happen before with other SCMSs. Known concern with this saw.
- I find chips/dust gets stuck in the blade trough. I would have preferred that to have a hollow bottom.
~ I can't say that this weighs so much lighter than competing 10" SCMS. My Harbor Freight model is really not much heavier.
~ Would I have preferred this was a 12" blade? Definitely. No stars off for this point though. I rarely need that capacity and I do have my Harbor Freight trusty standby to make those cuts.
~ Protractor angle and bevel adjustments/locks work well.
~ There are four rubber grommets underneath the Kapex that drop into MFT/3 dog holes and keep the saw from sliding around. Convenient if you already have a MFT/3. I do recommend a solution like the Festool Kapex clamping kit
to make sure the saw doesn't tilt during operation.
~ It's very unlikely that I'm going to spend $533 for the simple UG-Kapex wheeled stand
, but they sure do work well together. Not giving into the Festool system in this case gives you a whole lot of budget for an alternative.
~ Definitely build a zero clearance fence and a zero clearance base insert to reduce tearout and improve dust collection like any other SCMS.
~ I like it that the area around the protractor in the base is cut out- it lets the dust fall through to the floor. This does not work to your favor, however, if the Kapex is mounted to a solid base or MFT. Dust will collect there and is not easy to remove. Great for stands with open space underneath the saw.
~ If you get the Festool extensions
for the Kapex, they'll also fit the MFT/3. Some set of extensions are necessary. Check out the FastCap offerings while you research options!
3 Stars By G. Hartman on 2017-07-27
Precise but unreliable
I am a self employed finish carpenter with a stable of miter saws (Bosch glide, old Hitachi 8 inch, Makita cms, and the Festool). I've had the kapex for 5 years and it's now going to be on it's third motor (currently shipping to indiana) - I use tenryu blades and the saw has never seen a cord more than 50ft 10gauge. I've also replaced the bevel assembly and guard mechanism. For a saw that cost $1500......ridiculous.
Bosch aside, my other saws are older and have seen considerably more use. However, all they ever need are some fresh brushes and a good cleaning from time to time
I may retire the kapex if/when it comes back
4 Stars By Timothy N. dePlume on 2013-07-15
excellent saw, not for everyone
I can attest that the Kapex is more precise than the Dewalt chop saw or the Bosch slider I've used for many years. Until I got the kapex I pretty much avoided bevel cuts on miter saws altogether. I've never trusted the bevel gauges on the dewalt and Bosch saws. I'd either do it on a table saw or turn the wood 90 degrees and miter it standing up to avoid bevel cuts. With the kapex you can make essentially perfect mitre AND bevel cuts with great confidence. Yes, like a lot of German products it feels too lightweight, too full of plastic, to be a serious tool. That's just German engineering. It's evident in their cars and everything else they design. This is a precise instrument. It's not underbuilt or overbuilt.
Should everyone go out and spend $1400 for a kapex? Of course not. If you're cutting 2x4's or making birdhouses or installing tongue and groove wood floors, save yourself $1,000 and buy whatever the local big box store has on sale. If you're a finish carpenter and you're happy with the saw you have, keep using it. If you set your saw up on job sites without dust collection, you probably won't like the kapex. But if you build cabinets or other furniture in your workshop and you want to collect dust and want to save the time and hassle of setting up your TS every time you need to make bevel or miter cut, then save your pennies and get yourself a kapex. It will make you smile.
3 Stars By Tmoo on 2013-11-27
Good saw but IMO not worth the money
I have now had my Kapex for two years and have gotten a lot of use out of it so far. I have to say that I would not buy another one, and here are my reasons.
It is just too expensive. I could have had three 12" Hitachi's for the price of this and a $100 dollar bill too. It is certainly a nice saw but it does have its weaknesses. Yes you can cut a larger board while standing up than other 10" saws but a 12" saw will cut even more. The Festool blades are not nearly as good as many other brands and even their best one causes way too much tearout on the back side for me. There are only a very few blade makers that offer a blade that will fit the Kapex and they are hard to find and expensive. My Kapex suddenly started being very hard to press down and it finally wouldn't. At a job far from my shop with a deadline. I had to tape the guard out of the way just to use the saw. Dangerous and throws dust everywhere. The mechanism that controls the clear plastic guard is malfunctioning somewhere in the housing of the cover. It needs to go back to Festool to be fixed. While they have excellent customer care, I still have to box it and ship it and be without for who knows how long. The local Festool dealer has no idea how to fix it. As others have said in their reviews the bevel to the left hits the fence past about 30 degrees and an allen screw must be loosened (the correct allen wrench isn't included in the tool kit) even after you release the lever to slide the offending fence out of the way. You are left with a fence that is about 3/4" tall. The space for the angle center devise puts it completely in the way so mine never makes it to jobs since it is up on shelf somewhere in my shop. It is a little bit lighter than my Hitachi and my Bosch but I have each on fold up stands that roll around so the weight doesn't even matter. While I would choose the Kapex over the Bosch in every way, the Hitachi is equal to or better in many ways. Especially price.
5 Stars By Doc Fluty on 2017-01-02
Bought it mainly because of the ergonomics since Im a disabled.
I have lots of problems with my hands and wrists due to my military service. So I purchased this saw mostly due to the fact that I can bevel it just by turning a knob on the front and not having to reach around to the back to unlock something. Also because the clamp is just a latch, so i don't have to keep twisting or screwing a knob to tighten a clamp. That is almost worth the price to me alone.
I also liked the dust collection feature. This will help me keep my garage cleaner. I keep my show car in there so not having lots of dust everywhere is helpful. Also, since the saw ride on forward facing rails I can put it closer to the wall and save more space for the car and other tools. The laser is helpful since I'm a novice. The cuts are clean and crisp.
I purchased a Betterley FKI101 zero clearance insert that has helped give really clean cuts.
I was expecting better packaging but everything got here fine. My only complaint would be having to puncture a sticker with an Allen key in order to adjust the laser.
1 Stars By Martin DeDera on 2018-01-27
Do not buy!!! You will regret this purchase!
Waste of money. I purchased this saw in March of 2016 thinking that I would be getting a quality product. My motor is on the brink of going out after moderate use. Before I used this saw, I had a Dewalt sliding miter saw that lasted 8 years for a fraction of the price. Not only do I regret purchasing it, but you would have to be crazy to buy this saw today. All of the innovations that this saw has have been copied by all of the other major brands, not to mention Festool refuses to address a common motor problem with this saw. Don't forget that you'll also have to spend over $900 for their stand with supports.
5 Stars By Mike on 2014-04-15
I was put off by the price and procrastinated for a long time, but this miter saw is very impressive. The details are perfect. The sliding mechanism allows zero clearance behind the saw (nice for a small shop), the cut quality is stellar, and the accuracy is as close to perfect as I can measure. Thumbs up.
5 Stars By 68charger on 2014-11-09
Its intelligent design and features make this worth it
Dont be fooled by the light weight feel of this saw. It has more features than anything out there. Received with "near perfect" factory settings The cuts are glass smooth Dont let the 10" blade deter you With a small adjustment you wont care , Its intelligent design and features make this worth it. Dust collection is 90-95% never had a saw ever be close to that. You can put on a slightly bigger hose and it may make it it even higher. Dont love the owners manual. Fabulous saw..
5 Stars By AlumiGogo Customer on 2017-02-27
Great saw for precision work!
I'm ignoring price here and looking strictly at functionality. If you don't have a little extra disposable income or care about keeping tight tolerances then this is perhaps not the best option for you.
Straight out of the box the Kapex performed as advertised. My first 2 cuts were near prefect. The dual laser is so accurate I really couldn't believe it. If you do alot of precision cuts like for furniture work, cabinetry or high end trim, etc., the accuracy of the lasers may be worth the extra money by themselves.
I did purchase the 36mm hose and MFT clamps. Dust collection was superb and the saw was very sturdy when mounted to the MFT. Other reviews have complained about having to buy the extra items like this, but that's just part of Festool...everything has an upsell option and to get full use, you usually need those. Just go ahead and factor that into the price. Long story short, you can't reasonably expect that a hose designed for a router or the domino is going to allow enough flow for a saw.
I'm a very particular person and this saw met all of my expectations and exceeded others.
2 Stars By justin on 2015-10-16
this saw..... i thought was great but now after using it day in and day out as a trim carpenter i can say don't waste your money my saw is on its third trip back to festool for motor failure!!!!!!! I had to buy another saw to use while this on goes back to the shop again!!!