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Review by lizardhead posted 04-30-2011 02:15 AM 11691 views 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
$1400 + with tax $1400 + with tax No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have other Festool tools which are absolutely fabulous so when I needed to replace my old chop saw, I looked for a really good one, I considered the newest Bosch with all the fancy knuckle work instead of the sliding arm. I really thought the Bosch saw would be a welcome tool in my shop, but then I told myself that for a mere $500 more I could have the Festool Kapex, and own the very best, well now that I have the Festool Kapex and have taken it for a few laps around the shop, my dicovery is that it truly is not a $1400 saw, Yes it has some added features like the estimated $150 miter finder, and the forward moving slider & the depth stop and most importantly the Festool branding, But lets get real about the cutting, after all it’s the cutting isn’t it that we need? So does it cut better, With a good blade on either saw Whether a Festool or Hitachi if you are honest you cannot tell me that you would be able to tell the difference between the two, not even the Festool reps would be able to tell the difference. So did I spend more for a saw just to get the Festool branding? You bet your bippy I did. Am I satisfied with the tool—Yes I am. Do I wish I could go back in time and purchase The Bosch? Sure do. Will I ever buy another Festool Product? Absolutly. I want the best tool I can get. But if that tool has a $500 dollar price tag for the Branding—it had best be better than the competition. Just so there is no misunderstanding about this review. & why I gave it only 3 stars is because
I feel that it is well over priced. An $800 price tag would be more competitive
It is a better than average saw when considering Bells & Whistles.
It is average when considering the cut on the surface of the wood

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

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653 posts in 3725 days

28 comments so far

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135 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 04-30-2011 02:36 AM

Very objective review.

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19 posts in 3511 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 02:53 AM

Thanks for the review. It always seems like there are two types of Festool tools. Ones that are so innovative or better that the premium is worthwhile. An others where the premium might not be worthwhile. I own the FEQ 150 ROS and it is spectacular: it can move from really rough sanding (more so that my belt sander) to as fine a sanding as I ever do – all the while capturing virtually all the dust hooked to a small ridgid vacuum.

A miter saw is in my future and based on your review it probably won’t be the Kapex.

-- Jason

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653 posts in 3725 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 07:39 AM

I also own the 150/3—- Festool knocked this tool out of the ballpark, if my 150/3 were lost or stolen I would be at the doorstep of WoodCraft to replace it in a heartbeat. It hurts to spend that much but only until you get it to the workshop and plugged in.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3576 days

#4 posted 04-30-2011 11:40 AM

How does this “miter finder” feature work? And what is unique about the depth stop in realation to the depth stops on other brands? From all that I hear about this saw I was suprised to see a three star review. But I admire your honesty in this review about what you think of the saw. Thanks.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View lizardhead's profile


653 posts in 3725 days

#5 posted 04-30-2011 03:04 PM

The miter finder is a gauge that you put on the work and transfer it over to the saw. It has a little slot holder for storage right in the saws table, the trouble with that is it gets in the way when you cut a bevel on the left side of the saw. not a good design on that part of the saw< I took mine out of it’s holder and hung it out of the way in a drawer. One other feature I did not like was the angle at which you have to get your arm to pull the safety and the trigger at the same time. I am 5’8” tall and I have to raise my forearm as high as I can parallel with the floor to get both triggers pulled, so you compromise the accuracy of your cut when you contort your body like that—the saw does sit on a standard miter saw table. None of the miter saws I have ever used had a depth setting, so I thought it was unique.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4461 days

#6 posted 04-30-2011 04:37 PM

I have never owned a Festool and have always suspected that folks that buy them can only justify how much they have spent by saying they how far Superior they are. I think we all justify what we have bought weather it’s a car or tool or whatever we buy,when deep inside we say that other item that sells for 40% less would have been just as good. The other alternative is that Festool is superior and what I suspect is wrong.


View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 04-30-2011 04:44 PM

How dare you! No seriously, I really appreciate this review. I think the major advantage you didn’t mention was the footprint. I may be wrong about this but it seems like a good saw for a small shop, as some of the competitors are quite large. I always imagined it to be an overpriced competitor in the group of top saws. I really appreciate you shooting straight.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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4816 posts in 4057 days

#8 posted 04-30-2011 05:14 PM

Maybe this website should have more than one category that you can rate.

In other words …. Performance, Quality, Value … maybe others, too.

Because … if it IS a 5-star performer, then I’d like to know that.

But if lots of buyers—particularly when it comes to a brand like Festool, where you KNOW you’re going to pay top dollar—don’t think the Capex, for example, is worth the money, but the router or ROS is … I’d like to know that, too.

Good review. Thanks !

-- -- Neil

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101 posts in 4214 days

#9 posted 04-30-2011 07:01 PM

Great review. I think many Festool owners feel that there can’t be any negatives about their newly bought tool, and will defend their brand to the death. You clearly stated your observations, and hope that this helps many like myself who are curious, but apprehensive about spending that type of money on a tool.

-- ~the turtle

View lizardhead's profile


653 posts in 3725 days

#10 posted 04-30-2011 09:19 PM

Maybe I should state that while I have only been at wood working in an artistic way for a realitivly short time, I have been around big tools all my life from bull dozers in Viet Nam to Timber Framing Lodges & homes in Michigan & Wisconsin. I do know the value of a good tool and while Festool Kapex is a good tool it simply does not “SCALE” in value to it’s closest competitor—in other words if Hitachi name was on the kapex it wold sell for about $800 buckeroonies. They would never get $1400 for it. Also note that if Festool were sold at Home Depot for $800 bucks, my suspition is that they would sell gobs and gobs more than they do now and that would pay for their R&D a lot quicker. Festool is a unknown Brand in the general workplace, I had never heard the name before ayear and a half ago.
I am not by any means anti Festool, they make a few tools that are outstanding, including the Kapex, but the $ value is too high in respect to other brand saws. deke says just because one guy says it’s to expensive “ALL Festools are SUDDENLY not worth the money. Please read again I said nothing like that anywhere in my review. Also a point was made about the professional and moulding Crown moulding and you are right many many folks swear by Kapex for doing moulding. If I were doing a review for Kapex in reguards to moulding as the only thing it was used for then I may have a different outlook on it. but I have a very small shop and do Segmented work mostly. The reason I wanted the best saw I could get was because Malcom Tibbits said that he used a miter saw for all his segmenting. I figured if he said it it must have value because WOW have you seen his work?

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View Terry Burks's profile

Terry Burks

22 posts in 3936 days

#11 posted 05-01-2011 07:01 AM

I must say I’ve never once laid a hand on a Festool Kapex so I cannot say what it would do for me. However, I have a $275 Craftsman CMS on which I’ve cut many miters for mouldings and custom built-ins that are as tight and clean as they come. The key is using a sharp, quality blade and taking my time on setup and measurements. Could the Kapex save me time? Probably but I’m not sure the little time saved would translate into the price difference. Wouldn’t mind giving a Kapex a try but not sure I’m willing to gamble the $$$s.

-- Terry - Montgomery, Texas

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4777 days

#12 posted 05-01-2011 07:31 AM

Love the review and would agree in part. The actual miter made by the Kapex, when compared to the DeWalt, Makita isnt any better. A perfect cut is exactly that…....”perfect”

It is some of the other qualities that make it shine as as some one else mentioned, the footprint. It takes up very little space and isnt tipsy when totally expanded or contracted. When I am is a small room it is quite an advantage.

I could be wrong but its the only miter saw with a 10” blade that can cut through 4” crown (based on a 45 degree hold.

It’s light too. Not a big deal until you have to lug it up a mountain or up several flights of stairs and I dread hauling my big 12” DeWalt any where, as its hugely heavy and cumbersome to carry where as the Kapex is WAY lighter and perfectly balanced.

And then there is that DUST thing. Hooked up to the right dust sucker it leaves very little dust behind and that is in itself a huge issue. I dont have to run outside, down a flight of stairs, make a cut, run inside, up a flight of stairs….fit…...opps, too short and repeat. I can finally cut inside and no bitching and whining from the client.

3 stars eh ?

go figure and for what its worth, Festool gives a 30 day money back guarantee… return it, and buy the dust monster.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 4362 days

#13 posted 05-01-2011 02:03 PM

How did you make or where did you buy the stand in the picture?

Is that a Rousseau component table?


-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 4240 days

#14 posted 05-01-2011 04:22 PM

Look up some of the reviews on the Bosch.They seem to be having alot of problems with the new model

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12609 posts in 3973 days

#15 posted 05-02-2011 12:16 AM

Interesting how Festool and Lie Nielsen owners usually get upset when some one say a negative word about the two brands…
I have router and plunge saws from Festool and even the CMS system and the MFT3, plenty of good and also few negative things to say. But no Kapex here… The biggest problem about Festool is the price and all the extra gadgets you will buy that are also too expensive, so at the end of the day I’m not sure I feel it’s worth the money. But I love it, and this is the pleasure I am willing to pay for, so yes it’s religion. But to bitch to defend it – ‘no way’.
Read here!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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