Festool - Kapex Miter saw (Rating: 4)

I have owned and used the Kapex for the last 18 months. Prior to that I used an upper end makita 10 inch saw. My feeling about the Kapex is that it fits a niche market. You can get very nice and just as accurate cuts using other saws that are far less expensive.

What I like:

The first thing that attracted me to the kapex was the availability of accessories that fit some of my needs. Crown molding clamps, hold down clamps, wing extensions, portable stand, etc. While there are accessories for other saws, most of them are third party and while they work, they are not as seamless as the accessories for the kapex. All of the accessories available for the kapex work perfectly and were designed for this saw and only this saw. Why does that make a difference? Because the fit, finish and functionality make for a very pleasant and time saving usage of the accessories. They don't just kind of work, the really work, and they save me time, which amounts to making me money!

What others have said about the kapex is true, first the dust collection is better than any other mitre saw I have used. I really like this feature as it greatly reduces my clean up time and allows for me to use the saw in areas that I wouldn't have used my makita. If I was primarily doing framing type of cuts or such outdoors then the dust collection really wouldn't matter to me. This does require the use of the larger of the festool dust collectors. The smaller Midi and Mini just don't have the capacity or the suction, mostly due to hose size, to capture the amount of dust needed to make this a selling feature. Using the larger CT vacs and 95% of the dust is sucked up.

The kapex is the first mitre saw I have used that didn't require any adjusting right out of the box. My makita would need to be readjusted from time to time to make sure the cuts were spot on, so far my kapex has stayed spot on. Granted I move my saw alot so that accounts for the possiblity of it going out of calibration. If I was able to mount the saw somewhere and leave it then this feature wouldn't be a big deal. Also with moving the saw a lot the light weight of the kapex makes it easier. Again, only important if you move your saw often.

The kapex is incredibly easy to use. The setting of angles is the easiest of any saw if have used. There is no fubling when trying to find the adjustment controls. All are labled green. The tilting of the saw is super easy and incredibly accurate. This makes the odd cuts for not quite square homes that much easier.

The extra cutting capacity has come in handy compared to other 10" saws. This can be overcome by going to a 12" saw of another brand. That increases the wieight which goes back to one of the reasons I like the kapex. If it were mounted on a permanant basis somewhere then a 12" would probably be better for overall cutting capacity.

The last feature I find helpful is that it can be pushd up against a wall without needing clearance for the saw to slide. Others require clearance behind the saw and in tight spaces this can make a difference.

What I don't like about the kapex:

Cost. This is an expensive saw and unless you are going to use all of its capabilities it just doesn't make sense to spend the money for it.

The plastic blade slot on the mitre table cracks easily. The slightest little jump in a board or knock by a corner when placing stock will crack the piece. I have since used MDF cut to size which also allows for zero clearance and a cleaner cut. The one thing, in my mind, that is a must fix is the blade insert, make if out of somthing that won't chip and crack!

The price of festool blades. While the blades last a long time and can be resharpened they are more expensive then other mitre blades available. Admittedly I have not spent time researching to see if other manufacturers blades would work. If they do, that might be a better alternative and as such would not longer factor in to my opinion of the saw. I will say that the blade that comes with it is far better than any other stock mitre saw blade included with other brands of saws. Why don't manufacturers understand this and include a quality blade with their product?

The placement of the mitre angle guage can abstruct some cuts. This is easily worked around by pulling the guage but can be annoying.

The fence is able to be slid to make it wider. The clamps holding the fence in position are difficult to use and can get in the way of the hold down clamps.


Would I buy the kapex again? Yes, but only because it fits some of the very specific needs that I have at this time. Again, for a shop used saw, I don't know that I would pay the extra cost. This saw is not for everyone, in fact I would say it is probably for a small number of mitre saw users. Simply put, if you are looking for a lightweight saw that can be used in very tight quarters while being dead on accurate and making very little mess then this is the saw for you. If you don't mind a little extra weight and clean-up then there are better options out there for much less money. I should also say that I expect the kapex to last much longer than other brand saws. I can't really comment on this yet because 18 months is just the beginning of life for this saw. I will update as time goes on.

So why the 4 stars vs 5? In my mind the saw, at the price I payed, should be just about perfect to garner a 5 rating. The issues I listed resulted in a 4 out of 5 stars. If I could have rated a 4.5 I would have. The issues to me are more annoyance then deal breakers. The one thing that should be fixed is the blade insert, make if out of somthing that won't chip and crack!