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Forum topic by Medickep posted 04-29-2020 04:11 AM 522 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Medickep

576 posts in 2505 days


04-29-2020 04:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: festool kapex power tools miter saw

Hello-

Hoping to find some real pros and cons, other than the price (con) for the Festool Kapex. I’ve been contemplating this saw for awhile and do love my other Festool products. I don’t build NASA ships, so the accuracy is nice but not the main goal. My current saw creates such a HUGE mess that I’m so done with it. All over my bench, my garage floor, the shelves within my bench. Items that don’t get used a lot, are covered in dust too.

Obviously there is a health concern too with all of that dust! The last time I almost pulled the trigger on this saw, I read a lot of complaints about the motor burning out. It also sounded like if you had to have the tool fixed on your own ticket, there was a huge cost with shipping and repair. Is the dust collection really that good? Is it magical? For the amount of cleaning I do in my garage as a result of my current saw as well as tracking dust in my house from the floor, I think I would pay the money for the dust collection alone if it’s really 91% as they’re saying the newer version is!! Another bonus would be not having to have my 15’ work station away from my wall due to the bars of my current saw. This makes an area for everything to fall down!

Any help is really appreciated!

Thoughts?

-- Keith


14 replies so far

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4218 posts in 1506 days


#1 posted 04-29-2020 05:25 PM

You might have more input on the Festool Owners Group forum. I don’t own the Kapex but have a handful of other green tools.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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Medickep

576 posts in 2505 days


#2 posted 04-29-2020 06:20 PM

Okay thanks

-- Keith

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3066 posts in 2565 days


#3 posted 04-29-2020 08:10 PM

Keep this in mind It’s a great trim saw I would say every bit as good as the Bosch Glide. If your looking to cross cut wide thicker lumber your better off looking at a Radial arm saw.
For trimming out a kitchen with tall crown molding it’s great. Something both the Bosch and Festool do very well.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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Desert_Woodworker

2727 posts in 1982 days


#4 posted 04-30-2020 12:33 AM

Good luck on dust- Compare the size of dust to the size of COVID19
Here is an article on it…
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/dr-david-brownstein/we-must-wear-face-masks-show-me-the-science-behind-that/
I suggest that if you are interested in dust to follow “Bill Penz”

-- Desert_Woodworker

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John_

250 posts in 2473 days


#5 posted 04-30-2020 02:22 AM

I have owned a Bosch Glide for about 6 years now, bought it from Lowes for $533. For Christmas, I saw that Festool had finally acknowledged that the Kapex had major problems with the motor and had quietly slipped some new parts into the 2019 production run that allegedly fixed it (the motors were burning out). Then Festool came out with the ‘new model’ – the KS 120 REB, but they still had tons of these older model left over which had the new and improved motor parts in them. Hartville Hardware apparently figured it out and snapped up most of the inventory and was selling the older/improved Kapex around Christmas for $1,100 or $1,000 if you actually bought it from one of their stores. Going price for a Kapex is $1,475

So, even on sale it was twice as expensive as my good old Bosch. As I have found with Festool – vastly overrated if not outright exaggerations… Especially when it comes to dust collection. Yes, it still makes a mess. I couldn’t imagine using it inside someone’s house yet how many times have we all read stories about how you could set it up inside of someone’s living room and everything would be fine – no way!

Pros – very light, actually fairly easy to move around. The design, like the Bosch, allows you to place it almost up against a wall, saving space. Dual lasers actually come in handy. Probably the best system I have seen to make dado cuts. You flip down a lever that and you just rotate it to adjust depth of cut. After a lot of work, using the 5 cut method I had it dialed in for both for flat and compound cuts and it was extremely accurate. The blade is fully enclosed on the bottom even in the full upright position (Bosch blade is exposed, so I would say the Kapex is a little safer in that aspect). The Compound adjustments is extremely easy, but difficult to get calibrated in the first place.

Cons – The first one I bought was leaking gear lube all over the place. I asked on the Festool Forum about it and they tried to blow it off – something like it just leaked out of the arbor bearing or something during shipping. The table wasn’t flat all the way across. Again Festool Forum response – well your working with wood, who cares as long as it cuts straight kind of answer. I looked further into the gear lube leak and found a video on youtube where someone tore one apart to replace the motor. The ‘transmission’ of the saw is basically in an O-ring sealed compartment, couldn’t really see how anything could leak out. Plus there was a black oily residue on the back of the saw where the exhaust from the motor fan exited. Sounded like the windings got contaminated at least.

Sent that one back, ordered another one. More or less same thing. Gear lube leaking, tables weren’t flat, everything was out of adjustment. These are shipped in just a cardboard box with a couple of chunks of styrofoam packing, pitiful… all the way across the country. To adjust the lasers you have to punch holes through the diagram (sticker) that covers the adjustment screws, so now that looks like crap. I called Festool support about the table not being flat, gear lube leak, etc and got the feeling that they could care less. Their standard response was to just send it in and they would look at it, but I got the feeling they would just sent it back and say it met their specs kind of thing.

You have to be careful making cuts because of the enclosed blade – basically letting the blade come to a stop or you have a chance of picking up the offcut (if it is small) and throwing. I have read stories about the offcut getting caught up into the upper blade housing causing damage ($$$$). When I am using the saw, I can’t help but think of it as the ‘Festool cut’ – very slow and deliberate, letting the blade come to a stop, probably not what you are used to doing. As you can imagine, the handle is very awkward. As an American, I am used to my trigger finger actually being the primary finger to activate something. The Bosch for example, takes two actions. Hold down the button with your thumb and then when you want to make a cut, you hit the other button with your fingers – the button is real wide. On the Kapex, when not in use, the saw locks in the upright position. So to release it and to move the blade down to your work, you have to use the finger/trigger button. Then when your ready to make the cut, you have to reach up with your thumb and hit the other button. Ass backwards in my opinion.

I was going to send the second one back also, but Harville said they would not sell me another one – but they did give me another $100 off so I kept it. The way these things are packaged up, they just don’t ship well, especially during the height of the Christmas season. Lastly, it still makes a sawdust mess. Does it really make that much of a difference if you have to clean up a little bit of sawdust or maybe a bunch more?

If you are set on buying one, I would try to buy local, so you could check it out beforehand. Take a straight edge and check the table and wings for being flat along with the rear fence. And keep in mind, they do have a 30-day return policy. Chance are, if you do buy it over the internet, I would imagine you would find at least one thing wrong with it which would be a good enough reason to return it and not have to pay the shipping

Anything you read on the FOG (Festool Owners Group) take it with a grain of salt…

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waho6o9

8906 posts in 3344 days


#6 posted 04-30-2020 02:26 AM

For the best results in dust extraction use a 36MM hose and a dedicated dust extractor.

I plug my Kapex into a different outlet than the extractor because of the problems that were mentioned.

A zero clearance fence (ZCF) reduces off fall to launch around the shop. I bent a Festool blade that way. My cuts
were not at 90 degrees and I couldn’t figure it out until I put the blade on a granite table and used feeler
gauges to find out I bent the blade.

I got a new blade and that was that.

Best of luck with your decision.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

926 posts in 3833 days


#7 posted 04-30-2020 01:17 PM

Would not trade my Bosch for a Kapex…ever. Kapex is light weight and a good trim carpenter saw, but is way too expensive for the quality that you receive IMHO. The Bosch is more powerful, and a better all around saw for a home woodworking shop. I use a Kapex at work and hate it. Low power with a tendency to kick and buck crosscutting hardwoods. If my 12” Bosch ever quits, I can buy two of them for the price of a Kapex, and add a case of beer and a new Forrest blade.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4652 posts in 1588 days


#8 posted 04-30-2020 02:07 PM

Obviously the owners of the Bosch have not used a Kapex… Once you use a Kapex the rest are just crap…

Dust extraction is not much better than all the other inferior saws, however, to exploit dust collection you would need to customise a shroud… much like any other mitre/RAS.

As waho suggested, a ZCI is a must (as should be with any saw), both base and fence.

The only bitch I have against the Fe$tool Kapex is the idiot that designed that “channel” around the base that small pieces always fall down in. waho addressed it with a large base… I made a “cover” out of 3mm MDF,

Is it worth all the extra shekels? Probably, but there may be a hung jury… Is it the best saw… definitely!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View John_'s profile

John_

250 posts in 2473 days


#9 posted 04-30-2020 02:33 PM



Obviously the owners of the Bosch have not used a Kapex… Once you use a Kapex the rest are just crap…

- LittleBlackDuck

You must have missed in my post (yes, I realize it was pretty long) that I own and still use my 12” Bosch Glide.

Also, I have the Colliflower zero clearance insert ($50) a ran a dedicated 20 amp circuit just for this saw because of all the problems people had with the motors burning out – even though any Kapex made in 2019 and newer are supposed to be fixed. I also have a dedicated dust collector it’s the Bosch VAC090S which uses a 35mm hose and this vac is more powerful than the Festool CT36 that I also have.

If your a ‘tool collector’ and have some extra money (sometimes I find myself in this position) then by all means go ahead and buy one, and then your can admire your collection… (Hey, some people collect cars) But to be honest, there are other ‘better’ saws out there, especially for the money. Probably the lightweight of the Kapex is it’s best feature

View xedos's profile

xedos

47 posts in 67 days


#10 posted 05-04-2020 02:25 AM

Yes festool dust management is better than most. Makita’s new saw is almost as good and cost 1/3. Milwaukee’s big 12” has almost as good of collection to. It’s not really portable if that matters’ to you, and darn near impossible to see one in the wild to even tell if you’d like it or not.

Lot of fanboys and festool themselves like to say the motor issue is fixed, but there’s jsut no way to tell right now. Time will tell. WHat’s important ot consider is that these guys 1. designed a crappy motor from the outset and didn’t realized it. 2. Ignored complaints when the failed. 3. Were forced to address the issue , but then first claimed it was user error. 4. After the riot ensued they said they’d look into it and then said nothing for about three years. 5. quietly “upgraded’ the saws motor and declared everything all better.

I just don’t trust a company that first said there was no problem and then tried to soft peddle it back in the middle of the nite to actually fix an issue that they admittedly couldn’t see to begin with. Nor did they say they had outside help figuring out the issue. Why would I trust an engineer that designed a faulty motor and then couldn’t see his mistake to design a fix for said motor ? That’s just daft.

Maybe they just kept it all private. But their warranty is not a vote of confidence from them saying they have fixed it. Long ago a certain car company was known for crappy transmissions that grenaded quickly. They set about fixing the problem and when they did they warrantied them for 100,000 miles which was unheard of at the time. Faith was restored and they did solve the problems. Perhaps the kapex motor problems have been fixed. But it also might just be a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

Those uncertainties along with the top of the heap price make it still too much of a crap shoot for me to recommend. There’s also the the lack of blade availability and their costs too.

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Woodbum

926 posts in 3833 days


#11 posted 06-08-2020 11:12 AM

Mr. LBD: Read my post right above yours. I cite my use of the Kapex, and the reasons that I prefer a Bosch. Have a great day!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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LittleBlackDuck

4652 posts in 1588 days


#12 posted 06-08-2020 12:30 PM


Mr. LBD: Read my post right above yours. I cite my use of the Kapex, and the reasons that I prefer a Bosch. Have a great day!
- Woodbum

.... I use a Kapex at work and hate it. Low power with a tendency to kick and buck crosscutting hardwoods….
- Woodbum


I did read it Wb... If I let every man and hid dog drive my Rolls through every taxi ramp it wouldn’t perform the best either… much like your misused work saw. My Kapex, like my Rolls Royce is a one owner/user treasure!

Medikep asked for advice neraly 2 months ago… quite some time has passed since, so either he’s a proud owner of a Kapex or rueing that ominous day of his Bosch purchase.

Keep safe.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View them700project's profile

them700project

245 posts in 1786 days


#13 posted 06-08-2020 04:13 PM

I like them both bought bosch when it came out and have it on gravity stand. Im not in construction so I use it very light duty(decks/trim/home projects etc…) I got the kapex 6 years ago and have it set up in my shop. It works great too. Both saws will do the job. Dust collection laser and a couple other features make the kapex a little better in my opinion for in the shop stuff. If you plan on running around and using it for dimmensional lumber than bosch is the way to go. I’d feel better about kicking the crap out of the bosch with more power and a more robust build(also 1/3 the price)

Dust collection is far better with the kapex but is greatly reduced with zero clearance insert and fence.

Not to say you don’t get accurate cuts with the bosch or cant frame a house with the kapex

View them700project's profile

them700project

245 posts in 1786 days


#14 posted 06-08-2020 04:16 PM

Also I would go to a festool dealer and feel the handle of the kapex and somewhere you can feel the bosch

the vertical handle with the triggers feels better to me as far as running the saw but the bosch horizontal handle feels like a better hand position

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