Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review

Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter SawThe Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is in a class by itself, certainly price-wise. But for the price, it not only LOOKS like something out of the future, it gives you features and functionality no one else has thought of yet.

The list of features and capabilities of this saw is mind boggling! We’ll get to those in a minute, but first I have to say the video I watched on the Festool site totally blew me away! If you’d like to see it, it’s below.

Now, about the features. We’ll start with one that no other manufacturer can boast: variable speed. You choose the right speed for the material you’re cutting and the electronic control will keep the powerful 1600 watt motor at a constant speed under any load.

Next, there’s Festool’s revolutionary, compact design. They’ve combined a light weight magnesium alloy base (the saw weighs in at 47 lbs) with a smaller than normal footprint, making this saw truly portable. And with the rails forward design, you don’t have a lot of the saw hanging out the back.

For a 10″ (actually 260mm blade diameter) that can do most of the work of a 12″ saw, the Kapex KS 120 saves a lot of space. And, as one professional remodeling contractor said, he doesn’t bang into doorways with this saw like he did with the 12″ saw he previously used. When you’re doing remodels, you definitely don’t want to be dinging up your customer’s woodwork!

Something else you don’t want to do in a customer’s house is leave a mess. When combined with the Festool CT 22 or CT 33 dust extractor, the Kapex is capable of collecting up to 91% of the sawdust. (You may also be able to adapt a shop vacuum to mate up to the dust extraction port – the port accepts a 26 or 27mm hose.)

Other features include:

  • Dual Lasers- You can line up cuts from the left or right side using the dual lasers. The lasers mark both sides of the kerf. Using the three axis adjustment controls, you can fine-tune them.
  • Counter Spring Balanced – The bevel adjustment is counter spring balanced so you can position the bevel at any angle and the head will stay in position even when it’s not locked. This makes angle adjustment a lot less tedious and more accurate. And bevel gauges are on both sides of the saw for easy viewing.
  • Bevel Lock Knob – Use the bevel lock knob conveniently located on top of the Kapex to control the bevel settings and  lock the bevel angle.
  • Bevel Fine-Adjustment Knob – This one is a great feature you don’t see on other saws. Use the fine-adjustment knob to control the bevel of the cut to fractions of a degree with extreme precision. The knob rotates and engages a rack and pinion to move the head.
  • Ergonomic Handle Position – The center-positioned handle allows you to make cuts with either hand.  And the 2-stage trigger helps prevent accidental triggering.
  • Special Cutting Position – The Kapex incorporates a special cutting position that provides a taller than usual cutting capacity by using the back portion of the blade more effectively.
  • Trenching Capability – With the flip of a knob, you can cut trenches for lap joints or to notch for pipes and other obstacles. Flip the knob back up and you’re back to normal miter saw position in seconds.
  • Deck Height – The deck height matches the height of the Festool  Festool Systainer 1“systainer 1″ storage containers. On the job site, you can use one or more systainers to support longer stock.  These are available for separate purchase from a Festool dealer.
  • FastFix Blade Changes – The Kapex features Festool’s patented FastFix blade change system. Turning the fast fix knob locks the arbor,  locks out the trigger for safety and allows the blade to be changed with one hand.
  • Blade Kerf and Guard Design – The Kapex blades are thin kerf which reduces load on the motor and improves the cut quality. They’re a good quality, with noise reduction and vibration dampening features. The large 30mm arbor hole reduces blade deflection.
  • Warranty – The Festool Kapex KS 120 comes with a 3 year factory warranty, better than most.
  • Cord & Tool Storage – Includes an on-board tool storage for the power cord and arbor tool. A far superior and safer solution than simply wrapping the cord around the saw to move it. And the arbor tool (an allen wrench, by the way) is always handy for quick blade changes using the FastFix system.

This last feature may not sound like much and it’s not rocket science. It also didn’t cost them much to include it on the Festool Kapex when no one else does it. After seeing it in action, I wonder why every sliding compound miter saw – most of which cost a lot of money – doesn’t include it.

Conclusion

It looks like Miter Saw Reviews loves the Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw and I have to admit, it’s not only revolutionary in its design, but just plain impressive. But there’s that thing about the price and another about the non-standard blades, meaning you’re just about stuck buying the expensive Festool blades for it.

But let’s play devil’s advocate and look at the other side of it. First off, if you want to do the best work you can for your paying customers, you want the best tool.

And consider what was previously said about the ease of getting this machine into the spot you need it. And the dust extraction, leaving the environment neat and clean. If you can get in and out leaving a house cleaner than other contractors, and do the quality work you can do with a high-quality saw, you’re likely to get referrals. That would make it a good investment – an investment in your professional reputation.

As for the blades, all is not lost. They’re not in the regular catalog yet, but Tenryu is now making a couple of blades for this saw.

Now, if you haven’t already, watch the video and see if you’re not as impressed as I was.

Rating: ★★★★½

Would be 5 stars except for the price.

The price on this Festool miter saw is fixed at $1375 and no one sells it for less. If this price is too steep for your budget, but you still want a state-of-the-art 10″ miter saw with capacity more like a 12″, check out the Makita LS1016L 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw at less than half the price of the Festool.

Where To Buy

If you’re considering purchasing a Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw we highly recommend going to CPO Festool. This is a web site devoted entirely to Festool tools, so you can rest assured they know them well.

CPO has been in business since 2003 and have thousands of satisfied customers and are even customer certified by Bizrate.  Ordering through their site is secure and they’re a member of BBB Online, so you can trust them.  And they accept Pay Pal for totally secure transactions.

Standard shipping is free to anywhere in the lower 48 states from CPO Festool.


Festool 561287 KAPEX KS 120 EB Sliding Compound Miter Saw

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