Festool Kapex KS 120 Review: Ultimate Buyers Guide
There are many woodworkers and carpenters that can only dream about owning a Festool Kapex KS 120. I myself have lovingly stared at my brother-in-law's miter saw with envy in my eyes.
But is this saw really as good as they say?
Is it really worth that hefty price tag?
Let's find out with my review of the Kapex KS 120.
This miter saw is a professional grade, well made machine that really is a dream come true. If cost wasn’t an issue, then this excellent miter saw would be inside my workshop now, and I would be smiling all of the time.
It comes with several different innovative design features that allow you to make precision cuts.
This miter saw has been especially designed for professionals and is perfect for serious woodworkers who perform heavy-duty woodworking jobs on a regular basis.
If you only do woodwork on an occasional basis or are a causal DIYer, then this miter saw isn’t likely one that is going to make it onto your short list. This is due to its high price tag, which puts it out of the price range for a majority of casual woodworkers.
This miter saw really is superior to almost anything out there and one that numerous woodworkers will dream of owning.
What do you get when you buy the Kapex?
When you purchase this 10 inch mitre saw that rivals the capacity of 12 inch models, you will receive the following:
- Festool Kapex KS 120 sliding compound miter saw
- 60 Tooth Carbide Thin Kerf Blade
- Hold Down Clamp
- MiterFast Angle Transfer Device
The angle transfer device is a great little addition, and shows that Festool really thought of everything. With this little tool measuring, calculating and cutting bisected angles is a breeze.
Your Accuracy Is Doubled By The Dual Lasers
Laser miter saws that come with just one laser need to move over! This Festool miter saw comes with two lasers, which allows for cutting to be even more precise.
The dual lasers enable you to align cuts from both sides of the saw’s blade. It is easy to fine-tune the lasers by using the three-axl adjustment controls. There is also a button that can be used for turning them off and on without needing to turn the saw off or on, which is a nice safety feature.
On a majority of miter saws, the laser guide system’s effectiveness is highly debatable.
However, the dual lasers on the Kapex KS 120 miter saw work very well. In addition to being quite effective, they don’t require any batteries, since the lasers are powered by electricity. Many miter saws have battery operated lasers.
The last thing that you want to have happen is to be making a cut with your laser and have the battery die, only to realize you don’t have any replacement batteries on hand. So there are definite advantages to having your laser guide system not be battery operated.
How accurate does it cut?
The miter saw also comes with an extremely precise miter scale in addition to the dual lasers that assist you with making precision cuts. There are clear angles on the miter scale that make it very easy to set and read. Angles can be set very accurately, to within a small fraction of one degree.
After your desired angle has been set, you can use the miter lock to lock it in to provide you with a very aggressive hold that will prevent the angle from shifting and ruining your cuts.
How portable is it?
The Festool Kapex KS 120 has been professionally German engineered so that it is compact and lightweight. It might not be the lightest miter saw for its class at 47 pounds, however it is easy to move around and doesn't take up a lot of space. I was quite impressed with how it is designed for easy carrying. and how nicely it works with miter saw stands.
On each of the miter saw’s ends there are two handles. Therefore, the center of gravity is close to your body when you are carrying it. That positions this miter saw in a way that makes it easy on your back and easy to carry.
The head of the miter saw locks down when it is not in use. It makes the size of the size smaller which allows you to store in more places in addition to making the saw easier to carry. Its rail forward design and compact footprint allow you to even store it against a wall and in the process free more space up inside your workshop.
Is the dust extraction better than other models?
I am not a big fan of those dust bags that most miter saws come with. Most of them are useless. However, the KS 120 has a dust extraction and collection system that really blows the competition out of the water. It eliminates a very impressive 91% of all of the sawdust that your your generates. The market’s better miter saws usually claim they can collect around 75%, however in reality many fail to come anywhere close to that percentage.
On this miter saw the dust is directed away from the surface you are working on by using its swiveling dust port. There is an integrated dust hood as well that transports dust directly from the blade to inside the dust collection port as you are working. It is possible to use both 36 mm and 27 mm hoses with the miter saw’s integrated port.
However, the 36 mm hoses tend to be more effective. To get the entire 91% saw dust collection out of this model it is necessary to use it in conjunction with the Festool CT extractor. This will make your work environment cleaner and safer to work in.
Anything not to like?
I am just a hobbyist woodworker, so the Festool is overkill for me personally. If I was making a living doing carpentry, then I would easily justify buying this very accurate miter saw.
Another thing that I have to mention is that it feels a little under powered to me. As long as you are patient and take care when making cuts, this shouldn't be a problem. You are getting a very accurate cut for your patience!
Not Very Difficult
The Festool Kapex KS 120 has been designed to be able to cut through soft plastics and wood. In terms of cutting hard plastic and thicker wood, it doesn’t always work as well as you would like it to.
Since it is on the high end of the price scale for miter saws, I was expecting it to have the ability to cut through just about anything. Whether you will be affected by this limitation or not will entirely depend on the kinds of materials that you normally use with your miter saw. The materials that I most frequently use do fall within this miter saw’s cutting range.
My opinion is that this product works well when installing trim or crown molding.
Where to buy at the best price?
I was skeptical at first, but Amazon has made ordering power tools online a breeze. And you and I both know that Amazon isn't going to disappear with our hard earned cash.
Amazon has the added advantage that they have some serious buying power, and this allows them to negotiate the best price with the manufacturers.
You simply can't beat ordering from Amazon.com. Great service, free delivery to your door and no hassle with returns make it the best option.
I have seen Amazon having regular miter saws for sale, so it is the first place I would check before buying a new miter saw.
This unit also comes with the standard Festool 36 month warranty, and 30 day money back guarantee.
The Festool Kapex KS 120 comes with so many different innovative features that I’m going to have to read through the whole manual after I buy one with some of the proceeds from my lottery winnings.
The miter saw’s ambidextrous design is very comfortable for a lefty such as myself to use, the dust collection system is effective, and it has been designed to make perfect cut after perfect cut. What more could you ask from a miter saw? In my opinion, not very much at all. This has to be one of the best miter saws on the market.