The question was inevitable. What makes Festool’s new 10" sliding compound miter saw — known as the Kapex KS 120 — worth $1,300?
“That’s the same thing I’ve been asking myself since last year,” says Festool product manager Rick Bush. “That was always the big challenge with bringing out a saw when your nearest competitor is half the price.
“For $1,300, what are you buying? You’re buying a very fast, easy, convenient system to use; but you’re really buying the cut.”
The Kapex offers a number of unique features, such as variable speed control, a magnetic blade break, and a two-line adjustable laser that casts extremely thin lines.
“According to my research, there currently is no variable speed miter saw in the U.S. market,” says Bush. “With variable speed, I can match my blade type and my blade speed to the material for the optimum cutting result.
“Our saw also has MMC electronics, which is a fancy way of saying it has a feedback mechanism to maintain a constant blade speed while under load.”
The saw head slides on two stationary rails that extend over the front of the saw base. As a result, the saw can be placed against a wall and perform all cutting tasks.
The Kapex has a special cutting position that, when activated with a flip of a lever, uses the back portion of the blade more effectively. Festool says the saw can cut crown molding up to 6-5/8" in the nested position, and cut material vertically up to 4-3/4" x 3/4".
“It has a 10" blade which basically does the job of a 12" saw,” says Bush. “It’s also very lightweight [47 lbs.] and compact. We really design our tools for the professionals who rely on their tools to make a living. We’re going after the finish carpenter who’s working in a house, cares about portability, who needs dust extraction, and needs precise cuts.”
Another standout feature is the handle, positioned over the blade to keep feed pressure in line with the cut, which makes it convenient for right- or left-hand operation. There’s a safety trigger on top of the handle, which must be squeezed to start the motor or lower the saw.
The saw has a counter spring mechanism to hold the bevel position until it’s locked. A micro-bevel adjustment knob, located at the front of the saw, and a large readable scale allow for half-degree settings.
The saw is designed to be used with a dust extraction system. “We rate the dust extraction at 91 percent and the dust extraction begins with the cut. Because of the blade geometry, the chips are directed through a funnel at the back of the saw and into the dust shroud,” says Bush.
The Kapex is sold with a 60-tooth universal blade and Festool’s MiterFast accessory. The angle finder, which stores on the saw, transfers angles from inside or outside wall corners.
Other accessories include a table (model MFT/3), crown stop, clamps and hold-downs, an 80-tooth blade, and blades for cutting laminate and aluminum.
Contact: Festool USA, 400 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lebanon, IN 46052. Tel: 888-337-8600. www.festoolusa.com