Author Topic: My thoughts on the Kapex  (Read 3379 times)

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Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
My thoughts on the Kapex
« on: August 26, 2021, 04:00 PM »
I'm a cabinet maker.  I have many Festool tools and find most of them to be excellent and huge time savers (which makes me money).  I have thought about getting a kapex for a long time.  My hesitation on the Kapex has always been the cut capacity. 

For comparison purposes:  Prior to the Kapex I had 4 miter saws.  They are a Dewalt 12" slider retrofitted with the shadow light, a Bosch 12" axial glide that stays in the shop, a Hitachi 12" non slider and a Porter cable 10" for small jobs and easy transport.  I now have 5 miter saws.

I was lucky enough to get a Kapex on the recon site.  I was pleased when it arrived as if you told me it was brand new I would believe it.

I have used the Kapex for a few days now and I can say that it is the most refined, smoothest operating saw I own.  I have been using it to cut the face frames for a full kitchen job.

The good:

Soft start is fantastic
Dual lasers are great (I prefer them to the shadow line)
My kapex has absolutely no play it miters and slides straight down ( the Bosch has loads of play and the DeWalt has some)
The bevel controls are a game changer.  It is night and day compared to any of the saws I own (Hitachi is a nightmare and the others are inconvenient)
Lightest of the sliders I own.

Negatives:
Capacity.  (Both my DeWalt and Bosch will cut to 14").
Dust collection ( only because I expected it to be better.  It is better than the DeWalt and no better than the Bosch)
Angle doohickey (useless for my proposes.  I measure whole rooms and record the lengths and angles.  Measuring one angle at a time does not help me at all)
Table size.  I added the crown stops and they increase the table size nicely, but out of the box the table is rather anemic.

Having said all this I really enjoy using the saw.  I paid around $1200 delivered.  All my tools are insured and if it came up missing I would buy another.  I will use it for parts of jobs that required tolerances down to a 1/32" anywhere else will get the DeWalt.

All in all if you are looking for extreme accuracy ( there really is zero play) in a smooth and pleasing to operate saw the Kapex may be for you. 

If you have questions, let me know.








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Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 603
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2021, 04:12 PM »
Table size.  I added the crown stops and they increase the table size nicely, but out of the box the table is rather anemic.

Thanks for this info.  Do you cut a lot of crown molding or did you add the stops just to give you more table size?  I recently had to cut a number of drawer fronts that were 8-11".  It was not bad on the Kapex but having a little more table area would be very nice.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3019
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2021, 04:15 PM »


I have used the Kapex for a few days now and I can say that it is the most refined, smoothest operating saw I own.  I have been using it to cut the face frames for a full kitchen job.


Dust collection ( only because I expected it to be better.  It is better than the DeWalt and no better than the Bosch)
.

All in all if you are looking for extreme accuracy ( there really is zero play) in a smooth and pleasing to operate saw the Kapex may be for you. 

If you have questions, let me know.

Am I correct in my guess that you're not using a 36mm hose for the saw?

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2021, 08:46 PM »
Table size.  I added the crown stops and they increase the table size nicely, but out of the box the table is rather anemic.

Thanks for this info.  Do you cut a lot of crown molding or did you add the stops just to give you more table size?  I recently had to cut a number of drawer fronts that were 8-11".  It was not bad on the Kapex but having a little more table area would be very nice.

I do crown on every cabinet set I do.  I got the stops for future use, but they do not interfere with routine use of the saw.  They infact aid in it's use.  On the DeWalt the crown stops hinder the use of the saw when not cutting crown.

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2021, 08:47 PM »


I have used the Kapex for a few days now and I can say that it is the most refined, smoothest operating saw I own.  I have been using it to cut the face frames for a full kitchen job.


Dust collection ( only because I expected it to be better.  It is better than the DeWalt and no better than the Bosch)
.

All in all if you are looking for extreme accuracy ( there really is zero play) in a smooth and pleasing to operate saw the Kapex may be for you. 

If you have questions, let me know.

Am I correct in my guess that you're not using a 36mm hose for the saw?

I am using a 36.  I am thinking of getting another hose to shortening, but am not sure I care enough to spend the money.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3019
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2021, 09:02 PM »

I am using a 36.  I am thinking of getting another hose to shortening, but am not sure I care enough to spend the money.

I'm surprised. May be you should try a much shorter hose; mine is 4 feet long from the Dust Deputy to the saw. My experience with the Kapex dust collection is much much better than that of using the Bosch. Much is an understatement.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 09:09 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 603
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2021, 11:28 PM »
I have a 5', 36 hose on my Kapex.  It is much better than the previous Bosch 12" but its still not the bee's knees.  I tried a very small Ridgid (it fits under the UG stand nicely) and a large Ridgid, as well as my CT26.  The larger (6.5 I think) gave me the best results, so that is what I use.  I have never understood the thoughts behind why a Kapex has such good DC.  It is a simple, open channel from the shroud up to the exhaust port.  There is no magic in between.  Seems to me, the better the suction from whatever vacuum you use, is the real hero here.  But I will state again, the Kapex is much better than the Bosch I had and I still don't understand why but I stopped losing sleep over it.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3594
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2021, 06:21 AM »
I use a short 36mm hose on my Kapex and I am very please with the dust collection. I have a dedicated Festool Mini attached to the Kapex. I did see an improvement when I changed from a standard length 36mm hose to the short hose.

I have had small cutoffs get wedged in the dust collection channel. They really do affect the dust collection. Even a small obstruction hurts badly.
Birdhunter

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2021, 08:09 AM »
When talking about dust collection on the Kapex after using mine for more than decade I have come to accept that when cutting in a production mode (which I do when someone is paying me) I appreciate the lack of airborne dust that otherwise would otherwise escape and then drift onto African violet leaves which can’t be vacuumed.  The stuff on the table and on the drop cloth in the living room can be dealt with afterwards.  In a production mode there can be diminishing returns on trying to be 90% + on dust collection for both me and my customers.  Also, using a Festool dust extractor or other premium brand versus a standard shop vac is essential for ear comfort and also safety.  You may see videos of people operating mitersaws using hearing protection on manufacturer’s websites, but go onto virtually any residential construction site, especially in the hot summer months, and there is a good bet that hearing protection  is absent.  Should be used, but usually isn’t.

Peter

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2021, 08:52 AM »
I'm pretty obsessive about hearing protection.  I should wear eye protection, but just can't get into it.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2021, 08:55 AM »

Dual lasers are great (I prefer them to the shadow line)


As an aside, I installed Fascap's zero clearance tape to my older DeWalt 12" chop saw.  As long as I extend the cut line over to the leading edge, I can get ultra-precise length cuts with no calibration.  It is lasting a surprisingly long time too.

You can easily determine the inside and outside of the cut.  It is an excellent (and recommended) upgrade for an older chop saw.







https://www.fastcap.com/product/zero-clearance-tape

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2021, 09:07 AM »
Hi @Sci

I agree with your comments and would not swap my 11 year Kapex 120 even if I got back every penny it cost when new - it is brilliant.

I do a lot of bevel/mitre work and will put a link to a video that shows off the superb accuracy of my machine at the bottom.

The only thing that I would criticise is the trenching depth consistency. One needs to try hard and use the same amount of pressure for each cut otherwise the depth can vary. For the most accurate trenching with a saw I use my tracksaw cutting station and my TS55. This allows me to tackle stock that is beyond the Kapex trenching range.

Here is the video:



Peter

Offline hdv

  • Posts: 355
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2021, 09:13 AM »
As a sufferer from tinnitus (luckily just a mild case of it) I can promise you you will regret not making the small effort of putting on hearing protection for the rest of your life. I my case I got it from just one job working as a roady for a very popular hard rock band almost 4 decades ago. No one was wearing earmuffs or something similar in those days. But ever since I have a high-pitched peep in my right ear and it never ever stops. I my case it is just a nuisance, but to some it can get so bad they don't want to live anymore. Not that I am trying to imply that would happen to everyone using a mitre saw without hearing protection. Not at all. But it is heart wrenching to hear their stories.

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 1031
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2021, 10:09 AM »
As a sufferer from tinnitus (luckily just a mild case of it) I can promise you you will regret not making the small effort of putting on hearing protection for the rest of your life. I my case I got it from just one job working as a roady for a very popular hard rock band almost 4 decades ago. No one was wearing earmuffs or something similar in those days. But ever since I have a high-pitched peep in my right ear and it never ever stops. I my case it is just a nuisance, but to some it can get so bad they don't want to live anymore. Not that I am trying to imply that would happen to everyone using a mitre saw without hearing protection. Not at all. But it is heart wrenching to hear their stories.

The thing about hearing loss/hearing damage is that as of right now it's permanent, and often also cumulative.

I went far too long into my motorcycle riding career without ear protection, even with a full face helmet and usually also a fairing or windscreen.  I could tell something wasn't right any time I would stop and use the restroom and the world would sound like it was still pulsing, but I was young and dumb and thought it was just temporary.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3019
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2021, 10:48 AM »
I'm pretty obsessive about hearing protection. 

Same here.

I have over a dozen no. of corded ear plugs, scattered around the shop, about 2 or 3 per machine/station (no excuse for not wearing one!), plus earmuffs (used in conjunction with an ear plug) when using the thickness planer, as well as these (31 dB NNR) for prolonged milling sessions (Kapex + DD/shopvac; DF500 + CT15; SawStop + dust collector + shop vac; etc.):

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/apparel-and-safety-gear/hearing-protection/53610-sensgard-nrr-31-hearing-protectors?item=22R0802

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/apparel-and-safety-gear/hearing-protection/76327-custom-ear-plug-kit?item=22R7270

I even put on an ear plug when using the drill press, because it has automatic dust collection from a shop vac.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 12:11 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2021, 11:41 AM »

I wonder if they have improved the trenching.  I find it to be very good.  The Bosch is horrible with no consistency. The DeWalt is better, but the festool is rock solid on my saw.






Hi @Sci

I agree with your comments and would not swap my 11 year Kapex 120 even if I got back every penny it cost when new - it is brilliant.

I do a lot of bevel/mitre work and will put a link to a video that shows off the superb accuracy of my machine at the bottom.

The only thing that I would criticise is the trenching depth consistency. One needs to try hard and use the same amount of pressure for each cut otherwise the depth can vary. For the most accurate trenching with a saw I use my tracksaw cutting station and my TS55. This allows me to tackle stock that is beyond the Kapex trenching range.

Here is the video:



Peter

Offline Sci

  • Posts: 26
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2021, 11:44 AM »

And this is the problem.  People think they just lose the ability to hear.  That's bad enough, button hear constant ringing is not something I want to live with.  If I can mitigate it I will.


As a sufferer from tinnitus (luckily just a mild case of it) I can promise you you will regret not making the small effort of putting on hearing protection for the rest of your life. I my case I got it from just one job working as a roady for a very popular hard rock band almost 4 decades ago. No one was wearing earmuffs or something similar in those days. But ever since I have a high-pitched peep in my right ear and it never ever stops. I my case it is just a nuisance, but to some it can get so bad they don't want to live anymore. Not that I am trying to imply that would happen to everyone using a mitre saw without hearing protection. Not at all. But it is heart wrenching to hear their stories.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3019
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2021, 11:54 AM »
Apart from the steady and even downward pressure applied to the saw head, several other things can affect the quality of a dado cut made with the Kapex: the flatness of the table, a debris-free surface, and equally important, the flatness of the board itself.

I was very pleased with the clean result I got last time when I cut a dado to make my table saw miter extension jig.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 11:57 AM by ChuckM »

Offline bearpaw

  • Posts: 27
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2021, 05:33 PM »
I have a kapex and prefer my Makita new model better dust collection and smoother running saw. The kapex makes a grinding noise when running not as smooth as I expected when I bought it.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 169
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2021, 05:45 PM »
Really love my Kapex - just finished cutting some end mitres on 30mm (1 1/4 inch) thick x 250mm (10 inch) wide hardwood and they are as good as you could hope for. Very clean cut, with the supplied blade.
But, dust extraction is disappointing, even with a short 36mm hose. Just the nature of the beast. The Bosch 12" Glide that it replaced was just as bad.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 831
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2021, 07:21 PM »
As a sufferer from tinnitus (luckily just a mild case of it) I can promise you you will regret not making the small effort of putting on hearing protection for the rest of your life. I my case I got it from just one job working as a roady for a very popular hard rock band almost 4 decades ago. No one was wearing earmuffs or something similar in those days. But ever since I have a high-pitched peep in my right ear and it never ever stops. I my case it is just a nuisance, but to some it can get so bad they don't want to live anymore. Not that I am trying to imply that would happen to everyone using a mitre saw without hearing protection. Not at all. But it is heart wrenching to hear their stories.

I am just the opposite. I put my safety glasses on first thing in the door, but never wear hearing protection of any kind. Tinnitus has been with me, from a fever as a teenager, for over 40 years now.
Ear plugs of any kind drive me nuts and earbuds that make play music are not a good thing in a shop full of people. Mine is equal in both ears and a constant ring/squeel. It "sort of" works like an old cell phone, where it seems one way. It is less pronounced when there is background noise happening, total silence is the most annoying.

As far as the the mitersaw, I run a Dewalt 10" slider. DW717 I think? I got my first one back in '09 when I needed to replace the 8.5" Dewalt that I had before it. This was a brand new model in the Dewalt line at that time. Their main sliding saw was 12", but I have never gotten along with a 12" saw from any manufacturer. 12" blades just deflect too much for me in a cabinet shop.
The 10" Dewalt will crosscut 12.5" at 90 degrees and if I need more than that there is a Laguna P12/10 just a few steps away.
I initially was looking into the Kapex when I got the DW717, but my local Festool dealer cautioned me away from it. He said that it would not stand up to the industrial environment where I would be using it. Since I was familiar with the DW717, I stayed with it.
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Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 4
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2021, 01:35 AM »
I have a kapex and prefer my Makita new model better dust collection and smoother running saw. The kapex makes a grinding noise when running not as smooth as I expected when I bought it.

I'd say if it's making a grinding noise you've got something seriously wrong there!

Other than the usual noise from a brushed motor, which is still pretty excellent compared to other SCMS's I've owned, it's not at all overly noisy in use I find. The only saw I've ever had that was quieter than the Kapex was an old ELU with an induction motor.

Offline MaineShop

  • Posts: 108
Re: My thoughts on the Kapex
« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 08:31 AM »
I love my kapex and use it everyday. In terms of cutting angles there is no easier way in my opinion. In terms of dust collection I do have a Makita trim saw that I bought over a decade ago that kills it on dust collection. It is a little 7 1/2" slider that is near dustless and gives a very good cut. I pull it out on a jobsite if I don't bring the kapex as the makita is small and very easy to lug around, it is one of their double sliders so it has good capacity. Sadly makita updated the model and having used its replacement I was not as impressed. I think the dust collection on the kapex is more then adequate however and am very happy with the saw. Been using mine for my primary income for seven years.

Adam