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FESTOOL KAPEX - WOW! (BUT Not quite 5 Stars (4.5 STARS))

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Review by Rockne posted 03-10-2015 03:54 PM 9602 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
FESTOOL KAPEX - WOW! (BUT Not quite 5 Stars (4.5 STARS)) No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This will be a quick review and really somewhat of a comparison between the Festool Kapex and the Bosch Glide 12”. I replaced my Bosch Glide Saw with a Kapex. It made absolutely zero economical sense, especially given that I’m just a very occasional hobbyist, but when Festool had their “sale”, I jumped on one. My primary motivating factors were 1) the dust collection (not so much for my health, but my hatred for cleaning), 2) the promise that the Kapex would cut 45’s perfectly, and 3) the fact that my Bosch Glide was a little “unruly” for cutting perfect angles. I think for 95-99% of all people, the Glide would be a killer saw. When I bought it, I thought, “I have to get the 12”, because I’ll need all of that capacity and power.” I’m not sure I ever did, but there were a couple of boards that I did need to flip around to cut all the way through (but that’s not really blade capacity, that’s reach).

So last night I needed to cut down some 8/4 10” Cherry. I had cut this board with the Bosch, and it wasn’t exactly like butter for the Bosch, so I 1/2 expected to get some “sag” from the Kapex. Boy was I wrong! The Kapex cut through the cherry so smoothly that I immediately disregarded the $600.00 difference. Plus, there was barely a shred of any dust (I had the CT26 hooked up to the Kapex).

Now, it could just be that the Festool blade is so much better than the Bosch blade that it made the cutting easier, but the Kapex had other nice features, too. 1) It appears to be 100% square right out of the box. I didn’t test the 45 degree cuts or bevels, but I did check the board post cutting with a Starrett square and it was right on. The bevel adjustment is nice, too, though I probably won’t use it a ton. I will use this for cutting picture frame stock, so the 45 degree precision is very important.

There are bazillions of articles/videos/info on the kapex, so I’ll incorporate all of those reviews in by reference. I didn’t even turn on the Lasers!

My nitpicky things are as follows:

1) the width of the table is a little narrow. The Bosch Glide has an extendable table incorporated, and that would be nice on the Kapex.
2) I like the perpendicular handle on the Bosch Glide as opposed to the verticle handle of the Kapex. this adds “size” to the bosch glide, though, so it’s a trade off.
3) I wish there were hold-downs on both sides. I actually got a minor kick-back last night. It was purely user error, because I was used to having the hold-down on the left instead of the right and I pushed the board into the blade. I’ll be spending the money on a second hold-down, but Festool should consider supplying two with each saw. We know that doesn’t cost them $80.00 to make them!!!
4) The angle adjusting mechanism (not the bevel adjusting, the cut angle adjustment mechanism) feels comparatively flimsy next to the Bosch Glide. It works fine, though, but in terms of overall quality, this is one area where the Bosch wins.

The above “nipicky” things are just that: Nitpicky. To me, 5 stars is absolute perfection (like the TS55 Track Saw), and this is REEEEAAAAAALLLLLY close, but not quite there. These nitpicks certainly wouldn’t prevent me from buying the Kapex over the Bosch, just notess on how Festool might make the Kapex Perfect. For point of rerference, I probably would give the Bosch Glide about 3.5 stars (mostly because it was unruly, didn’t cut perfect angles and the dust collection was pretty poor, especially next to the Kapex.




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Rockne

46 posts in 2697 days



24 comments so far

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HarveyM

106 posts in 2075 days


#1 posted 03-10-2015 05:01 PM

I don’t think double hold downs are recommended (for any mitersaw). There’s too much chance of trapping/pinching the blade. Instead, make some zero clearance auxiliary fences for the saw. You should pick up the ‘supplemental manual’ for the Kapex. It’s excellent!

-- Just a Duffer

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Rockne

46 posts in 2697 days


#2 posted 03-10-2015 06:15 PM



I don t think double hold downs are recommended (for any mitersaw). There s too much chance of trapping/pinching the blade. Instead, make some zero clearance auxiliary fences for the saw. You should pick up the supplemental manual for the Kapex. It s excellent!

- HarveyM

Thanks for the tip. . . .

View Richard's profile

Richard

1917 posts in 2743 days


#3 posted 03-10-2015 07:08 PM

A Double Hold down can be nice if you want to hold the board on the left instead of the right without haveing to remove the hold down to change sides. But useing both at the same time , not such a good Idea.

View chem's profile

chem

30 posts in 1658 days


#4 posted 03-10-2015 10:00 PM

I like my Kapex very much. It is my first and probably my last miter saw. The sliding action is great. Lasers to define the kerf are very nice. The angle setting gives amazing precision. The hold down clamp is very effective and easy to use one handed. The trenching cuts can be pretty handy. The dust collection is maybe ~95%. It turns out that 5% is a lot of dust still! However there is not a better alternative I am aware of. Is it 7 times more functional than a $200 miter saw? No way. Would I but it again? Yes. Your love of money/hatred of dust ratio may well lead to a different result for you.

-- chemist by day, woodworker time permitting

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3370 days


#5 posted 03-10-2015 11:38 PM

That product at that price represents, to you, value. And that’s what it’s all about.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

231 posts in 2247 days


#6 posted 03-11-2015 12:10 AM

For the independently wealthy…sure, it sounds like a great saw. For the rest of us poor working slobs its an overpriced saw that does what many other saws do with a little tweaking. I’m not hating on your review, I’m just not one of those guys that will hop on the Festool bandwagon. Expensive does not always equal best or most effective.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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Putttn

115 posts in 2331 days


#7 posted 03-11-2015 12:25 AM

I have had mine for 5 years and even though i don’t use it all that much, when I do it is worth the extra dollars in enjoying using a precision tool. I could easily justify a cheaper saw but this is my “entertainment” so that’s my justification.

-- Bill eastern Washington Home of beloved ZAGS

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Rockne

46 posts in 2697 days


#8 posted 03-11-2015 02:42 AM



For the independently wealthy…sure, it sounds like a great saw. For the rest of us poor working slobs its an overpriced saw that does what many other saws do with a little tweaking. I m not hating on your review, I m just not one of those guys that will hop on the Festool bandwagon. Expensive does not always equal best or most effective.

- woodenwarrior

I haven’t hopped on the Festool “bandwagon” – I’ve posted mediocre reviews of their vacuums, for instance (I guess that was on the Festool Owners Group). But in this case, I had the second most expensive (in the Bosch), and this is convincingly better. So, in this case, expensive does equal best.

Oh, and I’m not independently wealthy . . . I depend on all of the hard work I do every day, and the 9 years in college and getting other degrees after high school. We all make choices.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3370 days


#9 posted 03-11-2015 02:59 AM

Rockne, it’s not up to anyone else to determine what represents value to you. It’s up to you. Only you know the importance to you of the various aspects of any purchase.

Personally, I’ve tried several of Festool’s products and, knowing what else is available, haven’t found enough “magic” to warrant the extra expense (though I do acknowledge there is some magic there). But that’s me. I’m sure you can find other things I’ve paid a premium for because of aspects extremely important to me but not at all important to you.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1594 posts in 1477 days


#10 posted 03-11-2015 03:47 AM

Congratulations on your new acquisition. Festool makes some great stuff. Kind of like owning a Mercedes\BMW. It is the small, every day things that set it apart from the others.

People complain about the prices. Kind of silly really. We would have to pay the same prices if it were made here in the USA (i.e. Woodpecker Tools). Funny what happens to the price of a product when you have to pay a fair wage to an adult, pay taxes, workman’s comp., insurance, social security, holiday’s, jury duty, military time, health care, meet EPA regulations, health and safety codes, maternity leave, severance, and the list goes on.

Yet, Germany has one of the strongest financial positions in Europe. Go figure.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

231 posts in 2247 days


#11 posted 03-11-2015 09:09 AM

Rockne, I apologize if you think I was insulting you and your choice of saw. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way. I think Mark stated it much better in regards to price point versus value. For the record, I too can afford that saw. I have served 23 years in the US Army and also have two degrees….don’t believe the hype that all enlisted Soldiers do what we do because of a lack of education…..we all make choices.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

3008 posts in 2221 days


#12 posted 03-11-2015 06:54 PM

You wrote;

Now, it could just be that the Festool blade is so much better than the Bosch blade that it made the cutting easier

This is where your sawblade is made:

http://www.leitz.org/startseite.html

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View TimberMagic's profile

TimberMagic

114 posts in 1232 days


#13 posted 03-11-2015 07:19 PM

I’ve got the Kapex on my list, but it is pretty far down right now. With a table saw for rips, a radial arm saw for crosscuts, and a decent CMS for miters, I feel like the Kapex can wait a bit. (That, and we are paying for a wedding this summer, which makes tool purchases pale in comparison!)

I have a Festool track saw and consider it to be the finest tool I’ve ever used. At this point I’m just using it for breaking down sheet goods, and it excels at that. I could use it for crosscuts and miters on my homemade “MFT” style of workbench. Now I’m on a quest to add a Domino, some sanders, a CT dust extractor, and a router to my Festool collection.

I like the analogy about Festool pricing being consistent with what one would pay for American tools. I have numerous Woodpeckers tools in my shop, and currently have two more on order, including a $200 framing square. I’m at a point in my life (retired) where I will pay top dollar to add tools to my arsenal that are the best I can find, and not be overly concerned about price. Heck, I don’t smoke (and only drink for medicinal purposes …) so all that extra money needs to be spent somewhere!

-- Lee

View LJackson's profile

LJackson

295 posts in 1647 days


#14 posted 03-12-2015 12:45 PM

I would be curious to know if swapping the blades on the Festool and the Bosch results in the Bosch powering through the cut just as well as the Festool, and if the Festool would bog down as much as the Bosch.

View zebrastealer's profile

zebrastealer

2 posts in 1224 days


#15 posted 03-12-2015 01:38 PM

I was tempted to go for the Kapex last month too, but it was a laguna 14/12 bandsaw or the Kapex and I already had a new DeWalt DWS780…if I hadn’t plunked $400 down on the DeWalt I would have gone for the Kapex. Festool tools are stupid expensive, but I keep buying them….

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