Having trouble with your Festool power tool? Well, we're here to help you. Before posting to the forum, give us a chance to diagnose and resolve your issue. In the U.S. and Canada, call us toll-free at 888-337-8600 on Monday-Friday between 8a-5p EST or contact us via email at service@festoolusa.com. For other countries, please visit http://www.festool.com for contact information for your local Festool service department.

Author Topic: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked  (Read 5644 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« on: February 04, 2018, 01:24 AM »
So today I was using my TS 55 to rip some 5/4 walnut (taking it fairly slowly, newly sharpened blade, ct22 extracting dust) and the motor starts smoking and a loud buzzing sound and sparks commence. I actually started laughing because it was so pitiful and so expected. My kapex has had 4 motor repairs and now sits almost unused so I pretty much knew the ts55 would burn up too. I own a lot of festool stuff, sanders, routers, dust extractors, domino 500, tons of accessories  etc, etc and everything has worked fantastic except for those pitiful saws. Whoever is engineering those saw motors should be so ashamed of themselves. They are building hobby grade lemons and charging an enormous amount of money for them.The saw is 4 or 5 years old and gets used for projects about once every 2-3 months on average, primarily just used for plywood before today. Brushes are barely worn. Now I'll have to pay an exorbitant repair fee for another underpowered motor that will almost surely burn up again. What a joke.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 01:55 AM by ghostofhoward »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3595
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 06:29 AM »
I would be ticked off as well if I had had your experiences.  Have you talked to service yet?

So today I was using my TS 55 to rip some 5/4 walnut (taking it fairly slowly, newly sharpened blade, ct22 extracting dust) and the motor starts smoking and a loud buzzing sound and sparks commence. I actually started laughing because it was so pitiful and so expected. My kapex has had 4 motor repairs and now sits almost unused so I pretty much knew the ts55 would burn up too. I own a lot of festool stuff, sanders, routers, dust extractors, domino 500, tons of accessories  etc, etc and everything has worked fantastic except for those pitiful saws. Whoever is engineering those saw motors should be so ashamed of themselves. They are building hobby grade lemons and charging an enormous amount of money for them.The saw is 4 or 5 years old and gets used for projects about once every 2-3 months on average, primarily just used for plywood before today. Brushes are barely worn. Now I'll have to pay an exorbitant repair fee for another underpowered motor that will almost surely burn up again. What a joke.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 10:30 AM »
No, it's on the weekend. They'll just act like it's suuuuuper rare and who knows what's wrong with it but send it in with a credit card number and they'll look at it....

Offline Shadytree

  • Posts: 24
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 11:37 AM »
I smoked my 55 motor ripping 1/2" oak strips.  Festool repaired under warranty & I sold it. I'm giving their cordless DC motors a try, so far so good.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5726
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2018, 11:37 AM »
The Kapex burning up in 110v country is a known issue and Festool really dropped the ball there, but a TS55 burning up is a rare thing indeed, we hardly ever read about that here.

Offline sheperd80

  • Posts: 121
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 05:35 PM »
I have to agree about the ts55. I had a makita and returned it for a ts55 for the sake of the "system". But the festool saw is a gutless wonder. Mine bogs down on 3/4 plywood. I keep expecting it to smoke out. All this ecm technology is laughable when the saw slows down considerably under ANY load. Makitas saw was much more powerful.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:38 PM by sheperd80 »

Offline Peter Halle

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 11593
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 05:51 PM »
@ghostofhoward , I hope that Festool treats you well. 

It is indeed rare to read about TS-55 failures here as @Alex wrote.  Are there comments here along the line of "the TS-55" is underpowered?  Absolutely.  But there are more comments and real world expressions about how the saw has done the job day in and day out.

Peter


Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 860
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2018, 06:52 PM »
I recently switched from Festool TS55 to the Mafell MT55.  The Mt55 has a lot more power and overall the build quality is better.   I was frustrated with the power of the TS55 and the lack of power and the TS75 is too big for breaking down sheet goods. 

Offline RDMuller

  • Posts: 302
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 07:46 PM »
I recently switched from Festool TS55 to the Mafell MT55.  The Mt55 has a lot more power and overall the build quality is better.   I was frustrated with the power of the TS55 and the lack of power and the TS75 is too big for breaking down sheet goods.

You hit the nail on the head here.  The TS55 is wonderful on sheet goodsfrom both power and size perspectives, but is very "iffy" on rips.  I too do not like the size of the TS75 for sheet good and general use.  Plus it is darn expensive to own both.  I think the answer is to beef up the power on the TS55.  This complaint would then go away.

Offline Green Mojo

  • Posts: 50
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 07:57 PM »
Hey, OP - I feel your pain, but that is definitely not normal. I have been breaking down 8/4 white oak all week with my 55 and it is a beast. I did go to the 12 tooth panther blade as that is much better when ripping the thick stock. Struggling with 5/4 is not at all typical.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5145
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 11:14 PM »
I own both the TS 55 and the TSC 55, I feel the TSC 55 has more power. Recently I’ve been ripping 5/4 walnut with the TSC 55 and it works like a dream. I’ll probably off the TS 55 for a Mafell MT 55. That way it will play better with the Mafell P1 cc jig saw when they’re used on rails.

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 11:44 PM »
I recently switched from Festool TS55 to the Mafell MT55.  The Mt55 has a lot more power and overall the build quality is better.   I was frustrated with the power of the TS55 and the lack of power and the TS75 is too big for breaking down sheet goods.

I follow you on Instagram and commented there about getting the hk55 recently when you were talking about having switched to Mafell. I don't know if I can afford to switch to Mafell but will certainly be considering makita...

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3595
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 06:48 AM »
+1  I rip 6/4 and even 8/4 hardwood all the time with my TSC55, which I converted over to from the corded TS55 in part because of the power boost on the cordless version.  With the proper blade, the saw has always performed like a champ for me.

I own both the TS 55 and the TSC 55, I feel the TSC 55 has more power. Recently I’ve been ripping 5/4 walnut with the TSC 55 and it works like a dream. I’ll probably off the TS 55 for a Mafell MT 55. That way it will play better with the Mafell P1 cc jig saw when they’re used on rails.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 860
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 12:52 PM »
I recently switched from Festool TS55 to the Mafell MT55.  The Mt55 has a lot more power and overall the build quality is better.   I was frustrated with the power of the TS55 and the lack of power and the TS75 is too big for breaking down sheet goods.

I follow you on Instagram and commented there about getting the hk55 recently when you were talking about having switched to Mafell. I don't know if I can afford to switch to Mafell but will certainly be considering makita...

The Makita is an awesome choice and everyone loves it.  It also comes with a 3 year Warranty.   I was looking at getting the Makita Cordless but I always use a vac with my Track Saw so didn’t see the point of losing a cord when I already have a hose.  Also thanks for the follow 👍

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 231
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 06:35 PM »
[quote author=ear3  With the proper blade, the saw has always performed like a champ for me.

Quote from: Cheese
I own both the TS 55 and the TSC 55, I feel the TSC 55 has more power. Recently I’ve been ripping 5/4 walnut with the TSC 55 and it works like a dream.
[member=1674
Peter Halle[/member], Are there comments here along the line of "the TS-55" is underpowered?  Absolutely.  But there are more comments and real world expressions about how the saw has done the job day in and day out.
I totally agree ! Blade selection is key and I really think (we) don’t take the time to install the appropriate  blade (or don’t own it, so don’t) but both my 55 and 75 work really well for the given task
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 196
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 07:13 PM »
+1  I rip 6/4 and even 8/4 hardwood all the time with my TSC55, which I converted over to from the corded TS55 in part because of the power boost on the cordless version.  With the proper blade, the saw has always performed like a champ for me.

I own both the TS 55 and the TSC 55, I feel the TSC 55 has more power. Recently I’ve been ripping 5/4 walnut with the TSC 55 and it works like a dream. I’ll probably off the TS 55 for a Mafell MT 55. That way it will play better with the Mafell P1 cc jig saw when they’re used on rails.

What does a conversion take to do?





I had no problem ripping anything with the TS55, when I used one working with a shop for awhile. But it was all plywood and melamine typically. Sometimes it was thicker counter top stuff. No issues, ever. Just took it slow instead of trying to rush it. Always supported whatever was being cut and trimmed.

Offline android

  • Posts: 35
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2018, 11:06 AM »
Just curious....

Have you ever had your AC power checked?

The expected voltage should be between 110 and 125.

Below 110V is considered brownout conditions and is bad for most electrical motors and electronic gear.

Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 91
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2018, 11:19 AM »
My TS 55 died once. Made a cut in 3/4 ply, no problem, set up for next cut, pulled trigger and nothing. No smoke, no weird noises, no warning. Sent it in for repair and it's been fine since. I chalked it up to a few full depth rips I made in some fir timbers, I know the saw got hot on those.

With all the annual price increases I could probably get what I paid for the saw if I sold it. I've spent quite some time researching the Mafell, if there was wider distribution of it, I would already own it
Ts 55, Ts 75, of 1010, lr 32, mft, mfs 700, RO 150 x2 + paper asort, RO 90 + paper asort, pro 5, df 500 + dom asort, hl 850 e, ti 15, t18, cxs, centrotec set, ct48, ct sys, vac sys, 32;55x2;118 tracks, a stack of sys and an og festool first aid kit. Kapex, planex, carvex, conturo.

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2018, 12:20 PM »
Just curious....

Have you ever had your AC power checked?

The expected voltage should be between 110 and 125.

Below 110V is considered brownout conditions and is bad for most electrical motors and electronic gear.

I have checked it but not recently. I will have to do it again because I really don't remember the results.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 196
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2018, 12:35 PM »
Just curious....

Have you ever had your AC power checked?

The expected voltage should be between 110 and 125.

Below 110V is considered brownout conditions and is bad for most electrical motors and electronic gear.

Not using undersized extension cords for a mile would help that. That could be an issue people don't realize.

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2018, 01:22 PM »
Ok, I just checked and I'm getting a consistent reading of 111 volts. So pretty low in the standard range

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1061
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2018, 12:29 PM »
Ok, I just checked and I'm getting a consistent reading of 111 volts. So pretty low in the standard range
Is this with load (like a kapex and a CT) connected to it, or line power at idle?
In the latter case I suspect you'll see less when your tools are actually running from that line, which could explain the amount of tools that died on you (when the V shrink the A go up for the same W, especially tools with digital control who try to keep speed at the set RPM - leading to burnout).

Offline android

  • Posts: 35
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2018, 01:04 PM »
Ok, I just checked and I'm getting a consistent reading of 111 volts. So pretty low in the standard range
Is this with load (like a kapex and a CT) connected to it, or line power at idle?
In the latter case I suspect you'll see less when your tools are actually running from that line, which could explain the amount of tools that died on you (when the V shrink the A go up for the same W, especially tools with digital control who try to keep speed at the set RPM - leading to burnout).

It is certainly not helpful.

The NEC spec is that power should be +/- 5% so less that 114 to your drop from the electric co. is low. If you've got an outside shop, older wiring or even too many devices already on the circuit, you could have 114V+ and have lost voltage in your house or shop.

NEMA writes the standards for devices that use the electricity. Here is a document that summarizes the ranges and what to expect.

https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/mybusiness/customerservice/energystatus/powerquality/voltage_tolerance.pdf

of note:
Quote
Insofar as practicable, utilization equipment shall be designed to give acceptable performance
in the extremes of the range of utilization voltages, although not necessarily as good
performance as in Range A.

Utilization equipment means stuff you plug into the wall like power tools and coffee makers.

It might be worthwhile to do some investigating to see where you might be dropping voltage.





Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 196
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2018, 04:27 PM »
If you have 100 feet of 14 gauge wire, that's a 3.75v drop. That's under ideal settings, you could get up to 6v drop.

Use 10 or 12 gauge, if you guys are worried about voltage.

Maybe you don't use much extension, but I have never not needed some on a job site.

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2018, 05:52 PM »
That's at idle. Nothing else even plugged in to the circuit. In the panel I've got the same. I did call the power co and they are going to come confirm my reading. It's possible my meter calibration could be off and so they will check with their unit. I do know that 2 of the Kapex burnups were at jobsites. As far as extension cords...I've always been overly careful to use the correct gauges. Usually 12 gauge and always less than 50'

Offline Leslie Ball

  • Posts: 1
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 01:41 AM »
I just got my Kapex back from service for the same thing.  Burnt armature.  I've been doing carpentry for 15-20 years, and only twice have I ever burnt out an electric motor in a tool.  The first was an Makita impact.  That one I know was from pushing it past its intended use.  The Kapex, was only ever used by 2 people.  Indoor use only, always plugged in to a dedicated breaker with a CT 26, and rarely with an extension cord(if there was it was a 50' 12g).  For comparison we run a 15A dewalt table saw through the same Vac and it is still running fine.

For the most part I treat my finishing tools well.  They don't see a drop of rain.  They get an hour to warm up when brought in from the cold.  They get vacuumed out every other day.  They stay clear of drywall dust, they are packed in cases for transit and or kept in a covered truck.

So, when business was good I bought good tools.  I got 10 years out of my Makita miter saw(ls1017) before it wasn't accurate enough to do the finer finishing I started doing.  It still runs.  I just need something more accurate than it is.  I looked around and I hummed and hawed and finally decided that if I got the similar lifespan out of a Kapex it would be worth it.

 So, a UG stand, a few blades and now without the vacuum the list price of my setup is close to $4000. Don't get me wrong, I love the saw.  The stand is great for any job that doesn't involve 3 flights of stairs.  I'll never not have positive stops again.  The saw cuts clean and accurately.  Line of site is decent,  minute changes in bevel cuts are easy, and dust collection is great. 

But, for that price it has to last.  It has to keep working.  And if it does fail, I can't be without it for 2 weeks. So lets compare the saw alone to one of its competitors. The Kapex goes for $1920 CAN.  Makita's closest competitor $620.  Will the Makita do everything the Kapex can?  From what I can tell yes with a few exceptions or compromises.   The Makita controls(bevel, miter, ect.) seem good but not quite as good as the Kapex and I don't believe it has a  speed adjustment.  The larger arbor on the Kapex should in theory be better, so I would expect slightly more accurate cuts with the Kapex, but would the Makita make good enough cuts.  It should. 

In the past, I've had good luck with Festool.   I've also got their TS55, CT26, and Carvex and till my Kapex died I've been more than happy with all of them.  I was looking forward to adding more Festool to my collection as I needed it.  But, if I'm only going to get 3 years out of a saw I need to reevaluate how I spend my money on tools. 

So lets do the Math. With taxes in my old Makita ran for ten years at $70 a year.  If this Kapex motor issue is a reoccurring problem every two years(~$260) that is about $130 a year not including purchase price. If I add the purchase price(I think I paid about $1650 CAN)  and assume that I have to replace the armature every two years some of it under warranty, and keep the saw 10 years it costs me as follows:

(estimated original purchase price)+(years not under warranty)*(estimated yearly cost of repairs)=(total cost)/(expected lifespan)=(cost per year to run)

1650+7*130=$2560/10=$256 a year to run

So that's $256 a year for a Kapex vs $70 a year for another saw.  Or if you prefer monthly thats $21.33 a month vs $5.83. If you work 21 days a month it works out to $0.74CAN a day over my old Makita on a 10 year span. 

So all feelings aside the question is does it add 74 cents a day in value compared to the next best option?

For me, it might.  Can I make that same decision on all my tools?  No.  If the repair bill is $700 to replace the housing too is it worth it? Probably not. 

Should I check if the UG stand works with the new Makita?   Probably.  If I can't wait for my saw to be repaired this will be my backup plan.  Should I need a backup plan for a $1900 saw?  No.




 

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 632
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2018, 10:20 AM »
I'm not sure about the TS55, but all the excuses (extension cord, powered through vacuum, low/high voltage, 15 versus 20amp circuits, etc) for the failure rate of the Kapex's are non-excuses. The saws fail and fail frequently enough to be a regular topic on FOG. The motors on the saws are universal and will work with 110VAC to 120VAC +/- a margin. There is a saying (attributed to Einstein though there is not a consensus on this) "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity." In the case of the Kapex, having it repaired more than once for the same problem is insanity as is buying one knowing it's track record. For the record I have one and it was bought within the first few weeks of its availability in the US. Maybe I am lucky that mine has not failed (along with another a fellow co-worker's who has not failed either), but more than likely there has been a change to the motor or to the supplier that is causing this.


Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 196
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2018, 12:26 PM »
If only someone else made one as good for cutting... cause they don't. Another company could innovate to get to the same ability as a Kapex and walk away with the market.

Festool probably is stuck with having to retool all their molds and such for around the motor to fix it, so they're avoiding it.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5289
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2018, 12:39 PM »
Ive had my TS 55 for a lot of years it was the first Festool I bought. They are NA 110V. Bought in the USA.

Never had a issue with mine. It is my main Festool I use and my main saw I use it for about everything I would use a table saw for. I dont have a CMS with a TS 75 module and I dont use it for ripping small thin pieces and with the side extension table I dont use it for ripping and cross cutting wider pieces to.

I took my Festools for the UK and was there for almost 4 years and used them in my shop quite a bit. I borrowed a 3.3KV tranny and ran my tools, TS 75, TS 55 and Kapex on the same tranny. As Im one person they werent run simultaneously but you get the picture.

I didnt have a issue with any Festool even when using the tranny which caused the tools to run a bit slower, (didnt affect their ability to do the job but the rpm and power were a noticeably slower and less)

Maybe Ive been lucky I dunno since I had the TS55 since 2010 and the Kapex since around 2012. Only issue I had with the Kapex was with dust collection a little part that connects the small spring broke and since Ive been home trying to adj the Kapex to cut as square as my MFT does. The old style extension wings are a real pita to dial in. I think I got the Kapex finally adj to cut as square as the MFT. It took a bit of fooling around but I think I got it now. I was using the wood peckers 1281 square to check the square of the wood which might a tighter measurement then I should expect but I got them pretty darned close.  I jointed the wood with my Jet jointer prior to cross cutting.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 12:43 PM by jobsworth »

Offline ghostofhoward

  • Posts: 73
Re: 4 Kapex motors, now today my TS55 smoked
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2018, 12:47 PM »
Lots of great comments above, thanks for the responses. Couple of bits of info to add.
#1 Saw is back from Festool with a 8 day total turnaround (ship out to receive back). Armature, brushes, bearings replaced and a total of around $180 with shipping charges included.
#2 I took my multimeter to work and it's reading 110 at the jobsite which is a remodel job, not new construction.  I'm assuming at this point that means my multimeter is off and needs calibration.