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Author Topic: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.  (Read 29147 times)

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 212
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2017, 05:35 PM »
It would be against my conscience knowing what I know about the potential issue with the Kapex motor to recommend it unconditionally. If asked, I would say about the so many good things about the saw, BUT... is how I would continue and qualify my assessment.

To me, the time bomb can happen to anyone and it is not worth the worry in the back of the mind, given the price tag of $2,000 Cdn. If Festool came up with a permanent solution and offered a one-time $200 fix (10% of tool price), I would do it, just for the sake of peace of mind. Crowd funding, Festool?

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Offline Rsrflooring

  • Posts: 15
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2017, 06:17 PM »
I would have remained quite on my issues had I been offered a replacement or extension on the warranty. However I was met with silence on my request. So here I am and will be doing what I can to get other potential buyers to know what I did not.

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2017, 06:56 PM »
Hi,

There's something I'd like to know: has anyone affected by this issue ever contacted anyone at Festool USA or Festool Germany beyond the Service Department?

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Longhair

  • Posts: 4
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2017, 08:11 PM »
I've been considering a new saw for  a couple of years and festool was the primary contender. No longer, I'm afraid. For that kind of price, I can't afford the possibility. I have a few festools, but not the Kapex.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 212
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2017, 10:04 PM »
Hi,

There's something I'd like to know: has anyone affected by this issue ever contacted anyone at Festool USA or Festool Germany beyond the Service Department?

Kind regards,
Oliver

Good question. Anyone?

But since Festool sounds to me a typical departmentalized company, I wonder if anyone who had tried reached anything past the middle mgmt. The motor problem we have heard so much about is beyond anyone on the middle mgmt pay grade.


Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2161
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2017, 10:16 PM »
Christian Oltzscher is the CEO of Festool.  Formerly ran Festool USA and is now in Germany. 

He's a member here and the reason the FOG was brought under the Festool organization many years ago.  Great guy.  You might try sending him a direct message.  I've personally had a Kapex since it was introduced with no motor issues. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:33 AM by neilc »

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5265
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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2017, 10:33 PM »
I run 2 Kapex's. Not a motor issue with either. I did have one that needed a yoke and two fences. Festool replaced them no questions asked.

The saws are run on CT's from the Midi to the 36 AC.

Tom

Offline safety1st

  • Posts: 111
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2017, 03:32 AM »
I have a kapex and needless to say I follow these threads with much interest.

One question I have been meaning to ask is if these failures are more prevalent with newer units, vs the much older units bought around the time when Kapex was introduced. I get this feeling because several old timers seem to have no issue with their units over many many years. It is possible I am mistaken.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 381
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2017, 05:38 AM »
It's posts like the one from Dave Reinhold that sum up the Kapex for me. I remember seeing one of his videos a few years ago in which he was raving about how good the Kapex is, 5 years and 3 armatures later he has bought something else because the Kapex motor is not fit for purpose.

Doug

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 398
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2017, 09:46 AM »
I bought my Kapex soon after they went on sale in the US. I had to get the miter adjuster fix that came out soon after the introduction.

My use ranges from very light to light by the standards of most people on this forum. I have had no issues with the saw like are being described here.

In defense of Festool, the percentage of motor failures appears to be very low. For example, if the failure rate is less than 1 per 1000, then it can be very difficult to pinpoint the cause.

After such a long time, they are now in a difficult position in a marketing and legal terms.

For marketing, it is tricky to make things right when doing so admits you have failures you do not understand. Hardly a great position for a premium tool company.

From a legal point of view, making it right for the customer could be viewed as admission of a problem that has been long known and ignored. That might put them in a position of being accused of knowingly selling defective tools. That would not be tolerated by any corporate legal team.

Festool's best hope is to discover a cause that can be recognized as unknowable in the general sense. If they could claim that, then the above issues can be avoided and customers can be dealt with in a fair manner.


Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 212
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2017, 10:11 AM »

In defense of Festool, the percentage of motor failures appears to be very low. For example, if the failure rate is less than 1 per 1000, then it can be very difficult to pinpoint the cause.


We don't know any facts about the failure rates, do we? Festool has been silent on the whole motor thing in public and that has made matters worse, because owners like me who have never had an issue with the motor have become worried, increasingly worried as our saws get older and older (passing or soon to pass the warranty period).

It would have been better if they had come out and told us the failure rates among different years of production or sales. At least some groups of owners would feel better....

We must also not forget that we are talking about one of the most expensive (costly?) tools from Festool. It is the second most expensive tool in my shop after the SawStop. As a hobbyist, I have zero concern about my SS, and I don't have any concern about my DF500 either, even we though we see some issues reported by its users here. Machines are machines and can be broken for all kinds of reasons, but the Kapex motors seem to stand out among the Kapex problems.

I like the saw, but not the uncertainty that comes with it.

Offline Rsrflooring

  • Posts: 15
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2017, 11:25 AM »
I asked for the next person in line to move up the chain of command.  However again my request was met wiyh silence and redirected to applications.

Offline Rsrflooring

  • Posts: 15
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2017, 11:30 AM »
I also feel the saw sitting in a work shop seeing light use is going to last much longer than the saw thats on a job making repetative cuts all day long such as I do on hardwood installs.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2017, 11:38 AM »
I also feel the saw sitting in a work shop seeing light use is going to last much longer than the saw thats on a job making repetative cuts all day long such as I do on hardwood installs.

In my case I do run the saw(s) daily. I use them for trim and framing material. I am selective of which blades I use for the tasks.

Tomorrow I will be installing 3/4 x 5-1/4" Jatoba floor.

Tom

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2017, 03:50 PM »
Hi,

There's something I'd like to know: has anyone affected by this issue ever contacted anyone at Festool USA or Festool Germany beyond the Service Department?

Kind regards,
Oliver

I asked for the next person in line to move up the chain of command.  However again my request was met wiyh silence and redirected to applications.

Ok, so @Rsrflooring has asked via telephone to speak to someone a little higher up the food chain and wasn't forwarded/connected properly.

Anyone else? Anyone used a different method?

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2017, 04:23 PM »
I also feel the saw sitting in a work shop seeing light use is going to last much longer than the saw thats on a job making repetative cuts all day long such as I do on hardwood installs.

I have experience in trouble-shooting .

You can feel that way, but it depends on the mechanism of failure.
Bearings are different than electrical, so it depends on what has failed for a motor guru to work it out.
(In the past many have said low voltage?)

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1118
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2017, 04:30 PM »
Hi,
There's something I'd like to know: has anyone affected by this issue ever contacted anyone at Festool USA or Festool Germany beyond the Service Department?
Kind regards,
Oliver
There is no doubt they are aware of the issue. It's inconceivable that service records of a major product is not communicated to the higher management along with sales figures and other information. If the CEOs sleep through board meetings, accountants will be sure to wake them up when they notice warranty repair expenses.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 04:35 PM by Svar »

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2017, 04:56 PM »
Hi,
There's something I'd like to know: has anyone affected by this issue ever contacted anyone at Festool USA or Festool Germany beyond the Service Department?
Kind regards,
Oliver
There is no doubt they are aware of the issue. It's inconceivable that service records of a major product is not communicated to the higher management along with sales figures and other information. If the CEOs sleep through board meetings, accountants will be sure to wake them up when they notice warranty repair expenses.

Hi!

I have absolutely no doubt that Festool CEOs/Board Members are aware of the situation.

But since quite a couple of people affected by the issue have voiced their demands regarding the handling of the situation right here on the FOG, I'd like to know if those demands were also addressed to someone that can actually fulfill them/ sign off on them.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #48 on: July 04, 2017, 06:58 PM »
The answer to the question about someone speaking to someone higher up at Festool about the Kapex issue is yes.  Although I have not had a Kapex issue I have gone as high as I can go - which is about as high as one can go.  I know of at least one other who has also gone that high.

There isn't anything from that conversation that I can share other than Festool was investigating at that time.

Peter

Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Leozepolusa

  • Posts: 1
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2017, 12:37 PM »
Well,

I own several Festool products and was on the verge of finally dropping the cash on a Kapex when I ran into one review on another site about these units burning up if you run at slow speeds often.  I decided to look up the issue at FOG and immediately ran into this string.  This is a real bummer.  I do expect to use the variable speed often and will never spend $1,500 without this obvious motor issue resolved.  The fact Festool has not jumped on this with a response acknowledging the problem is very disappointing.  At 3X the cost of the competition for a machine with so many unique and useful features yet with a week powertrain is pointless.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 548
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2017, 12:58 AM »
one review on another site about these units burning up if you run at slow speeds often
This is an interesting data point that could explain the issue:

Setting to a low RPM dosn't reduce the electrical load when starting up or actively cutting that much, but definitively reduces the RPM of the motor fan and with that the effective amount of air that moves through the motor (this might even have the effect of changing the way the air takes through the motor, as of a different pressure differential or locations of turbulence shifting to different areas as intended).

This would pinpoint the 'up in smoke' issues as from insufficient cooling, in line with what we read about 'repeated small cuts' being an issue (which also would likely lead to heat buildup, as the motor starts often but runs only short timespans the heat from the start couldn't be fully vented and accumulate in the motor, with repeated use in quick succession).
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 01:00 AM by Gregor »

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2017, 03:42 AM »
There are thermal paints that change color at various temps. It is common to see a dab on parts.

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 348
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2017, 05:44 AM »
one review on another site about these units burning up if you run at slow speeds often
This is an interesting data point that could explain the issue:

Setting to a low RPM dosn't reduce the electrical load when starting up or actively cutting that much, but definitively reduces the RPM of the motor fan and with that the effective amount of air that moves through the motor (this might even have the effect of changing the way the air takes through the motor, as of a different pressure differential or locations of turbulence shifting to different areas as intended).

This would pinpoint the 'up in smoke' issues as from insufficient cooling, in line with what we read about 'repeated small cuts' being an issue (which also would likely lead to heat buildup, as the motor starts often but runs only short timespans the heat from the start couldn't be fully vented and accumulate in the motor, with repeated use in quick succession).

I mostly understand your point Gregor.  To clarify, could you comment on this analogy.

Are you postulating that the Kapex has a "transmission" much like a vehicle?  I think most can understand that if one attempts to drive a vehicle at high speed in 1st gear, severe damage is almost a certainty.  Where my analogy falls short in this aspect is that a vehicle will send warnings to the operator and the operator will likely not push the motor beyond "redline" for too long.  To my knowledge, the Kapex cannot do this.  A reference to heat reactive paint is such a warning, but do we know such paint is used on any power tools?

Perhaps my 120 will survive, because I cannot recall a time when I have operated it at any speed less than full throttle. I work exclusively with wood and mostly softwood.  I do not cut metal, but if I did, I would use a different saw exclusively for cutting metal.  The other protocol I follow pretty religiously is that I let the 120s motor achieve top speed before engaging the materials being cut.  I was told years ago by a fine woodworker than this activity reduces blade harmonics and results in a truer cut.  Based on Gregor's post, I theorize that the notion of allowing the motor to reach top speed, also reduces heat from the current cut to add to that from previous cuts.

So far so good for me.  My 120 is coming three years old and running well, but every time i read new "up in smoke" posts, I get a little more anxious for the future of mine.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 832
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #53 on: July 06, 2017, 07:13 AM »
With more and more manufactures coming out with new corded and corded/cordless miter saws I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next year Festool comes out the a new Kapex 120.   I think that it’s the only way to get past the troubles with the current saw.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3610
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2017, 08:20 AM »

Setting to a low RPM dosn't reduce the electrical load when starting up or actively cutting that much, but definitively reduces the RPM of the motor fan and with that the effective amount of air that moves through the motor (this might even have the effect of changing the way the air takes through the motor, as of a different pressure differential or locations of turbulence shifting to different areas as intended).

This would pinpoint the 'up in smoke' issues as from insufficient cooling, in line with what we read about 'repeated small cuts' being an issue (which also would likely lead to heat buildup, as the motor starts often but runs only short timespans the heat from the start couldn't be fully vented and accumulate in the motor, with repeated use in quick succession).

Some interesting conjecture...if this happens to be the case and it could well be, wouldn't it just be smart of Festool Corporate to make this announcement and potentially prevent some of the issues they are facing?

Here's an excerpt from the current owner's manual:
–Switch on the machine.
–Hold the saw unit by the handle (1.1), guide slowly downwards and cut through the
workpiece at an even rate of advance.
–Switch off the machine and wait until the saw blade stops completely.


That's it, nothing about bringing the blade up to speed or small/short repetitive cuts.  [tongue]

Offline Greg M

  • Posts: 285
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2017, 09:54 AM »
My Kapex doesn't get much use.  I'm concerned about a $1500 saw dying on me.  I bought it with the thought that it would last a very long time like my other Festool tools are suppose to.  I'm wondering if it would be best to sell it and buy something else. 

What replacement miter saws would you guys recommend?  I use it mostly for straight and angled cuts (almost no compound cuts).  My main concern is good dust collection.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 548
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2017, 10:57 AM »
I mostly understand your point Gregor.  To clarify, could you comment on this analogy.

Are you postulating that the Kapex has a "transmission" much like a vehicle?
No, AFAIK the motor fan runs at the same speed as the motor itself. So as the motor runs slower when you turn the speed dial down the fan will also slow down, putting load on the blade will then lead to increased current flow (as the electronic will notice the blade slowing it'll compensate) which will result in more heat released in the winding - possibly leading to a situation where the fan (as of low motor speed) dosn't manage to move the heat out of the machine quick enough so it'll build up, leading to increased resistance in the winding as of higher temperature (possibly in an area that dosn't get ideal airflow), leading to more heat buildup in the winding, ... eventually resulting in winding meltdown (or shortcut because of insulation failure).

Keep in mind: just a speculation from my side given what I have read about the Kapex issue, I havn't looked at the guts of (enough) dead ones so I can't be sure.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 11:00 AM by Gregor »

Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 381
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2017, 12:11 PM »
Never run my Kapex on anything but full speed and it's burnt up twice, I personally think it's the lots of small quick cuts that causes the problem as that is something I would be more likely to do.

Update on my Kapex that burnt out last week.

Was going to call Festool last Friday afternoon but found service only open till 3pm on Fridays.

Called Monday and asked to speak to someone about it, told call back in an hour, they emailed me a repair form.

Called back an hour later still nobody to speak to but told if I left my number somebody would call me back so left mobile number.

I filled in repair form and emailed it off on Monday, asked for someone to give me a call in a covering email, got the standard auto reply saying thank you for email and someone would be in touch asap.

Got to Thursday (today) and no calls or emails so I gave Festool a call. A very helpful girl told me yes they had received the repair form and I was on the waiting list. "What waiting list?" I ask. Oh we have run out of the cartons that we ship broken Kapex in (obviously in high demand), hopefully have one back tomorrow for you. FFS!

So one week on and dead Kapex still waiting for collection and Festool made no attempt to return my calls or contact me to let me know what was happening. I moved my work around this week thinking I would have saw back for next week but I will have to change my plans again.

They sell themselves on tools built for the toughest demands and superb after service but afraid at the moment I'm not seeing either of these.

Doug




Offline Phil Beckley

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Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #58 on: July 06, 2017, 12:39 PM »
Never run my Kapex on anything but full speed and it's burnt up twice, I personally think it's the lots of small quick cuts that causes the problem as that is something I would be more likely to do.

Update on my Kapex that burnt out last week.

Was going to call Festool last Friday afternoon but found service only open till 3pm on Fridays.

Called Monday and asked to speak to someone about it, told call back in an hour, they emailed me a repair form.

Called back an hour later still nobody to speak to but told if I left my number somebody would call me back so left mobile number.

I filled in repair form and emailed it off on Monday, asked for someone to give me a call in a covering email, got the standard auto reply saying thank you for email and someone would be in touch asap.

Got to Thursday (today) and no calls or emails so I gave Festool a call. A very helpful girl told me yes they had received the repair form and I was on the waiting list. "What waiting list?" I ask. Oh we have run out of the cartons that we ship broken Kapex in (obviously in high demand), hopefully have one back tomorrow for you. FFS!

So one week on and dead Kapex still waiting for collection and Festool made no attempt to return my calls or contact me to let me know what was happening. I moved my work around this week thinking I would have saw back for next week but I will have to change my plans again.

They sell themselves on tools built for the toughest demands and superb after service but afraid at the moment I'm not seeing either of these.

Doug

Hi
Call me in the morning - I am in meeting but when out will call you back
Rg
Phil
Festool U.K Employee | Festool UK Website


Offline RobWoodCutter

  • Posts: 79
Re: Another Kapex Bites the dust. Again.
« Reply #59 on: July 06, 2017, 01:19 PM »
My view is different than most (all).

Contrary to the ads, I look at Festool products as more precision tools as oppose to construction grade tools. Can you use them in the field, yeah sure, but they seem more at home in the shop.

I have Milwaukee 1/2" corded drill, circular saw, sawzall, and router that I bought 30 years ago and they have been dropped and are still running and I expect will continue to be running 30 years from now. They were made for contractor use (and abuse) and can take a beating. I don't see that in the Festool product line. I would be amazed if any of the Festool line lasted the first 30 years alone. I also had a 12" skilsaw mitre saw that I used for 20 years and gave to a neighbor 10 years ago that is still going strong. It has been dropped off a workmate table twice. But it simply does not have the precision, repeatable and cleans cuts that the Kapex has.

The difference is the precision and the dust collection.

I have had a Kapex since soon after they came out in the USA.

I always adjust the speed based on the material being cut.
I always bring the saw up to speed before cutting the material (yeah I know it doesn't say you have to but having been WW for the past 45+ years, this is common sense and mentioned in a number of tool manuals.)
I always use the Kapex as a sliding cut and never as a plunge cut. If you cut a 1x6 as  plunge cut you are engaging 6"+ inches of the blade circumference, by sliding cut you are only engaging 1" of blade circumference. You are putting more pressure on the motor by engaging more of the teeth at one time. (If I compare say the motor size on the Kapex to my 18" 5 hp delta radial saw, the 5hp motor does not care how many teeth are engage or what you are cutting.) This is similar comparison to a small motor on a tabletop tablesaw and HD motor on a cabinet saw.
You also get better dust collection by sliding because all of the sawdust is being pushed upwards and not rearward. 
I always take my time making the cut because I am looking for a clean last cut not a hacking/splittering cut a contractor saw does on a 2x4, 2x8 etc. with the expectation of sanding.
I always disconnect the hose to the Kapex and vacuum up the Kapex each day after it has been used.

The problem with Festool not responding to the Kapex issue, is we don't know how many have been sold and what percentage have had motor issues and of the ones that do have motor issues, what was the actual usage and environment. (i.e. was the saw mostly used outside in a construction environment with high humidity or in excessive dusty area with no vac attached.) If Festool were to published they have sold 50,000 Kapex worldwide and only a dozen have had motor issues is completely different that if they have sold only 200 worldwide and 50 have motor issues.

My neighbor borrowed a small in-expensive miter saw from another neighbor to work on replacing some porch rails. Instead of putting the saw on a bench or the concrete porch, he just left it sitting in the grass/dirt and even left it with just towel over it during a brief rain shower.  To accurately assess why a product is failing, you have to look at all of the reasons that potentially caused the failure. What one person may view as normal usage may be considered by another as abusive. 

Therein lies the problem of identifying what is causing the problem.

As someone with now has over $20K invested in Festool products, I would still continue to give them high marks overall....even if the my Kapex motor fries, in which case I will just order the replacement parts and fix it myself.

Rob