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Author Topic: Kapex 120 accuracy  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline Pooman

  • Posts: 13
Kapex 120 accuracy
« on: December 05, 2018, 07:43 PM »
Hi Everyone
I bought a Kapex about 8 years ago. Was very excited about this very expensive purchase. But to my surprise the accuracy was not good. The saw had awesome features but accuracy is paramount in my books. I tried everything. Hours and hours adjusting this saw. I really wanted it to workout.  I finally realized that the Pointer on the miter scale was slightly off ever time I swung the table. If I swung it to the left say 20 or 30 degrees and then brought it back to zero the pointer would be slightly to the right of zero. If I swung the table to the right say 20 or 30 degrees and then brought it back to zero the pointer would be slightly to the left of zero. Took the saw back and the dealer gave me a new one. Same problem with the new one. Went to a few other dealers who had them on display and they all did the same thing. I ended taking the saw back and bought a 12" Milwaukee which was rock solid. The Milwaukee was great but lacked a few features of the Kapex. Every now and then I would see a Kapex on display in some stores. I would always go and check them out. They all did the same thing as my originals. So all in all I've probably checked out about 20 Kapex saws over the last 8 years and they all did the same thing. I would always check out the other big brands also and they were always rock solid. Well I'm in need of a new saw again. So I thought I would check out Festool again. Maybe they changed something. Went to my local Festool dealer today to check them out. Nope still the same problem. What amazes me even more is that all the U-tube videos and websites and professionals haven't picked up on this.( are they getting paid off ) Makes no sense. Maybe the problem could be overlooked a little if the saws were at the same price range as the other big names. But there in some cases almost 3 to 5 times as much money. Example - I was in Home Depot Canada today and there was a great saw on sale. Dewalt DSW779 12" CSMS for $398 dollars($449 with tax). The Kapex is $1920 dollars ($2169 with tax) almost 5 times as much. The Dewalt is a great saw. For this kind of money these saws should be dead-on accurate out of the box and bullet proof. I don't mind paying extra premium for high quality but I'm not going to pay a premium for inaccuracy. So the odds of this many Kapex saws over all these years having the same problem is pretty remote in my books. There is a flaw in the detent area.

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.


Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 08:54 PM »
 What I didn’t read in the post you made was if the cuts were accurate.  You mentioned the pointer on the scale.  Were they accurate?

Peter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 09:07 PM »
I was intrigued by the OP's observations based on his checking of several KS120. I never paid attention to the pointer, but thought it was not an issue since my angle cuts did not pose any problems for me in the past. Curiosity drove me to the shop (sitting at 7.4 C; outside -10C) to repeat what he did (assuming I understood his steps correctly), and see if the pointer changed after swinging the saw to the left and to the right.

Photo 1 - Temperature in the shop
2- Pointer at 0
3- Swing to the left
4- Back to 0
5 - Swing to the right
6 - Back to 0

Judge for yourself, everyone, if the pointer on my Kapex changed after the turntable was moved left and right. My Kapex was bought in early 2015, and has been in my hobby shop since.

Next time when I am at my local LV store (after Christmas! -- the place is crazily packed until after Xmas), I will take a look and see if the pointer does have the reported issue.

You should try yours out if you have an opportunity as your saw may have a different result. Of course, what matters is what Peter points out: the accuracy of the cuts.

P.S. I usually stop woodworking when the outside temperature drops below -15C.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 09:20 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 09:33 PM »
No the cuts were not accurate. When you swing the table one way and then back to zero it always goes past Zero by a small amount (This adds up pretty fast depending what your making).  Im not moving at a snail pace either but not overly fast either. Just an average swing speed. I just want to say that I really wanted this saw to workout because it has an array of nice features. Its like buying a Lamborghini and it not handling as good as a Toyota Corolla. You'd be pretty disappointed. In my opinion when you spend this kind o money it should leave all the other manufacturers in the dust. Believe me it isn't going to take long or the other big companies Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee etc to implement features That the Kapex has. It has already started. Makita LS1019 as an example. 

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 09:40 PM »
Did you get a chance to check and tune up your KS120 when you first got it? It might not be dead-on from the factory. It took me some efforts to set the saw right: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/151130

I do wish expensive machines like the KS came to us perfectly factory-set without further fine-tuning by the users. But I haven't met any such machine except one: the SawStop PCS, which I did nothing other than assembly and installing the fence (which still required some tune-up.).
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:26 PM by ChuckM »

Offline neilc

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 09:48 PM »
I’m not seeing the difference in the photos at 0.  I see what looks like parallax errors isn’t the two 20 degree settings. 

I will check on my saw which was purchased the year it was released.  I had the spring grinding problem which they replaced with a new part. 

Online Bohdan

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 09:56 PM »
I have to agree with @Pooman when I swing from the right it stops exactly on the line but when I come from the left it goes about a cursor line thickness past the line.   [eek]

Will do a cut to see if both are square.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 09:56 PM »
Neil,

The 20* was not critical. I did not set the saw dead-on to either 20*, it was just to swing the saw left and right roughly at 20* to imitate Pooman's steps.

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 10:01 PM »
Yes I did a similar test to the one in the video. I cut (4) 4" baseboard pieces with 45 degrees on either side and put them all together to form a square. Each piece o baseboard was a triangle shape.The square that the baseboard pieces was not accurate. 

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 10:05 PM »
The reference to 20 or 30 degrees was just a random number. the point of the exercise was to get you to have a bit o swing speed back to the zero mark. If you only went 5 degrees there wouldn't be much swing speed back to zero.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 10:07 PM »
After finding the saw to be making out-of-square cuts, did you fine-tune the scale/pointer to correct it? It took me a lot of time to get the cuts dead-on as explained in my Lumberjocks post. I even stripped one of the screws on the scale because of so many back-and-forth adjustments and test cuts in the fine-tuning process. Frankly, I would have been willing to pay a Festool approved service technician to get that tuning done for me.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:09 PM by ChuckM »

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 88
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 10:11 PM »
I went and checked my Kapex.  Pictures below.   Same sequence, center, left, center, right, and back to center.   All looks fine to me.

BTW, I assume the saw is being brought back to the hard stop at 0 degrees.

My saw is about a year old.

Bob

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 10:14 PM »
Hard stop (locked down) in my case, too.

Online Bohdan

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 10:16 PM »
Just did a cut test and I can confirm that the "squareness" varies depending on which side you swing the saw from.

Didn't measure the error but it was enough to totally screw up any project.  [mad]

Adjusting the cursor would make no difference as from the right it was dead on.

I am using the built in stops on the machine, not setting the squareness by the cursor. Using the same stop the actual position that the saw stops seems to vary depending on which side you approach it from. Similar to backlash on a thicknesser.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2018, 10:21 PM »
Try the two-cut method, and it will give you the variance or deviation, I think. One more thing to check: is the fence straight across (aux-fences, too?)? I don't put aux. fences on my saw because they threw the cuts off, which might be due to the quality of the ply fences.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:27 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Pooman

  • Posts: 13
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2018, 10:32 PM »
Hi ChuckM
I tried everything on two saws. It is also visual. if its not stopping exactly on zero the cut is going to be off. Pretty sure the problem lies in how the mechanism clicks into the detent. I can manually set the saw to exactly zero but as soon as you start swing the table back and forth it goes past zero a bit. Like I said before it adds up.

Offline Pooman

  • Posts: 13
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2018, 10:36 PM »
Hi Bohdan
seems like you tested it perfect. Yes this small amount of inaccuracy will screw up a project

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1288
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2018, 10:39 PM »
It sounds like there is a problem with the indexing on the fixed stops, as if they are too wide and have too much slop so when you swing back to center it goes to the far side of the stop?  Did you notice any slop after engaging in the stop (but not locking the table)?
-Raj

Offline Pooman

  • Posts: 13
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 10:49 PM »
Hi RKA
I don't think its slop. I think its flex.

Online Bohdan

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2018, 10:57 PM »
I agree with the flex option

No movement once the detent is engaged, can't even tap it over with my hand.

It's like the detent "pin" is bending/flexing or moving from the impact of hitting the detent position. If I move it from the left and don't hit the detent pin but lower the pin into the detent it stops at the same spot as from the right but it's a real PITA if you have to do this every time.

My fix is to only appoach the detents from, in my case, the right and treat it as a form of backlash.

Not happy as once again the Kapex proves that it's a lemon.

Offline Pooman

  • Posts: 13
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2018, 11:07 PM »
Bohdan
 Seems like you see exactly what I see. Good job on those findings.
To recap from my original post. I have checked this on about 20 Kapex. They all did the same thing. 

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5156
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2018, 11:10 AM »
Well I was curious so I went downstairs to check it out. My Kapex works just fine and always returns to the same position. My Kapex is also quite stiff so "swing" may not be the operative word.  In my case it's more like unlock and then using some substantial amount of force, pull or push the turntable into position.

I did notice though that if I didn't manually lock the turntable into position, that I could flex it maybe 1/8º to 1/4º. However I always lock the turntable so it's not an issue for me.  [smile]

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2018, 02:19 PM »
Thanks for the reply Cheese. Its possible that your locking it in an inaccurate position. I never use my lock on a detent position. Just in positions where there are no detents.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2018, 02:21 PM »
I've not noticed any cutting inaccuracy in my work since fine-tuning the saw a few years ago. I almost always check the first cross cut for squareness if I am doing a batch of them. I made a couple of hundred cross cuts in my last project (two months ago), but did not notice any abnormality. I will pay attention to my next first cuts, just to be sure.

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2018, 02:41 PM »
Good stuff Chuck.

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2018, 02:54 PM »
Locking the turn table doesn't automatically bring the saw to zero. If the turn table is swung back to zero and overshoots by say a 1/4 degree Locking the turn table locks it in the position it was stopped at. A 1/4 degree off of 90. An analogy of this overshooting zero and locking it. Imagine pulling your car into an inclined driveway. You put the brakes on to hold you in position. Keep your foot on the brake and apply the emergency brake also. Let your foot off the foot brake and the car won't roll at all because the emergency brake is holding it.  Put the car/truck transmission in park/gear. Now let off the emergency brake and the car will roll ahead slightly until the transmission Park gears tighten up and takes up the backlash. This is not a perfect analogy but I think it gets the point across.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2018, 06:20 PM »
You should lock your saw at even the detents.  I would bet that would probably have handled what you observed.

Peter

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2018, 06:42 PM »
...And before I get the argument "...but we shouldn't have to..." check page 12 of the Supplemental Manual which talks about how to miter.

* Kapex-KS120-Supplemental-Manual.pdf (2945.53 kB - downloaded 22 times.)

Peter

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2018, 06:48 PM »
I beg to differ Peter. Ive been a professional carpenter and timber framer for 35 years. Most guys aren't locking there saw down every cut. I can see it on occassion to lock it it but its not the norm when your in the construction business.
Lets get down to brass taxes. When the saw is swung back it goes past the zero as said earlier. locking it down just locks it in that position. It doesn't force it back to zero. Why is this so hard to understand.
Theres a small tab under the table that drops down into the detent when you release the button. Bottom line is its flimsy and so is the detent plate. Further more the tab scrapes along the detent plate on saws making it tough to swing into position. Go try a new Dewalt or Milwaukee. They are rock solid and more robust. The most important part off any saws are the repeatability and accuracy. Bells and whistles don't mean ***t if its not accurate. Especially at that price.

Imagine what kind off saw Dewalt, Milwaukee , or Makita could produce for $2000. It would likely be outstanding. The Kapex just isn't worth this kind of money. They do have some great tools but this one in MHO is not worth it.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2018, 07:04 PM »
I passed on what was in the supplemental manual.

Based on your posts, and being honest, I don't think that the Kapex is a good fit for you.

Peter

Offline Svar

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2018, 07:09 PM »
Theres a small tab under the table that drops down into the detent when you release the button. Bottom line is its flimsy and so is the detent plate.
Is this (the tab) something that the user could modify, or replace for a better fit?

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 ChuckM

  • Posts: 680
Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2018, 07:19 PM »
Based on my fine-tuning experience, I wouldn't try to do anything to that detent tab or notch on the miter gauge, as most likely, one will make it (any inaccuracy) worse, and there is also a risk that the fine-tuning can never be successfully done as per the manual unless the miter gauge is replaced.

There is no question that not all KS 120s are produced and put together exactly the same, because so many things (including the laser settings) are done manually. Even with the QA in place (which is not bullet-proof as we all know), each machine must come out the factory with one or more slight differences, and that is why we have tolerance level.

Perhaps the observations brought out by Pooman can be related to the KS120 people for further investigation.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2018, 07:20 PM »
@Svar,  I assume you have a Kapex.  If you swing your table to a tad past a detent and then lock it.  What does it do?  It registers.  THAT has been a complaint with the Kapex since the beginning.  It is terribly difficult to set it just off to one side of the detents and then do what Festool recommends which is locking your table in position.

It normally takes two hands and patience to set something just outside of the detents.  This not just me, it has been documented here since the first Kapex.

Just observations over the years.

Peter

Online Bohdan

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2018, 07:45 PM »
Is this (the tab) something that the user could modify, or replace for a better fit?

I think that the fit is fine. It's just that the tab either bends or moves with use.

I will have to pull mine apart to see if the tab can be fixed but at the moment it's over 100°F and blowing a gale.

Not the sort of weather that I want to venture far from the AC.

Offline Pooman

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2018, 08:09 PM »
 To stop at one of the PRESET POSITIVE LOCK MITER POSTIONS, release the miter stop lever just before reaching the angle, and the miter stop will click as it LOCKS INTO POSITION.
 
► To set the miter angle to 1⁄2 degree between the primary angles, line up the 1⁄2° vernier indices with the adjacent angle index marks. (The example shown to the left represents 201⁄2°.)
When the desired miter angle is set, engage the miter lock by pressing down on the miter lock lever.

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2018, 09:09 PM »
And then you move on step three. Step three includes all positions - detents or others.



Just trying to help.  Peter


Offline Cheese

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Re: Kapex 120 accuracy
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2018, 09:31 PM »

It normally takes two hands and patience to set something just outside of the detents.  This not just me, it has been documented here since the first Kapex.

That’s also my experience, I’ve never been able to just “swing” my Kapex between settings. Every time I need to move the table it takes a concerted 2-hand effort to do so.

Maybe that’s the issue, maybe the ones you’ve used are just a bit too loose and they may need to be adjusted properly.

When I move my Kapex towards a detent, as it approaches the detent and engages it, it locks in positively. Once I apply the lock NOTHING will move. I cannot “swing” it past a detent without using 2 hands. Once it hits the detent it gets locked in.