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Author Topic: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing  (Read 14988 times)

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Offline JFitz

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KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« on: September 27, 2016, 04:34 PM »
I am looking for a quality miter saw with great dust extraction for interior trim use and extreme accuracy for simple and compound miters for furniture and trim work. I need to have a saw that I can use to cut inside to save miles on my feet and knock down my install time for interior work, but more importantly have little airborne dust that would settle on the electronics and furniture in the institutions where I work.
I am quite concerned about the negative reviews about the issues regarding the Kapex motor and was looking to hear some positive feedback from those detailed oriented professionals who have not had issues with their saw and what type of use they apply to the Kapex, how often it is used, the cutting technique used and the length of ownership of the tool.
I am coming from an 8 year old Makita sliding compound miter saw, but am looking forward to the increased precision, accuracy and ease of miter adjustments that the Kapex has to offer. I don't mind investing into a quality tool if it is a good investment, but would not be happy if it costs too much too maintain or spends too much time in repair only to have it repaired to the same standards it was originally built to fail again.

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Offline copcarcollector

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 04:44 PM »
 [welcome] to the FOG

It seems that people who have not had any issues with their Kapex saws don't always post that type of 'review' online, especially here on the FOG. Instead you will find the complaints. I am not trying to disparage anyone who has had an issue with their saw, that would suck for sure, especially with the cost of the saw. But I am of the opinion that the failure rate is actually rather small, based on the total number of saws sold... however Festool won't tell us the number of saws sold, so we are all left guessing a bit.

I know that you are interested in longevity, but I would still buy it and test it out for 30 days (In N America), to see if it really will work for your needs, at least you will have a good insight on the capabilities of the saw first hand
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 04:49 PM by copcarcollector »

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 04:47 PM »
As an answer to your post, I have had my Kapex since 2010.  It was manufactured in September 2009.  I work alone and use my Kapex for cutting everything from trim to pressure treated framing material and decks.  I typically use it 2 to 3 running hours a day.  I am not a heavy production oriented contractor so I tend to make sure that the saw is fully up to speed before cutting.  When using the saw inside I put down a drop cloth under my MFT or other work table to catch the heavier dust not captured.  The fine, floating dust is captured well for me by the CT if I allow everything to come up to speed before staring the cut.  If cutting outside I can't see the lasers and rarely use dust collection unless cutting PVC trim (old habits die hard).

Peter
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 04:49 PM by Peter Halle »
Scraps to Smiles.  To be continued.....  Stay Tuned.

Offline RKA

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 04:53 PM »
Mine works fine, but it gets very light use.  And some of the reports (with motor issues) come from people that suggest their's get little use, so nobody is quite sure what to make of it.  Anyway, what history exists is out there to search for, no sense in going back down that road.  In terms of dust collection, under the best of conditions it will capture 90%.  In some circumstances less.  Some of it will fall at your feet, but some will also go airborne and in a finished space, this is not trivial.  Search for fastcap sawstache, that is one modification that might help (I haven't tried any solutions).  But...I'm not sure there is another saw out there that betters the Kapex in dust collection. 
-Raj

Offline bobfog

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 04:55 PM »
You'll likely get many positive reviews, as not all Kapex can be bad. The problem is no matter how many positive reviews you get, there is still an unusually and worryingly high number of reports of them going bad. My advice is until Festool acknowledge and remedy the unreliable parts, don't buy one.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 05:10 PM »

In reading the opening post it would seem that the poster has already read about reported motor issues and that he started this post to hear from some who haven't had issues ...

So how about we keep this thread limited to the questions he posed in the opening post.

Peter
Scraps to Smiles.  To be continued.....  Stay Tuned.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2016, 05:21 PM »
I have had mine for 5 yrs. I use it for on site trim work, furniture and cabinet parts, cutting aluminum and recently mitering 1 1/2" thick oak veneered light weight panels. I cut miters nested and flat, compound miters and straight cuts almost everyday and the saw cuts extremely accurately.
The saw is light enough to take on site without making you feel like you climbed a mountain carrying a mule and it collects about 90% of the dust it creates. There doesn't seem to much or any air bourne particles that come off the saw. I have used inside several customers homes without issue.
If mine broke down today, I would buy another one right away.
I have used older Dewalt SCMs but found them a bit like a cleaver compared to the chefs knife slicing accuracy of the Kapex.
Let me know if you need  more info.
Tim

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2016, 05:28 PM »
...there is still an unusually and worryingly high number of reports of them going bad.

Based on what metric?
Tim

Offline bobfog

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 05:39 PM »

In reading the opening post it would seem that the poster has already read about reported motor issues and that he started this post to hear from some who haven't had issues ...

So how about we keep this thread limited to the questions he posed in the opening post.

Peter

To be fair, Peter,  he did close the post by saying:

"I don't mind investing into a quality tool if it is a good investment, but would not be happy if it costs too much too maintain or spends too much time in repair only to have it repaired to the same standards it was originally built to fail again. "

So I believe my input was valid and relevant to helping him in his decision process.

Offline bobfog

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 05:44 PM »
...there is still an unusually and worryingly high number of reports of them going bad.

Based on what metric?
Tim

Simple observation. The Kapex is one of Festool's most expensive tools and in the absence of someone correcting me with hard facts, I'm pretty sure this equates to them not selling as many of them as compared to sanders, tracksaws, drills, etc. Yet here on the FOG the number of reports of Kapex burning out/going bad noticeably outnumbers any other tool. Therefore it's a reasonable inference that based on it being a lower selling product, with higher than average complaints, that there's something inherently wrong with it.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 05:46 PM by bobfog »

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 06:04 PM »
Therefore it's a reasonable inference that based on it being a lower selling product, with higher than average complaints, that there's something inherently wrong with it.

So your it's your opinion, not based on any real data. I don't agree or disagree just want to caution people from making a decision on opinion and conjecture vs. real data.
The Kapex may or may not be a flawed product but emotionally charged posts here by disappointed users should only be part of the decision making process. I could argue that the relative high cost elicits a more vehement and negatively charged post than any other Festool tool.
Tim

Offline bobfog

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2016, 06:10 PM »
Therefore it's a reasonable inference that based on it being a lower selling product, with higher than average complaints, that there's something inherently wrong with it.

So your it's your opinion, not based on any real data. I don't agree or disagree just want to caution people from making a decision on opinion and conjecture vs. real data.
The Kapex may or may not be a flawed product but emotionally charged posts here by disappointed users should only be part of the decision making process. I could argue that the relative high cost elicits a more vehement and negatively charged post than any other Festool tool.
Tim

It's not opinion, it's inference. There's a difference. Inference is base on observation and deductive reasoning, if you can prove to me that more complaints are made about other tools or that the Kapex isn't sold in lower volume than other tools, I'll yield that my inference is flawed. Also there's not really any such thing as a cheap Festool, so if any of the range were failing in or just out of warranty like the Kapex is reportedly doing, I think it's reasonable to think people would complain here just as vehemently as they do with the Kapex.

Offline Tim Raleigh

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2016, 06:10 PM »
So I believe my input was valid and relevant to helping him in his decision process.

As the OP stated, only if you have or have had a Kapex and used it professionally.
Have you?
Tim

Offline Gerald_D

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2016, 06:11 PM »
I bought mine 5 years ago and, believe me, I pondered this purchase more than any other Festool because of the price.  I build furniture and so I needed something precise with great dust collection, and have been extremely happy with it, and as mentioned in an earlier post, if it dies on me I would get another one in a heartbeat.  It typically stays in my shop, but when I have had to take on a job site, it is light enough for me to carry even with my bad back.  A couple more items:

- if you make zero-clearance fences (made mine out of scrap lumber, realize it will affect the dust collection.
- Since mine is in the shop most of the time, I got the Kapex MFT.  If it travels a lot for you, consider the UG cart.
- Kapex wings are a great upgrade- either if you make your own or get the Festool version.  I have the Festool version- if you want to install crown stops with them, consider some of the after-market brackets that will attach to them.  Also, depending on your use, extra flag stops are a nice addition.

As Peter mentioned, let it get up to speed prior to the cut and I think you'll be very happy with it.  (incidentally, I did this with my other two miter saws I had too- just good practice to reduce tearout on hardwoods).

Welcome to the FOG and Good Luck with your purchase.

Regards,
Gerald

Gerald
I have Festools- Big and Small and a few other tools

Offline bobfog

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2016, 06:14 PM »
So I believe my input was valid and relevant to helping him in his decision process.

As the OP stated, only if you have or have had a Kapex and used it professionally.
Have you?
Tim

Yes. A colleague has had one for 9 months and I use it regularly, it's an absolutely fantastic saw, no doubt about it - if it continues to work, that is. It's much more portable than my Bosch Glide and an absolute pleasure to use with it's easy to read/set scales and accuracy. I'll buy one in a heartbeat, once the faults are acknowledged and resolved.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 06:17 PM by bobfog »

Offline rizzoa13

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2016, 07:14 PM »
So I believe my input was valid and relevant to helping him in his decision process.

As the OP stated, only if you have or have had a Kapex and used it professionally.
Have you?
Tim

I'm a licensed and insured professional. I own my own carpentry business and use my kapex often. If that's sufficient to make a response then I'll do so now.

The saw is fantastic in use. It's light and lends itself very well to being setup and moved often. The UG cart and wings are extremely expensive, and extremely worth it.

In use I feel the saw deflects quite a lot on bevels. I've gotten better at it but it's still not acceptable to me. Is that a kapex issue or a scms issue? Can't answer that.

I'd say it's the best saw you can possibly buy bar none. Problem is that there's motor and armature issues. I can say that because I've experienced them. It's also backed by a company that fails to stand behind its saw. I can also say that because I've experienced it first hand. There was a survey done by festool in an attempt to glean how affected saws were being used. They came to the conclusion that "repeated cuts in thin materials may be an issue". That was a LONG time ago, no communication.

People are still reporting armature and motor failure. Festool has not done anything for affected consumers. So you can make your own choices as an adult but no matter what you should have testimony from the users irregardless of whether it is positive or negative. Whether the moderators think so or not. Rant off.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 07:16 PM by rizzoa13 »

Offline JFitz

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2016, 08:05 PM »
Thanks to everyone, please keep the feedback coming.
I am very aware of the shortcomings with the motor and armature and have had a consult with the tech in repairs at Festool to see if anything could be said to ease my concerns.
With that being said, I am looking to users who have positive trouble free experiences to decide if technique and types of usage would match up with my applications and help offset the failures I have heard so much about. As with most any item, there are going to be good reviews and not so good reviews...I have seen plenty of not so good reviews and am hoping that this thread might get flooded with users that have had very positive experiences. From what I have researched, there is no miter saw that compares in it's dust collection capabilities and accuracy, which are my 2 main criteria to meet. I have no problem to let the saw get up to speed, which I think is important anyways to let the vacuum get to max suction, I do a lot of thin, repeat cuts in 3/4" stock mostly poplar.
For now, I am hoping to hear more good feedback to help ease my concerns that with proper technique and usage, that I would have years of trouble free use and clean accurate low dust cuts, pride, increased profitability and decreased installation time.

Offline T. Ernsberger

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 08:25 PM »
You'll likely get many positive reviews, as not all Kapex can be bad. The problem is no matter how many positive reviews you get, there is still an unusually and worryingly high number of reports of them going bad. My advice is until Festool acknowledge and remedy the unreliable parts, don't buy one.

Agree,  I will not buy one until Festool comes up for a solution for the motor problem.   Two examples are Rizzo and Dave Reinhold both use their saws everyday for many hours a day had their motors go.  In my eyes that's very disheartening.  They both speak very highly about the saw execpt for the motor issue that's there is still no resolve to.  Buy at your own risk.  It appeas to be a very good saw.  If it were me I would buy the saw and plan on selling in 3 years when the warranty runs out and buy another one.  With the resale value of Festool and the price increases you won't be losing much.

Offline neilc

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2016, 08:53 PM »
I bought the Kapex when it was first released in the US.  There was a problem with the first batch with too tight a clamping plate that caused scraping when adjusting the saw angle.  Festool got to the bottom of the problem and mailed out a replacement part to all owners - about 1" wide by maybe 3" long piece of spring steel.  Since that replacement, I have had no issues with my Kapex. 

I'm a serious hobby user and previously owned a Hitachi 9" sliding compound saw.  I owned that saw for at least 5-6 years with good success.  I chose the Kapex because of precision, higher capacity and better dust collection.

I have the Kapex installed in a home workshop on a small MFT table and use home-made wings for extensions.  I did make a zero clearance fence and it helps with reducing tear out on the back.  I make high end furniture, toys, picture frames and do selective home improvement projects and have been very pleased with the saw.  It does not do 'trenching cuts' as accurately as the previous saw (consistent depth of cut) but in every other way I think it's been an excellent saw.  When used with the extensions, it's really accurate for repeatable cuts.

I've done miters and bevels with it and been very happy with it. 

Dust collection is good - probably 90% running on a central dust collection system in my shop and significantly better than the Hitachi I had.  I could improve dust collection with a dedicated vac, but have not seen the need for it.

Overall, I've been very happy with the saw with no other quality or mechanical issues.

 

Offline JFitz

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2016, 09:07 PM »
You'll likely get many positive reviews, as not all Kapex can be bad. The problem is no matter how many positive reviews you get, there is still an unusually and worryingly high number of reports of them going bad. My advice is until Festool acknowledge and remedy the unreliable parts, don't buy one.

Agree,  I will not buy one until Festool comes up for a solution for the motor problem.   Two examples are Rizzo and Dave Reinhold both use their saws everyday for many hours a day had their motors go.  In my eyes that's very disheartening.  They both speak very highly about the saw execpt for the motor issue that's there is still no resolve to.  Buy at your own risk.  It appeas to be a very good saw.  If it were me I would buy the saw and plan on selling in 3 years when the warranty runs out and buy another one.  With the resale value of Festool and the price increases you won't be losing much.
Actually a very good idea to retool after warranty expiration, since Festool does hold their resale value very well. I did not consider that option.

Offline RJNeal

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2016, 10:32 PM »
I'm a happy kapex owner. I've owned it since 2008. Used in the trades. Mostly for trim and finish, do have some framing time on it. Mostly used by me but does have some time on it by others. The saw is not used every day. I also have a yellow boat anchor for most framing needs. I'm concern about the motor issue but I'll deal with that when/ if it happens. I make sure that I use a  10 gauge extension cord if I need a cord. The kapex is a really accurate saw.
Good luck.
Rick.
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline gruz

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2016, 07:46 AM »
Another happy Kapex user.  I use mine professionally doing trim and cabinet installations and the occasional deck.  On my second saw as the first was stolen.  Haven't had any issues whatsoever.  It's in my van with me all the time on the UG cart and has stayed square and true (though I quickly check it when I set up)  Also have the extension wings with some aftermarket modifications- great system.  good dust control.  I also have two Dewalt 12" sliders at home and the shop, and have had and used other brands in the past. 
The only bad thing I'll say is you'll have to put up with other tradespeople commenting on the saw- mainly the price and how you must be made of money...  I think it's a good investment, easier, faster, and more fun to use = saves money.
Good luck.

Offline DrD

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2016, 12:45 PM »
I am a very happy Kapex owner.  I do woodworking as a hobby, so I cannot give you the perspective of one whose living depends upon it's maintenance free functioning.  Having said that, my Kapex is like my EDC handgun - it goes what I want/expect it to do every time I need it to do something. 
I have found internet forums to be very interesting, and in terms of "what to buy" to be very impractical.  Go onto any gun forum, regardless of make/brand and there will be ad-nausiam posts on "DON"T BUY THIS" and were one to heed such advice, one would not find a decent gun anywhere, yet most shooters really have no problems. 
There are any number of long time posters on FOG who use their Kapex and haven't  had their motors burn up.  I talked extensively with Tom Bellemere (rip) and Bob Marino before purchasing mine; admittedly both are/were dealers, AND both are/were imminently HONEST men.  If you read/follow the postings of professionals such as Peter Halle, Brice Burrell, Peter Parfitt, and others you will be well informed to make your decision. (Please excuse the misspelling of any names.)
Just my nickel's worth.
   
Dr.D

Offline NL-mikkla

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2016, 02:23 PM »
Same here, super happy with the machine.
It stays in the shop permanent with a dedicated vac and home made wings/syscarts system.
I make high end furniture and some selective home improvments and not use it every day.
But I use it for anything I can think of it, thin stock, thick stock, wide stock, stock to thick for the machine so I have to reverse cut, aluminum, bevel, miters, in hardwood, plywood and HPL.
I fit would die on me I would buy a new one the same day.

It's super accurate, also with repeted cuts, I have no problems with fences or anything.
I love the lasers and really know how to position the wood to get the cut I want.



Hello, my name is little lego man. I like to walk around in this little landscape and carry this sign.
NL-Mikkla has nothing to do with me displaying an idiot sign, he just thinks I look cool

Offline Cookannapurna

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2016, 02:43 PM »
I'm the facilities manager of a children's camp, build custom furniture, and do custom on-site carpentry.  I've had my first Kapex for 4 years now.  I got sick of bolting and unbolting it from the chop station in my shop, so 2 years ago I bought a second one and the stand and extensions.  I have had only one problem with my portable one and it was my issue (sheet of plywood fell over and knocked the saw and stand to the ground), Festool fixed it promptly and for free.

I don't know which I like more the saw or the stand!

I use one or the other 6 days a week, and have had no issues other than the above.  I could not be happier with the saw, or Festool service.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2016, 03:23 PM »
This is kind of a weird thread topic to me.

Are you doing comparison shopping? You can always find someone that likes a tool and had a good experience. A tool can have a 10% rating, 90% negative, still those 10% will give you a positive review

When I comparison shop, even if the tool has a 90% positive rating, I read the negative reviews very carefully.

Maybe you should be asking, "looking for reviews for those that purchased in last 3 years" or "looking for negative reviews of the Kapex" or just "looking for reviews of the kapex". Otherwise all you are going to get is a bunch of people telling you the positives, not the negatives.

My question would be why do you need such an expensive chop saw when there are so many that are as good, many would say better, for almost half the cost?

IMHO, this isn't the best place that I would ask for reviews on a Festool. It's a Festool forum. Sure check this forum and ask around, but go to a more neutral place as well. Go to Amazon, go to the general woodworking forums, check the reviews(there are many), you will get a better balance. Here you are going to get lovers mostly and the haters that are so mad they found this forum to vent.

To answer the question, well I can't, I find it difficult to give the saw a positive review.


« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 04:33 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline antss

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2016, 04:59 PM »
Thanks to everyone, please keep the feedback coming.
I am very aware of the shortcomings with the motor and armature and have had a consult with the tech in repairs at Festool to see if anything could be said to ease my concerns.

And what did they say ? 

I'm certain the group will be VERY interested what you were told.

My take is almost everyone likes theirs , until they don't. Which always seems to be after year 4 of ownership.  It's a nice tool and will do the job.  So will a Dewalt 705 and there are folks around here that have models approaching two decades old. Dust collection is an afterthought and the bevel mech. is crude at best. It still works, and can provide accurate cuts. So it really depends on what you value.

If fairly reasonable certainty of a saw lasting you ten or twenty years is high on your list with few or no repair expense - then Kapex isn't a good bet in 110v.  If dust collection and ease of use are high on the list and you're willing to shoulder the risk of longevity then Kapex is a good choice. Where does price fit on your list ?  Only the individual can make these judgements when determining value.

FWIW , Milwaukee's 12" saw has really good dust collection and accuracy. It's waaaay heavier and bigger than Kapex, so not a great choice for easy portability though.  Costs about a third of Kapex.


« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 09:00 PM by antss »

Offline DrD

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Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2016, 05:02 PM »
What is good, what is better - wow, I rest my case.  Back to the handgun analogy where, by the way the gun in question actually costs more than a Kapex.  For what I needed, there were several which met most of the criteria, but only one met all, and that particular gun had a boat-load of haters, primarily because of its cost, but all kinds of negatives were expressed ranging from "it isn't reliable, wouldn't feed the ammo of my choice, the manufacturer wouldn't stand behind it," etc.  I bought it because it met my stated needs, and literally thousands of rounds later, nary a bobble - I couldn't be happier.
What is you need?  Is weight important, size, footprint, horizontal, vertical cutting capacity, lasers, reproducibility of settings, blade flex, blade run-out - actual kerf, and more?  Once you set forth your needs, you will find the one answer.  Buy what you need.  There are plenty of Kapex owners who are quite satisfied, and if you are in the USA, you have 30 days after your purchase to return it if you don't like it.  I cannot endorse the Kapex for you for I don't know your needs.  I can endorse the Kapex for my self, for just like my edc Kimber, it meets my needs.
Dr.D

Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 784
Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2016, 06:52 PM »
From discussing a mitresaw being unreliable to comparison to a handgun that's supposedly necessary to carry every day!  [doh] [doh]

Offline Johncarlo

  • Posts: 55
Re: KAPEX - Looking for positive reviews before purchasing
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2016, 09:04 PM »
As a contractor I have a ton of positive things to say about the Kapex paired with the stand. It's a joy to use. As with any tool there is always risks. In the end it's your money and you need to decide on the risk you are willing to take. Good luck with your choice. I think that's positive and will end this before I head in another direction!