Author Topic: Best Kapex review I've seen  (Read 3733 times)

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3724
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2017, 11:59 AM »
I have to agree with Gregor 100%.  [thumbs up]

I find it remarkable that the very first time the most powerful visual statement supporting the Kapex is presented on the FOG, the entire video has to be removed because of a small technical hiccup.

I'd think a warning in large red letters used as a header or footer for the video, or even a banner that is run during the video would be sufficient to warn the viewer that Festool does not condone the removal of guards or safety items when using their tools.  [2cents]

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Offline MarcV

  • Posts: 29
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2017, 02:13 PM »
If I had to guess the problems are due to people using extensions cords, not using good outlets, running the saw through the vacuums, and depriving the saw of the amps that it needs, which could lead to premature motor problems.

I hope none of these speculated reasons were what caused the Kapex problems we have seen in this Forum. Many mitre saws, not just Kapex, are used under such conditions in real life. I could not remember not using my Dewalt with an extension cord which was sold after I got the Kapex. That saw was at least 6 or 7 years old.

Is there a warning in the manual that says we should not use the Kapex with an extension cord? I have been using mine with an extension cord and will stop the practice if indeed the saw must be plugged directly into a wall socket.


I am just basing my speculation on a discussion I saw a while back on instagram. There is a Canadian Carpenter on their that goes by "toolaholic" that talks about amperage loss through extension cords and not optimal power outlets. This loss is magnified when powering the tool through the vacuum because the vacuum is pulling 10-13 amps to run and the Kapex is pulling 13 Amps at the same time. It doesn't mathematically make sense that a normal 15 amp circuit can supply this. It has to be starving the Kapex motor which could lead to premature motor death. I always thought it was odd that the CT vacuums state "To reduce risk of fire, only connect a tool rated 3.7 amperes maximum to this receptacle." To me that means that the Sanders and smaller tools are the only ones designed to be plugged directly into the vacuums. I am not a electrician nor am I an expert on motors so I look forward to responses from people that know much more than me.

Here is the Instagram link to the discussion for anyone interested: https://www.instagram.com/p/BElZK4OExFE/

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 479
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2017, 02:44 PM »
First let me state that I am not an electrician, so when it comes to the technical aspects of this subject, I rely on those who are.

In the Spring of 2016, I purchased a heavy duty 3-speed metal floor standing model electric fan.   I used it all through the summer to help keep my shop cool, and at times it ran constantly.  I can remember touching the back of the electric motor itself and found it very hot to the touch.  By the end of the summer, it no longer worked, although I could hear the motor trying to make revolutions, with a humming sound, and once by pushing on the blade I could get it to turn.   However after that, it would still hum, but could not turn.

When I investigated the consumer reviews of this fan, I came across someone who had the same problem, and it turned out to be the fact this fan can not be used with any extension cords.  In my case, I had used extension cords, all very heavy duty "yellow" cords, but still classified as extension cords.   Naturally, I then read the owners manual that had come with the fan, and sure enough, there was the extension cord warning.

Long story short, I replaced the fan and now only plug it into a direct plug.  While the fan motor will get warm, it never gets hot anymore, even after extended use on high speed.   My old fan got extremely hot, and just seized from the heat.  I just don't understand the science behind not being able to use an extension cord (even an expensive heavy duty cord), but there you have it!     
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | LS 130 EQ | Next  Purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 268
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2017, 03:20 PM »
Thanks both for sharing the stories.

Could any electricians or EE here please chime in on this?

I have been using my Kapex with the auto switch -- this kind: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=63013&cat=1,42401,72660 -- and the vacuum on an extension cord (15amp). I can use both switch cords in separate circuits if it is necessary.

I just checked the manual and found this:

Never use an extension cord that is damaged, including cuts, exposed wires, or bent/missing prongs. Damaged extension cords increase the risk of fire or electric shock.
► Use only extension cords rated for the purpose.
► Use only extension cords rated for the amperage of this tool and the length of the cord. Using too small of an extension cord can cause the cord to overheat.
Extension Cord Ratings
Cord Length
Size (AWG)
<25 Ft.
14
25-50 Ft.
12
50-100 Ft.
10
>100 Ft.
Not recommended

It appears the extension cord advice is about risk of fire or electric shock, but not about potential damage to the motor.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 03:23 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3023
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2017, 03:41 PM »
First let me state that I am not an electrician, so when it comes to the technical aspects of this subject, I rely on those who are.

In the Spring of 2016, I purchased a heavy duty 3-speed metal floor standing model electric fan.   I used it all through the summer to help keep my shop cool, and at times it ran constantly.  I can remember touching the back of the electric motor itself and found it very hot to the touch.  By the end of the summer, it no longer worked, although I could hear the motor trying to make revolutions, with a humming sound, and once by pushing on the blade I could get it to turn.   However after that, it would still hum, but could not turn.

When I investigated the consumer reviews of this fan, I came across someone who had the same problem, and it turned out to be the fact this fan can not be used with any extension cords.  In my case, I had used extension cords, all very heavy duty "yellow" cords, but still classified as extension cords.   Naturally, I then read the owners manual that had come with the fan, and sure enough, there was the extension cord warning.

Long story short, I replaced the fan and now only plug it into a direct plug.  While the fan motor will get warm, it never gets hot anymore, even after extended use on high speed.   My old fan got extremely hot, and just seized from the heat.  I just don't understand the science behind not being able to use an extension cord (even an expensive heavy duty cord), but there you have it!   

Here is a simpler alternative explanation, there wasn't enough oil in the bearings of that fan.
Back in the day if a motor used simple bronze bearings the manufacturer would include a convenient way to add oil to the bearing. If that wasn't practical they'd add a felt washer to the shaft that could hold a larger amount of oil to feed the bearing.

Just finished reassembling a fan that had to be dis-assembled in order to add oil to the bearing. Prior to re-oiling the symptoms matched your fan description.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 152
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2017, 03:48 PM »
If using the Kapex offsite fed from my CT26 I will only feed it either directly from a 20A 120V outlet or if an extension cord is needed I only use a 50' 12AWG heavy duty extension cord.  If a 20A circuit is not available I feed the Kapex from a separate 15A circuit than the CT26 and manually control the vac.  In my normal shop setting it is plugged directly into a 20A 120V outlet and chip collection is handled by a stationary dust collector.

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 479
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2017, 09:52 PM »
First let me state that I am not an electrician, so when it comes to the technical aspects of this subject, I rely on those who are.

In the Spring of 2016, I purchased a heavy duty 3-speed metal floor standing model electric fan.   I used it all through the summer to help keep my shop cool, and at times it ran constantly.  I can remember touching the back of the electric motor itself and found it very hot to the touch.  By the end of the summer, it no longer worked, although I could hear the motor trying to make revolutions, with a humming sound, and once by pushing on the blade I could get it to turn.   However after that, it would still hum, but could not turn.

When I investigated the consumer reviews of this fan, I came across someone who had the same problem, and it turned out to be the fact this fan can not be used with any extension cords.  In my case, I had used extension cords, all very heavy duty "yellow" cords, but still classified as extension cords.   Naturally, I then read the owners manual that had come with the fan, and sure enough, there was the extension cord warning.

Long story short, I replaced the fan and now only plug it into a direct plug.  While the fan motor will get warm, it never gets hot anymore, even after extended use on high speed.   My old fan got extremely hot, and just seized from the heat.  I just don't understand the science behind not being able to use an extension cord (even an expensive heavy duty cord), but there you have it!   

Here is a simpler alternative explanation, there wasn't enough oil in the bearings of that fan.
Back in the day if a motor used simple bronze bearings the manufacturer would include a convenient way to add oil to the bearing. If that wasn't practical they'd add a felt washer to the shaft that could hold a larger amount of oil to feed the bearing.

Just finished reassembling a fan that had to be dis-assembled in order to add oil to the bearing. Prior to re-oiling the symptoms matched your fan description.

Your scenario certainly matches the physical symptoms of my original fan.  The question is however, did the overheating of a new fan come from a lack of oil, or did the use of extension cords somehow create the overheating, which then burned off the oil that was there, that then led to the fan seizing?

I went and looked at my new fan (same model as the old), and sure enough, in raised letters, it explicitly states to not use extension cords, which i did  (that will teach me to just plug something in without reviewing the owners manual).  However, I still don't understand the reasoning or science behind the idea of an extension cord damaging an electrical motor (and this was an expensive heavy duty 20amp extension cord of no more than 25ft., I was using).   
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | LS 130 EQ | Next  Purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 582
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2017, 07:33 AM »
Your scenario certainly matches the physical symptoms of my original fan.  The question is however, did the overheating of a new fan come from a lack of oil, or did the use of extension cords somehow create the overheating, which then burned off the oil that was there, that then led to the fan seizing?

I went and looked at my new fan (same model as the old), and sure enough, in raised letters, it explicitly states to not use extension cords, which i did  (that will teach me to just plug something in without reviewing the owners manual).
However, I still don't understand the reasoning or science behind the idea of an extension cord damaging an electrical motor (and this was an expensive heavy duty 20amp extension cord of no more than 25ft., I was using).
If your extension cord consists of a thick enough (literally, not in the strange AWG sytem where a higher number equals less metal per meter) wire so it dosn't work as a space heater (or a lamp, in case you overdo it) and has a reasonable length there should be zero issues with using one.

The note about not using extension cords usually is to combat people who chain a whole bunch of them together (blissfully ignoring that each connector also introduces some resistance) or simply use a spooled up extension cord when they don't need the whole length.

http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html should answer your question about what will effectively reach your load.

I don't know the tolerances for power in the US - but where I live it's 230V +/– 10% so all machines should be able to digest anything between 207 and 253 volts without problems, one would need quite a long correctly (or a short way under-) dimensioned cord to pull the voltage down far enough to cause issues.

So a fan should not die because it's getting some% less V, I would more suspect that it's one of these:
  • One of the windings of the motor simply broke, turning it into an open circuit. Possible in case the field packet is badly made (not dipped so the wires can move individualy) and the machine was exposed to vibration. You can test for this (and the next) by measuring (unplug first!) the resistance of the motor windings.
  • One of the windings of the motor lost insulation, shorted and melted itself open. Same effect as before but with a detour of hearing *puff*, seeing smoke (and possibly a tripped breaker). See above for diagnosis.
  • Same as before, but it melted itself short-circuit. Same as before but should yield a consistently tripping breaker. See above for diagnosis.
  • Or it could be that vibration simply broke a soldered joint, so the power no longer arrives where it should be. A multimeter might answer this.
  • In case it's a 3-phase motor wired with a capacitor to work on a single-phase connection (many fans are, so they don't need brushes): most likely (as they, again, got the cheapest stuff they could source) the cap died so the magnetic field in the motor no longer turns but only oscillates - should be cheaply fixed by replacing the capacitor. You can test for this by manually spinning it without and with power (careful with your fingers in case it decides to start running), in the latter case you'll feel increased resistance against turning it.
  • In case the motor has brushes: possibly they're simple worn.
  • The bearings in it were the cheapest B-grades they could get so these simply gave up, increasing friction till the torque generated by the motor was no longer enough to overcome it. Could be easily tested by manually spinning the (unpowered) fan and, should you find unreasonable resistance, possibly fixed by replacing (or oiling) the bearings.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 07:37 AM by Gregor »

Offline James Biddle

  • Posts: 98
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2017, 09:38 PM »
I know that Seth has some other things going on and might not be able to visit and answer but I strongly suspect that the removal is because of modifications to the saw shown in the video including the removal of the manufacturer supplied blade guard as mentioned by others here in this thread.

Peter

So why leave the thread when no one can see the intent of the OP?

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 479
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2017, 09:46 PM »
Your scenario certainly matches the physical symptoms of my original fan.  The question is however, did the overheating of a new fan come from a lack of oil, or did the use of extension cords somehow create the overheating, which then burned off the oil that was there, that then led to the fan seizing?

I went and looked at my new fan (same model as the old), and sure enough, in raised letters, it explicitly states to not use extension cords, which i did  (that will teach me to just plug something in without reviewing the owners manual).
However, I still don't understand the reasoning or science behind the idea of an extension cord damaging an electrical motor (and this was an expensive heavy duty 20amp extension cord of no more than 25ft., I was using).
If your extension cord consists of a thick enough (literally, not in the strange AWG sytem where a higher number equals less metal per meter) wire so it dosn't work as a space heater (or a lamp, in case you overdo it) and has a reasonable length there should be zero issues with using one.

The note about not using extension cords usually is to combat people who chain a whole bunch of them together (blissfully ignoring that each connector also introduces some resistance) or simply use a spooled up extension cord when they don't need the whole length.

http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html should answer your question about what will effectively reach your load.

I don't know the tolerances for power in the US - but where I live it's 230V +/– 10% so all machines should be able to digest anything between 207 and 253 volts without problems, one would need quite a long correctly (or a short way under-) dimensioned cord to pull the voltage down far enough to cause issues.

So a fan should not die because it's getting some% less V, I would more suspect that it's one of these:
  • One of the windings of the motor simply broke, turning it into an open circuit. Possible in case the field packet is badly made (not dipped so the wires can move individualy) and the machine was exposed to vibration. You can test for this (and the next) by measuring (unplug first!) the resistance of the motor windings.
  • One of the windings of the motor lost insulation, shorted and melted itself open. Same effect as before but with a detour of hearing *puff*, seeing smoke (and possibly a tripped breaker). See above for diagnosis.
  • Same as before, but it melted itself short-circuit. Same as before but should yield a consistently tripping breaker. See above for diagnosis.
  • Or it could be that vibration simply broke a soldered joint, so the power no longer arrives where it should be. A multimeter might answer this.
  • In case it's a 3-phase motor wired with a capacitor to work on a single-phase connection (many fans are, so they don't need brushes): most likely (as they, again, got the cheapest stuff they could source) the cap died so the magnetic field in the motor no longer turns but only oscillates - should be cheaply fixed by replacing the capacitor. You can test for this by manually spinning it without and with power (careful with your fingers in case it decides to start running), in the latter case you'll feel increased resistance against turning it.
  • In case the motor has brushes: possibly they're simple worn.
  • The bearings in it were the cheapest B-grades they could get so these simply gave up, increasing friction till the torque generated by the motor was no longer enough to overcome it. Could be easily tested by manually spinning the (unpowered) fan and, should you find unreasonable resistance, possibly fixed by replacing (or oiling) the bearings.


Well, I asked for reasoning and science, and got it!  Thanks for the in-depth response!
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | LS 130 EQ | Next  Purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 362
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2017, 07:45 AM »
I recently sent my Kapex in for service due for armature failure. I asked for an FT tech to call me and I was called. I asked and was assured that the saw will function fine on a 15A circuit when run through the vacuum, so long as the motor is not “overloaded”.  When I asked how one would know if the motor was overloaded, the tech answered my question with a question: “What do you normally cut with the saw?”  I replied that I routinely cut 5/4 material, mostly poplar as the hardest; I allow the saw to achieve full RPM prior to engaging the material; and I avoid short burst repetitive cuts.  The tech said that I will be fine on 15A, but if possible I should seek out 20A.  I left it at that, but I have to say that advice leaves me scratching my head a bit.

If I can find a 20A circuit and use no more than a 25’ cord, that is my preference; otherwise I plug into the nearest 15A I can find.  When I inquired about the warning on the CT, the tech said that warning is placed there to limit the use of “other” tools in conjunction with the CT.  I don’t know enough about electricity to comment, but I think this rationale is more of a CYA for warrantee purposes regarding CT failure due to use of “other” tools.

Suffice to say, I have no intentions of running the saw and vacuum on independent power circuits based on the information I received from the FT tech.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 268
Re: Best Kapex review I've seen
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2017, 08:49 AM »
After following this thread, I decided to change the way I used my auto switch with the Kapex and the shop vac (http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=63013&cat=1,42401,72660)

To play safe, I now use the 15 to 30 amp set-up (shown on the right in the image below):

http://www.leevalley.com/en/images/item/Woodworking/Assorted/03J6210v1b.jpg
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 09:01 AM by ChuckM »