Author Topic: Kapex 120 or Something Else?  (Read 3864 times)

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Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 39
Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:17 PM »
I know this topic has had lots of coverage but I would like to ask these questions.
I’d really like to own a Kapex (I like its features) and update my original Hitachi Sliding Compound Mitre Saw. After reading many posts on FOG about Kapex issues, I’m nervous about the purchase.
Should I look toward something else like a Bosch Axial Glide?
If I decide to go the Kapex route, should I only pay full price for new with a 3-year warranty in light of the issues, or… would it be foolish to consider what appears to be a good used one at approximately a 33% lower price with no receipt and no warranty?
(I've seen the posts about fixing an armature issue and I could handle that myself if necessary.)
Looking for advice from those who have travelled this road.
Rich

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6027
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 06:29 PM »
I’d keep my eyes open for a recon Kapex from Festool. They come up a lot. I know this fall Festool was selling them for either 30% or 40% off. They also come with a 1 year warranty. There were a couple of them available right before the holidays.

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 1037
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 07:30 PM »
Axial glide is great saw. I’m interested in new Makita.

Are you a professional? How do you reason $2k on questionable saw?
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1607
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 08:25 PM »
Something else.

I like the saw and already own it and any problems that result.  But if I were buying today, I would not care to own a saw with a documented history of motor issues the manufacturer hasn’t acknowledged or addressed.  Maybe they have addressed it in the new version they are releasing across the pond later this year?

Fixing it yourself is fine, however, it may become a yearly exercise and you’re still paying top dollar for the saw compared to the alternatives.
-Raj

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1269
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 08:34 PM »
I have one I purchased new and one I purchased reconditioned. Both are used daily, professionally. I have not had any real issues with either. Only Festool knows the actual failure rate.

Do keep in mind that 1/3 off also buys you 1/3 the warranty.
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Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 287
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 09:23 PM »
I bought a used Kapex with UG stand and extensions 3 years ago for $1600 USD.  In view of the motor issues that have arisen since I would expect to be able to find one used at a better price today.  I would not pay retail.

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 06:09 AM »
There are many accounts both good and bad about the Kapex. I’ve owned my Kapex for many years with zero problems. I had another brand before and had to drag that saw outdoors due to poor dust collection. The Kapex appealed to me because of its dust collection and being able to back it up against a wall. Over time, its ease of use and high accuracy impressed me. I am a manual reader, careful user, and am consistent in cleaning my tools at the end of the day.

If I was whacking 2x4 boards all day on a job site, I’d probably not buy a Kapex. If precision and great dust collection are important, a Kapex is a good choice.
Birdhunter

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 39
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 11:48 AM »
Thanks for the comments. It is a tough decision.
To @duburban 's and @kevinculle 's point, I think I can't bring myself to buying new. But like @harry_ and @RKA , I've read many posts from folks who very much like the saw and have had no real issues though they recognize the risks now. I really wish Festool would put this behind them. We'd all feel better about the tool and the company.
 
Like @Birdhunter, two of the features that attract me are proximity to the back wall and dust collection. This saw will be shop use about 90% of the time. I do hope I'd have better luck with it being in a controlled environment and I also think plugging it directly into a 20 amp circuit by itself, and not through the CT-26, may yield better motor life.

Good suggestion @Cheese about recon. I have not seen one on Recon but then I haven't been looking for it recently. I'll do that. I think you do still get the 3 year warranty, correct?

Thanks for the replies and your thoughts.
Rich

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 11:59 AM »
Apart from its superiority in precision and dust collection, the Kapex has the best hold-down design that actually makes you use it. All other hold-downs are clumsy and inconvenient, leaving many people to use their bare hand to hold their work (some dangerously or unknowingly too close to the blade). I wish it came with a pair, not just one of the clamps.

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 12:14 PM »
Good suggestion @Cheese about recon. I have not seen one on Recon but then I haven't been looking for it recently. I'll do that. I think you do still get the 3 year warranty, correct?

festoolrecon.com tools only come with a 1 year warranty.
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2019, 12:36 PM »
I have had one since 2010 without any issues.  I certainly have read every single post about Kapex issues.  If mine was stolen I would buy another in a split second.  But then I don't believe in buying used or repaired tools and would opt for a new one with the three year piece of mind value factored in.

That is just me and being consistent with how I treat all my tool purchases no matter what the cost.

Peter

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2019, 12:43 PM »
I’m looking into a Kapex purchase myself.  Is there a new version coming out in the US?
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Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 129
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2019, 01:27 PM »
My vote would be purchase it new from a local authorized dealer. 
You get to try it out first.  You get a 3 year warranty.  And you get local help if you need it.

That being said, I think there is a possibility of any power tool going bad.  Might as well go for the one you really want.
The Kapex has so many features and benefits that are unique to the saw.  It's really a treat to use.  I see most of the Festool items I have as something that makes the work more enjoyable to do and the potential for accurate, repeatable results.

I also think that's a good plan to power it off it's own circuit.  At first, I ran mine through the CT26 for convenience.  Then I noticed the saw changes pitch when the vacuum is on.  The lower power could be causing some of the motor issues.
Now I have a BT remote(thanks wifey) and I run the Kapex on it's own circuit.  Now it makes the sound of plenty of power. :)

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 01:43 PM »

Snip.

I also think that's a good plan to power it off it's own circuit. 

As of today, I have not come across a better solution than to use one of these with the Kapex, if the intention is to pair the tool and extractor: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=63013&cat=1,42401,72660

Auto dust collection and dual circuits (15 amp x 2) (the latter for the sake of peace of mind).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:02 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 01:48 PM »
Regarding a new US model Kapex, I’m just a Festool customer, but what I have observed in the past is that new Festool products seem to appear in Europe about a year before they are offered in the US.
Birdhunter

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 01:51 PM »
If I don’t power my Kapex through my Festool vac, how can I get the vac to come on when I start up the Kapex?
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 01:57 PM »
Snip.

But then I don't believe in buying used or repaired tools and would opt for a new one with the three year piece of mind value factored in.

That is just me and being consistent with how I treat all my tool purchases no matter what the cost.

Peter

For top-end (high-end, high cost?) and critical tools such as the tablesaw, domino joiner, etc. which will significantly affect the quality and results of my work, I only buy new, because I may not know if any cutting or performance issues were due to my skills or techniques or the machine if a second-hand machine was used. If my new Kapex is toasted, I know it is Festool's fault, not because of some pre-existing condition caused by the saw's previous owner.

This is also the same reason why I only buy brand new vehicles with full factory warranty. And every vehicle in my family is treated with care and regular maintenance (more or less in full compliance with what is given in the owner's manual).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:04 PM by ChuckM »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 02:00 PM »
If I don’t power my Kapex through my Festool vac, how can I get the vac to come on when I start up the Kapex?

Yes, such as using the iVac auto switch. The dust collector can be a dust extractor or a shop vac, which I use.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1269
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 03:50 PM »
Apart from its superiority in precision and dust collection, the Kapex has the best hold-down design that actually makes you use it. All other hold-downs are clumsy and inconvenient, leaving many people to use their bare hand to hold their work (some dangerously or unknowingly too close to the blade). I wish it came with a pair, not just one of the clamps.
You do not want to clamp both sides of a workpiece. Clamping on both sides can lead to the saw binding which, given its degrees of freedom and how you hold it, can cleanly break your hand/wrist/arm.

Seriously: never clamp on both sides of the blade.

While having two of the clamps might be handy (to having to transfer the included one over to the side you need it at) I understand why there is only one included - simply to keep people from using both at the same time.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2019, 06:12 PM »
My intention is to use one as a clamp for a stop block (swing arm type - source: popular woodworking, see image) and the other as a hold-down for the work at the same time. Right now, I have to use a F-clamp (usually on the right side of the blade) for the stop block.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 06:17 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Farming_Sawyer

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2019, 06:58 PM »
I was taking with a rep at my local festool dealer once day... He asked about my experience with the tools and what ones I might buy in the future. He asked if I might step up to a Kapex at some point.... I said when the issues are fixed.....

He was adamant that the "few" faulty saws are only a small percentage of total us sales and they always stand but the warranty... Many times over for some owners. An inconvenience for those of us who buy a tool to use it to make money, yes, for sure, but worth the extra price. Then he asked now I used my tools on the job. What sort of power did I have access to.... And stated that often they are finding the tools sent in for repair are getting to low a voltage or are being abused.

Now I don't know if that was the party line, or but covering. But three kapex owners present said that in daily usage over the past several years that never had an issue. And it certainly got me thinking about how I power my other tools on the job... How many miles of extension cord or distance from the panel is my outlet.   But definitely plug it into a CT, not some other device to turn on the extractor.... If any issue happen you want a clear festool provenance to the fault so the repair is on them, not you.
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Offline glass1

  • Posts: 518
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2019, 07:03 PM »
If running the kapex thru your ct than to main power is causing them to burnout than a recall is in order. The of 2200 which draws up to(operating term here up to... 18 amps) is not burning out when run thru our CT’s is it ?  The kapex draws up to ....13 amps. I have yet to ever see a kapex and ct trip a 15 amp breaker if nothing else is on it, therefore it’s not drawing more than 15 amps, put it to bed people.  I am on job sites all day long. Even if you ran the kapex and ct on separate breakers who would stop other carpenters and trades from plugging into one of your 2 breakers ? Happens all day long. Can you imagine hogging two breakers on a site to run your kapex and ct.  ridiculous.  All this talk is ignorant chatter.
Personally I see most people cutting with their chop boxes before the blade is up to speed and rarely checking to see that the speed control is maxed out for wood. Also Festool makes 12 tooth blade for ts saws yet no 40 tooth blade for kapex for general work. I still feel that there is an abnormal burnout rate for the kapex but if it’s because of our power than it’s on Festool to design tools for our power grid.  Just my 2 cents. If your offended or cannot handle my opinion So be it. Cheers

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1607
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2019, 07:59 PM »
One thing I wondered, if you have a voltage drop, either from a long extension cord or long run to the panel or variations in what the power company delivers, does the Kapex motor draw higher amps to maintain its output?  If it does, how long would it take for a typical circuit breaker to trip?  10 seconds or more?  Even a cut across a 2x10 is completed in less than that.  So would the on/off nature of the tool and very limited peak load times explain why breakers aren’t tripping, but it’s still enough to do damage to the motor?
-Raj

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 518
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2019, 08:18 PM »
..... again if so.... than a recall is in order. 

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1269
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2019, 08:25 PM »
If running the kapex thru your ct than to main power is causing them to burnout than a recall is in order. The of 2200 which draws up to(operating term here up to... 18 amps) is not burning out when run thru our CT’s is it ?  The kapex draws up to ....13 amps. I have yet to ever see a kapex and ct trip a 15 amp breaker if nothing else is on it, therefore it’s not drawing more than 15 amps, put it to bed people.  I am on job sites all day long. Even if you ran the kapex and ct on separate breakers who would stop other carpenters and trades from plugging into one of your 2 breakers ? Happens all day long. Can you imagine hogging two breakers on a site to run your kapex and ct.  ridiculous.  All this talk is ignorant chatter.
Personally I see most people cutting with their chop boxes before the blade is up to speed and rarely checking to see that the speed control is maxed out for wood. Also Festool makes 12 tooth blade for ts saws yet no 40 tooth blade for kapex for general work. I still feel that there is an abnormal burnout rate for the kapex but if it’s because of our power than it’s on Festool to design tools for our power grid.  Just my 2 cents. If your offended or cannot handle my opinion So be it. Cheers

I'll agree with you, with a caveat. I will not allow another tradesperson, or even my own guy(s) to put an air compressor on the same circuit as me.  I don't run leaky hoses, so random compressor starts are all but non existent for me. I may have a dozen different things plugged into my circuit, but I can only run them one at a time (+the CT). Go ahead, run off my outlet. Hook into one of my splits. Just not a compressor.

There are always at least 3 separate outlets/circuits. If not, I am on the phone to sparky as that is part of the 'site conditions' and electrician's rough.
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1607
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2019, 08:40 PM »
..... again if so.... than a recall is in order.

Not arguing the Festool has botched their response to this or could handle it differently.  Just asking if this could explain the issues and give users some control over the outcome.  I’m no electrician, EE or anything of the like.  I only know too many amps over too little wire = no bueno.
-Raj

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 518
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2019, 08:48 PM »
So... has anybody wondered why all these kapexes are burning up when plugged into the CT’s but the CT’s are not burning up ?  If there was not enough voltage should we not see lots of CT’s burning up too ? 

Offline harry_

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2019, 08:55 PM »
So... has anybody wondered why all these kapexes are burning up when plugged into the CT’s but the CT’s are not burning up ?  If there was not enough voltage should we not see lots of CT’s burning up too ?

One would think so.

No variable speed/load control circuitry? or maybe it has something to do with the saw being more than just a little under powered?
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6027
Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2019, 11:50 AM »
My intention is to use one as a clamp for a stop block (swing arm type - source: popular woodworking, see image) and the other as a hold-down for the work at the same time. Right now, I have to use a F-clamp (usually on the right side of the blade) for the stop block.

That's exactly what I use the 2nd clamp for when cutting multiple pieces of the same length.

Per Farming_Sawer's observation, I've also talked with the local Festool rep and he's very aware of the Kapex issue and has been personally involved in several of them. He also said Festool corporate was involved in trying to find a solution but that was at least 4-5 years ago.  [sad]

Seems like a simple problem to solve...start with the motor!!! [dead horse] 

I'm very interested if the new REB Kapex arrives with a different armature and field coil.  [smile]


Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex 120 or Something Else?
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2019, 12:20 PM »
I've used the stop block technique, butt you have to let the blade come to a complete stop before lifting the head or you will get a major kick back.
Birdhunter