Author Topic: Kapex Precision  (Read 4685 times)

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Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Kapex Precision
« on: November 02, 2017, 02:03 PM »
Hello. This is my first post, and my first Festool. After a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I recently ordered a Kapex (from Amazon, which is perhaps not the best idea.) The reason I chose a Kapex over various other saws is that I am strictly interested in a precision saw. Repeatability, ease of setting angles, etc. (I frankly would just buy a second table saw for cross cutting, but I don't have the room.) I don't care about the lasers, the dust system, the portability, etc. I am an artist who works in wood sometimes, not a contractor, so I really only about cutting precision.

My saw showed up, and it appeared to have been treated roughly by UPS, and possibly refurbished (lots of fingerprints, some sawdust). I called Festool to ask about condition, and they suggested I just return it for a replacement. The replacement arrived today. It appears to have been just as roughly treated (styrofoam in the box is broken into large pieces) and indeed the box was open, missing the plastic straps the first one had, and missing at least one small part (an allen key.)

Now to the question - all else aside, there seems to be considerable play in the saw head. It looks like, if I tried, a cut measured at 12" could be anywhere from 11 15/16 to 12 1/16. Obviously I am not going to try pushing the saw side to side as I use it, but it is definitely not that rigid. Doing work where 1/1000" matters, certainly when cutting a miter angle, applying perfectly angled pressure is less likely which will throw off cuts. This also looks like a recipe for kickback.

I asked the person at Festool if this was expected, and he said "no" which is why I ultimately returned the first one. This is my first miter saw, so perhaps I am expecting something that is not possible - but I expected there to be as little play as there is in my table saw fence. So is this endemic to this design? To this type of tool? Am I looking for something that simply does not exist? Thanks.

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Offline Upscale

  • Posts: 754
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 02:16 PM »
Highly suggest you return the second one too. And then, visit a Festool vendor where you can examine a Kapex in person to confirm that it's in good condition. Since all Festool products have the same price universally, it's to your advantage to see what you're buying. Of course, this is dependent on having a Festool dealer within traveling range.  ;D
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 02:18 PM by Upscale »

Online Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 03:08 PM »
Upscale is exactly correct. You are getting damaged goods. Return the saw and get one directly from a dealer.
Birdhunter

Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 03:59 PM »
Both packed up to go back. I must say, the fault here does not lie with either Amazon or UPS - Festool's packing for this saw is wholly inadequate to withstand shipping.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1453
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 04:35 PM »
I disagree that the packaging is not adequate.  Many of these saws go back to Festool for motor repairs and the shipping boxes seem to hold up quite well from the pics I've seen.  And UPS is the go to shipper for warranty work.

When you buy from Amazon it's sometimes pot luck as to who actually fulfills your order.  It might be a Bezos employee, or it might be a dealer and it might be from their warehouse or some other arrangement.

If you got an open box , especially a saw with dust and fingerprints - you definitely didn't get a factory fresh saw.  Again , this may or may not be caused by Amazon.   Think we can be pretty certain UPS didn't open the box and make a few cuts with it.  At any rate; Amazon will make it right.  You'll have to deal with the time and frustration though. I wouldn't try for a third strike. though.

Perhaps you should consider one of our forum members for your purchase.  Bob Marino  or Shane at ToolNut can help you out with a Kapex.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 04:39 PM by antss »

Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 04:43 PM »
An update - and an apology to Festool. I talked to them, and they said that when these ship to Amazon they are double boxed. So Amazon seems to have removed the outer box, which the Festool employee I spoke to indicated would be inadequate for UPS.

Yes, I have sleds and jigs. But there are times when the cost of a second saw is justified in order to avoid having to change blades and readjust the angle back and forth.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 04:59 PM »
When you end up getting your new Kapex, do be on the lookout for the laser adjusting hex key.  They have been known to work their way underneath the styrofoam between the styrofoam and the box.

Peter

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 06:09 PM »
In any sliding miter saw, even Festool's there will always be potential for play, especially when doing longer/wider cuts or if you're cutting a bevel.  But the tolerances on the Kapex are in my experience much tighter than on other sliding miter saws I've worked with (I have never used the Bosch glide, however).  Even if the saw cuts perfectly at 90, one thing you will definitely want to check is how much deflection there is when cutting an extreme bevel, like between 30-45 degrees.  My Kapex had a fair amount of deflection doing bevel cuts out of the box, and I ultimately sent mine in for service, which corrected the issue.

Hello. This is my first post, and my first Festool. After a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I recently ordered a Kapex (from Amazon, which is perhaps not the best idea.) The reason I chose a Kapex over various other saws is that I am strictly interested in a precision saw. Repeatability, ease of setting angles, etc. (I frankly would just buy a second table saw for cross cutting, but I don't have the room.) I don't care about the lasers, the dust system, the portability, etc. I am an artist who works in wood sometimes, not a contractor, so I really only about cutting precision.

My saw showed up, and it appeared to have been treated roughly by UPS, and possibly refurbished (lots of fingerprints, some sawdust). I called Festool to ask about condition, and they suggested I just return it for a replacement. The replacement arrived today. It appears to have been just as roughly treated (styrofoam in the box is broken into large pieces) and indeed the box was open, missing the plastic straps the first one had, and missing at least one small part (an allen key.)

Now to the question - all else aside, there seems to be considerable play in the saw head. It looks like, if I tried, a cut measured at 12" could be anywhere from 11 15/16 to 12 1/16. Obviously I am not going to try pushing the saw side to side as I use it, but it is definitely not that rigid. Doing work where 1/1000" matters, certainly when cutting a miter angle, applying perfectly angled pressure is less likely which will throw off cuts. This also looks like a recipe for kickback.

I asked the person at Festool if this was expected, and he said "no" which is why I ultimately returned the first one. This is my first miter saw, so perhaps I am expecting something that is not possible - but I expected there to be as little play as there is in my table saw fence. So is this endemic to this design? To this type of tool? Am I looking for something that simply does not exist? Thanks.
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Offline jobsworth

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 10:45 PM »
I suggest returning the saw to Amazon get your refund and then buy the saw from a online dealer who frequents this site such as Bob Marino, Aldo at InTouch, tool nut etc etc When even I order from one of the dealers who are active here, when I receive my order it’s packaged to withstand a nuke bomb.

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 449
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 11:15 PM »
I suggest returning the saw to Amazon get your refund and then buy the saw from a online dealer who frequents this site such as Bob Marino, Aldo at InTouch, tool nut etc etc When even I order from one of the dealers who are active here, when I receive my order it’s packaged to withstand a nuke bomb.
Yes ,all my orders have been very well packaged .
Charlie


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Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 483
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 07:12 AM »
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t buy tools online unless I know that I will never need support or service.  I develop relationships with brick and mortar vendors, so that if I have a problem, I simply bring the tool to the vendor and the problem is resolved.  This approach has never failed me.

I am not disparaging online vendors at all.  I simply need a quicker and less painless  solution than most online vendors can deliver.

As to your question regarding precision, I have found the Kapex to be very precise in almost all applications.  Severe bevels are generally the weak link for most saws because of that nasty thing called gravity.  If I can cut a bevel upright by setting the miter gauge, I do so.

As to your comment regarding precision to 1/1000”...I think your expectations are lofty.  A human hair averages about 3/1000” in diameter.  I checked runout on my Kapex and it is about 5/1000” (0.005”).  If you are experiencing a variance of +/- 1/16” then there is something dramatically wrong with the blade or the saw or both.  This variance equates to between 0.0625” and 0.125”.  I can’t even accept that error in a circular saw. If your cuts are consistently this bad, then the saw needs attention.

Good luck.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline Troutbum86

  • Posts: 8
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 10:05 PM »
I've order all my festool from Tool Nut and never had a problem with any shipping what so ever. Just my .02cent
Tool List: OF1400, MFT/3, DF500, EC125, LR32, TS55, CT36, Plus tons of accessories.

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 285
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Welcome. Amazon delivers to “Wolverton Mountain”? I buy from Bob Marino. Except for the KAL II, my recycle bin is filled after I unpack my order. I’ve also ordered from Toolnut, never had a problem.
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Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 03:44 AM »
In any sliding miter saw, even Festool's there will always be potential for play,

After returning the two Amazon saws, I finally picked up one of these from my local Woodcraft. It was in good shape, and everything appears pretty square out of the box. But like on the other ones, I can definitely move the head around.

Here is the second cut I made. It cut smoothly and easily - no weird force or anything. The ridge is 0.2mm - not a lot, but more than I'd expect from something this expensive. And having one's hand move, if allowed to, by 0.2mm does not seem unusual. Am I expecting too much to think the saw's rigidity should prevent this? Does this look unusual?



« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 03:46 AM by clifton clowers »

Offline TomGadwa1

  • Posts: 398
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 05:21 AM »
Make one smooth continuous motion while performing the cut. Any hesitation could cause that sleight ridge similar to when milling on a router table one needs to feed the stock with consistent speed and pressure. This will insure the best results!
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Online Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 05:47 AM »
I’ve seen something like this when the board I’m cutting is twisted or bowed and causes the saw blade to bind just before the end of the cut.

I’m sure there are flaws in technique that could cause the ridge.

I find a easy push of the blade without lateral force (force left or right) produces a smooth cut.

I read somewhere in the manual of an adjustment that can be made if the blade doesn’t cut all the way through the wood.

I also let the saw run for a few seconds before entering the wood. This lets the dust collector airflow build up. Let the saw blade come to a complete stop before lifting the head. This sharply reduces kickback.
Birdhunter

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 460
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 07:58 AM »
@clifton  Check if the back fences line up.

You could make and add some fences to them, like @Timtool did:

Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4945
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 12:33 PM »
Here is the second cut I made. It cut smoothly and easily - no weird force or anything. The ridge is 0.2mm - not a lot, but more than I'd expect from something this expensive. And having one's hand move, if allowed to, by 0.2mm does not seem unusual. Am I expecting too much to think the saw's rigidity should prevent this? Does this look unusual?

Absolutely...here's a shot of some 4/4 maple I just cut.

Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 01:45 AM »
I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. After testing it, I think it is not the right tool for me. Head play aside, there are a number of other design choices that make it unworkable for what I want. [sad]

Online Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 06:39 AM »
I would never want to argue your decision, but would greatly like to understand what you were trying to do that the Kapex wasn't right for.
Birdhunter

Offline smartins

  • Posts: 27
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 08:21 AM »
I'm not surprised, my OF1400 is also very loose in base bushings from day one. Probably I will redo bushings myself along with fixing some other things I don't like in this router.

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. After testing it, I think it is not the right tool for me. Head play aside, there are a number of other design choices that make it unworkable for what I want. [sad]

Offline clifton clowers

  • Posts: 6
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2018, 10:54 PM »
I would never want to argue your decision, but would greatly like to understand what you were trying to do that the Kapex wasn't right for.

Was not trying to be cryptic, but I know others really like this saw so I didn't want to be negative. Basically I am looking for a dedicated cross cutting station so I can use my table saw for ripping, and something else for cross cutting, angles, etc. And I was hoping I could find something where setting and resetting angles would be a lot less tedious than with the table saw that does both.

In order to use it this way I would need a way to set measurable and adjustable stops, but that really requires considerable external structure. That is both expensive and it requires space that I don't have.

Second there is really no good way to add a continuous/zero clearance fence - necessary for me as I cut a lot of very small pieces. I tried to use a piece of 1/2" MDF but the thickness interferes with the clamp. Thinner MDF is likely too flexible, and 9mm baltic birch is not of a consistent enough thickness.  And disposable fences are a must since every angle change would require a new one.

Finally, I am really disappointed with the included clamp - it feels like that old joke about the restaurant where the food is terrible, and the portions are so small. The fact that they did not include 2 clamps, and that they charge $90 for a second is bad enough. But the fact that the clamp has such poor holding strength is worse.

So all in all I think I would be $2500-3000 all in to do what I want. For less money, and possibly less space, I can use a nice sled in a dedicated second table saw and get better results. Having 2 table saws seems ridiculous in a basement shop, but it is the best solution I can come up with.

If I had a big investment in a Festool system, or if I was traveling to job sites to install built-ins, this would make a lot more sense. But for a home shop where it competes with a cabinet saw, it does not for me.

Online Birdhunter

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Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 05:42 AM »
Thanks for the explanation. I hope the 2nd table saw approach works to your satisfaction. I make a lot of very precise and complicated small boxes from precious woods. So, our needs are not too different.

I ended up with the Industrial Sawstop and the Kapex. The Industrial Sawstop is big, heavy, vibrationless, and pattern maker accurate. My shop is full of jigs for the table saw.

 I also make furniture and the Kapex shines in cutting long boards down to size. I’ve only used its complex miter cutting a couple of times.
Birdhunter

Offline Spiff

  • Posts: 110
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2018, 07:27 AM »
In any sliding miter saw, even Festool's there will always be potential for play,

After returning the two Amazon saws, I finally picked up one of these from my local Woodcraft. It was in good shape, and everything appears pretty square out of the box. But like on the other ones, I can definitely move the head around.

Here is the second cut I made. It cut smoothly and easily - no weird force or anything. The ridge is 0.2mm - not a lot, but more than I'd expect from something this expensive. And having one's hand move, if allowed to, by 0.2mm does not seem unusual. Am I expecting too much to think the saw's rigidity should prevent this? Does this look unusual?

(Attachment Link)

This is why I opt to use my MFT/3 for such cuts!  It is invariably flawless and can be set up for far greater accuracy.  Unless I'm cutting cornice (aka crown molding) I now find I have no need of a mitre saw.  My MFT does it all, and better.

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 879
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 07:58 AM »
I tried to use a piece of 1/2" MDF but the thickness interferes with the clamp.

If you remove the top of the clamp, open the body and remove the spring inside, you can reverse the clamp upright so that the small end is on the bottom, replace the spring and close the body. You can then add a 19mm zero clearance fence and use the clamp without it hitting the fence.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 617
Re: Kapex Precision
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2018, 11:05 AM »

Finally, I am really disappointed with the included clamp - it feels like that old joke about the restaurant where the food is terrible, and the portions are so small. The fact that they did not include 2 clamps, and that they charge $90 for a second is bad enough. But the fact that the clamp has such poor holding strength is worse.


#1 - I agree totally that for the price of the saw two clamps should have been included. $90 a piece is bad? Yes, it is from a consumer point of view but many Festool items are like that.

#2 - You probably are not using the clamp right if it does not give you a good holding strength. Here is how to use it properly to get the max holding strength:

Press down on the clamp bar head (green top) and continue to hold it with its foot hard against the workpiece when you turn the lever to lock the hold down clamp. When you let go, the clamp holds the workpiece tight to the bed.

The way shown at 5:08 in the above video is not the way I would set my clamp.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 11:15 AM by ChuckM »