Author Topic: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions  (Read 1262 times)

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Offline Corey P.

  • Posts: 16
New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« on: July 23, 2018, 02:11 PM »
Hey everyone!

New to the forum, but not really new to Festool as I've been using their tools for quite some time (Domino XL, CT DE, sanders), but I recently bought a new Kapex 120 and had a couple questions before my 30 days is up. 

First off, love the saw.  Though I had to return the first one, as the table was over a .10 out of wack on the extensions.  The replacement was dead flat.  Anyway, my biggest concern is how much the saw sounds like it's struggling through some cuts.  I work mostly with 8/4 hardwoods (exotics and domestic), and on a rare occasion 12 or 16/4 stock.  I was chopping up some White Ash lumber yesterday (5/4 12" width) and man, the saw sounded like it was really struggling to get through it.  I got a bit of chip out on the end of the cut, but nothing major.  I'm push cutting and going slow, but with all the talk of motor issues, this greatly concerns me, as Ash isn't super hard, compared to other stuff I work with.   I have the saw plugged into a 12/3 20 amp extension cord.  It's about 45 feet long, but well within spec, according to Festools website and manuals.  I'd plug directly into my CT Mini, but the warning on the front of the CT about the amperage draw worries me, so I avoid using it directly plugged in.   

My other concern is the brake makes a sort of odd noise as the saw powers down.  Not sure if it's particular to this saw, or if that's just the way it sounds/works. 

I've got a couple weeks left of my 30 day trial period, and I'm inclined to keep the saw, as it's been the best cutting saw out of CSMS I've had.  But any honest opinions about my intended use would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Corey

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Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 62
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 02:41 PM »
Hi Corey,

When you say the saw sounded like it was struggling, do you mean a grinding sound? Or was that the sound you heard when the brake was applied?

If you take a regular 2x12, does the cut feel much smoother?

I've been cutting 8/4 ash and white oak on my Kapex without any issues, but the biggest 8/4 or greater piece I've cut on it thus far did not exceed 10 inches in width.

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2336
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 02:56 PM »
My Kapex is a real veteran as I’ve had it for a number of years. I mostly cut exotics and other hardwood.

I just cut some 8/4 hard maple and had to ease the saw through the cut. The motor does have limits. I judge the cutting pressure by the sound of the motor. If the motor sounds like it’s laboring, I back off the pressure and let the motor come back to speed.

A sacrificial fence (see supplemental manual) greatly reduces my tearout. 

Also, be absolutely sure to let the blade come to a complete stop before lifting the head. I find the Kapex will throw the cut off at you if you lift the head with the blade spinning..
Birdhunter

Offline Peter Halle

  • Global Moderator
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  • Posts: 11528
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 04:02 PM »
If you are worried about the struggling sound then making several shallow cuts can help.  I was cutting some super wet pressure treated 2 x material the other day and I went to the multiple cut method.  I even did that carefully while making some cuts that aren't intended for the saw or the blade.

Peter

Offline Corey P.

  • Posts: 16
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 05:15 PM »
As for the struggling sound, its definitely a bogging down.  It didn't sound like it was going to die, but under a bit more stress than I was expecting.  My old DeWalt just chewed through whatever I threw at it, so I was expecting the Kapex to be the same, but seems I have to baby it a bit.  I could see doing shallow cuts on thicker stock, but 4/4 or 5/4 I would expect the machine to not have much trouble. 

The brake has almost a grinding sound to it, like a metal on metal sound?  I'll record it and post it here so you guys can get a better idea if I'm crazy or not, hah.

I'll make sure to keep in mind all of you suggestions.  Definitely need to make that sacrificial fence and the zero clearance insert. 

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 540
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2018, 09:09 PM »
Definitely need to make that sacrificial fence and the zero clearance insert.

Just a heads up, sacrificial fence will limit the width capacity. If you are cutting 12" often you may think about a fence that is easily removeable.
Mario

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 617
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2018, 09:21 PM »
Audio will help.

For zero clearance inserts, I use the Fastcap:

Just trim, peel and stick. Dirt cheap and you can replace it after making a non-square cut.

Works great on my Kapex.

P.S. Do you have a vendor located near you? If so, bring a sample board and make some cuts to see if the showroom Kapex performs like yours. It will help you decide if yours is a potential lemon.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 09:29 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Corey P.

  • Posts: 16
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2018, 12:49 PM »
Yeah, I purchased it from a dealer, as I didn't want to run the risk of getting a damaged unit through FedEx or UPS.  They do have a demo unit that looks like its been put through the paces for sure.  I'll ask them to fire it up so I can compare.  I'm thinking its just the sound it makes.  I wish I would have at least cut a few things with the first one, but the table was so far off, I didn't bother.  I just ran it straight back and returned it.

Ordered some of the Fastcap strips.  Thanks for the recommend!

Offline Corey P.

  • Posts: 16
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 09:37 PM »
Just an update, as I used the saw extensively this weekend.  Plugging straight into my 20 amp service seems to make a difference.  The saw didn't sound like it was struggling at all, as I was sizing up some 8/4 African mahogany.  So, that's good.  Yesterday, I was at the dealer I bought it from, so I asked to fire up the demo unit to hear the brake.  It sounds pretty much the same.  Mine might have a  bit more growl to it, but I think it's fine.  Those were my 2 biggest worries with the saw, so some piece of mind at least. 

I'm going to keep it and hope that it lasts as long as my ability to keep using it. 

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 785
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2018, 01:43 AM »
Just because I haven't seen anyone mention this yet and occasionally new Kapex users don't notice (which is completely understandable)....but the saw does have a speed control setting.  Make sure you're not set too low.   [cool]
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 540
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2018, 06:32 AM »
Just because I haven't seen anyone mention this yet and occasionally new Kapex users don't notice (which is completely understandable)....but the saw does have a speed control setting.  Make sure you're not set too low.   [cool]

@Corey P.
and also make sure you dig out the package. There is a tiny allen key to set the laser. Mine was burried into the foam part.
Mario

Offline Corey P.

  • Posts: 16
Re: New Kapex 120 owner, couple questions
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 01:35 PM »
Hah, yes, I know it has the speed setting :)  All my other Festool tools have them too, so I was primed to notice it. 

As for the tiny little allen wrench, it was poking out of the Styrofoam when I opened up the box, so I saw it right away.  Slightly odd that it's slapped in like that, but probably an add on part so put it where ever it fits.