It doesn’t take an expert to recognize the grandeur of Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw. This device is packed with features. It is powerful yet nimble, destructive yet completely safe to use.
With a 1600-Watt motor, it provides multiple speed settings that can make good work of any wooden material that befalls it.
Of course, such features come at a hefty price. Buying this marvel of engineering can set you back almost 1500 bucks.
But is it really worth it?
We attempt to answer that very question in this Festool Kapex 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw review.
Key Features of The Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw
Rail Forward Design
At first glance, the most prominent feature is the side rail design. This is the unique selling proposition of the Festool Kapel 120 Miter Saw.
For professionals, contractors, and carpenters who work in tight-space will surely love this feature.
We’ve a tight-spaced workshop, so personally, we love this feature.
The rail forward design of the Kapex 120 Miter Saw means it has a compact footprint. This German-made saw also means you get higher precision.
This is our unbiased compliment.
Note: We’ve used German-made products for more than 20 years and are still working well.
But the first impression could be the saw head balancing issue.
As for full-length cutting, can the saw head maintain its center of gravity with zero offsets when sliding to the maximum?
Our feedback analysis from the users proved the results are nothing less than military precision. Quite impressive!
The Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw is not as heavy as it looks. It weighs only 47 pounds and, therefore, can be moved around easily in the workshop or on the jobsite.
When moving, you can lock down the head, which not only makes it smaller in size but also prevents any movement.
There are two handles which have been placed in such a way that the device is closer to you when you are moving it. This means it’ll be stable and you can move it safely.
Festool has upgraded the dust collection mechanism from the previous models. The new design allows the machine to gather dust much more effectively.
It lets the hose be secured properly, which removes the possibility of any accidental disconnects. The hose has an internal diameter of 27mm and an external diameter of 36mm.
The blade of the saw has a dust hood toward its rear end that directs 91% of the waste into the dust port. This is a very high percentage compared to similar products on the market.
One of the dust extractors we recommend is the Festool 574845 CT Mini I Hepa Bluetooth Dust Extractor. It’s a separate accessory, buy it if you can afford it.
Click to View: Festool 574845 CT Mini I Hepa Bluetooth Dust Extractor
The hood is adjustable and can be removed based on the need. It can be folded on itself if needed for more cutting space, or it can be completely removed if we wish to cut a large piece of wood.
We also found that the Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw’s dust collection performance improves a lot if you use a 36mm Festool hose and reduce the length to 6 feet.
Magnetic Electric Brake
The Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw has a powerful 1600-Watt motor that transfers its energy to the blade very efficiently.
It achieves this using a direct drive motor for an increasingly effective exchange of power to the blade.
The device also features a magnetic brake that allows the blade to slow down very quickly. The stopping time is certainly one for the record books at only 3 seconds.
The key factor to the magnetic stop is the magnet around the armature. We’ve no worry about a replacement since the magnet has no physical contact with the blade.
To make your life easier, you may need the Kapex stand to fully optimize the cutting tasks. There’s one stand we highly recommend to pair with this miter saw.
There is an improvement over the old stand, which featured a small V-shaped groove. Festool has re-engineered the design so that you are fully aware of the position of the clamp.
It is also very robust and easy to move, not to mention very aesthetically pleasing.
There is a downside, though. It takes more space than its predecessor. But the greater size allows for other advantages.
For instance, the CT Mini vacuum fits snugly underneath it. This is especially helpful as it gives you more working room and reduces your chances of tripping.
Do note the CT Mini vacuum is a separate accessory that is not included. It does a very efficient job in dust extraction and saves you time cleaning up the area at the end of the day. It can be bought together as a bundle if you can afford it.
This is a feature that is, surprisingly, overlooked a lot. Festool provides some great guarantees.
All of its tools have a 3-year wear-and-tear warranty and 2-day repair time. They also give a satisfaction guarantee for 1 month. If you are not happy within the first month, you are welcome to return the product.
This is a great feature. We personally know people who have benefited from this a lot. Festool also provides free brush replacement along with a trusted repair service.
Another feature that is worth mentioning is the dual-line laser. It is called dual-line because the laser projects a line on both sides of the blade.
This allows the handyman to have a clear idea of where to place the cut, so it is very helpful for gaining precision. The laser can be fine-tuned for accuracy.
A cool design aspect is the presence of spring-loaded shock absorbers for the laser. This ensures that the lasers don’t get damaged during transportation.
Also, we highly recommend maintaining the laser lens. Clean it from time to time to ensure high-quality performance.
People who have experienced using the Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw like its bevel adjustment. The mechanism for the adjustment is very smooth.
There is a counter spring that helps the saw head balance as you move the bevel. Even if you have not locked the saw head, it stays in its place.
As you can imagine, this will help you make those small adjustments very easily and accurately. Furthermore, the bevel scale is on both sides of the saw, which is just plain convenient.
Another helpful feature related to bevel is the lock knob. This helps secure the bevel angle and manage the positive detents.
It has three different modes: 0 to -45 degrees, ±45 degrees, and ±47 degrees.
Greater Cutting Capacity
This device gives you extended cutting capability. Imagine if you could get a twelve-inch cut with just a ten-inch blade.
Now, who would turn that down?
The way Kapex’s cutting works is that it has a special position, which allows the saw head to be locked, leading to a deeper cut at the fence.
By using the posterior part of the cutter more efficiently, the machine provides a larger cutting experience.
This can all be controlled by a lever. Using this feature, cut crown molding up to 6-5/8 inches in the nested position is easily achievable. No sweat!
The vertical cuts can give you a result of 4-3/4 inches by ¾ inches.
In short, the Festool 120 is a compact miter saw that rivals most of the sliding miter saws on the market.
This feature also comes with a base extension. Keep in mind that it is sold as a separate accessory. This device attaches to the Kapex Miter Saw on both the left and right sides.
The attachment happens due to a V-shaped groove as well as a lock knob that provides more support. This attachment is useful if you use the crown stop very often to cut crown molding up to 6-5/8 inches in the nested position (using the special cutting feature).
The Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw allows you to cut to some depth as well. We call it the ‘trenching ability.’
To do this, push the green lever forward and twist it to set your desired depth. You can use this function to cut all sorts of things like lap joints and kerfs.
The Festool Kapex Miter Saw has an optimum deck height. It’s the same as the height of the Systainer 1 storage container. This container can be utilized to give extra support to the material being cut, especially for long lumber.
If you’re a fan of Festool, high chance you’ve these containers in your shop and would find this feature helpful.
We’re not sure how helpful this feature would be for other people, but for the professionals and contractors, it’s extremely useful for the storage of tools and extra support for cutting when needed.
Who is The Festool Kapex 120 For?
It’s primarily aimed at professional carpenters and other types of woodworkers. It’s not made for casual hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts.
Buying this will set you back around 1500 bucks, so only serious woodworkers should consider it. For anyone else, it’s way too expensive.
If you’re a DIY hobbyist, we recommend you check out the compound miter saw for beginners and homeowners. You can find the best price-performance ratio miter saw on the market.
Or you may want a simple miter saw under $250, check out the page on the best budget miter saw for the money. You could literally find a simple miter saw under $200.
We’ve gone through the Festool Kapex 120 Miter Saw’s features in detail. There is no doubt that it’s packed with a lot of good stuff.
With a 1600-Watt motor, innovative dust collection mechanism, portability, and robustness, it’s without a doubt one of the best miter saws on the market.
But is it the best miter saw for you?
This is a serious piece of machinery with a huge price tag. If you’re a hobbyist, we don’t think you would get your money’s worth out of it.
In our opinion, you should only purchase this Festool 120 Miter Saw if you’re a professional who can reap its benefits frequently and for years to come.