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ian33a

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I realise that this has been written about on many occasions and I've done my best to read as many posts as I can while tying myself up in knots.

I've owned this Axminster AWSMS 102 for many years and, in so many ways, it does a decent job around the house and garden.

Getting older, and possibly wiser (possibly not), I have more time to do woodwork in my spare time now that I am retired.

My big project is to build an assembly bench and this is partly done. The problem is that it has opened my eyes to the myriad of excellent tools available. It has also made me more aware of the need for decent dust extraction.

I built this box around my mitre saw and it has a 100mm vent out the back via an Axminster ADE 1200. Less obvious, but just about in view, is a pipe which fits into the extraction port on the back and this goes to an NV750.

1619364166047.png


In use, it cuts fine (after a lot of calibration) but the dust extraction is hopeless - even being careful with how the saw blade is allowed to traverse the wood. I should run the overhead extractor and often do. I should wear a dust mask and sometimes do but ....

It's also difficult to get totally square and, heavens forbid how I would get along with a bevel cut.

So, I discovered that famous German green tool company and have been using and loving the TS55, rail track and the Domino - total game changers.

Naturally, my internet browser magically found its way to Kapex. Specifically the 120 EB.

I appreciate that for every lover of Kapex there is a hater - such is the way with the worldwide web.



I'd almost convinced myself to push the button and buy one - except that they are in very short supply, especially in 240v form in the UK.

I've no idea if they will come back any time soon or if, by placing a back order, they will turn up within a reasonable timeframe. Some suppliers say a couple of weeks, some say discontinued. Who knows ...

I'm nervous about buying a used one as I've no idea how hard a life it will have led and I'm not really sure if the three year warranty is transferrable.

I can see myself having to buy a dedicated dust extractor and it may start to get expensive with a 36mm hose and the extractor as the NV750 has to support most of the other tools as well.

So, I'm wondering if a different brand of saw will suffice and if the Kapex really is overkill for me?


What features do I need or would like?

The unit will remain in the workshop and will not go on site or in a van.

I guess I could buy a 240/110 transformer and then buy a 110v version of whatever (or I think I could) , perhaps I am mistaken?

It needs to have decent dust extraction - certainly a lot better than I currently have - I don't know if my AMS is hideously bad or if I have an inflated idea of what is possible these days.

I want to avoid radial arms where the arms extend out the back because it means that I need a huge volume of space behind the saw and I don't have a large workshop. The cabinet that I have built is massive and I want to get rid of it. I appreciate that this drastically reduces the choices of saw. This is one of the reasons why the Kapex is interesting.

It would be nice to have easy set bevelling but it's not that big a deal.

I do need accurate angle cuts which are easy to set and return back to 90 degrees without a need to recheck the setting over and over.

I love the single laser on the AMS and I love the thought of the double laser on the Kapex. Is it really as good as it appears to be? How good are the LED lights that some of the other manufacturers have instead?

I love the quick hold down clamp - or the idea of it. What I have with the screw down clamp on the AMS is OK, but its really not especially good.

I guess that, because my income doesn't rely upon speed as well as precision, I can afford to take a little longer to get the precision that I need so any design doesn't have to be super quick to change. Equally, I don't want something that takes forever as this will get frustrating.

Uses

at the moment, making the assembly bench. I'm hoping that once the bench is finished it will open up a load of other avenues for improving my woodwork. For sure, I'd like to think that I could move from rough and ready carpentry to something more refined. Building the bench has taught me how to use my router with jigs and in the table as well as using track saws, planer/thicknesser, the domino, pocket hole jigs, having decently sharp chisels for the first time ever and a host of other stuff. I see this as the start and who knows where it may lead?



Bottom line, I could afford the kapex and an extractor, if I could get one, but are there more suitable choices for me out there - which I may actually be able to buy and save some cash?

Sorry, long ramble. Thanks to those who have stayed until the end. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

thanks in advance.
 

TRITON

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No I'd opt for the kapex which has for some reason considerably better extraction than other miter saws.

Your set up above is far too open, and any dust is blown back through out the wide gaps. There are a number of vids on you tube showing miter enclosures with sliding sides to tighten up around it.

Incidentally a radial arm saw isnt the same as a sliding miter saw. RAS the arm is out the front, more an industrial machine.
 

Doug71

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I have a 240v Kapex with short 36mm hose and dedicated extractor. If you use the correct cutting technique the extraction is very good but it does drop off a bit once you start cutting mitres and bevels.

Like all Festool gear everything is well thought out and easy to use, the clamp and bevel setting are typical examples of this.

I don't use the laser on mine, nothing wrong with it I just don't use them, some people are of the opinion that the shadow line thing is better though.

Mine did require a little bit of adjustment to get spot on but has stayed accurate ever since.

One thing that some people do complain about on the Kapex is the trenching stop, the highest it can be set is something like 40mm off the bed so if you wanted to for example put a 20mm trench in some 70mm stock you would have to do it by eye as this would require the stop setting 50mm above the bed.

I have the ug stand and wings which are great for moving it around but sounds like you don't need that.
 

TRITON

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One thing that some people do complain about on the Kapex is the trenching stop, the highest it can be set is something like 40mm off the bed so if you wanted to for example put a 20mm trench in some 70mm stock you would have to do it by eye as this would require the stop setting 50mm above the bed.
I think more often than not the trenching is designed around cutting dados in board material for shelves and carcass construction
 

Roystanman

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Sorry but I know nothing about the kapex, but I did note you thought about other brands. I've just bought a makita ls1219 and can't fault it, the blade it came with leaves a smooth cut and it was fairly accurate out of the box. I would recommend this saw to anyone, a great piece of kit. Also because the head slides on the rails there's zero play at full blade travel.
 

Doug71

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Sorry but I know nothing about the kapex, but I did note you thought about other brands. I've just bought a makita ls1219 and can't fault it, the blade it came with leaves a smooth cut and it was fairly accurate out of the box. I would recommend this saw to anyone, a great piece of kit. Also because the head slides on the rails there's zero play at full blade travel.
As much as I love my Kapex when it dies (again 😂) I am not sure if I would get another or not. For the same price as the Kapex I could get a 240v 12" Makita ls1219 for the workshop and the Makita 36v 10" dls110z for the van (which I'm sure are both more than capable saws) making the Kapex hard to justify :unsure:
 

Peterm1000

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I just upgraded that exact saw to a Bosch GCM. Dust extraction is RADICALLY different and everything else is 100 times better as well... I say go for it
 

LJM

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My twin brother has a kapex in his professional workshop. He’s reasonably happy with it.

He had the same big old makita as me, and found it inaccurate. He found mine inaccurate too... however, I found both saws cut repeatably accurately.

So I conclude that with certain machines, technique comes into play, and it may be quite subtle in how your output is impacted.

Therefore I tend to ignore the outlying poor reviews of mitre saws. Though i do always try to buy from a reputable, local supplier, not least so I can take it back, should I happen to get a Friday afternoon turkey.

I can’t justify the Kapex. It will be the Makita ls1219 for me too, for its compact design and makita’s custom support.
 

clogs

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I'm still very happy with my DeWalt DW708, 305mm sliding chop saw.....tho no way D/W fan....
still as accurate as when bought new......nothing else made at the time that size.....must be over 20 years old now....
as for dust extraction mine hardly ever get used inside...wood is always to long...4m plus.....Dado rails, skirting and Cornice.....
Have some Festool stuff very good but totally overpriced......
Swop my mitre saw, nah......it's 110v...when the motor burns out it'll get the 240v version........
 

Nic Rhodes

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never regretted buying my Kapex and have both the van folding stand and the MFT stand for it now. It is accurate and the best bit for me is the dust extraction.
 

ian33a

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Thank you, everyone, for your replies.

I had several more pokes around on the web yesterday and found a couple of suppliers who claimed to have stock.

I called one of them this morning and was told that they have three. They are a Festool reseller and their price is competitive. I've ordered one.

I haven't bought a dedicated dust extractor for it as yet. Really, I want to buy something with a 35+mm nozzle size and a decent enough amount of suction as well as a power take off. I can get by with my 27mm NV750 initially.
 

TRITON

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Im actually still using my DW700. Old as the hills with capacity limited to 254xabout 60ish. But TBH im never really needed any more than that. Could do with more width, but most planks getting cut at either 1"or 2" hard/softwood but mostly its board material.
It's a good saw for only £199, and the cheapest ive seen it is £180. Currently fitted with a £175 80t blade, which probably the reason it cuts so well :LOL:
But blades aside, do most folk really need a 300mm saw costing £700+ ?
 

JobandKnock

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My Kapex is by far the easiest to use and most accurate mitre saw I have ever used, so I tend to use it for high end fur outs kitchens, etc. The mitre saw I use for a lot of structural and 1st fix work is actually an old Makita LS1016 (260mm double bevel SCMS) which frankly has seen better days, but is good enough for rough work. For more portable work where I am not dealing with large section timbers I use a deWalt DW777 (216mm single bevel SCMS) whilst I bought a 260mm 2x 18 volt Makita SCMS which I am yet to use seriously on any project. It is too big and heavy to be portable but at least it doesn't require mains power

Does this make me a mitre saw junkie?

Seriously, apart from the cordless saw each of the other three saws has a use, although they do overlap in function quite a bit. And in any case at the end of the current project the LS1016 will go on eBay for spares and maybe then the cordless will find it's niche. I have to say though, that apart from really easy to read scales, a brilliant and highly accurate bevel tilt mechanism and a really useful skirting board cutting facility the Kapex has the best dust extraction of any mitre saw I have ever used. The disappointment is with the extension tables, although the mobile cart is very good. But what a price! If it ever goes phut I'll probably have to fit a servo motor to make my money on it
 

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