Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw Review
What’s NEW on the Festool KAPEX KS 120 REB?
Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw
Model number: Ks 120 REB
Power source: 110 V 1600 Watt
Motor size: 1600 Watt Direct Drive
Weight: 47 lbs
At a cost of $1500 many Pros just shake their heads. Lots of guys I know say that Festool pieces are well designed, for sure, but the advantages of the tools themselves don’t justify the price.
Do You Buy Cheap – Or Invest In Your Tools?
Well If you’re a Pro contractor you need to start looking at your tools as an investment… I’ve had my Kapex for at least 8 maybe 10 years. When you amortize that this over 8 years that $187 a year or $150 at 10 years.
Do I use a Kapex daily? Hell no, most of the time, we’re a cordless Jobsite, and my guys use my stuff. Similar to my preferred pickup truck, I prefer to drive a Chevy at the Jobsite and a Mercedes at home… to be clear, I don’t own a Mercedes, wish I did.
My point is, I use the Kapex [Mercedes] where it best fits in what I do. It lives in my shop where we build mantles, bookcases and finish components where real precision carpentry matters. I would NOT want to subject my Kapex to the job-site abuse my cordless “Chevy” miter saw endures.
Then there are others who perform such high-quality carpentry that they want/need a Kapex on their site – that’s cool too! Well now that you understand how I view the Festool Kapex, let’s talk about what s new with the Kapex REB.
What Was Updated – Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw?
Alright buckle your seat-belt for these changes, some of them are pretty cool!
Larger Extension Tables
To start Festool upgraded the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw slide-out extension tables, making their footprint bigger and better stability. They also put the MiterFast finder at the rear of the tool. The MiterFast makes the transfer of inside and outside angles from the workpiece to the saw quick and easy without complex angle calculations.
Dust Collection – Locking Hose Connection
Festool plans to make this upgrade on all their dust ports moving forward. The new connection is effective at collecting dust and now allows the hose to lock in place and prevent accidental disconnects. The hose port accommodates 27mm inside diameter and 36 mm outside diameter.
The flexible and removable rubber dust hood to the rear of the blade deflects waste material into the directional dust port for best-in-class 92% efficiency. We liked that you can either completely remove this hood when cutting larger material or simply fold it back on itself to create more clearance.
When you consider this locking hose connection and the already existing Kapex rubber dust hood you have a winning combination. The rubber dust hood directs the ejection of sawdust from the blade into the dust collection port.
Pro Tip – We found that the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw has the best dust extraction when you cut/shorten your hose length to 6 feet and use a 36mm Festool hose.
Magnetic Electronic Brake
The 1,600-Watt motor in the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw utilizes a direct drive for a more efficient transfer of energy to the blade. The motor also has a magnetic brake to reduce the time needed for the blade to spin down. The electric brake that will stop the blade within 3-seconds. This brake has a magnet around the armature, there are no contact points, and will not wear down over time.
New Kapex Stand
So, the old Kapex stand worked with a little v-groove. The new stand redesigned this groove so you know exactly where the clamp goes. The stand design is sturdy, super maneuverable, and kinda cool looking but it does take up some space in the trailer.
One cool thing about the stand is that the CT Mini vacuum fits perfectly underneath it. This saves space and reduces s trip hazards.
Not New – But Festool Appreciated
Some of the features that we’ve all come to love the Kapex for still remain. Here are a few that I like:
Festool Warranty – Often Overlooked
All Festool power tools include a 3-year wear-and-tear warranty, 2-day standard repair time, and 1-month satisfaction guarantee.
This means they replace brushes for free, address wear and tear issues, and fix the tool no matter what. When you think about this- it’s a Pro warranty, not a DIY approach!
Kapex Rail Forward Design
The Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw features a rail forward design that increases precision and creates a compact footprint. With a rail-forward design, the Kpaex REB can be placed against a wall for all cutting tasks, maximizing the workspace. The rails are 30 mm in diameter and wide apart. They were redesigned to further reduce deflection and head play, especially when tilted to a 45-degree bevel. The rail forward design has long been a favorite in the shop and in tight working locations, like up against a wall. It also assists when transporting or storing the saw.
The Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw weighs (47 pounds) allowing the Kapex REB easy to move around the job site. The Kapex’s headlocks down making it compact and preventing head movement. A two-handle location keeps the Kapex REB close to your center of gravity which allows for a safer way to carry the saw.
Kapex Counter Spring Balanced Bevel
When using the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw, I couldn’t help but appreciate the bevel adjustment. When adjusting the bevel on the Kapex REB a counter spring balances the saw head. This keeps the saw head in position even when it is not locked in place. This makes dialing in a micro-bevel angle adjustment easier and more accurate. Bevel gauges are on both sides of the saw for quick, easy reference.
Kapex Bevel Lock Knob
Since we’re talking about bevels, it’s hard to overlook the Kapex REB “Bevel Lock Knob.” The knob conveniently located on the top of the Kapex REB to control the bevel positive detents and to lock the bevel angle.
The bevel knob has three settings: positive detents at 0 and -45 degrees, free movement between -45 and +45 degrees and free movement up to 47 degrees. Bevels can be made to the left or right and the bevel gauge appears on both sides of the saw. You DO need to remove the fence in order to achieve a 45-degree bevel – man I wish that weren’t necessary.
Special Cutting Position
If I said you can have a 12” miter saw in a 10” blade would you take it?
One thing I learned about the Kapex REB is that it has a “special cutting position” that, locks the saw head in and allows a deeper cut at the fence. When employed, it provides greater than usual cutting capacity by utilizing the back portion of the blade more effectively. A lever controls these features and allows you to cut crown molding up to 6-5/8″ in the nested position and vertical cuts 4-3/4″ x 3/4″
Crown Stop with Base Extension
Sold as an optional accessory, the Crown Stop with Base Extension (494 369) attaches to the left and right of the Kapex using a V-Groove and locking knob providing additional support surface and aiding in the utilization of the special cut position. The crown stop allows the Kapex to be used in the special cutting position to cut crown molding up to 6-5/8″ in the nested position.
Festool Dual-line lasers
A favorite feature of ours is the dual-line laser. The laser is adjustable and projects a dual-line to either side of the blade to accurately define the cut area for precise cut placement.
This laser has spring-loaded carriages inside the tool that protect the laser during transport. One tip that a lot of folks don’t know is that the laser lens can be cleaned over time for better visibility.
One feature on the that I’ve always appreciated and I’m sure is no coincidence is that the deck height of the Kapex matches the height of our Systainer 1 storage container. That means I can use one or more Systainers to support material being cut.
Kapex Trenching [Kerf Cutting] Capability
Another unique feature of the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw is a special trenching capability. Simply flip the green trenching lever forward, and a twist to set cut depth. These features can be used to cut kerfs and trenches to create lap joints, dados or bend the board.
We think the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB makes sense for contractors looking for t should make this saw the number one for a miter saw functionality.
Festool Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw
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Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Video Review
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For many years I have held off on buying this saw because of all the reports of motor failures. In this model they have addressed that and redesigned it for longer life. This is the most important reason why I am going to buy the saw. At this price point motor failure should not be an issue.
I’ve had a Kapex, never again. I have a lot of Festool tools and the Kapex is the only one that failed me. Just out of warranty, the motor died. No help from Festool other then to send it back to them. I will say that even broken, they have some value. I was able to sell it for $ 300.
Thank you for review of the updates – I’ve taken my current saw to the limit and am looking forward to working with this one.
Quick question: Does the Festool Kapex have a ‘soft start’? My current saw does not and it’s a drawback. If the Kapex doesn’t – how would you describe the initial start-up?
Yes, Festool Kapex have a cool soft- start and a (soft) electric brake (stop the blade within 3 second)
As the owner of several Festool products, I was extremely disappointed to hear from Festool service that they were going to charge me $462 to repair the motor on my Kapex KS 120. This is one of three miter saws that I own and the only one that has ever required repairs and the other non-Festool saws are 17 -20 years old. This saw has been used lightly, always on a 10ga cord (not thru Festool dust vac) and always had sharp blades installed yet it failed and Festool would not stand behind their product. I love the saw’s capabilities and adjustability and I had nothing bad to say about any of my Festool products until the Kapex motor failed. Check the reviews of the Kapex saw on third party sites and you will find numerous documented cases of motor failure.
BUYER BEWARE – this is an expensive saw that will require repairs that cost more than alternative miter saws cost to purchase new. I would wait to purchase the new model until others (who can afford the exorbitant repairs) have used it long enough to determine if the motor flaw has been corrected.
I see that Festool claims to have improved the motor (acknowledging problem with prior model) but they also said there was no problem with the original model.