The Festool Kapex KS 120 REB miter saw is one of the more high quality options out there. It features dual bevel, sliding action and several other features that make it a pleasure to use. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Cutting Power & Motor
This miter saw has very smooth cutting power with variable speed capabilities to help match up blade speed with the materials you are cutting through. It’s powered by a 13 amp motor and the variable speeds range from 1,400 to 3,600 RPM (no load). The motor is a brushed motor and it sits up near the blade. There is a soft-start feature to reduce torque when powering the saw on.
This saw includes a 10-1/4 inch, 60T carbide tipped blade and can use any 10-1/4 inch saw blade with a 5/8 inch arbor. The included blade is actually quite good and people don’t exactly feel the need to upgrade the blade right away.
The variable speed is adjusted with a wheel on the top of the unit and has the following recommendations for settings labeled right on the casing: Wood 3-6, Plastic 3-5, Fiber materials 1-3, Aluminum and non-ferrous profiles 3-6.
This saw can make very quick work of cutting trim such as base boards and crown molding with smooth, clean and accurate cuts.
The cutting capacities of this saw are as follows:
Key Moldings / Positioning
Maximum Height x Width
Base Board Vertically
4-3/4″ x 2-1/4″
Miter / Bevel
Maximum Height x Width
3-1/2″ × 12-1/64″
3-1/2″ × 8-1/2″
0°/ 45° (Left)
2-3/16″ × 12-1/64″
0°/ 45° (Right)
2-3/16″ × 8-1/2″
45°/ 45° (Left)
1-3/8″ × 8-1/2″
45°/ 45° (Right)
1-1/8″ x 8-1/2″ or 1-11/16″ x 7-3/4″
This saw has pretty good cutting capacity but it’s not quite as large as some 12 inch saws can do. The 120 mode works great to create more vertical cutting capacity behind the blade. It allows you to lock the blade into a position that gives it some more vertical downward range.
The miter on this saw works very well and it’s easy to make accurate adjustments. The miter ranges from 0-50 degrees on the left and 0-60 degrees on the right. There are positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45 degrees on both sides with an additional stop at 60 degrees on the right.
The miter is adjusted by pulling the clamp lever on the end of the handle upwards. You can then release from the stops by pressing the stop latch downwards. Once you find a new miter position, you simple press the clamp lever back down.
The miter action works smoothly on this saw and the adjustments are true. There is no slop in the positive stops. The miter can be easily calibrated as well, so if it’s not accurate it can be quickly adjusted to be accurate. The miter scale plate can also be removed or replaced.
This is a dual bevel miter saw and it can tilt the blade to both the left and right. The bevel capacity is 47 degrees on both sides. The bevel works pretty slick on this saw and is very accurate.
There is a selector switch at the top of the backside that has three positions. The first position allows the bevel to move between 0-45 degrees. The second position allows you to additionally move the bevel to the right up to 45 degrees. The third position allows you to move the bevel up to 47 degrees in both directions.
The bevel scale is positioned in a way that it’s actually pretty easy to see when making adjustments, which is great. The bevel scale and pointer can also be easily calibrated. The clamp on the bevel is also very smooth. Once the bevel is locked, you can use the knob on the end of the pole on the right side to make fine-tuned adjustments. This fine-tuning knob is awesome and is a very welcome feature, making is easy to confidently set the bevel angle without fighting the weight of the blade or the main bevel clamp.
This saw has a very nice sliding system and it is one of the more precise options on the market. It uses two guide rods, positioned on the left and right sides of the blade, on which the saw blade housing slides back and forth.
The slide can be locked into any position using a knob near the back of the right guide rod. This can be useful for positioning the blade for chop cuts or for holding the slide in place during transport. The sliding action will work best over the long term if you keep the guide rods clean and lubricate them every once in a while.
The sliding feature is something you’ll want to test right away to make sure the cutting path is straight and square. Some people have had issues, but it seems to be more of an out-of-the-box issues with new units rather than something that crops up over time.
This saw features a depth stop that can be used to stop the blade at specific heights. This can be used for making cuts that don’t go all the way through the materials. This feature is pretty simple on this saw and it’s implemented in a way where it doesn’t take up much space, is easy to reach and easy to adjust.
Dual Laser Beam
This saw includes a dual laser beam that allows you to see where both sides of the blade will contact with the material at the same time. This is much better than that saws that only have one laser beam on the left and right, both for efficiency and for accuracy. You won’t need to take the time to change the laser from left to right between cuts. You will also be able to mostly set it and forget it after making the initial adjustments during setup.
Cutting Table & Fence
This saw has a smaller yet functional cutting table that is made from aluminum. There is enough room to support any materials that fall within this saws cutting capacity range. There are extensions that pull out on both sides if need more support for longer materials. The extensions also are shaped to provide a handle when lifting this saw. The base of the table has mounting holes on the four corners for mounting to a workbench.
The fence is a two piece design with sliding upper extensions on the top of both sides that can be fully removed or locked into any sliding position. They can be moved out of the way easily for bevel cuts and being able to fully remove them is also handy if you don’t need the extra fence height. There’s not much to say about the fence other than that it just works.
There is also an included clamp that can be positioned on either the left or right side of the table. It sits in a slot behind the fence and can be rotated over the fence when in use. It’s not as cheaply made or implemented as some other miter saws. It works well and the clamping action is quick, which helps to encourage people to use it.
Handling & Safety
This saw handles well and it’s designed with an ambidextrous handle. The knobs for various features are easy to reach and your hands won’t really ever need to go near the blade unless you are changing the blade.
The blade guard works well and gets out of they way just enough to properly see the blade on the material during cuts. Otherwise the blade is almost always covered.
The power trigger is located inside the handle grip. There is a safety button that needs to be pressed along with the power trigger to turn the saw on. Release the trigger to turn it off.
The blade brake also helps to stop the blade more quickly which is better for both safety and efficient cutting.
Overall, this is a very safe saw to use as long as you are taking typical safety precautions.
The dust collection on this saw is decent with the dust bag and even better with a dust collection system. There is a dust collection scoop right behind the blade that seems to be positioned well enough and sized just right to collect most of the sawdust as it comes off the blade. The dust bag will actually collect dust fairly well on this saw, but it will still leave some dust for cleanup around the saw. A vacuum system does even better since it’s incorporating some suction, but it will still not be perfect. As far as dust collection on miter saws goes, this is one of the better ones.
The dust port on this saw can fit hoses or adapters with a diameter of 1-7/16″ or 1-1/16″. The larger size is preferable since it will fit on the outside of the dust port and reduce potential clogging.
Build quality is one of this saws strongest points. Festool has a reputation for well built and precise tools, and that’s what you’ll find here. There is a good mix of metal and plastic on these saws. The plastic is mostly in the casing, knobs and switches. The plastic switches could potentially have issues with breakage, but Festool has a great warranty and service coverage in case anything does break. Overall, this saw has great fit and finish with all of its features and parts and things hold up well when it’s put to work.
This isn’t exactly designed to be the most portable miter saw, but it’s not the worst to haul around either. There are handles built into the left and right sides of the base to make it a little easier to pick up. The blade height can be lowered and locked and the sliding action can be locked for transport. It weight about 51 lbs, so it might be a little heavy for one person depending on the individual, but it’s very easy to move around with two people. If you need to haul this to a job site, it’s no problem as long as you can lift 50 lbs. Most people will probably leave it sitting in a shop though.
This saw comes with some nice accessories. Here’s what’s included:
- Miter saw
- 10-1/4 inch 60T Carbide-Tipped Blade
- Angle transfer device
- Vertical clamp
The angle transfer device is a slick tool and a very nice accessory to include. It can be used to quickly measure corner angles and then placed on the cutting table to help align the blade to match the angle.
Setup & Assembly
There’s a fair bit to setup on this saw when you unbox it. The manual is pretty good and has good descriptions of the features along with diagrams.
Many people find that their saw is perfectly aligned out of the box, however not all units should be expected to be delivered as such. You will want to take time to check all calibration points and flatness of the table and fence. It’s also good to test the miter and bevel stops and generally try to not leave any feature untested, just in case.
You should expect to spend up to an hour going through initial setup with this saw before putting it to use.
Festool offers a 3 year warranty that includes wear and tear on your tool. This is pretty great. Along with their warranty you also get shipping covered when sending your saw into a service center. They have a 2 day turnaround when sending in tools for service. They don’t have many service centers around the country, so depending on where you’re located you may need to wait a while for the saw to travel when shipped.
- Excellent miter and bevel action
- Very precise all around
- Decent cutting capacity for it’s size
- 120 cutting position for more vertical cutting capacity
- Good cutting power and variable speed
- Excellent fit and finish
- Quality accessories
- Dual laser
- Dust collection is decent
- No dust bag included
- Smaller cutting capacity than some cheaper 12 inch saws
1,400 – 3,600 RPM
19.8″ x 22.84″ x 29.41″
The Festool Kapex KS 120 REB miter saw is expensive but it could be worth it if you want a higher level of quality and service support. The fit and finish as well as accuracy on this saw are better than most other miter saws we’ve looked at. This saw makes it’s user feel very confident in the cuts they are making, and it delivers with it’s results. Most people that own this saw are very happy with it and with the service support they get from Festool.