Festool has announced a new cordless miter saw, KSC 60, a 36V saw that’s powered by dual 18V batteries.
The Festool KSC 60 is part of the Kapex miter saw family, which in the USA includes the corded AC-powered KS 120.
The Festool Kapex KSC 60 has a 216mm blade size (8-1/2″), and works with blades with a 30mm (1-3/16″) arbor hole diameter.
Festool is also launching a line of 216mm blades suited for different applications, ranging in price from $115 to $150.
- Universal Wood-Cutting (576927) – $115
- Fine Wood Cutting (576928) – $135
- Aluminum and Plastics (576929) – $140
- Laminates (576930) – $150
The cordless sliding miter saw has a maximum cutting capacity of 12″ for boards and panels up to 2-3/8″ thick.
Additional features include a 60° miter angle (left and right), and bevel angles up to 46° (right) and 47° (left).
Festool describes the saw as being suited for right or left-handed users, with a centrally-positioned handle and switch.
The saw comes with attachable “elevation feet” that bring its support table up to the same height as the included Systainer tool box. This allows the Systainer to be used as outfeed support when both it and the tool are placed on the floor.
The saw ships with a dust collection bag, saw blade, hold-down clamp, angle gauge, dual-port charger, 2x 18V 5.0Ah batteries, plus a Systainer tool box to hold all of the loose items.
It weighs 38.14 lbs, presumably tool-only, as the same figure is given for the two kits that come with and without batteries.
Price: $1298 for the kit (KAPEX KSC 60 EB 5,0 I-Plus), $999 for the tool-only kit (KSC 60 EB-Basic) which leaves out the batteries and charger.
Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Metabo HPT, and other professional tool brands all offer cordless miter saws with competitive cutting capacity and great runtime while being powered by a single Li-ion battery.
I suppose that an 18V x2 dual-battery 36V cordless miter saw is better than Festool not being able to offer their users any miter saw at all.
While I strongly prefer single battery handheld cordless power tools, dual batteries are more acceptable on benchtop tools and similar types of equipment.
The new Festool 216mm blades have a 30mm (1-3/16″) arbor hole, which implies that the saw has a 30mm motor shaft.
What this means is that you’re not going to be able to use off-the-shelf 8-1/2″ sliding miter saw blades with this saw.
Diablo’s 60T 8-1/2″ fine finish blade is priced at $46 at Amazon, and the Freud 48T fine finish 8-1/2″ sliding miter saw blade is $54 at Amazon. Festool’s 60T 8-1/2″ fine finish blade will be priced at $135.
I mention this because Festool advertises the saw as having a 8-1/2″ blade in some places, which I tend to interpret as 8-1/2″ x 5/8″. Freud and Diablo’s 8-1/2″ saw blades have a 5/8′ arbor hole.
Makita’s XGT cordless 8-1/2″ sliding miter saw works with blades that have a 5/8″ arbor hole.
Other brands do make 216 x 30mm blades, but the ones I’ve found only ship from Europe.
This is just something to take into account. Festool makes decent consumables, you’ll just have to stick with their blades or find another source for 216mm x 30mm sliding miter saw blades.
Blade compatibility and selection is always a concern with tools from European toolmakers. My first (and only) corded Festool track saw only has a metric cutting depth gauge. It’s something you get used to.
Here’s what Festool says about their new cordless miter saw’s dust collection:
Chip collection bag for dust-free work, even without a mobile dust extractor.
They also advertise it as being “healthier.”
From Festool’s promotional videos, the Kapex KSC 60 cordless miter saw still sprays fine sawdust around and behind the saw, just like other brands’ sliding miter saws.
This shouldn’t be surprising – dust bags usually collect some dust, but I’ve never seen any miter saw chip collection bags ever deliver “dust-free work.”
The saw also has a Festool-standard vacuum port.
Festool uses the words precise and precision no less than 27 times on their product page. The big question is if the Kapex KSC 60 delivers any better results compared to other brands’ cordless and sliding miter saws.
In other Festool News:
A few thoughts:
1) I like compact cordless miter saws but man this is expensive, even moreso when you factor in the proprietary blades. I don’t mind shelling out for premium saw blades–I even have a Forrest on my 7 1/4″ Dewalt–but they had better perform equal to their price, $100+ is far too expensive for a blade which is merely “decent”.
2) What is that object seen in the foreground of the 3rd photo? It appears to be seen again, folded up, below the dust collection bag in the kit contents photo. It also looks like it stores at the back of the saw in the final “healthier” photo. Some kind of miter gauge or angle tool?
3) Does this saw have a depth of cut adjustment so you can cut grooves and dadoes like the big Kapex and some other miter saws?
4) Those safety glasses don’t do any good if you have them on your hair like some kind of fashion statement!
That’s an angle finder tool. Festool’s had them for a while, and Craftsman included one with their Miter Mate saw that launched 13 years ago.
Let’s say you have a corner that’s 88° instead of 90°. If you measure the angle with a gauge, it splits the difference, and allows you to set the miter angle to 44° instead of 45°. Two adjoining pieces would then connect together at 88°, creating a gap-free miter.
You can do similar with an angle finder, e.g. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=starrett+angle+finder&tag=toolguyd-20 , but the design of the Festool gauge allows for the angle to be automatically split for setting a miter saw.
Bora looks to make something similar – https://www.amazon.com/530401-Duplicating-Duplicator-Measuring-Transfer/dp/B01J7KWMEA/?tag=toolguyd-20 .
The advantage is when you have an angle such as 88.42°. The gauge allows a miter angle to be set without having to figure out any math.
2) They don’t show any feature like that. Given that this is a much smaller saw, it might not be possible.
Sounds like it’s just a standard “angle divider” then? I’m familiar with the tool, they’ve been around for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve seen one included with a saw. Neat idea.
I’ve never seen the Festool in person, and am just going by how lookalike tools function.
Ha! Made me look again to see the safety glasses. Nice catch.
The systainer/outfeed support is a nifty trick. Working on the floor isn’t appealing, however.
It is a neat trick, I often use a piece of scrap material to support the end of a long piece if I have to work away from my workshop. But it only works on a very flat floor. If you’re working on dirt, a driveway, etc, you will probably find that the support needs to be a slightly different height than exactly the same as the base of the saw.
There seem to be several choices for 216mm – 30mm bore saw blades. Perhaps not up to Festool quality – but might do in a pinch if using the saw for cutting lumber that you don’t want to use a premium blade on. Here are 2 examples on Amazon:
I should have added that I have not looked at how the blade/tooth design on any of the 216mm/30mm bore saw blades that I see listed are likely to perform on a sliding miter saw. Some (perhaps all) may be optimized for use in a handheld circular saw and will not work as well in a slider.
The Bosch, and all of the other name brand blades I’ve seen on Amazon, need to be imported from the UK.
That second one is a name I don’t recognize from a 3rd party seller. Looking at their page, they’re based in the UK. They have a 2-4 week ETA unless you pay for expedited shipping.
If you need a blade in a punch, you’re out of luck.
It is is similar to what was true for other Festool saws plus ones from Mafell. Not surprisingly they have chosen blade sizes and saw arbors that are perhaps more common in Europe than in North America.
I was an early adopter for the Festool TS55 track saw. Its 160mm (about 6.299 inch) with 20mm arbor blade was almost exclusive to Festool back then. Then, as the saw became popular you could start finding blades from CMT. Forrest, Freud. Tenryu and others to fit it. Of course, with a track saw different blade kerfs might be an issue with your anti- splinter guards. If this new cordless Kapex becomes popular (I have serious doubts) then blade selection might get better. But as you note, it is an issue now and should be part of your buying and use decisions (you won’t be able to run to HD to get a replacement blade if you accidently throw a blade tooth.)
I’ve also noted that other track saw makers (like Makita and Milwaukee) have chosen 20mm arbors. That makes the 6.5-inch (165mm) blades with 5/8-inch bores, commonly used on many 6.5-inch circular saws, not useable. These maker’s logic might be meant to avoid user disappointment from using thicker kerf blades not optimized for cordless plunge saw use – or perhaps (more cynically) to help them sell more of their own blades.
I would consider festool blades to be premium. I have multiple TS55 blades and they are similarly priced.
I as well have a forrest chopmaster in my miter saw – they are now going for $200+ in our post-shutdown pricing world.
If they are more of a premium blade then the high price isn’t as big a deal. Forrest blades are costly but I find their performance is worth it. What rubs me the wrong way is when OEMs charge Forrest tier prices for a mid-tier blade. If that high priced blade is also high performance? That’s not much of a problem. At that point the only real issue is the lack of cheapo blades for “rough” work when you might not want to risk a pricey one but that’s a fairly minor gripe.
I haven’t been impressed with any of Festool’s cordless offerings of late – but I’m just a reader, not a user of their expensive tools.
It sure seems like there are some pretty nice and “precise” saw options from more mainstream brands these days. I appreciate that sometimes the details add up to a better experience than the on-paper specs, but there’s nothing jumping out at me as meriting the premium price tag.
I’m a Festool user, and I feel the same.
Festool is known for dust collection. How cool would it have been if they had been able to build on a cordless dust extractor motor that ran off the dual batteries? It would just pull air through into the dust bag like a vacuum. Seems like a good idea for a cordless circular saw and would be one of a kind as far as I know. Definitely a feat of engineering and would increase the price, but from where I’m standing, their price is high and doesn’t have anything to show for it. Lets see some ingenuity!
I feel the price is justified if the quality and precision is anything like the KS120.
When I first got my KS120 it made my Dewalt DWS780 seem like a piece of garbage, and I loved my Dewalt. I also really like the 10″ blade, in my opinion 12″ saws are overkill and way to heavy, especially for jobsite use.
The next trim project I get approved, I’m ordering the KSC60 and getting the cordless Midi to go with it. Its inevitable that when I get on site there are 3 other trades there and we are all sharing 2 circuits. It will be nice to be able to set up anywhere and not worry about power.
I’ll keep my KS120 in the shop.
I had a 10″ dewalt that couldn’t do wide planks or tall (standing) miters on crown. So I sold that for a Hitachi 12″ compound slider. While it can make a nice angle cut in a solid 6×6, I’ve come to dread how heavy and unreliable the cuts are (for more critical molding miters). I got it from CPOTools, and there was hidden shipping damage that hasn’t been the same, even after replacing a broken part.
I used my neighbor’s Dewalt portable mitersaw for some trim work last week. I think I can like a smaller, lighter, 7-8″ miter saw. But which one?
(I like Festool. But my wallet doesn’t).
I wish there was one I could try out (this Festool KSC60)
I’m glad tools are marketing the “healthy” angle because it’s certainly underappreciated how damaging many power tools can be, from excessive vibration causing nerve damage, to dust causing cancer, breathing difficulties, etc., to noise causing tinnitus to hearing loss, etc.
It’s not just the immediate danger of losing a finger or an eye but also the more hidden, long term implications that I find to be underappreciated.
I currently have a Kapex and have owned a couple of them. Honestly, the dust collection isn’t that much better than any other miter saw when hooked up to a vacuum.
There are of course, some saws SO poorly designed as to be nearly useless in dust collection even when hooked up to a vacuum (my recent Bosch cordless 10” is an example: nearly no difference in dust collection when hooked up to a vac vs. just using the bag – absolutely worst designed miter saw EVER made for a variety of reasons…)
The Makita 10” 18v X2 cordless 10” sliding mitersaw was probably the absolute best saw I’ve ever used in terms of dust collection, easily better than the Kapex and a match for it’s features and accuracy. It even had amazing passive dust collection – to the point where it would literally fill up a cloth dust collection “bin” scavenged from an old Bosch hand planer without any vacuum attached. Problem with the Makita, in addition to it’s heavy weight – the huge rotating table made it pretty much impossible to fabricate a crown molding fence stop like you can do for nearly every other saw made.
My Kapex has a stupid user safety trigger/heads lock interface that’s so clutzy, hard to use and prone to gumming up inside that I did a modification to it to make it less of a huge pain to make every cut, but aside from that, it’s a joy to use and the low weight is great and the UG stand /wing system is about as well designed as possible. I’d not suggest it’s worth the stupid $$$$ pricing for any of it, but at the prices I paid buying used, It’s about as good as it gets.
All those stories of the original Kapex saws going up in smoke – I wouldn’t even suggest buying a used Kapex that was older than a couple years old, but I bought mine from a guy for $550 who had sent it to Festool and paid them $500 to replace the motor. Due to the seemingly wimpy ass motors on it, I only use heavy gauge cords and never run it where there’s other large amp draw tools on the same circuit.
HOW many battery platforms has Festool introduced and then abandoned? Their stupid pricing and their lack of longevity in supporting a battery platform makes pretty much any of their battery tools a non-starter for me.
Good point about the necessity of effective dust collection. Have you seen Travis’s custom dust collection shrouds at his Shop Nation store? I put one on my Bosch GCM12SD and was astonished at the improvement. Hooked up to my CT26, very little dust escapes. I no longer need the plywood box I’d built around it.
I’m not affiliated with Travis, just a happy customer.
Regarding the KSC 60, while I’m a satisfied user of Festool’s corded tools (Dominos, track saws, sanders), I’ve not bought into their battery ecosystem. I thought this might be the tool to tempt me, but not at this price, and not when the upcoming cordless table saw will start at $2k.
I like the 8 1/2″ cordless miter saw. Why is it that Dewalt sells one in the UK, but not in the US? Seems like they are popping up everywhere except with Dewalt?
That is always a good question. They have a 10″ miter saw in the UK as well but you can’t get that one here in north America either. They have some tools which I can understand not being sold here, like the Alligator Saw DCS397, but the lack of these miter saws is odd.
Festool is a love or hate thing, like Google phones vs Apple.
One is limited by proprietary technology, works very well in what it does……the other can be readily customized or adapted to many uses.
We have the new corded Kapex at the shop and I despise using it .
I am 5’9 and it sets on a 30′ tall bench.
I have to raise my arm at uncomfortable height,press thumb safety as well as partially engaging trigger switch..but not too much where the motor starts, just to bring the blade to my mark.
If you pull trigger to far and it starts,you must wait till it stops or risk damage to your material.
The bevel handle is unique in that it holds it’s position until you rotate to the degree you need.
All other saws can be held in place with one hand ,while the other hand re-tightens at your preferred setting.
Our shop Festool corded lineup besides the Kapex……. has 9 sanders,domino 500,3 c26 midi’s,and the edgebander.
In 3 years I’ve sent off a total of 12 sanders for repair,age of tools is less than 6 years-brand new.
We have at least 2 to be sent in now,all but 1 Repair have been free…but slowly moving out of the warranty period.
Now onto their cordless,with 3-7 18v battery systems, it is a lot of money for batteries.
They are a good tool company with aging technology and rising prices.
Besides the domino, every other tool has it’s equal or better in the marketplace..either better prices ,or better technology.