June 15, 2023

Miter Saw Upgrade

I have had a couple of months with my new KSC 60 EB cordless miter saw from Festool. I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised. Prior to owning this saw, I did not see a need for a cordless miter saw, being that I own a small 7 ½” Makita LS0714, which is light, accurate, and trusty. My thoughts were that if I needed a miter saw, I would have access to electricity, and plugging in the tool would not be a nuisance or bother. What I had not considered is how nice it would be to bring my workpiece out to the bumper of my truck to make one or two cuts without having to lug my saw inside or to an area of the home that had power. Unfortunately for my old Makita, it has officially been replaced!

When I received the saw and unpackaged it, I immediately checked it for flat, square, and general accuracy. I am pleased to say that it required almost no adjustment. There is nothing worse than purchasing a saw, and then having to spend countless frustrating hours making adjustments to get it to cut accurately. The deck is flat, the fence is flat and square, and the miter/bevel adjustments and detents are solid and accurate. I had not realized how loose my old Makita had become until I got my hands on this new saw. I guess that is why I never really used it much anymore. The LS0714 spent most of its days sitting in my truck unless I had a very small job or was running shoe moulding or quarteround on a project that was almost at completion. 

As far as power goes, the saw is not lacking at all. I have used it to cut PVC exterior mouldings, 2x4 douglas fir lumber, poplar trim, plywood, mdf, and primed finger-jointed pine material. It never struggled or stumbled in any of the above materials. The battery life has been wonderful so far. I am curious to see the longevity of the tool and batteries, because I have had other battery operated tools made by other manufacturers that seem to get “tired” after a few years with not much explanation as to why. In all fairness, I have never had issues with any of my other Festool batteries or battery-powered tools, so I do not anticipate any issues, but I will keep an eye on things. I would suggest having at least one extra pair of batteries if you are using the saw a lot, to ensure you can continue to operate as you charge. One thing I love about the festool cordless platform is that the batteries not only last a long time, but they charge insanely fast. Faster than any of the other tool companies I have used. My experience is limited to Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee. 

The saw has a decent depth capacity when cutting miters and at full lockout, but can be tough to cut and hold your board when beveling the saw at an extreme angle. This is pretty typical of any compound miter saw, but I wanted to ensure that I addressed it. I would not say it is unique to Festool, but maybe more noticeable on this saw versus my full-size Kapex due to the limited capacity/size. I found almost no blade deflection when cutting wider boards which is very important with a battery operated saw, because they typically have a thinner kerf to maximize power and battery life. Dust collection is above average with an extractor and par for the course with the bag on the unit. I always try to use an extractor due to having terrible lungs, but the bag will work in a pinch. The LED spotlight comes in handy in darker situations, but when used in direct sunlight it is difficult to see. I would expect that and is standard with many laser-equipped saws as well. I have no issues seeing my pencil marks in direct light, so it is a non-issue. 

I really love the weight and portability of this saw. Setup/breakdown is an absolute breeze and pleasure. I made a small tucked away compartment in the back of my truck which holds the tool in place without any straps or locking devices. I can simply lift the tool out, set it on my work area, unlock the slide mechanism and depth lock and go to work. It is very light and easy to haul wherever you need it. I will be completely honest, that I have used this saw more than my corded Kapex since getting it due to its capacity, ability, and ease of use. 

The only thing on the saw that I have yet to master is the safety/depth release. When using the saw you must press a button on the top of the saw, then press a button on the side of the handle, and then you can squeeze the trigger. Maybe it is because my muscle memory has adapted to the standard Kapex setup, but I find myself struggling with this. I would assume with more use and time on the saw it will become second nature, but so far this has been my only gripe. It could very well be operator error. I am by no means perfect, and sometimes have trouble slowing down to think about what I am actually doing rather than relying on intuition or second nature.

All in all, I am very happy with this new cordless Festool miter saw. It has found a permanent space in my van and replaced my Makita that has lived in one truck or another for 12 years. I can truthfully say that it was a much needed and welcomed upgrade. If you are looking for a secondary miter saw, or a saw for punching out jobs, handyman jobs, or on a job with no electricity, make sure that you check this saw out. As with all of my Festool tools, it is well built, accurate, sturdy, and comes with a great warranty. 

- Tyler Grace