A Close Look at Festool’s KSC60 EB Cordless Mitre Saw 

Peter Brett, TOOLKiT’s roving tool journalist, made an appearance at this year’s D&M Tool Show, where he got to try his hand on a number of the big brands’ new innovations, including Festool’s very own KSC60 EB mitre saw. Let’s see what kind of an impression it made on him… 

I first saw a demo model of the KSC60 EB cordless mitre saw about 4 months ago on a Festool Roadshow in Brighton. I am the proud owner of the corded equivalent and I have been known to take it to the jobsite because no other make of mitre saw (and I have tried many of them) is, in my opinion, as accurate or as easy to set accurately for repeat cuts.  

The D&M Tool Show at Kempton Park became a de facto launch venue for the saw, so I didn’t turn down the opportunity to be guided around the KSC60 EB by Carl Tuckley, a member of Festool’s End User Department. In my experience, Festool’s training is top class and there are many details that I would miss if I just had a play around with the saw at a roadshow.  

Besides, I had another agenda – my credit card was burning a hole in my pocket and I was trying to justify the advantages of cordless that a purchase would get me. 

Carl started with the simple things that I knew already – like the fact that on Festool tools the controls are picked out in the brand’s immediately recognisable green. It does help save me quite a bit of searching for my glasses.  

Taking a 220 mm or so wide plank, he set the saw to a 45-degree mitre cut and cut it as effortlessly as any corded mitre saw would do, except the cut was clean and accurate, with an almost planed finish. Good enough to make mitred frames? I think so.  

A mitre and bevel cut followed. It literally took less than a minute to unlock the star screw at the back of the saw and swing the whole saw over to cut the combined mitre and bevel. The movement of the head was quite controllable and light (certainly not the case on some mitre saws I have used) and again the result was excellent with both angles fitting seamlessly together.  

Mitre cuts can be made up to 60 degrees and bevel cuts up to 47 degrees on the right. There is of course, a stop at 45 degrees, making it easy to set accurately every time.  

The saw also includes an angle finder for internal and external angles. Carl gave me a quick tutorial on how to use it and it is a masterpiece of ease of use and accuracy. Another example of how Festool engineers have thought of a way round the question long before the end users get their hands on the tool. Very handy for skirting! 

Now to my concerns… 

I am convinced that my cordless Festool plunge saw doesn’t need corded power, so could a mitre saw with two 18v battery packs (making 36v) perform well enough to do a day’s work on the jobsite? Time for a demo on chunkier timber with a couple of extras details to explore.  

Carl thought it was time to move the saw from its stand to a flat area more like the sort of jobsite experience.  

A quick aside here – Festool engineers have given a lot of thought as to how the saw will be carried by end users. Carrying handles are built in at the end of the extendible table and there is also a carry handle on top of the machine for a single-handed lift.  

But Carl had another method. By setting the arm at 45 degrees and locking it in place, the saw forms a sort of wide V-shape that sits well on the hip and allows the user to carry the saw with two hands, so it is easy to get through doorways by turning sideways. It is also possible to balance the saw on your hip, consequently freeing up one hand to open a door if needed.  

Details, details, but they don’t half make the end-user experience a positive one. 

I found the weight of the saw, at around 18kgs I think, more than manageable and made me realise that other 36v mitre saws I had used were actually bulky and hard to get a grip on easily.  

To continue the demo, Carl set up the saw on a flat area of paving with another quick detail added. A small Festool Sys 1 box (using the additional feet supplied) is the same height as the saw table, so a couple of boxes can be used on each side to support the workpiece – a simple alternative to buying the stand or extensions, that will add more than the cost of the saw to your bill!  

I was able to get close enough to the details that make this saw as accurate as possible. Moving the mitre adjustment is as easy as unscrewing the lock and lifting the little lever to move it left to right to find both the detents at the most common angles and also to set a selected angle. The scale is clear and accurate so that it is easy to set. 

Then time to come to point – the battery packs properly inserted and a thick piece of hardwood on the table. The blade that comes as standard with the saw provided another slicing cut that left the surfaces almost shiny smooth. Then Carl removed one of the batteries and the saw did the same cut with only 18v of power with effectively the same result – but a little bit slower.  

This review will bust the word count before I can fully explore all the details, so here are a few more key points: 

  • The LED spotlight is a handy aid to accurate cutting  
  • The 305mm crosscutting capacity and 60mm depth of cut at 90 degrees is enough for most shop and kitchen fitting jobs  
  • The batteries will last at least a day’s worth of average work, so I might have to reach for my overheated credit card sooner rather than later. 

And lastly a big thank you to Carl, who patiently explained all the finer details of the KSC60 EB, answered my questions in detail. His knowledge was exceptional and his patience too. 

Thank you, Carl.  

Have you had a go on Festool’s new KSC60 EB? Is cordless really the future of all jobsites? Get in touch in the comments below and let us know your thoughts. 

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