Dual-Line Laser

StoryID
747945
ToolNumber
1
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628268
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Festool KS120EB

Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

The Festool KS120EB is the only saw in the test that has a double laser line that projects the actual blade-kerf width on the workpiece, so you don't have to remember on which side of the laser the blade cuts. The lasers project dashed lines that are easier on the eyes than solid lines, and there are six adjustment screws to recalibrate the lasers. Two of them adjust the line spacing for using different thickness blades.

Another unique feature to the Festool saw is the angle-bisecting protractor, which stores onboard the saw. The protractor is put against an inside or outside corner to transfer its angle without measuring, and a white line down the middle of the device automatically bisects that angle. So to cut an exact miter for whatever angle that corner might be, all you need to do is line up the saw's laser parallel with the center line of the protractor while it is held against the saw's fence.

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Festool KS120EB's dual-line laser feature

Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

As for lasers, we like using them for quickly lining up our cuts in the shop. Festool, Hitachi, and Makita have built-in, switched versions that feel safer to line up with your mark than arbor-mounted lasers, which must be spinning to light up. As a result, arbor lasers have you moving your board one-handed under the spinning blade while the saw is running. And since they are not centered with the blade, the laser line shifts when the saw head is lowered closer to the wood. Arbor lasers come with the Bosch, Craftsman, and Ridgid saws.

Festool Features

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Festool KS120EB's angle-bisecting protractor

Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

The Festool saw is a high-quality slider with some unique and effective features. One of the best is its bevel angle adjustment knob that lets you fine-tune the bevel angle from the front of the saw. When the bevel lock atop the saw is unlocked, superb counterbalancing keeps the head from leaning over. This balance lets the fine-tuning knob tilt the entire head with very little force. Another very effective feature is its dust-routing abilities. It is the only tool tested without a dust bag, and instead has a port intended to be connected to a vacuum. But even when just attached to a passive dust diverting hose hung into a garbage can, the Festool stayed cleaner while piling up more dust than any saw with a dust bag.