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Sliding Arm Mitre Saw

Festool KS 120 KAPEX Slide Compound Mitre Saw
Machine Workshop (Room G24)
Level 03 - Machine Certification


The miter saw (AKA drop saw) is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece at a selected angle. The miter saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto a workpiece in a short, controlled motion. The workpiece is typically held against a fence, which provides a precise cutting angle between the plane of the blade and the plane of the longest workpiece edge. In standard position, this angle is fixed at 90°.A primary distinguishing feature of the miter saw is the miter index that allows the angle of the blade to be changed relative to the fence.While most miter saws enable precise one-degree incremental changes to the miter index, many also provide "stops" that allow the miter index to be quickly set to common angles (such as 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45°).

Video of Operation

Health and Safety

  • The sliding arm mitre saw is a power tool that has the potential to cause serious injury if used incorrectly. Always exercise extreme caution when using the equipment. NEVER touch the blade or other moving parts during use. The blade can easily cut fingers and other body parts.
  • Familiarise yourself with the emergency stop buttons on the machine. Always turn the machine off when not in use. NEVER leave the machine unattended while in use.
  • Ensure the dust extractor gate is opened before use and closed when finished.
  • Use push sticks, fences and safety guards wherever possible.
  • Ensure material is clamped firmly against the fence before cutting.
  • Do not wear loose articles of clothing and/or jewelry when operating the mitre saw.
  • Do not apply pressure towards the blade.
  • Do not try to remove jammed pieces while machine is still running.
  • Do not attempt to cut round or uneven objects.
  • Do not look directly into the source of the laser light.
  • Please see workshop staff if there are any issues with the machines operation. Please do not attempt to make any adjustments without prior approval.

Operation Instructions

  • Turn on dust extractor: Turn on dust extractor and open the dust extractor gate.
  • Prepare the workspace: Ensure accessible space between guarding and blades is minimal. All guides must be firmly attached and not removed during operations. See a staff member to unlock the machines power.
  • Cut material: Place material to be cut on cutting table and gently feed it through the saw blade. Always use push sticks, fences and safety guards where possible. NEVER apply pressure in the direction of the cutting blade.
  • Shut down and Remove material: Use the mushroom switch to turn off the machine. Remove the material and clear away any dust and offcuts from both the machine and floor. See a workshop staff member to lock the machines power.

Workmanship Considerations

  • The sliding arm mitre saw mitre as its name suggest is able to cut mitres (ie cuts less than 90 degrees) This is extremely useful for joining two pieces of timber together at acute angles such as those found in a picture frame.
  • An old proverb says it is best to ‘measure twice and cut once’. Make sure to double check your measurements before cutting as incorrect cuts will lead to wasted time and material. Always indicate which side of the material is to be kept by marking it with a pencil.
  • A good trick to rapidly cut multiple pieces of material into the same dimension is to set up a jig. This will eliminate the need to measure out each individual piece and reduce the chance of human error making each piece exactly the same.
  • Remember when cutting that the blade has a thickness. As such is always best to cut your material to the side of the marking line on the offside of the material rather than on the centreline of the marking.