Post by muuiska on Oct 16, 2014 17:34:24 GMT -5
After a great deal of investigation and reading of just about every media review and Forum post, I eventually decided on both the K85 Ec L-Max and the LO 65 Ec MaxiMax. Just received delivery with all the standard accessories in the Max containers, and I must say that I have not been disappointed. Powerful, robust, accurate, and easy to operate. This thread is under the head K85 Ec, so I'll keep my comments to that machine in this post. I hope my brief initial comments are if some assistance to others in making the best choice for their particular needs.
Only four minor 'gripes':
1) The base of the K85 Ec.......it moves about 1 mm forwards and backwards even when everything is locked down in position. Left unadjusted, it would mean that when endeavouring to 'plunge' accurately to a start point, unless one is careful, the plunge point may be missed.
Now I realise that not everyone will require a need for total accuracy, but for those who do, or for those who are perfectionists, an adjustment of the base plate hinge/pivot arm alignment screws will be necessary. Thankfully, Mafell has left these screws easily accessible on the underside of the baseplate, but frankly there is very little adjustment potential.
That said, in my view Mafell could have so easily designed the base plate hinge/pivot arms so as to contain some sort washer (polyethylene or some such material) to accommodate this movement, rather than seeking to rely on any user adjustment and the consequential potential problem of direct (rubbing) contact between hinge/pivot arm and saw body metal.............far better in my mind to 'wear out' a replaceable washer than the no doubt more expensive pivot arms.
2) The dust extractor connection port.......I was expecting the K 85 Ec dust extract port to fit my Festool 36 mm internal dia.,extractor hose. The K 85 Ec hose connector dia., is quoted in the Mafell specifications as being 35 mm.........it is indeed just so, but that is the internal dia., of the connector not the external dia. The external dia., is actually about 39 mm with another 1 mm of external lipping all round, thus totalling 41 mm.
My Festool 36 mm internal dia., extractor hose has a rubber end which has an internal dia., of about 38 mm and an external dia., of about 43 mm, so you can see that the two are not readily compatible. However, with some hard pushing and twisting I can get the Festool extractor hose-end to stretch over the 41 mm dia., K 85 Ec connector............not sure whether in the long term this will cause unwanted permanent enlargement of the Festool hose-end resulting in problems with connections to other equipment..........time will tell I guess.
I could use my Festool 27 mm internal dia., extractor hose.......but that too has it's problems. The rubber end is about 25 mm internal dia., and about 35 mm external dia., at it's tip and widening to about 38 mm external dia., at it's base. So you can see that it too requires hard pushing and twisting to compress it into the K85 Ec hose connector. Moreover of course, the resultant loss of cross-sectional area of extract at the outlet from 35 mm down to less than 25 mm, has a noticeable effect on effective extraction.
To be fair to Mafell, perhaps it is I who should have researched the dust extraction port size and fittings more thoroughly, rather than making the assumption that standard sizes would fit.
3) Is the Velcro strapping around the K85 Ec hose extractor port really necessary?........I confess that I am somewhat unclear as to it's intended use. I seem to recall reading somewhere that it is intended to offer a method of securing the power lead to the dust extraction hose. If that is correct, then you can see from item 2) above that it would only be able to do it's job if the extraction hose-end is fitted inside the extractor port............and you're back to the loss in effective extraction once again.......this would be the case no matter which manufacturers extraction system one chooses to use. If one uses an external hose-end fitting the Velcro is redundant, indeed in such circumstances it hinders the fitting of the hose-end.
4) The max blade dia., is 237 mm.........I'd like to see Mafell produce a slightly greater range of blades in that dia. They currently only produce 3, all carbide tipped; 12 teeth, 24 teeth, and 56 teeth.
There ya go, only minor 'gripes'. On balance I do like this machine a lot. Most of the well know issues of previous generations of circular plunge saws generally, are addressed beautifully in the K85 Ec. For example, issues concerning bevel cut pivot point adjustment (particularly when using guide rails); lack of power when deep cutting hardwoods; complex blade change; plunge / riving knife operation; etc., etc.
The K85 Ec seems to work like a dream on the Mafell Guide Rail system; moves smoothly and as solid as a rock, providing confidence is use. The smooth start yet powerful Cuprex motor reduces any start-up movement of the machine to virtually zero, as well as the normal hand-arm vibration in use. All the necessary depth / angle markings are bold and clear, and all the associated locking mechanisms secure the chosen markings in place (save for minor 'gripe' item 1) above) accurately before and during use.
I'm really looking forward to using and getting to know this beauty as time goes by!