Metabo Cordless Mitre Saw KGS18 LTX - Flexible + Cordless + Cutting

Aimed at: Professional and enthusiast users who need cordless versatility.

Pros: Accurate, cordless with decent crosscut and mitre capabilities.

An accurate mitre saw is essential for the work that I do – it is easily within the top ten of my tool necessities. Accordingly, I have a big and powerful corded mitre saw that I can and do take on site occasionally, but I also had a 36v cordless chopsaw that I took onsite more often, until it died….. NiCads don’t last forever!Time to think about getting another. Fortunately, to help my research, Metabo has recently launched the Metabo KGS18LTX 216 that I had the good luck to preview last year at Nuertingen, Metabo’s HQ in Germany.

Getting started with the KGS18 LTX is simple because nearly everything is attached and adjusted at the factory. Pretty well all you have to do is set the saw arm from the transit position to 90 degrees, attach the dust collection bag and insert a fully charged 5.2Ah battery pack.

I used an engineer’s square to test the accuracy of the factory settings and I found them spot on both in vertical and horizontal. A set of mitre cuts on a small picture frame proved the accuracy – which to me is an absolute necessity in a mitre saw. However, as we all know, the saw will lose its settings due to bumps and knocks and general use, so it is important that the factory settings can be restored easily. The Metabo doesn’t disappoint in this either – an onboard hex key is always available to reset the fences etc. so that accurate work can be maintained.

The specs are also generous given that the KGS has a relatively small 216mm diameter blade. At 90 degrees vertical and horizontal, a 305mm width and 65mm depth is easily achievable. At 45 degrees vertical and horizontal this is reduced to 215mm width and 36mm depth. But think about it – for most on-site general second fix work, these capacities are more than enough. I use mostly hardwood, and I found that there was more than enough oomph to cut it – so to speak. There is a technique to learn – because it is easy to stall the motor by attacking a cut too quickly. The way that worked best for me was to start the cut quite slowly and increase the feed rate as the cut advances across the workpiece, listening to the motor for any signs of overload. I regularly cut through 45mm thick beech and oak and the standard 40-tooth thin kerf sawblade supplied left a very smooth, almost planed surface.

What makes this and other Metabo mitre saws easier to use is that all the controls are marked out in bright red and all major controls can be accessed easily from the front even at arm’s length in the case of the vertical bevel adjustment. The adjustments are all positive with standard “click” stops at commonly used angles. The scales are easy to read in one-degree increments so users can set the “odd” angles that are needed – I have never come across a perfect right angle so far when I have been fitting skirtings!

The motor appears to have a direct drive to the blade and the battery pack is mounted right onto the operating handle on the right hand side of the blade housing. The battery pack mount is a standard Metabo slide that is easy to fix and release. Also on the control handle are a couple of red switches for the red laser cutter guide and the white LED worklight mounted onto the bladeguard. This lights up the workpiece very well and is very easy to clean by simply wiping away collected dust with your fingers – but do watch that your other hand is nowhere near the start switch!

The control handle is horizontal with a large trigger inside the loop and a press button on each side. Suitable for left and right-handed use, one of these side buttons must be pressed and the trigger switch squeezed before the motor will start. Each battery pack has a red button to press to ascertain the amount of charge still remaining.

There is a sawhead lock to hold it down for safe transit, as well as a lock nut on the slide mechanism so that it can be centred for equal weight distribution when being carried. Right on the centre of balance on the sliding arm is a big rubberized loop handle that enables one-handed carrying. Trenching cuts are possible by using the red-topped screw to the left of the dust extraction duct. Unusually, there is a depth of trench indicator, so that repeatedly accurate cuts can be made.

Dust extraction from mitre saws is generally quite difficult because of their design. Metabo has actually maximized dust collection by adding a flexible “shute” behind the blade. Proof of effective dust collection is that the dust bag fills quite quickly. However, there will always be some escaped dust around after use. Indoors, especially the use of a dust mask is necessary

This situation can be improved by inserting a dust extraction hose into the dust port and the amount of dust will be reduced to very little indeed. Using a vac extractor is much more feasible with a mains-powered saw since it can be directly plugged in to the auto-start. With a cordless saw the main advantage is its independence of AC power, so I guess a dust mask will remain a necessity until the launch of a really efficient cordless vac extractor.

I have used the KGS18 for several weeks now and I am thoroughly chuffed with it. It has proved to be accurate, powerful enough to cut dense hardwood and with capacities that enable me a much more flexible approach to onsite and workshop operations. In short, it is so much better than my old 36v chopsaw that the Metabo has replaced it in my affections completely. I can’t really think about any downsides of my uses of the KGS18. Some pernicketies might complain about dust collection, but I am relaxed about it. The KGS is a fine tool and I am sure that it will gain many fans.

Time to think about getting another. Fortunately, to help my research, Metabo has recently launched the Metabo KGS18LTX 216 that I had the good luck to preview last year at Nuertingen, Metabo’s HQ in Germany.

Getting started with the KGS18 LTX is simple because nearly everything is attached and adjusted at the factory. Pretty well all you have to do is set the saw arm from the transit position to 90 degrees, attach the dust collection bag and insert a fully charged 5.2Ah battery pack.

I used an engineer’s square to test the accuracy of the factory settings and I found them spot on both in vertical and horizontal. A set of mitre cuts on a small picture frame proved the accuracy – which to me is an absolute necessity in a mitre saw. However, as we all know, the saw will lose its settings due to bumps and knocks and general use, so it is important that the factory settings can be restored easily. The Metabo doesn’t disappoint in this either – an onboard hex key is always available to reset the fences etc. so that accurate work can be maintained.

The specs are also generous given that the KGS has a relatively small 216mm diameter blade. At 90 degrees vertical and horizontal, a 305mm width and 65mm depth is easily achievable. At 45 degrees vertical and horizontal this is reduced to 215mm width and 36mm depth. But think about it – for most on-site general second fix work, these capacities are more than enough. I use mostly hardwood, and I found that there was more than enough oomph to cut it – so to speak. There is a technique to learn – because it is easy to stall the motor by attacking a cut too quickly. The way that worked best for me was to start the cut quite slowly and increase the feed rate as the cut advances across the workpiece, listening to the motor for any signs of overload. I regularly cut through 45mm thick beech and oak and the standard 40-tooth thin kerf sawblade supplied left a very smooth, almost planed surface.

What makes this and other Metabo mitre saws easier to use is that all the controls are marked out in bright red and all major controls can be accessed easily from the front even at arm’s length in the case of the vertical bevel adjustment. The adjustments are all positive with standard “click” stops at commonly used angles. The scales are easy to read in one-degree increments so users can set the “odd” angles that are needed – I have never come across a perfect right angle so far when I have been fitting skirtings!

The motor appears to have a direct drive to the blade and the battery pack is mounted right onto the operating handle on the right hand side of the blade housing. The battery pack mount is a standard Metabo slide that is easy to fix and release. Also on the control handle are a couple of red switches for the red laser cutter guide and the white LED worklight mounted onto the bladeguard. This lights up the workpiece very well and is very easy to clean by simply wiping away collected dust with your fingers – but do watch that your other hand is nowhere near the start switch!

The control handle is horizontal with a large trigger inside the loop and a press button on each side. Suitable for left and right-handed use, one of these side buttons must be pressed and the trigger switch squeezed before the motor will start. Each battery pack has a red button to press to ascertain the amount of charge still remaining.

There is a sawhead lock to hold it down for safe transit, as well as a lock nut on the slide mechanism so that it can be centred for equal weight distribution when being carried. Right on the centre of balance on the sliding arm is a big rubberized loop handle that enables one-handed carrying. Trenching cuts are possible by using the red-topped screw to the left of the dust extraction duct. Unusually, there is a depth of trench indicator, so that repeatedly accurate cuts can be made.

Dust extraction from mitre saws is generally quite difficult because of their design. Metabo has actually maximized dust collection by adding a flexible “shute” behind the blade. Proof of effective dust collection is that the dust bag fills quite quickly. However, there will always be some escaped dust around after use. Indoors, especially the use of a dust mask is necessary

This situation can be improved by inserting a dust extraction hose into the dust port and the amount of dust will be reduced to very little indeed. Using a vac extractor is much more feasible with a mains-powered saw since it can be directly plugged in to the auto-start. With a cordless saw the main advantage is its independence of AC power, so I guess a dust mask will remain a necessity until the launch of a really efficient cordless vac extractor.

I have used the KGS18 for several weeks now and I am thoroughly chuffed with it. It has proved to be accurate, powerful enough to cut dense hardwood and with capacities that enable me a much more flexible approach to onsite and workshop operations. In short, it is so much better than my old 36v chopsaw that the Metabo has replaced it in my affections completely. I can’t really think about any downsides of my uses of the KGS18. Some pernicketies might complain about dust collection, but I am relaxed about it. The KGS is a fine tool and I am sure that it will gain many fans.

Metabo Cordless Mitre Saw Peter Brett Reviews
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