Aimed at: Professional and demanding amateurs
Pros: New and genius design is accurate, easy to set and adjust and saves a lot of time on angles and mitres.
A quick look at Metabo’s mitre saw line up – everything from a cordless 18v to the massive saws capable of mitring 150mm thick roofing beams - will convince you that Metabo engineers understand what constitutes a good mitre saw. And now, at a stroke, the revolution has been advanced by the use of two new features on the Metabo KGSV 72 Xact SYM.
The first innovation is the motor head and guide rail set up. The rails are now fixed instead of moving and the head slides on them. The result is that the whole footprint of the machine is much reduced and there is no need to allow space at the back of the machine to accommodate the rails as the head is pushed through the workpiece. It is possible to work with the machine almost flush against a wall – handy in a workshop or on site.
The addition of a foldable carry handle where the “old” rail system would have had a bearing enables this saw to be carried easily. Someone tall and strong enough would indeed be able to carry it one-handed – although I doubt this is recommended.
The SYM model of the KGSV 72 has the second innovation added to it and will be of greatest interest to second fix chippies, shop and kitchen fitters and the like. By a clever bit of turntable technology the side fences operate like a pair of geared dividers. Release the fence catches and if you pull one side of the fence towards you, the other side will move exactly the same amount. So what, you might say. But if you are a tradesman constantly having to bisect angles to fit skirting on the inevitable out-of-square walls that are found in most houses, then this saw will provide an incredibly time-saving solution. It works like this: - simply use the sliding bevel (supplied) to make an accurate reflection of the angle of the corner where the skirting is to be fitted. Offer up the sliding bevel to the adjustable side fences until they fit the angle on it and then tighten the fences. The resulting cut through the skirting will automatically bisect the angle correctly for a perfect mitre fit. Trust me, I tried it and it works. It takes a bit of care to be 100% accurate – like ensuring that the skirting is firmly held during the cut - but experienced mitre saw users will get the hang of it very quickly.
Secondly, this system also cures the problem I have when I make mirror frame mitres for example. It helps to have only one registering surface when making frames and the adjustable side fences mean that one can cut mitres without having to work (in my case) left-handed as each registering surface has to be swapped from one side of the turntable to the other. A small point maybe, but an indication that many end users will find their own shortcuts and handy tips when using the facilities offered by the SYM version’s moving side fences.
Sophisticated innovations aside, the KGSV 72 is still the classically well-made Metabo mitre saw with the kind of specs that make it very useful both onsite and in the workshop. A quick examination will convince you that it is robustly and neatly made, with compactness a priority in the design. All the systems and controls are logically laid out and the machine works smoothly, with adjustments easy to do and secure for accurate and repeatable end results.
The 1.5kW motor is belt driven and is adjustable for speed via a toothed wheel on the front of the motor housing. With the correct blade fitted and correct speed selected, wood, plastics and non-ferrous metal are all within the remit of this saw.
The soft start on the motor is a good idea and noise from it is well controlled especially at slower speeds.
The KGSV is no monster – but at at 90 degrees it will still cut 305mm x 72 mm, reduced to 215mm x 72mm at 45 degrees. The great thing about the SYM system is that while the width of the workpiece is necessarily reduced by the angled side fences, a thickness of 72mm can still be cut so the target market should be more than well catered for.
We are all used to the fact that on Metabo tools the red bits are the controls. On the KGSV SYM we have to get used to quite a few more red bits because there are more moving parts. For example, the side fences each have two locks that need to be secured before cutting safely.
What really struck me about the controls was that the Metabo engineers have excelled themselves not only in placing the controls logically, but making them all act so positively. When a lock is locked, it stays locked and you can feel it locking. This adds a lot to the feeling of safety and efficiency that is needed for a safe mitre saw operation.
For speedy working it is great to have fixed detents for angles like 45 degrees. But at the same time selecting and securing custom angles is made a lot easier by having easily readable scales and quick, lockable adjustments. The inevitable knocks of site use will eventually require the saw to be zeroed again, but this is made as quick and logical as possible too.
It may be a function of my age but I really like the fact that the saw has two switches near the main trigger handle. The first controls the excellent LED light that illuminates the workpiece well and the second controls the double line laser that I found even more useful for accurate cutting. The double laser indicates the cutting kerf so all the user needs to do is line up the relevant line on the pencil mark and accuracy is assured.
There is so much to like about the KGSV 72 Xact SYM that I could go on for hours- but I won’t. I will simply say that this is one of the best pieces of kit I have used for a while and one that I found easy to acclimatise to and very accurate. Now I need to get back to the workshop and find some more jobs to do with it.