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Tool: Festool Carvex

Manufacturer: Festool’s

Price: $390

The jigsaw is a tool that I’m glad to see folks are still striving to make better. It’s an indispensable shop staple as is, but there’s room for improvement. Common complaints include blade drift, tearout and inaccuracy, to name a few.

With a handful of changes and options, Festool’s new Carvex jigsaw addresses the common complaints with solid solutions that work. Festool’s previous model, the Trion, is still available, but the Carvex is an upgrade. With its impeccable “fit and finish”, good ergonomics, solid build and great dust collection, the Carvex is unmistakably Festool.

The Carvex is available in a corded or cordless version, each offering either a barrel grip or D-handle, depending on your preference. The cordless versions offer a tool-only option as well, if you already have enough batteries and want to save a little money. The D-handle version allows you to control the saw’s variable speed either with at the trigger or by using a separate dial (The barrel-grip option is controlled only with the dial). The trigger locks in the full “on” position. Speed is variable from 1500 – 3800 strokes per minute.

The Carvex comes with the standard baseplate with replaceable zero-clearance inserts. Also available are quickly-interchangeable bases and base covers designed specifically for different tasks; dimpled low-friction, hard fiber ultra-smooth low friction, or a hook-and-loop base plate with replaceable felts to prevent scratches on delicate materials. A steel base plate is available for metal-cutting applications. Or, the guide rail adapter base gives you the ability to use your jigsaw in conjunction with Festool guide rails for straight, accurate cuts. This base also serves as the base for attaching a clever circle and radius cutting accessory.

Saving my favorite for last, the bevel-cutting base (pictured) is undoubtedly the most ingenious. It’s hinged lengthwise down its center essentially creating two feet for stability and accuracy when making inside or outside bevel cuts. It’s adjustable from 0° to 45° in either direction with the turn of a wheel.

Another notable feature on the Carvex is the LED lights; there are four of them surrounding the blade. You can have them either on, off, or in stroboscopic mode. In stroboscopic mode, the lights flash in synchronization with the blade’s speed. Sound like a gimmick? That’s what I thought too. Then I tried it. It’s as though the blade is standing still. You can literally see each tooth clearly while you’re cutting, so you can see precisely when the tip of the tooth is touching your line. That’s pretty cool.

All of the Carvex models have brushless motors, making them relatively compact and light weight. According to the manufacturer, brushless technology also results in extended battery life as well as longer service life of the tool itself.

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