Makita LS1013FL – Compound Miter Saw

Tool: Makita LS1013FL – 10″ Compound Miter Saw review
Date of Service: October 2008

no images were found

Time, after all, for a new sliding compound miter saw and my choice is the Makita LS1013, a 10″ dual bevel miter saw with laser and flex light. I mentioned in my Bosch review how a Compound Miter Saw is the foundational piece of equipment for my career as a builder. (Second only to my brain!) That said, why then would I go out on a limb and buy a 10″ Makita saw?

[rating:80/100]

Features:

  • Built-in adjustable laser
  • Built-in high output fluorescent light
  • Dual steel rails supported by linear ball bearings
  • Powerful, direct drive 15 AMP motor
  • 9 positive stops
  • Electronic speed control and soft start feature

  • Experience:
    True enough, I haven’t had the Makita saw for long. My decision toward the Makita was based on magazine reviews and Amazon.com feeback. When I first set this saw up on my job, I literally could not believe how smooth it is. There is no compare! I am not exaggerating when I say this is by far the smoothest machine in my shop; literally, silky smooth. It puts my Bosch 3915 to shame in terms of it’s incredibly smooth action. It’s a carpenter’s wet dream. Every pass through the material is a cut of precision and there’s a light to illuminate each perfect slice. (Don’t laugh at the light, it’s handy for getting those last few cuts at the end of the day without having to setup real work lights)

    no images were found

    Comments:
    Unfortunately I’m suffering buyers remorse to some degree but I’m committed to this saw so hopefully I can adapt to the features that trouble me. Being an old hand at adapting to new technology, new levers and buttons and even new ways of thinking I am still confused as to what good putting the angle indicator at the far right of the table does?

    no images were found

    Something new to me is the steel lever for changing the angle. It’s as fluid and easy to operate as making a cut, however the slide lock is a large twist knob above the angle lock knob and it sucks! When do you lock the slide? I lock it when I am moving the saw; unplug, lock down the motor, turn to 45º, lock the slide and transport… but no! With the Makita if you lower the housing you can’t get the tight grip you need to effectively twist and lock the slide. Even with the housing up, it requires sufficient torque to effectively lock the slide in place. I go through the step of tightening the control, thinking it’s locked, then I upright the saw stand and the damn thing slams backward. WTF?
    A complaint other than the slide lock and the tendency for sawdust buildup limiting full slide motion, is the tiny fence. True, Makita offers a better fence as an ‘optional accessory’ and that’s because it needs it. With the Makita LS1013FL you are cutting your crown moulding flat. Not even standard 3 1/2″ colonial will be supported by the itsy-bitsy little fence.

    The pin that locks down the housing works better than Bosch’s spring-assisted twist thingy. The depth stop is nice, doesn’t get in the way and is easy to adjust.

    This saw has a weird balance to it on the stand. I think it’s awkwardly balanced in general with a lot of weight up high that cantilevers beyond the base.

    no images were found

    In Summary:
    It’s the smoothest tool in my shop. It’s as pretty as can be and that fact worries me. I am not always gentle. I’ve had it a few months and I haven’t gotten over the little things that bother me. Really, who can imagine actually producing an angle indicator that you can’t see? It’s like they forgot we needed one and threw it over in the corner because it interfered with some mechanism. Hey designer, the angle setting is the one thing I look at, need to check and make adjustments to on a regular basis.

    This saw is another cause of frustration for me. On the one hand it is the best chop saw I have ever owned and on the other hand it suffers from a uniqueness that some may not be able to overcome. It’s like they made the best car the world has ever seen but put the steering wheel in the back seat.

    The LS1013FL at Makita.com (Product Data)

    Makita LS1013FL on Amazon.com (Good price and reviews!)

    In the above gallery, my Makita LS1013 sits like royalty atop the completely garbage Ridgid MS-UV which I positively regret purchasing.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *