Makita LS1216LX4 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw Review

Makita LS1216LX4 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter SawWhen you’re remodeling your home it won’t take you long to realize you won’t make it far without a good miter saw. The LS1216LX4 dual slide compound miter saw by Makita goes beyond the basic design and is able to miter left and right and can bevel left to right. This saw offers a ton of versatility and comes with features for making all the types of angled cuts you’ll need.

Makita Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw Assessment and Features

While in recent years, the job of the miter saw hasn’t changed, the features found on this Makita will make your job a lot easier, and can even be game changing.

When you bring a miter saw home, the first thing you’ll have to do is calibrate it. While most people consider this a hassle, it can actually be a great way to ensure that you have a better understanding of the features before you make your first cut. The manufacturer handles the calibration for both the bevel and the miter before it even leaves the factory. But once it gets put onto a truck for delivery, it can throw some of the calibrations off.

When your saw arrives, the miter adjustments will still be perfect, but the bevel will need a little work. This model features three points of calibration for the bevel at zero degrees, forty-five degrees left and forty-five degrees right. With an onboard tool handy, you’ll need to carefully adjust each of these points until you’re satisfied. It will take some effort on your part to get it exact, but the results are worth it. Keep in mind that it’s possible to overtighten the screws on the bevel and miter angle indicators.

When it comes to the build quality of the major components in this saw, they’re totally solid. However, we were a little disappointed to learn that the knobs and levers are plastic. While they aren’t exactly brittle or cheap, we still had some concerns regarding the bevel stop override and fence adjustment knobs and their longevity.

This saw comes with its own stand, which can take a little getting used to. The stand features three position options beginning at the ground level. The second level will bring the stand up slightly, but it’s still well below a height that would be comfortable to use when standing. The last position is at the traditional working height. It can be a pain to get the system to lock into place at the third level, but with each use, it becomes easier.

In order to create a stable platform, the extensions slide out then pivot. There are a couple of adjustments made from the pivot point. The first will bring the lower portion down to the ground level, which works to compensate for an uneven surface. The next will bring the extension support up in order to match the saw’s level. Because you can adjust the height, you can use a variety of saws for this stand.

Pretty much every twelve-inch miter saw will operate with a fifteen amp motor, and this model is no exception. However, when you take a look at load speed, you’ll notice that this saw is at 3200 RPM, while most other models will run at 4000 RPM. This run speed can be attributed to a couple of the saw’s features. First, this model packs some of the best stock blades you’ll ever use. You can purchase a more specialized blade, such as a twelve-inch kerf, but this included stock blade allows you to start out strong.

This model also features a direct drive motor, which utilizes electronic speed control in order to optimize power in order to maintain blade speed.

A direct drive motor won’t lose speed like a belt driven motor will over time.

Makita Miter Saw Pros and Cons

Makita LS1216LX4 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser and StandPros: Most models of miter saws are able to make a perfect ninety degree crosscut once they have been calibrated. A typical miter cut should also be pretty easy. The issue tends to come when you make bevel cuts and the problem is often intensified with a heavier twelve inch saw. The manufacturer’s use of a four rail design offers a couple of separate rail systems, each of which is half the length that a two rail system would be. By keeping the rails shorter, the flex that’s typically found on this type of saw is eliminated by rigidity.

With many models, a laser guide system can be a hit or miss, so we were pleasantly surprised that this Makita laser guide was deadly accurate. With this model, you can choose either right of the blade or left of the blade for the laser designation.

Cons: One issue we ran into with this saw involved the bevel adjustments. By default, you should be able to bevel left at forty-five degrees with no problem. In order to engage the stops at twenty-two and thirty-three degrees, you’ll have to pull the stop lever forward. If you want to stop at thirty-three degrees, you’ll have to leave the stop lever placed in the override position until you’re past twenty-two degrees. You’ll first need to pull the saw left while pressing and holding the right bevel button in order to bevel right. You’ll then have to move the saw to the right until you’ve reached the desired angle. Overall, the bevel system is very accurate and works, but for the most part, we found it to be over-engineered.

If you’re looking for a larger, more powerful model that can withstand heavy-duty daily use, learn more about the Hitachi miter saw, which comes with an impressive fifteen-inch blade.

Final Thoughts on This Makita Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Accurate is probably the best word used to describe Makita LS1216LX4 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw. It can take time to properly calibrate this model, but you’ll have a hard time finding another in its class that can deliver the same type of accurate results. The six linear bearing dual rail system, direct drive motor, and quality sixty tooth stock blade deliver the type of cutting experience most models are hard pressed to rival.