Makita LS1018 Review
Makita LS1018 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review
| Makita LS1018 Review Highlights|
|For the Professional Contractor||5 out of 5|
|For the Do-It-Yourselfer & Weekend Warrior||5 out of 5|
|For the Hobbyist and Beginner Woodworker||4 out of 5|
|For the Serious Woodworker||4 out of 5|
The Makita LS1018 10″ Sliding-Compound-Miter-Saw Review Summary
Today I’ll be writing the Makita LS1018 review – This is a high quality, highly rated sliding compound miter, built with the professional user in mind.
It’s somewhat middle-of-the-road on cost, so you won’t have to pay top dollar, while still getting really great cutting capacities and a professional grade build-quality. MFR warranty included.
It’s got everything you need to handle most baseboard, crown molding, wide board crosscutting, plus any standard dimensional cutting for framing, deck building, etc.
It’s got all the main features you would expect from a saw in this class, plus it’s really lightweight compared to others. This adds to its job-site friendliness.
It goes beyond standard on its miter capabilities, plus it’s a dual bevel, meaning you can change the angle of the blade instead of flipping the workpiece over. Contractors tend to love this feature.
Makita tools come with a 1-year warranty, plus a 30-day money back guarantee. This means you can try this saw out on the job site and if you don’t like it in the 1st month, send it back for your money and try a different one. However read thru the fine lines on these quick returns, as Makita does have the option to replace the tool, instead of returning your money. I believe this may be decided on a case by case basis.
This miter saw comes with a socket wrench, triangular rule, vertical vice, 40 tooth blade, dust bag, and 1 extension wing.
Learn how to use a miter saw properly
Makita LS1018 Review – What It’s Got
Above-average capabilities with extended miter ranges and dual bevel
The Makita LS1018 as mentioned, is a sliding miter saw. This means it has extended crosscutting and miter cutting capabilities.
This particular saw can cut a 12″ wide board at 90° – so it’s great for shelving, wide dimensional lumber, plywood (see photo above), etc.
It also can handle a 45° miter cut thru an 8-1/2″ board. So again, really good capacities on the crosscut.
And while it doesn’t quite have the vertical board cutting capacity of the Dewalt DW717, it still has a decent fence and can handle most crown molding and baseboard jobs.
As you can see, it’s a dual bevel saw. You can bevel left and right, both to 45°. While I would prefer a slightly extended bevel range, say to 47°, the 45° is industry standard and this will take care of 95% of most peoples beveling needs.
The miter angle has all the standard positive stop detents for quicker setup and improved repeatability with your cuts.
You can adjust this saw’s miter angle up to 47° left, and 60° right. These are good ranges and should allow you to achieve just about any kind of miter you would need.
This is a 13 amp direct drive motor, with a soft-start feature. This is good for prolonging the life of the saw, and it has another benefit I really like. With the soft start, you have virtually zero chance of board shift on startup. So you end up saving time, and headache, with this feature.
Dust collection performance isn’t the worst I’ve seen
The performance of the dust collection that comes with the saw (a bag that clips on the dust port behind the blade), gets mixed reviews.
For the most part, any miter saw dust collection bag does not work very well. To get real dust collection, you need a shroud built around the back of the saw, connected to a dust evacuation system.
However, with this model, it’s been noted that you get much-improved dust collection performance just by hooking a shop vac to the dust port, in lieu of the bag.
Even still it doesn’t perform as good as say the Bosch CM10GD, but it does well enough. Just keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed! (seriously though, most miter saws dust collection is a joke)
Versatility – this saw handles most jobs – but not all
This is one of the lightest 10″ sliding compound miter saws. It’s got enough features that there are lighter saws out there, but they still did really good with weight management on this model.
It weighs in at only 43 pounds. This is a key feature and makes it really useful for professional contractors who need the higher cutting capacity of a slider, while still being able to easily move it from room to room, job site to job site.
It does have a bigger footprint due to the standard slide rails than it’s cousin, the Makita LS1019L, but that saw’s features come with a higher price tag (and total weight).
But because of the slightly limited fence height and blade clearance in the back, you may not be able to make vertical cuts on tall baseboards and large crown molding.
This saw is made for the contractor – but works great for anyone
Anyone needing an above-average sliding compound miter saw should consider the Makita LS1018.
It handles the contractor’s needs of framing, deck building, renovating, most finish jobs, and still has a lightweight for easy movement.
The DIYer can get a lot out of this saw as it would handle about any home-improvement job you could throw at it. Basically, the same benefits as applied to a contractor, only you may not put as many hours on it.
But at the decent price and low weight, the do-it-yourselfers can still reap great benefit without spending an arm and a leg.
Hobbyists and woodworkers would be ok with this saw, but not overly impressed. The dust system, as mentioned above, is right on par with average at best. It lacks a laser, so quickly setting up and making an initial rough cut takes just a tad bit longer IMO.
The bevel and miter abilities are great, and most woodworkers don’t’ cut a lot of tall crown molding vertically, so that limitation is irrelevant.
Opinions Based On Real User Experiences
- Contractors found that it’s really accurate right out of the box
- This saw is perfect for job site usage when doing carpentry and remodeling – everything you would need in a miter saw
- Cut’s smooth and very accurate for the entire sliding action – not all sliders can say this
- Impressively lightweight for such a high-capacity saw – excellent tool
- Some users really prefer a laser guide for faster cutting, and this is missing
- No one is thoroughly impressed by the dust collection capabilities
Overall people find this saw very smooth, very accurate, and very much worth the money. This is why it has retained a high user rating in the online market for a long time.
The tool weight, cutting capabilities, and overall performance is its leading qualities.
The standard (somewhat poor) dust collection is one of the negatives most people notice. However, this has not been a deal killer for anyone that I’ve seen.
It lacks a laser light, and the fence is not overly impressive.
Is This Lightweight Sliding Miter Saw Worthy?
This saw is designed with the contractor in mind for it’s light weight and cut capacities.
However it’s decently priced, and DIYers, hobbyists, and woodworkers can also get great benefits from this tool
This saw offers a lot of features for a lot of people. However, the manufacturer had professionals in mind when they designed it.
It’s lightweight, it can handle crown molding, baseboards, framing, decking, renovations, and general construction.
It’s built to last and has a decent warranty for the price tag. I would say for non-professionals, this tool will probably last a really long time.
But for the money, it’s a great saw that many people use regularly and highly recommend. I too would recommend this saw if the price is in your range.
And to conclude my Makita LS1018 review I would add this: The saw literally has great features for just about any type of user.