Makita LS1221 Miter Saw

Makita LS1221 - 12" Miter Saw Review

Makita LS1221 Miter Saw Highlights
  • Really lightweight for its class
  • Comfortable handle and motor braking
  • Great reviews on accuracy and quality
  • Decent cutting capacities for the class
  • Comes with 2 board support wings
  • Better than average dust collection
  • Mid to high price range
  • No laser
  • Only single bevel
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 3 out of 5
For the Serious Woodworker 3 out of 5
Tool Specifications
  • 12" blade, 4,000 rpm
  • 120 vac standard plugin
  • 15 amp direct-drive motor
  • Bevels 0° to 45° to the left
  • Miters 0° to 48° to the left
  • Miters 0° to 48° to the right
  • Saw weight of 37 pounds
  • At 90° Crosscuts 8" boards

The Makita LS1221 – 12″ Miter Saw Review Summary

The Makita LS1221 miter saw is a standard 12″non-sliding compound saw. It handles any kind of wood without a problem.

It’s comparable to the Skil 3821 or the Dewalt DW715, however, it does cost more than both of them. This Makita is priced in the mid to upper range for this class of miter saw (non-sliding 12″ single bevel).

The cut capacities are what you would expect from a 12″ non-sliding model. Decent crosscutting, and with the tall fence it can handle baseboard and crown molding just fine.

This is a direct drive motor, so you don’t have the worry of slippage or the need to change the belt after wear and tear.

The Makita LS1221 comes standard with a 40 tooth blade, dust bag, 2 extension wings, socket wrench, and a hold-down clamp.

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Makita LS1221 Miter Saw

Makita LS1221 Miter Saw – What It’s Got

Cutting capabilities

As far as being able to handle various woods, the Makita LS1221 will cut through dimensional lumber, plywoods, regular hardwoods, and exotic hardwoods with ease. It has a 15 amp direct drive motor that will not bog down at all through your cuts.


If you’re upgrading from a 10″ miter saw, you’re definitely going to see a big improvement in cutting capacities.

With this model, you can crosscut through an 8-inch wide board in a single cut, without having to flip the piece over.

If you’ve got the miter adjusted to a full 45 degrees, it can still crosscut through 5-7/8″ wide piece of wood. This is great for a lot of DIY projects, and standard framing jobs.

For doing trim molding, this saw is built for standard capacity. While it’s not the best in class, it still offers great ranges. For cutting baseboard vertically against the fence, it can handle roughly 5″ tall material. And with the tall fence, you can nest crown molding against it, and in that setup, it can handle crown that is 5-1/4″ tall.


The Makita LS1221 miter saw has a few nice features going for it that give it good versatility. In other words, it’s a well-rounded saw that can handle a wide variety of jobs.

For one, it’s really lightweight. It’s actually one of the lightest miter saws in its class. This fact alone makes it a great job site tool. Easy to load and unload. Easy to move around the job site. Most contractors really appreciate this.

And even for DIYers around the house or at investment properties, you typically work on location. Having a good capacity tool while being easy to move around makes for a smoother project.

The miter adjustments both left and right go beyond 45 degrees. They go up to 48 which means special cuts for unusual angles can be achieved. While I prefer to see at least one side have a miter range of 50 or more, 48 is still better than the all-too-common 45.


Plus it has all the standard angle positive-stop detents so you can quickly set up all your common miter-angle and compound cuts.

The extension wings that come with the saw adds support for cutting longer material. Not really a world-changing technology, but still a handy feature that adds to the versatility.

The large trim molding and large crosscutting capacities also mean it can handle most standard construction projects, like building a deck, framing a house, any standard trim molding job, and doing hardwood floors.

But because it’s only a single-bevel saw and non-sliding, it does have its limitations. The trick is to understand these limitations and manage your expectations. If you’re building cabinets, shelves, furniture, etc.., you may get much better use from a sliding model like the Hitachi C12RSH2.

But my main argument against the Makita LS1221 is the bevel range, which only goes to 45 degrees. If you’re doing crown or baseboard jobs, this is not cool. Many wall corners are not perfectly square, so you end up needing to make bevel and compound cuts that are greater than 45 degrees.

How It Stands Out

The Makita LS1221 miter saw is a well-rounded saw that handles 2×8 and 4×4 dimensional lumber easily. Standard-sized crown and baseboard molding are well within its capacities. Plus its a really lightweight saw for its class.

Opinions Based On Real User Experiences

Positive Reviews

  • Reviewed as very powerful and can handle any wood it cuts
  • Some users claim its got superior build quality for the class and price range it’s in
  • Ranks right up there with Dewalt miter saws in terms of quality
  • Cuts with this saw are right on with the positive stops, and very repeatable while holding accuracy

Negative Reviews

  • Beware of possible difficulty changing the blade
  • The brace that holds the dust bag may have quality issues

Review Summary

Overwhelmingly great reviews in the online market. This saw may be priced a bit high, but is clearly worth it. Users are raving about the quality, sturdiness, and accuracy of the saw.

Is This 12″ Compound Miter Saw Worthy?

This tool is built for DIYers and professionals alike. With the good cutting capacities and really light tool weight, these users will benefit the most.

Woodworker and cabinet makers may not appreciate the slight limitations of this model just because they typically need to cut wider boards on a regular basis. However, knowing these limits, if the ranges are good enough for what you do, I would say the saw is quality enough to justify the price tag.

For anyone that does projects around the house or at other properties, and also for most professionals, the lightweight Makita LS1221 is a great choice.

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