Makita LS1216L Review: Everything you need to know

You have looked at half a dozen different miter saws by now, and you think the Makita LS1216l 12 Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw might just be the right one for you.

But you still have one or two questions before you can make the decision to buy.​

Picture of the makita ls1216l dual slider compound miter saw

With this review, I hope to answer those questions.

After 19 hours of research on the LS1216l I can reveal where to buy this product, the best price as well as all the other nitty gritty details you need to know.

How are the cuts?

When buying a top-rated miter saw, the single most important question is whether or not the saw does what it says on the box. If the product can't make accurate cuts, it is not worth your hard earned money.

This product is part of Makita's new range of saws with DXT, or Deep eXact cutting Technology. The precise and exact cutting is made possible through the double sliding guide fence

This product features a 4 rail sliding system made of steel. This sliding system, assisted by the super fine laser makes for accurate cuts. The steel system, and the soft start results in a very smooth cut.

I really appreciate how Makita made it possible to easily switch the laser from one side to another. This makes the saw so much more versatile.

How easy is it to use?

I wouldn't blame you for thinking that the large capacity and precise cuts make for a complicated difficult to use product. That is not the case with this product.

The manufacturer have gone to great lengths to ensure it is easy to use. The laser helps with aligning longer cuts, while the ergonomic handle makes for comfortable use.

One thing that I really apprecriate, is the transparent blade guard. Keeping you safe is the main concern here, but we have all used miter saws where the blade guard limits the visibility of the cut. Not so with this unit. The clear blade guard enhances visibility, and makes life just a little easier.

How good is the motor?

The 15 amp motor can run up to 3200RPM which delivers a powerful cutting action. This power could easily have made for some kickbacks, but the smooth start ensures every cut is clean.

This powerful motor will cut lumber, pvc and aluminium. I know a guy that uses his to cut steel as well. Do make sure that you have the correct blade for each material though.

What comes in the box?

You will receive the following:

  • LS12-inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
  • 60T TCT Saw Blade
  • Vertical Vise
  • Dust Bag
  • Triangular Rule
  • Wrench

Comparing the Makita LS1216l vs Dewalt DWS780

You might have come across the Dewalt DWS780 while doing your research.​ When deciding between these two products, there are a few differences you should be aware of.

Both these miter saws come in just under $600, weigh just under 60lbs and both have 15 amp motors driving them. The DWS780 delivers 3800RPM, while the Makita comes in a close second with 3200RPM.

The DWS 780 is easier to carry, while the unit from Makita features a super fine laser that really helps line up those long or tall cuts. It also has larger capacity when compared to the DWS780.

There is very little to choose between these two. My opinion is that if you are looking for a job site miter saw, the Dewalt is probably the right choice. The Makita's laser makes for easy alignment and has more capacity, so it comes down to what is most important to you. Get a good miter saw stand with your LS1216L, and you can tackle any DIY project with ease.

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Where can I find the Makita LS1216L at the best price?

You can find this powerful miter saw at large hardware stores, such as Home Depot. I recommend ordering through Amazon.com, as they usually have the best price on this Makita miter saw.

Ordering through Amazon gives you added peace of mind, as they accept returns and refunds. They even refund shipping costs if you need to return a faulty saw.

What does the warranty cover?

All Makita tools come with their standard warranty. If you are not happy with the product inside of 30 days from purchase date, you can send it back to Makita. They will then either replace the tool, or refund you.

The warranty is valid for one full year, and covers free repair or replacement if something goes wrong with your product. Note that, same as other manufacturers, the warranty will be voided if someone else attempted to repair your miter saw.

Any problems I should be aware of?

I have heard of a couple of consumers that complained about the alignment being off in bevel and miter. If you are an experienced miter saw user, this should be quicker to sort out than rounding up all the materials for a new project.

I also heard of another user that mentioned blade wobble. This user contacted Amazon.com, and got replacement without any trouble.

Who is the Makita LS1216L perfect for?

This saw is great for those who are looking for a miter saw that will be fixed to a work bench, or at least those who won't be moving it around too much. It is a touch heavy at 58.2lbs, but still light weight enough if you have to move it around between job sites.

It is a powerful and accurate product, and will work great for general contractors, hobbyists or shops that like to know they are getting bang for their buck without compromising on quality and durability.

If you are looking for a miter saw for crown molding or for long cuts, this unit will deliver.

How to get the most out of your LS1216L

This Makita offers really solid value at the price, but there are a couple of things you can do to make it perform even better.

Firstly, you need to check the miter and bevel alignment. Once you are comfortable with this saw, it will take only a few minutes. This is something you will have to do each time you move the saw, and I would suggest you check the alignment before starting a new job.

Secondly, the stock blade that ships with this device, is good enough for hobbyists and for framing cuts. If you run a shop, or plan on taking the unit to a job site for heavy use, I would suggest upgrading the blade to the XXXX.

My last tip is to download the manual in PDF form. The printed manual that ships with the unit, is fine print and settings and measurements are hard to make out. The PDF manual is much easier to read.​

Worth the money?

This unit is powerful and smooth, makes accurate cuts thanks to the easy alignment and is easy to use. It is a little on the heavy side, but you can move it around by yourself if needed.

Perfect for hobbyists and shop owners, and at half the price of a premium device like the Kapex, this is a value for money buy that doesn't compromise on quality of construction.

If you are hobbyist, the LS1216L saw could replace your radial saw and chop saw. And if you don't have those yet, this unit can be your all-rounder.