It’s easy to get swamped when you’re on the search for a new miter saw and when considering the Makita LS1040 it’s no different.
If you’re in the market for a portable, simple to operate and lightweight miter saw then look no further, the following review will tell you everything you need to know. I will be looking at the key features, examining the specs and considering any problems we’ve encountered.
Makita has been creating and manufacturing tools since 1915 when they began building electric motors and carrying out repairs.
With experience like that behind them, you know that you’ll be buying a product of quality from a brand that you can trust. Makita pride themselves on being a company that delivers power, performance and durability.
Whilst you can spend an entire month’s wages on one tool, Makita knows that this is not always practical. The LS1040 comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
More about the LS1040
When you’re searching for a new miter saw you have 3 important factors. It needs to get the job done, have a hassle free set up and you shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to work it. Delivered with an assortment of accessories such as a wrench and triangular ruler, the saw is quick, simple and straightforward to put together.
Portability as standard
While setting up the saw, it quickly becomes clear that this is a lightweight saw. When compared to the overall market this saw is considerably lighter than the majority of the competition. Weighing in at 27.3 pounds this is a different story to the usual 35 pounds range that the majority of miters fall into. This really does help when it comes to installing your saw in its new place, whether that be on site, in your workshop or elsewhere.
The saw comes should always be bolted with two bolts to a level surface using the bolt holes available in the base. The saw will work with the majority of saw stands and work surfaces and can be fixed using the bolts supplied with it. Users have noted that it is straightforward to set up on workbenches, even those from different manufacturers.
See what you’re working on
Once you’ve completed setup this saw really starts to shine thanks to its number of simple-to-use features. I’m a big fan of the practical fluorescent light included on the saw. It really helps when aligning your next cut in a poorly lit workspace This means that you’ll be able to accurately line up your cuts for the utmost precision cutting. Whilst this helps in accuracy it’s worth noting that the saw doesn’t come standard with a laser, but most will find that taking time to eye the cuts manually is just as effective.
Specs and accessories
What can you expect from this saw:
- Lightweight and portable at only 27.3 pounds
- Large cutting capacity
- Capable miter and bevel cutting with 9 positive stops
- Powerful 15 amp 4,600 RPM motor
- 10 inch CT blade, vertical vice on board dust bag.
- Wrench and triangular ruler included
The saw also comes with a one-year standard warranty direct from Makita which is reassuring.Whilst this isn’t an overly expensive item, it’s still an important piece of your workshop and is one that you want to last. At the time of writing Amazon were also offering 2 year and 4 year protection plans for around the cost of a cinema ticket.
Precision miter and bevel cutting
Now this is what the saw is all about. When you’re looking for a new compound miter saw you’ll want to feel assured that the cuts you’re going to make will be accurate, precise and of great quality. The LS1040 boasts impressive ability and features when it comes to this department.
The cut itself is a capable size and can handle some reasonably large pieces of material. The cut depth can reach to a maximum of 3.7 inches, which should be plenty for the majority of tasks inand some finishing.
Miter cuts can be set both left and right at 45 degrees and 90 degrees. To assist in these cuts the miter stops can be set at 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45 degrees. This means that the most regular of angles that you’ll be cutting can be accessed quickly and easily.
The bevel itself is a single action bevel which can have the action set to the left at 45 degrees. This will allow the majority of cuts that you’ll be required to carry out. Although you won’t have the full range of more complicated cuts that a more versatile (and expensive) saw would offer. A double bevel saw would cost a good deal more, and won’t be required by most. This simple and effective saw will serve most DIYers well.
Note: If you are looking for a 12 inch miter saw in the same price range, click here to see the Dewalt DW715
While the capacity of the saw is important, it requires a powerful motor to make the cuts. Thankfully this miter has a robust and efficient electric motor (240 volt/1650 watt) that delivers the goods. There are lots of other saws out there that lack the power required. With this unit from Makita, you won’t have to upgrade because of lack of power anytime soon.
Whilst the cable out of the box is shorter than we’d like to see (only 2m long) a simple extension cord will negate this problem without any major effort. Once that is sorted the 4600 rpm direct-drive motor will be running smoothly and without issue.
When you’re working at this speed it’s nice to know that you have direct control over the saw through the onboard electronic speed controller. This technology allows you to maintain consistent speed whilst under load giving a great sense of being in control at all times. The soft-start technology is an additional bonus allowing the saw to slowly build up when you’re getting started.
The maximum cutting capacity at 90 degrees is 2-3/4” for bevel cuts and 5-1/8” for miter cuts, whilst at 45 degrees the capacity is 1-3/8” and 3-5/8”.
Users have been able to comfortably cut 4 x 4 in one cut, but have noted that the saw comes up just short when working with 2 x 6. Whilst some users might be tempted to roll the boardup to combat this I wouldn’t recommend this method. It makes for inaccurate cuts, and can also be unsafe.
Makita LS1040 vs Dewalt DW713
As a direct competitor to the Makita it’s a worthwhile comparison to consider the DW713 from Dewalt. If you’re a contractor who moves around a lot and needs to lug kit to the van, the Makita is the saw for you.
The lightweight means less time and effort, making you more efficient. If you’re more workshop based, the DW713 affords slightly more range in bevel cuts and a more powerful motor (5000 RPM) for extended durability.
Think of this from value for money point of view. Especially as these saws are priced at very similar levels. My opinion is that the Makita is the best option for those looking at these two models.
For more options, make sure to check out my sliding miter saw reviews here
After the advice we’ve just given above it seems a sensible time to talk about the safety features of the LS1040. It is clear to see that the manufacturer has done their bit when it comes to your safety. Seeing as Makita have been supplying big sites with equipment for nearly a century it’s good to see that their safety ethos transfers to the home/small site user.
The onboard dust collector is a helpful feature and with a decent capacity too, meaning you won’t be making constant trips to the waste pile between cuts. If you’re working in a small space and making a lot of cuts you’ll be thankful that nearly 75% of the dust is ending up in the bag and not in your face or the air around you. The protective blade guard makes sure you’re protected from the spinning saw and any flying pieces of wood.
Where to buy at the best price
When you’re ready to purchase the saw we recommend buying through Amazon (see what customers are saying). When this review was written the saw was available with free shipping meaning you’re not spending more than expected at the checkout. Especially when you’re in the market for a cheap, affordable but effective miter.
Remember that Amazon is a brand that is trusted worldwide. Not only will you be buying a brand of trustworthy saw, you’ll be having it supplied and delivered through a company that you can trust. The saw itself was available for the cost of a family steak dinner, not bad considering this is a piece of kit you’ll be using for years to come!
Makita LS1040: Wallet friendly efficiency.
Overall this is a saw that will appeal to a miter user who is prioritizing lightweight portability at an entry level price. The motor and saw are efficient and effective in making great cuts with accuracy and precision.
If you’re a fulltime professional woodworker you’ll likely want more features, but if you’re after a budget friendly, no frills saw then the Makita LS1040 is definitely a contender that won’t disappoint.