Makita LS1216L 12″ Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw With Laser – Review

Makita LS1216L 12 in Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw w/Laser

The LS1216L is one of Makita’s new generation of miter saws and it’s one impressive machine! It comes with a long list of state-of-the-art features for versatility, ease of use  and increased cutting capacity. And power.

Let’s start with the capacity. With its patented retractable rear guard and the triple gear drive system that allows the motor housing to sit higher than other miter saws, the LS1216L will cut 8″ crown molding (nested) and up to 6-1/2″ baseboard (vertical). It has 5-1/2″ tall adjustable sliding fences for not only supporting tall stock, but also for more precise miter and bevel cuts. You can slide the upper portion of the fences outward to give you clearance for bevel cuts, while sliding the lower portion inward to better support and stabilize the material.

Makita LS1216L 12-in Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser

With its four rail slide system, it gives you rigidity and accuracy in your cuts all the way out to 15″  at 90° and 10-1/2″ at 45°. These four round rails ride on six ball bearings for smooth, solid and accurate sliding action. Even the vertical vise/clamp is double-jointed to give you more reach (and versatility) when clamping your material. And the vise can be mounted on either side.

The list of features making this saw easy to use is equally impressive. First of all, you can miter 0º to 52º left and 0º to 60º right with positive stops at 0º, 15º, 22.5º, 31.6º and 45º, both left and right. And the miter lock is an easy “one-touch” for quick, easy and accurate adjustments.

Your bevel cuts can be anywhere from 0º to 45º, both left and right, with positive stops at 0º, 22.5º, 33.9º and 45º in either direction. The dual handle bevel lock is easily accessible with front AND top facing scales for increased precision in adjustments.

The laser guide is also well thought out, with its own switch so you can turn it on and set up your cut without the blade turning. And it has micro-adjustments for precise settings, for cutting right or left of blade.

The miter scale is stainless steel (and replaceable) so it’s easy to read and the blade guard is clear for better visibility. And the large, ergonomically designed horizontal D-handle is rubberized for more comfort and an easier grip and has an extra-large trigger switch.

One feature that oddly isn’t mentioned in the manufacture’s specs or feature list is a depth of cut adjustment. This allows you to cut dados and rabbits with relative ease. No need to switch to your table saw.

Then there’s the power: A 15 amp electronically controlled motor that won’t bog down and will maintain constant speed under load.

For a big saw, the Makita LS1216L is surprisingly compact, thanks in part to the staged slide mechanism that saves you several inches on what hangs out the back; the two pairs of support rails add up to give you the full slide to cut that 15” crosscut. And at 52 pounds, it’s truly portable.

If a picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth about 1,000,000


To increase the portability and usability of this already impressive saw, match it up with the Makita 195083-4 contractor’s portable miter saw stand and get a truly first-rate setup for the job site. The combination is called the LS1216LX.

This saw ships with a very good 60 tooth ATAF blade and as of 10/28/12 the price we’ve found for you is $599.99 with $6.99 flat rate standard shipping. That’s about $550 below MSRP.

Rating: ★★★★★

If you’re considering purchasing a Makita LS1216L we highly recommend going to CPO Makita. This is a web site devoted entirely to Makita tools, so you can rest assured they know them well.

CPO has been in business since 2003 and have thousands of satisfied customers and are even customer certified by Bizrate.  Ordering through their site is secure and they’re a member of BBB Online, so you can trust them.  And they accept Pay Pal for totally secure transactions.

Makita LS1216L 12-in Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser

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