The Makita LS0815F sliding compound miter saw is designed to be smaller and more portable while maintaining a good cutting capacity with it’s sliding action. This can be a really nice saw for home users but might come up short for job site work with it’s drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Cutting Power & Motor
This saw has very good cutting power for it’s size with it’s 10.5 amp motor and it’s no-load speed of 5,000 RPM. The motor powers the blade with a direct drive and the soft start feature keeps the blade from creating unnecessary torque on startup. This makes the operation feel very smooth when starting up and making cuts. There is also a blade brake that stops the blade very quickly, usually less than a couple seconds to full stop. This helps with efficiency of use when making a lot of cuts.
This saw uses an 8-1/2 inch blade with a 1 inch arbor. It comes packaged with a 48 tooth carbide tipped blade, which is decent. But people like to upgrade the blade right away on this one since higher tooth count blades are available that will add a nice extra bite to this saw.
The sliding action on this saw gives it a nice cutting capacity of 2-9/16″ x 12″ at 90 degrees and 2-9/16″ x 8-1/2″ at 45 degrees. Not bad for a miter saw with an 8-1/2 inch blade. It can handle cutting trim work and smaller boards with ease.
This saw has enough cutting power to be useful for home, shop and job site users. People with more accurate cutting demands might find some of the other features slightly lacking, but the cutting power is not a drawback.
This saw features a pretty good miter that can move 50 degrees to the left and 60 degrees to the right. There are positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 and 50 degrees on both sides. The right side has an additional stop at 60 degrees. The positive stops are notched right into the aluminum frame on this saw.
The miter can be adjusted by loosening the grip on the end of the miter handle, pressing the lock lever if needed, and then rotating. The lock lever is used to release from the positive stops. Once you have moved the miter to one of the stops or into position, you tighten the grip to clamp it back down fully.
Some people find that the stops are a little sloppy and have a tiny bit of play, which can make it hard to get fine tuned accuracy for longer cuts. The rotating action on the miter can also feel a little stiff on some units, which isn’t a huge drawback but it makes this tool feel a little less smooth.
This miter saw employs a single bevel which tilts to the left. The bevel is pretty easy to use on this one, but the bevel gauge can be a little tough to see depending on how you have the blade positioned. The total bevel capacity on this saw is 48 degrees left and 5 degrees right. The bevel has stops at 0 and 45 degrees. There are also release buttons to move the blade an addition 3 degrees left or 5 degrees right.
The bevel is adjusted by loosening the lever on the back on and simply pushing the saw arm to the left or right. The stop feel solid at both ends or you can use the bevel scale to dial in a more specific angle. You then simply tighten the lever on the back to clamp it back down and hold it into place.
The sliding arm on this saw uses 2 steel rails and they feel pretty sturdy. The sliding action is smooth, however the sound of it when moving is a little rough. When fully extended, the arm can flex slightly if you push too hard to the left or right. It’s best to get used to not putting any lateral pressure on the arm during cuts and focus on just back and forward and up and down to get the best results.
Vertical Stopper Arm
There is a vertical stopper arm that can be switched into place to set a lower limit position for the blade. It is adjusted with a simple adjusting screw and is pretty easy to dial in specific depths. It holds well when cutting and stays where you set it. Even though it’s a pretty basic implementation of a vertical stopper feature, it works well and adds more capability to this saw. It’s nice to be able to use it to cut rudimentary slots or grooves when in a pinch.
LED Light & Laser Beam
The particular model of this saw that we looked at, model number LS0815F, does NOT have a laser. There is actually an identical model to this one that also has a laser, model number LS0815FL. This can be a little confusing, so if you really want a laser you’ll want to go for the model that includes the laser.
There is an LED light on this saw, both models have it. The LED light is ok and helps illuminate the cutting area. It can be useful if you don’t have the laser beam model and need to see where the blade is coming in contact with the materials in low light conditions.
Cutting Table & Fence
This saw has an aluminum cutting table and fence. The finish is nice and smooth but it will wear over time with use. The tables on this saw tend to come out of the box nice and flat. The cutting table feels a little smaller on this saw, probably because Makita is trying to keep this one a little more portable.
The fence is about 2-1/2 inches tall and the left side has a sliding vertical piece that can move out of the way for bevel cuts. The fence is tall enough to handle materials that fall into this saws cutting capacity range and doesn’t feel inadequate at all.
There are also two wire extension supports, one on each side, that extend outwards to offer more support for larger or longer materials. They feel a little narrow though, and sit slightly below the surface level of the table itself, so they feel a little odd. It wouldn’t have been too hard to make them a little wider or more level with the table. Still, it’s nice to have the supports there.
There is also a vertical vice clamp that can swing over the fence and be put to use. It’s a little small and doesn’t feel overly sturdy, but it works fine and it’s nice to have when you need it.
There are mounting holes on corners of the base, so it can be mounted to a table, which is a nice option to have.
Handling & Safety
The power switch on this one is a trigger on the D-handle. In addition to the power trigger, there is also a safety release lever that needs to be pressed first before you can press the height release button or the power trigger. You will be pressing three buttons before you can make a cut, all with one hand, but it’s pretty easy to get used to and it provides excellent safety measures.
The D-handle itself feels good to hold and has a rubber grip. The saw feels easy to control through the full range of cuts at all angles.
The blade guard does a good job of covering the blade as much as it can while also getting out of the way when you need to see where the blade is contacting the materials. The guard is also somewhat see-through. There’s not much else to say about the blade guard, it just works.
Overall, this is safe saw to use as long as you are taking typical safety precautions.
Dust collection on this saw is one of it’s weak points, even with a dust collector. The interior diameter of the connection to the dust port on the saw is 1-3/4″, and outside diameter is 1-7/8″ so you may need to find an adapter depending on your dust collection system and hose size.
The dust bag itself feels pretty pointless in use, but it does collect some dust. The saw just doesn’t direct enough of the dust towards the dust port to make good use of the dust bag, but if the dust bag wasn’t on it would be even worse so it can’t be discounted entirely. Another issue with the dust bag is that it tilts up high and can spill back out when you push the blade down if the bag gets too full.
Using a vacuum system is your best bet if you want to try to control dust with this saw. It works better, but is still not perfect, mostly due to the position of the dust port itself. Makita makes nice dust collection systems that will work directly with this saw. There’s lots of options out there from other manufacturers as well.
Build Quality & Design
The build quality on this miter saw is good but there’s some weak points as well. The aluminum base, table and fence feels solid and there’s nothing to complain about there. It’s feels lighter at about 31 lbs in total weight but it’s not overly light. The bevel and miter action along with the sliding action feels really solid as well and doesn’t feel like it’s lacking in quality. The motor holds up well for people who own this saw as well.
The weak points are the various plastic switches and knobs along with the slots for the positive stops on the miter. The plastic, as usual, is prone to breaking and if something breaks on this saw it’s mostly likely going to be one of the levers. The stops on the miter are slotted directly into the base, so if they wear out and start to get more play and loosen up a bit they can’t be replaced.
This saw has a few accessories included. Here’s what’s all in the box when you purchase this one.
- Miter saw
- 8-1/2 inch 48T carbide tipped blade
- Dust bag
- 2 Extension wings
- Vertical clamp
- Triangular rule
Setup & Assembly
This saw will take some time to setup and assemble. The manual is actually pretty good and walks you through everything you need to know to get it up and running. Expect to spend an hour or so to get this one fully ready to use.
Makita offers a 1 year warranty on defective parts or workmanship. This is good enough to help you out if you have quality control issues in that first year of use.
- Good cutting capacity
- Cutting action is smooth and efficient with soft start and blade brake
- Cutting power is excellent
- Bevel and miter adjustments are easy and accurate
- Lighter weight but sturdy
- Dust collection isn’t the greatest
- Rotating miter base can be a little stiff to turn
- Lots of plastic levers and knobs that can break
- Miter stops can be a little sloppy
- No laser (unless you get model LS0815FL)
Single Bevel Left
19-1/4″ x 17-3/4″ x 29-3/4″
The Makita LS0815F compound miter saw is a lightweight, more portable saw with single bevel and sliding action which give it some good cutting capability. The cutting capacity is really good and the cutting power is also great. Dust collection is lacking. Some people have issues with accuracy on this saw due to potentially sloppy miter stops and lateral flexing when extending the sliding action. Overall, this saw is a great pick for home or hobby users but it might not be accurate enough for job site use depending on the demands.