The Makita LS1219L sliding compound miter saw is loaded with features and offers a lot of capabilities with just a few drawbacks. This saw costs a little more than some of its competitors but it can be worth the money if you need all of what it has to offer. Let’s take a closer look.
Cutting Power & Motor
The cutting power and capacity on this saw are very good and this saw is designed to smoothly cut through larger materials. This saw is powered by a 15 amp motor that spins the blade at a no-load speed of 3,200 RPM. The motor has a soft start feature which controls the startup torque, and it feels very smooth when you power it up and the blade starts spinning. The blade has a brake that slows down the blade after use, however it still can take a few seconds for it to completely stop. Even with it’s cutting power it doesn’t sound overly loud when in use, which is a plus.
This saw uses a 12 inch blade with a 1 inch arbor and is packaged with a very nice quality 60T carbide tipped blade. The blade is good enough that people don’t necessarily find themselves wanting to replace it or upgrade right away, which is great.
With the sliding action, this saw has a max crosscut capacity of 3-5/8 x 15 inches at 90 degrees, which is pretty impressive. The max crosscut capacity at 45 degrees is 3-5/8 x 10-1/2 inches, which is also really good. This saw can even go a little deeper on vertical cuts that remain close to the vertical fence since it works with the backside of the blade where there is a little more vertical capacity. For this reason, this saw can vertically cut 6-3/4 baseboard or 8 inch crown molding.
Overall, the large cutting capacity of this saw really opens up it’s capabilities and this miter saw can be very useful at home, in the shop or on a job site.
The miter features on this saw are pretty good and it’s easy to use and dial in common cutting angles. This saw can miter a full 60 degrees both left and right. There are positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 and 60 degrees in both directions. The miter measurements and stops are located on an aluminum plate that is mounted onto the frame with screws. The plate can be removed which is nice since it can get damaged or worn over time. The stop points in the plate seem to wear with extended use and it’s best to be careful when making adjustments using the stops to prolong their life.
The miter can be moved easily by first raising the blade all the way. Then turn the knob on the end of the miter handle to loosen it up a little and use either the releasing lever or the lock lever to free the base and move it around. The releasing lever needs to be held down to keep it free but the lock lever will lock it free when it’s activated. Do the reverse to tighten it back up after making adjustments.
One issue that seems to be common with the miter is that the rotating action can get little tougher to turn after lots of use. This is likely due to the parts underneath getting gunked up with dust or grime. So cleaning it from time to time could help alleviate this issue. If this issue does crop up, it’s not too terrible to deal with.
The bevel action on this saw is solid and has dual-bevel capability, meaning it can tilt either to the left or the right. The ability to go both ways is very useful. The bevel can tilt up to 48 degrees either left or right. There are positive stops at 22.5 degrees and 33.9 degrees on both sides.
There are a few switches and buttons for the bevel operation. There is a main releasing lever right by the bevel measurement scale to make most bevel adjustments. The blade will naturally want to tilt to the left, but can also be tilted to the right with the use of an additional releasing button. There are also another two releasing levers that allow the blade to tilt beyond the 45 angle point on either side. Once you use it a few times you get used to it and it’s pretty easy to dial in adjustments quickly.
This miter saw uses 2 steel rails for it’s sliding system and it’s designed to glide smoothly during cuts while staying true and accurate. There is a single stopper pin that by default is in a locked position. It can be pulled out and rotated to put it into an unlocked position. When it is unlocked, the sliding action is free to move during cuts.
Most people have good luck with the the sliding action on this saw. People notice that this saw does flex a little when it’s extended, which can be an issue with most sliding miter saws, so it’s best to use steady hands and arms and be cautious of accidentally putting too much left or right side pressure during a cut.
Another thing some people don’t like is the grease that is on the sliding poles when it’s new out of the box. It tends to collect dust and get gunked up quickly and need cleaning.
This saw features a laser beam, which can be a very useful visual guide when lining up your cuts and keeping them on track. The laser beam on this saw is a single beam and can only be placed on one side of the blade at a time. There is a single adjustment screw that can be loosened and then moved either left or right to align it. The power switch for the laser is located near the main power trigger so it’s easy to reach and activate. Most people find the laser to be useful on this saw, however some point out that some other saws have two lasers, which can be even better.
Cutting Table & Fence
This saw has an aluminum cutting table and fence, and both have a smooth finish to them. The table is flat and people don’t really have too many issues with warping on this one. It’s worth checking when setting up, just in case something got damaged in the box.
The fence also works fine on this saw and there are fence extensions to add some height if you will be vertically cutting baseboards or something similar. The fence extensions don’t slide like some other saws, they are either on or off. There are a couple of fence holders on each side that look like wire extensions sticking out the sides. These can be used to hold the fence extensions when they are not mounted onto the fences.
There is an included vertical vice that can be attached to the either side. It works ok but it’s not the best quality vice clamp. It’s nothing to complain about though and it’s handy when needed. You can also use an optional horizontal vice clamp, but it’s not included.
Handling & Safety
The power switch for this saw is located on the handle is pulled like a trigger. There is a safety button that is separate from the trigger, also on the handle, that must be pressed in combination with the trigger. The trigger also has a hole for a safety padlock which is nice.
The blade guard is designed well and keeps the blade mostly covered except when making cuts. The blade guard does a good job of retracting when making vertical cuts on the back of the blade as well.
The blade has an electronic brake that slows down the blade when you turn it off. It takes a few seconds to fully stop, it’s not instant. It is a nice safety feature to have though.
This saw has better dust collection than some other miter saws out there, but it’s not perfect. This saw has two dust collection ports – one is closer to the blade and one is connected to a collection funnel right behind the table. There is a dust bag that can connect to the port that is closer to the blade. When using just the dust bag, results are ok to poor. The dust bag is pretty small too and will fill up fast if you are making a lot of cuts.
The best option is to use a dust collection system and hook up to both dust collection ports. There is a dust collection hose that comes with this saw that connects both dust ports, which can then be connected to a dust collection system or vacuum. The port on the hose has an interior diameter of 1-3/8 inch and an exterior diameter of 1-1/2 inch.
Build Quality & Design
The overall build quality of this miter saw feels really good. The most obvious thing is it’s weight. It weighs in at 65 lbs and it has a fairly bulky size to it, which makes it a little tougher to lug around, especially if you are going to be bringing it to job sites. However, if you need the capabilities it offers it’s worth hauling it around.
Even with it’s larger size, it is designed with a shallow rear profile, which saves space in the back. This can be a good saw for a shop if you will be putting it up against a wall on a workbench due to how it’s designed.
Everything about this saw feels really solid during use, from the miter and bevel to the sliding action. Some of the plastic switches and knobs feel like they might be breakable, so it’s probably best to be careful with them. The aluminum miter stop plate can also be susceptible to wear, so it’s probably another part to be a little more careful with. If you will be leaving this sitting in a shop, it should hold up very well. If you will be hauling it around, it’s best to be a little careful of the smaller parts.
This saw has a few accessories included. Here’s what’s all in the box when you purchase this one.
- Miter saw
- 12 inch carbide tipped blade
- Dust bag
- Vertical clamp
- Triangular rule
Setup & Assembly
When unboxing you may notice that the packaging is actually kind of poor and not very protective of the parts inside. Makita really should consider packaging this in some more structured foam protection. For this reason it’s best to do a full quality control check on everything as you unbox and assemble.
This saw requires a little bit of setup time and you’ll want to take the time to check all the calibration points and align everything properly. You can easily spend an hour getting this one setup. After getting everything calibrated you’ll be able to make adjustments and measurements quickly during use, so it’s worth it to pay attention to the details during setup. It’s important to read through the manual on this one so that you catch the finer details for calibration, blade changes and safe 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.
- Large cutting capacity
- Sliding action is smooth
- Cutting is smooth with soft start and blade brake
- Bevel and miter adjustments are easy and accurate
- Low profile on back side is great for use on a workbench against a wall
- Laser beam
- Very sturdy and heavy
- Dust collection bag isn’t that great
- Rotating miter base can get tough to turn if not clean
- Not very portable due to weight and bulk
- Laser is only single sided beam rather than double sided
28-1/2 in x 26-1/8 in x 35-1/4 in
The Makita LS1219L compound miter saw is very capable with it’s dual bevel and sliding action. It has excellent cutting capacity and can handle some larger materials. It low profile in the rear and it’s overly bulky size make it a better fit for a shop than an job site, but it can do both if you want to haul it around. People who own this saw are very happy with it and find it to be a workhorse in their shop.