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I use sliding compound miter saws quite a bit for renovating houses and also when I get into the mood to create something new for the yard—like a raised garden bed or similar project. And that’s the beauty of a sliding miter saw like the Makita LS0815F—it gives you most of the capabilities of a larger saw, but without the weight and hassle.
The saw uses a linear ball bearing slide system that seems to do a good job of self-cleaning the steel guide bars and also feels good and stable during use.
I like the safety trigger on this saw, which is a pushbutton thumb-actuated style located at the top of the vertically-oriented handle. The blade guard on the Makita LS0815 is a translucent Makita blue, giving you a nice view of your workpiece throughout the cut. When making wider cuts the integrated extension wings pull out to give you additional 9” of reach on either end of the base for a total of 36”. I got to work measuring and cutting up a bunch of crown moulding for a couple of projects, including the exterior window trim on a house from the early 1900s and some interior trim for a classic take on a brick fireplace. If you don’t have a miter saw stand you can set up your saw across a couple sawhorses. The depth set screw has a quick release pass-through, which—handily enough—made it easy to fashion precise dado cuts into a 1×12.
With the ability to slice through 2x12's, and decent rigidity during more sensitive beveled crown cuts, the Makita LS0815F could be my new favorite job site miter.
When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader. Thanks for your input, all comments and postings are reviewed prior to being made available on the site.


It comes with a blade wrench as well as a handy vertical clamp, which I found useful because it stores neatly on the tool and can be secured better than the accessories found on many other models I’ve tested to-date.
It’s all quite comfortable to use, though it may take a few times (as it did for me) to get accustomed to the new mechanism. The Makita LS0815F features a soft-start motor, so you don’t feel the saw torque upwards when you engage it. The tri-LED lights at the pivoting end of the saw light up the work area nicely in dim lighting conditions, though it didn’t do much during the day. Of course, we paired the Makita LS0815F with their WST05 job site miter saw stand, giving us a full 9 feet of material support.
Beveling is nearly as easy, with a large control knob on the rear of the saw that unlocks the saw and allows it be positioned anywhere from 0? to 48? (left) and from 0? to 5? (right). If you just set it on top of some wood or dimensional lumber, however, you’ll quickly realize how unhelpful an unstable work surface can be.
Drills, drivers, saws…it seems like the entire industry is understanding that power can come in small packages. Most 12” miter saws weigh around 45 pounds, so Makita shaving a full 14 pounds off that load and still delivering the cut capacity is a big deal. This is something that most users simply tolerate and have gotten used to—but when that start-up torque is no longer present it really makes a difference. Makita gives you an option to turn it on or off during use, so it can be helpful when setting up the cut—not just when you’re spinning up the blade. If you have this miter saw and you need it to be somewhat mobile, Makita’s stand is one of the best matches for it. There is a positive detent at 0 degrees, as you’d expect, along with one at 45 degrees. Instead, use deck screws to secure the saw to a piece of plywood using the four holes at the corners of the aluminum base.


Some pros will consider this a higher risk cut, but if you take your time and keep your hands away from the blade (use clamps) it shouldn’t present a problem. That’s more than sufficient power for the materials on which this saw will likely be used—a fact that was backed up by my testing. Even a little bit of play in the bar on a sliding miter saw can ruin a great piece of wood trim. You’ll get some slight splintering on cuts with the default blade on this saw but it cuts quickly.
What you DON’T want to do is continue making cuts while the blade is spinning (which often involves sliding your hand towards the blade as you move the wood over for the cut). If you’re still lugging around a 12” miter saw to the job site, you may indeed find that you truly need to. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions. This is why most guys whip out the coping saw, but with a good miter saw and blade (and an angle finder) I’ve gotten pretty quick. If you’re planning on doing fine finishing work then you will probably want to choose a finish blade with a higher TPI. Always start your dado on the close side so that you’re pulling the wood in a direction away from the blade—and make sure the blade stops before you move the wood. But if you’re not doing high crown cuts against the back fence or cutting through 4x4s, then this lighter, nimbler Makita saw may be just the ticket to save your back. It’s a nice feature and one that I prefer on all of my circular saws, be they miter or handheld.



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