The Makita LS1016L miter saw uses an innovative four-rail design to provide the capacity of a 12-inch sliding miter saw in a compact 10-inch model. Capacity is excellent -- it can cut a 12-inch board or nominal 4-by-4. Its four short rails also add stability, often a problem with sliding miter saws. The soft-start motor has electronic controls that adjust automatically to the wood being cut, and reviewers say this Makita saw handles very hard woods quite well. The laser guide is adjustable and has its own switch, making setup safer and easier. The sliding fence system is extra tall (4.75 inches), a feature owners say they appreciate. The main drawback, aside from poor dust collection, is limited vertical capacity. You can get more capacity for cutting baseboard with the nonsliding 12-inch DeWalt DW716 (*Est. $400).
The Makita LS1016L is a fairly new model, but has been reviewed in three professional publications aimed at builders. Tools of the Trade gives it a 2010 Editor's Choice award, and the Journal of Light Construction provides a detailed single-product review. Fine Homebuilding posts a video review online. We found more than a dozen owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, plus a detailed review at LumberJock.com based on several months of use.
1. Tools of the Trade
Editors at this trade journal, aimed at professional contractors, give the Makita LS1016L a 2010 Editor's Choice award. Editors praise the innovative four-rail design, which improves accuracy and cutting capacity while making the saw more compact than most 10-inch sliding miter saws.
Review: 2010 Editor's Choice Awards, Editors of Tools of the Trade, April 13, 2010
2. Journal of Light Construction
A professional finish carpenter tests the 10-inch Makita LS1016L by using it on his jobs. He's enthusiastic about the saw's capacity and controls, and finds the laser can be adjusted to be dead-on. Dust collection is "only average" and the rail system makes for an odd lack of smoothness at one point in cuts -- though this doesn't affect accuracy.
Review: Makita LS1016L Miter Saw, Jesse Wright, January 2010
3. Fine Homebuilding
In this four-minute video review, Fine Homebuilding editor Justin Fink praises the big table and 12-inch capacity of this 10-inch Makita LS1016L, but wishes the vertical capacity were bigger. He likes the miter lock and concludes that the four-rail system provides superior support (and thus accuracy). The soft-start electronic motor is comparable to the motor on the Festool Kapex KS 120 (*Est. $1,300) that costs more than twice as much.
Review: Video Tool Review: Makita LS1016L Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Justin Fink, Aug. 13, 2009
More than a dozen owners review the Makita LS1016L miter saw here, many giving it very long, detailed comments. Most owners are satisfied with it, praising the controls, laser guide and relatively quiet soft-start motor, but a few complain of fragile parts or quality-control issues. The zero-degree bevel stop seems to be a weak point, and the top rail bearings may be bumpy at first.
Review: Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser, Contributors to Amazon.com
This enthusiastic review is based on several months of use. The owner praises the saw's capacity (to cut a nominal 4-by-4, for example) and notes that he hasn't had any problems with the bevel stop or upper rails. A few readers add comments, including another owner who agrees that the saw is top-notch.
Review: Makita LS1016L Sliding Mitersaw, "Cato"