The Makita LS1016L is a 10-inch sliding compound miter saw that blends expanded cutting capacity with a small footprint. Experts say this dual-bevel saw with 10 miter stops, seven bevel settings and an extra-tall fence (guide rail) is a good value and a top performer. The four-rail system cuts true; paired with a soft-start motor for smooth operation, the front-mounted laser provides extra precision. Makita covers the saw with a short one-year warranty, but just a few owners mention durability issues.
Impressive range. Experts say the Makita LS1016L has one of the best cutting capacities in its class, sawing crown molding up to 6 5/8 inches tall (or 4¾-inch baseboard vertically), which is more in line with a 12-inch saw. In their comparison test of 10 compound miter saws, Wood Magazine finds the LS1016L offers the greatest miter range (52 degrees left, 60 degrees right) and praises its 10 detents and seven bevel stops. They also find the LS1016L twin bevel scales easy to read from either side of the saw. The Makita boasts a soft-start motor, which eliminates kickback when starting. "Squeeze the trigger and the beveled-gear motor eases up to speed in about a second-and-a-half."
Settings take time to learn. Overall, the Makita LS1016L has good handling, with a bright front-mounted laser and a dust bag that works better than average. "The saw rides smoothly on a rigid four-rail system… that increases cut accuracy and reduces (its workbench footprint)," say Tools of the Trade editors, who list the Makita in their 2010 Editor's Choice Awards. However, the controls are not intuitive; an owner at Wood Magazine's tool-review website calls them "kind of backward from most saws," and other users agree. Editors at Wood Magazine also find the bevel lock on the rear of the saw difficult to reach and use. The miter lock is more complicated than most, as well.
Mixed reports on durability. One owner at the tool-review website for Wood Magazine describes the Makita LS1016L as "not too heavy, but still heavy duty." Experts mention few, if any, quality issues, but a number of owners experience problems with the LS1016L's durability, and some say the saw needs realigning periodically. As far as value-minded shoppers are concerned, the LS1016L includes a clamp, triangle rule and built-in level, and the included 60T carbide-tipped blade is the best factory blade in Wood Magazine's comparison: "[It] makes furniture-quality cuts, [and saves] the price of buying a replacement blade." Makita's one-year warranty is typical for compound miter saws, though brands like DeWalt and Milwaukee do offer longer coverage.
1. Wood Magazine
The Makita LS21016L is named top tool in this test of 10 sliding compound miter saws. Editors appreciate its soft-start motor, which has the least amount of kick, and say the Makita has the largest miter range of the group.
Review: 10" Sliding Mitersaws, Editors of Wood Magazine, December/January 2010/2011
2. Tools of the Trade
Editors review new products and name the most innovative products that stand out in their categories, though specific testing isn't mentioned. Makita's LS1016L is included, with editors commending its smooth four-rail system, "increased cutting capacity" and compact footprint.
Review: 2010 Editor's Choice Awards, Editors of Tools of the Trade, April 13, 2010
3. Taunton's 2013 Tool Guide
The Makita LS1016L design takes up less space in the workshop, according to the latest Tool Guide from Taunton. Though editors give few details on its performance, they feature this Makita in their miter-saw guide, saying it has "nearly the capacity of a 12-inch sliding model."
Review: Miter Saws, Patrick McCombe, Gary M. Katz and Andy Beasley, 2012
4. Wood Magazine
In this brief review, editors of Wood Magazine give the LS1016L 5 stars across the board for its performance, ease of use, features and value. Their favorite attributes include its soft-start engine, sliding rails and cut capacity, though some adjustments are cumbersome. A few owners also review the Makita here.
Review: Makita LS1016L 10" Sliding Dual Compound Mitersaw, Editors of Wood Magazine, Jan. 17, 2012
The Makita LS1016L doesn't receive the same winning endorsement from owners at Amazon.com. Though most of the 50 reviews say the saw is accurate, some say the angle adjustments don't feel intuitive, and there are numerous complaints about durability and reliability.
Review: Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013
The Makita LS1016L gets a higher rating from a handful of owners here, with 4.5 stars. Most say the sliding miter saw is accurate right out of the box, though there are still some reviews saying the fence is poorly constructed and mentioning other durability issues.
Review: Makita 10 in. Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2013