Makita LS0815F 8-1/2″ Slide Compound Miter Saw

Review of the Makita LS0815F

Powerful and Portable Gets it Done Every Time!

When I’m doing home renovation projects there are always a ton of uses for a good sliding compound miter saw. The Makita LS0815F uses only an 8 1/2 inch blade, but its capacity is right on par with most bulkier 10 and 12 inch models. You get the same capacity with increased portability, more manageability, and just as much power, if not more. This saw has a lot of great features, so let’s get to finding out all this model has to offer.

No Heavy Lifting

Most 12-inch miter saws weigh about 45 pounds, making the compact Makita LS0815F’s 31 pounds feather light in comparison. I think that’s just awesome and my bad back gives this miter saw two thumbs up for this fact alone. The Makita LS0815F is one of the lightest miter saw models you can find on the market today and its weight and compact build make it super easy to transport and store.

The best part is that the Makita LS0815F can still effectively do the same jobs that a 12-inch, 45 pound miter saw can do – none of its capacity is sacrified to allow for the smaller size. What’s the point in struggling to carry a larger tool when this smaller one can do the job just as well? For professional woodworkers who travel to different job sites or move around to different areas on a large job site, the convenience factor is a huge plus. Another plus is its ergonomically designed rubber handle which allows you to hold it more comfortably when moving it from one place to another.

Undiminished Capacity and Accuracy

The Makita LS0815F has pretty good cut capacity. You can use it to cut a wide variety of woods for projects like furniture making, flooring installations, trim, and carpentry projects. It has a 10.5-amp direct-drive motor that drives the blade up to 5000 rpm, which is faster than most larger miter saws with 10 and 15 amp motors. Using the adjustable settings, you can use the Makita LS0815F to easily cut 2 X 4’s, 2 X 12’s and everything in between.

We all know that accuracy is important when considering which miter saw to purchase. The Makita LS0815F was engineered with a linear ball bearing system to help you make the smooth, accurate cuts you need, and there is a large handle for bevel adjustment conveniently located on the back, which lets you make the adjustments you need to get those angles just right. You will find all the standard detents on the miter scale, which is very easy to read by the way, and you can easily lock it in securely with no play.

Soft Start Motor

The soft start motor that’s featured on the Makita LS0815F sets it apart from the competition and sounds quite impressive. Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to feeling a saw torque upwards when it is engaged. The soft start promises to take the edge off so you don’t feel that torque, and that’s a change I could easily get used to. If you’re worried that a soft start will also mean a slow start – don’t. The soft start on the Makita LS0815F was designed with repeated cuts in mind so there is only the smallest delay, which actually gives you just enough time to make sure your cuts are accurate every time.

Splinters and Lights

Some users report that even though the blade cuts quickly, you will get some slight splintering when you use the 48 tooth blade that comes with it, so if you’re doing more than rough cuts you’re going to want to replace the blade with one that has more teeth. This is typical anyway, as most of us know we need different blades for different types of work, but if this is going to be your first miter saw you might want to think about ordering an additional blade right off the bat.

One more thing I really like about this model is that there is a translucent blue blade guard which allows you to see the blade and cut line while you are cutting. I like the sound of that a lot better than those pesky fence guards that pop up and disrupt your view.

There is no laser on the Makita LS0815F, but it does come equipped with an LED which meant to illuminate the cut line. This feature, however, is sometimes more annoying than helpful. It works a lot better if you are not in direct sunlight as the fence tends to cast a shadow when the light shines down from the leading side of the slide. When there is no shadow, the LED does help you see the cut line more clearly and produce more accurate cuts, so the lighting you’re working in will be the determining factor in whether or not this feature is helpful. You do have the option to turn the LED on or off when using the saw, so if it turns out to be annoying, you can just turn it off.

Cut to the Chase

It seems to be the trend these days for more and more power tools to be produced in smaller sizes. I like that the Makita LS0815F gives you so much power in such a compact little package. The soft start motor provides a smoother start and with its 10.5 amps of power is capable of doing the types of jobs I do most often when renovating different sections of my home. I think it would be perfect to have as a portable miter saw that I could easily transport from room to room when doing renovation projects, and it could be perfect for you, too. Be sure to check this one out.