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Makita LS1018L

Makita LS1018L

2.6 from 9 reviews

Gets the work done well after an initial setup procedure

I purchased this tool from Sydney Tools. Bunnings has the LS 1017L at the same price, which has a bevel cut only on one side (or some other limitation which i cant remember now).

Out of the box, you have to set up the Makita for accuracy, which is bloody unfortunate. It would seem tedious, but must be done. You must align the blade to the table top and the blade to the fence. There are some videos on you tube and this one is really helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGQmHPS4nU0

50% or less of the dust is actually collected in the dust bag, so expect a mess and a reasonable clean up after you finish working. I always thought i could get into woodworking so i could escape the wife's orders of doing cleanup after dinner, oh well!

I attach 2 sets of wood screwed to the fence which serve as zero clearance kerf boards for both, 0 and 90 deg cuts and that works well.

I have made some fine furniture from this baby, run it through a lot of hard work (definitely not tradie routine, but enough for an enthusiastic woodworker / DIY) and i like this thing. It goes well, it feels smooth and effortless, gives me a good, clean and safe cut every-time.

So often, we will curse the product for accuracy and all that, forgetting the external factors that are at play. If you don't put true, straight wood in, you will just not get accuracy down the line, whatever machine tool you use. So keep this in mind and please adjust your Makita (or any other tool, before you start). I assume the fancy Festool and other premium tools would not require this initial setup, but for sure, accuracy will suffer if the wood you feed into it is not true.

This will get the work done and the limitations that it has (the ultimate accuracy) can be easily overcome with a little intelligent effort on your side, before and after you feed the wood into this machine.

Not used any other tool before in this category (have used a real cheapie second hand one from a different brand, i got off Gumtree, which was the manufacturer's most basic effort in manufacturing a tool), i cant make a comparison with other products in this price range, but I'll say, I'm sticking with this and recommending this baby to anyone who is in this ballpark budget. There may be others out there in this price range though, so keep your buying options open.

A few pics of my first mitre saw (mostly) work, a custom AV unit for my TV and amplifiers.

Purchased in June 2018 at Sydney Tools NSW, Castle Hill for $479.00.

Does what it should

I don't understand what all the negative comments are about for this machine. I think it's quite adequate. I'm an engineer/home handyman and wanted something of reasonable quality.
To begin with, you can't expect a $500 saw to be as good as a $1200 saw by the same manufacturer right?
So how can you expect this saw to be 'as good as the old days'.

I'm very impressed with this saw. It's quite versatile which is exactly what I needed. Great cutting angles (from both sides and inclines), reasonably quiet, accuracy is awesome (checked with straight edge and angles), and doesn't weight a ton.
Yes it's a Makita but that doesn't mean you can chuck it in the back of a ute without tying down and expect it to be ok.

As with all saws the bag is useless and actually should always have a vacuum attached. Also the laser is hard to see when working out in the sun. But c'mon, it ain't gonna chill your beer for you.

Obviously you gotta know which side of the blade the laser is showing you as well otherwise you'll always be 2mm off.

What I love most is the angled motor so you can cut 45 incline on BOTH sides without having to turn the piece around which is sometimes impossible. Unlike the LS1017 that Bunnings sell.

I would recommend this machine. If you're a tradie, sorry mate, you're looking in the wrong price range.

Purchased in January 2019.

Makita LS1018 Dissapointing

Really disappointed with this tool, I purchased because of the Makita supposed good name, so I did not even check quality before buying.
The rails all rusted up within a couple of months, when it starts up sounds like it will explode, really cheap quality tool.
Old Makita tools were made in Japan according to the label, and they were the best quality bar none .
I wanted to replace a ancient Makita one that I have had for 20 years, it never let me down once, always started took a heap of rough treatment, so I just bought a Makita again, but since buying I have noticed Makita quality has gone downhill, castings rough, slide rails grinding, etc, so I now have a Bosch Slider, could not be happier.

Date PurchasedJan 2017

Rusty rails and screws

After setting the unit up as per the manual to register all cutting planes at 90 degrees, no problems.

The issue is with the quality of the materials:

I brush the saw off at the end of each day's use, then vacuum to remove sawdust in hard to reach places. After far less than half a year, rust started forming on the rails and some of the screws. (The screws are coated for rust protection (resistance??).)

Just under a year since purchase, and the rails are covered in rust. Sliding the cutting unit causes the rust to transfer onto the bearings, which will likely see them degrade sooner than expected, too. As you can guess, the slide is no longer a completely smooth motion.

Have just submitted a warranty claim to Makita for defective materials. This is not 'normal wear and tear', as these parts are supposed to be protected from corrosion to an extent.

Cutting with it was fine, but pretty disappointed about the materials, as this was not a Bunnings-quality machine. (Admittedly, it's one level just above.)

Date PurchasedJul 2017

Worst Slide Compund Saw

I purchased my LS1018L a few years ago and have nothing but trouble with it. I could not cut a accurate mitre to save it self. I now use my Hitachi saw for everything now and just keep the Makita for cutting fire wood.
This is a real shame how Makita quality has gone from number 1 to last in the pack in only a few years.
I would never buy another Makita product after this piece of rubbish.

Date PurchasedMay 2011

Good enough

I was building a picket fence and though I should upgrade from my circular saw. I bought this from Sydney Tools at $489. You could buy nearly exact same model from Bunnings - LS1017L for $30 less. This one does both left and right bevel whilst Bunnings one only do one side. I haven't used bevel cut yet so could have saved the $30.

The calibration out of the box is good enough for my purpose - mitre cut, 90 degree cut. I do understand some of the comments about accuracy of the mitre and bevel cut as the indicators are plastic and rather flimsy. But as I said, I have no need to make any adjustment for what I was doing. And for a weekend warrior like myself, if the situation call for, i don't mind spending a little extra time to make some adjustments before I use.

The laser guide is pretty accurate as well to guide straight cut. The sliding action is good. The blade is sharp for the treated pine I was sawing.

I am happy with this saw and really don't want to pay anymore than $500. I considered the Aldi which sells for $179 but only had an 8 inch blade vs 10 inch. The blade size would limit how thick the material that can be cut.

Date PurchasedNov 2016

Faulty as they come

This unit is incredibly flawed. The actual base plate is out as far as I can tell and I have carried it around with me to numerous jobs hoping that I am an idiot and letting another chippee show me my errors - none can and all agree the unit is faulty. It won't even go past 27 degree for angled cuts so 45 mitre is not happening. I will go with Hitachi from now on.

Carpentry not Cabinetry

I bought the LS1018L a few years (5 ??) back when I needed a drop saw for the construction of a couple of decks. I checked all the angle setups immediately after taking the saw out of the box and set them correctly. I didn't really expect them to be exact right out of the box. Since then I have used the saw many times as a simple drop saw and as a mitre saw - even made numerous compound cuts. All turned out fine! I always follow the old rule - measure twice, cut once and that includes the saw setup.

Otherwise the unit has run well, without issue. I have not modified the saw, but I have set it up on a stand and built a dust hood and vacuum extraction set up around it. I clean it after use.

I guess I could have paid a lot more for a compound mitre saw, but would I have achieved better results?? Not too sure. I use the saw for larger scale carpentry tasks rather than fine work such one might encounter in cabinetry. Cutting small pieces of timber (such that the plastic guide is not level) suggests dangerous practice by getting fingers too close to the spinning blade. The saw is not made for fine work.

The blade cover sometimes catches on the edge of the timber being cut - not a big issue. I would rather have the safety of the cover in place.

If it lasts another five years it will have paid for itself.


Straight out of the box-
The orange plastic degree indicator pointers were all loose/wobbily so didn't line up - not accurate poor quality on degree tabs - The sticker indicating degrees of cut is wrong 45 degrees one side is not 45 on the other
One side of blade guard constantly catches and hooks up on timber when cutting - The blue plastic infill strip on deck is below surface - so when cutting small pieces the timber will rock and you get angled cuts of around 87degrees instead of 90 - these last 2 points make the saw almost dangerous
Brought the saw monday will be returning on Wed
Would not recommend this saw to anyone especially beginners unless they don't value their fingers.
Quiet motor
CHEAPO Build - not impressed

1 comment
Agreed! This machine is extremely innacurate.

Questions & Answers

How to adjust the saw head/cutting blade to be in alignment with the slides, currently with the slides running at 90 deg to the guard rail the saw blade is 1mm out of square.
2 answers
At what points did you measure this from? Or was it from the piece you cut? If I understand you correctly, you measured 91 degrees or 89 degrees from somewhere. One thing to note is how your piece to be cut is butted up against the guide. The separable section of the guide can jut out at times.The problem is that the saw blade is not parallel with the saw slide.


Release dateJan 2011
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