How to break your Mitre Saw and Survive

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Established Member
8 Feb 2005
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North Yorkshire
Well it was going to happen at some point. I managed to break one of my more expensive bits of kit :-( I'd been enjoying a long weekend of woodwork and got hit by the 'trying too much when tired effect'.

So here are some pictures of warning really. What's really annoying is that my camera was in the workshop because I'd intended on writing a review on the offending Mitre Saw, a Makita LS1013. That will have to wait till the spare part arrives. At least when the review appears it will have a section on Makita after sales service!!

To be honest it was stupidity that got me here. Trying to cut something without sufficient support from the fence. The saw dug in, and flung the timbre and took the fence with it.

You can just see the break on the fence

Yes, that should be straight!!

A close up

Here's hoping that makita will be able to sell a spare at a reasonable price. A review will follow, but in case you're wondering, it is an excellent piece of kit, more so when used properly...
Ouch, Andy. You were lucky it wasn't more than just the fence that suffered. :shock: Fingers crossed the after sales service gets a good review too. :D

Cheers, Alf

Yep reckon just breaking the saw was a bonus, could have been a finger or thumb, very please your OK.
lucky escape ! It looks like you could bolt or clamp a sacrificial fence onto the broken fence and span the problem bit , i tend to use one of these anyway so the saw cuts completely through my timber .
Glad you are okay Andy.

That is incredible. Although I'm still not exactly sure I understand how it happened!



I bet the fatigue dissipated quickly when that happened! It's a good job you didn't suffer any injury.

Not being a mitre saw owner, I don't understand the failure mode but I certainly do understand and agree with your warning about not doing stuff when tired etc.

I think the hard bit is perhaps recognising the clues that indicate one is too tired to work safely.

For me one of them is realising that I am thinking about when I am going to sink that first glass of wine! :?
I have a rule that if I make two errors based on lapse of concentration that I stop for the day. Irrespective of what time of day. The third time could be my thumb or worse.


Many thanks for your combined concern.

Yes, very VERY glad my fingers are still attached. Luckily I didn't need anything more than a plaster to cover up a slight gouge made by a corner of the timber!! Didn't half bleed though.
Tim, I'm not quite sure what happened either. However, after a bit more of a think about it, I'm guessing that there was insufficient fence height. As the photos show I was cutting without the two bolt-on fence extenders (Yes, I know...:?). They should only really be removed when doing angled cuts, not square cuts. So, the timber didn't have much support at the top and probably rolled forward. Very silly.

I'm quite sure Makita will have the spares available, but I'm less convinced about how cheap it's going to be :(. If worse comes to worse I can probably make one from some sturdy ply. In fact the fence is the one of the few things about the saw that lets it down... So perhaps that might even be the way to go.
Im guessing it happened because you didn't have a firm grip on the timber and the saw wasn't at full speed. My saw fence is in the same state and i've left it as a reminder #-o
I usually stop working when I find myself rushing. For example, when I stop measuring things twice before cutting. My mitre saw sounds so agressive, it acts as a real wake-up call everytime I use it. It actually makes me feel ever so slightly apprehensive - which is good. The really dangerous tools are the ones that are quiet but really poweful.

Glad it was not more serious.
I recall last year Anobacterium (the Exeter man ) had a similar experience and I believe lost a thumb. so your warning comes as a good reminder for me.

I must clamp the timber down and not hold it MYSELF.

Anyone heard from Ano? (went to Australia in september)?
AndyG":7je9w00i said:
..... after a bit more of a think about it, I'm guessing that there was insufficient fence height. As the photos show I was cutting without the two bolt-on fence extenders (Yes, I know...:?). They should only really be removed when doing angled cuts, not square cuts. So, the timber didn't have much support at the top and probably rolled forward. Very silly.
Andy - have to agree with you there - very silly. The sub-fences are meant to be left in position apart from when cutting bevels, as you say. They more than double the fence height, giving much better lateral support, although they shouldn't need to be very strong, as they locate the stock rather than provide resistance. If the cut is sweet, they do their job - if not, they will not stand the forces built up by a kickback and perhaps this is wise design.

Some of the problem may be to do with technique. I've seen SCM saws used in all sorts of different ways. Some pull the slide right over, clearing the workpiece then making the cut from the front of the stock (nearest to operator) and pushing the slide forward to do so. Others lower the spinning blade down onto the back of the stock, then push forward. I've also seen the spinning blade run from the fence side making a light backwards cut towards the operator before plunging down and pushing forward - mind you, this was on TV, not by any of Makita's staff.

However, the manual states (their upper case emphasis, not mine):

"Whenever performing the slide cut, FIRST PULL THE CARRIAGE TOWARD YOU FULLY and press down the handle to the fully lowered position, then PUSH THE CARRIAGE TOWARD THE GUIDE FENCE. NEVER START THE CUT WITH THE CARRIAGE NOT FULLY PULLED TOWARD YOU. If you perform the slide cut without pulling the carriage fully or if you perform the slide cut toward your direction, the blade may kickback unexpectedly with the potential to cause serious PERSONAL INJURY."

There is an exploded parts diagram here from which it appears that you need number 117 - part number MSP-316840-9 - which is £50.02.

The reason I know about this diagram is that I also need this part as I had a little kickback during a cut sufficient to knock the fence enough to break the cast stop behind the left-hand sub-fence.

Wasn't the saw's fault - it rarely is - and I would recommend it without hesitation.

Thanks for sharing this, Andy. It's good to be reminded how *$^%" dangerous the tools we work with are. :shock:

Thanks for the pointer. I 'thought' this is what I was doing. But as is normally the case in these situations, you can never be quite certain that what you think you did is what you really did!!

The part number I've got is 317183-2, which corresponds to what's cast on the fence. The difference seems to be between the LS1013 and the LS1013F. I seem to have the 'F' part despite not having the version with the light!!

As for locating the part... I've phoned Lawson-HIS ( and am waiting to be phoned back. I've also emailed machinemart who say they have spares. Thanks for the pointer to Miles. I'll see how the others compare.
Thanks for the reminder re chop saw operation. A thought has come to my mind that if I lay a width of timber on the chop saw bed which is wider than 125 mm around 5" and pulled down the handle I could be in a dangerous situation.
In addition my saw does cut to 250mm (10") but I have to unwind a knob and drag the blade out, which could be overlooked.

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