The Makita LS1219L

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Andruckles

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I’ve been following for a while, but this my very first post to this amazing forum. Sadly it’s a “help me decide” post, so apologies for that…

I’m in a lot of despair on choosing a new miter saw for my newly build hobby workshop. In september I backordered the FS Kapex 60 and due to FS having supply issues, it’s expected to be ready for delivery in late december/january. And all the waiting have brought me doubts.

I work proffesionally as a furniture maker and have only ever used miter saws for carpentry work like framing and such where absolute precision isn’t really required. I’ve never considered it as a precision tool and my Bosch GCM 8 SJL have served me well for these purposes.

Due to my new hobby workshop being very small and narrow (only about 6x3m) I haven’t been able to fit a sliding table saw, and all my cross cutting will have to be made with a miter saw, which I’m intergrating into a row of cabinets along one of the sidewalls. My tablesaw will be mainly for ripping and for larger cuts i have my trusty tracksaw. Not really optimal but it’s how it has to be. The tabletop depth above the cabinets will be around 70cm, so the new miter saw will have to be relatively short at the back.

I ordered the KS60 because my only real aim is precision and long term durability and from my previous experience with other tools from FS - they deliver quite well. The pricetag compared to the competion seems ridiculous though and the KS120 is simply so far above what I want to spend on a miter saw for a hobby workshop, that its never been in my considerations. Though if more reasonably priced I would probably have went with the 120.
I settled for the KS60 thinking that its probably enough capacity for most needs, and since I don’t trust lasers anyway - even if they where made for NASA - I couldn’t care less for the laser of the KS120.

The doubts I’ve come to have though concerns the capacity after all. I’m sure the KS60 will serve 98% of my needs, but if i ever where to cut bevels on some 2x4 or larger I wouldn’t be able to, due to the 40mm bevel capacity. And cutting a 4x4 to length will be a 2 cut operation with the limited 60mm 90 degree capacity which leaves room for inaccuracy. A few scenarios with furniture making where it will fall short, comes to my mind aswell.

So recently I’ve been revising my options and since OMGA and such is way over budget, the only real alternative i found is the Makita LS1219L. It seems to me somewhat solid and has reasonable DC which I also like. It’s a monster in size compared to the KS60 but it will be more or less stationary, so the weight doesn’t really concern me as long as it’s short at the back. The 10” inch version doesn’t make sence to me since it’s not really significantly smaller and the pricetags are very close. The bosch 12” seems too plasticy and I don’t trust the rigidity and longterm durability of the odd sliding mechanism.

The Makita I can get my hands on this week if I want to, instead of waiting forever on the FS, which is probably also tempting me to consider it.

What it all comes down to though is precision. Therfore I’m looking for someone with experience of using the Makita LS1219L for precision work, to help me decide weather to stick with waiting for the KS60 and settle for the limited capacity or go for the Makita instead. I stribe for absolute precision so angular wise it has to be dead on, which I’m a little uncertain that the Makita can deliver repeatedly and long term.
 

Spectric

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I use a Bosch mitre saw, the GCM 12 SD Professional with 1450 watts & 305mm blade. I would say most of the saws in this range are much the same, the Makita has the bonus of not requiring a lot of rear space but as far as accuracy then you will get square cuts to a line and I have had no complaints with my Bosch. The larger diameter blade and extra power will deliver clean finishes with the right blade, and the Makita is the same power as my Bosch which is more than the KS60 at just 1200 watts, also you may find the KS handle odd compared to most of these saws which feel more natural as it is in the horizontal plane, I can rotate my Bosch handle to this vertical position and I do not like it, natural to me is like holding the throttle on a motorcycle.
 

PerryGunn

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Another vote for the Bosch GCM 12SD, I've had one for several years and it's a great saw. It has a laser but, thanks to another member on here, you can change this (in about 5 mins) to a shadow line which I prefer

 

Inspector

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For what it is worth one of the local Woodworking Guild members is a school shop teacher. He mentioned he bought a Makita LS1219L for the school shop for the students to use.

Pete
 

pe2dave

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I have a Makita 12" sliding mitre saw. For me it is accurate (lower the blade to find an exact cut, the laser is good for 'approximate').
Mine has been good / reliable and accurate for 10 years or more, I can recommend the brand.
 

Misterdog

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Makita were always the king of the kings of the mitre saw, I still have one I used back in the 1970's.
I've been using the LS1013 for the last 15 years or whenever they came out no trouble. never repaired, superb.
I'm a cabinet maker.
I also have a couple of Altendorf sling table panel saws for those long 3 metre cuts when you need an accuracy of 0.2mm over 2.4M ;)
 

Andruckles

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Thank you all for your replys.

I contactet the dealer where I had ordered the KS 60 and the delivery date was further postponed to february. I ran out of patience, cancelled the order and went out and bought the Makita instead.

At this point I don’t have a lot to say about it as I haven’t really had much time to fiddle with it yet, but on first impression it seems sturdy and well made. I hope the large cutting capacity will come in handy at some point, because even though it is ment to be stationary, I find the size of it quite huge. Maybe even a little too large for my small workshop. But we’ll see.

I will give an update on it in the future if it is of interest to anyone.
 

WoodYewToo

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Thank you all for your replys.

I contactet the dealer where I had ordered the KS 60 and the delivery date was further postponed to february. I ran out of patience, cancelled the order and went out and bought the Makita instead.

At this point I don’t have a lot to say about it as I haven’t really had much time to fiddle with it yet, but on first impression it seems sturdy and well made. I hope the large cutting capacity will come in handy at some point, because even though it is ment to be stationary, I find the size of it quite huge. Maybe even a little too large for my small workshop. But we’ll see.

I will give an update on it in the future if it is of interest to anyone.

Hi Andruckles,
How are you getting on with your new saw? Happy with your purchase?
Thanks.
 

Andruckles

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Hi Andruckles,
How are you getting on with your new saw? Happy with your purchase?
Thanks.

First of all sorry for the late reply.

My mitersaw situation has been somewhat of a circus thus far. As mentioned i bought the Makita, but in the end decided to return it.
The ability of chopping up big timber was nice, but it simply took up too much space in my small workshop. I had my doubts beforehand, but I had to try it out to realise it.
Besides that, the DC performance was really underwhelming and not at all what i expected. Even though it looks as if it has a large intake, the bottom intake is an extemely narrow hole at the back and comes in at a 90 degree angle, so the suction from it in reality is really minimal, even though it looks huge.
Furthermore it made slightly bowed cuts on wide pieces. I probably could have fixed this issue with some tweaking of the sliding bars, but at this point I was too unsatisfied overall and decided to return it.
On the positive side, the sliding action felt really nice, the cuts on the stock blade was very clean (besides the bowing ofc.), the slow starting motor runned very smoothly and the overall feel of the saw was very sturdy and well made. I think a lot of people will be quite happy with it, but it wasn’t for me unfortunately.

So from there, i found another dealer who fortunately had the Kapex 60 in stock, but at around 100£ more. I was a bit fed up at this point and decided to bite the bullet and buy it.

Unboxing it, I felt quite happy with my choice. The size difference alone was immense, and the overall feel of it was.. well festool, so obviously really nice. But on further inspection I found that the base was not flat. The centerbase was raised slightly above the sidebase. Not a lot, about 0.3mm, but when clamping a piece down with the built in clamp function, it is enough that the cut will be skewed slightly. I measured the skew to be about 0.6mm above the base at the cut - i.e it will never be square to the blade regardless of adjustments. If the center base had sat lower than side base it would’nt be as much of an issue, as I would be able to press the wood down at the sidebase only and then the cut might only get skewed around 0.1/0.2mm which is not really going to affect the angle measurably when the max cutting capacity is around 60mm anyway. I’ve rarely ever used the clamping function on any mitersaw anyway, but the base simply has got to be flat when I spend 860£ on a miter saw, it’s that simple. Even my little 100£ Metabo - which is far from a precision tool - has a flat base within 0.1mm.

So I went back to the dealer and got it swapped. On inspection of the new one, I found the skew to be even worse on this one and futhermore the fence was not square to the base. Obviously I returned it, and had a chat with the dealer who agreed that the issues were not minor enough that it was to be expected when you buy a festool product, at the pricetag it comes with. He told me he would contact festool and get back to me, as it seems they maybe have had a bad shipment, but i have’nt heard from him yet.

So this mitersaw journey have left me stuck with my old Bosch for now, which is not precise enough for my needs either. I’m planning on giving the kapex another go at some point, but I’m just so fed up with the whole thing at the moment that I’ve decided to move on for now.
 

Spectric

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You may be looking for a level of precision that the mitre saw was never designed to deliver, remember it is wood we are cutting which has a tendancy be a shape changer anyway. As for dust, well Makita, Bosch and such are well used on sites where a bit of dust is just the result of cutting wood and as you say the Makita was a big saw intended for heavier work compared to the smaller Kapex. I have had many an occasion where I would have been stuck without the capacity of a 12 inch saw, and it's biggest downfall is that like you it does take up space. The Kapex is only £50 more at FFX than the Makita but is only a 216mm saw with 1200 watt motor compared to the Makita at 305mm and 1450 watt motor. The Makita is in my opinion let down by the two side supports for the wood, just metal bar loops but the deal breaker for the Kapex is the vertical handle, tried my Bosch with the handle set vertical and for me it is just wrong.



But for me the Bosch is still the winner at just £50 more Bosch GCM12GDL 110v 12in Double Bevel Gliding Mitre Saw
 

Andruckles

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You may be looking for a level of precision that the mitre saw was never designed to deliver, remember it is wood we are cutting which has a tendancy be a shape changer anyway. As for dust, well Makita, Bosch and such are well used on sites where a bit of dust is just the result of cutting wood and as you say the Makita was a big saw intended for heavier work compared to the smaller Kapex. I have had many an occasion where I would have been stuck without the capacity of a 12 inch saw, and it's biggest downfall is that like you it does take up space. The Kapex is only £50 more at FFX than the Makita but is only a 216mm saw with 1200 watt motor compared to the Makita at 305mm and 1450 watt motor. The Makita is in my opinion let down by the two side supports for the wood, just metal bar loops but the deal breaker for the Kapex is the vertical handle, tried my Bosch with the handle set vertical and for me it is just wrong.



But for me the Bosch is still the winner at just £50 more Bosch GCM12GDL 110v 12in Double Bevel Gliding Mitre Saw

I believe you are absolutely right that a mitersaw will probably never reach the level of precision I desire. I just haven’t come to fully accept it yet. The action of moving a saw sliding on rails into the wood rather than the wood into the saw, simply leaves too much room for inaccuracies. But making the base flat should’nt be a huge issue in my book and i expect it to be flat when the saw cost a lot more than it should to start with. As you mention the motor of the KS60 is quite underpowered compared to the competition, yet the saw is more expensive, so if I don’t pay for accuracy either, then really what do I pay for besides green buttons? My perspective is sure a bit off, as I’m used to working on sliding tablesaws of high quality like Martin and Altendorf at my workplace and as you say, mitersaws are intended for jobsite use where tenths of a mm doesn’t really matter. If i had the space for it, I probably would have saved up the money for a large sliding tablesaw, but since I’m limited in space I have to get creative, which is why I’m looking for a mitersaw with the highest possible precision. But since it’s still “just” a mitersaw, the high price of an OMGA (which is the only brand i found thus far, to be making really high precision stationary mitersaws) is simply too high for me, for a machine that only do crosscuts.

Opposite to almost anyone, I actually find the vertical handle position most comfortable. It might just be down to the fact that all the mitersaws I’ve had, has been this way and therefore I’m used to it, but for me the Kapex 60 handle position is alright. The Kapex 120 I find to be a lot more uncomfortable in use, though they appear somewhat the same.

Makita actually upgraded the side supports on the LS1219. It must have been quite recently, because when I bought it, the picture on the danish Makita site was still of the old one with the bars, but the one I recieved looked like this: LS1219L - Kap-/geringssav
The new ones were really sturdy and quite large, so this feature can no longer be a letdown.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
most of the trouble/accuracy with miter saws is the blade.....
I can get about a 20thou sliver of my DeWalt with a new 90 tooth blade......
mine is the 305mm dia blade, sliding version.....of which ther eis no slop in the rails.....
also a lot of the prob with the rails is the bearings used.........
or perhaps I'm just lucky....
 

Spectric

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so if I don’t pay for accuracy either, then really what do I pay for besides green buttons?
Those little green bits apart from costing a fortune are also addictive to some, it is the pretence that using our tools with little green bits can turn anyone into a master woodworker.

Makita actually upgraded the side supports on the LS1219.
That is a big improvement, brings it in line with the Bosch. I suppose in the world of mitresaws in the category we are in you have either slides or the Bosch system of linklages, another debate and more easily explored at one of the woodworking shows where you can have a feel.
 
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