I’ve always preferred 10-inch sliding miter saws to the 12-inch models. The 10-inch tools can do everything I need and since I hardly ever use the added capabilities of a 12-inch, I don’t see the point in lugging around a larger tool. I’ve recently been using a Makita 8-½-inch sliding saw (LS0815F) and it has me wondering if I even need a 10-inch saw—at least when I’m doing trim work.
The LS0815F is much smaller tool than I’m used to, but it has just about everything I look for in a slider. What I like most is the saw’s weight and size. At 31 pounds it’s 27 pounds lighter than Makita’s 12-inch model and 20 pounds lighter than their 10-inch. I can easily lift it into the back of the truck or carry it onto the job one-handed. The footprint is small (18 inches wide) so I can use it without a full-size work table—which can be a production to set up.
In spite of its size, the saw has reasonable cut capacity. It can cross cut a 2x12 and put a 45-degree miter on an 8 1/2-inch board. The 10.5-amp motor has less power than a high-end handheld circular saw (which is usually 15 amps) but that’s plenty for most trim projects and enough for even some light duty framing.
The fit and finish of the machine is excellent. It has soft start and a large bevel adjustment handle that’s easy to find when you reach around back to get at it. The miter scale is easy to read and has all of the standard detents, which lock in firmly with zero play. An LED illuminates the cut line. For the most part, I like it, but because the light shines down from the leading end of the slide, the fence sometimes casts a shadow. It wasn’t usually a problem but sometimes I found it annoying.
There are really only two things that bug me about the tool. First, the slider lock and hold down pin are very small. The hold down pin in particular is buried behind two wires and is difficult to access. It’s not a big deal, but every time I go to lock or unlock the head of the saw, it has me wondering why it couldn’t have been designed better. Secondly, every single bevel angle is marked on the bevel scale, which is very small, so it’s nearly impossible to make any sense of the lines. Fortunately, locating specific bevel angles is not something I do very often.
Overall, I like this saw a lot. It’s a perfect secondary miter saw, great for punch work or bringing up to the second floor of a whole house remodel. It’s also a real convenience to have a powerful, highly capable sliding miter saw that I can lift without throwing my back out.
Blade: 8 ½ inches
Motor: direct drive; 10.5 amps; 5,000 rpm
Max cutting capacity (90): 2 9/16 x 12 inches
Max cutting capacity (45): 2 9/16 x 8 ½ inches
Miters: 0-50 degrees L; 0-60 degrees R
Bevels: 0-48 degrees L; 0-5 degrees R
Weight: 31.1 pounds
Dimensions (LxWxH): 29-3/4 x 17-3/4 x 19-1/4 inches
Includes: 48-tooth blade; triangle rule; vertical vise; extension wings (2); dust bag; box wrench