Makita LS1018L
Makita LS1018

Makita is expanding its line of miter saws by introducing the 10-inch compound sliding model LS1018. It has the same cross cutting capacity as the company’s premium 10-inch model (LS1016) but is about 10 pounds lighter and sells for about $100 less. The lower price point was achieved by going with a simpler two-rail design (versus the four-rail design of the LS1016) and a different motor and electronics package. The two-rail design means the saw cannot be used as close to a wall but is one of the reasons why it is lighter. And it is not just lighter than the LS1016; at 43.7 pounds the LS1018 is 3 pounds lighter than the Festool Kapex, 7 pounds lighter than DeWalt’s DW717, and as much as 20 pounds lighter than some other 10-inch sliding dual compound models.

Like Makita’s other miter saws, this one is direct-drive so it achieves 100% power transfer and there is no belt to slip or wear out. It has a 13-amp motor, soft start, and an electric brake. Under no-load conditions it spins at 4,300 RPM, which is slightly faster than average for a 10-inch saw of its kind. What’s interesting about this number is how it compares to that of Makita’s premium saw. The LS1016 has a no-load rating of 3,200 RPM—a speed made possible by the inclusion of electronic speed control. The LS1018 does not have this feature so it must spin faster to begin with to avoid bogging down in heavy cuts.

The cross-cut capacity of the new saw is in line with that of competing models so it should be able to perform the majority of tasks a carpenter would expect to do with a saw of its kind. Features include an oversize trigger, extension wings, and a pair of rubberized handles—one for operating and the other for carrying the saw. For bevel cuts the left upper fence can be slid out of the way and the right upper fence removed. The trigger has a safety button.

This is not Makita’s top-of-the-line 10-inch saw—for that you would want the LS1016 or LS1016L—but on paper, at least, the LS1018 appears to be a good value. No other name-brand manufacturer (Bosch, DeWalt, Festool, Hitachi, or Ridgid) produces a 10-inch sliding dual compound saw this light and sells it for less than $400. The LS1018 saw has been out since 2010 in much of the rest of the world and has just now made it here. The four-year time lag may be a blow to the egos of carpenters who consider themselves early adopters but is otherwise not a bad thing, because if there were any bugs with the original design they would likely have been worked out by now. We’ll find out for sure in the coming months because Makita is sending us a saw to test.

Makita LS1018 Specs
Blade diameter: 10”
Arbor: 5/8”
No load speed: 4,300 RPM
Amps: 13.0
Weight: 43.7 pounds
Max cross cut at 90 degrees: 3-5/8” x 12”
Max cross cut at 45 degree miter and bevel: 1-1/4” x 8-1/2”
Max baseboard cut on the vertical: 3-5/8”
Max crown vertically nested: unknown
Miter: 0-47 left; 0-60 right
Miter stops at: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 (left and right)
Bevel: 0-45 left and right (with stops at both)
Country of origin: China
Includes: Tool, 10" carbide-tipped blade, vertical vice, triangular ruler, dust bag, extension wings, wrenches
Web price: $399

The video below was shot a few years back in the UK and is of the 240-volt European version of the saw with a laser (LS1018L). Makita has not said if there will be a laser-equipped version for the U.S. market.