Makita LS1221 Compound Miter Saw
This lightweight compound-miter saw from Makita features an excellent blade-guard retracting arm
From FHB #162 (June/July 2004)
By Mike Guertin and Rick Arnold
This 12-in. compound-miter saw features sawdust collection and a blade-guard retracting arm that are the best among the 10 saws we tested. The blade-guard system has a housed actuation arm that prevents blade retraction from interfering with the saw’s operation. This is the lightest of the saws we tested. It comes with a 32-tooth carbide blade.
From FHB #249 (Feb./March 2015)
By Paul Johnson
Weight: 37 lb.
Warranty: 1 year
Crosscut at 90°: 7-15/16 in.
Crosscut at 45°: 5-5/8 in.
Nested crown: 6-1/4 in.
As the lightest saw, the Makita is easy to move around, and its small footprint makes reaching the rear-mounted bevel lock easy. Both the miter and bevel scales are well placed and easy to read.
Flaws The one-piece fence was slightly out of plane between the left and right sides. I was able to bring it in line with a fair amount of force, but I was disappointed that the machining was not more accurate. I also found that the miter setting shifted slightly to the right when I tightened the miter knob. Finally, with the dust bag attached, dust flew out from both sides of the guard.
Aside from the fence issue, this saw is square and straight, and it cut even the hardest woods flawlessly. At 37 lb., it’s the easiest to carry.