A miter saw stands for precision, beauty and power. This is one of the largest tools in many a hobbyists workshop but it’s one that gives them unparalleled perfection when it comes to choosing angles and the ability to make those stunning angled bevel cuts which can really add the finishing touches to any piece of work.
But while any miter saw is going to be an imposing figure lurking in the corner of your workshop and allowing for the kinds of jobs that your other tools just can’t handle, there is still certainly a spectrum here. Some miter saws are definitely at the budget end, while others give you huge blades with countless settings and incredible precision.
Where does the Makita LS1040 fall on this spectrum? And is it the right tool for you?
The Makita LS1040 is a little more expensive than some other 10”, 15 amp miter saws but in exchange, you get a bit more heft and a few more settings. This is a decently powerful miter saw and that’s instantly apparent from the RPM. This tells you more about what a tool is like to use often and in this case, you’re getting an impressive 4,600RPM, which is the ‘upper end’ for those kinds of specs.
Other than that, you also get a device that is very nicely made. This has a particularly ergonomic handle that feels good in the hand with curves in all the right places – in our review period, we found that it fit like a glove! The color is an off-white which doesn’t show dust and dirt too easily and the light blue handle is nice and easy to spot, which means fewer accidents.
When using the tool, you’re also going to find that it feels like quality. This is what really matters in any tool review – what it is really like to operate and how it feels. This feels great and truthfully, we really enjoyed using it when we were making cuts and working away in our shop. In particular, we were impressed with the aluminum base, which is a nice touch and something to look out for when getting miter saws.
Despite the excellent build quality though, you still get a device that is very light for easily moving around and this makes it more versatile and better suited to those of a less beefy disposition. The tool only weighs 27.3lbs, which makes it very easy to carry around with you.
The miter cuts 0-45 degrees to the left and 0-52 degrees to the right and tilts on one side for bevel cuts. It also has positive miter stops at nine different settings to make life easier for you and to help you find the precise angle you want quickly and without fiddling around for too long.
Pros and Cons
This miter saw has a number of advantages. Ultimately, any miter saw that doesn’t cost the Earth is going to come with a variety of compromises and getting the right one is all about finding the tool with the compromises you find most palatable. We think this one will have a lot of fans because it is small and light while still offering decent power and features.
But that said, there are no bells and whistles here. And what’s particularly notable in its absence is any form of laser. A laser can be very useful when making precise cuts and it’s a shame not to see that here seeing as it is a bit more of an expensive unit compared to some other devices.
It’s also true that the lightness – while a positive in many ways – is going to be a negative in some aspects as it makes the tool a little less powerful cutting through larger stock. The question is how over you will cut through that kind of material.
Overall, this is one of the better-made 10” miter saws for hobbyists or professionals that don’t need a ton of power. It’s definitely better than extreme budget tools and offers good value for money all around. It’s just a bit of a shame not to get a laser thrown in considering the price point. If that’s a big issue, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this will do just nicely!