Pros:Smooth cuts, easy operation.
Cons:Not "ready to go straight from the box"
The Bottom Line: It gets a conditional recommendation. The saw functions acceptably, but has a few problems. It needed adjustment before it could be put to work.
As so often happens, I bought my new Makita LS1013L in the midst of a crisis. My old Craftsman 8 1/2" was irreparably damaged and I had a job to finish - in other words - I needed it NOW. That is one reason that I didn't buy it from Amazon. Another is that I've had some pretty poor service from Amazon in the past. The real reason, though, is that I just like supporting local businesses.
Recommend this product?
I note that many reviews of the LS1013 are several years old and I'm please to say that some things have changed. My saw was well packaged in a sturdy box and did have a cardboard tube to protect the vulnerable adjusting knobs that other writers have mentioned. I'm not certain that the box could survive the UPS "Crash 'n Smash" department, but few can if the guys in the brown suits are feeling especially frustrated.
The LS1013L was very easy to put to work. There were a couple of minor assembly items - extension wings and a clamp assembly - that required just a few minutes. I found the manual of limited value, but the assembly is pretty straightforward.
Time to go to work. When I pulled the trigger, I was quite pleasantly surprised at how quickly and smoothly the saw came up to speed. Similarly, the brake stopped the saw quickly and smoothly. The LS1013L is, without a doubt, the quietest miter saw I have operated. The dual slides make for smooth easy operation during cuts. I haven't experienced any of the difficulties described by other reviewers with the two locking knobs at the front of the table. It is really quite simple, the inner knob locks the table, the outer locks the slide - I like it! They might get bent and I might change my mind, but for now ...
When I bought my LS1013L, I was in the midst of building jamb extensions and trim mouldings for 11 windows. Before I could get into cutting anything accurately, I needed to spend a considerable length of time adjusting the fence. Straight from the box, the saw was cutting about 1 1/2 out degrees out of square. Adjusting the fence is simple, but it is a trial and error process that can take some time to get dead on. The fence is not straight from end to end. Laying a straight-edge along the fence shows a deviation of about .010" from end to end. I have tried to straighten it but it is of cast aluminum which can be tricky, and I also do not have an arbor press with which to apply directed pressure. For now, I can live with the deviation. I won't show up in most of the work I do. A bigger problem for me is that the detents for 45 degree miters are not dead-on accurate - again about 1 degree or so out. That makes my job very difficult at times. The 45 degree bevel detents appear to be reasonably accurate.
The LS1013L is equipped with a laser (that's why the "L" suffix). That seemed like a nice feature and added only about $60.00 to the cost, so I chose it. As it turns out, the laser is not visible under natural light except at dawn or dusk. It is also invisible under the fluorescent lights in my shop. The laser is easily adjustable, although I have not needed to adjust it since I can't see it. There is an on/off switch for the laser - I no longer turn it on.
When I first put the LS1013L to work, I was amazed at the smooth cut produced by the 70 tooth blade. No matter whether sawing White Pine, Hard Maple or Red Oak the saw cuts fast and smooth, and leaves a splinter free edge.
The LS1013L is equipped with an "auxiliary fence". This is a little wing shaped affair that is theoretically supposed to flip over to the left, making the left fence longer, or to the right making the left fence higher. I'm having some difficulty understanding why it is there because it does not align with the saw's main fence in either position. I'll probably take it off if I can't find a use for it soon - scrap metal prices are pretty high right now.
There is also a hold down clamp that will hold workpieces firmly in place. It is a good thought, but I find it a bit awkward to operate. It could be positioned more conveniently and larger screw handles would make it easier to operate. I don't use it often and I'll probably take it off.
The dust bag works surprisingly well. One little glitch though - when it gets full, the tube where it attaches gets plugged and is not visible from the front. When emptying the bag, be sure to poke a finger in the tube to clear it.
All in all, the Makita L1013L is a reasonably good tool, although I have no reason to think that it might be any better than a DeWalt, Porter Cable, Hitachi or other high quality tool. My recommendation is conditional simply because it has some problems, but in this age of "more, faster, cheaper" real top quality is rarely found, and I doubt that a buyer could do any better.