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Thread: Makita Compound sliding miter saw

  1. #1

    Makita Compound sliding miter saw


    Hello,

    I just bought and set up a Makita Compound sliding miter saw model LS1013FL. So far it seems like a well built easy to use saw.

    The problem I'm having is the laser. It can be set to the left or right of the blade. I either cut the wood too short or too long. Wouldn't it make more sense to line the laser up with the blade ? I am used to using a older Delta miter saw without a laser. Do all the miter saws with a laser line up left or right of the blade? Anyone else have this issue? For the time being I just turn the laser off and line the mark the wood with the blade. Thanks

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Hi Joe, and welcome to the creek.

    If I understand you, your laser beam does not mark exactly where the cut will be. Rather, it puts the line just beside the cut. Well Joe, that is just the way light travels: in straight lines. I had a laser device that mounted on the saw arbor, up against the blade. It was difficult to mount, and difficult to align, so it went in my tool box never to be used again.

    I don't know exactly how your laser is mounted, but unless it is mounted away from the blade so that it can cast its beam at an angle on to the cutline, it will always mark the line adjacent to the cut. I have seen on TV the Delta solution of a laser on each side of the cut and that looks like the best solution.

    I have the Mikita LS1013 and think it is a good saw. I align the cut by bringing the blade down to the wood and adjust where the blade touches the wood. IF I have any doubts, I cut the board just a little long and then sneak up on the cut cut line with one or more 'shaving' cuts.
    Best Regards, Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    Many now come with two lasers for this very reason. Just pick a side and it will save you time for those cuts.

  4. #4
    I'm right handed and bring all(most) of my pieces in from the left, and so set the laser to the left so my cut is to the right of my line. And don't ever count on the laser to be your cut guide other than to get you close - they can move and I just use mine to get in the ballpark.

  5. #5

    Common Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Vee View Post

    Hello,

    I just bought and set up a Makita Compound sliding miter saw model LS1013FL. So far it seems like a well built easy to use saw.

    The problem I'm having is the laser. It can be set to the left or right of the blade. I either cut the wood too short or too long. Wouldn't it make more sense to line the laser up with the blade ? I am used to using a older Delta miter saw without a laser. Do all the miter saws with a laser line up left or right of the blade? Anyone else have this issue? For the time being I just turn the laser off and line the mark the wood with the blade. Thanks

    Joe
    Joe,
    This is typical of many saws. This is a "add on" laser that is activated by the saws rotation. (My Bosch has the same setup) I'd bet that most of them are made by the same manufacturer! Since the unit rides on the side of the blade there is no way it can be exact unless you can adjust focus of the laser diode. Either learn the exact offset and use that when marking or just use the blade alignment check with the saw off. (Like everybody used to do.) There are some saws with the laser located in the body instead of the blade. The Hitachi I think. even then you have to account for the saw kerf. This is mostly a gimmick feature. Most of the SCMS are good enough that the manufacturers need any little edge they can get. If one saw shows up with a laser everybody must have one! When they fail, and they do fail often, most owners don't even replace them. Mine is off about 1/16" at least.
    Bill J
    Last edited by Bill Jepson; 01-09-2008 at 5:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    The laser is designed to get you in the ball park, not mark your exact spot. I have yet to see a laser with a line crisp enough to trust for a final cut but I'll bet they're out there somewhere. I have seen ones that mount to the underside of the saw and are fully adjustable. The ones on my DP are great but the line is over 1/32" wide. That's hardly close enough for most work but great for general sizing and such.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-09-2008 at 5:49 PM.
    Who knows what stands in front of,
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  7. #7
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    The Makita laser is mounted on the housing, like the Hitachi. Not on the blade like the Bosch and aftermarket units you can buy. I'm looking heavily at the Makita myself, and have wondered since you can move the laser side to side to fit your preference, can it be adjusted to the center? But if the beam is not the exact width as the blade kerf, then it hasn't gained you anything, and may in fact cause you more problems. I bet in the end, we all will use the laser as others have said, to get close. Then sneak up on the cut like Ken mentioned. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
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  8. #8
    I have the same saw, like it, but don't even bother with the laser. Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I have th LS1013FL and am very satisfied with the build quality and performance. The laser guide comes factory set for the thickness of the installed blade. It is set to indicate either the left or right edge of the saw blade as this is how most will use. That is you will mark your piece to be cut and then leave the blade kerf (thickness) on the waste side of the wood piece being cut. The nut on top of the laser unit (it can be tight) when loosened allows you to swing fully to the left or right to make this choice. Mine came very accurately set from the factory, but if you need to fine tune, the owners manual on page 21 tells you which screws to adjust. You can verify the accuracy if you have properly adjusted your table insert to the thickness of the blade by turning on the laser and making sure it either lines up with the left or right side of the opening. If you want to have the laser indicate the center of your marked piece of wood (though this is probably not the most accurate way of making cuts), you could just loosen the nut which moves the laser from left to right and just stop it when it lines up with your mark on the piece to be cut and tighten the nut there. I would recommend you get more comfortable marking your piece to be cut and then aligning either the left or right side of the saw blade on this line with the thickness of the saw blade on the waste side. You will be happy with the quality of this tool, I looked at the Bosch which is also highly rated and preferred this one
    Last edited by Bret Leishman; 01-09-2008 at 9:10 PM.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
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    Rosemount MN
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    I also have the LS1013FL. It had the laser set up to the rightside of the blade and was dead on out of the box. This is a great saw!

  11. #11
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    FWIW, I think the best place for the lasers on saws today is in the trash. Does that sound curmudgeonly enough?
    All joking aside, I just don't see the value. Of course I also use a very finely sharpened drafting pencil when marking my trim cuts. Talk about anal.....
    Bill
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  12. Just a novice here, but my learn as I go methodology has been such that I was able to shim my aftermarket laser ever so slightly with a piece of paper under the opposing side from the laser emmiter so that it just kisses the left edge of my cut. Then I employ a routine of measure, mark my line, measure again to see where my line falls and then decide to either take the line, leave the line or split the line. So far it has been quite accurate for my needs on a 1999 Delta 12" Saw.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret Leishman View Post
    I have th LS1013FL and am very satisfied with the build quality and performance. The laser guide comes factory set for the thickness of the installed blade. It is set to indicate either the left or right edge of the saw blade as this is how most will use. That is you will mark your piece to be cut and then leave the blade kerf (thickness) on the waste side of the wood piece being cut. The nut on top of the laser unit (it can be tight) when loosened allows you to swing fully to the left or right to make this choice. Mine came very accurately set from the factory, but if you need to fine tune, the owners manual on page 21 tells you which screws to adjust. You can verify the accuracy if you have properly adjusted your table insert to the thickness of the blade by turning on the laser and making sure it either lines up with the left or right side of the opening. If you want to have the laser indicate the center of your marked piece of wood (though this is probably not the most accurate way of making cuts), you could just loosen the nut which moves the laser from left to right and just stop it when it lines up with your mark on the piece to be cut and tighten the nut there. I would recommend you get more comfortable marking your piece to be cut and then aligning either the left or right side of the saw blade on this line with the thickness of the saw blade on the waste side. You will be happy with the quality of this tool, I looked at the Bosch which is also highly rated and preferred this one
    Stupidly when I got my 1013FL I loosened the laser adjustment screw and moved it to get it to the left side of the blade, since that's how I wanted to cut. (Some right-handed pros like the waste on the other side of the blade which is maybe why it comes from the factory set up to the right of the blade, not the left.) It's adjustable to either side (the laser itself is mounted to the left of the blade on the HOUSING as noted) but the adjustment itself is hard to fine-tune, since it's just a clamping screw. I regret moving it because now it's not exact anymore This a great great saw but if they are going to have an adjustable laser they ought to have a mechanism to make tiny changes not just big ones.

    What I find the laser handy for is to measure a cut without marking it--I just hook a tape measure on the end of the work piece and move it until the laser is over the right spot on the tape. Remove tape and cut--perfect for rough crosscuts. For delicate stuff I put the pencil mark on the laser then drop the blade and see where it's goign to cut precisely.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
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    Me too

    I just got the exact same saw myself, and set it up today. I'm also having trouble with the laser - it's not parallel with the blade, and there's no way that I can see to adjust the angle. I even went so far as to loosen the two phillips head screws that attach the laser unit to the saw. I do NOT recommend this; mine is messed up even more now I think. Guess I won't be using the laser.

    Other than that, I'm happy with the saw. If the borg had carried the one without the laser I would have gotten it. Still bugs me knowing I was beaten by the machine. Somehow I always knew my first post here would be to announce my idiocy.

  15. #15
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    Don't worry about it. If it does bother you, I won't mention that this thread is from a year ago.
    I wanted the Makita bad, but ended up with a deal on the Hitachi 10" slider, so bought it. It's a good saw, just smaller table. The laser on it can be adjusted left, right, or right down the middle. I've tried all three and dislike all three. Just use it like you've always used a miter saw and you'll be a happy camper. Welcome to the Creek! It's a great place full of great people. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
    Member of the G0691 fan club!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...Most likely I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, s3.

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