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The influx of cheap and cheerful power tools has alerted Makita to a deficiency in its range. Whilst Makita may be the one for a powerful and precise mitre saw, those prices sure can sting. With the Makita MLS100, you can keep the Makita name, quality and serviceability. So, keep your hands off the no-name tools and check out this mitre.
The MLS100 is ideal for general DIY and light industrial or trade work. The blade is tungsten carbide tipped and 255mm, 10 inches, in diameter. It is spun by a 1500 watt motor up to speeds of 4200 rpm. The saw can achieve a 75mm depth cut at 90°, with a maximum cross-cut of 130mm. This width is ideal for skirting boards, picture rails and cornices. You could even knock up a nice chair or table.
If you add a different blade, the mitre is also capable of cutting through aluminium.
The saw can turn 0° to 45° in both left and right directions. There are positive stops found at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6° and 45° along both the left and the right for easily snapping into position.
What you get when you buy a Makita over an import is the Makita name for starters, and the ability to have them serviced and the angles adjusted by their professional engineers. While it is tempting to go cheaper, this saw will last longer than the knock-offs.
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- Cuts a width of 130mm at 90 degrees and through 90mm on a 45 degree mitre
- The mitre works both left and right, with positive stops for speedy adjustments
- Transparent blade guard lets you keep tabs on the cut as it is in progress
- Electronic brake for added safety
- Double insulation on the motor and gears for less sound and vibrations
- Has a built-in dust collection system
- You can extend the dust collection further into a vacuum cleaner
Makita have designed this saw for the general DIY fan, but it can be used for light professional work. The carry handle is quickly released and clicked into place for easy moving. It does weigh 14.7kg, which is towards the lighter end of average for a mitre saw.
It has a decent footprint of 610mm (L), 485mm (H), and 515mm (D). The plastic feet solid enough to rest on a saw table, and have holes for affixing more permanently in position. Rails extend from the sides to rest your pieces on, these can be pushed inwards for compact transportation.
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- Brand name quality and serviceable parts
- Mitres in both left and right, with decent cutting depth all the way through the angles
- Electronic brake and double insulation to protect your hands and your ears
- Available in 240 V or 110 V for home or site-specific work
- Not as deep cuts as a thoroughbred Makita
- The arm is definitely made on a budget
This saw is available in 240 V and 110 V, the standard for site usage. We'd recommend 240 V for DIY fans - unless they're very serious indeed, so you don't need any extra converters.
Professionals might be a little dismayed by the quality of the arm. The mechanism is made from some rather simplistic components, a sliding port, rather than ball-bearings and hydraulics. But this is Makita making a play for cheap custom. The arm is still smooth, but we can't say how it would last over time. Hence why Makita are happy for you to use them for servicing and repairs. Swings and roundabouts!
Conclusions on the Makita
The MLS100 is a really good option for a DIY generalist, who needs a saw to take the workload off. I think there are some quality features on the MLS100, which might endear it to a professional, but ultimately I don't think the build quality would last through prolonged, intense, professional work.
The plus points to look at if you're in the first bracket of customers are its double-action mitre, 45 degrees left and right, it has a dust collection system - which is essential lest ye end up coughing for days - and it has a very adequate cutting capacity - in terms of width and depth.
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Makita make sliding compound mitre saws which have a far greater cutting width, and they make sturdier compound mitre saws, some of which are cordless. But the MLS100, for the beginner or less-frequent user, is a great find. We all need to get behind repairs and servicing, and Makita is a great company to start doing this with, due to their longstanding reputation and commonplace parts.
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