When it comes to miter saws, two models often stand out – the Makita LS1221 and the DeWalt DW715. Both from reputable brands, these saws have become a common sight in workshops and job sites alike. But how do they compare? In this article, I will delve deep into the features, applications, accessories, and more to help you decide which one is the best fit for you.
The Makita LS1221
The Makita LS1221 is a 12-inch compound miter saw that offers a blend of power, precision, and versatility. This saw is designed to meet diverse cutting needs, making it a popular choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
Features of Makita LS1221
- Powerful Motor: The Makita LS1221 is equipped with a 15 AMP direct-drive motor that delivers 4,000 RPM, providing improved performance and enabling fast and efficient cutting.
- Large Cutting Capacity: This saw offers a large cutting capacity with the ability to make 4-1/2″ tall and 5-1/2″ deep cuts at 90°. It can crosscut up to 4″x6″ at 90° and 2-1/2″x5-1/2″ at 45°.
- Miter Cuts: The saw has 9 positive miter stops at 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° (left or right), and 0° (90° cuts). This allows for precise miter cuts and the easy alignment of cut line.
- Bevel Cuts: The LS1221 has a 0-45° left bevel range with adjustable stops to ensure precise bevel cuts.
- Horizontal D-Handle Design: The saw features a horizontal D-handle design for better control and comfort. This design reduces fatigue during prolonged use, making it easier to handle larger projects.
- Carbide-Tipped Blade: The Makita LS1221 comes with a 12″ carbide-tipped blade that’s durable and delivers clean, precise cuts. The carbide material helps the blade maintain its sharpness for a longer time.
- Dust Collection System: The saw has a built-in dust collection system that helps keep the work area clean. However, it’s important to note that some users feel this system could be improved.
- Electric Brake: This feature stops the blade quickly after the trigger is released, enhancing safety during use.
- Pivoting Fence: The Makita LS1221 features a pivoting fence, providing support for larger workpieces for more accurate cuts.
- Compact and Portable: Weighing in at 37 lbs, the Makita LS1221 is compact and portable, making it easy to move around the job site or workshop.
These features combine to make the Makita LS1221 a versatile, high-performing, and user-friendly miter saw that’s well suited to a variety of applications.
Applications of Makita LS1221
The Makita LS1221 is a versatile tool, and its various features enable it to handle a wide range of cutting tasks. Here are some key applications:
- Trim Work: The Makita LS1221 is ideal for trim work, including baseboards, crown molding, and other types of decorative trim. The saw’s precise miter and bevel cuts make it easy to create accurate angles and tight joints.
- Framing: This miter saw is perfect for framing tasks. Its large cutting capacity allows it to handle a variety of lumber sizes, making it a valuable tool for building frames for walls, roofs, and doors.
- Deck Building: The LS1221 is also useful for deck building. It can make clean, precise cuts through decking materials, facilitating the assembly of deck boards, railings, and stairs.
- Furniture Making: This saw is a great asset for furniture making, enabling precise cuts for parts of chairs, tables, and other furniture pieces. Its accuracy aids in the creation of perfectly fitting joints, contributing to the overall quality and aesthetic of the finished piece.
- Flooring: When installing flooring, precise cuts are crucial for a proper fit. The LS1221 can be used to accurately cut floorboards to the correct length and angle, ensuring a professional finish.
- DIY Projects: For DIY enthusiasts, the Makita LS1221 is a versatile tool that can be used in a wide array of projects, from building bookshelves to crafting picture frames.
Remember, while the Makita LS1221 is designed to handle a variety of tasks, it’s important to ensure the saw is used safely and appropriately for each application. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using the saw.
Accessories and Add-ons for Makita LS1221
Let’s explore the accessories and add-ons that come with the Makita LS1221 and how they enhance the tool’s functionality:
- Carbide-Tipped Blade: The Makita LS1221 comes with a 12″ carbide-tipped blade. This blade is designed for heavy-duty cutting and offers extended life and more precise cutting than a regular steel blade. The carbide tips stay sharper for longer periods, reducing the need for regular blade changes.
- Vertical Vise: This accessory provides added support when working with larger materials. It helps to hold the workpiece securely in place, enhancing safety and precision during cutting tasks.
- Dust Bag: The dust bag helps to collect sawdust and small particles during operation. This feature helps to maintain a cleaner work area, improving visibility and reducing cleanup time. However, some users feel that the dust collection system on this model could be improved.
- Triangular Rule: This is a useful measuring tool that helps users make accurate cuts. It’s particularly beneficial when working with complex designs or when precision is vital.
- Socket Wrench: This tool is used to change the blade on the saw. It’s designed to fit the blade’s nut perfectly, making blade changes quick and straightforward.
In addition to these included accessories, the Makita LS1221 is also compatible with a range of optional accessories, which can be purchased separately to enhance the saw’s functionality further. These include:
- Crown Molding Cutting Guide: This guide helps users make accurate cuts when working with crown molding. It’s a handy accessory for carpentry and woodworking projects.
- Fine-Cutting Blade: This blade has more teeth and delivers smoother, cleaner cuts. It’s particularly useful when working with delicate materials or when a fine finish is required.
These accessories and add-ons enhance the overall functionality and versatility of the Makita LS1221, making it an even more valuable tool for various cutting tasks.
Pros and Cons of the Makita LS1221
- Powerful and consistent performance
- Large cutting capacity
- Versatile applications
- Easy and comfortable to use
- No laser guide included
- Dust collection could be improved
The DeWalt DW715
The DeWalt DW715 is a 12-inch single-bevel compound miter saw that is recognized for its power, accuracy, and lightweight design. It’s designed to provide the precision and efficiency required for professional carpentry and woodworking tasks.
Features of DeWalt DW715
The DeWalt DW715 is equipped with a 15 Amp motor that can reach a no-load speed of 4000 RPM. It has a mitering capability of 0-50 degrees left and right and a beveling capability of 0-48 degrees to the left. It also includes a precise miter system and machined base fence support for optimal cutting accuracy.
Applications of DeWalt DW715
The DeWalt DW715 is ideal for a wide range of applications, including trim carpentry, cabinet making, and framing. Its ability to make precise miter, bevel, and compound cuts makes it a valuable tool for various tasks.
Accessories and Add-ons for DeWalt DW715
The DeWalt DW715 comes with a carbide blade, a dust bag, a blade wrench, and comfortable side handles in the base. The saw is compatible with DeWalt’s laser system and LED work light, which need to be purchased separately.
Pros and Cons of DeWalt DW715
- High cutting capacity
- Precision and accuracy
- Lightweight design
- Compatibility with DeWalt’s laser system and LED work light
- Single-bevel design
- Laser system and LED work light are not included
Head-to-Head Comparison: Makita LS1221 vs DeWalt DW715
I’ve looked at each saw individually, now let’s dive into how they compare directly in various aspects.
Comparison Table: Makita LS1221 vs DeWalt DW715
|Features||Makita LS1221||DeWalt DW715|
|Motor Power||15 AMP, 4000 RPM||15 AMP, 4000 RPM|
|Cutting Capacity||4-1/2″ tall and 5-1/2″ deep at 90°||6.5″ base molding against fence, 6-5/8″ crown molding nested vertically|
|Design||Horizontal D-handle||Compact, single-bevel|
|Weight||37 lbs||42 lbs|
|Miter Range||0-45° left, 0-52° right||0-50° left and right|
|Bevel Range||0-45° left||0-48° left|
|Accessories Included||Carbide-tipped blade, vertical vise, dust bag, triangular rule, wrench||Carbide blade, dust bag, blade wrench, comfortable side handles in the base|
Difference Table: Makita LS1221 vs DeWalt DW715
|Features||Makita LS1221||DeWalt DW715|
|Design||Horizontal D-handle design||Compact, single-bevel design|
|Miter Range||Slightly less than DeWalt||More extensive than Makita|
|Bevel Range||Only to the left||Only to the left, but with a larger range|
|Weight||Slightly lighter||Slightly heavier|
|Accessories||More comprehensive||Laser system and LED work light available separately|
Safety Features Comparison: Makita LS1221 vs DeWalt DW715
|Safety Features||Makita LS1221||DeWalt DW715|
|Blade Guard||Transparent blade guard||Transparent blade guard|
Pros and Cons Comparison: Makita LS1221 vs DeWalt DW715
|Makita LS1221||DeWalt DW715|
|Pros: High power, Large cutting capacity, Versatile, Comfortable to use||Pros: High cutting capacity, Precise and accurate, Lightweight, Compatible with DeWalt’s laser system and LED work light|
|Cons: No laser guide, Dust collection could be improved||Cons: Single-bevel design, Laser system and LED work light are not included|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kind of cuts can the Makita LS1221 and DeWalt DW715 make?
Both the Makita LS1221 and DeWalt DW715 are capable of making miter, cross, and compound cuts. This makes them versatile tools suitable for a wide range of applications.
Are these miter saws suitable for beginners?
Yes, both the Makita LS1221 and DeWalt DW715 are designed with user-friendly features, making them suitable for both beginners and professionals. However, it’s always important for beginners to thoroughly read the user manual and follow all safety precautions.
Do the Makita LS1221 and DeWalt DW715 come with a warranty?
Yes, both the Makita LS1221 and DeWalt DW715 come with a warranty. Makita offers a 1-year warranty, and DeWalt provides a 3-year limited warranty. It’s recommended to check the warranty details with the retailer at the time of purchase.
What Is The Difference Between A Miter Saw And A Compound Miter Saw?
A compound miter saw has the ability to tilt the blade both horizontally and vertically, allowing you to make bevel cuts as well as miter cuts. A regular miter saw can only make miter cuts.
Can A Miter Saw Cut Metal?
Yes, a miter saw can cut metal, but you will need to use a metal-cutting blade.
How Do I Maintain My Miter Saw?
To maintain your miter saw, you should keep the blade clean and sharp, lubricate the moving parts, and keep the dust collection system clean. You should also store your saw in a dry and safe place when not in use.
The choice between the Makita LS1221 and the DeWalt DW715 ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. If you value portability and precision, the Makita LS1221 is the better option. If you need a saw with a larger cutting capacity and don’t mind a heavier and bulkier saw, the DeWalt DW715 is the better choice. Both saws have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are both reliable and accurate saws that will get the job done.