Makita LS1221 Review – Is This The Best Saw For You?

Cut Quality: 5/5
Ease of Use: 4/5
Durability: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Value: 5/5
4.6/5 Out of 63 Reviews on Amazon
(Last Updated 7/31/18)

Type: Single Bevel Compound
Right miter: 48°
Left miter: 52°
Blade size: 12
Motor: 15 AMPs
RPMs: 4,000
Weight:  37 lbs

Makita has a reputation for making strong, accurate and reliable power tools.  Fans of Makita often praise the long lasting performance of the machines and stay loyal to the Makita brand with future purchases.  It’s easy to see how someone could become a Makita loyalist when taking a closer look at the LS1221.  Satisfied customers rave about the power, precision, and ease of operation.

Our Makita LS1221 Review

Cut Quality

Accuracy is the main focus of the Makita LS1221 .  The carbide tipped 12″ blade, driven by a powerful motor, has a large cut range that’s more than enough for a number of applications. It’s cut capacity is 3-7/8″ x 6″ at 90 and it has a 4-1/2-inch tall pivoting fence that allows users to cutt up to 5-1/2-inch crown molding.  One reviewers said:  “I took this Makita out of the box, didnt have to adjust anything, and I was getting perfect cuts.”

Ease of Use

This miter saw was engineered for easy-to-execute operation and precision performance.  It’s feather light design lends itself to an incredible portability for a miter saw this powerful.  That alone is huge.  But aside from the mobility factor, the LS1221 has a number of features that enhance usability and increase overall performance.

There’s all the standard features you would expect from Makita, and some you might not.  Measured cuts are made simple with positive miter stops at 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° (left or right), and 0°.  For further ease of adjustment there is a dual rear-handle bevel lock with adjustments 0° to 45° (left and right) with positive stops at 0°, 22.5°, 33.9°, and 45° (left and right).  The miter lock system is a simple, one-touch (push in and turn) system.

The only complaint this miter saw has received regarding user experience, is of an inconvenient blade change design.  Although it’s unfortunate that changing blades is more complicated than it should be, changing blades isn’t something you’ll have to do very often.


Makita fans rave about the longevity of Makita power tools.  The Makita LS1221 is a perfect example of a miter saw made for the long haul.  It offers consistency and reliability, you can count on this saw for years and years.

Credit for long-lasting performance is largely due to the 15 Amp direct drive motor.  This innovation from belt-driven to direct drive motors means more durability and less maintenance.  With no shortage of power, it boasts a no-load speed of 4,000 RPMs.  You can generally rest assured with Makita’s reputation for building quality motors.  One review says: “Still using this saw 9 years after the first review. I guess that makes the saw 12 years old now.”


If any issues do arise with your LS1221, maintenance and replacement is no problem.  Makita offers a 1-Year Limited Warranty for manufacturing flaws as well as a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee.  Getting service for your machine is simple with authorized service centers located all across the United States and the World.  You can find more information about Makita’s warranties on their website.

Included in the box:

  • 12-inch C.T blade
  • Vertical vise
  • Extension wings
  • Wrench
  • Dust bag

See what questions other shoppers have about this miter saw.

Overall Value

No saw is perfect, but the LS1221 comes pretty close.  This is not the miter saw for inspector gadget.  It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that some newer and flashier saws do.  Instead, everything about this saw contributes to user convenience and precise results.  You’d be hard pressed to find a miter saw with as good of ratings across the board.  And you’d be even more hard pressed to find as well rated a saw that’s so affordable.  Considering this is a miter saw that can be put to use for nearly a decade, the value can’t be denied.

Our Verdict

The LS1221 is a great miter saw.  It was made to be put to use on a variety of projects.  This is the kind of saw you can use for just about anything.  It’s as good being used as a construction site workhorse as it is as a precision saw for finish carpenters.  If you’re in the market for a new favorite miter saw, please take a look at Amazon’s price on the Makita LS1221.  Or compare and contrast some of the best miter saws available with our comparison chart.

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