Makita LS1013 (Part 1)

Having had a Makita LS1013 in my workshop for over a week now, I can see already that I’m going to get more joy out of this than what I had from the Bosch GCM 12 SD. This saw had previously spent nine-months sat in storage so, before I could really put it to the test, it literally needed to strip it down to clean, check and replace any necessary components. Before we go any further, I’d like to start by looking at the condition of the saw as it arrived…

One of the very first things I noticed was that the front knob used to lock the turn-table at the desired mitre angle was bent. Thankfully, this saw came with the ‘modern’ version of this knob, which is considerably shorter than those found on older models of this saw where you’re more likely to feel it dig in to your sides as you walk past! Removing the knob and the length of bar meant I could easily straighten the threaded-end in my pillar drill/metalworking vice.

As on most mitre saws, you can lock the saw’s head in its lower position for transport. Unfortunately, the locking knob at the rear of the saw has snapped, meaning I could only remove the locating half with the aid of a slotted screwdriver. You may think I have no use for this function in a small workshop… Well, I don’t yet plan to take the saw out with me anywhere but, at full height, it is only just clear of the up-and-over garage door’s swing!

Rust is usually the major problem you would expect to find with a second-hand tool that’s been used on-site (particularly one that’s not been used for many months – as I found with my old mortiser, last year) but, the all-too-familiar brown deposits were only to be found on the vertical posts used to locate the locking hold-down clamp. Very easy to clean off, as well.

To be sure though, I did end up stripping the saw apart in to three main parts – the base, the turn-table and the saw head/arm assembly [not pictured]. What really surprised me was that, for a saw that is generally regarded quite highly for its accuracy, it didn’t take more than a removing a couple of bolts to get it all apart! Upon closer inspection, a considerable amount of saw dust had built up inside and around the sliding parts and cleaning all this carefully has made some improvement to the adjustments and ease of setting the saw.

By the time I got everything back together and could start the saw up to check it still works (!), my first reaction was that it sounded a little rough (often a sign of worn carbon brushes). Then again, I used one of these saws four-years ago and it the motor made a similar noise. Not only that but, the old 64-tooth blade was feeling a bit dull. Well, you can see below that the brushes were also a bit rusty and cleaning this off made little or no difference to the sound of the running saw so, to be sure, I ordered a spare pair of brushes and a new blade should be on the way soon.

Along with the brushes (which should always be replaced in pairs), I added a few other items to my basket at Tool Shop Direct – spare rubber feet, a new locking knob and a triangle for setting the blade angled [well, yes, I do have several squares already… But, it’s only 70p and I do like having dedicated tools for each machine!].

[Note to anyone else – those rubber feet are only sold in singles and I still need to order two more! :oops:]

Brushes were simple to replace and immediately after, I noticed an increase in the speed of the saw from startup (a wise decision, then!). Getting the rest of the old knob out to fit the new one in proved far more of a struggle though… You have to disconnect the saw head from the main upper casting where it pivots. This is simple enough, as you only have to punch out a large round pin. If ever you attempt to do this yourself, I warn you to watch out for the large spring to the right of the saw blade – as it’s under tension until you disconnect the head, there is the risk that it will shoot out at high speed!! Truth is though, it has to come out if you want any chance of getting the new bolt in… Always be alert!

After cleaning the old blade with a mix of rust-removal, teeth-cleaning products and a fresh coat of ProtecTool Wax, performance wasn’t half as bad as I had thought. It could still do with a trip to the saw doctor’s but, for now, I think I’ll save it for any rough cuts. Blade changing on this model is much easier than the saw I had before. At least the guard sits quietly out of the way and doesn’t have to be removed completely.

That just about summarises what I have done to get this sliding mitre saw in to good working order (not that it was in ‘bad‘ shape, before). In the next part, I hope to show you some of the key features of this design; how these compare to my previous saw and just how reliable it is for accuracy.

Thanks for reading.

11 thoughts on “Makita LS1013 (Part 1)

  1. Do I understand that the problem you had with the Bosch was that it couldn’t make a straight cut due to blade flex? Is this problem solved with this replacement?

    1. Hi Dan,

      It wasn’t really the blade (I tried three different brands!) but the saw “head” itself – if you were to pull the saw back as far as it would come and lightly nudge it to either side, you would see a very definite amount of movement. It was also a little tricky to keep it perfectly ‘steady’ as you push it back to complete a cut.

      A lot of the larger, 12in saws have been known to suffer from similar issues. “The bigger they are“, and all that…

      Then again, perhaps I just had one from a bad batch?! It was also purchased second-hand and not very well packaged when I received it.

      But, yes – the Makita LS1013 is a great little saw that I’m more than happy with. I trust it with everything – 45° mitres, 90° cross-cuts, the lot! I’ve also used DeWalt saws in places that I’ve worked and they’ve proven to be very reliable as well. If only more manufacturers produced quiet-running saws with induction motors…


      1. Hi Roderick,

        The LS1013 actually runs on a universal brush motor. But, where many brush motors found on many other tools sound loud and very rough; by comparison, the motor on the LS1013 is almost pleasant. It’s not nearly as smooth as an induction motor but, it is bearable (I would always advise the use of ear defenders though, whatever tool you are using). It also has a soft start, meaning that it doesn’t ‘kick’ as some other models do. There’s also an electronic brake that ensures the blade stops within a few seconds.

        Hope this helps. In short, it’s one of the “quietest” brush-motored saws out there. Thanks for your comment,


  2. What would you recommend for someone in my position? A love of woodworking and a desire to do more but a complete lack of anywhere to do it? I’ve already done a course to get access to a good teacher and workshop but I feel ready for my own setup. One idea I had was to see if I could group together with young people in a similar situation and rent a space together and share tools(!)/not share tools. But how to find them?! Any other thoughts? Thanks!

    1. That’s the right kind of idea, Dan. You’d be able to divide the costs of running the workshop, share machinery, bounce ideas and to assist one another. It would surely work out cheaper than trying to rent and set up your own workshop and everyone involved would benefit. I don’t know how many woodworkers would be prepared to share around their own


      tools, though…! 😉

      Would be very interesting to hear if you are able to set anything up.

  3. Hello Olly,

    I just purchased this model saw second hand from a contractor who just went out of business. The saw has seen a lot of work and it shows. One thing I have noticed is when you press the locking arm and rotate to a different angle and lock the arm, the blade has a small side to side play even after locking. I am thinking after reading your article that a lot of dust may be built up in the slot where it locks and is preventing the head from locking completely. Also I do not know how to pull the carriage towards me. How do I unlock it? Can the guides seize? I think that I just do not know how to unlock it and the manual offers no real help. What happens if i turn the main locking knob counter-clock wise all the way until it comes out? I want to disassemble and clean the whole unit I just do not know where to start.

    Thanks for any help.


    1. Hello Jason,

      My saw also has a very small amount of play when you set the mitre angle in to one of the pre-set indents but, it disappears once the knob is locked. I’m not sure what to suggest but, as you’ve suggested already, it may well be worth partially stripping the saw apart and cleaning where necessary. I have a habit of ensuring I push or pull the saw slightly to the right as I lock this setting.

      Behind the main locking knob (at the front of the saw) is a much narrower ‘collar’, if you will. Releasing this (you have to undo the longer knob, first) should allow the saw head to slide forwards on the rails. If that doesn’t work, I’d suggest looking underneath the saw where a lot of dust can build up and also, lubricating all moving parts and surfaces.

      Taking this saw apart is quite easy. From memory, there’s a large hex-headed bolt in the centre of the table. To get to it, you need to remove the insert plates that sit either side of where the saw blades cuts (on the base) and perhaps also the fence, which is held in place by four similar but smaller bolts (two either side). That should allow the turn-table to separate from the base, where a lot of dust can accumulate.

      If you unscrew the knob all the way, I think you would have to relocate the other end of the threaded rod (which it is attached to) underneath. It’s not difficult, just a little awkward.

      Sorry that my response is quite brief but, I do hope it helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

      All the best,


  4. Dear Olly,

    I need to remove the cutting table from the base, but can’t get them apart. I have removed the bolt in the center, but there is something else holding it together. Do I need to disassemble another part of it as well?
    Thanks much,
    Columbus, OH

    1. Hi Paul and thanks for your message.

      As far as I can remember, I only had to remove that one bolt in the centre. I don’t remember much about it now and, looking at a parts diagram, it does appear as though there is only that one bolt holding the two together.

      I’m sorry that I cannot be of any real help but, I hope your get it sorted.


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