MAKITA 18 Volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw XSL08PT   

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MAKITA 18 Volt X2 (36V) 12 Inch Dual-Bevel Sliding Miter Saw Review

MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw XSL06PT

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XSL08PT
Power source: 18 Volt X2 [36V]
Motor size: Direct Drive 4,400 RPM
Weight: 69.1 lbs
Years ago, Makita WAS the go-to company for woodworkers and carpenters. In the last decade Makita has taken its foot off the gas and clearly lost market share to Dewalt. Well guys, they’re STOMPING on that gas pedal and merging onto the freeway! The MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw XSL08PT WILL impress you. From its size, power, up-front, easy access controls and intuitive usable design it will NOT disappoint.

The ToolBoxBuzz Crew is pretty excited, welcome back Makita! Interested to see what this saw was all about, we took it to our job sites to evaluate it.

MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw – Features

  • Powered by two 18 volt LXT batteries
  • Positive miter stops at: 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, 45°, and 60° left or right
  • Integrated 4-3/4″ tall fence
  • Built-in laser clearly indicates line-of-cut whether blade is turning or not; on-off switch and micro-adjustments for precise “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade” cutting
  • Linear ball bearing slide rail system
  • Large-sized aluminum base
  • Electric brake
  • Direct drive gearbox
  • Soft start motor
  • In-front bevel lock
  • One-touch slide lock
  • 4,400 RPM
  • Simple 90 degree turn-of-the-knob miter angle lock/unlock mechanism
  • Rubberized soft grip handle provides increased comfort on the job
  • Automatic speed change technology
  • Large dimensional lumber cutting capacity: 2-13/16″ x 12″ at 90° and 2-13/16″ x 8-1/2″ at 45°
  • Increased capacity for up to 8″ crown molding (vertically nested), 6-3/4″ baseboard (vertical), and 15″ crosscuts at 90°
  • Miters 0-60° left and right; bevels 0-48° left and right
  • Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS™) utilizes Bluetooth® technology for wireless power-on/off communication between tool and optional dust extractor
  • Dual dust collection ports provide excellent dust extraction performance
  • See-through blade guard system for greater visibility of blade and line of cut
  • 3-stage L.E.D. gauges on the tool indicate battery charge levels

Makita Miter Saw Motor And Electronics

The Makita-Built electronically controlled brushless motor delivers 4,400 RPMs. The direct drive brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, and enables the motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer lifespan and less maintenance. Like all Makita direct drive motors, there’s no belt to slip or replace.

There are also electronics in the tool, that automatically adjusts cutting speed and torque depending on cutting application and demand. Additionally, the tool features a soft start motor and electric brake.

If the tool becomes overloaded or overheats the tools stops working and the battery indicator blinks for 60 seconds.

Makita Miter Saw Runtime

Powered with two 18 volt LXT batteries this saw is capable of making up to 175 cuts per charge in 2×12 lumber using two 5.0Ah batteries. One pair of batteries easily got us to the end of the day, but don’t forget that Makita’s batteries charge fast!

Makita Miter Saw Capacity

This saw is set up for 0-60 degree cuts left and right; and 0-48 degree cuts, left and right. It has positive miter stops at: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 and 60 left or right. The miter fence does need to be removed for certain bevels.

We also liked and found the integrated 4-3/4 in. T-fence system is sturdy and precise. I personally like to cut stock vertical when I can, and this saw will cut 6-3/4” vertically. It will also crosscut a 15” board at 90° a 10-1/2” board at 45° and a 8″ crown molding (vertically nested).

Big Saw – Small Footprint

The Makita saw has a 2-steel rail sliding system that is designed to reduce the saw’s footprint and it to be used flush against a wall. The rail system is a “linear ball bearing” system [not bushings] which we found the saw-head to be tight with minimum slop at full extension.  The saw has a large-sized aluminum base which keeps the saw planted and stable.

This saw weighs 69.1 lbs. (with battery) and is a heavy saw. This does mean moving it around it not to be done “lightly.” You will definitely want this saw mounted on a mobile base to move it around better.

Auto Start Wireless System

The Makita miter saw has an Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS™) which utilizes Bluetooth® technology for wireless power-on/off communication between tool and optional dust extractor. We tested this saw with an AWS dust extractor and it works beautifully.

To operate the AWS you need to add an AWS transmitter in the tool.  The transmitter is sold separately, and that makes sense because it keeps the tool cost down, if you don’t use the Makita AWS dust extractor.

When testing we used the Makita miter saw with the Makita cordless vacuum cleaner XCV16. I like this set up alot as both the saw and vacuum communicate via the AWS system.

After pairing the two tools via Bluetooth the vac would turn on and off whenever the saw was activated. We found the vacuum dust collection to be excellent, with nearly no dust.

The vacuum has plastic bags that can easily de emptied and reused or tossed away if desired. The vacuum capacity is small and we figured we were getting one to two days of use before emptying.

MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw –  Laser Feature

The Makita miter saw has a built-in laser that indicates one side of the blade and can be adjusted to display “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade.” This laser also has a separate on/off switch. The laser displays the line-of-cut with the tool turned off and blade not spinning, which we liked for lining up cuts, and precise cuts.

The laser is probably the only thing I don’t like on this saw. I’ve never been a laser fan and prefer the blade shadow light option, which marks the blade in ANY lighting situation. This feature, unlike a laser, never has to be calibrated since it casts a shadow on the blade [any thickness] mounted to the saw.

Using the MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw

My first impression, after carrying this saw from the trailer up a flight of stairs, was that it was super-heavy and not easy to carry. My second impression was how easy the up-front controls were to use and how smooth the rail action was. The slides are very smooth and have a very nice locking pin – probably the nicest I’ve seen on a saw. Additionally, the miter saw-head can be locked in an up-or-down position for storage.

Miter Head – Slide Rail Lock

This MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw cuts very smooth, and we were surprised at how powerful the cutting action is, with the two 18 volt batteries. It’s a battery powered wood-eating beast and has lots of power for a battery powered saw.

To set up the tool you need the included Allen wrench which although conveniently stored in the saw and somewhat hidden beneath the bevel angle adjustment knob. It took us awhile to locate its location, and I felt silly once I found it.

The two Makita batteries charge quickly, approximately 40 minutes, in the dual battery charger.  The upfront controls are intuitive, easy to operate and well designed.


There’s not much to pick on with this miter saw.

I do wish Makita would swap out the laser for a different system that does not require calibration – simple stupid works for me. Like many of the cordless miter saws, I also wish that you did not have to remove the fence to bevel the saw. Lastly, the manual sucks and pictures are few – but that’s pretty much standard among tool companies.

MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw – Price

The MAKITA 18-volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw sells for $976.00 online at Ohio Power Tools.

Overall Thoughts

I started my carpentry career of with Makita tools – back then the miter saws were called “Drop” or “chop” saws.  Man have they come a long way.

Right off the bat I’m thinking this saw is perfect for placing on a work bench, up against a wall or even in a cramped jobsite, or in a commercial hallway. Yup been there, done that, and its no fun. This saw takes up little real estate and requires no electricity to get its mission accomplished!

The crew was highly impressed with the build quality, accuracy and power of this MAKITA 18-volt X2 12-Inch Miter Saw. If you’re looking for a full size capacity saw – you need to look closer at this saw.

MAKITA 18 Volt X2 12 Inch Miter Saw Video Review



About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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1 Comment

  1. Abe

    What is the exact precise measurement from the bench-top to top of the base of the saw where you put the wood when cutting” I want to know if my existing bench-top side arms height will be good or will have to modify.

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