With the 10in. Makita 36 volt double bevel mitre saw, Roger Bisby trusts in the cord no longer.
I have always had my reservations about cordless mitre saws, and that includes all makes and sizes. It isn’t that they don’t work, it is just that they don’t work as well as mains-powered machines and, for the most part, I am not in a situation where I can’t plug into a bit of AC. If you do work without mains power, or simply feel that mains power is a difficult option involving the running of a long extension lead, then this 10in. Makita 36 volt double bevel mitre saw is a good option.
For the most part cordless saws rely on thin kerf blades to reduce the load on the battery, but the accuracy of a mitre saw depends upon a stiff blade and this machine comes with one. There is real pleasure to be had from using a brand new blade, it cuts with no effort and hardly any noise, but, like most of life’s pleasures, it is short lived. So, in fairness, I could not simply run a few pieces of softwood through the saw and judge it on that.
My first impression was ‘Wow!’ followed by a tinge of guilt for my prejudice against cordless mitre saws, but I stuck with it and, as the blade started to lose a little of its edge, I settled down to a more realistic work rate. Wet timber is always a little more of a challenge than dry so I was sure to include some. I also put through some 7x2in. treated softwood, and the saw went through with no real trouble.
The little indicator lights change from green to red when it doesn’t like what you are doing, and I rode the green wave, and pressed on cutting all the solid blocking on the 7x 2in. joists, and all the dwangs for the ceiling so I could pick up the edges of the plasterboard.
As for run time I would like to tell you that I counted how many cuts I got from two fully powered batteries, but some pieces were wet, and some were dry, and there were different sizes. It certainly ran into 50 cuts, but I also used this saw during the cold spell when the daytime temperature never reached above minus 3 and the number of cuts was fewer.
So, if you have to work regularly in these kinds of temperatures, I would suggest that battery power is not the best option. If you do go for this saw you will need a good charger, which takes two batteries, or you will need two ordinary single gang chargers.
There is a lot more to say about the saw and the controls, which are very well thought out. I am particularly pleased to find that there are now no vulnerable linkages on the underside of the table that could get damaged as you chuck the saw in the back of the van on top of a load of tools.
It was a problem with previous models but the bevel locks etc. are now above the table with some kind or rack and pinion mechanism in the rear housing. The two sliding arms have also been moved to contain them within the length of the arm so you can use it closer to a wall or, in my case, the edge of the scaffolding when I was cutting the PVC roofline boards. It also makes it a more compact unit to carry around but still not a lightweight saw. You will need your Shreddies (other breakfast cereals are available).