Makita vs. Festool – Which Tool Brand Makes A Better Miter Saw?

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If you’re the type of person who really likes to get their hands dirty doing DIY jobs themselves, then a miter saw is a great tool for you to have, but choosing the ideal one is difficult.

That’s why we’ve narrowed things down for you. If you’ve got it down to Makita vs. Festool, then take a look at what we’ve found.

Known for producing great power tools, such as compound miter saws, hammer drills and cordless drills with lithium-ion batteries, orbital sanders, fixed-base routers and more, these two companies will go head to head in this miter saw review.

Quick Look - Top Picks

ImageProductPrice
Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter SawTOP RATEDFestool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • $1,475.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter SawMakita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
  • $1,248.92
CLICK HERE TO BUY
10' Compound Miter Saw10" Compound Miter Saw
  • $198.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY

Last update on 2019-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Makita vs. Festool: Brief Company Histories

Makita was actually founded in 1915, over 100 years ago and started out by making and repairing electric motors. It didn’t take long for the company to expand even further and now they have products in over 40 countries as well as plants in eight different countries. They’re known for providing compact, powerful, and durable tools that provide lower levels of vibration and feel better in your hand.

Slightly younger than Makita, Festool originated in 1925, (just over 90 years ago), repairing and modifying wood processing machines to focus on ball bearings rather than plain bearings. From there, they slowly started moving more and more into electric tools. This small company is still family-owned and operated.

Both of these companies are known for high quality in all of their tools, including durable and long-lasting products.

Makita Compound Miter Saw

Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
  • Powerful 15.0 AMP direct drive motor requires less maintenance and delivers 3,200 RPM
  • Large cutting capacity for up to 8"" crown molding (nested), 6-1/2"" baseboard (vertical), and 15"" crosscut...
  • Compact design with a patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding System further increases rigidity to produce superior cuts

Last update on 2019-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Both of these compound miter saws are designed to cut through just about anything you have and prove themselves to be high quality and durable.

The Makita Compound Miter Saw is moderately priced and offers a high-quality, 15-amp motor, which provides 3,200 RPM. The Independent laser lets you know right where you’re cutting and even whether the blade is turning or not. Plus, you get micro-adjustments so you can make sure you’re cutting directly where you want to be, even left-of-the-blade versus right-of-the-blade. This unit uses something Makita calls ‘Deep and eXact Cutting Technology’ or DXT, which has a direct drive gearbox and a retractable guard system that aids in vertical cutting.

Festool Compound Miter Saw

Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • Rail forward design increases precision and creates a compact footprint while preventing head play for...
  • Easily align cuts from the left or right side using the dual laser, lasers clearly define material to be cut
  • Micro-adjustable bevel angle with up-front rotary knob, large bevel scale and fine pointers easily set precise...

Last update on 2019-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

$1,475.00

​If price is not a problem for you the Festool Compound Miter Saw is a more expensive option that delivers on everything that you’re looking for. Up to 91% of the dust is extracted with the hood and there’s a pivoting hose to help even more.The angle transfer device that’s included will help you to get the angles you need quickly, automatically bisecting to the saw and a variable speed motor for extra power. There’s a dual laser system that lets you know where you’re cutting and, on top of that, this system lets you use the laser without having to turn on the saw itself and the whole thing is lighter weight than other options.

Head to Head: Features and Benefits of Each Tool

There are a number of things you should look at before choosing the ideal compound miter saw for your needs.

Take a look at what we’ve found between the Makita and the Festool, so you know which one is the top choice for you.


Amps

How many amps of power the motor actually puts out is going to tell you which saw has the most power coming into the race.

With these two options, you’re getting a decent amount of amperage no matter which way you go, but you’re actually getting more when it comes to the Makita, at 15 amps, than you do with the Festool, at 13 amps.

You could notice the difference when cutting harder pieces, though 13 amps should be enough for most applications.


Weight

When it comes to weight you’re actually getting better with the Festool option.

The Makita weighs in at 58.2 pounds, which is definitely a lot of weight if you’re going to be carrying it around or transporting it to different locations.

The Festool option weighs in at 47 pounds, which is definitely going to be a big difference.

You’ll still notice the weight of it when you carry it with you somewhere, but that extra 11.2 pounds is definitely going to make a pretty big difference.


Variable Speed Motor

Having a variable speed motor means that you can increase the power when you’re cutting something harder and decrease the motor when you’re cutting something softer.

It reduces the amount of wear on the machine and cuts down on overheating problems.

The Festool offers you this feature, providing different motor speed options to make sure you use only the power you need to while the Makita doesn’t provide this feature.


Soft Start

Another way to reduce the wear on the machine you use is with soft start, which eases the unit into use rather than jumping from no power to high power right off the bat.

Both of these saws actually offer this feature, providing a smoother process you can trust to keep the machine working longer.


Wrap Up

If you’re looking to get the best of the best, the Festool Compound Miter Saw is probably the way to go.

It’s going to give you more features, more versatility and the ability to move it around wherever you need it on top of that.

This tool has all of the capabilities of the Makita tool, plus some additional ones. Most notably it has a variable speed motor and the ability to use the laser without the saw being on.

That means you’ll be able to do a whole lot more with it and won’t have to worry about overworking it when you need something more extensive.

If you’re not able to purchase the Festool because it’s out of your price range the Makita is a really good tool and definitely provides some excellent features.

It will help you with most of your woodworking projects and even one-off projects that you might need.

If you’re not quite sold on either of these options and want a few more to choose from, you can check out more options here. We’ve got a whole list of some of our favorite picks.

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