Tool Location

Wood Shop

Tool Type


Additional Information

One Page Tool Reference Sheet


The miter saw is a powerful woodworking tool used to cut long pieces of timber and lumber. Unlike the table saw, it can cut cross-grain. It can also be adjusted to cut at angles up to 45°.


Length of Material

Piece must comfortably fit on table and still be properly clamped. (Approx. 7’)


The miter saw can cut hard, soft, and composite woods.


Safety glasses and close-toed shoes are required in the wood room, where the miter saw is located. A mask is suggested if a large amount of dust is being produced, as repeated inhalation of dust can cause lung damage.

Safety Features

Do not cut pieces that cannot be safely clamped. This means objects that are held in place by hand.

There is no emergency stop on this machine, but when the trigger or lock-off button are released the blade will stop.

There is a plastic shield that covers the blade, but this moves upward to reveal the blade as the blade is lowered.

The blade cannot be activated unless the safety button is depressed alongside the trigger.

When not in use, lock the blade in the lowered position using the locking pin (see figure 2)

How To Use This Tool

  1. Turn on the wood room ventilation. Open the vent behind the miter saw (see figure 3)
  2. The blade can be activated by pressing the lock-off button and pulling the trigger on the handle (see figure 4)
  • If desired, adjust the angle of the cut by loosening the grip. While holding the lock lever, turn the whole base until the pointer arrow aligns with the desired angle. Release the lock lever and tighten the grip. See figure 5 for reference - Changing the cut angle
  • It is not recommended to change the bevel angle, as this feature can be accomplished by adjusting the cut angle and rotating the work piece. If it is necessary to do so, consult the user manual.
  • Place the workpiece onto the tool bench, pushed flat against the back fence. Without powering the tool, lower the blade and adjust the piece until the blade is aligned with the desired cut location.
  • Secure the workpiece by using the clamp attached to the miter saw. Additional clamps may be used but ensure that they do not block the lowering of the blade.
  • Once positioned and clamped, activate the sawblade. Allow the blade to spin up to maximum speed before lowering it. When cutting, use a smooth motion, making sure not to apply too much pressure to the blade. Keep hands away from the cutting area.
  • Cut all the way through the material, then return the blade to the upright position. Unclamp material and, once finished, lock the saw in the lowered position
  1. Vacuum or sweep up dust produced by the sander. If needed, use compressed air to blow off hard-to-reach spots.
  2. Remove the waste material from the room, or discard with other scrap material.

If blade is not spinning:

  1.       Make sure the lock-off button is being pressed (see figure 4)
  2.       Ensure the saw is plugged in
  3.       If problem persists, ask a prototyping instructor for help.


Makita Tools. (n.d.). Makita LS1221 Compund Miter Saw Instruction Manual. Retrieved from Makita Tools:

Author Information

Last Updated: September 7 2018

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