Makita MLT100 Tablesaw
Reviewed by Andrew Potocnik
This saw arrived in quite a large 46kg box needing two people to manoeuvre it. The size of the box is due to the saw being fully assembled – only the guard and two optional supports need to be fitted before it’s ready to use – wonderful! If you’re wanting portability, a stand with built-in wheels which folds down with the saw still in place is available for an extra spend.
The table is cast aluminium fitted to a plastic base, as is the left hand sliding table. Back and right extensions are of pressed metal. The saw footprint is 660 wide x 500mm deep, and with the release of a few knobs, the 965 x 690mm table expands to 1310 x 840mm allowing for a maximum rip of 725mm. There is also a sliding support at the rear that extends a further 150mm. All of these extensions ensure there is ample space and support for cutting large sections of timber, well beyond what you’d expect of a machine of this size.
The mitre gauge with its large handle and broad fence can be locked onto the left sliding table for easy repetition of angled cuts, however I found there were points when the mitre gauge caught on the table. Maybe a bit of post purchase maintenance may be in order.
The 1500kw motor with soft-start and brake powers a 255mm TCT blade with a 2.5mm kerf which cuts very cleanly and left minimal tear-out when ripping and crosscutting. The motor is enclosed in a plastic casing leading to a 50mm/2" hose port, which when attached to a vacuum cleaner drew away a large volume of dust.
Although not a complicated machine to operate, easy-to-understand instructions are provided. To rip narrow strips of timber you loosen two knobs, flip the fence over and slide it back onto a pair of bolts; a quick and simple procedure. You can also slide the fence to the left of the blade, but you’ll be restricted to 180mm capacity. A mitre track on the right lets you use the mitre gauge for cutting angles that may not be safe on the conventional side.
The switch is one of the best I’ve found on a machine. Located to the left of the motor it is easy to reach – hook your finger under and lift to start the machine, press down for a quick stop, which, thanks to the brake, takes a couple of seconds.
When tilting the blade via the rack and pinion assembly I found the gauge indicating bevel angles was pretty accurate, however I still prefer to check angles with a square or sliding bevel.
To test the saw I spent an extended period of time ripping 30–70mm thick redgum, mountain ash and blackwood, none of which fazed the machine. The 2.5mm saw kerf lends itself to cutting trenches for box lids and bases while reducing waste when ripping or crosscutting timber.
All in all, this is a well presented saw, ready to use straight out of the box with minimal extra set-up, and good power to price ratio. For the money it’s well worth considering for the home workshop.
See www.makita.com.au for more information.