Makita MLT 100 not much good about it

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Review by anobium posted 01-13-2012 04:06 PM 90689 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Makita MLT 100 not much good about it No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Makita MLT 100 is the smaller sister of the 2705.
Here are the specs Makita provides.

Main table 610×590 mm

with Sub table 760×790 mm

Bore mm 30 mm (1 ¼ inch)

Depth of Cut @ 90° 93 mm (3 ¾ inch)

Blade Diameter 260 mm (10 inch)

Depth of Cut @ 45º 64 mm

No load speed 4500 rpm

Net weight 38 kg (80 lbs)

Wattage 1500 w

Voltage 220 V 50/60 Hz

Price: 410€ – 720€ (530$ – 950$) Europe

My first impression:
I liked it a lot. Size and weight met my expectations for the saw I needed.
A sliding table on a jobsite saw for that price made it about perfect.
It came pretty much assembled, just the blade and weaver where extra.
The first cut through 18mm (3/4 inch) plywood went smooth.
That was it until I had built the stand.

Once the saw was up on the stand i wanted to start building boxes and that is where trouble started and I had to examine the saw closer. So here is my review for those around the globe who are intending to buy that saw.

Sliding Table: The table didn’t run smooth at all. The factory lubricants goo’ed it together. It was quite a bit of work to get it out there.
Lubricating it with silicone lets it run but the way it is constructed gives it so much play to the sides that it is not accurate at all.
Another disadvantace ist that is about 1,5mm (1/8 inch) higher than the main table so no matter what you cut reaches the blade angled.
Makita doesn’t provide any information for a setup.
I’m still working on this.

Rip Fence: Unlike other jobsite table saws the MLT Fence is only mounted on the front. Its mounting mechanism is cast aluminum. It runs on a small plastic base.
On top of it comes a adjustable part where the exdruded aluminum fence is attached with two screws. To my mind too many variables for a sturdy fence.
The aluminium fence with only 15mm (2/3 inch) is way to flexible. It barely makes it past the blade and doesn’t provide enough support for straight cuts.
Setting the fence up is a pain in the butt. The plastic base reflects the highs and lows in the surface. You have to adjust the fence in every position so it lays flat on the table.
The screws loosen after a couple cuts.
The mounting mechanism has play in every direction which may cause a non 90° angle to the surface. The easiest way to solve a few of these problems ist by taking the plastic base out and accept the wear and tear that the cast aluminium does to the table. The fence is still not stable when ripping longer boards and easily causes kick back. The way it is constructed it can be readjusted to be used on both sides.
I am working on a easy build custom fence for less than 40€ (52$) and let you all know if it makes the saw a decent deal.

Throat Plate:
Now here Makita screwed up big time. The plate is cheap and flexible plastic. Any pressure you put on the wood you are cutting bends the throat plate and screwes up the cut. The clearance they put in is more than any angle postion needs.
The tear off at the bottom of the board is really ugly.
Simple solution a zero clearance throat plate.
Well if you could just make one simple everything would be fine.
The 5mm (1/5 inch) wood insert I made was to flexible. It needed a rabbet at the end to fit in in the first place but adding 12mm (1/2 inch) plywood on the right side asked for a lot of extra cuts.
The support on the left side was tricky. It needs to have 1mm difference between front and back. I am happy that I built it because now I get good result talking about clean cuts.
It takes about 2 hours and half a dictionary of cusswords to assemble it.

The Cast Aluminum Table: I don’t get the point why Makita added these design slots and logo to the table.
If you are looking for something flat, look somewhere else. I guess it is okay for a saw in that price range.
The wear an tear becomes abvious after a couple cuts with the mitre gauge.
The table comes with 2 slots for runners. The slots are 12,54mm (1/2 inch) wide and 6mm (1/4 inch) deep. A little small for stable runners especially when you look and slots addes to the side to guide the mitre gauge.
I am afraid to measure if they have the same width all the way from front to back. I can tell you though that they don’t have the same depth.

The Mitre Gauge.
The mitre gauge is also cast aluminium with the extruded aluminum fence attached with 2 screwes just like the rip fence.
The earlier mentioned problems strike back here.
If you use the mitre gauge on the sliding table it’s elevated above the main table.
If you run the mitre gauge on the main table the fence has to be lifted or angled so it runs over the sliding table.
Running the the mitre gauge on the main table brings another problem. The steel runner is 0,5mm smaller than the slot which causes so much play that I haven’t made a single 90° cut no matter what I set up or how I pusched, how tight it was if I added support or whatever. I haven’t figured that one out yet. Current idea a PA (polyamid) runner that is exact for that slot.
The mitre gauge is responsible for the main wear and tear on the table surface. 2month occasionally use wore of the paint already at all high spots.

Dust Extraction: That ist he only thing I am happy with so far. An attached shop vac takes care of it. Every now and then I need to vacuum the stand but it is not worth mentioning.

Table Extension: The MLT comes with an extendable outfeed table and extendable side table. Both run on pipes and can be adjusted to any position but I haven’t had any use for it yet. In fact I am planning on taking the outfeed option of to attach railing for new rip fence.

Noise. The direct drive causes vibration when starting the saw and it quite noisy.
It is just about same as other jobsite saws.

Neat options: The saw has all kinds of attachments to store the push stick, extra blades, the square to setting up the blade, the rip fence, cable and so on.
It is well thought through but doesn’t make up fort he deficits.

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 3194 days

20 comments so far

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 4484 days

#1 posted 01-13-2012 06:41 PM

Interesting review mate. I was seriously considering one and would have to order it from Canada as they don’t sell it in the US (afaik). I guess I’ll stuck with my dw744 for now.

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 3194 days

#2 posted 01-13-2012 07:07 PM

Why give up the 744? From what I’ve heard it is built quite well and has a unique fence system. Never seen it though. Check back here some time. I’ll add a link with pictures of my mlt 100 shortly.

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 4484 days

#3 posted 01-13-2012 09:53 PM

I liked the idea of the sliding table mainly. The 744 fence is very good though.

View AaronK's profile


1511 posts in 4314 days

#4 posted 01-13-2012 10:13 PM

wow that does look pretty nasty. even my cheap craftsman has done better than this. sorry for your situation!

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 3194 days

#5 posted 01-14-2012 08:40 AM

Review Update:

Here you can see the rip fence mounting mechanism on the plastic base. The base lifts it of the rail and is so small that it hits all the highs and lows of the design slot you see in the next pictures and tends to tilt the fence.

With the base taken of you have more wear and tear but the mounting lays flat on the rail.

Here is the setup with out the extruded aluminum fence. To many variables of too small size for a sturdy fence.

Picture got cut off but you see all parts except the base.

Build a throat plate for this.

The original has too much clearance in any angle position its very thing (5mm).

So here is my zero clearance throat plate

The straight edge overtop lets you see the heights difference between the sliding table and the main table.

The odd shaped slot in the main table with strange measurements

You’ll find these pictures at photo MLT 100 review

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7827 posts in 3650 days

#6 posted 01-15-2012 12:39 AM

Shame… Makita used to mean something!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The best woodworking show since wood was invented is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Nighthawk's profile


557 posts in 3206 days

#7 posted 01-15-2012 01:25 AM

Interesting… I was looking at buying myself one of these but the guy at the hardware store said, after I told him what I wanted it for, he said it’s not really designed for that and would be better of with XYZ saw (and that was slightly cheaper) however the cook said no at the time and I haven’t upgraded yet and still happily (well making do) using a cheap DIY saw.

This saw is a portable site saw or contractors saw and not really a shop saw designed to do the fine woodworking and furniture making etc. Best described as….It is really a house framing saw…

It is designed to be on site for a contractor that needs to rip a plank or cross cut a rafter on a 30 degree angle. (though most would do that on the site mitre saw) The extra things it supposidly does are just to help the contractor a little. (most contractors probably never use them)

Though sayiung that the rip fence and mitre gauge looks completely different to the model I looked at and was Makita MLT 100… interesting Being an ex chippy it kinda goes like this…. If there is a bit of gap in the framing the gibb stoppers hide it … if there is a gap in the gibb/plaster, the painters hide it… Nothing is perfect.

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4119 days

#8 posted 01-15-2012 11:30 PM

Job site saws are truly not made for accuracy…just for cutting in a semi straight line….considering that most rough framers eye ball the lengths and angles – you really can’t say that such accuracy would be practical nor cost effective at how much more it would cost to accuratize the typical job site saw.

I have my Bosch 4000 for a job site saw…(actually pretty good for a such a smaller saw) and a Grizzly TS for the shop. This makes life much easier for splitting tasks – for rough cutting I use the Bosch….for fancy fine cutting – use the Grizzly – the nice fact is the job site can easily go outside so I can work on it without taking up precious room in the shop.

Of course all this makes sense if you can get the saws that you want at a reasonable price – where I am is certainly gifted in that regards….I do not know if I would be as happy doing woodworking if the tools and machines were not as available as they are here – here it is only the lack of local timber that makes this hobby difficult.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 3194 days

#9 posted 02-24-2012 04:34 AM

Took longer than expected and it is not painted yet but for less than 50$ (35€) I build a rip fence
that is accurate, adjustable and can be used on either side of the blade.

So this is how the fence looks.
10mm polyamid for the sides mounted with M6 screws that are flush with the surface.

Polyamid Runners work so much more better than the Makita runner, you wouldn’t believe it.

The bottom is 12mm thick to lift of the mount a hair from the table to get rid of that wear an tear.

The holes in the top are for the allen wrench to adjust the fence

I am adding a piece on the back so that piece gets pulled onto the table and locks it.
parts are cut, just didn’t have the time yet. Check back if you’re interested

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View papwalkre's profile


4 posts in 2935 days

#10 posted 09-09-2012 09:01 AM

Something odd here. I inspected and bought an MLT100 today and found it to be fine. The height difference between the sliding table and main bench was .009”. Whilst I could feel the casting marks when moving the rip fence it was only a thou or so. The fence was solid enough when locked and I got no tail out issues at all.
I do suspect the throat plate insert is a bit flimsy but I could not apply enough pressure when correctly sawing pieces to have a problem. Perhaps very small pieces could be a problem.

All in all I found the machine to be excellent for the money which means you got a lemon or I lucked into a good one or Makita changed the spec or improved the QC / consistency.

View papwalkre's profile


4 posts in 2935 days

#11 posted 09-09-2012 01:04 PM

After reviewing the MLT-100 service drawings I can see that Makita has addressed many of the issues mentioned by Anobium. There have been several major design changes.

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 4230 days

#12 posted 02-23-2013 01:05 AM

It’s good that Makita have addressed some of the issues with this saw. I have had one for a few years and would have to agree with the original review. Having said that I have used it to build quite a lot of stuff, it just takes a bit of careful setting up and remembering to lean on the saw the in the same way each time. The blade height adjustment on my saw was never very smooth despite repeated cleaning and oiling. Eventually the plastic worm gears exploded. My local tool repair shop had some replacement gears made at a machine shop and fitted those instead, it’s better than new now and only cost me 900 baht, about $30 US.

View papwalkre's profile


4 posts in 2935 days

#13 posted 02-23-2013 05:52 AM

$30 bucks for bespoke hobbing. No competing with that!

Next time you’re going to spend money on a new table, get those same guys to make the whole bench for you.
That would be great fun, design and build your own.

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 4230 days

#14 posted 02-23-2013 06:48 AM

Being able to get stuff cheaply repaired is certainly one of the joys of living in Thailand, it’s not a throw away society yet. I will be building a large workshop in a few years and having a saw made is one of the options I have to replace the Makita with, the other being a Chinese brand saw which are starting to look OK now. I bought the Makita because at the time the Chinese saws available looked like total junk. The local tool shop will weld together a frame, throw a 3hp motor in it and build a wooden or aluminum top, no cast iron available though.

View Beginer's profile


5 posts in 2562 days

#15 posted 09-16-2013 09:36 PM

Hi there
I am considering buying one of those saws:
Bosch GTS10 or Makita MLT100.

Any opinion to any direction ?
GTS10 has 1800W , MLT100 has 1500W but with a better table (is it?)

Would the 1500W be enough to cut more than soft wood (Mahagoni, oak…) ?

Thanks in advance.

-- - Sharon

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