Makita 40V Max XGT 10″ Dual‑Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review


Dive into the world of woodworking with the Makita GSL03Z 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. This review explores the saw’s innovative features, power, and precision, making it a versatile tool for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals. Experience cordless convenience without compromising on power, and discover how the GSL03Z is setting new standards in the miter saw market. The 10-inch dual-bevel sliding compound blade effortlessly tackles a variety of materials, from hardwoods to composites, offering versatility for both amateur DIY enthusiasts and seasoned professionals. With its compact design and ergonomic features, the GSL03Z delivers unparalleled accuracy and ease of use, making it an indispensable addition to any workshop or job site. Join us as we delve into the features and performance of the Makita GSL03Z, setting a new standard for precision and reliability in the world of miter saws.

What You Need To Know About Makita GSL03Z 40V Max XGT 10″ Dual‑Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a wooden workbench in a workshop

The Makita GSL03Z 40V Max XGT 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a revolutionary tool, setting new benchmarks for precision and efficiency in woodworking. Driven by a Makita-built brushless motor, it achieves an impressive 3,600 RPM, ensuring swift and seamless cutting. With a remarkable cutting capacity, it handles up to 6-5/8″ crown molding (nested), 5-1/4″ baseboard (vertical), and crosscuts up to 12″ at 90°. The integrated L.E.D. light enhances accuracy by casting a precise shadow of the blade onto the material. Its rail-forward design optimizes workspace against a wall, offering a substantial 2-13/16″ x 12″ cutting capacity at 90-degrees. Mitering from 0° to 60° left and right and beveling from 0° to 48° (left and right) provide flexibility for diverse cutting tasks. The addition of Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) technology ensures cordless communication with a dust extractor, eliminating cords and reducing noise. Compact and ergonomic, this cordless miter saw is designed for convenience and precision, making it an indispensable tool for woodworking enthusiasts and professionals seeking a potent and adaptable cutting solution.

Technical Specifications

No Load Speed3,600 RPM
Dimensions (LxWxH)31-3/4″ x 25-3/8″ x 26″
Weight60 lbs.
Voltage‎40 Volts
Blade Length‎10 Inches
Cutting Angle‎90 Degrees

Key Features

  • Brushless Motor: Makita-built brushless motor delivers 3,600 RPM for faster cutting performance, running cooler and more efficiently for extended tool life.
  • Cutting Capacity: Handles up to 6-5/8″ crown molding (nested), 5-1/4″ baseboard (vertical), and crosscuts up to 12″ at 90°, providing versatility for various woodworking applications.
  • L.E.D. Light: Integrated L.E.D. light casts a shadow of the saw blade onto the material, serving as an exact cutting line for enhanced accuracy.
  • Rail-Forward Design: Maximizes workspace when the miter saw is positioned flush against a wall, optimizing efficiency in confined work areas.
  • Miter and Bevel Angles: Miter from 0° to 60° left and right, and bevel from 0° to 48° (left and right), offering flexibility for a wide range of cutting tasks.
  • Auto-start Wireless System (AWS): Enables wireless power-on/off communication between the tool and a dust extractor, eliminating cords and reducing noise for improved efficiency.
  • Compact and Ergonomic Design: Portable and user-friendly, with extension wings for cutting longer materials and retractable for compact storage.
  • Electric Brake: Provides maximum productivity by quickly stopping the blade after the trigger is released.
  • XGT System: Part of the XGT system of equipment, tools, batteries, and chargers utilizing 40V Max lithium-ion batteries, delivering high power for demanding applications.
  • AWS Compatibility: Capable of wireless communication with an Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) dust extractor for a cleaner workspace.

Design and Build Quality

Makita is known for producing sturdy tools, and the GSL03Z stays true to that reputation. Its rail-forward design is a practical feature that optimizes my workspace, which is especially essential in my busy workshop. The addition of extension wings is a considerate touch, making it easier to work with longer materials. Plus, the retractable design adds to the overall practicality, ensuring convenient storage after use.

Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a workbench

In a workshop where efficiency matters, the GSL03Z’s straightforward design aligns seamlessly with Makita’s legacy of durability. The emphasis on a functional rail-forward structure and the practicality of extension wings and retractable elements make this miter saw a reliable tool for navigating the challenges of a crowded workspace.

Performance and Efficiency

In terms of performance, the GSL03Z went beyond what I anticipated. The brushless motor not only delivers impressive speed but also operates at a cooler temperature, ensuring an extended lifespan for the tool. This practical feature addresses a common concern, especially for those who rely on their tools for prolonged periods.

Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw cutting through a log

Adding to its efficiency, the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) is a noteworthy addition. This feature establishes a seamless connection between the saw and a dust extractor, contributing to a cleaner workspace. It’s a simple yet effective touch that enhances the overall user experience, minimizing the cleanup hassle associated with woodworking tasks.

Unleashing Precision

This miter saw truly stands out when it comes to precision. The ingenious use of an L.E.D. light that casts a shadow of the blade is a game-changer. It essentially acts as a built-in cutting guide, enhancing accuracy and making every cut more precise. This feature significantly simplifies the alignment process, making it an invaluable asset, especially for intricate projects where precision is paramount.

Close-up of a Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw cutting through wood

Moreover, the versatility of the mitering and beveling angles adds another layer of functionality. The saw accommodates a wide range of angles, meeting the demands of various woodworking tasks. Whether it’s mitering or beveling, the flexibility provided by this miter saw ensures that it can adapt to the unique requirements of different projects, making it an ideal tool for those who value precision in their craftsmanship.

Safety Features

Prioritizing safety is paramount, and the GSL03Z underscores this commitment with its electric brake feature. The swift stop it provides to the blade significantly enhances overall workshop safety, minimizing the risk of accidents during operation. This simple yet effective safety measure ensures that users can confidently engage with the tool without compromising on their well-being.

Close up of the handle and warning label of a Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Adding to its safety features, the GSL03Z boasts a clutter-free design. This design choice isn’t just an aesthetic preference; it actively contributes to creating a secure working environment. By minimizing obstructions and potential hazards, the clutter-free design enhances the overall safety standards in the workshop, fostering a setting where users can focus on their tasks with confidence and peace of mind.


From framing to fine woodworking, this saw proves its versatility. It’s become my go-to for a wide range of applications, and the results speak for themselves. Here’s a list of practical applications for this powerful miter saw:

  1. Crown Molding Installation: The GSL03Z is well-suited for installing crown moldings, thanks to its large cutting capacity and versatile mitering angles. Achieve precise cuts for a seamless fit and professional finish.
  2. Baseboard Installation: Whether it’s vertical or horizontal baseboards, the miter saw’s capacity and beveling options make it an ideal tool for accurate and efficient baseboard installations.
  3. Framing Projects: Tackle framing projects with ease, cutting through lumber with the GSL03Z’s powerful brushless motor. The miter and bevel adjustments provide the flexibility needed for framing tasks.
  4. Trim Work: Perfect for intricate trim work, the precision offered by the L.E.D. light and adjustable angles ensure clean and exact cuts for molding and trim installations.
  5. Woodworking Crafts: Woodworkers will appreciate the GSL03Z for its ability to handle a variety of woodworking tasks. From crafting intricate designs to creating custom pieces, the miter saw offers the accuracy needed for detailed projects.
  6. Deck Construction: The GSL03Z is a reliable tool for cutting materials during deck construction. Its power and versatility enable efficient and precise cuts for deck boards and framing elements.
  7. Furniture Building: Whether you’re building shelves, cabinets, or other furniture pieces, the GSL03Z provides the accuracy and power required for crafting high-quality furniture.
  8. Renovation Projects: Take on renovation projects confidently with the GSL03Z. Its adaptability allows for efficient cutting of materials, making it a valuable tool for remodeling tasks.
  9. Custom Woodwork: Engage in custom woodworking projects with the GSL03Z, crafting unique pieces that require precision and attention to detail.
  10. Job Site Flexibility: The cordless design and portability of the GSL03Z make it an excellent choice for various job sites, allowing users to move and set up the miter saw with ease, wherever the project demands.

The Makita GSL03Z, with its robust features and versatile design, emerges as an indispensable tool for woodworkers and craftsmen tackling diverse applications in their projects.

Ease of Maintenance

Maintenance is straightforward. The onboard hex wrench storage is a small detail, but it’s these little things that make blade changes a breeze. Makita definitely had user convenience in mind. Here are some practical tips to ensure it stays in top-notch condition:

  1. Regular Blade Checks: Keep an eye on the blade condition. If it’s getting dull or showing signs of wear, it’s time for a replacement. A sharp blade not only improves cutting efficiency but also reduces strain on the motor.
  2. Dust Management: Since woodworking generates a lot of sawdust, it’s crucial to regularly clean the dust collection system. A cleaner system ensures better airflow and, consequently, more efficient operation.
  3. Lubrication Routine: Just like any machine, the GSL03Z benefits from proper lubrication. Pay attention to the moving parts, especially the sliding mechanisms and pivot points. A little lubrication goes a long way in maintaining a smooth operation.
  4. Battery Care: If you’re using the cordless feature, it’s wise to keep an eye on battery health. Charge and discharge the batteries regularly to maintain their overall lifespan. Having a spare battery on hand is also handy for uninterrupted workflow.
  5. Calibration Check: Periodically check and recalibrate the miter and bevel angles. This ensures that the GSL03Z continues to deliver precise cuts, especially if it’s been subjected to heavy use.
  6. Storage Considerations: When not in use, store the miter saw in a dry and cool place. If possible, cover it to protect it from dust and potential environmental elements that could affect its performance.
  7. Safety First: Always follow safety guidelines outlined in the user manual. Check safety features like the electric brake regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  8. Mind Your Work Area: Keep the workspace clutter-free. This not only improves safety but also ensures that the GSL03Z operates at its best without any unnecessary hindrances.
  9. Transportation Caution: If you need to transport the miter saw, secure it properly to avoid any damage. Consider using a protective case if you frequently move it between job sites.
  10. Routine Inspection: Give your GSL03Z a once-over regularly. Check for any loose bolts or parts, and tighten or replace as needed. A proactive approach to maintenance can prevent more significant issues down the line.

Remember, treating the GSL03Z with care and giving it the attention it deserves can go a long way in maintaining its peak performance for years to come.

Price and Value for Money

Let’s dive into the practical aspect – the cost. The GSL03Z may sit at a higher price tier, but its worth becomes palpable when we consider the tangible benefits it offers in terms of performance. This investment isn’t just about the numbers; it’s about securing a tool that aligns seamlessly with the expectations of serious woodworkers. The precision, efficiency, and durability bundled into this miter saw make the price point a reflection of the quality and reliability it brings to the table.

Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw in a workshop setting

In essence, the GSL03Z transcends being just a tool – it becomes an investment in a woodworking companion that promises not just immediate performance but long-term value. For those committed to their craft and seeking a tool that meets their standards, the GSL03Z’s price becomes a justified step towards securing a reliable and high-performing miter saw.

Is it Worth it to Buy?

Certainly. For woodworking enthusiasts who take their craft seriously and insist on top-tier performance, the GSL03Z emerges as a reliable and substantial investment. It goes beyond being merely a tool; it becomes a crucial asset for those who seek excellence in their woodworking projects. The cordless design of the GSL03Z not only provides the freedom to maneuver without the constraints of cords but also signifies a shift towards a more flexible and efficient woodworking experience.

Makita 40V Max XGT 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a construction site

Delving deeper into its appeal, the GSL03Z distinguishes itself as a standout choice due to the integration of advanced features. It’s not just about the absence of cords; it’s about the thoughtful inclusion of elements that elevate the overall functionality and precision of the miter saw. From intricate cuts to demanding tasks, the GSL03Z positions itself as a go-to choice for individuals who prioritize a seamless blend of innovation and performance in their woodworking ventures.

Pros and Cons


  • Powerful and Efficient: Robust brushless motor delivers 3,600 RPM for fast and smooth cutting, ideal for various woodworking tasks.
  • Cordless Convenience: AWS technology allows wireless communication with dust extractors, eliminating cords and noise for a cleaner and more efficient work environment.
  • Versatile Cutting Capacity: Handles various materials including crown molding, baseboard, and crosscuts up to 12″ at 90°.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: Integrated LED light projects a shadow of the blade onto the material for precise cuts.
  • Compact and Portable: Rail-forward design optimizes workspace, and retractable extension wings make it convenient for storage and transport.


  • Additional Investment: Tool-only option requires purchasing a 40V Max XGT battery and charger separately, increasing initial cost.
  • Relatively Heavy: 60-pound weight (without battery) might be challenging for some users, especially for frequent transport between job sites.
  • Charger Not Included: Charger needs to be purchased separately if not already owned.
  • Higher Price Point: Makita tools are known for their high quality but can be more expensive than some competitors.

Comparison Table

FeatureMakita GSL03ZMilwaukee 2734-21
Power Source40V Max XGT CordlessM18 FUEL Cordless
MotorMakita-built brushless motorMilwaukee POWERSTATE Brushless Motor
Blade Size10″10″
Cutting Capacity at 90°2-13/16″ x 12″5-3/4″ Vertical Capacity Against Fence
Cutting Capacity at 45°2-13/16″ x 8-1/2″2 x 8 45 Miter Cross Cut Capacity
Bevel Capacity0-48° (Left and Right)48 / 48 Maximum Bevel Capacity
No Load Speed3,600 RPM4,000 RPM
Weight60 lbs45 lbs.
LED LightYesShadow Cut Line LED Light
Miter Range0° to 60° (Left and Right)50° / 60° (Left and Right)
Dimensions (LxWxH)31-3/4″ x 25-3/8″ x 26″34.5″L x 27.5″W x 27″H
Warranty3-year limited warranty5 Years Tool Warranty
Average Price$1049.00 to $1,425.33$599.00 to $649.99

Milwaukee 2734-21 M18 FUEL 10″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

The Milwaukee 2734-21 M18 FUEL 10″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a powerhouse tool designed for professional carpenters and remodelers seeking exceptional performance and portability. With its advanced POWERSTATE Brushless Motor, this cordless miter saw delivers superior power, longer run-time, and extended tool life. Boasting a 10-inch blade and a remarkable 4,000 RPM no-load speed, it offers impressive cutting capabilities, including a 5-3/4″ vertical capacity against the fence. The Shadow Cut Line LED Light enhances precision during cuts, and the tool’s compact design, weighing only 45 lbs, ensures maximum portability on the job site. The Milwaukee 2734-21 is not only a reliable workhorse but also comes with a 5-year tool warranty, making it a robust and durable choice for professional woodworking projects.

Comparative Analysis

In this head-to-head comparison between the Makita GSL03Z and the Milwaukee 2734-21, each cordless miter saw brings distinctive strengths to the table. The Makita GSL03Z, powered by a robust 40V Max XGT Cordless system, exhibits a slightly higher cutting capacity at 90° and features an innovative Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) for enhanced efficiency. On the other hand, the Milwaukee 2734-21 impresses with its POWERSTATE Brushless Motor, contributing to a higher no-load speed and a more lightweight design at 45 lbs.

The Makita GSL03Z stands out for its LED light, providing illumination for precise cuts, while the Milwaukee 2734-21 incorporates a Shadow Cut Line LED Light for similar precision. The choice between these two powerhouse tools boils down to specific job requirements and personal preferences. If advanced wireless features and a higher voltage are critical, the Makita GSL03Z is a commendable choice. Conversely, for those prioritizing a powerful brushless motor and a more compact design, the Milwaukee 2734-21 M18 FUEL emerges as a compelling option. The price consideration also comes into play, with the Makita GSL03Z commanding a higher average price range compared to the Milwaukee 2734-21. Ultimately, both models represent top-tier cordless miter saws, catering to the needs of professional woodworkers with precision and reliability.

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Final Verdict

In the realm of miter saws, the Makita GSL03Z emerges as a standout performer. It stands as a precision tool that seamlessly blends power with efficiency, refusing to compromise on either front. For those seeking a trustworthy workhorse capable of handling diverse projects, the GSL03Z rightfully secures its place in the workshop. This investment doesn’t merely promise, but delivers, on precision and performance – a tool that I’m genuinely pleased to have as a valuable asset in my woodworking arsenal.


  1. Is the GSL03Z suitable for professional use or better suited for DIY enthusiasts?
    The GSL03Z is a versatile miter saw suitable for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Its powerful motor, wide cutting capacity, and precision features make it a reliable choice for various woodworking applications.
  2. Does the GSL03Z come with the 40V Max XGT lithium-ion battery and charger?
    No, the GSL03Z is sold as a tool-only option. The 40V Max XGT lithium-ion battery and charger need to be purchased separately, allowing users flexibility based on their existing Makita battery platform.
  3. Can the GSL03Z handle bevel cuts on both the left and right sides?
    Yes, the GSL03Z offers dual-bevel capabilities, allowing for bevel cuts ranging from 0° to 48° both on the left and right sides. This versatility enhances its adaptability for a variety of woodworking tasks.
  4. Is the GSL03Z compatible with other Makita battery platforms, or does it specifically require the 40V Max XGT battery?
    The GSL03Z is part of the 40V Max XGT system, and it specifically requires the 40V Max XGT lithium-ion battery for optimal performance. It is not compatible with other Makita battery platforms.
  5. FAQ: How does the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) technology work, and what are its benefits?
    AWS enables wireless communication between the GSL03Z and a compatible dust extractor. When the saw is triggered, the dust extractor powers up, eliminating the need for cords and reducing noise. This intelligent system enhances efficiency and maintains a cleaner workspace.
  6. Can the GSL03Z be used for cutting materials other than wood, such as metal or plastic?
    While the GSL03Z is primarily designed for woodworking applications, its versatility extends to certain non-ferrous metals and plastics. However, users should always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific material compatibility.
  7. How easy is it to change the saw blade on the GSL03Z, and does it come with onboard storage for tools?
    Changing the saw blade on the GSL03Z is straightforward, and it features onboard hex wrench storage for added convenience. This thoughtful design ensures that the necessary tools are readily available for blade changes.
  8. What safety features does the GSL03Z have to prevent accidents during operation?
    The GSL03Z prioritizes safety with an electric brake that quickly stops the blade when the trigger is released. Additionally, its clutter-free design minimizes workspace hazards, contributing to a safer woodworking environment.

As we conclude our exploration of the Makita GSL03Z 40V Max XGT 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, it’s clear that this tool is more than a mere apparatus—it’s a testament to precision, innovation, and craftsmanship. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, the GSL03Z emerges as a reliable companion, seamlessly blending power with versatility. With its intuitive design and cutting-edge features, it not only meets but exceeds the demands of woodworking tasks. As you step into your workshop, let the GSL03Z be the trusted ally that transforms your projects, ensuring each cut is a masterpiece in itself.

Benjamin Brooks
Benjamin Brooks
Forestry Author

Greetings! I'm Benjamin Brooks, and my journey over the past 15 years has revolved around the fascinating realms of content creation, expertise in snow clearing, and the intricate world of lumberjacking and landscaping. What began as a simple curiosity about the natural world and heavy machinery has evolved into a passionate profession where my love for crafting words intertwines seamlessly with my lumberjacking and garden skills.


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