Makita 40V Max XGT 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review


The Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit has garnered attention for its cutting-edge features and performance capabilities. As woodworking enthusiasts and professionals seek tools that seamlessly blend power and versatility, this miter saw emerges as a formidable contender. We will delve into the key attributes that make the GSL04M1 a standout choice in the realm of compound miter saws, exploring its design, functionality, and the real-world advantages it brings to the table. Whether you’re a seasoned craftsman or a DIY enthusiast, join us as we dissect the intricacies of this Makita powerhouse, providing you with insights to help you make an informed decision for your woodworking endeavors.

What You Need To Know About Makita GSL04M1

Makita 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw in a workshop setting

The Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit is a powerful and precise tool for woodworking. With a Makita-built brushless motor operating at 3,600 RPM, it ensures efficient cutting. The saw boasts a large 8″ crown molding and 6-3/4″ baseboard cutting capacity, with crosscuts extending up to 15″ at 90 degrees. Its commitment to accuracy is evident through the integrated L.E.D. light that casts a precise shadow for cutting lines. The kit includes essential components like a 40V max XGT Lithium-Ion 4.0Ah battery, rapid charger, 12″ saw blade, vertical vice, dust bag, and hex wrench. With user-friendly design and compatibility with the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS), the GSL04M1 is an ideal choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts seeking a high-performance miter saw.

Makita 40V Max XGT Specifications

Voltage‎40 Volts
Dimensions35-1/4″ x 27-1/4″ x 28-1/2″
No Load Speed4,400 RPM
Weight69.1 lbs.
Blade Diameter12 in
Power TypeCordless

Key Features

  • Powerful Performance: The Makita GSL04M1 is equipped with a Makita-built brushless motor that operates at an impressive 3,600 RPM, ensuring powerful and efficient cutting performance for a variety of woodworking tasks.
  • Versatile Cutting Capacity: With a large cutting capacity, this miter saw can handle up to 8″ crown molding (nested) and 6-3/4″ baseboard (vertical), making it versatile for a range of cutting applications. It also provides crosscuts up to 15″ at a 90-degree angle.
  • Precision and Accuracy: The integrated L.E.D. light feature casts a shadow of the saw blade onto the material, facilitating precise cutting lines. This commitment to accuracy is crucial for achieving high-quality and exact cuts in woodworking projects.
  • User-Friendly Design: The GSL04M1 features a user-friendly design with a rail-forward layout that maximizes workspace efficiency, making it convenient for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
  • Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) Compatibility: Offering advanced convenience, this miter saw is compatible with the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS), allowing for wireless power-on/off communication between the tool and a dust extractor. This feature eliminates cords and reduces noise during operation.
  • Comprehensive Kit: The kit includes essential components such as a 40V max XGT Lithium-Ion 4.0Ah battery, a rapid charger, a 12″ saw blade, a vertical vice, a dust bag, and a hex wrench, providing users with a comprehensive package for woodworking projects.
  • Dual-Bevel and Sliding Design: The dual-bevel capability allows for bevel cuts ranging from 0 to 48 degrees, both left and right. The sliding compound design enhances versatility, enabling a wide range of miter and bevel cuts for intricate woodworking projects.
  • Brushless Motor Technology: The efficient brushless motor runs cooler and more efficiently, contributing to longer tool life. The direct-drive system eliminates the need for belts, ensuring consistent performance and reducing maintenance requirements.
  • XGT System Compatibility: The GSL04M1 is part of the XGT system, which includes advanced brushless motor engineering, intelligent digital communication, and superior durability features. This system is designed to provide high power for demanding applications and supports a seamless transition to a cordless job site.

Design and Build Quality

Makita underscores durability in the GSL04M1 with its rail-forward design, optimizing workspace efficiency. This feature highlights the brand’s dedication to user convenience and emphasizes the saw’s ability to seamlessly fit into diverse workspaces. The rail-forward design ensures the miter saw is not only efficient but also adaptable, fitting flush against walls to make the most of limited workshop space.

Person using a Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit

Additionally, the GSL04M1’s dual-bevel and sliding compound design goes beyond flexibility; it attests to the saw’s robust build. This construction not only boosts the tool’s versatility for various cutting tasks but also underscores its durability in demanding work environments. Whether handling intricate woodworking projects or heavy-duty applications, the GSL04M1 stands as a dependable and enduring tool, reflecting Makita’s commitment to providing reliable quality and lasting performance.

Performance and Efficiency

The GSL04M1 comes with a brushless motor that ensures strong performance while running at lower temperatures, extending the tool’s lifespan. The direct-drive system eliminates the need for belts, improving the consistency and efficiency of cutting operations. This simplified power delivery not only enhances the tool’s reliability but also reduces potential maintenance issues, making it a sturdy and enduring addition to any workshop.

Close-up of a person using a Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit

In practical terms, the brushless motor is the driving force behind the GSL04M1, providing the strength for demanding cutting tasks and the precision of a tool crafted for lasting performance. With the direct-drive system at its core, this miter saw exemplifies Makita’s dedication to innovation, providing users with not just power but a trustworthy tool designed for enduring efficiency over time.

Unleashing Precision

The GSL04M1 stands out for its precision, a crucial element in woodworking, thanks to the integrated L.E.D. light. This practical feature casts a shadow of the saw blade onto the material, offering clear cutting lines. The significance of precise lines cannot be overstated, especially in woodworking projects where accuracy is essential for achieving impeccable results.

Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw blade and base

The addition of the L.E.D. light in the GSL04M1 is a noteworthy improvement, boosting the user’s ability to make accurate cuts with confidence. Whether you’re a woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, having clearly defined cutting lines adds a valuable layer of assurance, ensuring each cut is made with the highest level of accuracy. Ultimately, the GSL04M1’s dedication to precision through thoughtful features like the integrated L.E.D. light establishes it as a reliable tool for those who prioritize accuracy in their woodworking pursuits.

Safety Features

Makita places a strong emphasis on user safety in the GSL04M1 by integrating essential features. The electric brake stands out as a valuable addition, enhancing productivity by promptly stopping the tool’s operation when necessary. This not only improves efficiency but also serves as a vital safety measure, empowering users to maintain control over the miter saw’s movements.

Close-up of the control panel on a Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit

Complementing the electric brake, the GSL04M1 features a strategically positioned bevel angle lock at the front of the tool, facilitating easy access and repositioning. This considerate design element streamlines adjustments, providing users with a straightforward experience in setting the desired bevel angles. Additionally, the soft start feature adds an extra layer of safety, ensuring a smooth and controlled tool startup, minimizing the risk of unexpected reactions during operation. By incorporating these safety-focused features, Makita has meticulously engineered the GSL04M1 to not only deliver peak performance but also to prioritize the well-being and confidence of its users.


From intricate woodworking projects to substantial crosscuts, the GSL04M1 proves its versatility. Whether crafting detailed moldings or tackling larger-scale tasks, this miter saw adapts seamlessly to a variety of applications. Here’s a list of practical uses for this powerful miter saw:

  1. Carpentry Projects: Ideal for carpenters working on projects that require precise and angled cuts, such as framing, molding, and trim work.
  2. Furniture Making: Perfect for crafting custom furniture pieces where accurate miter and bevel cuts are crucial for seamless joints and polished finishes.
  3. Crown Molding Installation: The miter saw’s large cutting capacity, especially for crown molding, makes it well-suited for installing decorative crown molding in homes and buildings.
  4. Baseboard Installation: Efficiently cuts baseboards, providing clean and accurate edges for a professional-looking finish during baseboard installations.
  5. Flooring Projects: Useful for flooring installations, particularly when cutting various materials like hardwood, laminate, or engineered flooring at precise angles.
  6. Deck Building: Essential for cutting angled and beveled edges on deck materials, ensuring precise fits for a sturdy and polished deck construction.
  7. Renovation Work: A valuable tool for renovation projects where accurate and efficient cutting is essential, whether it’s modifying existing structures or creating custom fittings.
  8. DIY Woodworking: Perfect for do-it-yourself enthusiasts working on home improvement projects, crafting wooden decor, or tackling various woodworking tasks.
  9. Contractor Jobsites: Suitable for professionals working on diverse jobsites, offering the portability of a cordless tool combined with the power needed for demanding applications.
  10. Fine Woodworking: Precision cuts make it a go-to tool for fine woodworking projects, ensuring intricate details and high-quality craftsmanship.

The Makita GSL04M1’s adaptability and precision make it a valuable asset for a wide range of applications, catering to both professionals and hobbyists in the woodworking and construction fields.

Maintenance Tips

Thoughtful design elements, such as onboard hex wrench storage for blade changes, minimize downtime. This user-friendly approach ensures that maintenance tasks are streamlined, allowing for a focus on the woodworking project at hand. Here are my personal tips for maintaining this fantastic tool:

  1. Regular Cleaning: After every use, take a few minutes to clean off sawdust and debris. A quick wipe down and dust-off will go a long way in preventing buildup that could affect performance.
  2. Blade Maintenance: Keep a keen eye on the saw blade. Clean it regularly, and if you notice any dullness or signs of wear, consider sharpening or replacing the blade for consistently precise cuts.
  3. Lubrication Matters: Just like any hardworking tool, the GSL04M1 benefits from a bit of lubrication. Pay attention to moving parts, such as rails and hinges, and apply a suitable lubricant to keep them operating smoothly.
  4. Battery TLC: Since it’s cordless, the battery is a crucial component. Charge it as recommended and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use. If you notice a decrease in battery performance, it might be time for a replacement.
  5. Check Alignment: Ensure that the miter and bevel adjustments are aligned correctly. Periodically check and adjust them to maintain accurate and precise cutting angles.
  6. Storage Matters: When not in use, store your miter saw in a dry environment to prevent rust. If you have a designated storage spot, cover it to protect it from dust and potential damage.
  7. Safety First: Regularly inspect safety features, such as the electric brake and bevel angle lock, to ensure they are functioning correctly. It’s an essential step to guarantee your safety and the longevity of the tool.
  8. Replace Consumables: Keep an eye on consumable parts like the dust bag and replace them when necessary. This not only ensures efficient dust collection but also contributes to a cleaner working environment.
  9. Mind Your Surroundings: Be mindful of your working environment. Avoid cutting materials that might contain nails or other foreign objects that could damage the blade or impact the tool’s performance.
  10. Professional Check-Up: If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or performance issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Regular check-ups from a qualified technician can catch potential problems early and keep your miter saw in top-notch shape.

Remember, a well-maintained tool is not just about performance; it’s also about safety and ensuring your investment lasts for years to come.

Price and Value for Money

Choosing to invest in the GSL04M1 is a substantial decision, driven by its inclusive kit, advanced features, and impressive performance capabilities. The comprehensive kit ensures that you’re equipped with all the essentials straight out of the box, eliminating the need for tedious searches for additional components. Makita has meticulously curated a package featuring the potent 40V max XGT Lithium-Ion battery, an efficient brushless motor, a 12″ saw blade, vertical vice, dust bag, and hex wrench, addressing diverse woodworking needs.

Person demonstrating the use of a Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit

Moving beyond its kit, the GSL04M1 distinguishes itself through its advanced features and high-performance attributes. The integration of a brushless motor not only delivers impressive RPM for efficient cutting but also guarantees the tool’s long-term durability. The saw’s versatile capability to tackle an array of cutting tasks, ranging from crown molding to baseboard cuts, underscores its adaptability. Essentially, while the GSL04M1 may necessitate a significant initial investment, its array of features and capabilities positions it as an enticing choice for those valuing long-term utility and in search of a versatile tool for various woodworking applications.

Is it Worth it to Buy?

The GSL04M1 stands out as an excellent choice for woodworking enthusiasts who prioritize power, precision, and the added convenience of a wireless workspace. With robust features that enhance its overall appeal, this tool ensures users experience a high level of performance across a spectrum of woodworking projects, from intricate designs to large-scale endeavors. The GSL04M1’s unwavering commitment to power positions it as a reliable solution capable of meeting the diverse demands of woodworking tasks.

Makita 40V Max XGT 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with blue and silver components, positioned on a stand

A noteworthy feature that amplifies the GSL04M1’s attractiveness is its compatibility with AWS (Auto-start Wireless System). This attribute not only introduces convenience but also elevates the entire woodworking experience. The wireless communication facilitated by AWS® between the tool and a dust extractor minimizes the need for cords and eliminates unnecessary noise, fostering a seamless and efficient workflow. For woodworking enthusiasts in search of a harmonious blend of power, precision, and contemporary convenience, the GSL04M1 emerges as a compelling option, promising a woodworking experience that surpasses the ordinary.

Pros and Cons


  • Powerful motor delivers high cutting power and efficiency.
  • Versatile cutting capacity handles various tasks including crown molding, baseboard, and crosscuts.
  • LED light ensures precision and accuracy by projecting a shadow of the blade onto the material.
  • Kit includes all necessary components for immediate use.
  • Dual-bevel and sliding design offers flexibility for intricate cuts.
  • XGT system compatibility provides advanced features and high power.


  • Separate purchase of AWS transmitter required for wireless dust extractor communication.
  • Relatively heavy weight may be inconvenient for portability or frequent movement.

Comparison Table

FeatureMakita GSL04M1Milwaukee 2739-21HD
Power Source40V Max XGT Lithium-Ion BatteryM18 REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 Battery
Motor TypeMakita-built Brushless MotorPOWERSTATE Brushless Motor
Blade Size12″12″
Speed3,600 RPM3,500 RPM
Weight69.1 lbs52.4 lbs
Vertical Capacity Against Fence6-3/4″6-3/4″
Nested Crown Capacity7-1/2″7-1/2″
Cross Cut Capacity at 90 Degrees15″2 x 14
Bevel CapacityDual-BevelDual-Bevel
CompatibilityAuto-start Wireless System (AWS)ONE-KEY
LED LightYesShadow Cut Line LED
Included ComponentsBattery, Charger, Saw Blade, Vertical Vice, Dust Bag, Hex WrenchBattery, Charger, Handles, Clamp
Average Price$1,499.00 to $1,599.00$849.00 to $890.60

Milwaukee 2739-21HD M18 FUEL 12″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit

The Milwaukee 2739-21HD M18 FUEL 12″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit is a potent tool catering to professionals in carpentry, remodeling, and general contracting. Engineered to match the power of a 15A corded saw, it excels in both performance and portability, weighing a mere 52.4 lbs. With the M18 REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 Battery, it delivers up to 330 cuts per charge. The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor ensures peak performance, complemented by features like the Shadow Cut Line LED, adjustable stainless steel detent plate, and cam locking miter system for heightened precision and user-friendly operation. Adding to its appeal is compatibility with the advanced ONE-KEY™ technology, offering enhanced tool customization and tracking. Priced between $849.00 to $890.60 on average, the Milwaukee 2739-21HD blends power, versatility, and modern technology, making it an enticing choice for professionals prioritizing efficiency on the jobsite.

Comparative Analysis

In assessing the comparison between the Makita GSL04M1 and the Milwaukee 2739-21HD, it’s evident that both miter saws offer robust features catering to the needs of woodworking professionals. The Makita GSL04M1, powered by a 40V Max XGT Lithium-Ion Battery and equipped with a Makita-built Brushless Motor, boasts a slightly higher RPM at 3,600, providing swift cutting performance. However, it comes with a heavier weight of 69.1 lbs.

On the other hand, the Milwaukee 2739-21HD, fueled by an M18 REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 Battery and featuring a POWERSTATE Brushless Motor, offers a competitive RPM of 3,500 but stands out with a more lightweight design at 52.4 lbs. The Makita GSL04M1 excels with Auto-start Wireless System (AWS®) compatibility and an integrated LED light, while the Milwaukee 2739-21HD features the innovative ONE-KEY™ technology and a Shadow Cut Line LED.

Considering the price factor, the Makita GSL04M1 falls within the range of $1,499.00 to $1,599.00, making it a higher-priced option compared to the Milwaukee 2739-21HD, which is priced between $849.00 to $890.60 on average.

In conclusion, the choice between these two miter saws depends on individual preferences and specific job requirements. The Makita GSL04M1 offers advanced features such as Auto-start Wireless System compatibility and a higher RPM, but it comes with a higher price tag and a slightly heavier build. The Milwaukee 2739-21HD provides a more lightweight option, incorporates ONE-KEY™ technology, and is more budget-friendly. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the user’s priorities, balancing features, performance, and budget considerations.

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Final Verdict

In summary, the Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit emerges as a premier tool, catering to the discerning needs of woodworking enthusiasts. Striking a harmonious balance between performance, precision, and convenience, this miter saw kit unquestionably stands as a valuable investment for individuals who seek nothing short of excellence in their woodworking endeavors.


  1. Is the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) included with the GSL04M1, or do I need to purchase it separately?
    The GSL04M1 is equipped with AWS capability, but the Auto-start Wireless System transmitter is sold separately. Consider adding it for a cord-free and streamlined woodworking experience.
  2. How does the integrated L.E.D. light enhance precision in the GSL04M1?
    The L.E.D. light casts a shadow of the saw blade onto the material, providing a clear cutting line. This feature ensures precise and accurate cuts, eliminating guesswork in your woodworking projects.
  3. Can the GSL04M1 handle bevel cuts on both the left and right sides?
    Yes, the GSL04M1 is a dual-bevel miter saw, capable of making bevel cuts ranging from 0° to 48° both to the left and right. This flexibility allows for a wide range of bevel cutting applications.
  4. How does the direct-drive system contribute to the efficiency of the GSL04M1’s brushless motor?
    The direct-drive system eliminates the need for belts, ensuring consistent performance and reducing maintenance requirements. This design choice contributes to the overall efficiency and longevity of the brushless motor.
  5. Is the GSL04M1 suitable for professionals as well as DIY enthusiasts?
    Absolutely! The GSL04M1’s combination of power, precision, and user-friendly features makes it an ideal choice for both professional woodworkers and dedicated DIY enthusiasts seeking high-performance tools.
  6. What safety features does the GSL04M1 incorporate for user protection?
    The GSL04M1 prioritizes safety with features such as an electric brake for quick halts, a bevel angle lock for secure positioning, and a soft start to suppress start-up reactions, ensuring smooth and controlled operations.
  7. Can the GSL04M1 be used for cutting larger materials like crown molding and baseboard?
    Yes, the GSL04M1 boasts a large cutting capacity, handling up to 8″ crown molding (nested) and 6-3/4″ baseboard (vertical), making it versatile for a variety of cutting tasks, both large and small.
  8. What sets the GSL04M1 apart in terms of ease of maintenance?
    One notable feature is the onboard hex wrench storage for blade changes. This small yet thoughtful addition streamlines maintenance tasks, ensuring that the necessary tool for blade changes is always within reach, saving time and effort.

In concluding our exploration of the Makita GSL04M1 40V Max XGT 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit, it’s clear that this tool goes beyond the ordinary. With a robust brushless motor, innovative features like the Auto-start Wireless System (AWS), and meticulous design for precision, the GSL04M1 is a masterstroke in woodworking. It’s not just a saw; it’s a reliable ally ready to elevate your projects with precision and excellence.

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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