Makita 40V Max XGT 8‑1/2″ Dual‑Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review


Dive into our detailed review of the Makita GSL02Z 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Discover its robust performance, flexibility, and precision in woodworking tasks. Ideal for both professional carpenters and DIY enthusiasts. With its 40V Max XGT technology, this miter saw delivers robust performance, allowing users to tackle a variety of cutting tasks with ease. The 8-1/2″ dual-bevel sliding compound design adds flexibility to your cutting angles, providing the ability to make intricate bevel and miter cuts with accuracy. The sliding feature enhances the saw’s cutting capacity, accommodating larger workpieces. The tool is engineered with durability and user convenience in mind, featuring a compact and portable design that doesn’t compromise on power. Whether you’re a professional carpenter or a DIY enthusiast, the Makita GSL02Z Miter Saw offers reliability and precision to meet the demands of your woodworking projects.

What You Need To Know About Makita GSL02Z 40V Max XGT 8‑1/2″ Dual‑Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Teal Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a workbench

The Makita GSL02Z 40V Max XGT 8-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw epitomizes precision and power in woodworking. With a robust Makita-built brushless motor driving it at 4,800 RPM, this saw ensures efficient and flexible cutting. Boasting a 2-3/4″ x 12-1/4″ cutting capacity and versatile mitering and beveling capabilities, it offers unmatched versatility. The inclusion of an LED light enhances cutting accuracy, while features like Automatic Speed Change technology and Auto-start Wireless System compatibility showcase its technological sophistication. Powered by the XGT system’s 40V max lithium-ion batteries, this saw is a powerhouse, delivering cutting-edge performance and innovation for woodworking enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Technical Specifications

Blade Diameter8-1/2 in
Arbor5/8 in
No Load Speed4,800 RPM
Voltage40 Volts
Weight‎49.2 pounds

Key Features

  • Powerful Performance: Makita-built brushless motor delivers an impressive 4,800 RPM for fast and efficient cutting.
  • Large Cutting Capacity: The saw offers a substantial 2-3/4″ x 12-1/4″ cutting capacity at 90°, providing versatility for a range of woodworking projects.
  • Precision Cutting: An LED light casts a shadow of the saw blade onto the material, serving as an exact cutting line for enhanced accuracy.
  • Versatile Angles: The miter saw can miter 0° to 60° left and right, and bevel from 0° to 48° in both directions, providing flexibility for various cutting tasks.
  • Rail-Forward Design: Maximizes workspace when the miter saw is positioned flush against a wall, optimizing the use of available space.
  • Automatic Speed Change: Adjusts cutting speed and torque under load for optimum performance, contributing to longer tool life.
  • Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) Compatibility: Allows wireless communication between the tool and a dust extractor, promoting a cleaner and quieter work environment.
  • XGT System Compatibility: Works with the 40V max XGT system, featuring advanced brushless motor engineering and intelligent digital communication for high power and durability.

Design and Build Quality

The miter saw is designed with a rail-forward approach, enhancing workspace efficiency, particularly when it’s positioned flush against a wall. The inclusion of extension wings for accommodating longer materials and the sturdy construction underline Makita’s dedication to creating a user-friendly and durable tool. The practical design choices aim to make the saw adaptable to various woodworking scenarios, emphasizing both convenience and longevity.

Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Incorporating a rail-forward concept, this miter saw is strategically crafted to make the most of the available workspace, especially when it sits against a wall. The addition of extension wings, catering to the needs of longer materials, and the overall solid build exemplify Makita’s commitment to delivering a tool that prioritizes ease of use and lasting performance. These design elements reflect a thoughtful approach aimed at ensuring the miter saw meets the demands of diverse woodworking tasks while emphasizing reliability and longevity.

Performance and Efficiency

The brushless motor guarantees robust performance and operates at lower temperatures, extending the overall lifespan of the tool. Its ability to run cooler ensures durability over time. The Automatic Speed Change technology stood out to me as it dynamically adapts the cutting speed and torque based on the load, ensuring optimal performance across a range of applications. This feature enhances the tool’s versatility and effectiveness in various cutting tasks.

Blue and black Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw cutting a wooden plank in a workshop

Additionally, the soft start feature proved to be a significant advantage, delivering a smooth and controlled operation. This feature minimizes the abrupt start-up reaction, contributing to a more comfortable and precise cutting experience. The combination of these innovative technologies in the motor and operation make the tool not just powerful but also user-friendly, catering to both efficiency and ease of use in woodworking projects.

Unleashing Precision

In woodworking, precision is paramount, and the GSL02Z miter saw delivers just that. The LED light, which casts a precise shadow of the saw blade onto the material, emerges as a practical and indispensable feature. This illumination serves as a clear guide, facilitating accurate cuts and enhancing the overall precision of the tool. It’s a straightforward yet effective solution for anyone who values accuracy in their woodworking projects.

Close-up of the green and black handle and clear blade guard of a Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw in use

Adding to its precision-oriented design, the GSL02Z incorporates a bevel angle lock that instills confidence when working on precise bevel cuts. This feature ensures stability and accuracy during the cutting process, providing users with the assurance they need to tackle intricate woodworking tasks. Together with the LED light, the bevel angle lock makes the GSL02Z a reliable choice for woodworkers seeking a tool that not only meets but exceeds the non-negotiable standard of precision in their craft.

Safety Features

Ensuring safety is a top priority in any workshop, and the GSL02Z miter saw takes significant steps to address this concern. One key safety feature is the inclusion of an electric brake, which promptly halts the blade’s movement after use. This not only aids in the swift conclusion of cutting tasks but, more importantly, minimizes the risk of potential accidents. The straightforward functionality of the electric brake is an effective measure in enhancing the overall safety of the tool.

Person in yellow safety vest using the blue and black Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw in a workshop

The GSL02Z is designed with a focus on creating a secure and controlled cutting environment. Every element, from construction to the user interface, aims to foster a workspace where users can operate confidently, prioritizing both precision and safety. This makes the GSL02Z a reliable choice for woodworkers who value efficiency without compromising on workspace safety.


From bevel cuts to mitering angles, this miter saw caters to a variety of applications. Whether you’re a professional carpenter or a DIY enthusiast, the GSL02Z proves versatile enough for a range of woodworking projects. Here are some practical applications for using this miter saw:

  1. Carpentry Projects: Whether you’re crafting furniture or working on intricate wooden structures, the GSL02Z’s precision and cutting capacity make it an ideal choice for carpentry projects.
  2. Trim Work: For detailed trim work around doors, windows, or any decorative molding, the miter saw’s ability to make precise miter and bevel cuts ensures clean and professional-looking finishes.
  3. Cabinet Making: Woodworkers involved in cabinet making will appreciate the GSL02Z’s large cutting capacity and beveling options, allowing for flexibility in constructing cabinet components.
  4. Deck Building: When constructing decks, the miter saw can efficiently handle the cutting of various wooden components, including joists, beams, and railings, contributing to the overall construction process.
  5. Crosscutting Lumber: The tool’s substantial cutting capacity at 90-degrees makes it efficient for crosscutting lumber, enhancing productivity in tasks that involve cutting wooden boards to desired lengths.
  6. Framing Projects: Whether framing doors, windows, or constructing the frame of a building, the GSL02Z’s mitering and beveling capabilities provide versatility in framing projects.
  7. Flooring Installation: Wood flooring installation requires precise cuts to ensure a seamless fit. The miter saw’s accuracy is beneficial for cutting flooring materials with ease and precision.
  8. Custom Woodworking: For DIY enthusiasts or professional woodworkers engaged in custom woodworking projects, the GSL02Z’s versatility accommodates a wide range of creative endeavors.
  9. Interior Finishing: Installing interior features such as baseboards, crown molding, or chair rails demands accuracy, and the GSL02Z excels in making precise cuts for a polished and refined finish.
  10. Renovation and Remodeling: Whether you’re renovating a room or remodeling an entire space, the miter saw’s adaptability makes it an invaluable tool for a variety of cutting tasks involved in the renovation process.

The Makita GSL02Z miter saw is a valuable tool for a wide range of woodworking applications, providing users with the precision and flexibility needed to tackle diverse projects with ease.

Ease of Maintenance

Maintaining the GSL02Z is straightforward. The onboard hex wrench storage ensures easy access for blade changes, and the dual dust collection ports and blade case design contribute to a cleaner workspace. Here are some practical tips to ensure its longevity and optimal performance:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Take a few minutes after each use to clean off sawdust and debris. It may seem like a small task, but it goes a long way in preventing buildup and maintaining the tool’s efficiency.
  2. Blade Inspection: Keep an eye on the saw blade regularly. Look for signs of wear, chipping, or dullness. If the blade isn’t performing as well as it used to, it might be time for a replacement.
  3. Lubrication: Don’t forget to lubricate moving parts, especially if you notice any stiffness or resistance. A well-lubricated saw ensures smooth operation and reduces wear on components.
  4. Storage Considerations: When not in use, store the miter saw in a dry and cool environment. This helps prevent rust and ensures that electronic components remain in good condition.
  5. Check Cord and Connections: Examine the power cord and connections periodically. If you notice any fraying or exposed wires, address it promptly to avoid electrical issues.
  6. Calibration: Check the calibration of the miter and bevel angles from time to time. Ensuring that these settings are accurate ensures the precision of your cuts.
  7. Battery Maintenance: If your model uses rechargeable batteries, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper battery maintenance. This includes charging them appropriately and avoiding overcharging.
  8. Safety Features Check: Periodically test the safety features, such as the electric brake and guard. Ensuring these features are in good working order is essential for a safe woodworking environment.
  9. Inspect Dust Collection: If your miter saw has a dust collection system, inspect and clean it regularly. Effective dust collection not only keeps your workspace cleaner but also contributes to the tool’s performance.
  10. Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about any product updates, recalls, or maintenance tips provided by Makita. Being proactive with updates can help you address any potential issues early on.
  11. Store Properly: When not in use for an extended period, consider covering your miter saw to protect it from dust and environmental factors. A simple cover can go a long way in preserving its condition.
  12. User Manual Reference: Keep the user manual handy and refer to it when needed. It’s a valuable resource for troubleshooting, maintenance guidelines, and any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.

These tips have become second nature in my routine, ensuring that my Makita GSL02Z miter saw remains a reliable and effective tool for all my woodworking projects. Regular attention to these details not only prolongs the life of the saw but also contributes to consistent and accurate performance.

Price and Value for Money

Despite its higher price tag, the GSL02Z proves to be a compelling investment for dedicated woodworkers due to its advanced features and robust performance. The inclusion of Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) technology enhances the tool’s appeal, adding an extra layer of convenience to justify the investment.

Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a wooden floor in a workshop

While the GSL02Z may come with a slightly elevated cost, its advanced features and impressive performance make it a justified and worthwhile investment for serious woodworkers. The incorporation of Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) technology further sweetens the deal, providing an added layer of convenience that enhances the overall value proposition of this miter saw.

Is it Worth it to Buy?

Certainly, the GSL02Z stands out as a substantial investment for individuals who prioritize high performance, precision, and durability in a miter saw. For those deeply committed to their woodworking projects and seeking a tool that aligns with their dedication, the GSL02Z unquestionably justifies its cost.

Makita 40V Max XGT 8-1/2” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw on a white table in front of a brick wall

If your woodworking endeavors demand top-notch performance, precision, and a tool that can endure rigorous tasks, the GSL02Z emerges as a highly worthwhile investment. Its robust features cater to serious woodworkers who understand the value of a reliable and efficient miter saw, making the GSL02Z a justified and valuable addition to their toolkit.

Pros and Cons


  • Energy-efficient and long-lasting: The brushless motor provides powerful performance while running cooler, leading to a longer tool life.
  • Wireless dust extraction: The AWS technology automatically activates a dust extractor when the tool is in use, eliminating cords and noise.
  • Space-saving design: The rail-forward design maximizes the workspace against a wall and allows for compact storage.
  • Versatility for longer materials: Extension wings enable cutting longer pieces, expanding the range of possible projects.
  • Smooth start-ups: The soft start feature prevents sudden jolts, ensuring smooth operation and longer gear life.


  • Limited battery compatibility: The tool requires the 40V max XGT system, which may be inconvenient for users with existing batteries from different platforms.
  • Heavy weight: At 49.2 pounds, the miter saw is relatively heavy and may be difficult to transport frequently.
  • Additional cost for wireless dust extraction: The AWS requires a separate transmitter (sold separately) to utilize the wireless dust extractor function.
  • Higher price point: As a high-performance tool with advanced features, the Makita GSL02Z may be more expensive than some basic miter saws.

Comparison Table

FeatureMakita GSL02ZBOSCH GCM18V-08N
Power40V Max XGT Brushless Motor18V Lithium-Ion battery
Blade Diameter8-1/2″8-1/2″
Bevel RangeDual-Bevel, 0-48° (Left and Right)Single-Bevel, 0° to 45°
Miter Range0-60° (Left and Right)0° – 47°, Left and Right
Weight49.2 lbs31.5 lbs
No Load Speed4,800 RPM4,600 RPM
Cutting Capacity2-3/4″ x 12-1/4″ at 90°3-5/8″ nested crown, 10-5/8″ crosscuts
Special FeaturesAuto-start Wireless System (AWS)Laser guide, efficient dust collection
AWS CapableYesNo
Voltage 40 V‎18 Volts
Electric BrakeYesNo
Average Price$839.00 to $1,098.89$441.25 to $474.05

BOSCH GCM18V-08N 18V 8-1/2 In. Single-Bevel Slide Miter Saw

The BOSCH GCM18V-08N 18V 8-1/2 In. Single-Bevel Slide Miter Saw is a testament to mobility and performance, driven by its 18V Lithium-Ion battery. Weighing a mere 31.5 lbs, this miter saw offers convenient portability without compromising on cutting capacity, delivering 3-5/8 In. nested crown cuts and 10-5/8 In. crosscuts. Its single-bevel design covers a range from 0° to 45°, providing flexibility for various cutting tasks. Precision is elevated with the inclusion of an accurate laser guide system, ensuring a precise alignment of the cut line to the blade. With an efficient dust collection system and an affordable average price ranging from $441.25 to $474.05, the BOSCH GCM18V-08N caters to users who prioritize mobility, precision, and cost-effectiveness in a miter saw.

Comparative Analysis

In the duel between the Makita GSL02Z and the BOSCH GCM18V-08N, each powerhouse has its unique strengths catering to distinct user preferences. The Makita, armed with a robust 40V Max XGT Brushless Motor, stands out with its dual-bevel capability, a vast miter range of 0-60°, and the innovative Auto-start Wireless System (AWS), allowing for a seamless user experience. Weighing in at 49.2 lbs, it’s a robust companion for substantial projects, but this power comes at a premium, with an average price ranging from $839.00 to $1,098.89.

On the other side, the BOSCH GCM18V-08N embodies portability with its 18V Lithium-Ion battery, weighing a modest 31.5 lbs. Its single-bevel design covers a respectable 0° to 45° range, and the inclusion of a laser guide and efficient dust collection enhances precision and cleanliness on the job site. With an average price ranging from $441.25 to $474.05, the BOSCH offers a more budget-friendly option for users prioritizing mobility.

Ultimately, the choice boils down to your specific needs. If you’re a professional seeking unparalleled power and versatility, the Makita GSL02Z is an investment in uncompromising performance. However, if you value the freedom to move effortlessly around the workspace without sacrificing too much cutting capacity, the BOSCH GCM18V-08N provides a compelling balance of portability and functionality at a more accessible price point.

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Final Verdict

To sum up, the Makita GSL02Z 40V Max XGT 8-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw transcends being a mere tool and emerges as a steadfast companion for both woodworking enthusiasts and professionals. With cutting-edge technology, considerate design elements, and exceptional performance, it establishes itself as a standout option in the market. For those seeking a miter saw that excels in every aspect, the GSL02Z unquestionably emerges as a top-tier choice.


  1. Can I use a different battery with the Makita GSL02Z, or is it only compatible with the 40V max XGT system?
    The GSL02Z is specifically designed to work with the 40V max XGT system. While other batteries may physically fit, using them is not recommended, as it may compromise the performance and safety of the miter saw.
  2. How often should I change the saw blade on the GSL02Z?
    The frequency of blade changes depends on usage and the materials being cut. As a general guideline, consider changing the blade when you notice a decrease in cutting efficiency or if there’s visible wear. Regularly inspect the blade for sharpness and any signs of damage.
  3. Is the GSL02Z suitable for cutting metal or other non-wood materials?
    The GSL02Z is primarily designed for woodworking applications. While it can handle certain non-ferrous metals with the appropriate blade, it is not recommended for heavy-duty metal cutting. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for material compatibility.
  4. Can I use the GSL02Z for bevel cuts on both sides simultaneously?
    No, the GSL02Z performs bevel cuts on one side at a time. It has a bevel range of 0° to 48° to the left and right. When making bevel cuts on the opposite side, simply adjust the bevel angle accordingly.
  5. What is the purpose of the LED light on the GSL02Z?
    The LED light serves as a cutting guide by casting a shadow of the saw blade onto the material. This feature enhances visibility and helps ensure precise cuts, especially in low-light conditions.
  6. Does the GSL02Z come with a dust extractor, or do I need to purchase it separately?
    The GSL02Z does not come with a dust extractor. However, it is equipped with Auto-start Wireless System (AWS) capability for wireless communication with an AWS-equipped dust extractor, sold separately. This feature ensures efficient dust management during operation.
  7. Can the GSL02Z be used for jobsite applications, or is it more suitable for a workshop setting?
    The GSL02Z is a versatile miter saw suitable for both workshop and jobsite applications. Its portability, combined with the cordless 40V max XGT system, makes it convenient for various woodworking projects in different settings.
  8. Is the GSL02Z compatible with third-party accessories and attachments?
    While the GSL02Z is designed to work seamlessly with Makita accessories, caution should be exercised when using third-party attachments. Non-Makita accessories may affect the tool’s performance and compromise safety. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for compatibility.
  9. How do I adjust the bevel angle on the GSL02Z?
    To adjust the bevel angle, locate the bevel lock and release dial at the front of the tool. Unlock the bevel angle, adjust it to the desired angle (0° to 48° left or right), and secure it in place using the lock. Always refer to the user manual for detailed instructions.
  10. What is the weight of the GSL02Z, and does it come with any carrying accessories?
    The GSL02Z weighs approximately 48.51 lbs. While it does not come with a dedicated carrying case, its portable design and handle make it manageable to transport. Consider using a protective cover or case for added convenience during transportation and storage.

As we conclude our exploration of the Makita GSL02Z 40V Max XGT 8-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, it’s clear this tool excels beyond its cutting capabilities. With a robust brushless motor, LED cutting guide, and Auto-start Wireless System (AWS), each detail reflects Makita’s commitment to craftsmanship. The GSL02Z perfectly balances power and convenience, making it the top choice for woodworking enthusiasts and professionals seeking reliable performance. Whether in your workshop or on the go, the GSL02Z stands out as a versatile companion, delivering the performance, durability, and user-friendly features that define the Makita legacy.

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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