I previously owned the both Dewalt compact miter and full size miter stands so I will compare and contrast the stands in my review (The Dewalt stands we’re identical with the exception of the overall width). But first off, out of the box, the WST06 carry handle was busted off. I had read this happened to others as well. I called Makita customer service and while it was hassle free to get them to send me a replacement; it was an extra step that can easily be prevented.
Assembly: is straight forward if your familiar with a miter stand; but the provided instructions are not helpful (pictures with call outs and enlargements). Compared to the Dewalt, where nothing had to be assembled out of the box- the Dewalt is superior in this aspect.
Mounting: Once the stand was assembled, I proceeded to mount my saw (Makita XSL06) to the stand. The mounting brackets certainly operate differently that the Dewalt. First they ‘clip on’ and then you lock the brackets onto the stand. Not as straight forward as the Dewalt; where you simply tilt and place the saw onto stand. Without a doubt, the Dewalt saw and stand are better for setting up and taking the saw off of the stand. Also the pictures in the instruction specify that saw be mounted on Makita stand with the roller towards the left. However I found if I do that, because of the offset in alignment with the saw bed and rails, the roller becomes almost useless in this configuration. (This is with the saw mounted as far back as it can go on the mounting brackets). As such I mounted the saw with the roller to the right. On the plus side, the Makita comes with wheels and a tow handle. That should make moving the saw around easier, although I have yet to fold the stand legs down with the saw attached to see how cumbersome that might be. If you have to remove the saw first, because of the way the saw is mounted and removed from the stand, I’d say it’s usefulness is greatly diminished.
When the saw is mounted to the stand, it is sturdy. One of the legs can be extended in the event you’re not on a level surface. I haven’t had to use this feature, but suspect it will be a nice to have. The Dewalt does not have this feature.
Weight: Comparable. I can say I notice a difference. The Makita is lighter and I will roll it using the supplied wheels when I can, so big plus there.
Extensions: Slide extensions: no knock on either, but the twist knobs in the Makita are less desired than the lever Dewalt uses. This is preference or course. I do feel like the Makita twist knobs are going to break off at some point and never felt that way with the Dewalt. Also, The stand extensions sag a bit when fully extended. The same is true of the Dewalt and Dewalt makes an accessory, a ‘support extension’, for this purpose. In absence of a built in support extension, a roller stand works well to support heavier materials.
Folding and Unfolding: the legs of the stand are operated by pushing a detent in. The detents are small and with gloves on this isn’t easily accomplished. The Dewalt solution, also using detents, but attaching a “rocker handle” to actuate the detents is vastly superior.
Storing: the stand is affected by the aforementioned wheels. The stand cannot be stood on its end when not not in use; thereby taking up valuable floor space (with the legs open or if they are closed and the stand is laid down). So weigh that if wheels aren’t important to you and floor space is. Of course if you remove the wheels, then the design is such that the bracket for either the roller or board support is in the way. And while the same is true with the Dewalt without wheels, the design still allowed you to balance the stand on it end. I’m not going to say either design is better or worse; just weigh this feature if deciding between the two and your work and storage options.
Makita does include a wrench, stored under the tow handle in the event you want to dismount and mount multiple saws. For me, this has no value as my saw will stay mounted to the saw brackets. I suppose if I had a second miter saw, I’d just buy a second set of brackets versus unbolting and rebolting each time (note- additional mounting brackets are pretty expensive. Almost 50% more than what I’ve seen and paid in the past for a second set of Dewalt brackets).
Price: slightly more than the Dewalt, but Makita includes wheels which the Dewalt doesn’t. Accessories pricing and accessory availability is superior for the Dewalt. As stated, their mounting brackets cost less than the Makita and Dewalt offers several accessories, including a wide double roller which is great for wider materials 2x8 and up, 5” crown, etc.
Function: so the question is, does this stand work? The answer is yes. I’ve pointed out the major differences from my experiences across the brands; but when it comes down to it this stand is lightweight, portable, securely holds my saw at a comfortable working height (which is close but not identical to the Dewalt stands height) provide support for my work pieces and functions exactly as designed. I prefer mounting my Makita saw on a Makita stand and so for me the price difference in the base models wasn’t prohibitive.