Makita Chain Mortiser Review

Used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world, the mortise and tenon joint is both simple and strong, and a critical link in building a timber frame. You could do it the old fashioned way with a drill and chisel or a boring machine, but it would be more time consuming. However, an innovative tool like the Makita Chain Mortiser is a great time saver that provides professional results for both timber framing and log home construction. It can cut a mortise or spline trench quickly and accurately.

Features & Usage:

This mortiser can pivot to three cutting positions without resetting the base . It comes complete with 18mm (23/32") chain, sharpening holder assembly, wrench and chain oil. You can firmly attach onto timbers between 3-1/8” to 12-1/8” thickness with its large adjustable vise. You can also adjust the sliding rear clamp to any desired width with a quick twist of the tension knob. For depth, you can plunge up to 6-1/8” and you can use the depth gauge to set the depth or your mortise. To make sure you’re hitting your mark, the yellow indicator plate and indication plate are factory adjusted for the standard equipped 18mm cutter chain but you will want to fine tune this as you go.

  • Powerful 10.5 AMP motor (3,200 RPM)
  • Fast chain speed (1,000 feet per minute)
  • Externally accessible brushes for longer tool life
  • Adjusting levers and knobs for quick changes without resetting the tool
  • Cuts lap joints up to 5-1/8"
  • Adjust knob for re-adjusting position of chain across the timber
  • Chain tension adjustment cover with snap action
  • Durable plastic boot protects twin steel rails
  • Max. Hole Width (Longitudinal) 5-1/8"
  • Max. Hole Width (Transverse) 7-1/4"
  • Max. Hole Depth 6-1/8"

Practical Details:

Every Makita tool is thoroughly inspected and tested prior to leaving the factory. Makita provides a limited one-year warranty on the Chain Mortiser Model 7104L that guarantees the tool to be of free of defects. If anything develops within one year from the date of the original purchase, simply return the complete tool with freight prepaid to one of Makita’s Factory or Authorized Service Centers. Upon inspection, if defective workmanship or materials is the cause, then they will repair or replace it (their choice), free of charge. Makita also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the product, return it and Makita will provide either a replacement or refund (their choice).

The Chain Mortiser Model 7104L comes standard with:

  • (1) 23/32" (18.25 mm) Mortiser Chain (A-16570)
  • (1) Wrench (781204-0)
  • (1) Sharpening Holder (123028-2)
  • (1) Bar Chain Oil, 100 cc (182229-1)

Optional accessories:

  • Five additional Cutter Chain widths, from 5/8" to 15/16"
  • Overall Dimensions 15-1/4" x 11-3/4" x 20-1/4"
  • Cord Length 16.4 ft.
  • Net weight 37.4 lbs.
  • Shipping weight 44 lbs.

Great for homeowners, yet productive enough for professionals. The Makita Chain Mortiser is ideal for timber framing and log home building and great for any woodworker needing to cut mortises in timbers or logs. While heavy this tool is portable with its built-in carrying handle and weighs 37.4-pounds, which makes it easy to take along on any jobsite if you need to. This tool is recommended and used by the team at Timber Frame HQ.

7 thoughts on “Makita Chain Mortiser Review”

  1. I love mine. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! You’ll want to figure the price of a new chain into every few jobs at $700 a pop, but the time savings are well worth it.
    Go get one!

    1. Randall Rooker

      You can sharpen the chains, but you need to find someone capable. I’ve been a professional timberframer for 18 years, and have my original chain that has been sharpened 4 times…althoiugh I do like your idea of buying new chain every once in awhile, having backups. I’ve been very lucky with mine.

  2. I’m a novice when it comes to framing, so I picked one of these up a few weeks ago, it works great, cuts like a hot knife through butter and very accurate. I’m about to start milling timbers for my new workshop ” 20×20 timber frame, plans from Timber Frame HQ, thanks Brice for your help.” Btw chains go for adout $250 if you shop around.

  3. Jeff Kresnyak (Mira Timber Frame)

    This is a great little machine! I’ve been timber framing for 11 years & for half of those years we cut all our mortises using the Makita chain mortises. They are very durable, reliable & easy to maintain. A small tip to avoid wood tears from the chains upward cutting motion is to score your lines with a chisel first. majority of our projects now are CNC machined, but I still use the old mortiser when on site for modifications.

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