After nearly 4 years, Makita’s 18V brushless barrel-grip jig saw still isn’t available in the USA, at least from what I’ve seen. But, here’s a bit of good news – there are 2 new 12V Max CXT brushless jig saws coming soon.
Makita already has a 12V Max CXT top-handle jig saw, but these 2 jig saws are different, featuring brushless motors.
The new Makita jig saws are said to be ideal for “woodworkers, cabinet makers, remodelers, and general contractors.”
- 5-speed control dial
- 800-3000 SPM
- Variable speed trigger with lock-on button
- 3 orbital settings
- Tool-less blade change system
- Brushless motor provides for up to 50% longer runtime
- Weighs 4.1 lbs with battery
- Soft-start motor for more accurate starts
- 0-45° bevel base
- Aluminum base
- Dual LED worklights
- Built-in dust blower
- 9-3/8″ long
There will be a bare tool option, VJ06Z, and a kit, VJ06R1J, which comes with a charger, interlocking case, and (2) 2.0Ah battery packs.
Price: $130 for the bare tool, $210 for the kit
Buy Now(Bare Tool via Acme Tools)
Buy Now(Kit via Acme Tools
There will also be a barrel-gripped version, VJ05. The barrel grip jig saw is a little lighter, at 3.9 lbs with battery, and looks to have a power button instead of a trigger.
Barrel grip vs. top handle? Some users find that barrel grip jig saws are lower and closer to their work, allowing for greater control.
Both tools look to have a lock-out button, likely to prevent unintentional activation when the tool is riding around in a tool bag or box.
The brushless barrel grip jig saw will be available as a bare tool, VJ05Z, and a kit with (2) 2.0Ah battery packs, VJ05R1J.
Buy Now(Bare Tool via Acme Tools)
Buy Now(Kit via Acme Tools)
A few months ago I posted about the clear absence of next-generation premium jig saws.
We still don’t have new premium brushless cordless jig saws from top brands, at least at the 18V-class level. There are many brushless tools of other kinds, but still no brushless jig saws by the typical mainstream pro cordless tool brands. (Are there any models that are eluding my attention?)
While I would have guessed we’d [finally] see brushless jig saws from Makita at the 18V level by now, I’m sure there will be plenty of users who will be glad to see these compact and lightweight 12V Max offerings.
When I know I’ll need a jig saw for serious project work, I’ll dig out my corded model. When I need some light use, or specific tasks, I might pull out a cordless model.
Side note – I’ve been pleased with Dewalt’s 20V Max jig saw, but their blade change mechanism leaves something to be desired.
I can see how these new 12V-class cordless jig saws can be handy.
Have you been waiting for something like this? My feeling is that many of you would rather see new brushless 18V cordless jig saws from Makita in place of these 12V Max ones. But hey, it’s at least good to see Makita active in the 12V-class space, and as mentioned, I’m sure there are lots of users who will benefit from either of the new jig saws.
If it’s like the 18v, it’ll be awesome. I have the NAINA brushless barrel grip and have had it for about two years now. I bought it through Canada and absolutely love it. I use it whenever I’m outdoors and sometime in the shop when I don’t want to set up my Carvex. The 12 barrel grip looks a lot like my 18v
I absolutely would buy an 18v Makita jigsaw, brushless or not, if it had a good price. I’ve held off on getting one because its in the $200 range. I would like to see one around $130 – $150
You singled out Dewalt’s 20V Max … you prefer it to Milwaukee’s M18?
I don’t think I’ve ever tried Milwaukee’s.
A few months ago I was planning to test a Dewalt tool on a project, realized I needed a jig saw for some tasks, and requested one. I figured it would be a good testing opportunity and wanted to try Dewalt’s in case I took photos and wanted to show the tools together. I own a good Bosch jig saw, but it seemed like a good opportunity to test Dewalt’s cordless, which I had always been curious about.
The Dewalt stays near my workbench, and I’ve used it on things I wouldn’t have busted out my Bosch for, such as cutting up pallets.
It’s not my dream jig saw, but it’s perfectly adequate. That might not sound like a glowing endorsement, but it’s good enough that I have yet to be interested in seeking out anything better.
If I had to guess, I’d think Dewalt and Milwaukee to be on-par with each other, with Bosch a level better.
Unfortunately you guys in the USA are yet to have the newer gen M18 jigsaw, designated M18BJS-0 in Aus, Europe etc. It really is quite an upgrade, having a dust blower, dust extraction port etc.
I have not used the Dewalt or the Bosch but I should image they re all somewhere equal in actual use.
That newer m18 jigsaw looks cheaply made compared to older model
I have the NAINA 18volt Bl barrel grip jigsaw as well and I’m not really too impressed with it. I bought it off a U.K. Tools website for probably around $240 or so. It’s a solid tool, made in the U.K.
But – the auto speed control is crap, takes a lot of pressure at the blade to kick in, and led lights cannot be turned off, both of which are hugely problematic for one of my main uses for it, which is coping trim with the Collins coping foot. So for the speed control, I have to jab the blade into a scrap of wood and only THEN can I bring the saw blade into contact with the trim to be coped. The led lights blind you as you’re using the saw upside down in coping mode and so I have to cover them in tape, but they’re crazy recessed and so it’s a pain to do and not easily removed for when you’d like to have the lights.
I’ve had every high end saw made except for the mafelle: Festool Trion, Carvex, Bosch 1587, Bosch 1590, etc. my Makita BL jigsaw is the loudest jigsaw I’ve ever owned. You literally cannot use the tool comfortably without hearing protection.
And lastly – the dual electronic button on/off switches are the most confusing way to turn on a tool I could imagine. Still cannot completely keep track on the fly of which button gets pressed first.
The only positives I can give it is that the dust collection tube is well designed and the original Collins coping foot fits it with a very slight modification to the curved spacer that comes with the Collins foot.
Hey I just got the 12v version and discovered you can turn off the slow start feature. Basically you turn it on and adjust the speed from high to low and back to high. The LED will blink twice now whenever you turn it on, meaning the slow start is turned off.
Forgot to add – it’s a very heavy tool. I’m sure that’s a testament to its solid build quality, but it’s not necessarily a benefit when using upside down.
Come on red team!!!!?
power switch alone would probably keep me away from the barrel grip – but I’d try one.
I do like the barrel grip bosch job that’s corded.
don’t know if I like the batter placement on this cordless one – putting a larger capacity battery on there might tip the balance out of wack. would be interesting to test – I like their ideas though glad to see it’s coming to US market.
To my knowledge all the brushless jigsaws currently available in Australia at least, are made by Makita, a d handle and barrel grip in both 12v and 18v.
I recently purchased the 2nd gen Milwaukee 18v jigsaw, M18BJS-0, and while I am very happy with it, I kind of wish I had held off and bought the above 12v d handle.
The only downside I can see to the Makita jigsaws are that they at not a tool less bevel change, electing to stay with an allen key. A bit annoying in my mind but not an absolute deal breaker.
Another point is that both these have a soft start feature and don’t ramp up til there is load placed on the blade, so I guess that’s why they went with a switch rather than a trigger on the barrel grip. This can be seen here.
5 speed? I hope that’s not the future of jigsaws. I have taken for granted the variable speed triggers and just now thought how awful it would be to not be able to feather the speed.
Nice to see brushless 12V jigsaws, though that is some weird/unique battery placement.
I think 12V jigsaws have their place, at least for smaller size compact tools that really benefit from being cordless, so they’re something you can just grab and slap in a battery and do smaller light duty jobs without a larger 18V tool or dragging out a corded model and extension cord.
Makes me a little surprised Makita didn’t make the barrel-grip one a sub-compact 12V and keep the traditional design their regular 12V, but I guess they’re keeping the sub-compact line the drill and driver for now.
In any case, glad to see these to bring some competition into the space, maybe that’ll bring the Bosch model down in price even more and get the Blue, Red, and Yellow teams to bring out more brushless cordless saws.
I’m confused as to why Makita and dewalt use slide packs on 12v instead of insert packs . Being a Bosch guy . I guess I’m partial to the insert packs
Makita basically says that their slide packs are better in every way: https://toolguyd.com/makita-12v-cxt-cordless-power-tool-launch/ .
Slide backs allow for certain advantages, such as being able to use the same charger (Dewalt), and it allows for slimmer tool handles.
There are pros and cons to both styles.