A couple of months ago we discussed some of Makita’s new cordless power tools for 2014, including an 18V X2 LXT Li-ion circular saw. As with the other tools Makita released as part of their 18V X2 LXT platform, including a chain saw and rotary hammer, the new XSH01Z saw is powered by (2) Makita 18V batteries in series, essentially making it a 36V tool.
Makita USA has not provided any information about the saw, but we were able to acquire some new details and technical specifications from an international sales flyer.
Internationally, Makita will be producing two versions of the circular saw – a 7-1/2″ size (DHS710) and a 7-1/4″ size (DHS711). The USA version of the saw, XSH01, will have the same features and specs as the DHS711 saw.
Makita says that the new 18V X2/36V circular saw comes as close to the power of AC models as possible.
When compared to Makita’s latest 18V circular saw, the 18V X2 model is said to provide 2.35X the cutting speed and does 2.05X the work per battery charge.
For the runtime test, Makita used (2) 3.0Ah Li-ion batteries for the 18V X2 saw, and (1) battery for their 18V saw. Presumably, if (2) batteries are used with the 18V saw, the difference in runtime, or work amount per battery charge, becomes negligible.
Makita did not clarify upon how they tested for cutting speed.
Features and Specifications (7-1/4″ model)
- Weighs 10.1 lbs
- 4800 RPM no-load speed
- 2-5/8″ max cutting depth at 0°
- 1-7/8″ max cutting depth at 45°
- Bevel range 0-45° and 0-50°, with positive stop at 45°
- Magnesium die-cast blade case and safety cover
- Cutting speed “matches AC circular saw performance”
- Blower function (for cleaner cut lines)
The new saw will be sold as part of a 2-battery kit (XSH01X) and by itself as an add-on tool (XSH01Z).
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Launched: Winter 2014
Pricing: $229 for the bare tool, $420 for the kit
There look to be both pros and cons to the new Makita 18V X2 LXT circular saw.
The saw delivers “extra-high power” which raises the 36V-equivalent cordless saw to corded-tool levels.
The saw can be used with 7-1/4″ circular saw blades, rather than the 6-1/2″ blades cordless saws are typically engineered for.
The new cordless saw weighs nearly as much as corded AC-powered models. At 10.1 pounds, it is 20-27% heavier than some competitors’ 18V and 20V Max saws.
The saw is “right-handed.” Most cordless circular saws these days are “left-handed,” which means users will have to change their usage habits.
Brushed motor. Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel brushless circular saw is already on the market, and other brands might eventually follow with brushless models of their own. What this means is that the X2 saw might be facing heavy runtime, power, and application speed competition in the very near future.
Pricing. The X2 saw is powered by (2) Makita LXT Li-ion battery packs. As of Feb 2014, Makita’s 4.0Ah batteries are still many months away from release. A 2-pack of BL1830 3.0Ah battery packs is currently priced at $158 via Amazon. The charger is priced at $40+. Going by the prices of Makita’s other 18V X2 products, the price of the bare circular saw might be in the $300-$350 range. If so, the total cost for the bare tool, a charger, and one set of batteries would be over $500.
We are very optimistic about Makita’s 18V X2 LXT tools, and really like the idea of the new circular saw. From a practical standpoint, the X2 designs allow for 18V users to use 36V-equivalent tools without the need for additional chargers and batteries.
However, Makita is not the first tool brand to design higher voltage tools that are powered by multiple lower voltage battery packs. What this means is that other brands can follow their lead if they choose to. It will definitely be interesting to see how competitors respond to the X2 lineup.
What also remains to be seen is whether users will gravitate to the new saw. It looks like a compelling product for users who are in need of more power or cutting capacity than current 18V saws could provide, but a slew of competitively featured brushless 18V models are surely on the horizon and hot on the heels of Milwaukee’s Fuel model.
Too expensive and too heavy.
I will just keep using my Skill side winder
I will just keep using my Skill Framer and my DeWalt sidewinder
Long time reader first time poster
Can you do a comparsion on run time and preformance against the fuel saw? I like to know which way i should go since i have all brands. My dewalt corded is on its last leg
Possibly, if I can get my hands on one.
Regarding runtime, Makita’s tests showed that the 18V X2 saw with its two batteries provided only marginally more than double the runtime of their 18V saw with a single battery.
Milwaukee’s Fuel saw and (2) batteries (1 installed and 1 in reserve), thanks to the saw’s more efficient brushless motor, could probably outrun the X2. And that’s if both tools are equipped with 3.0Ah batteries. With one of Milwaukee’s currently available high capacity 4.0Ah batteries, the Fuel saw might even best the Makita with a single battery. In terms of power, Milwaukee’s Fuel is a BEAST. It’s hard for me to imagine that Makita’s 18V X2 saw would perform substantially better than the Fuel.
In theory, Makita’s 7-1/4″ blade would allow for slightly quicker cutting speeds that if the same saw was equipped with a 6-1/2″ blade, but Milwaukee’s Fuel saw has a higher no-load cutting speed.
If you’ve had your Dewalt corded saw to the point where you’ve run it down to its last leg, why not replace it with another corded saw? But if you are definitely looking for a compact saw, and are curious about the Makita X2 vs. Milwaukee Fuel, I am more inclined to favor the Milwaukee Fuel.
The current line-up of cordless “left-handed’ saws is a ‘Con”. Most right hand users position the cut-off to their right. Therefore, if using a track, the guide has to be positioned to the right and the cut-off to the left. Also, using the rip guide, you must position the fence to your left, rather than to your right making it less stable for right hand users by having to apply downward wrist pressure down-and-in rather than following the nature down-and-out alignment of the arm. So, my opinion is the ‘right-handed’ poistioning of the blade is a big ‘Pro’ and any changes in habits of cordless saw users will be for the better. If Makita’s target market is current corded tool users, which are predominately ‘right-hand’ configured, then no change in habit is required and adoption is enhanced.
True. But it nevertheless breaks from the norm and will force users to learn or relearn to use a right-handed saw.
Only break the norm for strictly cordless users. I would wager a week’s salary there are more in both numbers and in runtime hours ‘right-handed’ configured saw users. So playing to the numbers, it will have the widest acceptance. Due to a cordless saws limitations, most professionals that have a cordless saw also have corded saw. Your Festool tracksaw is right handed. Do you consider that a ‘con’ or poor design decision by Festool? Would you purchase a ‘left handed’ version is Festool had the option? (assuming you are right handed) I have a Festool tracksaw and would not like it. Ever try to cut flush (or closest too) to a wall with a left-handed saw?
Ideally, I’d like to see right-hand and left-hand options, but that’s never going to happen. Very few corded saw makers offer right- and left-hand saws, let alone cordless saw makers.
I would not want a left-handed Festool saw, and like my right-handed one just fine.
I suppose the right-handed direction could be a plus, or at least a neutral factor. But it might depend on who Makita is aiming the saw at. Corded tool users looking to jump into cordless, or cordless users who are fed up with the less powerful and short-running cordless saws they already use.
every single corded worm drive saw is “left handed”..
I dont know to many pro’s who cant figure out how to use one. for that matter most of the one I know Prefer the left hand design of a worm saw, but dislike the weight..
The 7-1/4″ blade, a full size blade, run time, and power should make this a beast of a saw. Going cordless with a full size saw would be a nice option for those of us who use them daily. The weight is on par with a corded saw, as it should be. I’m looking forward to seeing one in person.
Funny, in canada, our saws only come with the blade on the right. It’s a learning curve for me to use cordless saw with blade left side.
On a side note, i’ve been using the dewalt 36v for 8 years now. It’s a good saw, but it can’t replace a corded version.
I’ve got the Bosch 36V saw, which in our tests was a (tiny) bit better than the DeWalt. But your comment is still valid: it’s still not a corded saw. For many applications, it’s certainly good enough; really depends on what you’re trying to do with it.
All that said, the 36V saw is WAY closer to corded performance than the current lineup of 18V models. So, based on your particular needs, it might be good for you. 18V circ saws are constantly referred to as anemic- this is a way for Makita 18V users to get that extra bang for the buck.
PS- it’s old, but here’s a link to a performance review of 36V saws.
Review summary of Hilti 36v, Bosch 36V, Dewalt 36V, and Milwaukee 28V: “We found these higher-voltage cordless saws to be so useful we stopped using corded models for pickup work, roof sheathing, and other intermittent cutting tasks. If I were in the market for a cordless saw for framing, my first choice would be the Bosch: It has good power and more runtime than all but the Hilti, and it’s the only saw with a rafter hook. My second choice would be the Milwaukee. Light, powerful, and comfortable to use, it’s the only saw that comes with two batteries.”
I saw the following figures saw on Amazon. It has a description which seems to fit this circular saw, but the model number is different. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00HHZ029U
Ugh. You have to love speech to text. I’m not sure how it translated “circular saw” into “figures saw”.
I agree, it will be interesting to see how Makita does with this saw. Given that it eliminates most of the common cordless circular saw objections (less power or uncommon battery, 6-1/2″ blade) this could be a real winner for them.
Stuart makita just released a 18 volt× 2= 36volt lawnmower DLM380RF4 in Australia. Please don’t mention me in the tool article. Thank you.
People can argue which handed saw is used more, but regardless, all of the tool companies should have both handed saws available for both right and left handed people or just preference. It’s kind of rediculous that they don’t. I have seen an equal number of right handed people that prefer a right or left saw. I prefer a left. And just cause fess tool did there’s a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the only way!!!
Only and idiot would mass produce blade-right saws
After several decades with a trusty Craftsman corded saw with a right-sided blade I recently purchased an 18V 6 /2″ Makita left-blade cordless and hate using it. I’ve never bought a worm-drive saw for the same reason since they are all left-blade. This saw is designed to replace corded saws, not cordless. Only an idiot would design it to be opposite-bladed to the tool it replaces. I’m seriously considering returning my 18V saw and getting this one (well, actually the DHS711Z) and I for one am glad it has the blade on the same side as corded direct-drive saws.