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Our Honest Review of Makita 18V LXT® Recipro Saw (XRJ04Z)

Makita 18V Recipro Saw XRJ04Z Product Image

Editor Rating: 4.4/5

Great

Makita 18V Recipro Saw (XRJ04Z) Review

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Published on: January 8, 2019 

Last modified: January 8, 2019 @ 1:07 pm

 

 

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Review Summary:

A recipro saw is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions a set of necessary tools. However, this tool does help a lot when it comes to cutting through wood, metal, or plastic. If you have a collection of tools and are missing a quality recipro saw, take a moment and check out the XRJ04Z model. It boasts a nice amount of useful features and it’s suitable for most budgets thanks to its affordability.

Finding the right tool for your needs isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a complete beginner. The beauty of this tool is that it’s suitable for both avid professionals and novices because it’s relatively easy to use and it has a pretty straightforward purpose. Makita is a well-known brand and they usually offer high-quality tools, therefore, if you’re looking for one, keep reading and you’ll get a better insight into the advantages and shortcomings of this particular model.

Specifications:

  • Weight – 8.3 lbs. with battery
  • Power – 0-2800 strokes per minute
  • Dimensions – 19-1/8” long
  • Electric brake
  • XPT technology
  • Crank mechanism for reduced vibrations

Makita XRJ04Z – The Basics


The basic purpose of this tool is pretty simple –it’s designed to cut through materials like wood and metal without breaking a sweat. Thanks to its variable speed motor, you can fine-tune the machine according to your own preferences and needs in order to achieve a fine and precise cut. On top of that, the ergonomic design allows you to work longer because it doesn’t cause fatigue or exhaustion.

The fact that it’s battery-powered may cause some second thoughts with some people because cordless tools are known to lose power as the charge drops. However, that’s not the case with the XRJ04Z because it utilizes the LXT line of batteries which are known for their fast charging times and long life.

 

Features


 

Design


The design is pretty good, especially when it comes to ergonomics. One half of the unit is rubberized to ensure a firm grip while the other half is made of hard plastic that’s capable of withstanding rough conditions. Therefore, you can use this tool in any environment without worrying about potential damage. The trigger is large enough to be controlled with two fingers which consequently significantly increases the operator convenience and comfort. As we have mentioned, the crank mechanism is specially designed to reduce vibrations which is a good method against fatigue and exhaustion.

If you’re working in harsh conditions, the XPT technology will protect your unit from dust, debris, and water. The electric brake offers maximum productivity and is also a valuable safety feature.

Battery


This model utilizes the LXT 18V line of batteries that are well known for their longevity, charging times, and lifespan. The good thing about this is the fact that you can use one battery with several different tools because they are all mutually compatible. However, the bad news is that the battery is not included with this recipro saw. In other words, you will have to buy one separately or use an existing one from another Makita tool that uses the LXT line.

Some people recommend getting two batteries at once in order to minimize downtime, but the obstacle here is the price of the battery itself. In simpler terms, it’s not something you can buy cheaply. If your budget allows it, don’t hesitate to invest in an extra battery. On the other hand, if you don’t have the financial means for a double purchase, one will do just fine. The charging time is about 30 minutes which isn’t a particularly long time.

Pros:

N

Good power

N

Lightweight and portable

N

No issues with vibrations

Cons:

N

The shoe is not adjustable  

N

Trigger sensitivity is lacking

R

Things we liked about it

The overall compactness and efficiency are the two things we liked about this product. It’s relatively easy to use, comes at an affordable price, and is capable of cutting through some pretty hard materials. There isn’t much more one can ask from a recipro saw, to begin with.

The other thing we liked about it is the power output. Even though it doesn’t seem particularly powerful, rest assured it’ll cut through hard materials without too much hassle. The fact that it weighs just above 8 pounds is great because it means you can pack it in the field and use it without worrying about fatigue or downtime.

Q

Things we didn’t like

There is no control over the depth of the cut. In other words, the shoe is not adjustable and that might cause some issues during particular projects. If you’re looking for high adjustability, this model probably isn’t the ideal solution.

The other thing we didn’t like much is the fact that it isn’t compatible with older Makita batteries but only with the new line of smart batteries. It isn’t a massive downside per se, but it’s certainly something you should keep in mind.

General Impressions


Most people who have bought this tool seem pretty satisfied with its performance. The most frequently praised aspect of it is the design and comfort during use. When it comes to the most frequent disadvantage that’s has been a subject of debate, it refers to the incompatibility of the aforementioned unit with the older version of Makita’s batteries. As we have mentioned, it’s compatible only with the new generation of LXT batteries. Overall, the vast majority of people like the way it feels and works. There are a couple of downsides that we have already covered, but most of them are solvable.

Conclusion


If you’re planning on tackling a mid-sized project that requires cutting wood, metal, or even plastic, the XRJ04Z model might be a good solution. It’s suitable for both professionals and hobbyists and given that it’s battery-powered it’s also quite portable. Therefore, if you need a quick cut in the field and you aren’t keen
on carrying a long extension cable, opt for a battery-powered unit and it might make your experience better and easier to cope with.

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