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BTP Review – Makita 18V X2 LXT Plunge Cut Saw (XPS01PTJ)

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  • #650751

    About a month ago, I was able to pick up the new battery powered track saw from Makita. Model XPS01.

    Before getting this cordless track saw, I had been using the corded model SP6000 for a few months, and really liked it, but was frustrated by always getting caught on a cord. The corded model was picked up on a great deal, so I basically bought two rails (118” and 55”) and got the saw for free.

    So, when I saw a reasonable price for the cordless in a kit (saw, two Makita-branded classic Systainer cases, two 5.0ah batteries, and a two-bay rapid charger), I jumped at it. I already had a few tracks (having also picked up the shorter 800mm Festool track, and a second 55” track (this one from Festool)

    When I got the saw, it was pretty much a clone of the corded model, save for having two battery bays around the motor casing. Same clip on the shoe to lock into Makita rails (the only feature you can’t use with Festool or Triton rails, otherwise they are identical), Same preset to cut at 2mm depth to make a first mini-cut to get a nice clean edge on a cut.

    Right away, I put it to use cutting 2” furring strips from ¾ ply. A half dozen sheets worth of strips later, and I was already impressed. The feel of the saw in use is identical to that of the corded model, and somehow the power level seems to be more than that of the corded. I would also put the power level above that of the Festool TS55. I guess 36v coming from dual batteries lets there be serious power discharge, and an efficient brushless motor lets the tool use that power.

    I then made about a hundred cross-cuts of 6-inch wide pine boards (3/4 actual thickness) on my MFT-style tabletop (called the MFSlab – I will probably review it soon) and a few taper rips of those same boards. At the end of the day, I was at 3/3 bars of power on one battery and 2/3 on the other. Performance was the same at the end of the day as in the morning.

    With a track saw, you really do want to get as much of the chips and dust as possible, and that is where a cordless starts to fall behind. Sure, dust capture is very good, as good as any other plunge saw, but the lack of a power cord means that there is nothing to trigger a vac or extractor that has remote start by tool. I think some companies are now moving to a remote control, but unless they bake that into the tool somehow, it’s an annoying extra step.

    Instead, I decided to get a hold of the dust bag that Festool makes for their cordless track saw. A bit of a dremel shave on the festool part, and it is a perfect fit. Now I can use the saw with a bag and get most of the dust – so close to all, that I would use it inside an occupied home, but not in any living space where the dust would get trapped (so nowhere near curtains, sofas, or carpets for example). Outside, I cant even tell the difference between using the bag and having a vac set up.

    With the usual array of accessories for track saws already fully available (after all, they are part of the track, not the saw) and amazing power with great battery life, this really is a winner.

    Since I got it, I did a couple of edge jointings of 2 inch thick maple boards (8/4 if you prefer) and it did a good job, despite some burning. If I was to do it often, I think I would put on a lower tooth count ripping blade. I may swap my corded model over for that very purpose.

    As for my new cordless model, it now sits at the top of a stack of Systainers so that I can get to it easily. Between it and the corded model, I have not had much use for my table saw or my mitre saw in a while. Even repeat cuts are easy enough to set up with my perforated top MFSlab, and the ease of use makes even long 16 foot boards convenient.

    There is a revolution in tools underway, with clean working high powered cordless. And in this case, Makita took everything great about their track saw and made a better version, somehow running off batteries. A real win.

    #650766
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Very impressive saw, Eric. With run times like that, you could retire a corded saw very easily.

    Thanks for a very thorough review.

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    #650769
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Very nice review of a very good tool..
    What will you do with you corded track saw now?

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #650778
    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    Awesome review Eric – I was trying to get a good deal last weekend, but the store didn’t have the saw in store, neither any deals on it.

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    #650779

    Very nice review of a very good tool..
    What will you do with you corded track saw now?

    Thanks! If I had paid anything close to retail for the corded model I would be trying to sell it used now. Since it was kind of a freebie when I bought multiple rails, I’m not really out the money so not a big deal. I might put it up for sale somewhere, at a bit under full price, and if someone wants it, great. But I’d rather keep it as backup or as dedicated ripping instead of selling it on steep discount

    #650780

    Neat tool, in the video it seems to have lots of power making the cuts.

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    #650793

    Great review, sounds like it has very impressive runtime and power,
    Do you notice any drop in speed or power when the batteries start getting into say one bar or so,
    You can see a difference in the sawzall and impacts,
    Just wondering if it is noticeable,
    Nice that you have a dust bag for collection,
    You are right on about that revolution in cordless tools.

    Once again great review.

    #650794

    Great review, sounds like it has very impressive runtime and power,
    Do you notice any drop in speed or power when the batteries start getting into say one bar or so,
    You can see a difference in the sawzall and impacts,
    Just wondering if it is noticeable,
    Nice that you have a dust bag for collection,
    You are right on about that revolution in cordless tools.

    Once again great review.

    Thanks Brian

    I have never seen a drop in performance, but after using the saw practically nonstop all afternoon, I could not get below two bars, so I don’t know. I had planned on buying a second set of batteries to rotate in on busy days, but with quick charge times and the unkillable nature of these things, I doubt I would ever need to.

    I would actually have to zip tie the trigger to “on” to experience a dead battery, I think. And the saw was never meant to run for hours at a time without ever releasing. I’d say a realistic duty cycle is no more than 50% (time to line up the cut is at least as long as the cut itself)

    #650813
    bbernardesjr87
    Pro
    Mississauga, Ontario

    Hey Eric, what an awesome review and cool tool, thanks for sharing!
    Any difference in performance using 6.0Ah batteries?

    #650817

    Hey Eric, what an awesome review and cool tool, thanks for sharing!
    Any difference in performance using 6.0Ah batteries?

    No idea. I’ve only ever used the 5.0

    #650818
    WoodsConstruction
    Pro
    Sudbury, ON

    That’s a great review and looks like a powerhouse of a saw. I’ve never really had the need for a track saw, but still wouldn’t mind adding one to my collection.

    #650838

    That’s a great review and looks like a powerhouse of a saw. I’ve never really had the need for a track saw, but still wouldn’t mind adding one to my collection.

    I’m telling you – it’s a game changer.

    #650863
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Is good to hear that the 36v model is so much like the corded! I have the corded model and have been very happy with it.

    Once I get it set back to a perfect 90*, it will be a perfect tool again…somehow it got knocked out of square.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
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    #650875
    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    Hey Eric, what an awesome review and cool tool, thanks for sharing!
    Any difference in performance using 6.0Ah batteries?

    No idea. I’ve only ever used the 5.0

    I believe it only adds more runtime because they have the same cells.

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    #650880
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    Great review , Thank you for sharing !

    #650894
    bbernardesjr87
    Pro
    Mississauga, Ontario

    Hey Eric, what an awesome review and cool tool, thanks for sharing!
    Any difference in performance using 6.0Ah batteries?

    No idea. I’ve only ever used the 5.0

    I believe it only adds more runtime because they have the same cells.

    I have to find a chat which a had with a friend from Australia, and he got pretty different results swapping Makita batteries for 6.0Ah, using x2 36V Makita tools, like that Eric’s saw.
    I know Makita use all same cells for all18v packs, but not odd enough, this mate got interesting results, I’ll check here and let you know.

    #650916
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    Good review montreal_woodworks. Thanks.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #650922
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Awesome review Eric, thanks for sharing with us

    #650935

    Great review, sounds like it has very impressive runtime and power,
    Do you notice any drop in speed or power when the batteries start getting into say one bar or so,
    You can see a difference in the sawzall and impacts,
    Just wondering if it is noticeable,
    Nice that you have a dust bag for collection,
    You are right on about that revolution in cordless tools.

    Once again great review.

    Thanks Brian

    I have never seen a drop in performance, but after using the saw practically nonstop all afternoon, I could not get below two bars, so I don’t know. I had planned on buying a second set of batteries to rotate in on busy days, but with quick charge times and the unkillable nature of these things, I doubt I would ever need to.

    I would actually have to zip tie the trigger to “on” to experience a dead battery, I think. And the saw was never meant to run for hours at a time without ever releasing. I’d say a realistic duty cycle is no more than 50% (time to line up the cut is at least as long as the cut itself)

    Thanks Eric, how fast is that dual bay charger, definitely makes sense having multiple bay charger.
    Sounds like Makita certainly have a winner of a track saw,
    Once again great review and input.

    #650937

    Great review, sounds like it has very impressive runtime and power,
    Do you notice any drop in speed or power when the batteries start getting into say one bar or so,
    You can see a difference in the sawzall and impacts,
    Just wondering if it is noticeable,
    Nice that you have a dust bag for collection,
    You are right on about that revolution in cordless tools.

    Once again great review.

    Thanks Brian

    I have never seen a drop in performance, but after using the saw practically nonstop all afternoon, I could not get below two bars, so I don’t know. I had planned on buying a second set of batteries to rotate in on busy days, but with quick charge times and the unkillable nature of these things, I doubt I would ever need to.

    I would actually have to zip tie the trigger to “on” to experience a dead battery, I think. And the saw was never meant to run for hours at a time without ever releasing. I’d say a realistic duty cycle is no more than 50% (time to line up the cut is at least as long as the cut itself)

    Thanks Eric, how fast is that dual bay charger, definitely makes sense having multiple bay charger.
    Sounds like Makita certainly have a winner of a track saw,
    Once again great review and input.

    Thanks.

    I’m not sure how fast it is, since I’ve never fully drained the batteries, but when I was done, I put them into the charger and went to go eat. When I got back 20 minutes later, they were fully charged – but I have no idea what percentage they were at, just 2/3 bars

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