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BTP Review: Makita XRJ05 brushless 18v reciprocating saw

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  • #601796
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    After waiting well over a year from its announcement, I finally got my hands on the XRJ05 brushless Makita 18v reciprocating saw. It only took one use for the memory of that long wait to fade away. This tool lets me work without a cord without sacrificing power. When I reach for a reciprocating saw, I’m either making a quick rough cut or doing some serious demo. Being both lightweight and powerful, the Makita is happy to do both. The brushless motor is efficient and powerful while providing good run time.

    As with all of my other brushless Makita tools, this one is a joy to use. With its tool less blade change, adjustable shoe, and two speed gear box, its a full featured saw. It is well balanced and comfortable to maneuver as well. Short of an oscillating blade feature, it has it all.

    My absolute favorite feature is the rafter hook. Too many tool manufacturers overlook this very important feature. I personally rely on the convenience of such things in my line of work. Recently, I used the saw to demo a wooden chimney box that encompassed a metal flue. When you consider climbing a ladder and cutting at arms length, the simple rafter hook pays for itself in a situation like that.

    Speaking of that job, when equipped with a Lenox demo blade, the saw was happy to eat through both old full width SPF 2x4s and hand driven 16d nails, something only my 15A AVT Makita saw would do without breaking a sweat.

    If I had to look for something to improve, it would be adding an oscillating feature. The saw is certainly more than capable without the feature, but adding it would put the saw on par with the best corded models. I’m assuming that battery life would be negatively effected by the chopping motion, but nonetheless, it would be nice to have the option.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #601829

    @jponto07 great review, I wish other manufacturers would add the rafter hooks back on some of the tools again,
    The foot plate, you said is adjustable, so it can be extended, or just swivels like most models.
    Nice to have the led light,
    Thanks for the review.

    #601833
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    The footplate can be extended. It pivots as well. Oddly enough, the 36v version of this saw requires an Allen key to extend the shoe.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #601837

    The footplate can be extended. It pivots as well. Oddly enough, the 36v version of this saw requires an Allen key to extend the shoe.

    That’s a good option, seems odd, but you get the full benefits of using most of the blade, without it bending.
    So for the 18 volt you have you don’t need the allen key. I had that feature on my old Bosch ni-cad, kinda miss it.

    #601838
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    it definitely looks like a great recip.. makita and milwaukee seem to be neck and neck for the title best recip saw both corded and corldess

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #601860
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Great review jponto07 That’s a tool that is on my list of tools to get . I like the rafter hook too.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #601901
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    Sounds like another quality tool thanks for the review!

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #601914
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Great review. I am betting that the next gen of all the cordless recip saws will have an oscillating feature. Heck the new naina bosch does.

    #601970
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    Great review Jon, Nice that no tools are needed for blade change and foot adjustment. ThanX for taking the time to post your review.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #601979
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    After waiting well over a year from its announcement, I finally got my hands on the XRJ05 brushless Makita 18v reciprocating saw.

    Nice review Jon. Thank you for posting. Yes the rafter hook is nice.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #601985
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    theres a oscillating mode on the bosch cordless recip???? interesting.. which model number or is there a link

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #601993
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    theres a oscillating mode on the bosch cordless recip???? interesting.. which model number or is there a link

    It just came out in Europe but it’s coming here.
    Model number gsa18v-125n is on the front page of the bosch website as a new tool bit there is no page for it yet

    #601994
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    sweet review, I really like having extra hooks to hang it everywhere. it seems alot of tools overlook this simple feature.

    #602008
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    sweet review, I really like having extra hooks to hang it everywhere. it seems alot of tools overlook this simple feature.

    Yes they do, and thats unfortunate. They spend so much money on R&D and skip a feature that increases usability. If I’m up on ladder, the last thing I want to worry about is my tool falling to the ground. The hook takes care of that worry.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #602117
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    the last thing I want to worry about is my tool falling to the ground.

    You defiantly don’t want you tool on the ground. I hate dropping my tool and it hits the ground while doing demo and it’s up and down the ladder to get it.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #602159
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    the last thing I want to worry about is my tool falling to the ground.

    You defiantly don’t want you tool on the ground. I hate dropping my tool and it hits the ground while doing demo and it’s up and down the ladder to get it.

    Its happened to me more times than I can count…

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #602697
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Sounds like a nice tool, I don’t know if it would hold up against my Milwaukee fuel though

    #602701
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Sounds like a nice tool, I don’t know if it would hold up against my Milwaukee fuel though

    Why is that?

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #602706
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Sounds like a nice tool, I don’t know if it would hold up against my Milwaukee fuel though

    Why is that?

    I’ve had a chance to use both, the makita feels a bit underpowered compared to the fuel, plus the Milwaukee has the oscillating option. I only have the generation 1 fuel so I’m sure the one key model is even better, with a few added bells and whistles.

    #603844
    WoodsConstruction
    Pro
    Sudbury, ON

    Nice review, thanks.

    8t looks like a solid reciprocating saw. I haven’t had much experience with Makita cordless, but I love their big corded avt reciprocating saw.

    Love the rafter hook aswell. The simplest things are so handy!

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