Makita XSR01Z 18V X2 Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw Review

Price the Makita 18V X2 Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw on amazon:

Battery Powered Worm Drive? – Makita’s XSR01Z 18V X2 Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw is powered by two 18 volt Makita batteries, but it is not a worm drive saw. We mention that it is not a worm drive saw a few times in our YouTube video also. The rear handle saw looks like a worm drive, feels like a worm drive and has all the power of a worm drive, but the gears are not quite the same as a worm drive saw. Makita uses a helical design with gears at a 45-degree angle and the worm drive saws have gears at a 90-degree angle. For all intents and purposes, the Makita rear handle saw will take over a large market of contractors who love the feel and power of worm drive saws. The power this saw has is no joke. We put this saw to work to find the limits and we believe it will perform flawlessly on the jobsite. You will not be running back and forth to charge your batteries either. If you are one who uses this type of saw for many odd bevel angles, the ONLY item that might be disappointing in the lack of colored bevel degree scale on the saw.

XSR01Z Features

Uses two LXT 18 volt batteries to provide the 36 volt power
Electronically controlled Brushless Motor delivers 5,100 RPM
Automatic Speed Change technology adjusts cutting speed and torque during cut for optimum performance
Makita claims up to 558 cross-cuts per charge in 2×4 SPF lumber and up to 291 cross-cuts per charge in 2×10 SPF lumber using two 5.0Ah batteries
2-9/16” cutting capacity at 90°
Electric brake stops blade quickly
0°- 53° bevel capacity with positive stops at 22.5°, 45°, and 53°
Die-cast magnesium base and blade guard along with a die-cast aluminum blade cover and motor housing
17-1/2″ long
Most Powerful Battery Operated Saw

Makita knows they have a great saw because it takes some guts to come out with a saw designed for professionals who love power. The blade left rear handle saw will be coveted by contractors who love the power of this style saw for long rips. Flat out, this saw delivers everything contractors want inside a 12.7 pound package including two 5.0Ah batteries. This saw, with batteries, is lighter than the corded saws many are used to in this category. The main difference contractors will notice is the presence of an ambidextrous safety that is one of the best on the market for ease of use.

We ran the Dewalt Flexvolt 7-1/4″ circular saw next to the Makita rear handle while cutting three sheets of 3/4″ OSB and it was able to keep up for the most part. While the Flexvolt has great power, the huge battery off the back does not make it as comfortable as the Makita. We also do not feel the Dewalt has the battery life of the Makita when used for heavy duty ripping.

Rear Handle Saw Operation

Comfort, reliability and power are demanded for contractors. Some will argue about what is more important, but our testing was aimed at finding out if this saw could make the cut. The rear handle saw has a cut capacity of 2-9/16″ at 90 degrees. That will cut 3x material in one pass. Blade height adjustments are solid and the black numbers are easy to read. Bevel cuts to common angles are made faster by a dial that allows for positive stops at 22.5, 45 and the max of 53 degrees. The bevel scale does not have the numbers painted black so it is harder to see in bright sunlight or when covered in saw dust. The trigger safety is large and does not take a lot of effort to move in order to turn the saw on. That is very important for the comfort factor.

This Makita saw needs two batteries to operate as it is a 36 volt saw. The batteries are tucked away under the saw making it a bit tough to check the charge. Makita added a fuel gauge for each battery on the top of the saw. With a simple push of one button, the user can see how much power is left in each battery. The placement and ease of operation makes it a quick check for the user. The large rafter hook allows the saw to be hung on a saw horse or on lumber, waiting for the next cut without having to pick the saw up off the ground. These features are important to framers because it saves on your back over the course of the day and increases productivity.


The words game changer, revolutionary, breakthrough and turning point all apply in how the new Makita 18V X2 Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw will change the construction field allowing for serious cord free power in a circular saw. Power in a cordless form is now available with ample runtime for contractors. Point blank, buy it, use it and if you are disappointed in the saw, come here and tell us. We don’t think we will hear any complaints.


Byron Quine says:

That saw looks like a beast! #workshopaddict

SuperCheese088 says:

Seems like it shoots the dust onto itself pretty bad, not a problem really just kind of annoying. #WorkshopAddict

RhinoAg says:

Makita makes great saws. #workshopaddict

Paul Wharton says:

Excellent review, very clear. many thanks.

Neezar Dehni says:

Fyi in Australia we cut a pitched roof with a circular saw and we use the bevel adjustments more often than not.

Lead On Steel Plate says:

Awesome looking saw, seems to be great quality and power!! #WorkshopAddict

Dr_Rock (Pete) says:

Bummer – not available in Australia 🙁

David Januszewski says:

How many re-charges can the batteries with-stand? What is the general life-span of these batteries..?

Iggy Mac says:

nice saw I want one!! #WorkshopAddict

Blacksheep says:

Fine point sharpie on the bevel markers, skateboard tape along the bottom of the battery pack.

Joe Rhea says:

wow… talk about beast mode… looks like its super high quality..!

nyhsmark says:

Nice!  #WorkshopAddict

J Parra says:


jbravo70 says:

I’m a Dewalt 20v and flexvolt guy, but man is this the best looking Cordless circular saw!!!

Demized says:

makita has been stepping up their game!! #workshopaddict

TheColinputer says:

Soon as i can get this in AU im going to pick one up.

Only thing i dont seem to like about it is the dust seems to just shoot down at the back of the saw and get stuck in the shoe

Tanner J says:

Love the idea of 2×18=36 volt set ups! No need for two battery platforms. Looks like it’s got a lot of power! #WorkshopAddict

Cheng Liu says:

Looks nice, was it uncomfortably heavy?

busjockey1 says:

nice! #workshopaddict

BMack37 says:

This saw is a beast! #WorkshopAddict

Alonso Portillo says:

Nice saw, smooth clean cuts. Invested in milwaukee thought. Never been a Makita guy. #workshopaddict

GrimaldiScaleKustom says:

Omg that thing is awsome

Brian Salazar says:

Nice saw but I still like Milwaukee though #workshopaddict

Nathan Hart says:

Why did it stop in the middle of cutting? #workshopaddict

Stewart Harrison says:

wow, that’s a nice saw. never used a worm drive before. #WorkshopAddict

John Chung says:

That is a nice saw! #WorkshopAddict

Sir Powersedan says:

This is a beast sadly not avalible in my country

Wild Goose says:

That saw has amazing power! It must be heavy, but so is a worm drive. #WorkshopAddict

donayre21 says:

What I dislike is it need two batteries.

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