Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Makita 12V Top Handle and Barrel Grip Jig Saws

Makita 12V MAX CXT Jig Saw VJ04R1 Kit

Makita 12V top handle and barrel grip jig saws promise a flexible and compact solution for carpentry tasks. The new Makita VJ04R1 top handle jig saw delivers 0-2,900 strokes per minute and a trio of orbital settings along with straight cutting capabilities to cover a variety of cutting applications. The jig saw also features a die-cast aluminum base that adjusts from 0 degrees to 45 degrees right to left. At 9-1/8 inches long and 3.8 pounds, the Makita 12V Max CXT Jig Saw is compact and of course features Makita’s ergonomic design.


If you prefer a different form factor, the Makita 12V VJ05R1J barrel grip jig saw delivers a lower-grip for closer maneuvering when cutting. It also features a lock-on switch for easier use while cutting.

Makita 12V Top Handle Jig Saw Features

The Makita 12V Max CXT Jig Saw takes advantage of a lock-on switch to help lower fatigue during longer operations. An electric brake stops the blade quickly when you’re done with the cut or need to inspect your work before continuing. You’ll need “T” tang style blades to go with this model. An integrated dust blower clears a path while the rear of the tool features a dust port for connection to your dust extractor.


The 12V jig saw is available as a bare tool (VJ04Z) or as a kit (VJ04R1). The kit includes 2 Makita 12V Max CXT lithium-ion 2.0 AH batteries, a 12V Max CXT lithium-ion charger, jig saw blade, and a tool case. Keeping in line with the new 18V LXT packs, the 12V Max CXT packs feature an integrated LED battery charge level indicator.

Makita 12V Max CXT Top Handle Jig Saw Specifications

  • Model: Makita VJ04R1 (kit), VJ04Z (bare)
  • Power: Makita 12V Max battery
  • Stroke: 11/16 in.
  • Speed: 2,900 SPM
  • Cutting capacity (wood at 90°): 2-9/16 in.
  • Cutting capacity at 90° (aluminum): 5/32 in.
  • Max cutting capacity at 90° (mild steel): 1/16 in.
  • Blade shank: “T” Tang
  • Battery: 12V Max CXT Lithium-ion
  • Length: 9-1/8 in.
  • Weight (w/2.0 Ah battery): 3.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Price: $139.99 (kit), $89.99 (bare tool)

Makita 12V Barrel Grip Jig Saw

The brushless motor on the Makita VJ05R1J really delivers the goods on this lightweight tool. The soft-start motor avoids damaging your workpiece, and it ramps up once the blade bites into the workpiece. Blade speed is anywhere between 800 and 3,000 strokes per minute (SPM). You also get to select between five different speed settings and 3 orbital blade modes. Finally, you can make bevel cuts up to 45 degrees to either side.

Makita 12V Barrel Grip Jig Saw

Makita 12V Barrel Grip Jig Saw Features

  • Fits Tang shank blades
  • 2-finger control buttons make it easy to power and handle the saw
  • Built-in dust blower
  • Dual LED lights
  • Lock-on switch
  • Interlocking modular case is stackable and compatible with the Systainer system
  • Cuts straight or in one of three orbital settings
  • Brushless motor
  • Tool speed automatically slows down when not cutting to save power
  • Length: 9-3/8 in.
  • Variable-speed: 800 to 3,000 SPM (5-steps)
  • Wood cut depth (90°): 3-1/2 in. wood
  • Aluminum cut depth (90°): 13/16 in.
  • Mild steel cut depth (90°): 3/8 in.
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs (w/2.0Ah battery)
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Kit includes: 12V CXT brushless barrel grip jig saw, (2) 12V CXT 2.0Ah batteries, 12V CXT charger, jigsaw blade, tool case
  • Price: $209.99

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