Makita Compact Reciprocating Saw Review XRJ01

Makita Compact Reciprocating Saw XJR01
PTR Review
  • Pro Review 6.7

As a saw that's beginning its 6th year of existence, it's not a huge surprise to find that it's been surpassed by newer models. That's especially true for cutting speed and vibration control.

Overall Score 6.7 (out of 10)

While the XRJ01 Makita compact reciprocating saw was not the first compact reciprocating saw on the market (see the DeWalt 20V compact reciprocating saw, Milwaukee M12 FUEL HackZall, and the Ridgid JobMax), it was the first model from Makita.

Now that it’s been out nearly 6 years, Makita’s Recipro Saw lineup has expanded, including a 2-hand model on the Sub-Compact line that’s more appropriate if you have wood-cutting to do.


  • Unique design offers multiple gripping points for one or two-hand use


  • Slow cutting speed
  • Vibration control needs help
  • Models: XRJ01 (kit), XRJ01Z (tool only)
  • Stroke Length: 1/2″
  • Max Cutting Depth: 2″
  • Speed: 0 – 3000 Strokes Per Minute
  • Length: 15-5/8″
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds with battery
  • MSRP: $99 (XRJ01Z), $299 (XRJ01)
  • Warranty: 3 year limited, 1 year battery

Designed specifically for use in cutting PVC or copper pipe as well as conduit, users will appreciate 18V power in a tool that weighs only 3.9 pounds. Its dual-position on/off switch allows a choice of paddle or trigger switch operation. Built-in LED light, electric brake, lock-off switch, and tool-free blade changes round out the features of this recip saw.

Like all tools in the 18V LXT line, the XRJ01 Makita compact reciprocating saw comes with a Makita 18V LXT lithium-on battery that fully charges in just 30 minutes. The kit includes the recip saw, 2 batteries, charger, blade, hex wrench, and case. It is also available as a tool only (XJR01Z).

Makita Compact Reciprocating Saw Specifications

This looks to be an impressive and convenient new one-handed recip saw from Makita. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.


The Makita XRJ01 competed head-to-head against other compact 18V reciprocating saws. While it presented a unique take on the one-handed design, it also ran into its share of performance challenges.

As a saw that’s beginning its 6th year of existence, it’s not a huge surprise to find that it’s been surpassed by newer models. That’s especially true for cutting speed and vibration control.

However, it’s still the only saw that uses this hybrid trigger style, giving you more versatile grip options than others. If Makita decides to revisit this model, I’d like to see them work on the trigger safety placement, make the handle pivot, and pop a brushless motor in it.

In its PVC/conduit/copper pipe wheelhouse, this is still a relevant choice when you need something smaller than a standard Recipro saw. Check out the Makita Sub-Compact Recipro Saw for a model that’s shorter from tip to tail with better cutting performance.

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