Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head Review - Makita Medium Metal Cutting Cordless Saw Reviews

Advanced Cordless Reciprocating Saws

Cutting Speed
Vibration Control
Feature Set
Size
Value
Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a reciprocating saw with high performance and outstanding run time that comes with a brushless motor and high battery capacity, the Makita XRJ06 is an easy recommendation.

Overall Score 3.8 Head-to-Head Results

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Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Review


The Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw participated in our “Super Saw” class of cordless reciprocating saws. Essentially, that means it takes advantage of an advanced design and puts it in a higher performance group than standard 18V/20V Max models.

Now we take a closer look at the 18V X2 – Makita’s flagship Recipro Saw – on its own. You’ll find it that shares many of the same features as its single battery brother, however, there are a couple of differences worth noting. We’ll get to that in just a minute. For now, let’s take a look at the most obvious difference in this saw compared to the competition.

Editor’s note: this review originally published in January 2017. It has been updated to reflect its performance in our most recent head-to-head review.

Pros

  • Good vibration control
  • Most compact and lightest model in its class
  • Excellent value rating

Cons

  • Lower cutting speed than more recent Super Saws
  • No orbital action to help with wood cutting

Recommendation

The Makita XRJ06 Recipro Saw earns the top value score in the Super Saw class. Its lower, but not unreasonable, cutting speeds are offset by a lower price, and lighter weight than the saws it competes directly against.

Buy it if weight or getting a good bang for your buck is at the top of your priority list. Pass if you’re looking for the fastest cutting speed today’s cordless saws have to offer.  

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Voltage, Amp Hours, and Battery Capacity

The Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw is built on the foundation of Makita’s 18V LXT battery platform. By creating a series connection between the batteries, using two of Makita’s 18V packs gives it 36V power. Within Makita’s entire 18V X2 line, this gives you the ability to access higher power tools without having to buy into a new battery platform

We took advantage of Makita’s 6.0Ah batteries when we initially tested this saw, giving us the equivalent of a 36 volt, 6.0Ah battery. The 216 watt-hours of capacity packed into these two batteries give it twice the available energy as using a single-battery Recipro Saw with the same pack.

Features

As you can tell by the name, the Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw features Makita’s brushless motor technology. It also has an innovative blade lock system. When you insert a blade, the lock automatically snaps into place making it a one-handed operation. You still need the second hand to release the lock which will stay in the open position once you twist it.

Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Review

Makita designed the LED work light to include a pre-glow and in afterglow rather than just an instant on and off when you have the trigger activated. You’ll find a very handy retractable rafter hook that is also more than capable of securely hanging on your belt.

Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Review

The control system is very simple to operate. The switch can be easily moved with your thumb or forefinger. The middle position will lock the tool out while flipping it left or right will select low or high speeds.

Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Review

Ergonomics

The Makita XRJ06M is a beast of the saw with a listed weight of 10.2 pounds. On our scales, it weighed in at 7.1 pounds bare and 9.96 pounds with two 6.0Ah batteries (slightly less with two 5.0Ah packs). That’s a lot of weight compared to 18V models, but it’s actually the second lightest in the Super Saw group, just 0.1 pounds heavier than DeWalt’s FlexVolt.

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The handle ergonomics are fairly solid like you would expect from Makita, though it’s not as contoured as you find on their cordless drivers. I personally had a tough time finding a natural grip with my support hand on the upper housing, but guys with larger hands really seem to like it.

Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Review

Makita touts a refined crank mechanism design that minimizes blade deflection and reduces vibration. We can certainly tell a difference under load and this model did very well in the vibration department, though it was beat out by Metabo HPT in the shootout.

Performance

Cutting speed is where Makita really pulled away from the rest of the pack. For our nail embedded wood cutting test, each saw had to cut through pressure-treated 2 x 10 pine embedded with five framing nails. The lack of an orbital action cost it some speed and ended with an average time of 10.81 seconds.

It was a similar story in a roofing sandwich made up of 2 x 10 PT, 5 framing nails, flashing, asphalt shingles, and a layer of plywood. The saw’s 21.47-second average was well off the leading pace of 12.20 seconds.

In our 2-inch EMT test, the Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw gained some momentum. It finished with a much higher score thanks to a 4.14-second average that was only off the lead by about a 1/2-second.

Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head Review - Makita XRJ06 Metal Cutting

The last test moved to #5 rebar where this model had a hard time keeping up with the other Super Saws. Clocking in at 11.02 seconds, it didn’t challenge the leaders at 5.89 seconds.

Even though the overall cutting speeds seem a little disappointing, keep in mind that they’re only against the other advanced reciprocating saws. When you compare Makita’s performance to the overall group of standard 18V/20V Max models, it’s competing near the top. It’s a perfectly capable demolition saw that may be a little slower, but it’s not packing the same weight as the others in its class.

Price

Pricing on the Makita XRJ06 is pretty competitive against the other Super Saws. The bare tool runs $229 and a kit with two 5.0Ah batteries and a dual-port rapid charger is $299. To reach the top-performing saws in the group, you need to fork out another $150 or more.

The Bottom Line

The Makita XRJ06 Recipro Saw earns the top value score in the Super Saw class. Its lower, but not unreasonable, cutting speeds are offset by a lower price, and lighter weight than the saws it competes directly against.

Buy it if weight or getting a good bang for your buck is at the top of your priority list. Pass if you’re looking for the fastest cutting speed today’s cordless saws have to offer.

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Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Manufacturer’s Key Features

  • 2-speed Brushless motor delivers 0-2,300 (Low) & 0-3,000 (High) strokes per minute
  • Long 1-1/4″ stroke length provides increased cutting efficiency
  • Refined crank mechanism design minimizes blade deflection and reduces vibration
  • Built-in LED light with preglow and afterglow illuminates the work area
  • Retractable tool hook secures the tool when not in use
  • Tool-less blade change system allows for faster blade installation and removal for increased productivity
  • Rubberized soft grip handle provides increased comfort on the job
  • Large 2-finger variable speed trigger for operator convenience
  • Reinforced fixed shoe for added durability
  • Electric brake for maximum productivity

Makita XRJ06M 18V X2 LXT Brushless Recipro Saw Specifications

  • Models: Makita XRJ06M (Kit), Makita XRJ06Z (Bare)
  • Length of Stroke: 1-1/4″
  • Max. Cutting Capacity (wood w/ 12″ blade): 10″
  • Max. Cutting Capacity (pipe): 5-1/8″
  • Strokes Per Minute: 0 – 2,300 / 0 – 3,000 SPM
  • Power Source: (2) Makita 18V LXT li-ion battery packs
  • Built-in clutch: No
  • Orbital settings: No
  • Overall Length: 17-3/4″
  • Weight: 10.2 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Includes: Makita XRJ06Z (bare), (2) 18V LXT 4.0Ah Battery, Charger, Blade, Case
  • Price: $229.99 (Bare), $299.99 (Kit)

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