Cordless tools have their benefits, the biggest being their easy portability from place to place on the job site, in the garage, or in your home. The Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT cordless 6-1/2-inch circular saw is a good example of a cordless tool that brings even more to the table, which includes sufficient specifications for light to medium-duty tasks.
If you want to check out this Makita circular saw, read my review below to find out more about its specs, pros, and cons, so you can decide for yourself.
This tool is ideal for light-duty and medium-duty projects, as it is a unit with a smaller blade size, which is typical for a cordless circular saw. If you’re just looking for a circular saw that gets the job done (or if you’re a beginner), I think this one will suit you.
The speed of this cordless circular saw is 3,700 RPM, which is fitting for its 6-1/2-inch blade size. Since it only weighs 7.3 pounds, it’s not going to wear you out when used for long hours. It has a cutting capacity of 2-1/4 inches at 90 degrees, which, again, is okay since it is a smaller blade. The tool’s bevel capacity is 50 degrees.
A 3-year limited warranty is assured by Makita for this circular saw. Nonetheless, to extend its lifetime, it has efficient power management thanks to Star Protection technology, which prevents overloading, overheating, and over-discharge of the battery. It also has a precision-machined aluminum base to keep it durable and stable.
To prevent excessive discharge (which is bad for the battery and the motor), the motor automatically stops when the battery capacity is too low. What’s more, the Star Protection Computer Controls will monitor the battery temperature and issue an automatic stop when it gets too hot as well.
Moreover, the battery used for this unit is a 18V lithium-ion, which is also compatible with different Makita tools from the same line. This means the battery is interchangeable and will save you money in the long run. And because it is lithium-ion, it has no memory effect, which means you can leave it in the garage or shed for a long time without worrying about battery drainage (compared to traditional batteries).
Because it has a rubberized soft grip on the handle, you’ll still be able to keep a firm grip with sweaty hands or when wearing gloves. Due to the low weight, the tool is easily portable. Changing the blade is simple as well due to the on-board blade wrench while the flat motor housing design also speeds up this process.
Should You Buy the Makita XSS02Z?
The Makita XSS02Z will appeal to you if your common circular saw usage involves light to medium-duty work, such as DIY home projects, woodworking, fabrication shops, and some job site work. While it doesn’t have the same specifications as a corded unit, I think that the speed and cutting capacity are well enough for common tasks.
If you are still unsure about your decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Makita XSS02Z
Let’s start with the positives.
It has a lithium-ion battery.
A lithium-ion battery is a good investment because it doesn’t have “memory effect,” unlike traditional batteries. This effect causes batteries to drain when you’re not using them, which can be inconvenient, particularly for casual users.
Since it is part of the Makita 18V LXT series, you can interchange the battery with other tools if you already own some of the same tools in this line.
It has easy blade-changing mechanisms.
There is an on-board wrench that will speed up blade changes when you are working on different materials. In addition to that, the flat motor housing design allows you to change the blade without being in an awkward position. These mechanisms are both time-saving and beginner-friendly.
The rubberized soft grip reduces user fatigue.
One noteworthy plus point for this tool is the rubberized soft grip. You will stay comfortable when working on your material, even for long hours, and even when using gloves.
It has battery and motor protection features.
Thanks to the Star Protection Computer Controls, the unit is protected against overheating, over-discharge, and overloading. It not only improves battery life but also saves and prolongs your motor’s lifespan.
Cons of the Makita XSS02Z
On the other hand, while it has good points, the product has some minor drawbacks.
The speed isn’t as fast as with other circular saws.
With only 3,700 RPM no-load speed, it isn’t the perfect circular saw for you if you need to meet tight deadlines or if you work on really big projects with tough materials.
The base/shoe isn’t magnesium.
Although this makes sense because cordless tools need to be lightweight, it would’ve added some valuable stability if the shoe was made of magnesium rather than aluminum.
What Are the Alternatives to the Makita XSS02Z?
If the Makita XSS02Z isn’t your cup of tea, I have other options just for you. For instance, the Skil CR5406-10 is a similar tool but has a faster speed of 4,500 RPM. It also uses lithium-ion for its battery and has a similar bevel capacity of 50 degrees. However, it falls short when it comes to cutting depth, since it’s only 2-1/8 inches versus the Makita XSS02Z’s 2-1/4-inch cutting depth.
If you’re eyeing a tool from the same brand, the Makita XSH03Z is another option for you. This one has a brushless motor, so it has decreased vibration compared to traditional saws. The weight is roughly the same, with my original pick at 7.3 pounds, and it has a 50-degree bevel capacity as well. A big difference, however, is that this unit has 5,000-RPM.
The Milwaukee 2630-20 is for you if magnesium components are what you’re after. This one has a similar speed to the Makita XSS02Z (even falling a bit short) at 3,500 RPM and its bevel adjustment is only up to 45 degrees. Nevertheless, it is also part of a tool system (M18) so it also has interchangeable battery options.
Finally, make sure to also check my list of the best circular saws for beginners.
To wrap it up, the Makita XSS02Z may not be the best in speed, cutting capacity, and the like, since it is a cordless tool, but for beginners and light-duty tasks, this is more than sufficient. It is, after all, lightweight, portable, has overload and overheat protection, and is easy to hold and grip whether with gloves or sweaty hands thanks to its ergonomic handle.