Who doesn’t love demolition? Reciprocating saws make it easy to take apart and tear down wood, metal, sheetrock, and plastic. They’re useful for making openings in walls and flooring, like for pipes. They slice through nails and pipes. You can even trim trees. These two cordless saws from Makita let you work where you need to, regardless of where the electrical outlets are. Let’s look at them both and see which one is best for you.
Makita XRJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Recipro Saw
The XRJ03Z saw is the new rendition of the saw described below, the BJR182Z. The difference lies in the type of battery it uses, and its “Star Protection” feature. With Star Protection, the battery and the saw communicate so that there’s no over-heating, no overloading, and no over-discharging. The saw will shut down if one of those conditions threatens to happen. This protection is helpful if the user works the saw hard for long periods, especially in hot conditions.
Since both of these two saws are sold as bare tools without any extras, let’s look at what makes them great and discuss the necessary accessories later.
The XRJ03Z saw is a typical Makita product. It may not have the same power rating as similar tools from other brands, but it has those nice touches that support their slogan of “best-in-class engineering.”
For example, this saw delivers up to 2900 strokes per minute with a 1-1/8-inch long stroke. The speed is variable, controlled by the user with pressure on the trigger. This is not as fast as some competitor brands, but no one’s complaining about this in the reviews. Look at the ergonomics, too. Nice rubberized grip, big trigger, and the whole thing weighs about eight pounds with the battery mounted. It can cut up to 5-1/8” pipes and up to ten inches in wood (with a twelve-inch blade, of course).
Blades change without the use of tools so there’s no waste of time. The shoe adjusts without using tools, too. Since it uses the fast-charging 18-volt LXT batteries, it’s ready to go again in as little as 30 minutes.
Finally, for safety, there’s a power lock-off switch, and an electric brake to stop the blade after the trigger is released.
More features of the Makita XRJ03Z saw
- Measures 17-3/4-inches long
- Makita offers a 3-year warranty
- Compatible with Makita’s LXT 18V batteries, like the BL1815N (notice the “N”), BL1830, BL1840, or BL1850 that use the DC18RA, DC18RC, DC18RD, DC18SE, or DC18SF chargers
Makita BJR182Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw (Tool Only, No Battery)
The Makita BJR1827 reciprocating saw may be a good choice if you already have other Makita 18V tools that use the BL1830 batteries. Remember that this saw does not have the Star Protection feature that prevents overheating and overloading. This saw comes as a bare tool only with no accessories.
The specs on this saw are the same as on the XRJ03Z. It does up to 2900 strokes per minute with a 1-1/8-inch stroke depth. The stroke speed is variable, depending on trigger pressure. The ergonomic design is made for comfortable control. The blade is easy to change without tools so it doesn’t take long to switch to cutting a different material.
It can handle up to 5-1/8-inches of pipe or ten inches in wood with a twelve-inch blade. Since the shoe is adjustable it lengthens the useful life of the blade. The shoe can be moved so the user can continue to cut with a sharper part.
Like the other saw, the XRJ03Z has an ergonomic handle and weighs about 8 pounds with a battery. There’s a safety lock-off switch and an electric brake to stop the blade after the trigger is released.
More features of the Makita BJR182Z saw
- Makita offers a 3-year warranty
- Measures 17-3/4” long
- User manual says this saw uses only BL1830 batteries which charge in 30 minutes
Neither of these tools comes with batteries, charger, or case.
If you already have BL1830 batteries and don’t need or want the Star Protection feature, the BJR182Z saw could be a good investment for you. This may be the case if you’re only doing occasional cutting.
If you’re planning on a lot of cutting for long periods of time, consider getting the XRJ03Z. With the Star Protection batteries, the saw automatically powers down if it starts to overheat or overload. That keeps your tool in good shape for a longer life. The XRJ03Z is also compatible with a wider range of batteries, from 1.5Ah up to 5Ah. Of course, only the 1.5Ah charge in 30 minutes.