Saws

Makita XSS02Z Review: Flexible Precision Circular Saw

Makita XSS02Z Review

Photo: Makita

What we Like

  • Smooth, precise and accurate cutting
  • Flexible cordless operation
  • High-performance battery pack
  • Strong, durable design

What We Don’t Like

  • The required battery is sold separately
  • No dust ports

Bottom Line

Makita XSS02Z’s precise and smooth-cutting capabilities make the flexible circular saw a great choice for those who demand superior cutting precision, especially for small projects.

Introduction

If you are looking to acquire a versatile circular saw that is flexible, portable, and delivers exceptional cutting precision, then you can’t go wrong with Makita XSS02Z.

The operational flexibility offered by this tool is unrivaled. Its precision cutting is supported by a heavy-gauge machined engineered to deliver smoothness and accuracy.

Makita XSS02Z Review

Makita XSS02Z

Photo: Makita

Performance: Battery-powered Precision-cutting Saw

Powered by Makita’s top-of-the-range 18V LXT® Lithium‑Ion battery, the amount of raw power produced by Makita XSS02Z is beyond impressive for a battery-powered tool.

The power is channeled to an electronically-controlled motor, which delivers 3,700 RPM speeds for fast cutting using its standard 6-1/2-inch blade. But while all these specs are on paper, what does translate to in real-world performance?

Well, this motor is no doubt, a high-torque one. When you switch the tool on, you will definitely feel it kick into action, and when gradually lowered onto the workpiece being cut, the transmission of power is smooth, especially when cutting wooden surfaces.

This circular saw is designed to cut 2X material. Because this is not a high-RPM tool, it’s important to emphasize that it will excel better in cutting soft materials more than hard ones. It may exhibit signs of strain when subjected to tough materials, especially because it derives power from a battery.

That said, you’re getting a large cutting capacity of 2-1/4 inches at 90 degrees and a bevel capacity of 0°-50°, which is considered standard for most circular saws. And for small projects, this tool will deliver as expected.

What’s disappointing about the tool’s performance is the absence of a dust port or ejection feature to support this very important process. Dust can interfere with the performance of circular saws and any feature to remove it is always welcome.

Design: Compact and Flexible

When you first lift the entire unit (with the battery attached), you’ll notice that it is not bulky, especially if you’ve handled other circular saw models that are often pretty heavy.

And that’s because the tool, complete with the battery attached, weighs only 7.3 pounds. Since you don’t operate the tool by lifting it, but by resting it on a cutting surface, this weight is fairly manageable.

You’ll appreciate the hassle-free operation of this saw especially during small projects where you don’t have to constantly lift the saw and undertake extensive cutting. It will never feel bulky in your hands.

Also, because the circular saw is cordless, you can expect flexibility that is superior to that of corded models, because there’s no electric cord to constantly get in the way or your work, or limit how far the tool can extend beyond its power supply.

Read More: The Best Cordless Circular Saws

Durability: Rugged Plastic Build

We’re talking about a power tool that packs a powerful and sophisticated motor. Bearing this in mind, plus the nature of applications executed by the circular saw, the durability becomes a top priority for tool owners.

Makita XSS02Z’s critical components are encased in a rugged plastic housing that is very tough and strong. It is built to withstand damage from physical impacts such as those generated by fall, or abrasion against rough surfaces.

While metallic components tend to outlast the plastic one, the tool relies on the latter to maintain its weight at the minimum without compromising on dexterity.

But it does pack a precision machined aluminum base, which not only enhances the tool’s cutting smoothness and accuracy, but also boosts its overall durability, especially because the base is the part of the saw that is in constant contact with workpieces.

Ease of Use: Rubberized Soft Grip

Your Makita XSS02Z powers a cutting blade rotating at a very high speed. Besides the obvious need to handle the tool safely, it is also expected to deliver smooth and precision cuts, hence the need to simplify handling and operation.

The ease of using this circular saw is boosted by a combination of its weight and other enhancements fitted on it. For instance, its manufacture notes that the tools “weighs only 7.3 pounds with battery for reduced operator fatigue.”

Also, it features a rubberized soft-grip handle that increases handling comfort when operating the tool. If you operated other power tools with similar handle designs, you may have noticed that rubberized grips help reduce tool vibration.

Battery: Long Endurance and Fast Recharge Time

Makita XSS02Z is powered by Makita’s 18V LXT® Lithium‑Ion, a high-performance battery pack designed to power some of the most demanding tools from the brand.

The battery delivers as expected in this tool. And because this is a high-amp unit, we like to look at battery performance not in times of life, but from a reliability perspective.

We can’t leave out safety and protective features when talking about the battery, especially because it complements performance. Makita invests heavily in protective features.

It comes equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls, which help prevent the tool from overheating, over-discharging, and overloading. These protective safeguards ensure the circular saw is always performing optimally and within the load capacity, it is designed to handle.

You will love the battery optimization technology that comes fitted in the Rapid Optimum Charger. This charger communicates intelligently with a built-in chip in inside the battery, as it is charging, to actively control the current and voltage flowing into the battery, effectively optimizing battery life.

Also, the Rapid Optimum Charger features a built-in fan that is responsible for faster battery cooling, which translates to a more efficient charging process. Overall, these features combine well to ensure that your battery lasts for long, even with repeated usage across demanding applications.

The only disappointment about the circular saw’s battery is that it does not come included with the tool. You will have to buy the battery and charging tool separately, which translates to more costs on top of the tool’s price.

Price: Okay

There is a lot of value that comes with the non-budget pricing of Makita XSS02Z, especially the precision, accuracy, and flexibility you’re getting from a cordless tool that is not only highly portable but can also function in job sites that may not have access to electric power.

Verdict

A flexible and portable circular saw that delivers precision and smooth cuts on 2X material.

If you’re looking for a flexible precision circular saw for your small and even offsite projects, Makita XSS02Z is a solid pick. You can count on its battery to deliver beyond expectation and a machined aluminum base that provides the smoothness that yields accurate cuts.

Specs

  • Product Name: Makita XSS02Z
  • Product Dimensions: 9.65 x 14.09 x 10.98 inches
  • Power Type: Cordless
  • Speed (No Load): 3,700 RPM
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Cutting Capacity: 2-1/4 inches (at 90°)
  • Bevel Capacity: 0°-50°
  • Blade Diameter: 6-1/2 inches
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Key Features

  • Precision-machined aluminum base for accurate cutting
  • Portable and flexible cordless operation
  • Fast charge time and long battery life
  • Overload, overheating and over-discharge protection
  • Large 2-1/4-inch cutting capacity at 90°
  • Soft rubber handle for an enhanced and comfortable grip
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