8 Of The Best Makita Cordless Circular Saws Massive Resource

8 Of The Best Makita Cordless Circular Saws [Massive Resource]

​There are tons of different Makita cordless tools out there...

wouldn't you agree?

​There are even a ton of different cordless circular saws that Makita makes and finding the best one is tougher than you may think...

If you have the right information and organize it all properly though, it makes the process a whole lot easier.


​That's exactly what I did and it made ​each individual saw really stand out! I took 10 of Makita's cordless circular saws and looked through their specs and laid out all of my findings in this article.

I would consider this page to be more of a "resource guide" than anything else and please feel free to ​take a look ​at all of my research I gathered on Makita's cordless circular saws.

If I missed something or you think I could add something, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks, hope you find it useful!

​* Pricing legend located at bottom of table








Makita XSS02Z


* ​6-1/2” blade

* 3,700 RPM

* 7.3 lbs.

* 18V LXT®

* 2-1/4" @ 90°

* 1-9/16" @ 45°

* 50° bevel max.


(370+ Ratings)

​4.5 out of 5

Makita XSH03Z


* ​6-1/2” blade

* 5,000 RPM

* 7.3 lbs.

* 18V LXT®

* 2-1/4" @ 90°

* 1-5/8" @ 45°

* 50° bevel max.

* Electric brake

* Pos. stop @ 45°

* Brushless

* Automatic Speed Change™


(200+ Ratings)


Makita XSS01Z


* ​6-1/2” blade

* 3,700 RPM

* 7.6 lbs.

* 18V LXT®

* 2-1/4" @ 90°

* 1-9/16" @ 45°

* 50° bevel max.

* Electric brake

* Dust blower

* Built-in L.E.D. light


(16+ Ratings)


Makita XSS03Z


* ​5-3/8”" blade

* 3,600 RPM

* 6.0 lbs.

* 18V LXT®

* 2" @ 90°

* ​1-3/8" @ 45°

* 45° bevel max.

* Electric brake

* Built-in L.E.D. light


(30+ Ratings)


Makita XSH01Z


* ​​7-1/4" blade

* 4,800 RPM

* 10.1 lbs.

* 36V LXT®

* 2-5/8" @ 90°

* ​1-7/8" @ 45°

* 50° bevel max.

* Dust blower

* ​Mag. base


(60+ Ratings)


Makita XSC02Z


* 5-7/8” blade

* 3,900 RPM

* 6.4 lbs.

* 18V LXT®

* 2-1/4" @ 90°

* No bevel

* Brushless

* Automatic Speed Change™

* Made For Metal


(35+ Ratings)


Makita XSR01Z


* 7-1/4” blade

* 5,100 RPM

* 12.4 lbs.

* 36V LXT®

* 2-9/16" @ 90°

* 1-3/4" @ 45°

* 53° bevel max.

* Brushless

* Electric brake

* Mag. base

* Automatic Speed Change™


(65+ Ratings)


Makita SH02Z


* ​3-3/8” blade

* 1,500 RPM

* 3.5 lbs.

* 12V

* ​1" @ 90°

* ​5/8" @ 45°

* 45° bevel max.

* ​Dust Blower

* Compact

* Made For Light Duty ​Applications


(130+ Ratings)


$ -
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​$100 - $124
$125 - $149
$150 - $174
$175 - $199
$200 and up

1. ​The Makita XSS02Z - The Most Affordable ​Makita Circular Saw Out There

​The Makita XSS02Z was the most affordable 18V circular saw and is a good choice for those of you want a BASIC cordless saw with the basic functionality to do most tasks.

It can cut through 2x material, has bevel capabilities, uses a 6-1/2" blade and is one of the cheapest cordless saws Makita makes.

It is a great saw at a great price (bare tool) and makes for a great starter saw.

The Makita XSS02Z

The saw was popular but a few people did not like the fact that they paid for the saw with no batteries, be sure to check out battery/charger kits if you are interested in this saw.

The battery models specified for this saw are: Battery Models BL1815N, BL1820, BL1820B, BL1830, BL1830B, BL1840, BL1840B, BL1850, BL1850B and BL1860B

Star On Makita Battery

Users mentioned that your Makita battery will have a STAR on the top of it (star rated) if it is compatible with this saw. This is primarily for older Makita batteries (for the most part).


  • ​The most affordable model
  • 18V model
  • ​Full capabilities (cut 2x lumber)
  • check-circle
    ​Had the most # of ratings out of all of the saws


  • ​The brake takes longer to ​kick in
  • ​Not all batteries may be interchangeable?
  • times-circle
    Not available in a kit

Who Can Benefit From The XSS02Z The Most?

This saw is more ideal for an avid DIYer and beginners alike due to the price and basic functionality. It could be used by professionals too but I would recommend a more robust saw like the XSR01Z or the XSS01Z.

I would say that this is probably going to be suited for light duty to medium duty use.

Kits For The Makita XSS02Z:

I couldn't find any kits for the XSS02Z, which was a huge letdown.

So if you already have a couple of batteries and a charger, then you will be more likely to buy this saw than someone who has to buy the saw and a battery/charger kit.

If you are still interested in this saw and want to check out battery/charger kits, then you can browse some of the different options online to see which one is in your price range.

​Pricing For The XSS02Z (What I Found)

​The XSS02Z's Availability (Online And Off)

​Reviews & Ratings For The XSS02Z

​2. Makita's XSH03Z - ​One Of The Highest Rated Makita Saws Out There...

​The Makita XSH03Z is a top of the line saw that only uses one 18V battery.

This is a much better design overall and has phenomenal run times. ​The brushless motor really makes ​a ton of difference in battery life and performance.

​Since it is still an 18V model, the weight is on the lighter side and is roughly 7.3 lbs (with a battery) connected.

The Makita XSH03Z

​The XSH03Z has an led light, an electric brake, a battery indicator light on the tool and uses a brushless motor. Other features that really make it stand out are the bevel capability and the metal blade guard.

All around, a top model that is lightweight and ​has amazing run times!

​Out of all of the features the saw came with, it didn't include a rip guide, which I though would have been included, especially costing around 200 bucks!


  • ​Feature rich saw
  • 18V model
  • ​Excellent run/cut capacities
  • check-circle
    The best rated ​model


  • ​One of the higher priced saws
  • ​No rip guide included
  • ​Kits only included one battery

Who Is The XSH03Z For (Ideally)?

The XSH03Z is more geared towards professionals and avid DIYers who take on a lot of projects. The extended run time, due to the brushless motor will make hundreds of cuts on a single charge (4.0Ah battery).

The features are enough to compare to a larger, corded circular saw and has the capacity to cut through 2x material at 90° and 45°. I wouldn't recommend cutting an excessive amount of longer rips through 2x material though, just not enough juice.

This saw is definitely rated for medium duty to heavy duty use.

Kits For The Makita XSH03Z:

​There were two different kits that really just differed only by the battery capacity. One came with a 4.0Ah battery and the other came with a 5.0Ah battery, that's about it and were the only two kits I came across for the XSH03Z.

The price was around $380 for either kit (read below for details) compared to roughly $200 for the saw alone.

​There first kit was labeled the XSH03T and this kit came with:

  • ​A case
  • One 5.0Ah battery
  •  A charger (45 min)
  • The XSHo3Z saw
Makita XSH03T Kit

​The other kit was the XSH03MB which was identical to the XSH03T but had a 4.0Ah battery instead of the 5.0Ah battery. What was even crazier, was that they were both really close in price! 

The XSH03MB has been discontinued by Makita, which is fine and makes sense (same price for a better battery) and makes the saw run longer too!

​Pricing For The ​XSH03Z (What I Found)

​The ​XSH03Z's Availability (Online And Off)

​Reviews & Ratings For The ​XSH03Z

​3. The Makita XSS01Z - The Best Makita Circular Saw For The Money

​The Makita XSS01Z is a balance between an affordable choice and a saw that has some great features integrated into that price.

​I would call this a mid-grade saw because it has all of the capabilities to cut through 2x material, even at a 45° angle and is decent in price for the bare tool and the kit.

Other features include a built in dust blower (handy for keeping your line of sight clear), an LED light and an electric brake.

The Makita XSS01Z

​The XSS01Z did NOT have a brushless motor, so those lower RPM speeds are seen in the comparison table.

The biggest factor that this saw has over the other models is that you can get the tool for around $160 and a kit for around $270, making it a great entry level tool to start collecting or adding to your Makita tools.

​The Makita XSS01Z did not have a brushless motor which is usually not that big of a deal but Makita's new brushless motors tend to outperform motors that use brushes by a pretty wide margin.


  • ​Feature rich saw
  • 18V model
  • ​Price for the kit is affordable
  • check-circle
    ​The saw itself is affordable and feature rich (a good balance)


  • ​No brushless motor
  • ​Low amount of user feedback

Who ​Can Benefit From The ​XSS01Z?

The ​XSS01Z is ​a mid range type of cordless circular saw and it has a bunch of different features that some of the higher-end saws would have but does not have the brushless motor, which makes it a little bit more affordable than some of the higher-end saws.

​This saw would definitely be suited for beginners and more avid DIYers out there who would use their tools on a pretty regular basis but don't want to pay for some of the top end features.

​I would you rate this particular tool for medium duty​ use.

Kit For The Makita XSS01Z:

​The XSS01T was the one kit that was for the XSS01Z saw. 

It comes with a hard carrying case, a 5.0Ah battery, a charger and the XSS01Z saw.

There was a discontinued kit that came with a 4.0 Ah battery instead but the XSS01T is a much better deal, anyways.

Makita XSS01T

​The saw itself was around $170 and the kit ran another $100, so roughly $270 for the kit. Not a bad price for the saw, ​the battery and charger. Probably one of the best prices for a kit out of any other model in the lineup.

​Pricing For The ​Makita XSS01Z (What I Found)

​The ​Makita XSS01Z's Availability (Online And Off)

​Reviews & Ratings For The ​Makita XSS01Z

​4. The Makita ​XSS03Z - The Most Compact Saw In The Lineup (Great For Trim Work)

​The Makita XXS03Z was the lightest and most compact saw in the lineup, having a 5 3/8 of an inch blade and weighing a mere 6 pounds, with a battery attached!

​This saw as a maximum cutting depth of 2 inches at 90° but only ​1-3/8" inch at 45°, so I wouldn't recommend it for framing purposes because it would cut all the way through ​a 2x piece of lumber at a 45° angle.

​I would consider this to be one of ​Makita's midpriced ​saws, perfect for cutting plywood, osb, 1x lumber and other types of thinner materials.

Makita XSS03Z

​The real selling point with this XXS03Z is the fact that it is lightweight and compact so it is much easier on the user to use all day long and greatly reduces fatigue. An additional pound ​or pound and a half on one of these small circular saws can make a huge difference when cutting material all day long.

​I realize that the XXS03Z is made to be a ​trim saw but the fact that it can cut only 1-3/8" at a 45° angle seems strange to me, why wouldn't they make it go another ​3/16" deeper in order to cut ​2x materials?

Another issue I wanted to address the fact that this was probably one of the lowest rated cordless saws in Makita's line up. It still had a 4/5 approval rating but was lower than the rest of the other ​models, in comparison.


  • ​Lightest model available
  • ​Electric brake & LED light
  • ​Decent Price


  • ​Can't cut 2x material at 45°
  • ​Not a brushless motor

Who ​​Is The ​XSS03Z Recommended For?

​I would primarily recommend the XSS03Z for someone who cuts a lot of plywood or OSB on a daily basis or someone who works on interior finish work a lot where the materials are going to be thinner. The main advantage that the XSS03Z has over the other models is its weight so keep that in mind.

I would definitely categorize the XSS03Z to be for light duty use but they can also be used for medium duty applications in the sense that ​it can cut a lot of plywood or other sheeting material, including interior trim.

Kit For The Makita XSS03Z:

​The XSS03Z does come in a kit, shown by the picture on the right. It is the XSS03T and comes with the charger, the 5.0Ah battery, the saw and a soft carrying case.

There was another kit (that is now discontinued by Makita) that is identical but uses a 3.0 Ah battery instead.

Makita XSS03Z Kit

​5. The Makita XSH01Z - A 36 Volt Cordless Saw That Cuts Like A Corded One!

​The Makita XSH01Z is a 36 ​volt cordless circular saw and if you ​look at the picture on the right, the blade is on the right side of the saw, not the left side.

​This model is definitely a lot more powerful then traditional 18 V saws ​out there and ​won't bog down as much, when cutting through some of those thicker pieces of lumber.

The Makita XSH01Z

​This is not a brushless model but still performs decent and uses two 18 V batteries which is an advantage that Makita has over other manufacturers because you can use the same batteries that you would use for all of your other 18 V cordless tools.

This saw will be a little bit heavier than the 18V models and ​weighs about 10 pounds with both batteries attached and the balance of the tool may take some getting used to.

​Some users experienced a couple of problems when cutting, mainly described as a power issue so I would recommend using the 5.0Ah batteries instead of the 3.0Ah ones, to avoid this problem altogether.

That really seemed to be the common thread between all of these issues that were reported.


  • ​Corded saw power
  • ​Uses a 7-1/4" blade
  • ​Deepest cuts out of all the saws


  • ​Weight distribution is awkward
  • Need 2 batteries to run
  • ​Not brushless

Who ​Would End Up Using The ​XSH01Z?

​I would really recommend this saw for professionals and people who want more performance out of a cordless circular saw than what is traditionally out there.

These can come in very handy if you don't have power on your jobsite for if you want a saw that has the power of a corded model but you don't like the idea of extension cords.

I can say with certainty that this is a heavy duty circular saw and is designed for some of the most demanding tasks that even a corded model can take on.

Kit For The Makita XSH01Z:

​There was one kit for the XSH01Z and that was the XSH01PT which had the two 5.0Ah batteries included.

You also get a charger, a Makita carrying case (soft) and the XSH01Z saw with the kit.

The kit shown was around $400 for everything and the bare tool alone will set you back about $200.

Makita XSH01PT Kit

​6. The Makita XSC02Z - A Cordless Circular Saw Designed For Cutting Metal!

​The Makita XSC02Z is a more compact saw and is designed to cut metal. The plastic viewing window on the front is one feature that will increase visibility, through all of the sparks.

​This saw has the brushless motor, so longer run times and smoother operating is achieved.

I noticed that a lot of people really liked this saw and it has replaced some of their other tools due to it's convenience and accuracy.

The Makita XSC02Z

​The XSC02Z uses a 5-7/8" blade, which will accommodate the 5-3/8" metal blades out there. It DOES NOT have bevel capabilities which is fine for most metal materials and is geared more towards conduit, re-bar, all thread, metal tubing and other materials like this. It is a very lightweight saw too, weighing only 6.3 lbs. with a battery attached!

​This is on the expensive side, closer to the $200 mark but is more of a "specialty" type of saw and does not have any bevel capabilities. This is a downside to this saw but I wouldn't say that it is a bad thing, just something to be aware of.


  • ​Extremely lightweight
  • ​Viewing window for visibility
  • ​Brushless motor


  • ​Does not bevel
  • ​Specialty saw (not an all-around tool)

Who ​Would End Up Using The ​XS​C02Z?

​The XSC02Z is geared more towards professionals in the trade or someone who does (or will end up doing) a lot of metal cutting. This saw is specifically designed for metal cutting, so it is going to be the BEST SAW for that specific purpose.

This is made for light duty - medium duty metal cutting applications. I don't think it would have enough juice to cut through thicker, stronger metals but thinner gauged metals would be ideal.

Kit For The Makita XSC02Z:

​The kit was labeled as Makita's XSC02T and come with everything you see in the picture (to the right).

​It comes with a 5.0 Ah battery, the XSC02Z saw, a charger and a carrying  case (Makita).

The kits was around $380, for everything, in comparison to just the saw itself, which was around $200 in price.

The Makita XSC02T Kit

​7. The Makita ​XSR01Z - A Brushless 36V Model​ (The Top Performing Saw)

​The Makita XSR01Z is probably one of Makita's best performing saws out there, hands down.

​It is setup like a worm drive circular saw, so if you are comfortable with using these types of saws, then you will really like this model.

It weighs about 12 lbs (batteries included) and is heavy for a cordless saw but a little lighter than a corded worm drive one.

The Makita XSR01Z

​It has plenty of power to cut through just about anything and really is compared to having a corded model on hand. It has the brushless motor and the two batteries are positioned in a way that balances out the saw.

You can expect a wide range of features too like a 53° bevel capacity (max) and a very deep cutting depth. This also has the handle location towards the back of the saw, like a worm drive model and a rafter hook.

​The two batteries will have to have charge (at the same time) in order for the saw to work. One can't be fully charged and the other drained, it won't work.

This is the biggest downfall to this saw but if both batteries are charged, then it will run for a LONG time and will probably make it through most work days on a full charge.


  • ​36V model
  • ​Plenty of power (comparable to a corded model)
  • ​Brushless motor


  • ​Both batteries must have a charge
  • ​Heaviest cordless model

Who ​​Is The ​XSR01Z For?

​The XSR01Z is a workhorse and is intended for professionals, for the most part. I would also recommend it for people who want the power of a corded saw but without the hassle of power cords. It HAS THE POWER and will prove itself time and time again!

This saw is much better than Makita's XSH01Z and uses the brushless motor so it has more power, is more efficient and way better balanced!

This can tackle just about any project and is intended for light duty - heavy duty applications.

Kit For The Makita XSR01Z:

​There were two different kits available for the XSR01Z and these came with either two batteries or four batteries.

This was the XSR01PT and it comes with the XSR01Z saw, a carrying case, a charger and either two or four 5.0 Ah batteries.

The price for the saw was around $200 and the kit with two batteries ran about $320 and the kit that came with four batteries is around $400.

Makita XSR01PT Kit

​8. The Makita SHO2Z - A 12V Model (Lightweight And Very Portable)

​The Makita SH02Z is a lightweight and very portable saw. This is a great saw for cutting plywood and other sheeting type of materials. It works great for interior trim as well.

​Since the max depth of this saw @ 90° was 1", it is intended for thinner materials. It can bevel (up to 45°) and has a max cut depth at 5/8", which can come in handy for some interior trim but not all.

The Makita SH01ZW

​This is a compact and very lightweight saw that would come in handy for cutting simple materials. It won't replace some of the other models but is a nice addition for special circumstances.

​This saw is great for ​thinner and less demanding materials but it will not replace an 18V or 36V circular saw, not even close.

The batteries will also only be used for other 12V Makita tools and can not be used in 18V tools, so there will be an extra expense if you want to add an 18V tool to your Makita collection.


  • ​Lightest saw available
  • ​Safer to use
  • ​Very compact


  • ​Pretty limited cutting capacity
  • ​Can't cut 2x materials
  • ​12 volt model

Who ​Will Benefit From The ​SH02Z The Most?

​I think that this saw is perfect for beginners, hobbyists, handymen and other people who want to tackle light cutting tasks.

It's compact size and very light frame make it perfect for these types of projects and would be easy to use and way less likely to wear you out.

The SH02Z is recommended for light duty tasks and thinner materials.

Kit For The Makita ​SH02Z:

​The SH02R1 was a kit that included the saw (SH02Z), two 12V batteries, a charger and a hard carrying case.

The saw itself was around $100 and the kit was around $130. It would make absolute sense to get the kit and pay the extra money for the case, batteries and charger.

SH02R1 Kit

​Makita's Cordless Circular Saws (Bare Tool Or Kits)

​In this post, I only wanted to compare the bare tools themselves to get a better overall comparison of what each saw was capable of and what ​saw was ideally suited for ​what task.

Of course, the main question I want you to think about is 1) whether you need the tool itself (because you already own other Makita cordless tools) or 2) do you want the tool, batteries and a charger (you want to switch over, upgrade or don't own any Makita cordless tools yet).

You can browse Makita's website to look at some of the different kits they have but it is difficult to sort through the bare tools and the kits, since they are all shown on the same page and I couldn't figure out how to filter them down.

Each tool comes in a kit or some sort and the basic kit includes: one (18V) or two (36V) batteries, a charger and a case. That is a BASIC KIT, anyways. 

There are other kits that have more batteries, an upgraded charger, etc. and these are more specialty kits that really jack the overall price up but are worth it if you are planning on buying more cordless Makita tools in the future.

​An Overhead View Of The Pricing Structure (Easy Comparison)

​There were "ballpark" prices that seemed to come up for some of the different cordless circular saws and giving you the "big picture" might help some of you out.

The 12V Saw: There was, in fact, only one saw that made this category (the SH01ZW) and the pricing structure was well under $100, so it is not included in the "overall" pricing comparison I am referring to.

The 18V and 36V circular saws: These (not including the plunge saws) were somewhere in the ballpark of $110 - $200 in price.

This was a tremendous help to me because I would probably spend the extra money on a much better saw and get a MUCH BETTER performing ​model, but that's just me.

For instance, Makita's XSS02Z was one of the lowest priced saws in the lineup but also lacked some of the features that one of the top models in the category (XSR01Z) had.

There was a difference of $80 between the two! It really gave me a huge advantage when comparing a lower end saw and a higher end one.

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​Understanding Makita's Automatic Speed Change™ Tools...

​3 of the saws on the list had Makita's Automatic Speed Change technology™ (XSH03Z, XSC02Z, XSR01Z), which changes the speed of the saw blade as your cutting, or not cutting. 

This saves battery life and motor life by ​modifying the RPMs under load and when there is no load.

Automatic Speed Change Makita

​A Few Saws Were XPT Models, Do I Need That?

​XPT is short for Extreme Protection Technology and is really geared towards outdoor or harsh environments.

It provides protection from water (not water-proof) and dust/debris, which would benefit some of these circular saws.

Makita XPT

​There isn't any indepth information, other than what I provided you but you can go on Makita's website to check out this and other technology that Makita utilizes.

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