Why show a circular saw from the back? Because that’s where the 18-volt batteries are, and there are two of them in the XSH01Z. Unlike earlier tools in Makita’s X2 line this 36-volt saw does not require the use of an adaptor; it’s a native two-battery design. According to its maker this 7 1/4-inch 36-volt saw will have sufficient power to allow framers, remodelers, roofers, and others to “cut the cord” and go cordless.

I saw this tool at the STAFDA show in Las Vegas and was taken with the concept of a dual-battery 7 1/4-inch saw. Unfortunately, it was under a plastic cover that could not be removed so I was unable to do more than look at it. Details were sketchy at the time of the show so when I got home I went online and found a brochure intended for the Japanese market. According to the brochure this saw will be capable of making 205 cuts per charge in 2” x 11 3/4” Melapi—a type of soft luan lumber used in Asia. I don’t know how Melapi compares to our framing lumber, but unless it’s like Balsa, 200+ cuts in material roughly the size of a 2x12 is very impressive. And that number could be higher; the test was performed with 3.0 Ah batteries. Had it been done with the 4.0 Ah batteries Makita will soon release to the U.S. market the saw could have likely done 33% more work per charge. It will be interesting to see what production models of this tool can do with the kind of lumber we use in the U.S.

The specs below are from the Japanese brochure and may not apply to the saws sold here. Still, they’re worth because they give some sense of how close this saw is to a corded model. It’s heavier and slower than a corded sidewinder, but not by a lot.


  • No load speed: 4,800 RPM
  • Max depth at 0; 45 degrees: 2 5/8”; 1 7/8”
  • Bevel: 0-50 degrees
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds (w. battery)
  • Country of Origin: unknown
  • Release date: winter 2014
  • Price: unknown

Features include a blower, brake, and soft start. The European version of the saw will include a dust collection nozzle. There will be a 7 1/2-inch model for us in countries unknown (who’s ever heard of that size?). The XSH01Z will be sold bare and is scheduled for release to the U.S. market in the winter of 2014.