Makita 18V Cut‑Out Saw XDS01Z

Makita 18V LXT Cordless CutOut Saw XDS01Z Review

Makita 18V Cut‑Out Saw XDS01Z

no/5
Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XDS01Z
Price: 199.00
Power source: 18 volt
Motor size: 6000 SPM
Weight: 4,2 lbs
As a general contractor and professional remodeler I often find myself gutting plaster walls or making precision cuts into drywall to access framing.

Depending on the situation and the type of wall surface, the method of cut can vary. Normally in a gut situation, the procedure requires brute force.

When precision cutting is required, we use a multi tool and vacuum, sometimes a drywall saw, or even a utility knife to score and cut the board. It’s often a labor intensive process, and one that I have always thought, “there MUST be a better way.”

Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw

Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw is the “better way.” In fact, it is such a better way that I look back to my older methods and equate it to “using a rock to hammer nails.”

This saw looks a lot like a jigsaw and is designed to provide straighter, more accurate cutting in order to cut openings in installed board, including drywall and plywood.

Makita says that this cut-out saw will cut up to 984 feet of ½” drywall on a single charge using a 4.0Ah battery.

Benefits of the Makita 18V Cordless Cut-Out Saw

I swear this thing is 10X faster than using a multi-tool and it’s super easy to operate both vertically on a wall and more importantly horizontally along a ceiling. The Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw has a variable speed trigger and a motor that delivers 0-6,000 strokes per minute. It is an ideal tool for cut-outs and drywall repair applications.

Safe Cutting – “What’s Behind the Wall”

The cutter has a short ¼” stroke length with an adjustable blade depth up to 1-3/16″ (9/16″ in wood). It is designed to cut the wall board but NOT penetrate deep enough to damage objects behind the board. The blade is aggressive looking with teeth on both sides of the blade.

Setting the Depth of Cut

The Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw depth of cut is controlled by 2 set screws and an Allen wrench. The Allen wrench is stored on-board and is one of the most SECURE fit I’ve seen on a tool to date. The depth of cut is done by removing the clear plastic dust collector and accessing the set screws on the tools shank mechanism.

Once the set screws are loosened the blade slides up or down to the desired depth of cut.

Dust Collection and Extraction

The Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw has a clear dust box that will hold a small amount of dust before needing emptying. This is useful for fast quick cuts where you don’t want to set up or have a vacuum handy.

A swivel dust port is attached to the clear dust box. When connected to a vacuum this saw produces almost nil for dust. The swivel was a nice touch; it allows for increased maneuverability of the tool, when connected to vacuum hose.

LED Lighting

The Makita Cut-out tool has two L.E.D. lights with a 10-second delay to illuminate the cut area. We like that the LED was placed high up on the handle housing to light in front of the tool, and lights up the work area well.

Cut-Out Saw Weight

The Makita Cut-out tool is extremely light weight and well-balanced. We found it super easy to operate and maneuver, it weighs 4.2 lbs. with battery and is light enough not to cause fatigue when cutting overhead.

Using the Makita Cut Out Saw

This cutter is fantastic. We used this to demo a wall without creating a bunch of mess in a clients house and also to open up a stud bay to install framing for a point-load above.

It plunge-cuts fast and easy. This tool provides clean cuts so much faster and easier than a utility blade or other precise method. the variable speed trigger allows for a slow, soft start giving you the control and precision to allow a scribe line.

No more running my blade down the center of a stud a hundred times, while trying to firmly hold a level against the cut line.  It’s a great tool to have in your arsenal.

To use this tool, you simply mark your line, or run a laser, and start cutting right down the center of the stud or wherever you want to cut. The blade never touches anything behind the drywall.

Makita also sells 18mm snap blades instead of the Makita blade, we did not test their snap blades.

The cut-out saw will allow you to cut close but not flush to a corner. In those applications, you’ll have to finish off your cut with a blade or multi-tool.

I used the Makita 36V backpack for dust collection and had to use a few different adapters to get the dust hose to fit, and I still had to use electrical tape to keep it secure.

Improvement

This is a fantastic and innovative tool. As far as improvement goes we’d like to see a quick-change feature for depth adjustment or removing the blade. Currently you have to take of the clear housing and unscrew 2 Allen screws to do either. It’s easy and fast to do with the Allen wrench but I’m a fan of tool-less, and cordless.

I’d love to see imperial measurements on the blades so we don’t have to pull out a tape when setting depth – not a real biggie since I always double check with my tape measure.

Specifications

  • Length of Stroke : 1/4″Max.
  • Cutting Capacity (drywall) : 1-3/16″Max.
  • Cutting Capacity (wood) : 9/16″
  • Strokes Per Minute (variable speed) : 0 – 6,000 SPM
  • Battery: 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion
  • Overall Length: 9-1/8″
  • Weight (with battery) : 4.2 lbs.

Cost

The Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw is only offered as a bare tool and sells for $200.00. Currently Makita only offers a protective blade sheath to protect the tool blade during storage and transport – but let’s face it, that’ll get lost in a week.

Look, I get it, it’s all about cost. I view this tool as a time saving and efficient system and as a system I’d like to see a dust hose, hose connectors and one of those sexy Makita hard cases to store it all in. To me that’d be worth to cost. Otherwise your storing all these things separately and they get lost.

Blade replacements will cost:

  • $26.00 for a drywall 2-pack
  • $ 34.00 for wood cutting 2-pack.
  • A 1” x 11’ dust hose will run somewhere near $40.00 to 50.00.
Makita 18V Cut‑Out Saw XDS01Z
199.00

Overall Impression of the Makita Cut-Out Saw

The Makita 18V Cordless Cut‑Out Saw is innovative and allows for a common frustrating cutting application on the job site to be done faster, cleaner and easier.

It very quickly, cleanly, and with no dust. The depth adjustment of this tool is key and does an excellent of at preventing nicking wires behind the wall. When you think of saving yourself from repairing wires, this tool just paid for itself. Highly recommended.

Makita 18V Cut-Out Saw Video Review

Makita Cuts-Out Saw Photo Gallery

 

 

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is also the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. As a carpenter and web editor, Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. He is the carpenter correspondence for and writes a Q&A column, in the Sunday Boston Globe, called "Ask the Carpenter."He hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show,, offering the do-it-yourself audience in Boston’s Metro West region expert advice on home repairs and maintenance. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, where we post all of our tool reviews and video editorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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2 Comments

  1. Dirk

    What happens to the drywall blade when you hit a screw? At $13 a blade, it could be a bad day if you were to encounter a half dozen screws in one cut following a stud.

    1. Great question! It’s happened at least 10 times to me so far. When this happens one of two things occur. First you feel the tool stop [hitting the screw] and second many times the blade flexes and rides around the screw head. When this happens it sends the tool off trajectory and you have to adjust to get back on your cut line

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