Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

Tool Box Buzz rating:

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

4/5
Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XSL02Z
Price: $671.53
Power source: 36 Volt
Motor size: 5,700 RPM
Weight: 29 Lbs with both batteries

Makita (36V) Brushless Cordless 7-1/2″ Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

2015 was a very big year for Makita, they celebrated their 100th anniversary and they promoted their 100th tool in 18V LXT line.  They boast the world’s largest 18 volt cordless tool line. This last fall their 18V Lithium-Ion cordless tools line-up will reach 125 with more tools on the way.

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

One of their new cordless tools is the Makita 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless 7 ½’ Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw tool (XSL02Z).   This saw is going to be a great addition to mobile contractors by allowing them to power, precision and the ability to reduce extension cords on a job site.   Just think, getting the benefit of  36V power and run time without leaving the 18V platform, genius!

Compact and Smooth:

My initial thoughts on the Makita cordless miter saw is that it is compact and has smooth gliding rails. It is a cordless miter saw with a 7 ½” blade but allows you a 2” x 12” cross cut.  I am also shocked that being a mobile contractor there are cordless miter saws on the market for us.  I just love technology which makes my job faster, easier and most importantly gets me home quicker to see my family.

The Makita XSL02Z was square right out of the box, I checked it with the supplied plastic square and a speed square.

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter SawFeatures:

  • Crosscut Capacity : 2” x 12” at 90 degrees and 2” x 8” at 45 degrees
  • Miters 0-47 to the left, 0-57 to the right
  • Bevels 0-45 left and 0-5 on the right.
  • Positive miter stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, 45
  • Brushless Motor delivers 5,700 RPM
  • Speed Change TM Technology automatically adjust cutting speed and torque during cuts
  • BL Brushless motor
  •  4 steel rail sliding system
  •  linear ball bearing system
  • Large aluminum base will support large stock
  • Electric brake
  •  29lbs with both batteries
  • Direct drive gearbox
  • Soft start motor
  • Comfortable rubberized grip handle
  • Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls: protect from overloading, over discharging and over heating
  • Rapid Optimum charger charges a 5.0 Ah battery in 45-minutes.
  • Built in charger fan to cool the battery

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter SawSpecifications:

  • Blade Diameter 7 ½”
  • Arbor 5/8”
  • No Load Speed 5,700 RPM
  • Dimensions (LxWxH) 25 ¾” x 17” x 17 ½”
  • Battery Platform 18V LXT Lithium-Ion

What’s in the box?

  • 1- XSL02Z 7 ½” cordless compound miter saw tool only
  • 1-Dust bag
  • 1- 7 ½” 40T carbide tipped blade
  • 1-Vertical Vise
  • 2-Extension Wings

IMG_0760

How Does It Perform?

Before it hit the job site, Rob Robillard and I did a run-time test in the workshop. This test was timed to simulate normal job site usage, and was our best bet at achieving real life application run-time data. We try to test tools realistically, when possible, as well as use them in the field, on real job-sites.

We outfitted the saw with two brand new, fully charged 5.0ah LXT Lithium-Ion batteries. We set up an interval timer to allow 4-seconds to make a cut, and 10-seconds for the saw to rest.  We  performed 10 continuous timed cuts and then let the saw rest 1-minute.  We repeated this cutting sequence non-stop until the batteries died.

The entire test took about two hours to complete.  While testing this saw; the nonslip molded grip was comfortable plus it really molded to my hand.  I also found that when you are on low battery or near the end of your batteries’ charge the electric brake lags. That lag time was only for the last 3-4 cuts.

The most important part of the test that everyone wants to know is how many cuts per charge.  Well, we achieved 422 cuts in premium pine 2” x 4.”  Makita sent the 7 ½ cordless miter saw with their 5.0ah LXT Lithium-Ion batteries.  The batteries were fully charged then placed in the saw to test the amount of cuts per a charge.  All I can say is wow, I am impressed.

To quote a statement from Rob, “if you told me 3 years ago I will be able to get 422 cuts out of a cordless miter on a single charge, I would not have believed you!”

The saw also performed well with the Makita 4.0 LXT Lithium-Ion batteries.  We were using them before the test began to get a feel for the saw and its features and adjustments.

NOTE – the miter saw only works when both batteries are connected.

Dust Collection

One fact to note, was that the Makita dust bag filled after 50 2” x 4” cuts.  The bag has a built-in diverter that sends the dust to the left and right to evenly distribute and fill the dust bag.  After we calculated the cuts needed to fill the dust bag, we connected it to a dust collection system for better efficiency.  My opinion would be dust bag works very well and about 90 percent when connected to a vacuum system.

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

Using It for REAL!

After the run-time test we deployed this bad boy to the field on one of our job-sites.  First job-site, was a bathroom remodel.  Projects on hand for the day included framing a shower and some finish trim. Weighing in around 29lbs it was effortless to carry the cordless miter saw in from the truck,  and down the stairs to the basement.  As for cutting that day, it never skipped a beat. The 36V brushless motor plowed though all the 2x framing we threw at it.

Switching from framing to finish trim was easy.  I rotated the saw left and right with using the positive stops at 45 degrees. I trimmed out an interior door and window with 3 ½” colonial casing.  I had perfect, tight miters with Makita’s stock 40T blade.

At the end of the day when it was time to clean up and carry the saw back to the truck, it was a nice change from lugging around a 12” glide. Another bonus about this lightweight, compact saw was its compact footprint makes it easier to set up inside, not outside in the cold or inclement weather.

This next project the Makita Cordless Miter Saw was tested on was a new build basement setup. Once again, The Makita cordless miter saw was compact, and light weight when carry in and setting up.   The supplied 40 tooth blade provides decent, clean and smooth cuts, although I’d recommend replacing it with a better quality blade.

While using this saw, I cut some 2” ridged foam to pad a rim joist between the bays and having the smooth glide made this task effortless with clean cuts in the foam.  I also  crosscut some ¾” AC plywood with 9 1/4’” width, again effortless and convenient. Having this little saw  slide to 11 ¾” at 90 degrees is a huge advantage.

I found the saw to be on the quieter side and also liked the adjusting bolt [kick stand] for the bottom of the turn base, this makes the saw very stable, when using it.

Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

Suggested Improvements:

I have some improvement recommends for the Makita XSL02Z cordless miter saw.  I would have loved to see a LED light to illuminate the blade area.  Job-sites do not always have the best lighting and having a LED light on your tools is just one way to overcome that issue.

Next I found the vertical vise mount too far forward,  I prefer to have the placement of this vise just set back a little further.

The saw will not run unless you have 2 batteries connected, I would have liked the option to have it run on one 18V battery or the two to give you that 36V.

Lastly, the extensions do not slide in and self store.  You will have to keep them sticking out in which I think it reduces its compact foot print..  Especially when going in homes to tackle the punch list and you just dinged the door casing by leaving the extensions on. I have been taking the extension arms on/off and to store this saw and find it a mood kill.

Not on the Makita platform?   Why Not?

 I will start off by saying if you are already on the Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion platform then this cordless miter saw would be a great addition, and a no-brainer.  If you’re not on the Makita platform…. why not?

Being able to cut the cord, setup on any level secure surface and tackle the punch list or project for the day on a single battery charge is impressive.  This 36V brushless miter saw produced 422 cuts before we had to recharge.  The saw was comfortable and the slide was very smooth.  I would recommend taking a look at this saw if you are a mobile contractor or anyone else that is looking for a powerful, compact cordless miter saw with great cutting capacity.

Video Review:

 

About the author

Michael Hopp

Michael Hopp is a registered contractor in the State of Rhode Island. He has been registered for the last 13 years specializing in interior and exterior remodeling, doors and windows.Mike began practicing his trade 20 years ago at William M. Davies Career and Technical High School in carpentry shop. This gave him the opportunity to become an apprentice at Brodeur Window Distributors. Mike continued working at the company for 10 years. During this time he was in charge of the specialty door shop and assisted on service calls.For the last 13 years, Mike has been working as a general contractor in Rhode Island with his company MJH Construction LLC. Even though his background is in doors and windows, his passion is for remodel work.

Michael Hopp

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