Makita LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4” Circular Saw XSH08 Review

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18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4” Circular Saw

With Guide Rail Compatible Base XSH08

18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4” Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XSH08
Price: $339
Power source: Cordless
Motor size: 36 Volt
Weight: 11.3 lbs
Cordless saws have come a long way in the last 10 years. We keep on saying it but the advances in battery and electric motor technology have allowed most users to go almost completely cordless in applications that were once tied down by cords out of necessity. A relatively recent development are cordless track saws. These tools provide an excellent balance of mobility and accuracy but they are hindered by their lack of versatility. I have tried to use a track saw for a quick crosscut because it was the saw I had on hand and it was awkward but got the job done. Seeing an opportunity some manufacturers are taking cordless circular saws a step further to provide users with tools that are more hybridized, this review is on one such saw. The Makita XSH08 Track compatible cordless circular saw is a versatility powerhouse. Let’s check it out.



The Makita XSH08Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion 36V Brushless Cordless 7-1/4” Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base Is an incredibly versatile cordless saw. It’s not like a track saw, which plunges, it has a conventional retractable blade guard and acts just like a cordless circular saw in regular use. But the base is a little bigger but otherwise it is very similar to the Makita XSH01 with the notable difference that it can be used with a track!

XSH08 Specifications

  • Blade Diameter : 7-1/4″
  • Arbor : 5/8″
  • 0°- 48° bevel capacity with a positive stop at 45°
  • Max. Cutting Capacity (at 90°) : 2-3/8″
  • Max. Cutting Capacity (at 45°) : 1-11/16″
  • Max. Cutting Capacity (at 48°) : 1-5/8″
  • No Load Speed : 6,000 RPM
  • Battery : 2X 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion
  • Overall Length : 13-3/4″
  • Net Weight (with batteries) : 11.3 lbs.

XSH08 Features

  • Guide rail compatible saw base
  • Powered by two 18v LXT batteries
  • Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, for cooler and more efficient operation
  • Electronic speed control adjusts cutting speed and torque during cut
  • Electric brake
  • Die-cast magnesium base, blade guard, and blade cover
  • 3-stage L.E.D. gauges indicate battery charge levels
  • On-board blade wrench
  • Flat motor housing design for stability when changing the blade
  • Built-in dust blower cleans the line of cut
  • Built-in tether notch (tether sold separately)
  • Dual L.E.D. lights
  • Included dust nozzle accessory allows connection to a vacuum for improved dust collection
  • 3-year limited warranty

Notable Features XSH08

Anti-tip pawl: Just like Makita’s track saws this saw features their bevel anti-tip feature. A slide on the base pushes a metal disc into a slot on the track that prevents the saw from tipping during bevel cuts.

Electric Brake: For productivity and safety. This feature works very well and very quickly stopping the blade almost as soon as your finger is off the trigger.

Track Compatible Base: The track compatible base is fully featured with anti-slop adjusters, an anti-tip pawl, and dual bevel lock knobs. Makita saws are also compatible with Festool style tracks although the anti-tip feature will not work with Festool style tracks.

Dust extraction Attachment: A small plastic dust port which is compatible with a wide variety of 35mm dust hoses from Bosch, Fein, Festool, Dewalt, Makita, Metabo and others.

LED Lights: Two LEDs provide ample light and are tucked under the saw to illuminate the area where the blade meets the work, very effective.

Scales: There is no scale on the front of the saw, this is probably due to the fact that the base has an uneven surface by necessity to create the slots which make the base track compatible. However, there are kerf slots, one for 0 and one for 45 degree bevels. The depth gauge is easy to read. Some reference or a split scale to set depth while using a track would be helpful.

The bevel scale is cast and is easy to read but only has tick marks in 5 degree increments. This limits scales accuracy but in my experience using a cutoff or bevel square as a “jig” is usually more effective than using the scale anyway.

Locks and Levers: The dual bevel locks make for a rock solid bevel adjustment with or without a track. The guard retraction lever is small and plastic, it’s somewhat slippery but does get the job done. The depth adjustment lever is big and has a nice grippy rubber boot on it making it very easy to actuate.


On The Job

I swapped out the stock blade for a finish blade to test the track saw-like aspects of the Makita XSH08 Track compatible cordless circular saw and it worked very well. I was even able to rip down Corian to make a waterproof interior jamb and window casing for a window replacement in a shower. The results weren’t flawless but there was almost no chip out and the work piece required minimal sanding to remove saw marks and get to a nice smooth finish. I used dust extraction during this process, it worked pretty well but certainly not as well as a plunge cut track saw. The open guard simply can’t catch as much dust as that of a plunge cut saw.

Results were very good when cutting birch ply or pre-finished maple ply with a good finish blade and as with the Corian required only a little sanding to remove saw marks.

I also used the Makita XSH08 Track compatible cordless circular saw as a circular saw without the track for cutting framing lumber on the same job as well as framing partition walls. I found the wide base to be slightly awkward at first, I’m more accustomed to narrower bases, but the wide base is very stable and I quickly got used to it. This saw cuts effortlessly through framing lumber. No bog down or complaints from the tool at all. And the power is plenty for cutting LVL too!

Room for Improvement

One place that could use a little improvement are the edges of the base. They are not 100% straight. For rough cuts in framing this doesn’t really matter but when using a speed square as a quick guide for cuts in trim This can make for a bad cut as the saw can enter the workpiece at the wrong angle or curve very slightly during the cut. I do not know if this is just a fluke or if this is a pervasive problem. This can be solved by using the saw with a short track for cross cuts. But if you will be using a straight edge guide for cross cuts I would recommend checking the base of the saw in-store if you can or making sure your retailer has a good return policy if this is something that matters to you.

Overall Impression Makita XSH08

The Makita XSH08 Track compatible cordless circular saw is a great all around saw built on the LXT X2 platform giving it impressive speed and power. Usually a jack-of-all-trades is a master-of-none. But in this case the Makita XSH08Z is a very capable cordless sidewinder with the added bonuses of track compatibility, and dust extraction, with no drastic compromises to circular saw performance. If you are looking for a solid cordless circular saw and want some added versatility this is a great saw to take a look at!

18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 7‑1/4” Circular Saw with Guide Rail Compatible Base

About the author

Ethan Bickford

Ethan Bickford has a long history with carpentry. His father worked as a contractor for many years and taught him the ins and outs of home repair and remodeling from a very young age. He now works as a carpenter in the Boston area. Ethan loves teaching and advising on tools and techniques and is a big fan of quality workmanship. His motto is: “Do it right the first time!”

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