Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Recip Saw Review

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Makita XRJ07 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Recip Saw Review

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

Compact power and performance. Small enough to fit in a stud bay!

Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless Recip Saw

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XRJ07
Price: $149.00 Bare Tool
Power source: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Battery
Weight: 5.7 Lbs. W/ 2.0 Ah Battery

Makita is a company that combines form with function and this tool review will take a look at how the Model #XRJ07 18V LXT Sub-Compact Recip Saw lives up to that legacy. Makita’s Sub-Compact line of cordless lithium-ion brushless tools offers the compact size of a 12V tool with the power and proven reliability of Makita’s 18V LXT battery platform. Tool Box Buzz has reviewed the drill and driver offerings from this line previously. Now we have the opportunity to do the same with the sub-compact recip saw.

A reciprocating saw is a tool found in the trucks or toolboxes of many different trades. However they serve a different purpose for each trade. The Makita Sub-Compact recip saw offers compact capability for a variety of construction tasks.

Specs and Features of the Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

  • Makita built brushless motor delivers 0-3,000 strokes per minute with a 13/16″ stroke length
  • Compact at only 12 1/2″ long
  • Weighs 5.7 Lbs. with a 2.0Ah battery attached
  • Tool-Less blade change system
  • Reinforced fixed blade shoe
  • Built in electric brake
  • Bright LED work light with preglow and afterglow settings
  • Rubberized soft grip handle and overmolded housing
  • Makita Extreme Protection Technology (EPT) for dust and water resistance
  • Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and over-heating
  • 3 Year limited warranty

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

Standout Features of The XRJ07 Recip Saw

Easy Blade Changes

The ease of blade change is one of my favorite features of the Makita sub-compact recip saw. The blade release lever has large wings on either side with rubber over molding. The wings are easy to grab and provide excellent traction. Additionally, the blade release mechanism is spring loaded and will forcefully eject a blade. This feature is a finger saver when changing blades during demanding cutting tasks.

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

LED Work Light

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

Makita’s LED work light design projects over the top of the blade and onto your work surface. This also creates blade shadow to help the user stage the blade prior to beginning a cut. The light is activated by slightly depressing the trigger and will stay on for several seconds after the trigger is released.

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

Sub-Compact Size and Portability

At only 12 1/2″ long, excluding the blade and battery, this saw is small! In hand this tool feels like a 12V or smaller power range tool, however the 18V battery platform greatly enhances it’s cutting power. The rubber overmolding in key grip areas as well as the sleek black color and size make you smile when holding the tool. It feels as if the saw should be slung under a suit jacket while protecting the president instead of roughing in plumbing.

The design of the Makita recip saw is ergonomic and comfortable. It also provides for a two handed grip in a variety of positions. This potability allows for proper leverage no matter what awkward angle you may find yourself in.

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw

The Makita Sub-Compact compared to a Milwaukee M12 Hackzall. The Makita provides more power with it’s 18V platform and is still very close in size.

Room For Improvement

The Makita sub-compact recip saw is compact, lightweight, and ergonomic. It features a blistering 3,000 strokes per minute rating as well as a 13/16″ stroke length. The ergonomic trigger is responsive and gets up to speed immediately. However, all these features combined result in somewhat rough handling package. The saw has a considerable amount of felt vibration. This trade off is understandable given all the size and weight savings.

The small size would also not make this my first choice for large demolition projects or heavy demanding cuts. A demolition contractor would be better suited with a saw like the Makita X2 18V Recip saw. That being said, for electrical and mechanical rough in work, service calls, or typical carpentry tasks this saw is more than adequate.

Where to Buy the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Recip Saw

As mentioned, this saw has been around for a while. It is available at large home centers as well as Makita dealers. At $149.00 as a bare tool, the sub-compact recip is a excellent value for current or future Makita battery platform users. Follow the buy it now link below to purchase this saw direct from our friends at ACME Tools as well as check out some of their current Makita promos.

Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless Recip Saw
$149.00 Bare Tool

Overall Impressions of the Makita XRJ07

The sub-compact recip saw is a tool that is a pleasure to use. It is easy to handle and responsive with excellent ergonomics. The power to size ratio is what separates this saw from many others in it’s category. It is a tool that is the size of a 12V that allows me to use my current stockpile of 18V batteries. I can easily put this saw with a matching impact driver and drill in the same tool bag and have them all share the same batteries. It is not a one saw solution for all tasks, but it handles most jobs with style. For any one currently invested or planning to invest in the Makita battery platform, this is an excellent overall choice for you.

And the chances are very likely that if you are reading this website…you are looking for an excuse to buy another saw!

Makita Sub-Compact Recip Saw


About the author

Wes Bartosik

Wes Bartosik is a Connecticut native with strong family ties to the construction world. Wes’ father and grandfather both were builders and developers and taught Wes the values of doing things right from an early age and getting hands on experience with every facet of the construction industry. Wes apprenticed with a carpenter throughout high school and would later attend Central Connecticut State University earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management all while working for a large excavation contractor throughout. Wes would go on to work for a local heavy-highway construction company and gain further experience with all the skilled trades associated with large civil engineering and utility projects. Though working as a manager now, Wes’ true passion is working in the field alongside the tradesman and laborers on site. Wes has been involved in community based service projects throughout his life as well as emergency services. In his spare time he takes on serious DIY projects for himself, friends and family. He is a firm believer that with a quality tool in your hands and some grit, you can accomplish anything.

All posts by Wes »

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