Makita Tool Reviews -4 Years Later – Did We Get It Right?

Makita Tools 4-Year Look-Back Tool Review

I run mostly Makita and Milwaukee platform tools. Many of the tools in this trailer I have done a tool review on, and while tools usually perform well in the beginning the real testament to a good tool is productivity and longevity.

So here we are 1 to 4 years later.

  • Did we get it right the first time?
  • How are these tools holding up to remodeling work?
  • Would recommend this tool now?
  • Would re change anything?


Makita 18V Drywall Cut-Out Saw

As a remodeler I often find myself making precision cuts into drywall to access framing while trying to preserve parts of the wall or ceiling. The Makita 18V Cordless Drywall Cut‑Out Saw is the “better way” to cut drywall dust free.

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 cutter has a short ¼” stroke length with an adjustable blade depth up to 1-3/16.″ It is designed to cut the wall board but NOT penetrate deep enough to damage objects behind the board.

I often set the depth so I can cut up the middle of a wall stud – its works grete and when I hit a screw I lift the tool base slightly and go past it.

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.

This cutter is fantastic. 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 Cut‑Out Saw is innovative and allows for a common frustrating cutting application on the job site to be done faster, cleaner and easier.

So did we get it right – mostly yes

Here’s what we found:

  1. The dust cover is easily lost and we reported to taping it to the tool – but eventually it got lost.
  2. The clear plastic dust shroud comes loose at times.
  3. The blades are phenomenal for drywall but old-school hybrid gypsum/plaster from the 1950s destroys the blade.

That’s my biggest complaint. If I’m only cutting drywall, and don’t hit a lot of screws, the blade will last a month. If I use it on hybrid plaster – it’s a one and done deal. That stinks. So if dust doesn’t matter then I resort to a recip saw with a carbide blade.

Note: The hybrid plaster is a common in my area and represents a transitional stage between traditional wood lath and plaster to modern drywall techniques.  We see it a lot.

We’d like to see a carbide blade for this tool. Overall still a great tool and one that makes us more professional – and in case you were wondering… I highly recommend it!

Makita 36 Volt 6-1/2” Track Saw

I’ve always said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The very first time I used this saw was to cut ½” Birch plywood and I said to myself, WOW this this is smooth and powerful!”

Four years ago we tested this saw and commented that it had a super smooth plunge and powerful motor allowing it to cut, as smooth as the saw slides on its track. We were extremely impressed with the ease of use, and solid design, and great price.

We told you back then that this saw is purchase you can be sure of, it is a quality track saw with plenty of power to get the job done. We also said that there was not  a lot to dislike about this saw.  We mentioned that we’d like to see this saw updated with a riving knife.

Currently Makita offers no real kick back mitigation, besides the track guidance. The depth of cut scale is in metric, Imperial measurements would be a welcomed addition. Lastly, I was also bummed out that my MAKITA VC4710 HEPA vacuum hose did not fit the track saws dust port. The vac hose inside diameter is 1-1/2″ and the tracks dust port outside diameter is 1-3/4″. I had to us a Dewalt adapter to get it to work.

So, did we get it right the first time?   Hell yea we did!  This saw has held up well in remodeling work?  Nothing’s changed, we’d still recommend purchasing this saw today. In fact have you seen out cordless Track Saw Head-2-Head?  If you haven’t go check it out. This saw performed admirably.

Makita 18V Compact Cordless Router

If you’ve been a carpenter for at least 20 years you know that MAKITA’s lineage is with the carpenter and woodworker. To prove this just think back to your first miter saw, table saw or slide pack drill and I’d bet it was a MAKITA for most of you.

This router is geared toward the Pro carpenter. These days, so many people are using compact routers do the lion share of their routing applications. The exciting thing about this new cordless router, besides being cordless, is that is a mirror image to the corded 1-1/4 HP Compact Router.

That means that all the expensive accessories, like plunge bases, tilt bases, guides and dust shrouds, that guys already own, will FIT the cordless router. Not only is it a similar looking router but it will provide you with similar performance to its corded version.

That’s not only smart, but a nice thing to do. Clearly Makita is thinking about its tool users, and making the transition to go cordless more cost-effective and cheaper. I want to stress that this accessory compatibility is an awesome feature and one that will save you money and, as MAKITA hopes, will help the transferring to cordless less painful.

Router Base Adjustment

Next to being cordless, the router base adjustment gets me excited. Like most router manufacturers MAKITA uses a quick release cam lever to adjust or remove the router base. But for micro adjustments, I love how MAKITA uses a rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system, which lets you dial precise settings. This adjustment is smooth, fast and super easy to use. Frankly it blows away most of the competitor’s adjustment.

When routing I find the router was the perfect weight and was well balanced. It was not too light where the router “walks, or chatters” along the surface. It cut well, and had plenty of power to handle small to medium routing applications. This router is easy to operate, has great visibility, and power.

So – did we get it right?  Yep There is nothing negative too say about this router, it does exactly what it says it will do, and does it well.

Makita XRH08Z 18V X2 Rotary Hammer

The Makita XRH08Z 18V X2 Rotary Hammer has a permanent place in our tool trailer. Why?

This 1-1/8” AVT Rotary Hammer is a cordless concrete solution that’s loaded with advanced engineering and efficiency – but mostly we LOVE that its cordless, and its size and weight.  Two nice features are the electric brake that allows the tool to reposition faster and the variable speed dial and trigger for better control and starting.

It’s a keeper.

Makita Tool Reviews -4 Years Later – Did We Get It Right Video

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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4 Comments

  1. KajunFramer

    As a whole, Makita makes the most durable tools available. Features and gadgets are nice, but when it comes down to it, a professional just wants a tool to work, and to last.

  2. john

    What about the batteries, did they make it that long?

  3. Sam

    I bought the makita cordless tracksaw a couple years ago because of your review. It’s still awesome today. I remodel and install a lot of kitchen cabinets. I also build custom bookshelves etc. It’s been a game changer.

    I bought the double 18v circular saw. I framed out a pool house with that baby and then use it now for everything. My old corded makita sits in the trailer and hardly is used anymore.

    As a cabinet installer I like the 12v impact and drill set. Those stay in my kitchen installation tool kit. They have plenty of power. I use the 12v jigsaw with A Collins coping foot. It handles beautifully.

    I could go on and on about my makita tools.

    Thanks for your great videos and newsletter

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Thanks Sam. It’s hard to explain to guys why a track saw is so awesome, until you own one it’s hard. Once you get one….the possibilities are endless and the reward is huge.

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