While most people think cordless tools don’t pack a lot of power, they better think again – the Makita XRJ04Z 18V LXT Cordless Reciprocating Saw proves otherwise due to its longer stroke length compared to similar cordless reciprocating saws among other things.
You might be eyeing this tool if you are looking for an ergonomic yet efficient tool too. This is why I’ve taken the liberty of showing you its different specs, pros, and cons to help you decide whether to buy it or pass.
Ideal for bigger jobs and materials due to its length and stroke length, the Makita XRJ04Z will be a nice choice not just for pipes, sheet metal, and woodwork in a shop, but also for home and garden remodeling. With that said, it also works for trimming obtrusive tree branches.
This cordless reciprocating saw has a 1-1/4-inch stroke length, which is considerably longer than the average one (usually 1 1/8-inches) so you can use it for bigger tasks ahead. It has a variable speed of 0 to 2,800 SPM and the tool spans at a length of 19-1/8 inches long with an 8.3-pound weight.
You only need an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery to power it up (plus points if you already have other Makita tools to interchange with). As for the maximum cutting capacity, it can go as far as ten inches for wood and 5 1/8 inches for most pipes.
A 3-year warranty from Makita helps put you at ease when you buy their tool. You can also take advantage of their 30-day satisfaction guarantee program if you’re not happy with the power of their tool.
Nonetheless, the motor is well-sealed due to Makita’s Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) for dust-resistance and added lifespan. What’s more, since Makita has Star Protection Computer Controls for their tools, they are protected against overheating, over-discharge, and tool overload – all of which can be harmful to both the motor and the battery.
Using the tool for hours isn’t going to be a problem, thanks to the two-finger trigger, which helps you operate the reciprocating saw easily. There is also a rubberized soft grip to keep your hands steady when you aim and operate the tool.
What’s more, the electric brake helps prolong the lifespan of the reciprocating saw and the mechanical components. Adding to the convenient feature is the tool-less blade change system, which will save time and effort when used properly.
Should You Buy the Makita XRJ04Z?
If your main concern is using a reciprocating saw for big tree branches, stubborn wood panels, thick piping, and the like then yes, you should buy the Makita XRJ04Z! While most reciprocating saws are only 1-1/8 inches in terms of stroke length, this one has a longer one at 1-1/4 inches so you can finish the job quickly and with less effort.
Despite the slightly bigger size (given since it has a longer stroke length), it has various usability features that add convenience to the operator, such as a rubberized grip, two-finger trigger, and an electric brake to make the job easier.
If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Product
Let’s start with the positives.
It has a long stroke length.
With a stroke length of 1-1/4 inches, this one is a bigger power tool as compared to the average reciprocating saws that are normally around 1-1/8 inches. This means that you can use it to work on thicker materials and also speed up the process as compared to having a 1-1/8-inch stroke.
There is a large two-finger trigger.
Many of us want a fuss-free operation for our tools and this reciprocating saw offers just that. The two-finger trigger helps cut time so you’ll focus more on the material rather than trying to start up your tool.
It has an electric brake.
What does an electric brake do? Well, it stops both the motor and the mechanical parts almost simultaneously so that the tool stops its motion. This will reduce the wear-and-tear of these parts and thereby prolong the lifespan of your tool.
Changing blades is easy.
Using the blade change system, you will be less prone to burns due to the safe spring function. You don’t have to worry about keeping a super sharp blade in your tool and get injured later on. This blade change system is tool-less and time-efficient!
It has a rubberized soft-grip handle.
No one likes to hold a power tool for hours but the fatigue you feel can be lessened if you have a rubberized soft-grip handle. It also helps with the overall safety of the tool, whether you’re wearing gloves or not.
Cons of the Product
On the other hand, while it has good points, the product has some minor drawbacks.
The tool is on the heavier side.
Since it is 8.3 pounds, it’s not exactly light or even average in weight compared to common reciprocating saws. However, I think that’s expected since it is a big tool meant for big jobs with its long stroke length.
You will need batteries in stock.
This is also a given in cordless tools, but you will have to stock up on batteries to get the most out of the reciprocating saw’s power for longer hours.
What Are the Alternatives to the Makita XRJ04Z?
The Milwaukee 2720-20 is a reciprocating saw of a similar caliber due to its overloading and over-discharge protection. It is, however, slightly higher in terms of speed (up to 3,000 SPM) but it also uses a lithium-ion battery. This one is also slightly lighter in weight (7.55 pounds).
Additionally, the DeWalt DCS369B is a similar reciprocating saw with a tool-less blade change to save time. The difference is that this one has an LED work light and has a low-profile design, with a length of 12.5 inches. The motor of this tool is also brushless and the design is meant for one-handed use (ideal for awkward positions).
If you want more than just a bare tool, the Black & Decker BDCR20C comes with an extra battery (20V MAX lithium-ion) so you can use the unit right off the bat. Both the Makita XRJ04Z and this Black & Decker reciprocating saw are ideal for pruning. However, since the stroke length of the BDCR20C is only 7/8-inch, it might only be useful for smaller branches.
Finally, make sure to also check my list of the best cordless reciprocating saws.
To wrap it up, the Makita XRJ04Z will be a workhorse in your shop or DIY home/garden projects due to its longer stroke length.
Although I understand that it has a much longer body and a heavier weight compared to most reciprocating saws, that’s normal for most cordless tools anyway (due to the battery) and the important factor is the power and reach, which speeds up any task.