The words “portable” and “miter saw” don’t always go together, but the Makita XSL02Z Cordless 7-1/2-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw proves otherwise thanks to its battery operated power source. This lightweight yet powerful miter saw is a competitive addition to Makita’s tool lineup and will cater to those who need flexibility without sacrificing power and accuracy.
If you are curious about the Makita XSL02Z, check out my review below. I will list down its specifications, pros, and cons to help you decide if it’s worth buying.
Best for working with cabinet installation, flooring, base, and remodeling, this cordless miter saw is a portable model that can move with you from room to room. It is a much lighter option compared to corded and bulkier miter saws out there that are only meant for stationary use.
With a 7-1/2-inch blade diameter, it might not be as big as the standard 10-inch or 12-inch models, since it has a more portable, 5/8-inch arbor size. This unit has a cutting capacity of 2-1/16 x 11-3/4 inches for a 90-degree miter (2-1/16 x 8-3/8 inches for a 45-degree miter, left and right).
Since it is a compact and portable cordless miter saw, it has a whopping 5,700-RPM speed. Much more compared to its bigger counterparts. It has positive miter stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees from left to right. As for the miter capacity, it has up to 47 degrees (left) and 47 degrees (right) with a 45-degree bevel (left) and 5 degrees (right).
Weighing 28.9 pounds (with the battery), the unit runs on two (2) 18V LXT® lithium-ion batteries, much like with most Makita cordless tools. Lithium-ion is a standard nowadays due to having no memory effect, which makes a charge last longer even when not using it.
You get a 1-year limited warranty policy from Makita for the tool. You can take it to any authorized service center or factory for a free repairs or replacement, as long as it hasn’t been misused or repaired by others.
Nonetheless, it has many features that will give it a lasting longevity with proper usage. This includes the electronically-controlled BL™ Brushless Motor, which improves the energy usage and the speed of the tool so it will run smoothly under pressure. Moreover, the Automatic Speed Change is a technology that also improves the torque under load so the tool runs with a constant speed depending on the material.
When it comes to usability and convenient features, it has a 4-steel rail sliding system, which enables you to make quick cuts without much adjustment. Most corded and stationary systems only have a 2-steel rail sliding system, so this is an advantage of the tool. What’s more, further accuracy can be achieved thanks to the linear ball bearing system of the tool.
Should You Buy the Makita XSL02Z?
The Makita XSL02Z is best used for light to moderate woodworking jobs at home or in a shop. Thanks to its portability, you can use it even when you are going in between rooms to work on different tasks without having to move the material – you can easily move the miter saw instead. Home remodeling is a good example of a likely application of this miter saw.
If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Makita XSL02Z
Let’s start with the pros.
It has a small footprint.
Because it only weighs 28.2 pounds, it is not too heavy to carry around the job site or home remodel area, making it easy to handle. Having a portable unit for any tasks that involve multiple rooms or large areas will speed up work without tiring you out from carrying the tool from time to time.
Its fast speed will get jobs done quickly.
At 5,7000 RPM, this tool has high speed so it will increase your productivity when tackling your daily tasks. You don’t often see this kind of speed in standard miter saws.
It has a convenient 4-steel rail sliding system.
Compared to the 2-steel rail systems of other miter saws, having a 4-rail system makes the tool more durable and convenient at the same time with a smoother sliding action.
The tool has a brushless motor.
A brushless motor lengthens the lifespan of the tool since it cools it down better without the need for carbon brushes. Furthermore, brushless motors require little to no maintenance at all.
Cons of the Makita XSL02Z
On the other hand, while it has good points, the product has some minor drawbacks.
It may be difficult for hardwood trimming.
Due to the arbor design and the single direction tilting, you have to adjust the material if you are trimming hardwood to avoid getting splinters on your baseboard. However, this is a matter of trial and error, but the design could be better.
The saw blade is not as big as the corded ones.
Although this is a given since it is a portable miter saw, if you want to work with larger pieces of wood where a 10-inch or a 12-inch miter saw would be more preferable then this isn’t your tool. Its fast speed is only proportional to its smaller 7-1/2-inch blade size.
A battery-operated tool will limit your work time.
If you bought this miter saw for small, casual home projects then you might be unbothered by needing to work within the timespan of the tool’s charge. However, if you’re looking for industry-grade and heavy-duty miter saws then this is not the one, since it is limited by a battery as compared to a corded one with endless power.
What Are the Alternatives to the Makita XSL02Z?
The Makita XSL06PT (read my review)is yet another dual-bevel sliding compound miter saw but with a bigger blade size of 10 inches, making it at par with the corded units. It also has a laser kit for added accuracy while having a brushless motor for a longer lifespan. It has a speed of 4,400 RPM, which is no surprise since it has a bigger blade. Like the previous pick, this one uses 2 LXT batteries.
On the other hand, the Makita XSL05Z is a decent choice as well if you want a compact miter saw. The only difference is that this one is at 6-1/2 inches in its blade size so it is much smaller than my main pick.
Nonetheless, it is only 14.6 pounds so it is an excellent choice for light touch-ups and for those who are still learning how to use a miter saw, such as students. Since it has a brushless motor, it will also last longer and run cooler than those with carbon brushes.
Although not a dual-bevel miter saw (despite being a sliding compound one), the Makita LS0815F is yet another lightweight one at 31.1 pounds with a 10.5-amp motor that delivers 5,000 RPM. It has similar accuracy features with other Makita miter saws, such as an electric brake and a linear ball bearing system for added accuracy.
Overall, the Makita XSL02Z is a great choice if you’re into room-to-room woodworking and projects. If you simply don’t like the bulkiness of a corded unit or want anything over 40 pounds, this is a miter saw you might want to try.
While it’s not a super powerful or industry-grade miter saw, it will get the job done for most home DIY remodeling tasks.