Gilles' Outlet

December 31, 2006

Tool Review: Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Recipro Saw

Filed under: House Remodelling — Gilles @ 6:07 pm

I own one of these Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw and believe it or not, it has always been there to get me out of very tricky situations.
A few weeks ago, a storm in WA knocked four large branches from a high pine tree in my backyard. I do not own a chain saw or any logging equipment and I did not want to acquire one for a one time use. Without much trust, I picked up my Makita recipro saw, attached a worn Milwaukee wood blade I found in one of the walls of a house I renovated a month ago, plugged a freshly charged battery and started logging (I thought I could power my fireplace with the wood, after it has dried throughly).
After the first few strokes of the blade, I knew I was out of the wood (so to speak ;-). The saw cut right throught the 3” fresh pine wood without a hitch. After three full branches, I had to put another battery. Well, not bad at all considering the dull blade I was cutting with and the fact that I did cut everything with the saw, including baby needles spouts!
More recently, the same saw was there when I most needed it. A leak in the plumbing of a house we were renovating called for wall opening and notching in the shower riser to access a cracked sweated fitting. The saw notched the 2 x 4 in a few seconds (okay, we had to finish the notch with a chisel because of limited accessibility, but that is not the saw’s fault).
Months before, the saw went through a plastic shower enclosure, 10 ft of plaster and lath and a few 100 years old hardened 2 x 4 studs without difficulty.
Is there anything I dislike about the saw? Well, yes. Its blade guide is sometimes difficult to remove. The release mecanism tends to jam and I have to gently tap it with a hammer to unlock it. Not a big problem.

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