Here’s a quick video of my first opportunity to handle and cut with an unusual cordless circular saw—Makita’s XSH01Z, a 36-volt tool powered by two 18-volt batteries. The idea is to provide the power of a higher voltage saw while allowing tradesmen to stick with the same 18-volt batteries used in their other 18-volt tools. Another unusual thing about this saw is the cutting capacity; it has a 7 1/4-inch blade and is capable of cutting material up to 2 5/8 inches thick. Most cordless saws take 6 1/2-inch blades and are limited to cuts of 2 1/4 inches or less.

I first saw this tool last November at STAFDA and wrote about it without having been able cut with it. The saw was inside a clear display case and the manufacturer said the top could not be removed. However, I was able to handle the saw and cut with it at the World of Concrete in January. As you will see in the video (below) it has good power and cutting speed, though I need to mention I was able to overload and stall it by pushing too hard while cutting a thick stack (5 layers) of OSB. The motor didn’t bog down a bit at a time; the electronics simply cut power to the motor when the load was too great--which is a common method of protecting motor and battery from damage. Many of the better cordless tools out there have this feature.