Makita has just released a 36-volt 7 1/2-inch compound sliding miter saw powered by two 18-volt batteries—not here but in Japan and Australia. I got a quick look at one of these machines at Makita’s 100th anniversary event but agreed not disclose its existence until it was officially announced. It can now be found on the company’s global website, which in my book makes it official.
Makita introduced the X2 line (36-volts tools powered by two 18-volt batteries) a couple of years back. It currently includes a rotary hammer, 7 1/4-inch circ saw, and outdoor power equipment. The beauty of the 36-volt X2 system is that it allows for the development of larger more powerful tools that take the same batteries as standard 18-volt tools. That it would be adapted to a benchtop machine makes perfect sense so I was not terribly surprised to see the new miter saw, which in other parts of the world is the DLS714 (if or when it comes here it will likely have a different model number).
So why am I excited about a two-battery miter saw? It’s not because cordless miter saws are anything new; I reviewed a couple of them for JLC in 2002 but the battery technology was primitive and those tools quickly went off the market. What I like about this saw is I think it will be viable, at least as viable as DeWalt’s new 18-volt miter saw and probably more viable than the 18-volt model currently offered by Makita. Makita’s current cordless miter saw is by all reports a nice machine but its motor tops out at 2,200 RPM to DeWalt’s 3,750. The new dual battery Makita has a brushless motor that tops out at 5,700 RPM, just 300 rpm shy of the speed of the company’s 7 1/2-inch corded miter saw.
Makita has said nothing about bringing this machine to the U.S., but it was on display at the anniversary event and I can’t imagine the company showing it to their biggest U.S. distributors and then not allowing them to sell it. The dual battery (X2) system coupled with better batteries (Makita currently offers up to 5.0 Ah) makes it possible to develop cordless versions of tools that were once only practical with cords. Some of the DIY brands have made cordless miter saws for years. The only pro brands that make them now are Makita, DeWalt, and Metabo (Metabo’s is available in Europe but not the U.S.). Given how things are going with motor and battery technology it’s hard not to believe other brands won’t jump on the cordless miter saw bandwagon—or that somewhere in the back of a tool company development lab someone isn’t working on a cordless table saw. Now that’s a tool I would love to see.
Max cut at 0 degrees: 2 1/16” x 11 3/4”
Max cut at 45 degrees: 2 1/6” x 8 3/8”
Max cut at 57 degrees: 2 1/6” x 6 3/8”
Power: 36 volts; two 18-volt LXT batteries
No load speed: 5,700 RPM
Weight: 29.8 pounds (w full size battery)
Features include: soft-start; brake, battery gauge
Available: in Japan and Australia