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I totally get the concept of the small, cordless circ saw, especially for use as a trim saw. But Makita took the concept a step further, shrinking the blade down to a tiny 3-3/8″ — and shrinking the battery as well, powering the saw with one of their little 12V li-ion units. Makita claims that even with the itty-bitty blade you’ll see a 1″ cut depth at 90 degrees, and 5/8″ at 45. Clearly this saw is intended for minute jobs like notching.

But the big question: How the hell long can this thing possibly spin that 1,400 RPM blade on a single charge? When I think “high amp-draw cordless,” the circ saw is the first tool in my mind (or possibly angle grinders). The larger trim saws just barely make the grade with large li-ion batteries, so the idea of swapping in sub-compact cells baffles me a bit.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. And I hope you’ll let me know if you’ve had a chance to play with one of these, or if you know of a killer application for a super-short-run, tiny circ — something that you can’t do just as easily with something you already own (and something that’s useful for other tasks as well). Street pricing starts around $220 for the kit, and (sadly) Makita doesn’t offer it in bare-tool form.

12V Max Cordless 3-3/8″ Circ Saw Kit [Makita]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


7 Responses to One Seriously Small Li-Ion Circ Saw

  1. Justin says:

    A former co-worker of mine has one of these, but it was the old style makita with the 9.6v ni-cad batteries. I was really surprised by how handy it was. I even bought a craftsman 3 3/8″ trim saw because of it. But it doesn’t bevel, and the base moves around, so it’s utility is much less, even though it’s corded.

    The same guy also modded his 9.6v makita driver to use 18v ryobi battery packs. Yankee ingenuity.

  2. Slow Joe Crow says:

    It looks like an update of the old Makita 9.6V trim saw. Those were very popular, and the later models did have a beveling base but you had to be careful with blade selection since a long cut with a fat blade would burn up the motor and occasionally melt the housing.

  3. Rembret says:

    Had the old 9.6v for siding when I used to do a lot of siding work. It had decent run time and was handy for trimming and notching up on the scaffolding. The blades are really thin which helps with the battery drain. Blade depth really limits it to sheathing and siding for me though.

  4. fred says:

    Makita also made a variant of the 9.6V saw for tile cutting – it came with a water bottle to lubricate what was probably a diamond grit blade. My tile guys always seemed to prefer angle grinders – so I never saw one of these Makita tile saws in use.

    When panelling was king – we might have had a big use for this diminutive saw – and if it could use our Milwaukee M12 batteries – we might still give it a try (same is true about the new PC Clamp saw) – but its just not worth buying into another battery platform. That is one of my pet gripes – and yeah I know about the argumenst that say standardization might stifle competition, could be called restraint of trade or collusion etc. – but I think folks would sell more tools not fewer.

    I also kind of chuckle that this (battery compatibility that is) is obviously not an issue with corded tools – unless you mistakenly buy something like European Mafell equipment that doesn’t adapt well to 110 60Hz. The corded verson of a trim saw that we use are PC (some of ours bear the Rockwell PC logo) 4-1/2 inch worm gear saw

  5. Julian Tracy says:

    FYI – re: battery compatibility – for any current users/owners of Bosch 10.8/12volt max battery tools, ALL of the Milwaukee M12 tools can be simply modified to accept the Bosch 10.8/12volt batteries.

    The battery shape is near identical. The polarity is reversed, though, so you’ll have to open up the Milwaukee tool and either swich the wires or re-solder them in reverse.

    The contact tabs for the battery compartment are a bit wider spaced on the M12 tools, so you simply bend them in just a tad narrower. And finally, the M12 tools casing is too deep, so you saw up about 1/2 inch of the body of the tool and if you do it just right, the Bosch battery tabs still catch and hold onto the M12 tools battery tab mating surfaces.

    I was considering getting rid of my Bosch 12 volt stuff, but being able to modify the M12 stuff to fit the batteries has given the entire kit a new lease on life.

    I’ve modifed the M12w radio and the power outlet accessory to take the Bosch batteries.


  6. Julian Tracy says:

    FYI – the mod cannot be done easily with the Makita or Ridgid 12 volt tools though. The battery compartment and tabs are completely different in design.


  7. Daniel says:

    Makita has outdone themselves this time. This is very handy tool and I think judging from my experiences with the tool, I can say that it gets the job done. It is not intended for long hour jobs though. Just for those quick-cut release type of jobs only.


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