With the XSL04ZU, Makita has taken one of the most portable AND powerful miter saws on the market (see our review of the Makita XSL02Z) and given it a 10″ blade plus lots of features. This cordless miter saw is a new addition to Makita’s 18V LXT® series, a series of compact miter saws powered by industry-leading battery technology.
Like the other cordless miter saws in the LXT® line, the XSL04ZU sports cutting edge innovations such as the BL™ Brushless Motor and two 18V Lithium-Ion batteries. Unlike the other miter saws in the LXT® line, the XSL04ZU comes with all the bells and whistles.
Our Makita XSL04ZU Review
The Makita XSL04ZU was engineered to offer the cut capacity, power, and accuracy you would expect from the best 10″ miter saws, but with the convenience of a cordless power tool. The combination of power and cut capacity makes this miter saw a powerhouse. It uses two 5.0Ah LXT® Lithium-Ion batteries to deliver up to 334 cuts per charge. It can cut up to 6-5/8″ crown (nested), 5-1/4″ base (vertical), and preform 4×12 crosscuts at 90°.
Designed with an inventive 2-steel rail sliding system that allows users to put it flush against a wall, this miter saw was made for smooth accurate cuts. Cut quality is enhanced further by Automatic Speed Change™ technology. This technology regulates cutting speed and torque as necessary during the cutting process to ensure the best performance.
Ease of Use
The cordless convenience of this miter saw gives it points in the “Ease of Use” category right off the bat. Some buyers may be wary of a batter-powered power tool, but Makita has gone above and beyond to provide long-lasting power. This miter saw features two 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Batteries, giving it a total of 36V of power. Makita’s 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Batteries, equipped with Makita’s Rapid Optimum Charger, have an industry-leading charge time. Battery life and performance is further maximized by Star Protection Computer Controls™, which is a built-in chip that regulates current, voltage, and temperature during charge time.
Using the XSL04ZU is about the same as operating any other Makita miter saw, except you aren’t tied to the wall. Features such as the soft rubber grip handle and electric brake provide convenience for users. It miters 0-48° left and 0-48° right; and bevels 0-60° left and 0-60° right. For further convenience during use, Makita included positive miter stops at: 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, 45°, and 60° left and right.
A built-in laser lends itself to simple-to-execute precision with an on-off switch as well as “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade” adjustment options. To eliminate the battery charge level guessing game, built-in 3-stage L.E.D. gauges inform users of charge level.
The Makita XSL04ZU was engineered to last a long time. First off, the BL™ Brushless Motor design provides a direct drive gearbox motor that can deliver a no-load speed of 5,700 RPM. The brushless nature of this motor means that it should last almost twice as long as standard belt-drive motors. Lifespan is further increased by Soft Start technology, which provides smooth and consistent cuts as soon as the blade starts spinning.
To further protect the motor (as well as your workshop) from dust buildup, dual dust collection ports help to increase dust collection. To further maximize dust collection, an Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS™) uses Bluetooth® technology to turn the dust extractor on as soon as needed.
It’s not just the motor that was made for long life. Makita’s own Star Protection Computer Controls™ improve performance and extended battery life. This is made possible due to a built-in chip that regulates conditions while the battery is charging.
Makita really scores high in the “Service” category due to two things: an impressive 3-Year Limited Warranty (along with a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee of course) and authorized service centers located all across the globe. You can find more information about Makita warranties on their website.
Included in the box:
- Vertical Vise
- Dust Bag
- Triangular Rule
- Hex Wrench
- 40T Micro-Polished Miter Saw Blade
- Wireless Unit
It’s hard to make an argument for the value of this miter saw without a collection of reviews to weigh the pros and cons across a decent sample size. That being said, the XSL04ZU looks like an exceptional miter saw. It’s predecessor the XSL02Z has rave reviews. Among the few complaints the XSL02Z does have, the most prominent is blade size. With the XSL04ZU, Makita has given an extremely functional miter saw, an upgraded blade size and a number of other upgrades mentioned previously.
Again, due to the lack of reviews on this miter saw it’s difficult to make a conclusive verdict. But, if you are a woodworker interested in a powerful, extremely portable, and reliable miter saw, Makita’s XSL04ZU might be the perfect miter saw for you.
If you’re thinking about buying one, take a look at Amazon’s price on the Makita XSL04ZU. Or compare it against the best saws on the market with our comparison chart.