A couple weeks ago we finally got the new Makita 12V Li-Ion trim saw in. Makita has been around in the 10.8V/12V Li-Ion category for a while now but they seem to really be treading lightly with this line. For the rest of this article, I’ll be calling it 12V as Makita has now switched over to the 12V stickers like everyone else.
Just so we’re all on the same page here, 10.8V and 12V is actually the same thing. This is what happens when marketing departments are in control of tool companies. A couple companies started calling their tools 12V instead of 10.8V to give their tools a perceived competitive advantage, while at the same time, totally confusing customers. We all agree that single li-ion cylinder cells are 3.6V a piece, and that so-called 12V tool batteries have three cells in each one, right? So how does 3 x 3.6 = 12? Good question. Maybe they are using string theory math to come to 12, or maybe their marketing department is really great at marketing but failed terribly at Grade 3 Math. Who knows? All I know is that 12V and 10.8V are the exact same. All jokes aside, what it comes down to is that 12V is a reading off the battery on a fresh charge and 10.8V is a reading off an uncharged battery.
|Fresh uncharged battery reading 10.8V||Same fully charged battery reading 12V|
Anyway, back to the saw.
The blade that Makita uses on this saw is a 3-3/8″ 20 tooth with a 15mm arbor and a 1mm kerf. That’s right, a 1mm kerf. I used this little saw to cut two inch strips off of a 1/2″x4’x’8′ sheet of wafer board. I was able to cut 22′ without stopping, which in my opinion is pretty good for a little saw like this – especially considering the amount of glue in that wood. I would recommend this saw in a heartbeat – to anyone having to trim off light density wood (roofing, fencing and siding) as well as people doing small projects. The size of this machine definitely gives it some pros as well as cons. It makes this saw ultra-portable, and given its limited power, it’s a lot safer if it kicks back. It is limited to a 1″ cut depth, which means no cutting 2×4’s.
I’m really hoping that Makita changes over their 12V Ni-Cad & Ni-MH tools to the 12V Li-Ion line as they offer some pretty unique tools in their old series of batteries. Makita still makes a waterfeed 12V Ni-MH saw 4191DWD in this size for cutting tile, as well as a 12V Ni-MH chainsaw UC120DWD for cutting shrubs and small limbs (trees, not hobbits). They even make a 12V Ni-MH right angle drill DA312DWD (truly an amazing drill that everyone should have) which would be great in a Li-Ion design.