The lithium-ion battery powered Bare-Tool Makita BJR182Z reciprocating saw has more cutting capacity than many corded versions of the Sawzall. With the longest available woodcutting blade — twelve inches — the Makita BJR182Z can cut to its maximum depth of ten inches. For heavier work like cutting pipe, the limit is still a hefty 5 -1/8 inches. A long stroke of 1-1/8 inches means you need longer blades to clear the work piece, so don’t skimp. Complete speed control from 0 to 2900 strokes per minute gives operators options from delicate cuts to ripping with constant power at any stroke rate.
To get that much versatility from a battery-powered saw, there are a few trade-offs. Running time under heavy load is less than half the thirty-minute charge time of the battery pack. For extended work, keep an extra battery or two handy and charging. With the battery pack installed, the Makita weighs nearly eight pounds, heavier than some corded models. For ease of use, there’s no question the Makita wins over any Sawzall that’s dragging an extension cord behind it. Improved battery life — and 2.5 times the total recharge cycles of Makita’s older battery packs — do improve the Bare-Tool’s performance, but run time is still a major limitation.
The Makita BJR182Z does occasionally throw a blade if owners aren’t careful to clean the blade mount. Sawdust jammed in the socket could prevent the blade from properly seating. Other than that, it’s a full power tool with simple one-handed blade changing, and it goes anywhere.
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