Makita XSS01 Circular Saw
PRICE: $340 with two 3.0-Ah batteries, a charger, and a case; also available as a bare tool ($165)
WEIGHT: 7 lb. 12 oz.
MAX BEVEL: 50°
MAX DEPTH: 2-1/4 in.
10 CUTS THROUGH 2X12: 66 seconds
LINEAR FT. OF PLYWOOD: 71
FEATURES: The Makita is a solid little tool with a good feel. The bright LED lights up the cutline, and the handle is nearly as comfortable as the DeWalt’s. I like the easy lever adjustments, and the connection between the body of the tool and the baseplate is nice and solid. The Makita fell toward the middle of the pack in power, but it didn’t bind up while cutting the 2×12.
FLAWS: This saw was at the bottom of our battery test, and it could use a better depth-of-cut gauge. In use, it has enough vibration to affect the quality of cuts.
BOTTOM LINE: The high-quality look and feel of the Makita isn’t enough to offset its last-place finish in the run-time test and fifth-place performance in the power test.