Makita is continually adding new cordless to their 18v lithium-ion range and in this report we’ll take you through the features and benefits of the company’s latest recip (sabre) saws, the DJR183 (click to buy) and the DJR185 (click to buy).
Watch our demo of the saws on Toolstop TV by clicking here, or in the player below.
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The new recip saws are based on Makita’s already popular 10.8v design found in the JR100DWE and JR102DWE models. The big upgrade, though, is that rather than running off 10.8v li-ion batteries, DJR-models accept 18v packs.
As is now the case with new 18v cordless tools from Makita, the saws are compatible with 3Ah and 4Ah packs. Both models are available as “body only” (click here for our guide to these types of cordless tools), so you can with confidence use any Makita 18v li-ion pack that you already own.
Charge times are excellent for Makita batteries, 22 minutes for 3Ah and only 36 minutes for 4Ah.
Both saws offer the same cutting capacities, up to 50mm into wood. This is via the relatively short stroke length of 13mm, as found in the JR10-models, with the motor outputting up to 3,000 strokes per minute, controlled by the variable speed triggers.
And yes, we mean triggers – plural.
Both saws benefit from two switch levers. The typical trigger switch control is in place but the saws also feature a paddle switch on the body. This allows you to use the recip saws at virtually any angle in a comfortable way while giving you full control while you cut.
Makita has included the ergonomics they’re famous for, so in addition to two switch levers, the saws benefit from rubberised areas where you’re hands will grip the saw. Again, this aids your control while you cut.
The shoes on both saws are adjustable, however, they don’t pivot. To make adjustments to the depth of the cut, simply undo the screw found underneath the blade holder, then move the shoe to the required depth.
Finally, both saws benefit from an LED job light with pre-glow. This means whenever you press the trigger (or paddle switch) the light will illuminate where you’re working even before you start cutting.
The key benefit of the DJR183 is the tool-less blade change. We’re all familiar with this sort of functionality on jigsaws and recip saws, pull back the lever, insert the blade and you’re ready to cut. Once you’ve made the cut and want to change blades, pull back the lever again and the blade pops out. No burnt fingers from hot blades!
As you can see the DJR185 is virtually identical to the DJR183 apart from one main difference. Instead of featuring a tool-less blade change, an Allen key is supplied (fitted to the battery housing) to allow you to change the blades. This means that the DJR185 will accept both recip and jigsaw blades.
So, in summary, if you love the ergonomics and design of Makita’s 10.8v mini recip saws, but where hankering after a bit more power and longer runtime, then you’ll be keen to add these new 18v mini recip saws to your kit, especially if you’re already packing the company’s 18v li-ion batteries.
Tell us what you think of them in the comments below, and if you’ve got any questions about cordless recip saws just ask us, but be sure to check out our buying guide.