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Makita DJR183Z and DJR185Z Review

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 1st Jan 2021

This Toolstop Review is based on the Makita DJR183Z and DJR185Z Reciprocating Saws. These 18V Reciprocating Saws are a trade favourite from Makita and are a huge upgrade from the older 10.8V models. They provide power where its needed for all demolition and cutting applications and impress with their capabilities. This Makita 18V Reciprocating Saw Review focuses on the benefits of these models.

This Toolstop Review is based on the Makita DJR183Z and DJR185Z Reciprocating Saws. These 18V Reciprocating Saws are a trade favourite from Makita and are a huge upgrade from the older 10.8V models. They provide power where its needed for all demolition and cutting applications and impress with their capabilities. This Makita 18V Reciprocating Saw Review focuses on the benefits of these models.

Makita DJR183Z and DJR185Z Review

All About the DJR183Z and DJR185Z Makita Reciprocating Saws

Makita is continually adding new cordless tools to their 18V lithium-ion range and in this report we’ll take you through the features and benefits of two of the company’s most loved reciprocating saws, the DJR183 (click to buy) and DJR185Z.

Watch our demo of these Makita reciprocating saws on Toolstop TV below:

Features of the DJR183Z and DJR185Z Makita Reciprocating Saws

These 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, the DJR-models accept 18V battery 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 18V Reciprocating Saw Review

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 whilst providing great comfort during prolonged use.

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 that whenever you press the trigger (or paddle switch) the light will illuminate where you’re working even before you start cutting.


Makita DJR183 18V Cordless Recip Saw

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; simply 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!

Makita DJR185 18V Cordless Recip Saw

Makita DJR183Z Reicprocating Saw
Makita DJR185Z Reciprocating Saw

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 reciprocating saws, but were hankering after a bit more power and longer runtime, then you’ll be keen to add these new 18V mini reciprocating saws to your kit, especially if you’re already packing the company’s 18V li-ion batteries.

Tell us what you think of them, and if you’ve got any questions about cordless recip saws just ask us, but be sure to check out our buying guide.


Other Makita Reciprocating Saws We Love:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

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