Makita 12V Reciprocating Saw – Model RJ03R1

Makita 12V Reciprocating Saw

I have to say I am loving this new Makita CXT line of tools.  They are small and lightweight.  Today I am excited because we get to check out the Makita 12V Reciprocating saw.  As an FYI, we will be having the Makita 12V Drill/Driver and Impact driver coming up soon.  I can’t say we have had much experience with Makita, so it’s nice when we get a chance to check them out and try them for ourselves.  I know a ton of people always email and ask our opinion about these tools, so I am happy to share our thoughts on the new Makita 12V Reciprocating Saw

Makita did an awesome job with the design and layout of the tool.  One thing I love about this tool is it’s not big and bulky, this is a slim 14-3/4″ long.  Having a slim tool means you can get into the hard to reach spots, such as rafters, joist or under cabinets.  Since you are getting in hard to reach spots, there are two things that stand out with this tool. First is the weight.  The tool only weighs 2.9 lbs and that is with the battery.  Not too shabby.  Second, I love the trigger switch along with the paddle switch.  Makita designed this with your traditional finger trigger switch that allows you to use it like any other reciprocating saw.  Along with that, they have a paddle switch that runs along the front of the tool, just below the motor.  We all know that when you are in tight spots, you don’t always have the best angle or grip on a tool.  So now it’s much easier to get the job done.

So let’s talk about power and speed.  For me this has plenty of speed.  Inside lays a variable speed motor that will produce 0-3,300 strokes per minute, fast enough even for the impatient people.  In regards to power, I think it has plenty of power.  Now with the speed increase because it is faster than most 12V tools, you do lose a little torque and power.  For me, I will take the speed.  I look at my 12V different than 18V tools.  If I want power, I am going to grab my 18V tool.  As for 12V tools, I want them slim, and easy to work with, but that’s just me.

A huge plus to this tool is the blade change system.  I love the Makita blade change system where it’s tool less and the blade actually ejects from the tool.  We all know that after using a blade for some time, they become very hot.  Well with this saw, no worries.  The blade will actually eject from the tool preventing you from swearing due to a hot blade.  Another plus, is the LED light.  The built in LED light does a pretty decent job in lighting up your area.  Here is one thing you won’t find in other 12V tools and that is a battery status gauge.  Okay, a couple manufacturers have this, but most don’t.  Makita developed this battery platform to have a 4 square LED indicator so you always know how much juice is left in the battery.  Just press a button and bam, you’re on top of the game.  Most other manufacturers, you have to take the battery, put it on a tool and pull the trigger to see the status.  Nice job on that one Makita.  Besides a built in status gauge, I really like the battery style.  Makita has a pancake style battery as opposed to the torpedo style where the battery fits into the handle.  A nice plus to the pancake style is you can set your tool down on the battery without it falling over.  The torpedo style batteries, it is pretty much impossible.

Makita 12V Reciprocating Saw Includes

  • Makita Reciprocating Saw
  • (2) 12V max CXT™ Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah Battery (BL1021B)
  • (1) 12V max CXT™ Lithium-Ion Charger (DC10WD)
  • (1) (B-20404)
  • Carrying Case

Overall I think Makita did a great job with the Makita 12V reciprocating saw.  I really can’t find anything to complain about with this tool.  While I think there are a ton of uses and a ton of different trades that would like this, I think the sweet spot is plumbers.  They always seem to be cutting pipe in joist, rafters and under sinks.



  1. It’s so cool as a plumber we feel so catered to. So many choices, nice to have exactly what we want at our fingertips(in two places as in the case of this recip saw!!) Nice going guys, keep the tool news coming!

  2. great features for those working in tight areas wish I’d had one of these last month taking out ceiling joists and trusses


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