What We Like
- Versatile variable speed settings (275-530 FPM)
- Built-in LED work light
- Onboard wrench storage
- Convenient tool hook
- Rubberized soft-grip handle
What We Don’t Like
- Expensive but worth it
- Tool only. Battery sold separately
A cordless portable band saw with 6 variable speed settings that are suitable for cutting a wide variety of materials.
Portable band saws are very handy worksite tools. Makita’s XBP02Z takes it a step further by having a wide variable speed range, which makes it versatile enough to cut different materials. Additionally, it has a cordless design that offers the best portable performance.
There’s much more that this tool has to offer so let’s get right into the review below to get more info.
Makita XBP02Z Review
Performance: Very Versatile
While you run this band saw by pressing on the trigger, this only gives you variable speed control up to a certain level. These levels are set by a speed dial on the side, which is marked from 1 to 6.
The speeds achieved while turning this dial are not given but going towards 1, it gets slower with the minimum being 275 FPM. On the other hand, turning towards 6 raises the speed to a maximum of 530 FPM.
These adjustments make the tool very versatile because the slower speeds are ideal for cutting softer materials that are less heat resistant such as plastic and chrome.
Faster speeds create more friction and consequently, more heat. Therefore, such settings are ideal for cutting tough materials that are more heat resistant, such as cast iron and aluminum.
That said, power is provided by an 18V battery (not included), which runs a brushed motor to deliver these cutting speeds.
Cutting is done by a 44-7/8-inch circumference blade and the included piece has a 0.5-inch width, which is ideal for cutting multiple metal materials.
As a safety feature, the trigger has a lock-off button, which required you to flip it first to release the trigger. This 2-action start ensures you don’t power on the motor accidentally.
Other features include a cutting capacity of 4-3/4 inches for both round and rectangular objects, an adjustable stopper plate that protects and supports the material for accurate cutting, and onboard wrench storage for quick stopper plate adjustment.
Design: Highly Portable and Very Durable
One of the main advantages of this band saw is that it is cordless. This makes it highly portable because it can be used anywhere, provided the battery is charged.
On top of this, it weighs only 14.3 lbs. with the battery attached, which is very lightweight, and has a compact shape that is only 20-5/8 inches long. Combined with an ergonomic soft-grip rear rubber handle plus a large front handle, this saw is very easy to use as it causes minimal fatigue.
Aside from that, the XPB02Z has a very durable design and this is due to a couple of features. For starters, a metallic shroud covers the pulleys and internal components for protection against debris and this also protects your hands from getting into the spinning pulleys.
On this shroud are thick rubber bumpers, which are responsible for protecting the saw from shocks due to worksite abuse.
Another important feature is that the motor’s brushes can be accessed externally, which is very convenient for quick and easy serviceability. This extends the lifespan of the motor for long-lasting use.
Extra Features: Smart Computer and Charging System
Though expensive, one of the highlight features of this band saw is its smartness. It has Makita’s own Star Protection Computer Controls, which is a communications technology that monitors your usage conditions.
While monitoring, the system exchanges data with the battery’s built-in chip in real-time to help prevent overheating, over-discharging, and overloading. For this to work though, you must use the Makita 18V LXT battery that has a star symbol (indicates star protection inside).
We recommend you get this as a starter pack (Makita BL1850BDC2X), which includes two 18V, 5Ah batteries, an optimum charger, and a carry bag.
That said, the rapid optimum charger is also very smart because it communicates with the battery’s chip during the charging process to control the voltage, current, and temperature. This optimizes the charging process towards enhancing the battery’s lifespan for long-lasting use.
Additionally, this charger has a fan built-in, which cools the battery during the charging process for faster and more efficient charging. Generally, high temperatures damage batteries, and thus, controlling the heat level to a minimum ensures the battery’s performance is maintained.
You also get a protective circuitry inside the tool that is designed for over-torque motor protection. If overloaded, the motor automatically stops to protect it from overheating and a built-in alert light flickers to notify you of the problem.
Other than that, the saw has a built-in LED light for illuminating dark sections of the work area to improve visibility while a tool hook allows you to hang it on a pipe vice or any strong structure when not in use.
This keeps it from the floor or bench where you can easily drop workpieces on it or step on it accidentally.
Price: Expensive but Worth It
Makita’s XBP02Z is very expensive because it costs above $300. Additionally, it comes as a tool only, and therefore, if you add on the cost of the charger and battery, this can easily surpass $500. On the bright side, it does have the features and technology to show for it.
In comparison, there is the Makita XBP03Z, which is a more compact and lightweight cordless portable band saw that is also more affordable (costs less than $300).
However, this model has a smaller 2.5-inch cutting capacity, which is only ideal for slicing conduits, copper pipes, Unistrut, threaded rods, and other small workpieces. The unit also lacks a variable speed dial for versatility and better control.
That said, it comes as a tool only but you can get is as a complete pack (Makita XBP03T), which includes the band saw, two 18V 5Ah lithium-ion batteries, a rapid optimum charger, a 14 TPI blade, a hex wrench and a tool bag. This set costs less than $500.
A versatile, high-performance cordless portable band saw that is recommended for professional use.
With 6 variable speed settings, the Makita XBP02Z is very versatile because it can be used to cut wood, plastics, and different types of metal.
On top of this, it reaches a top speed of 530 FPM, which is very quick and results in high-performance cutting. This high performance is ensured by multiple smart monitoring features that also enhance the tool and battery’s durability.
That said, these features make the saw very expensive, and therefore, it is recommended for professional use. However, if you are a beginner and you don’t mind spending the money, go for it.
- Product Name: Makita XBP02Z
- Product Brand: Makita
- Size: 4-3/4 inches
- Power: 18V (cordless)
- Speed: 6 variable speeds (275 – 530 FPM)
- Blade Length: 44-7/8 inches
- Blade Width: 1/2 inches
- Max Capacity (Rectangular): 4-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches
- Max Capacity (Round): 4-3/4 inches
- Dimensions: 20-5/8 x 9-1/8 x 12-3/8 inches
- Weight: 14.3 lbs.
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Over torque motor protection circuit.
- Rubberized soft grip handle plus a front handle.
- Protective rubber bumper.
- Externally accessible motor brushes.
- Rapid optimum charging system with a built-in battery cooling fan.
- Trigger switch with a lock-off feature.
- Tool hanging hook.
- Star protection computer controls.
- Onboard wrench storage.
- Adjustable stopper plate for material protection and support.