Makita XSS01Z vs XSS02Z vs XSH03Z vs XSH04ZB Circular Saw

Makita has long established a name in the industry, thanks to its industrial tools that deliver what they promise. Among the products that the company is known for, cordless circular saws are among those that draw a lot of attention.

And when it comes to cordless tools, some of the most talked-about models from the brand are those from its LXT and Sub-compact lines. So if you are on the hunt for a reliable cordless cutting tool, you might want to check these models out.

Just be sure to keep in mind these important factors to consider — torque, weight, and cutting ability.

Quick Summary

This review details four cordless circular saws from the Makita brand’s LXT lithium-ion line. As the name suggests, all models are powered by lithium-ion batteries that ensure low-energy dissipation and high-power density.

In this review, we will compare their common features and which qualities make each of the models stand out from the others.

Let’s Compare the Makita XSS01Z, XSS02Z, XSH03Z, and XSH04ZB

Makita XSS01Z LXT Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSS01Z18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-1/2" Circular Saw, Tool Only

Convenience, efficiency, and productivity are the three main facets of Makita tools that are part of the wide-ranging LXT lithium-ion collection. And these are exactly what the XSS01Z delivers each time you use it.

Power minus the weight

The biggest challenge for handheld tools is reducing fatigue for the operator, which was easily achieved by Makita with its 6 ½-inch blades.

With 18 volts of power and 3,700 RPM, this device is capable of various cutting applications without straining your wrists, arms, and shoulders.

Built-in LED light and dust blower

Its built-in LED light illuminates your area, allowing you to work more efficiently and safely even in dim conditions. It also features a built-in dust blower that clears your cut line of debris for improved accuracy.

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Electric brake

The XSS01Z comes with an electric brake that immediately puts the blade to a halt when you take our finger off the trigger, which is helpful in increasing productivity

Makita XSS01Z18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-1/2" Circular Saw, Tool Only

What We Like

  • The blade is positioned on the left side of the motor
  • Comes with a built-in LED light and dust blower
  • Includes a rip fence

What We Don’t Like

  • The battery is sold separately

Final Thoughts

The Makita XSS01Z has all the basics down but what makes this device stand out are the additional features that allow you to work more conveniently and efficiently such as the built-in LED light and dust blower.

Makita XSS02Z LXT Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-1/2" Circular Saw, Tool Only

Also part of the LXT line of circular saws, the XSS02Z benefits from high amp-hour batteries that allow you to work longer hours without a decline in performance.

You are guaranteed with the same power and efficiency in the motor and blade even as the device consumes energy from the battery.

High torque motor and compact design

One of the first things people look for in a circular saw is the torque-to-weight ratio. It’s important that the device is powerful enough to cut through the material while being lightweight at the same time.

This is the main quality of the Makita XSS02Z with its 3,700 RPM and 18 volts of power packed in a 7-lb body.

Star Protection Computer Controls

The XSS02Z boasts Makita’s Star Protection Computer Tools that work to protect its batteries from overloading, overheating, and over-discharging.

These controls ensure that energy is dispensed from the lithium-ion battery as efficiently as possible so you won’t have problems using the tool for long hours.

Engineered to withstand pressure

Aside from its ability to perform cutting tasks swiftly and accurately, this Makita model is also capable of withstanding the harshest working conditions without affecting its performance. It’s built to last and survive tough handling.

What We Like

  • Has a line indicator for improved accuracy
  • Increased comfort with its rubberized soft-grip handle
  • Cuts smoothly and accurately
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What We Don’t Like

  • The battery is sold separately

Final Thoughts

The Makita XSS02Z is easy to use, lightweight, and powerful enough to cut through the material. But keep in mind that the blade is smaller than the ones equipped in standard size circular saws, so you might want to avoid using it on thicker lumber.

Makita XSH03Z LXT Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 6-1/2" Circular Saw, Tool Only

Consistent with all models from Makita’s LXT line of cordless circular saws, the XSH03Z effectively packs cutting power in its compact size.

Powerful brushless motor

A built-in brushless motor that delivers 5,000 RPM makes the XSH03Z  a cut above the rest, especially in terms of fast cutting and ripping ability

Automatic speed change

The automatic speed change technology, meanwhile, enables the tool to adjust speed and torque even while you are operating the device to make sure you are getting optimum performance.

Battery level indicator

You also never have to worry about running out of power because the 3-stage battery level indicator tells you how much energy is left in the battery before you need to charge the tool again

What We Like

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Dual LED lights that illuminate your work area
  • Die-cast magnesium components that guarantee durability

What We Don’t Like

  • The battery is sold separately

Final Thoughts

If you are after speed and power cutting abilities, you should not be looking at anything else other than this Makita XSH03Z. It’s arguably the best in its class with 5,000 RPM that can even compete with other standard size circular saws.

Makita XSH04ZB LXt Sub-compact Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSH04ZB 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless 6-1/2” Circular Saw, Tool Only

Similar to the three previous models, this Makita XSH04ZB runs on the slide-style lithium-ion batteries known for having the fastest charge times. Any operator can surely make the most of this tool as it spends more time working than sitting on the charger.

Sub-compact size

Compared to other lightweight and compact models from the brand’s LXT range, the XSH04ZB is from the sub-compact line of tools that are designed to be lighter and smaller but with more than enough power.

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Enhanced durability

This model has Makita’s Extreme Protection Technology which includes a series of protective seals engineered within the tool to keep water, debris, and dust away from its internal components.

Built-in dust nozzle and dual LED lights

The XSH04ZB also comes with a built-in dust nozzle that allows you to connect the device to a vacuum. This helps improve dust collection so you can clear your work area of debris.

Illumination also isn’t going to be a problem thanks to the dual LED lights that light up your line of sight.

Makita XSH04ZB 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless 6-1/2” Circular Saw, Tool Only

What We Like

  • Features “tool-less” depth of cut and bevel adjustment levers
  • Has an on-board blade wrench for convenience
  • Comes with dual LED lights

What We Don’t Like

  • The battery is sold separately

Final Thoughts

Small but terrible, that’s the XSH04ZB. It’s the best choice if you still find the other three compact tools a little too big and heavy for your preference.

Makita XSS01Z vs XSS02Z vs XSH03Z vs XSH04ZB: Which is Better?

Makita is an established brand known for its powerful, efficient, and durable cutting tools. So in these categories, there isn’t much comparison among the four models.

However, the XSH03Z and XSH04ZB have a slight advantage with their 5,000 RPM. These two models also have more built-in features compared to the XSS01Z and XSS02Z, without much difference in the price.


If it’s Makita’ it will surely deliver. Your choice ultimately relies on your preferred RPM and the additional features you want in your tool.