Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion Review


Embarking on a journey of craftsmanship, I recently welcomed the Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw into my arsenal of power tools. As a discerning DIY enthusiast with a penchant for precision, I was eager to put this 18V Li-Ion marvel to the test. The prospect of a cordless solution, coupled with Makita’s renowned brushless motor technology, promised a symphony of cutting power and endurance. In the following paragraphs, I’ll unravel my experience with this tool, delving into its key features, performance metrics, and the nuanced details that set it apart in the competitive landscape of reciprocating saws. Join me as we explore the world of the DJR185Z, a powerhouse designed to elevate your woodworking and metalworking endeavors.

Brief Specifications

  • Brand: Makita
  • Model: DJR183Z
  • Color: Blue, Black
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Voltage: 18 Volts
  • Amperage: 15 Amps
  • Item Weight: 3.08 pounds / 1.4 Kilograms
  • Product Dimensions: 16.54″L x 3.74″W x 6.69″H
  • Blade Material: High-Speed Steel
  • Speed: 5000 RPM
  • Number of Teeth: 24
  • Number of Batteries: Lithium-Ion batteries required.
  • Included Components: Bare-Tool
  • Specification Met: Certified frustration-free

Cutting Power

In the realm of cutting power, the DJR185Z proves to be a formidable force. During rigorous testing, this cordless reciprocating saw showcased an impressive ability to effortlessly slice through an array of materials, demonstrating versatility from lumber to sturdy metal pipes. The 18V battery, the heart of this powerhouse, exhibited a consistent and reliable performance that truly stood out.

Close up of Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion cutting through wood

Whether tackling small-scale tasks or engaging in larger projects, the DJR185Z’s cutting prowess remained unwavering, delivering swift and precise results. This cutting-edge performance undoubtedly positions the Makita DJR185Z as a reliable companion for users who demand efficiency and power in their woodworking and construction endeavors.

Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion in use, cutting through a wooden plank

Battery Life

The longevity of the Li-Ion battery within the DJR185Z left a lasting impression on my workflow. Executing a series of demanding cuts on a single charge, I experienced no discernible power drop, highlighting the efficiency of Makita’s battery technology. While having a spare battery is always a prudent choice for prolonged use, the included battery in the DJR185Z provides an ample runtime for most applications, allowing users to work uninterrupted.

Close up of a person’s hand holding a Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion in a yard

This impressive battery life not only enhances the tool’s overall utility but also underscores its suitability for both casual DIY enthusiasts and professionals tackling more extensive projects. The DJR185Z’s commitment to sustained performance sets it apart, making it a reliable choice for those who value efficiency and productivity in their cutting tasks.

Design and Ergonomics

In the realm of design and ergonomics, the Makita DJR185Z stands out as a tool crafted with the user in mind. Its compact and ergonomic design translates into a comfortable user experience during prolonged use. The anti-slip grip ensures a secure hold, promoting confidence and control, while the well-balanced weight distribution further adds to the tool’s maneuverability.

Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion

These thoughtful design elements collectively contribute to reducing fatigue during extended work sessions, allowing users to maintain precision and focus. Makita’s dedication to user-friendly design in the DJR185Z is evident, making it a go-to choice for those who prioritize both performance and comfort in their reciprocating saw.

Performance Accuracy

The Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw sets a high standard when it comes to performance accuracy, making it a standout tool in the realm of precision cutting. During meticulous testing, the saw consistently delivered accurate and clean cuts across various materials. Whether it was intricate woodworking or cutting through metal pipes, the DJR185Z showcased a remarkable level of accuracy, leaving smooth and refined edges.

Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion being used to cut a tree branch

This precision is attributed not only to the powerful 18V battery but also to the saw’s intelligent design, which ensures minimal blade deflection and optimal alignment during operation. Woodworkers and craftsmen who demand accuracy in their projects will find the DJR185Z to be a reliable companion that consistently meets their high standards.

The DJR185Z’s performance accuracy is further enhanced by its variable speed control, allowing users to adjust the cutting speed based on the material at hand. This feature proves invaluable when working on delicate projects that require a more delicate touch or when tackling tougher materials that demand a slower, more controlled approach.

Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw LXT 18V Li-Ion in use on wooden pipes

The combination of a powerful motor, advanced battery technology, and variable speed control makes the DJR185Z a versatile tool that excels in precision cutting across a spectrum of applications. Whether you’re a professional tradesperson or a DIY enthusiast with an eye for detail, the Makita DJR185Z stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing cutting-edge accuracy in every project.

Assessment of Visual Characteristics

When delving into the assessment of visual characteristics, it involves a comprehensive examination of the aesthetic elements and overall appearance of a subject. This process often entails scrutinizing design details, color schemes, symmetry, and any visual elements that contribute to the overall impression of the object under review. In the context of products, such as tools or gadgets, the assessment may extend to factors like user interface, display clarity, and the arrangement of components.

For instance, in the evaluation of a smartphone, the visual characteristics would encompass the design language, the quality of the display, and the placement of buttons or ports. In essence, this assessment seeks to unravel the visual appeal and ergonomic considerations that contribute to the user’s experience and the overall aesthetic harmony of the subject.

Comparable and Considerations

To provide a comprehensive view, let’s compare the DJR185Z with a couple of competitors in its class.

  1. Makita DJR185Z vs. Bosch GSA18V-083B:
    While the Bosch offers comparable power, the Makita’s brushless motor provides a more efficient and longer-lasting performance. Additionally, the ergonomic design of the DJR185Z edged out the competition in terms of user comfort during extended use.
  2. Makita DJR185Z vs. DeWalt DCS380B:
    The DeWalt model is a worthy contender, but the Makita’s brushless motor once again stands out, offering a longer tool lifespan. The DJR185Z also excels in battery life and overall cutting precision.
Table of Comparison vs. Competitors

Here’s a simple table comparing the Makita DJR185Z, Bosch GSA18V-083B, and DeWalt DCS380B reciprocating saws:

FeatureMakita DJR185ZBosch GSA18V-083BDeWalt DCS380B
Power Source18V Lithium-Ion Battery18V Lithium-Ion Battery20V Max Lithium-Ion Battery
Cutting PowerExceptional, versatileHigh cutting efficiencyPowerful and efficient
Battery LifeLong-lasting, consistentReliable runtimeExtended usage on a single charge
ErgonomicsCompact, ergonomic designComfortable grip, user-friendlyLightweight and well-balanced
Variable Speed ControlYesYesYes
Build QualityDurable brushless motor technologyRobust constructionSturdy construction
Weight3.08 pounds5.5 pounds6 pounds
Key AccessoriesBare-Tool (No battery included)Bare-Tool (No battery included)Bare-Tool (No battery included)
Price Range$135.46 USD$126.80 USD$99.00 USD

In this comparison, the Makita DJR185Z, Bosch GSA18V-083B, and DeWalt DCS380B each bring unique strengths to the table. The Makita DJR185Z shines with exceptional cutting power, a long-lasting Li-Ion battery, and an ergonomic design. The Bosch GSA18V-083B emphasizes high cutting efficiency and user-friendly features, while the DeWalt DCS380B boasts a powerful motor and extended usage on a single charge. The choice among these reciprocating saws depends on specific preferences, application requirements, and the user’s existing battery ecosystem.

Pros and Cons

  • Exceptional Cutting Power: The Makita DJR185Z impresses with its outstanding cutting power, effortlessly slicing through a variety of materials such as lumber and metal pipes. This feature is essential for users tackling diverse projects, providing efficiency and reliability in every cut.
  • Long-lasting Li-Ion Battery: The Li-Ion battery of the DJR185Z stands out for its impressive longevity. During testing, the battery demonstrated consistent performance, allowing users to complete a series of demanding cuts on a single charge. This extended battery life is crucial for uninterrupted workflow and contributes to the overall efficiency of the tool.
  • Ergonomic Design for Comfortable Use: The saw’s compact and ergonomic design is a notable pro, making prolonged use comfortable and user-friendly. The anti-slip grip and well-balanced weight distribution enhance control, reducing fatigue during extended work sessions. This attention to ergonomics ensures a positive user experience, especially for tasks that require precision and extended operation.
  • Durable Brushless Motor Technology: The DJR185Z incorporates brushless motor technology, enhancing its durability and overall lifespan. This feature not only contributes to the tool’s longevity but also ensures consistent and efficient performance over time. Users can rely on the DJR185Z for extended periods without worrying about motor wear and tear.
  • Tool-Only Purchase: A potential drawback for some users is the tool-only purchase, particularly for those without existing Makita batteries. While this allows flexibility for users who may already own compatible batteries, it can be a limitation for individuals entering the Makita ecosystem for the first time. The additional investment in batteries may be a consideration for those looking for a comprehensive package.

Consideration Points for Decision-Making

For those placing a premium on performance in a reciprocating saw, the Makita DJR185Z stands out as a premier choice, showcasing exceptional cutting power and a durable Li-Ion battery adept at handling a variety of materials. Beyond its performance merits, the DJR185Z distinguishes itself with an ergonomic design, catering to individuals who prioritize comfort during extended usage. Its compact structure, well-distributed weight, and anti-slip grip collectively contribute to a controlled and comfortable user experience, reducing fatigue during prolonged tasks.

When evaluating the value for money, the DJR185Z justifies its marginally higher initial cost through the resilience of its brushless motor and overall sturdy construction. The brushless motor not only extends the tool’s lifespan but also ensures consistent and efficient performance over the long haul. This durability establishes the DJR185Z as a dependable, enduring investment, providing users with sustained value and reliability in the realm of cordless reciprocating saws.


Having subjected the Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw to thorough and rigorous testing, it has unequivocally secured its position as a premier tool in my workshop. The amalgamation of its exceptional cutting power, impressive battery longevity, and thoughtful user-friendly design sets the DJR185Z apart from the competition. Whether you’re a dedicated DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, this reciprocating saw proves to be a reliable and versatile companion for a myriad of applications.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is the power source of the Makita DJR185Z?
    The DJR185Z is powered by an 18V Lithium-Ion battery, offering cordless convenience and maneuverability.
  2. How does the cutting power of the DJR185Z compare to other reciprocating saws?
    The DJR185Z exhibits exceptional cutting power, effortlessly handling various materials, making it a top performer in its class.
  3. Is the battery included with the purchase, or is it sold separately?
    The DJR185Z is often sold as a “tool-only” option, meaning the battery is not included. Users can utilize their existing Makita 18V batteries or purchase them separately.
  4. What is the runtime of the Li-Ion battery on a single charge?
    The runtime of the Li-Ion battery depends on the specific application and materials being cut. Generally, users can expect ample runtime for most tasks on a single charge.
  5. Can the cutting speed be adjusted on the DJR185Z?
    Yes, the DJR185Z features variable speed control, allowing users to adjust the cutting speed based on the material being worked on.
  6. How durable is the brushless motor in the DJR185Z?
    The brushless motor in the DJR185Z is designed for durability, providing a longer tool lifespan and consistent performance over time.
  7. Is the DJR185Z suitable for professional use, or is it more geared towards DIY projects?
    The DJR185Z is a versatile tool suitable for both professional and DIY enthusiasts, thanks to its cutting power, ergonomic design, and durable construction.
  8. Can I use blades from other brands with the DJR185Z?
    While the DJR185Z is designed to work seamlessly with Makita blades, users can generally use blades from other reputable brands as long as they are compatible with reciprocating saws.
  9. Does the DJR185Z come with any safety features?
    Yes, the DJR185Z is equipped with safety features, including a blade guard and anti-slip grip, enhancing user control and minimizing the risk of accidents.
  10. Is the DJR185Z suitable for precision cutting tasks?
    Yes, the DJR185Z’s variable speed control and ergonomic design make it well-suited for precision cutting tasks, allowing users to tailor the tool’s performance to the specific demands of the project.

We invite you to share your firsthand experiences and insights about the Makita DJR185Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw in the comments section below. Your valuable input can provide fellow users with practical insights and assist them in making informed decisions for their woodworking and construction needs. Whether you’ve encountered unique applications, have tips for maximizing its features, or simply want to express your satisfaction, your contributions are immensely valuable. Join the conversation and help build a community of informed tool enthusiasts!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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