Makita 40V Max XGT Rear-Handle Circular Saw Review

Stacked Sheet Goods and 3x Lumber A No Match For The Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw

The Makita XGT 40V Max tools are designed for demanding applications where a high-powered solution is necessary to get the job done right. Straight away, we see that the Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw has many of the features we’ve come to expect from a pro-grade tool and a few extras that have us pretty excited. We’re also going to dive a little deeper into this saw’s specs and then see how it stands up to some of the challenges Pros are facing in the real world.

Author’s Note: Don’t forget to check out our top picks for the Best Cordless Rear-Handle Circular Saws of 2023!

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw Performance

  • No-Load Speed: 6400 RPM
  • Cut Capacity at 90°: 2-9/16 in.
  • Power Equivalent: 15 AMP
  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 in.
  • Max Bevel: 53°

Rear-handle saws really shine in situations that demand brute strength in order to maintain blade speed. The Makita GSR01’s speed tops out at 6,400 RPMs, almost 2,000 RPMs faster than its corded counterpart. Its brushless motor generates power equivalent to a 15-Amp motor, making this a great replacement for your old-school corded saw.

As you would expect, bevel and height adjustments are both tool free for making quick changes on the fly. This saw has a max cutting depth of 2-9/16 inches which allows it to easily cut 3x dimensional lumber and tackle rip cuts in triple-stacked 3/4-inch sheet goods. As we saw on the Makita GSH01 40V Circular Saw, Makita utilizes a three-position dial which lets you quickly set the bevel to 22.5°, 45°, and 53°.

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw

When it comes to making the cut, the saw cuts really well and there’s more than enough torque behind the blade to maintain those RPMs. It performed exceptionally well while making a difficult 45-degree compound miter cut in our pressure treated 2×10. The saw was able to glide through the board with ease and stayed very true to our cut line with very little extra effort.

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw

Furthermore, it sailed through our stacked 3/4-inch OSB sheets like a hot knife through butter. In many cases, the saw cut faster than we could, or would on the jobsite.

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw Design Notes

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw
  • Model: Makita GSR01Z
  • Power Source: Makita 40V battery
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs. (bare), 12.4 lbs. (with 4.0Ah battery)
  • Length: 17-1/2 in.
  • Shoe and Guard Material: Magnesium
  • Arbor: 5/8 in.

When it comes to rear-handle saws, “compact” isn’t really the name of the game…but that’s okay! The Makita GRS01 weighs in at 12.4 pounds with the kitted 4.0Ah battery and measures 17-1/2 inches from tip to tail. While this is a heavy saw, Makita’s smart use of magnesium components helps to reduce the total weight.

This saw’s larger rear handle is draped in a textured rubber overmold with molded grooves that channel away sweat and help maintain a secure hold on the tool. Additionally, there’s an angled top handle to help stabilize and support the saw during long rip cuts.

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw

One stand-out feature is the integrated dust chute located at the front of the saw. As the blade comes up and makes contact with the wood, it naturally forces dust and chips upward and they are directed out to the right side of the saw rather than a rear discharge. While there is a removable rubber dust port plug, we found that cutting with the plug out produced much better results concerning dust management.

Makita Rear-Handle Circular Saw Quick Comparison

5377MG GSR01
No-Load Speed 4,500 RPM 6,400 RPM
Max Cutting Depth 2-3/8 in. 2-9/16 in.
Blade Diameter 7-1/4 in. 7-1/4 in.
Power Source 15-Amp Corded 40V Battery
Max Bevel 51.5° 53°
Weight 13.2 lbs. 12.4 lbs.

Additional Features

  • Tether ready for working at height
  • Onboard tool storage
  • Folding rafter hook
  • Electric brake

Makita 40V Rear-Handle Circular Saw Price

The Makita GSR01 retails for $279 as a bare tool and $449 as a kit. The kit includes a single 40V 4.0Ah battery, a single port charger, and a carrying case. Makita backs this saw with a 3-year limited warranty.

The Bottom Line

The Makita GSR01 Rear-Handle Circular Saw is without a doubt a Pro level tool. The feature set is solid, highlighted by the lightweight magnesium components, formidable powerhouse, and the quick-change bevel adjustment dial. Folks looking for a genuine replacement for their old corded worm drive saw should give this some serious consideration.

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