Makita 5094DWD 14.4v Cordless 3 3/8” Circular Trim SawYou might not think you need the Makita 5094DWD 14.4v Cordless Circular Trim Saw Kit , until you own one and then life is not the same without it.

The first thing you notice about the saw is how small it is; not so much as a unit, but in terms of its blade size which clocks in at 3 3/8”. And while it isn’t going to be cutting through large stocks any time soon, this is a great little tool for cutting thinner pieces of stock. Clocking in at 4.6lbs and total length 12 5/8”, both including battery dimensions, the saw can be used for long periods of time without user fatigue setting in. The overall feel from front to back, is also incredibly well balanced for a saw of this size.

Powered by a 14.4v 2.6A NiMH single battery, the kit includes a multi-voltage charger kit and one 1.2A battery. The charger itself can handle both Makita pod-style NiCad and NiMh batteries ranging from 7.2v to 14.4v; the charging times themselves can vary based on voltage and capacity but on average, it takes an empty battery roughly 90 minutes to recharge.

Though the saw’s blades spin at a relatively slow speed of 1000 RPM compared to the 4-5000RPM of corded saws, it sufficiently cuts through most materials easily while preserving battery power. Most high speed motors tend to drain battery life faster as well. The Makita 5094DWD provides a solid mix of great performance and greater battery life.

As previously mentioned, the 3 3/8” diameter blade is smaller than most but does great work, with arbors of 15 mm, each blade offering 20 carbide tipped teeth, a thickness of 0.028” and a 0.039” kerf. The supplied blade (it should be noted that outside of Makita resellers, replacements might be harder to find) is both extremely sharp and long lasting; removing and replacing blades is a simple and painless setup. The saw is also easy to manoeuvre for a variety of different cuts, which is crucial for trim work.

The great thing about the Makita saw is that in a single pass, it provides the maximum cutting depth (15/16” at the 90 degree square setting), although at the 45 degree setting, the cutting depth is reduced to 11/16” which is only to be expected. A pointer allows you to set angles from 0 to 45 in 5 degree increments for the bevel cutting range, although we wouldn’t advise using the instrument’s degree measurement opting for a bevel gauge or digital angle folder.

The saw includes a set of standard features like an adjustable fence, arbor lock button and onboard hex key for changing blades. The depth control of the Makita 5094DWD is your regular depth type arm and screw fastener, although it does provide the added feature of a depth setting scale on the blade guard housing. The top most point of the adjustment arm marks the depth of the blade below the base plate against the scale on the blade guard housing making it a lot easier to set a cutting depth based on the thickness of the material used.

The base plate is constructed from pressed aluminum and can be slightly with the right amount of pressure and will, or at least, should hold up against heavy load considering the saw’s weight is insignificant. Its adjustment knobs are easily accessible and can be easily tightened or released.

We primarily used the Makita 5094DWD Circular Trim Saw Kit for trimming jobs around the house or trimming pieces or structures and where a basic miter saw wouldn’t cut it. We’ve found that the kit works well on both soft pine and hardwood although it does slowdown in the case of the latter. The best thing about this saw is that it can take ¾” marine plywood thickness and handle curves in the cut just as well along with providing great view of blade cutting area and cut lines, which are often shielded by the sheer sizes of larger saws. As stated earlier, this saw is also great for cutting thin (1/2” or thinner) sheet material making it a lot more manageable than table saws or other tools, to complete the job.

But these are just some of the uses we’ve put the kit to; you can use it to other tasks in the shop or for handling plunge cutting into solid surfaces. You don’t need to worry about the battery life; this tool can last a while as long as it’s been fully charged with the added advantage that when the battery’s dying, you will get a warning indicating either a recharge, or a replacement.

We would advise buying a back up battery most particularly if you’re using this commercially or if you’re just plain impatient, and don’t want to wait for the battery to recharge. And while you’re there, it might be useful to grab a couple spare blades saving you money and time hunting around for a suitable Makita reseller.

But overall, this is definitely a tool that we would recommend without reservations.