Makita DJR185Z Review 

Thanks for taking your time to read our review of the Makita DJR185Z Cordless Li-Ion Mini reciprocating saw.  Below we have included a full and detailed review of this highly popular choice for UK buyers.

This is an 18V cordless reciprocating saw. It uses a jigsaw blade with a compatible blade clamp and adjustable shoe.

There are 2 switch levers with variable speed control. One of those is a trigger switch on the tool handle, and the second is a paddle switch on the tool body. Having those 2 switches make this compact reciprocating saw a great deal easier at any grip position yo may need to use.

You can see this saw in the image below, and underneath that, you can read our full review.

How Buyers Rate the Makita DJR185Z?

Buyer Satisfaction

94% buyer satisfaction based on 500+ online buyer reviews

  • 73% of all online buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • 6% of all buyers gave this a poor review

What Buyers Say about the Makita DJR185Z?


  • Buyers said this is a handy saw to have for cutting wood, pipes or tubing
  • Most buyers got a lot more use out of this than they thought they would
  • The majority of buyers said this is a small tool for small jobs and if used for those is very useful
  • Overall, most buyers bought one of these instead of buying a more expensive jigsaw


  • A couple of buyers said they were surprised this didn't come with a battery and charger
  • A few buyers said the cutting power was just too weak

It becomes clear when reading the reviews, that this is a compact reciprocating saw, designed to do those smaller jobs around the home and garden. It is advertised as a bare tool so you will need to have a compatible battery and charger, or be prepared to buy one.

Makita DJR185Z Specification

  • Measures 42 x 9 x 16.5 cm
  • Weighs 1.44 Kg
  • It needs a Makita 18 Volt battery for power
  • It comes with a hex wrench
  • It has a variable speed of 0 to up to 3,000 strokes per minute
  • The stroke length is 13 mm
  • It has a dual position on/off switch
  • There are 2 switch levers with variable speed control. - A trigger switch on the tool handle and paddle switch on the tool body 
  • There is a lock on button on either side of the handle
  • The shoe is adjustable by loosening / fastening a screw.
  • The blade clamp is compatible with both reciprocating blades and jig saw blades
  • You change the blade by using an Allen key so it doesn't have a tool less blade change
  • It also has an LED job light
  • It has a useful electric brake.
  • You need 18 Volt batteries LXT Type like BL 1830 or BL 1840 - it won't work with the older G series Makita batteries (Suitable with a 3.0 Ah or a 4.0 Ah battery)

Makita DJR185Z - 3 Key Features

2 Switch Position

One of the major complaints about all reciprocating saws, is that they usually only have a trigger switch on the handle. When using this type of saw, it is quite common to be holding it in some really strange positions.

Having 2 switches gives you a bit more versatility so as you can get it started depending on where your hands actually are. It sounds like a small feature, but it makes a huge difference to the overall operation.

Cutting Capacity

Please be aware the cutting capacity on this is small. It is not a typical sized contractor reciprocating saw. The maximum in wood is 50 mm, and MS pipe is 50 mm.

Variable Speed

This model has a nice range of variable speeds from 0-3,000 strokes per minute. The electric brake also means the blade stops a great deal quicker.

A very quick video review

We have looked over all the video reviews and found this great short presentation on this Makita power tool. It gives you an instant idea of what to expect as well as telling you all the features and specification in and easy to understand format.

We hope you enjoy watching it as I always think its much better to see a tool in action rather than just reading about it or seeing pictures. This guy is particularly good at explaining the features of the saw and he is well known for demonstrating Makita tools.

Best Makita Battery

  • 18 Volts Lithium-Ion battery
  • 6.0 Ah
  • 55 minute charge time
  • Weighs 660 grams
  • Includes a battery capacity indicator LED so you know how much charge is left.
  • Works with all power tools that feature a yellow connector plate or has a star on the connector plate
  • Suitable for tools like saws, blowers and trimmers

90% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ reviews

If you are not sure which battery is best for you then have a read at Best Makita Battery for some more helpful information.

The Makita Brand

The Makita brand sell a wide range of cordless tools and tools for the construction and demolition industries. They also sell some garden machinery. They sell their tools through various stores in the UK including B&Q, Screwfix, Cromwell, Jewson, Buildbase, Bradfords, Wickes and more.

Their HQ is in Japan. Their Telford manufacturing plant is the only full-production facility for power tools in the UK and has been successfully running construction on many of our top line cordless power tools since 1991.

Makita believe that for a good tool you need a good motor, and Makita makes every effort to make sure their motors are of the best quality. They use premium grade steel to produce armature shafts and gears, and only steel of the highest grade is used.

They also complete quality control tests on each and every, machine that leaves their manufacturing plants.

Our Verdict on the Makita DJR185Z

This is a useful tool to have in your garage or shed, and ideal for making small cuts. It is not suitable for making large cuts as the stroke length is 13 mm.

Any complaints we found about this saw were down to people wanting this saw to do larger cuts. It isn't designed to do that so just be aware of that.

It has some useful features such as the LED light and electric brake.

Our favourite thing about this saw is its versatility, with the two switch position, and the fact that you can use both reciprocating and jigsaw style blades.

If this is not the reciprocating saw for you, then check out our top 10 list of reciprocating saws by clicking here.

This Makita DJR185Z model is classed as a mini reciprocating saw, so not a full size one. We know it will be useful to have around when you need to make a few quick cuts.

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