Your next cordless power tool could very likely include Bluetooth. The communication protocol has been pushed hard in the consumer tech world for years. So why is the power tool industry adopting Bluetooth? Flexibility.
Makita’s cordless track saw and cordless vacuum both integrate its AWS Bluetooth technology to talk to each other. That means, when you begin your cut with the track saw, the vacuum turns on automatically. I found the system to work well after the first pairing. I did have to pair the duo a second time during a large build and a battery change, but the connection was solid otherwise throughout both days of building. This type of connection could also be made with an RF trigger, but I would speculate that the Bluetooth connection allows for future expandability in their product line and functionality.
As a track saw, it performed wonderfully. The cuts were crisp, and the track stayed exactly where I laid it down. The project I was building was made up of laminated baltic birch plywood, 11⁄2” thick. The Makita’s brushless motor (powered by dual 18-volt batteries) didn’t hesitate at all and held its charge throughout the bulk of the project. The track-lock lever was helpful in keeping the saw engaged before and after the cut. Dust collection was better than expected. After making a series of 34″ cuts, I was left with just a dusting on the table – everything else was captured by the HEPA vacuum.
— David Lyell
XPS01PTJ Plunge Saw Kit
This article appeared in the August 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.
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