As the least expensive saw in this test (by only $1) with only a 9-amp motor and 1" cutting stroke, my expectations for the Makita JR3050T were modest. But this well-built saw, with ball and needle bearings and “dust-proof” construction, proved to be a decent performer. The Makita ran a respectable time of 17 seconds in the 2x8 cutting test, generating vibrations on par with the DeWalt.
The JR3050T has an overmold on its grip that adds a degree of user comfort as well as a wide trigger (only the DeWalt and Milwaukee have single-finger triggers) which helps prevent index-finger strain. There’s a lock-on button for the trigger as well, to save fatigue during prolonged cutting. The saw’s built-in sawdust blower creates a blast of air from the motor’s fan. Unfortunately, the air does not blow sawdust from around the line of cut, so it’s not a useful feature.
At first, I was impressed with the Makita saw’s blade clamp, which has a comfortable-to-grip rubber over-mold and locks open, making blade changes very easy. But if the saw stops with the blade fully retracted, you can’t reach or operate the clamp. Definitely irritating. The Makita does boast the easiest tool-less foot adjustment of any recip saw: A simple push button secures the foot, which sets to any of five different positions.