While at the 2017 Makita New Products Event this year, we got a pretty good look at the impressive new 18v Cordless Steel Rod Flush-Cutter XCS02T1 ($1295, Kit), which is a solid alternative to hydraulic rebar cutting options like the Makita cordless XCS01 ($1999, bare). It has a brushless motor (looks to be the same as the brushless grinders) and can cut #8 60 grade threaded rod and rebar from 3-8”-1”. This is a slight step up in capacity from the Hydraulic Rebar Cutter, less expensive and leaves a cleaner cut.
The XCS02 Steel Rod Cutter uses a 4-5/16″ 24 tooth 15mm kerf carbide tipped circular blade, and looks pretty similar to any other Makita cordless grinder. The carbide tipped blade allows for spark free cutting and only generates a small amount of heat, cool enough to touch after cutting. The cutter has a flat bottom base that allows for cuts as close as 1/8” to base. This is a big advantage over the hydraulic cutter that works better in applications at odd angles due to its rotating head feature. It also has a weight advantage over the hydraulic cutter, the flush cutter weighs in at 8.8 lbs with a battery while the hydraulic cutter is nearly 3 times as heavy at 24 lbs.
The cutter has a small opening for rebar at the front of the blade that has an orange stopper that holds the rebar at a 90° angle for level cuts every time.