Makita has come out with a new cordless router kit, XTR01M8J. Unfortunately, this is just a new kit configuration for their existing 18V router, rather than a new model.
I recently posted about the new Makita XGT 36V/40V Max cordless router that’s now available overseas. (Makita USA has not responded to inquiries as to the XGT router’s USA availability.)
As Makita says that their new XGT cordless router performs 35% faster than their 18V router, the appearance of a new cordless router kit at US retailers quickly piqued my interest and attention.
My heart sunk a little when I realized this is just another 18V router, and then again when I realized it’s the same router that launched several years ago.
At the time of this posting, the Makita XTR01 router is available as a bare tool (XTR01Z) for $129, and as a kit (XTR01T7) for $399. There was also a single-battery and trim base-only kit (XTR01M8J) that was priced at $279.
The $399 kit gives you a (fixed) trim base, a plunge-cutting base, edge guide, fast charger, (2) 5.0Ah batteries, and a stackable tool box.
This new kit, XTR01M8J, comes with the router, edge guide, charger, (1) 4.0Ah battery, and stackable tool box.
Here’s where things get confusing.
The new Makita XTR01M8J kit looks to replace their XTR01T8J kit, which is no longer available at every online retailer that I checked.
Basically, Makita USA swapped out the 5Ah battery for a 4Ah battery.
At this time, the new 4Ah kit is priced at $279, which is what the 5Ah kit used to be priced at.
Makita USA did something similar with their 18V X2 cordless track saw. I thought the 4Ah kit could be a Black Friday or Holiday special, as Makita usually bundles lower capacity batteries in their promotional kits and “special buys.” But, it wasn’t a promotional SKU; the 4Ah kit seemingly replaced the 5Ah kit at all of the online retailers I checked.
In 2021, Makita USA launched new SubCompact cordless power tool kits that were bundled with 1.5Ah batteries, a size they list as discontinued on their website.
The new router kit still gives you a fast charger, and also the stackable tool case. It does not look like anything else has changed.
It is unclear what prompted these new kits with battery substitutions, or which tools Makita USA will give similar treatment to.
Is there a shortage of 5Ah Li-ion battery cells? Is this a way to help manage increasing costs?
Orange juice and ice cream used to be sold in half gallon quantities, before the “grocery shrink ray” reduced container sizes to offset higher costs. That could be what’s happening here, in a way.
Generally, 18V 5Ah cordless power tool batteries cost more than 4Ah batteries. So if costs are higher, swapping in a 4Ah battery could be a way to reduce costs, rather than keeping a 5Ah battery and raising kit pricing.
So is that what’s happening? Is Makita USA replacing 5Ah kits with 4Ah kits to avoid having to raise prices?
Are there marketing motivations behind this, now that Makita is also trying to grow their XGT 36V/40V Max userbase?
Personally, I’d rather miss out on the large tool box, especially given the compact size of a trim router, than pay the same amount for a 4Ah battery kit. But, at least they didn’t swap the standard fast charger for the slower charger bundled in “special buy” kits.
A 5Ah battery has 25% greater charge capacity compared to a 4Ah battery. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m buying a premium tool kit, I’d rather get a 5Ah battery, even if I have to pay a little more. But, that’s just my preference.
It is unclear if this and the other 4Ah kit substitutions are temporary or permanent.
When looking at listings for the international version of this router, I only found two-battery kits (5Ah), and single-battery kits that came bundled with a 6Ah battery.
Several years ago, another cordless toolmaker warned that the prices of 18650 Li-ion battery cells could go up over time, especially as 21700-sized cells become increasingly prevalent due to their preference in the electric vehicle market.
All of Makita’s 18V battery packs are built with 18650 cells; unlike other brands, Makita does not offer any 18V battery packs engineered with higher capacity and higher performing 21700-sized Li-ion cells.
Still, if these kit bundle changes were prompted by increased battery costs, as opposed to increased costs all around, Makita might not be the only brand having to make adjustments to their kit bundles.
Sadly, we have become inured to the shrinkflation that we experience at the supermarket. Same package that used to be hold 1 pound – down to 14 oz – then 12.6 and so on. This often comes under the guise of “new and improved”. But to me it’s disingenuous at best – if not just another way to scam us. So why am I not surprised that it has come to the power tool business? Maybe Makita would say that this is just a way to hold the line on the package selling price in the face of increased cost to them. I think – it’s better to be more forthright – take a leaf out of the Festool book – and declare a price increase.
Agree, I’d rather take the price increase. I was wondering what the heck was happening when this past seasonal starter kit had dual 4.0s, albeit $20 less than the prior season with 5.0s. I think even some of their mowers had 4.0s. And what about the 6.0s? Those batteries seem to have little interest or traction. If you asked me two years ago, I would have thought they’d be handing those out on promotion by now. Wouldn’t be surprised if Covid messed everything up…
I have this router and a few of those Makita cases, including one at that size. I can tell you, that box is wayyyy overkill for this setup. They should have downsized the box instead
I presume they’re gonna dump the NAINA XGT stuff on April 1st. Quite a backlog.
Yes, I have noticed the 4ah and 1.5ah kits masquerading as new products on the website. Festool adds new UPC’s of old products as “new” on their website too. It is what it is
I forgot to mention. If it makes you feel any better, Hikoki also has a 36v trim router but they brought an inferior 18v here (afterward) instead. They did the same with their die grinder. 36v in Japan and then released as an 18v here. Mind that they don’t even sell 18v batteries outside of the compact ones anymore.
Metabo HPT/Hikoki MultiVolt batteries work on 18V. Is there any benefit to having an 18V 5Ah battery if MultiVolt 2.5Ah/5Ah battery is effectively the same?
As for the cordless router, are there any differences between the 36V and 18V versions?
The biggest difference between comparable 18V and 36V tools – that I’ve seen – is that the 18V can use a compact battery and the 36V can use the AC adapter. Aside from that, performance should be comparable. (Again, speaking about HPT specifically.)
That Metabo-HPT AC adapter is quite a brick – can be used with the 36V router – but doesn’t make the tool very nimble. It’s probably a better idea for powering something like a miter saw or table saw. Still, it’s nice that they offer the option.
It’s probably the only router with a 20 foot long cord.
For factory models I think you’re right, but one of the first things I’ve done with nearly every corded power tool I own is to remove the factory cord and replace it with 25 feet (or more) of SO cord. That’s long enough to dispense with an extension cord for most jobs. And when an extension cord is required, it’s long enough that the junction between the two cords is not getting in the way of the work area. Meanwhile, it’s not so long that it interferes with storing the tool. In my opinion cords of that sort of length ought to be standard on most professional tier power tools.
There was a time when the copper price had increased dramatically, and some manufacturers were providing their low-end tools with stubby (1 foot) cords. Both Rockwell and B&D were doing this on things like drills sold at home centers. The other cost cutting that was irksome – were cords with cheap plastic outer insulation that became stiff (or worse yet brittle) in the cold.
If the 36volt has larger cells & more of them. The batteries should run cooler.
There’s a 2.5Ah/5Ah battery and a 4Ah/8Ah battery.
The MultiVolt 2.5Ah/5Ah is the same size as an 18V 5Ah would be.
Makit’s XGT 2.5Ah battery is also built with (10) 18650 cells, which is why it’s the same size and has no more energy capacity than an 18V 5Ah battery.
But the 4.0/8.0 ah 36volt has 21700 cells I think.
I know your talking voltage. But talking brands, the 18v models have no answer for the Metabo when mated to the 4.0ah/ 8.0ah battery. But there is the cons of added weight & balance issues. I’m not sure how much of a negative that truly is.
Maybe the larger batteries will fit the 18volt trim routers also.
What does that matter?
Rob said: Mind that they don’t even sell 18v batteries outside of the compact ones anymore.
To which I replied that the HPT MultiVolt batteries are equivalent and work in the brand’s 18V and 36V tools.
It’s a good approach, and one that I wish Makita could have taken with their 18V and 36V system.
We never got the 2.0Ah kits in Canada, they’ve been 1.5Ah all along which is extremely embarrassing if you ask me. AFAIK, Makita is the only pro tool brand selling brushless 18v tools with 1.5Ah batteries.
There is room for improvement on this router, especially on the height adjustment mechanism (i.e. no micro-adjust). Otherwise it runs well and I like it.
I want to praise Makita though for actually selling their mainline tool kits with their modular toolbox. It isn’t the best system (it does mate with the Festool system at least), but you know what? At least they don’t make you buy it separately.
Milwaukee should take note. Am I the only one bothered by this? I was shocked I can buy a $600 M12 laser that includes a really nice blowmold case with foam cutouts for the laser and accessories, but if I want it to be mobile via Packout I have to toss all that and start over with a different case and foam insert. This is nickel-and-dime nonsense on a $600 tool.
I’d rather buy stuff separately than in kits. That way you don’t wind up with a bunch of chargers, low AH batteries, boxes, etc. that I don’t want. Trouble is, the kits are usually cheaper. ..
Retailers now have “build your own bundles”. Where you can pick which tools you want in a bundle. Perhaps we may see “build your own kit” in the future!
Those bundles are often at full retail pricing, or part of aggressive promotions that change by the season, depending on what you’re talking about.
I agree with Stuart here, I’ve never seen a “build your own bundle” which was discounted to the degree that combo kits generally are, except for a handful of promos where there is a very restricted list to pick from.
Sometimes there are “buy more, save more” deals but those usually also have a restricted list of what tools qualify for the deal.
The bundles promotions i’ve seen are temporary deals(make your own bundles). And it’s actually tied to ‘buy more save more’. But you are able to pick your tools.
I’d love to use this in a CNC — is there an affordable adapter which would plug in where the batter pack connects and allow running the unit from a plug in the wall?
The battery could be in the mix as a power conditioner/backup, but I’d like to just have it run on mains power.
Not that I know of.
You should be able to use corded and cordless motors interchangeably – https://amzn.to/3hZJ3UR . So, it should fit in holders designed for the corded router.
You could use a laptop that will fall back to battery power if needed, but what’s going to keep the control circuitry stable should power be interrupted even temporarily? If you have an external battery backup for the control hardware, then you could just as easily plug an AC router motor to the same backup source.
Someone mentioned shrinkflation, which definitely might be true, but I also wonder if Makita would phase out their 5.0 LXT battery to further differentiate between the LXT and XGT lines? That would be hugely disappointing, but would make sense if Makita is concerned too many realize the 2.5 XGT and 5.0 LXT are essentially the same batteries.
Might this be a way of starting to downgrade and eventually sunset the entire LXT line? I picked up the Rear Handle LXTx2 saw a few black Fridays ago for $249 with four 5.0 batteries. Shame you won’t be seeing deals like that anymore.
Is this one still running the 3/8″ collet?
The bare tool comes with 1/4″ and 3/8″ collets. Makita’s website only lists the 1/4″ collet for this kit.