Makita has a new 64V Max cordless power tool system!
Images of a new Makita 64V Max cordless power tool battery first surfaced in 2020.
I contacted Makita USA with some questions at the time, and they completely evaded the subject.
Later that year, there were more sightings of a Makita 64V Max cordless power tool system, when images and videos seemingly taken at a Makita event surfaced on social media.
Fast forward a bit, and Makita USA announced XGT in North America, following its global launch more than a year earlier.
When XGT eventually launched here, Makita USA’s product managers emphasized how their 40V Max battery was designed to power everything from impact drivers to cordless outdoor power equipment.
Will XGT batteries like the massive 8Ah pack work great on a compact impact driver?
It seemed that Makita had abandoned their plans for a 64V Max system. 36V/40V Max XGT was the future, 64V Max was not.
At the time of XGT’s launch, Makita USA also pointed out competitors, namely Dewalt and Milwaukee, don’t have single-system solutions.
If you want the best from Milwaukee, you need their M18 batteries to power handheld cordless power tools, and MX Fuel to power their cordless light equipment.
If you want the best from Dewalt, you need their 20V Max batteries to power more compact and core cordless power tools, and FlexVolt batteries to power their heavier duty 60V Max tools.
But with Makita XGT, you get “ONE SYSTEM” that’s supposed to do it all.
There are still many holes in Makita’s XGT cordless power tool system. Where’s the jig saw? Brad nailer? Cordless air compressor? Cordless table saw?
Makita has 12V Max, 18V, 18V X2, which uses two 18V batteries in tandem for 36V equivalent voltage, 40V Max XGT, which is an 18V-size battery with 36V nominal voltage, and 80V Max, which is essentially XGT X2 with two 18V-size 36V batteries that together provide 72V nominal voltage.
And now, Makita has launched 64V Max.
When Milwaukee launched their MX Fuel line of cordless equipment, they made the argument that 18V-sized cordless power tool batteries were never designed for the type of equipment that can be battery-powered today.
There was always the desire for a “cordless jobsite”, but when most modern Li-ion platforms were first designed, nobody could have imagined that in 10+ years professional users would be able to replace gas-engine tools, generators, and AC-powered equipment with cordless tools.
Milwaukee MX Fuel was designed for the next-level-up light equipment that can be battery-powered.
When they introduced the XGT system here, Makita USA tried to poke holes in their competitor’s rationale, arguing that it was better for one battery system that can do it all.
Well, it looks like Makita took some notes and brought 64V Max back to the drawing board.
Here is what the new Makita 64V Max cordless power tool battery looks like.
To me, this looks like a lead acid battery with a handle. Looks great! This is definitely going to work better for certain tools than a cordless power tool slide-style pack.
How many Li-ion battery cells is it built with?!
A 64V Max battery, which would likely deliver ~57.6V nominally, would have a minimum of 16 batteries. 16 x 3.6V = 57.6V nominal, or “64V Max” if you consider Li-ion cells measure ~4.0V when they’re right off the charger and before any load is applied.
If this battery is built with 4.0Ah cells, such as 21700-sized 4.0Ah cells, the battery pack should have 16 cells inside. If it’s built with 2.0Ah cells, such as 18650-sized, the battery pack should have 32 cells inside.
Here is the battery on its charger.
I wonder, what else will Makita power with this 64V Max battery?
It seems fitting for lawn mowers, snow blowers, powered wheel carts and wheel barrows, and other such equipment.
Handheld tools? Not a chance, I don’t think.
But on the other hand, the 4Ah battery looks to be a manageable size. Footage of their earlier model made the battery look awkwardly large for a slide-style battery. The final design looks to be much-improved.
Here’s a thought – will Makita also goes the “X2” route as they have done with 18V X2 and “XGT 80V Max”?
If so, 64V Max x 2 would be 128V Max, or 115.2V nominal, which is very close to the US’s 120V AC electrical standard.
Makita filed patents for a cordless planer, and it was assumed a hypothetical machine would be powered by 2x XGT batteries.
Makita’s standard XGT batteries still only have 10 Li-ion cells, just like their standard 18V batteries. 64V Max could just be what’s needed to power Makita’s next higher generation of cordless power tools.
It looks like Makita’s first 64V Max cordless power tools are two cordless mowers. What do you think is next?
Unfortunately, there’s no compatibility between Makita’s 18V and XGT cordless power tool systems, aside from a one-way charging adapter, and it seems unlikely for the new 64V Max cordless power tool system to be compatible with either 18V or XGT systems.