A couple of readers sent in tips about Makita X-Lock angle grinder displays they spotted at their Home Depot stores.
I eventually came across one such display at my local store, and I’ve been checking it every time I head in there. They don’t seem to be selling many (any?) of these X-Lock grinders or wheels, or at least none of the products seem to be moving.
Bosch announced the X-Lock interface system 2 years ago, and it looks like Makita is licensing the interface tech for select tools and accessories.
The interface does looked promising, but it’s also proprietary. I have not tried it out yet. Our Bosch sample was lost in the mail a long time ago, and I haven’t chased one down since then. We asked Makita for test sample, but it seems they’ve blacklisted us.
I have also been checking online retailers’ pages to see if there are any user reviews, and after more than 2 months, all I have seen are “Seed Program” (free consumer review sample program) user reviews. What does that suggest?
Personally, I prefer Dewalt and Milwaukee cordless angle grinders, and for corded I prefer Metabo. I should point out that I have used more cordless grinders and cut-off tools than corded. If I ever buy another corded grinder, the Dewalt’s are hugely popular, and some of Bosch’s models have been on my watchlist.
So, are people avoiding these Makita X-Lock grinders because they prefer other brands? Is it because X-Lock is a proprietary interface that has not yet gained widespread appeal? Is it because these products and accessories are said to be exclusive at Home Depot and users have sourcing concerns?
Is there some other reason?
Or have some of you purchased these grinders and everyone has been too busy to submit online tool reviews?
I’ve heard some complaints about accessory pricing – is that it? Let’s take a look – I picked a random accessory type from Home Depot’s list of Makita X-Lock accessories for comparison purposes – a 60 grit flap disc.
Here are 3 brands of 4-1/2″ 60-grit Zirconia abrasive Type 27 flap discs.
* At the time of this posting, save 20% on 2 select Bosch items.
Ouch – maybe pricing is the big detractor.
I can understand X-Lock accessories being more expensive than standard angle grinder accessories, such as $8 for the Bosch vs. $5 for the Dewalt. If you shop around, the Bosch X-Lock is as affordable as more premium traditional-arbor flap discs.
The Makita at $14 is nearly 3X the price of the Dewalt, and you’re locked to a very small list of brands. Even if the Makita accessories aren’t attractively priced, there are other X-Lock accessory makers, such as Bosch.
I wondered if this was a 2-pack, but it’s not, package quantity: 1.
But if you’re going X-Lock, Bosch seems like a better idea, especially if you’re going cordless.
Or stick with traditional-style angle grinders, available from a much wider range of brands and compatible with more 3rd party brands.
If shopping for a new cordless angle grinder that didn’t have a proprietary accessory interface, I’d go with the Dewalt 20V Max Power Detect 4-1/2″ to 5″ model over anything Makita offers. I’ve been using this one a bit and haven’t found it lacking in any way.
Some Makita accessories are decently priced – their 1/4″ impact socket accessories are a good buy.