A couple of months ago, we asked what the new Makita XGT cordless power tools would be like. Well, now we know. Makita recently shared a teaser about their new XGT 40V Max cordless power tool system.
At this time, there is a lot we know about the new Makita XGT cordless power tool launch, but there are also lots of questions.
Let’s start by talking about what we know so far.
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Makita XGT 40V Max Batteries
Makita XGT will be a 40V Max cordless power tool system.
This isn’t the first time Makita has gone with “Max” voltage designations, but it’s still interesting to note that this is a 40V Max system and not 36V. This is presumably to differentiate the new XGT tools and batteries from Makita’s existing 36V platform.
Makita XGT batteries have as few as 10 Li-ion cells.
What this means is that, in theory, a Makita XGT battery pack should not be any larger than 10-cell 18V battery packs, depending on the cell technology within.
There will be 2 battery sizes to start with – a 40V Max 2.5Ah battery (BL4025), and a 40V Max 4.0Ah battery (BL4040). It’s the 2.5Ah battery that is shown as being built with 10 Li-ion cells. Both of these Makita XGT batteries have LED fuel gauges with 4 indicator positions.
Is the new Makita XGT 40V Max 4.0Ah battery built with larger cells than the XGT 2.5Ah battery? It could be that the 2.5Ah battery is built with 18650-sized Li-ion cells, and the 4.0Ah battery with 21700-sized cells.
Makita XGT Impact Driver
Makita says that XGT will be a Smart System, and they show off a number of new tools, starting with this XGT-branded brushless impact driver.
From the apparent size of the battery packs, I would have guessed that Makita XGT are based on 21700-sized Li-ion cells. However, 21700-sized cells usually start at 3.0Ah. Therefore, I would be led to believe that the 2.5Ah battery is based on 18650 cell technology, and the larger 4.0Ah battery might built with larger 21700-sized Li-ion cells.
It’s also difficult to gauge battery size based on Makita’s impact drivers, since theirs are among the most compact cordless impact drivers that exist today.
Makita XGT Drills
There’s also a beefy-looking Makita XGT brushless hammer drill/driver.
There will be both drill/driver and hammer drill versions.
Makita XGT Reciprocating Saw
Here’s a look at the new heavy duty Makita XGT reciprocating saw, which is also presumed to be powered by a brushless motor.
Makita XGT Circular Saw
Here’s the new Makita XGT brushless circular saw.
Makita XGT Miter Saw
The Makita XGT line will also be launching with a brushless cordless miter saw, although it’s not clear as to what blade size it will use.
Makita XGT Rotary Hammer
If the new Makita XGT brushless rotary hammer is shown equipped with the 2.5Ah battery, what kinds of other tools will be coming out that can take advantage of the 4.0Ah battery?!
Makita XGT Angle Grinder
Here’s the XGT angle grinder/cut-off tool.
At first I thought the Makita XGT angle grinder was just a cut-off tool, but this image cleared things up.
Is it me, or does the Makita XGT angle grinder handle look slim and somewhat futuristic? Is it the rendering?
Makita XGT Battery Charger
There’s a new Makita XGT charger, DC40RA.
Until someone can translate the Japanese captioning in Makita’s promo video, I’m going to assume that this imagery of Makita XGT tools, batteries, and chargers playing well with each other means that it’ll be its own system.
The batteries are said to have an IP56 rating for water and dust resistance.
Makita XGT Cordless Power Tools Launch Summary
Remember, these are international designations. Makita USA has not announced these tools for US release yet. We previously asked Makita USA about when XGT details would be available but never heard back.
- Impact driver: TD001G
- Circular saw: HS001G, HS002G
- Hammer drill: HP001G
- Drill/driver: HP001G
- Miter saw: LS001G
- Rotary hammer: HR001GRDXV, HR001GRDX
- Angle grinders: GA001G (100mm), GA002G (125mm)
- Reciprocating saw: JR001G
Take a look at the new Maktia XGT cordless power tool batteries.
Here’s a closer look.
Here’s a Makita 18V 5.0Ah battery.
I imagine that the top question will be whether the new Makita XGT 40V Max cordless power tools and batteries be compatible with Makita 18V LXT cordless power tools and batteries? From appearances, I don’t think so.
If Makita 40V Max XGT cordless tools, batteries, and chargers were cross-compatible with Makita 18V tools, batteries, and chargers, then wouldn’t Makita’s initial launch information mention this in any way? Because it doesn’t, that’s a very strong suggestion that there won’t be any cross-compatibility.
The new Makita XGT cordless power tool system also does not look to be a multi-voltage system in the same manner as Dewalt FlexVolt or Hitachi/Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt systems.
Will Makita XGT be replacing their 18V lineup? I don’t think so, and I would also hope not.
Why would Makita come out with a 40V Max cordless power tool system? Well, 18V cordless power tools are compact, but there’s a limit as to how much power Makita’s current-generation 18V batteries can deliver. That’s why their 18V X2 cordless power tools are powered by pairs of batteries, effectively making them 36V tools.
36V cordless power tools have been popular with some users, but such product lines have been very limited in the past. 18V cordless power tools are often much smaller, lighter, and less expensive, making them more popular choices for most tool users today.
With Makita’s 18V X2 system, the tool brand gave users the ability to use higher-powered 36V-class tools with 18V batteries that are tied to a larger and popular system of more compact cordless power tools. But, Makita’s 18V X2 cordless power tools are still somewhat large and heavy compared to 18V-class tools.
With this new Makita XGT cordless power tool system, it seems that users will get 36V/40V Max -class performance in what look to be 18V-sized tools.
Makita seems to have reached the ceiling as to what they can do with their 18V Li-ion battery packs. Among their competitors, most notably Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, and even Metabo HPT, Makita is the only one that has not yet moved to 18V battery packs built with larger form factor Li-ion cells. That puts them at a disadvantage with respect to designing and powering the next generation of cordless power tools.
Starting fresh with the new XGT 40V Max cordless power tool system, assuming there is no cross-compatibility with their 18V system, will give Makita greater freedoms in designing their next-gen power tools.
I would imagine that some tools might come out to both platforms. It’s hard to guess about what could happen, at least until the XGT line is announced in the USA and we can ask Makita USA for official comments and clarity.
Back when I first learned about Makita XGT from their trademark application, I predicted that either:
- XGT might be a complementary technology, such as a new series of higher performing battery packs built with larger form factor Li-ion cells, similar to Milwaukee’s M18 HD and HO battery technology, or Bosch’s CORE18V.
- XGT might be a new and distinct cordless system that stands apart from their 18V LXT product catalog, perhaps similar to Dewalt’s FlexVolt cordless power tool platform, or Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt system.
The two possibilities were not mutually exclusive, and we don’t yet have full details. But, all of the information we have so far points to Makita XGT being a brand new and separate cordless power tool system.
Speaking objectively, I believe that the new Makita XGT cordless power tool system puts them in a better competitive position, and will also better equip them to design and develop a new generation of cordless power tools.
At this time, we only know a little about what’s coming to the new Makita XGT cordless system, and not yet enough to answer the question of “why should users buy these tools over other available options?”
Makita XGT offerings have the potential to outperform 18V-class tools, but we don’t yet know how Makita will utilize that potential to deliver real-world advantages for users.
In other words, we’re excited at finally learning what XGT is all about, but we haven’t learned enough to be excited about the new tools, batteries, or tech just yet.
Following is Makita’s launch video. Please let us know if you can gather any additional details from the captions.