This morning, Makita finally announced plans for a US launch of their long-awaited new 40/80V platform, and no, it’s NOT what we thought it would be. People assumed that just like Milwaukee’s M18/MX, and DeWALTs 20V/60V Flexvolt systems, there would be an extension to Makita’s popular LXT. But no. As of today, there are TWO DIFFERENT Makitas. Let’s GO!
Over 15 years ago, Makita launched the LXT 18V platform, with the goal of building the cordless jobsite, one tool at a time, and over 275 tools later, they’ve just about done it.
But as nearly every brand has admitted so far, there is an upper echelon of power tools that out demand what the popular 18V platform can deliver. The response from companies like DeWALT and Milwaukee, has been to add additional platform tiers that reach higher into the power spectrum, but typically at the cost of form factor, and of course, the requirement to invest in two separate battery platforms.
Makita’s solution is… well… different. Instead of requiring you to ADD another platform to reach new heights, they’re building two completely different platforms, that each aims to be the only one you need. If you’re a finish carpenter, you’re unlikely to ever need to run a concrete breaker, or power a massive auger, so why use a larger battery platform. For that Makita has LXT ready right now, along with a padded roadmap of new solutions on the way.
But what if you’re a remodeler? You need a drill, and impact, a recip, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll need that breaker. Or a huge concrete saw for cutting out the new egress in a basement. Well, that’s what the XGT platform is for.
That, is why there is so much overlap between LXT and XGT. They both have competent drills, but if you’re investing in XGT, they don’t want you to have to keep LXT tools, batteries and chargers around.
If you’re already an LXT user, and you need more power, their plan is for you to LEAVE the LXT platform entirely, and fill every need with an XGT tool.
There are practically two different lines of Makita tools, and they’re asking you to choose a side. And I’ll tell you what, this makes a TON of sense to me. But then again, I’m not deeply invested in LXT, and now tasked with transitioning. They said they’re trying to make it easier by adding this battery adapter, so you can immediately toss your LXT chargers, but that’s it.
But if you can make the switch, XGT promises a lot. For starters, 50 new tools on day one. Which will be sometime this month. They have new brushless motors with a higher volume of copper windings and some high-quality rare earth magnets, both of which improve run time. They say that select XGT equipment can deliver up to two-times faster application speed than corded versions, which sounds like a thing.
When you look at some examples of their new lineup, you’ll see Hammer Drills with big power, in a smaller package, Recipes that claim to be 70% faster, and even a 10 ¼” circular saw that’s set to take on the cordless Sawsquach.
There’s a lot of detail to unpack in the coming weeks, and later this month we’ll finally get to try them out ourselves, and stop taking Mike and Dwayne’s word for it. Can’t trust those two. But for now, this new strategy is gonna take some time to sink in. Let me know what you think. Try to imagine if Milwaukee launched MX, but with much smaller batteries, and MX versions of their impact. How would you have reacted to that? If you’re already an LXT soldier, what do you plan to do now? Are you ready to switch to XGT?