In a netshell Makita is launching a totally new line of cordless tools XGT which is a New 40V Max platform that will be completely independent of their current 18V LXT. According to Makita there will be no compatibility with 18V LXT on batteries, tools or chargers it’s a completely side-by-side line of tools. No specifics on what will happen to Makita’s current 36V platform (yes, they actually have a 36V currently) but hard to imagine that sticking around. The lineup will launch in Japan first and USA later in 2020.
So why no Multi-Volt Solution?
The announcement has been up for a few hours at this point, so naturally on social media there have been hundreds/thousands of comments and questions, most common seems to be why not multi-volt setup like Dewalt and Metabo HPT (tool brand formerly known as Hitachi)?? We can’t say for certain as this strategy has worked very well for Dewalt with their FlexVolt / 20V platforms. Makita remains committed to 18V LXT commenting they’ll be launching 250 new 18V products in 2020 which would practically double their lineup within that time frame. They have launched several items already that were compatible with their 12V & 18V platforms (radio, coffee maker, etc) so who’s to say we might not see something like this in the future with 18V & 36V but no immediate plans.
Why Does this 40V have a shot where every other 36V / 40V failed?
So pretty much every other major tool brand has already done a separate stand alone 28V, 36V or 40V from Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch and even Makita and all have pretty much failed. Why might this new Makita succeed? We do think without a tie into their existing 18V platform it will be a much tougher road because essentially it’s a totally new platform which will compete with their own 18V product line. When Milwaukee V18 and Dewalt 18V went from those platforms to totally new M18 and 20V Max respectively they saw a shake up with existing customer base and competitors attacked like vultures, this is still evident in any brands marketing pitches today.
What we really like about the new Makita 40V XGT cordless is the style of battery with 4.0Ah and 2.5Ah that are much closer to size of standard 18V everyone prefers. Previous 36V/40V platforms have all had massive batteries which made drills and impacts (the most common tools used) heavy and awkward so it really became essential for users to still use 18V tools as well. The new XGT Impacts and Hammer Drill look to be a fairly compact design and we expect to become some of the most powerful on the market when launched. This makes it possible to fully switch your core tools all over to the new XGT platform.
What Tools are in the 2020 Launch of Makita XGT 40V?
While initial info is not set for the USA it looks as thought the first tools to hit Japan in the XGT line up will be a Drill/Driver, Hammer Drill, Impact Driver, Grinder, Circular Saw, Recip Saw, SDS-Plus and a Miter Saw that has a slick looking forward facing guide rail (similar to the Festool Kapex design).
All of these tools have very similar tools in Makita’s current 18V LXT or 18Vx2 configurations so it’s hard to imagine this not splitting some of the current loyal Makita user base up in some way. They’ll have to ramp up very very quickly if they hope to turn this new independent line up into a fully-fledged stand alone platform as most other tool brand’s voltages are in the hundreds of SKUs already and if there 1 thing the last decade has taught us users want as few different chargers/platforms as possible.