Makita 18V LXT Cut-Off/Angle Grinder – Our In-Depth Review
Editor Rating: 4.8/5
Makita 18V LXT Cut-Off/Angle Grinder Review
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: January 8, 2019
January 8, 2019 @4:24 pm
An angle grinder is a tool that plays a major role in almost every project you decide to tackle. Whether you’re an avid professional or are just looking to cut a piece of metal quickly and with precision, an angle grinder is a must-have. However, today’s market is quite saturated with all kinds of different tools including the ones that are simply not worth the investment.
Finding the one that actually deserves your money isn’t an easy task, especially if you have no previous experience. In case you’re looking for a decent tool and aren’t sure about the do’s and don’ts, take a moment and check out our review as it is designed to offer you a better insight into the advantages and shortcomings of the XAG04Z model. Once you get familiar with its features and capabilities, making the decision of whether to invest is going to be much easier.
- Weight – 5.6 lbs with battery
- Dimensions – 14-1/4” long
- Power – Brushless motor 8500RPM
- Active Feedback sensing technology
- Automatic Speed Change
- 3-stage LED gauge
Makita XAG04Z – The Basics
The good thing about this particular tool is that it’s suitable for both demanding projects and light repairs. Whether you’re a contractor or a hobbyist, this angle grinder should meet your expectations. Given that it’s battery-powered, there are some limitations you should be aware of, like for example, loss of power when battery levels are low. However, thanks to the new LXT line of batteries that have a 30-minute charging time, you shouldn’t worry too much about downtime in the first place.
The BL brushless motor is also a nice addition in comparison to brushed units because it has a longer runtime and it isn’t as susceptible to sudden malfunctions. On top of that, brushless motors are by far more efficient in comparison to their brushed cousins because it’s electronically controlled to optimize battery use for up to 50% longer run times per charge.
The design is pretty typical for Makita’s standards. The tool is made of hard and durable materials, it’s relatively lightweight, and most importantly – it has good ergonomics. The vibrations are mitigated by the rubberized hand grip which offers a firm grip at the same time ensuring stability and consistency. This is good news for people who work with angle grinders for several hours a day because it prevents fatigue and exhaustion. Therefore, you can work longer without having to worry about the adverse impact of the accompanying vibrations.
The slide switch with lock-on function is a useful feature as well. While some people consider it trivial, we think it certainly deserves to be mentioned. It’s not going to change the way you operate the machine itself, but it definitely does improve operator convenience.
The Active Feedback-sensing technology is designed to turn the motor off as soon as the rotation of the wheel is suddenly forced to stop. In other words, the machine stops working immediately after the main rotor is unexpectedly affected by outside influences. The protective shroud is made of hard plastic and is sturdy enough to withstand rough conditions, but it would have been better if it were made of metal.
Nonetheless, it’s easy to remove it and clean it of debris in order to maximize safety. Needless to say, you should never operate an angle grinder without the protective shroud even though it’s slightly faster because you’ll significantly jeopardize your own safety for very little gain.
This tool uses the new line of 18V LXT batteries that have a great charging time and can last longer due to the technology found within the BL brushless motor. The only downside is that the battery isn’t included meaning you’ll have to buy one separately. However, if you already own a Makita tool that utilizes the same type of battery, you can use that one interchangeably.
Easy to use
Great for quick cuts
Lacks power for more serious endeavors
Things we liked about it
This tool is quite efficient and effective. It’s not the fanciest one around, but it does the job, and it does it well. As we’ve mentioned, if you’re looking for a decent angle grinder with a nice set of functions and safety features, the ZAG04Z might be a good solution. It won’t make you tired and it will cut through thick pieces of metal without breaking a sweat.
The brushless motor is also a nice touch and it’s surprising that they have included a brushless motor in this price category. Speaking of price, the affordability of this unit is also one of its upsides.
Things we didn’t like
There aren’t many inherent disadvantages, to begin with. Some people have an issue with power dropping due to low battery levels, but that is to be expected as most tools work on a similar principle. However, the 30-minute charging time isn’t considered to be much of a downtime issue in the first place.
Another thing most people were surprised about is the fact that the battery isn’t included with the unit. While this isn’t a disadvantage per se, you should always read the fine print before placing an order because you’ll end up getting the tool only and you’ll have to buy a battery separately..
Most people who have had any experience with this particular model seem satisfied with its performance. Some users said that it could sometimes be a nuisance to recharge the battery, but that’s more of a user’s responsibility than it is a flaw. If you keep your batteries at a reasonable charge level, they shouldn’t cause any major issues. We think this unit could be a worthy investment for people who occasionally decide to tackle a project. As far as professionals go, they can also benefit from it, but it isn’t a game-breaking benefit.
As far as quality angle grinders go, we can safely say that this unit falls into that category. It’s an affordable tool suitable for mid-sized projects that require speed and precision. As you may assume, it’s not the best thing on the market by any stretch, but it offers more than enough features and functionality for the vast majority of applications. The battery holds a good and long charge, it has only a 30-minute recharge cycle, and it’s compatible with all other Makita products from the same LXT line.
Bear in mind, the battery and charger are not included with this product and should be bought separately.