Makita XMT03Z Review

Editor Rating: 4.6/5

Great Product

Makita XMT03Z Review

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Jul 30, 2023 @ 2:48 pm

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Makita XMT03Z Review Summary:

The Makita XMT03Z is a multi-tool offering DIYers and contractors premium speed and power capabilities at a value for money price point.

With a six-speed control and a soft start feature, this machine enables you to choose the exact pace necessary for cutting, sanding, or scraping the specific material you’re working with. And, the tool-less blade change allows for accessories from other manufacturers — adding to the versatility of this multi-tool.

The Makita oscillating tool 18V has a 2.375-inch diameter rubber barrel grip, which makes handling the 4.9-pound (inc battery) multi-tool more comfortable. And, the 3.2-degree oscillation angle is there to speed up projects.

This bare-tool comes with two multi-tool adapters (the 313249-6 and the 196271-6) and a 1.25-inch plunge blade. Hence, if you need a charger and an 18-volt lithium cell, you’ll have to purchase these separately.

Makita Tools has a sterling reputation as one of the oldest and most dependable tool manufacturers in the business — having opened its doors back in 1915. The XMT03Z measures up to the brand’s promises of quality and power — offering superlative speed and power without the limitations of being tied to a mains cord. Unplugged awesomeness I’d say!

XMT03Z Specifications:

  • Voltage – 18 volts
  • Speed – 12 inches
  • Weight – Makita 18V LXT Battery
  • Size – 20,000 OPM


Lock button for the slide switch.
High oscillation angle.
3.2-degree oscillation angle.
Superior vibration control.
Comfortable rubber over-old for better grip.


Lacks an LED light.
Includes a brushed motor.

Makita XMT03Z Cordless Multi-Tool Features and Benefits

I’ve mentioned some of the prime features of the XMT03Z. Let’s dive into what makes this tool so amazing.

Powerful Motor

While cordless tools offer operational freedom, they often lack the brawn that their corded counterparts can provide. However, that’s not the case with the Makita XMT03Z.

The motor is capable of a range of between 6,000 to 20,000 OPM, meaning you’ll always have full control over the amount of power employed. And, you should have reserve power to spare while doing most jobs.

Six-Speed Setting

Multi-tools are adaptable time and money savers, that with the right accessories can perform many tasks — sanding, cutting, grinding, scraping, etc. Not all tasks are alike, and therefore some require different levels of power.

Think about it — you wouldn’t want to go all-out sanding a piece of furniture, which requires finesse. But, if you’re cutting a hole in drywall or sawing through wood, speed is essential.

The beauty of the six-speed settings is that it allows you to choose the exact pace necessary for your application.

Impressive Ergonomics

The comfortable handle incorporates a rubber over-old. This makes it an easy machine to work with, and one that’s unlikely to slip out of your hands — ideal for those precision cuts.

What’s more, the XMT03Z’s vibration control paired with the grip-comfort of the multi-tool will prevent you from feeling every single oscillation it generates. Thus reducing the likelihood of operational fatigue on time-demanding projects.

Soft Start Feature

All DIY enthusiasts will know the terrible jerk caused when you switch on a particularly brawny power tool. Given the powerful motor that the XMT03Z has, that sudden movement is inevitable. Or is it?

The Makita multi tool V18’s soft start feature proves the contrary and is a handy all-around attribute. It ensures that your start-ups are always smooth and comfortable, without the expected jerk.

Tool-Less Blade Change

Tool-less blade change is a feature that’s become common among multi-tools.

The Makita’s design is particularly easy to use — simply lift the lever directly behind the tool operating head and you have successfully released the pressure on the tool holder, in one step! The XMT03Z is now ready for you to swap out attachments without the faff of finding the tools to do it, saving you time and hassle.

3.2-Degree Oscillation Angle

The XMT03Z Makita multi-tool has a 3.2-degree angle of oscillation. The oscillating angle refers to the amount of distance that the cutting blade can move sideways — with most multi-tools having an oscillating angle of between 1.8 and 3.8 degrees.

Generally, the higher the angle, the more aggressive you can be while using the tool. A 3.2-degree angle is considered among the higher curve — allowing for faster cutting and sanding.

Star Protection Computer Controls

This is a communication technology designed by Makita. It monitors conditions during use and allows the tool and battery to interchange data to safeguard the unit against overloading, discharging, and overheating.

In short, it means that the tool will operate in peak condition while limiting the risk of damage — ultimately preserving the machine and increasing its longevity, which I’m sure you’ll appreciate.

Rapid Optimum Charger

The charger and battery are sold separately. However, the technology developed by Makita is effective, efficient and sets them above their competitors, and this warrants a mention.

The charger has built-in fans that cool the battery by forcing air through its vents, making the charging process faster — reducing unwanted downtime. The Makita’s 18V LXT ® Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah battery, according to the manufacturer, reaches a full charge in 45 minutes or less. It also communicates with a built-in chip throughout the charging process to optimize the battery life.

Battery Capacity Warning System

This thoughtful feature comes in handy in eliminating those job-site surprises caused by dead batteries. Flogging the dead horse usually doesn’t get him moving — and, in this case, the folks at Makita did their utmost to prevent you from having to deal with the ‘dead battery’ headache.

The battery capacity warning system switches the low-battery indicator light on and is engineered to automatically stop the motor if necessary — notifying the user that it’s time to charge the cell.

Makita XMT03Z Cordless Multi-Tool

Makita XMT03Z
Length12 inches
Weight (with battery)4.9 pounds
Power SourceMakita 18V LXT Battery
LED LightNo
Warranty3 Years
Oscillations Per Minute6000 - 20,000
Oscillation Angle3.2 degrees
Switch TypeSlide

What Users Say About the Makita XMT03Z

A thorough combing of the interweb confirms my initial thoughts of the Makita oscillating tool 18V.

Most owners mention this is an utterly reliable and very impressive tool. The versatility offered by the XMT03Z is probably its best selling point — alongside its vibration-dampening technology, which many users welcome.

Contractors and DIYers alike appreciate the lurch-free start-ups, its rapid cutting angle, and the wide range of speeds available — with most questioning how they could have functioned without this multi-tool in their toolboxes.

For the most part, the reviews were stellar, and the consensus is that this is a must-have tool. Who am I to challenge the hard-working masses?

Alternatives to the Makita Battery Multi Tool

Although the XMT03Z is an outstanding multi-tool, you might feel it isn’t the right fit for you — and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve got you covered — I’ve compiled a list of commendable alternatives that you’re sure to appreciate.

Dewalt DCS356B

The Dewalt DCS356B might appeal to those who are in search of a multi-tool that has an LED light.

This multi-tool has 3-speed settings versus the six options offered by the XMT03Z, which provides less range, yet its max OPM is the same — 20,000. The tool also boasts a brushless motor if that’s a dealbreaker for you. Plus, it’s also equipped with a tool-free attachment design.

  • DeWalt has an LED light, whereas the Makita XMT03Z doesn’t.
  • Both fall into a similar price bracket.
  • The DCS356B is trigger-switch operated, as opposed to the slide switch of the XMT03Z.

If you’ve decided that a brushless design is the way forward, the GOP18V-28N from Bosch could fit the bill.

This multi-tool delivers a speed of between 8,000 and 20,000 OPM and has a 2.8-degree oscillating arc for faster and more aggressive sanding and cutting. It also includes an LED light and a snap-in, tool-free accessory attachment with a release lever.

  • The Bosch has a 1-year warranty in comparison to the three years offered with the XMT03Z.
  • Incorporates a lower 2.8-degree oscillation angle vs. the 3.2 degrees of the Makita.
  • The GOP18V-28N is more expensive than the XMT03Z.


The Milwaukee 2626-20 might just be the power tool that satisfies the DIY control freaks among us. Providing speeds of 11,000 to 18,000 OPM in 12 settings — it enables you to fine-tune your pace — increasing accuracy.

And, it arrives with an LED light for dimly lit conditions, a tool-less attachment changer, and an ergonomic grip for more manageable multi-tool action.

  • The Milwaukee has 12-speed settings versus the six offered by the XMT03Z.
  • A 5-year warranty comes with the 2626-20, in comparison to the three years offered by the Makita XMT03Z 18V.
  • Includes a sander attachment plus sanding sheets — the Makita doesn’t.


The Makita XMT03Z is an exceptional solution for DIYers and tradespeople who want an oscillating tool for assorted job-site tasks.

Its versatility, battery warning system, and excellent vibration dampening set the Makita battery multi tool aside from its competitors. The power offered is unparalleled and allows you to carry out different tasks efficiently and effectively.

What’s more, its six speeds permit customized output necessary for your specific projects. And, the tool-less accessory change allows for rapid attachment switches — reducing downtime.

In my opinion, this multi-tool fulfills its guarantee of power, high quality, and user satisfaction. Thus, if you’re seeking value for money when comparing performance to cost, check out the Makita XMT03Z.

Makita XMT03Z Multi-Tool FAQs

Q: Is the Makita Multi Tool 18V Brushless?

No. However, Makita does offer a variety of brushless multi-tools. The XMT04ZB or the XT268T to name a few.

Q: Are Makita Batteries Interchangeable?

Yes, the LXT 18-volt cells are compatible with all Makita power tools that run from this battery type — drills, nailers, staplers, impact wrenches, grinders, and more.

Q: Which Makita Case Fits the Makita Multi-Tool 18V?

Makita offers a customizable tool case called an Interlock case. A trimmable foam insert is also available to fit any tool. Both would be additional purchases.

Q: Where Can I Find the Makita XMT03Z Manual?

You can access the manual for the Makita battery multi tool from the official Makita site. For rapid access to the XMT03Z manual.

Q: What Blades Are Compatible With the Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT?

The XMT03Z uses the OIS style fitting — it’s a 12-pin attachment format.