Makita recently introduced a new range of cordless power tools, the result of six years’ research among tradespeople.
Makita New Zealand product manager Paul Hadwin says cordless tools are very popular among professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike because they are so convenient to use.
“But the differences between brands are vast. Makita’s research indicated tradespeople want a lighter, more compact product with more power. So we designed a battery pack, using the latest lithium ion technology, on the 14.4V and 18V platforms,” he says.
“We then designed the products around the battery pack, taking into account the ergonomics of the product, which are very important, especially if the product is used for prolonged periods,” he says.
Mr Hadwin says Makita regards its new range of Lithium Ion Xtreme Technology tools as its most exciting development since its first cordless tool.
“There is a trend out there to design new generation batteries to fit existing equipment. In our opinion, that means the tool is not ideally balanced or comfortable in the worker’s hand any more.
“Makita LXT Lithium-Ion batteries fit the new range only — but the buyer gets a total package of excellence that combines cutting-edge lithium technology with cutting-edge tool design,” he says.
The new line-up offers drills, hammer drills, impact drivers, circular and reciprocating saws, angle grinders and an auto-feed screw gun.
Mr Hadwin says the current best seller is the LXT401, an 18V lithium ion cordless combo kit. The kit contains a 13mm hammer drill, 165mm circular saw, reciprocating saw, torch, a 20-minute charger and two 3.0Ah lithium ion batteries.
He explains how the new technology makes the cordless products more durable, stronger, smarter and lighter.
“The new lithium-ion cell technology enabled the production of very powerful cordless tools in compact bodies up to 40% lighter than those with an equivalent 18V 3.0AH Ni-MH battery.
“One reason for this is cell design. High-energy density cells are lighter in weight, and the configuration reduces the number of cells required. So you get a more compact battery unit,” he says.
The Makita Optimum Charging System additionally has three controls — namely current, voltage and thermal, which facilitate better and faster recharging. This, Mr Hadwin says, can prolong battery life by up to 280%. Recharging takes 20 minutes.
“Our company is constantly doing research and development to make the tools we have better and to release new products to upgrade our range. We try to keep ahead of whatever is needed to make the job easier.”
Makita New Zealand has been active in New Zealand for around 40 years, and in 1995 became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makita Corporation. It sells around 300 different power tools in 20-odd categories.