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It’s funny when you witness yourself becoming a supporter of the horse and buggy when you see an automobile go zipping by. When Makita sent us their LXOB01 18v cordless sander, I let it sit for a while because I “knew” it would be a dud. This was not the case.

The cordless sander does have limitations that a corded one doesn’t: it’s heavier, and the battery eventually runs down. What Makita rightly pointed out is that the drill also went through this process as well and seems to have come through stronger. In fact, more cordless drills are sold today than corded, and the palm sander has the advantage of better battery technology in third-gen Li-Ion packs. The press material claims anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes of sanding per battery charge, which we confirmed in our testing. It’s easy to quote figures, but in real project time, what does that 20 -40 mins mean? 

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Makita’s 18v Li-Ion Brushless 1″ Rotary Hammer is a mouthful to say and even more interesting to look at, especially the unique profile created by the vacuum slung under the bottom of the 10-lb. rotary hammer. The unit has two motors — one for the drill and the other for the vacuum — and is built to catch concrete dust on a jobsite.

What’s interesting about this setup is the vacuum is detachable so you still have a very capable rotary hammer on your hands if you should choose to do without. Plus the charge will last a little longer without spinning two motors. But for jobs where dust or particles are a concern, we can actually see this helping. The boot that shrouds the bit looks like it does a good job of catching most of the debris, and the vacuum only kicks on when the drill is in motion.

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We love our random orbit sanders. Like hand-held circular saws, they’re on our essential list of basic home woodworking tools. Now Makita, in service to the never-ending quest to expand cordless lines, offers a battery-powered model. On one hand, this seems pretty impressive, considering the amp draw most sanders produce. But is it worth your cash? And will it stand up to the corded models? We haven’t tried one in person, but we take a close look at the specs and the above video to find out. Read on for our take, and don’t forget to share yours with us (and other Toolmongers) in comments.

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Though we suspect many pros already know about this, we wonder how many high-end DIY folks are aware that most of the major manufacturers offer automotive versions of their charging systems. Indeed, if you take the time to do a little Googling, you’ll discover lots of options regardless of the color of your power tools. Read on to take a closer look at four of them.

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I remember years back when the only people making a vibrating multi-tool was Fein — charging a whopping pretty penny for it, too. Now you can buy similar products from just about every manufacturer in both corded and cordless versions. And Makita’s joined the party, too, with their catchy-named LXMT025, pictured above. This version is cordless, integrated into Makita’s 18V line. Yeah, it’s pretty much like all the others. But nothing drives innovation like competition, and this definitely represents more competition.

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We love palm routers. There is something about the size versus the power that makes them perfect for many applications in the shop. We’ve put our Bosch Colt to the test without fail for over 5 years now and been impressed each time. Now Makita is moving in with a compact router of their own in the RT0700C and its 3-base, combo kit RT0700CX3. It seems Makita is taking direct aim at the Bosch. Their model is roughly the same form factor, same power, RPM range, and pricing at just north of $130. I want one.

Not because I’m displeased with my Colt in any way — I’m not, but because the winner in these product dominance battles is normally us, the consumers. Check out these specs and see if they sound vaguely familiar.

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We love writing about flashlights here at Toolmonger, mostly because flashlights are incredibly useful but somehow almost always seem to end up as the least-thought-out “extra” in a combo count. We think (and suspect you do, too) that flashlights are good for more than just increasing tool count. So I couldn’t help but give a mention to Makita’s new offering, the excitingly-named (kidding) LXLM01. The name might be forgettable, but I thought one thing when I saw this sucker: it looks exactly like those awkward lights everyone carried around on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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We often tease Makita about the number of motocross-related news items they seem to have. However, they also do this whole tool thing we like to mention once in a while. In this case they’re expanding their grinder products with the addition of a new 192618-2 and 192972-4 dust extraction system.

Okay, so “dust extraction system” works out to a new guard around the wheel with a hose on the back of it — but that said, the issue of dust and particulate matter produced on a job site from cutting concrete isn’t fully appreciated until you’ve had the joy of choking on it once or twice.

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Only a week after the Bosch event where Makita and three other competitors stacked up against Bosch to drive screws, the folks at Makita have released a new challenger to their 18v lineup. The LXFD01 is the name, and the game appears to be pushing the rest of the field for small form factors and big power.

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We get press releases all the time here at the Toolmonger office about this tool or that. At first glance there’s nothing special at all about this sliding/compund miter saw. Then we got a look at what’s missing — a cord. Yep, this is Makita’s 18v Li-Ion, 7 1/4” entry into the world of miter saws. We’ll give them this — whoever’s driving over at Makita R&D isn’t asleep at the wheel.

So the whole rig is just shy of 28 lbs. and clocks in with a 2,200 rpm motor that will slice up a 2×12 @ 90 degrees, or a 2×8 @ 45 degrees. That puts it squarely in the trim saw department and has the makings to push around saws twice its weight and size. The detents are located at 0, 12, 22.5, 30 and 45 degrees and there are rail extensions for a bit of extra support for long stock.

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