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Ever since we launched Toolmonger and started letting hundreds of thousands of other tool folks in on our tool-related conversations, we’ve tried to excise our habits of calling all tools by one manufacturer’s brand name. Just like people down here in the South call all soft drinks “a Coke” (No, really. We do), we used to call all circ saws Skilsaws, all portable band saws Porta-Bands, and all adjustable wrenches Crescent wrenches.

So you’ll have to forgive me when I think of every small, elongated, cordless vacuum as a Dustbuster. They’re not — especially when they’re completely different, like this model from Makita. This one’s clearly designed as a floor sweeper, kind of like the cheap-o model I have at home for sucking up stray cat litter in the utility room or peppercorns in the kitchen. But more importantly, it’s powered by Makita’s 10.8V tool batteries.

The specifics: Makita says you get 12 minutes of use from a single li-ion battery and if you twist it open in the middle you’ll find a two-stage cleanable cloth filter. It’s bagless, too, so you just open it and dump it.

Makita offers an 18V model as well, in case you’re invested in the 18V line but not the 10.8V line. (Which, incidentally, we could see. Makita’s 18V tools seem quite popular among our readers, especially on the West coast. But Makita’s 10.8V line meets some pretty serious challengers from Bosch, Milwaukee, and others.) But Makita says you’ll only get 10 minutes out of the 18V battery. Maybe it sucks harder.

Regardless, they run between $70 and $100 online.

By the way, Sean, being the ever-stubborn bastard* that he is (bless his heart), solved the “don’t use the brand name” rule in his usual creative way: He just buys the brand-name tools so I can’t give him crap about it. Yes, his “Skilsaw” was made by Skil. And it’s more famous than we are.

10.8V Compact Li-Ion Cordless Vacuum [Makita]
18V Compact Li-Ion Cordless Vacuum [Makita]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
18V Model [What’s This?]

* Note for non-Southerners. “Bless his heart” is a special phrase that serves to cancel out any negativity related to the preceding epithet.


5 Responses to Put Those Tool Batteries To Work — Vacuuming

  1. fred says:

    A bit off topic but have any of you toolmongers tried the Makita cordless blowers? We thought to try one – but are not sure about price versus performance.


  2. Painter Jeff says:

    I’ve been using the 14.4 volt model for a few years now and really would be lost without it!.

    At full power, I would guesstimate the battery lasts around 8-10 minutes @continuous use, but, thanks to the variable speed trigger and that I only use it for short periods (+/- 1 minute at a time), it works great for my needs.

  3. Painter Jeff says:

    Oops…..My reply was to Fred and his question.

  4. Slow Joe Crow says:

    I have had the original 7.2V Makita for years. It does a reasonable job of picking up and when you need overdrive, a 9.6V battery fits in for more suction and noise.

  5. Julian Tracy says:

    Re: cordless blower

    I bought mine because it’s advertised as a blower/vac, and I thought it’d be just the ticket for cleaning up cabinets after hardware installs,etc.

    Turns out it’s no good for a vacuum, but as handy as can be as a blower.
    I use it for:
    -cleaning off the tablesaw and mitersaw before packing up
    -Blowing sawdust off client’s driveways, decks and cars after working
    -clearing off plywood after each cut to have a nice clean surface for setting up the next cut.

    I would not be without one. had mine for a few years before I thought to bring it camping for my air mattresses. Works great and I now don’t need to remember to charge the cheesy 110volt pump or go through D batts on the battery ones.

    Used it like that for years camping before I though to use it to stoke a campfire. Man! that thing is like it’s blowing propane on a fire – you’ll never use your lungs on a campfire again.

    I’ve even used mine for help siphoning gas – only once, probably not such a good idea…

    Get one – you’ll use it EVERY day.


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