Makita's new LXT cordless: anyone tried them yet?


My old cordless 12V Makita is dying. It's served me well. I have been shopping for a replacement and was fairly set on Hitachi's DMR line of 14.4V tools. I was going to get the hammer/drill and impact driver but I came across Makita's new LXT line on the web last night. Wow, they look great. For those of you who haven't seen these yet, besides having all the neat features you want on these tools, they have a very innovative battery. It's lithium ion and its an 18V that weighs the same as a 12V. I was sketical so I looked up the Hitachi (14.4V) units to compare weights. Yup, the Makita's are about a pound less each with more power, and apparently longer battery life. They just came out about a month ago and they are more money than the Hitachi's. Go figure.
So, have any of you bought these or tried them out yet? I'd like to hear some comments or reviews.
TIA
Neil
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I've bought them but not really had a chance to test them. I talked the local Borg into letting me use a HF 20% off coupon on them.
My initial impressions: the fit and finish is excellent. The charger has a little fan in it, which makes a mildly annoying sound, but it only takes 45 minutes or so to charge. The manuals all have a comment in them about how if you've drained one battery using a tool continuously, let the motor rest 15 minutes before continuing with a new battery. All the motors have an electric brake, so the tool stop almost instantly when you release the trigger. All the motors also have externally replaceable brushes, which is nice. Those are the only things that jumped out at me.
Best wishes, Wayne
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I'm really suprised Home Depot let you use a percent off coupon as their price matching policy excludes percent off matching.
Home Depot has matched Menards % off coupons, but those are store wide valid on anything.
Brian Elfert
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toolguy wrote:

I was just talking with someone the other day about when they were going to use lithium batteries in cordless tools. Guess they already do....
Chris
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I haven't used the drill you mentioned, but I did get the newest edition of Popular Woodworking in the mail today, and they did a fairly extensive review of 14.4V drills. Their conclusion was that Makita (non-LXT?) and Dewalt are the best of the 14.4s, but that the 15.6V Panasonic is the "no-brainer" best choice - smaller and lighter and cheaper than many 14.4s, with longer battery life. Hope this helps, Andy
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I can't speak to the LXT line. For that matter, I can't really speak to cordless at all. I've stuck with the corded versions of everything up until now. My Makita set arrives tomorrow! I went with: (Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013&v=glance Seems a pretty good deal with the two batteries, charger, a drill and an impact driver, and a light all in one. I'm hoping it'll be a good system for me. Cheers, cc
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I need a new cordless drill as mine died. I saw the LXT, but gave up on it as soon as I saw the drill costs over $300! I think I'll get a Ridgid 18 volt instead.
Brian Elfert
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