Home-Appliances Makita has introduced their LXT line of power tools recently. I already own their largest 18V cordless kit, so it hasn’t been a temptation until I learned a whole lot more about them. First, these aren’t simply 18V cordless tools with Lithium Ion batteries. These are completely redesigned for usability and durability. Makita’s goal was to reduce weight while keeping the same or better performance, and I’d say they were pretty successful. More Power Wanting more power isn’t new. This is how Americans buy power tools. Unlike the European market, we want larger numbers. More amps must be a good thing on that recip saw. More Amp Hours must be great on that battery. More torque is the way to buy an impact driver. Well, in the European market, fewer amps is a sign of efficiency. Work done is the measure of a battery. Torque is a consideration, but there is a limit. Most of the impacts and drills on the market today could break your wrist if you’re careless, so why would you need more power? So, in keeping with the American tradition of more power (insert Tim the Tool Man laugh here), Makita changed their motors to give more power, but also more control and durability. For those who aren’t familiar with the history of DC motors, allow me to relate that to you. In the beginning (meaning until the mid 90’s), there were can motors. These were simple, self contained motors that you just replaced as a unit when they failed. They were fine (some manufacturers, especially homeowner grade, still use these), but an entire motor is costly to replace when you’re using it regularly. They do all eventually wear out, you know. The next step was to give that can motor external brushes and add in a ball bearing instead of a sleeve. This wasn’t until the mid 90’s, but it was a huge improvement. Now, users could replace the brushes without the entire motor needing replaced. The next step was around 2002 when the 2 piece motor was introduced. This made an armature and a housing that could be replaced individually as well as having ball bearings on each end, although some manufacturers only use a single bearing. Now we’re getting much cheaper to repair. Finally, the LXT line is Makita’s first line with what is known as a 4 pole motor. On a standard motor, there is a North and a South magnetic pole, so power is generated ever 180 degrees of turn. With a 4 pole, there are 2 North and 2 South, so power can be generated every 90 degrees of turn. This means a motor can be lighter, but you’ll still end up with more power. Lower Weight Why would big, mean tool toting construction workers care about a couple of pounds of weight? Simple. If you’re driving screws above your head all day, a 4 lb. tool is much more comfortable than a 6 lb. tool. This was a real goal of moving to Lithium for most of the manufacturers, as the Lithium cells were much lighter than Nickel Cadmium or even Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. Add the 4 pole motors I already discussed above and there was a significant weight difference between the LXT and previous 18V offerings from Makita. Improved Ergonomics Makita realized that by lowering the weight, the balance of the tool has changed. They also realized that by not having a "Pod" style battery (where part sticks into the handle of the tool), they could make the grip shape and size change. The result was actually rather nice. I was impressed by the feel of the handle. It seemed very natural and very well balanced. Even when drilling with a 12" long, 1/2" bit into the end of a 4×4, it was manageable with one hand. That was a nice change. Using two hands, it worked remarkably fast. Conclusion If I didn’t already own the biggest, baddest 18V Makita cordless kit run with 18V Ni-MH batteries and the 18V sliding compound miter that they used to make, I’d be seriously tempted to buy an LXT kit. Even owning that, I still find it tempting. Makita has done a great job of creating these tools, and I’ve got to give them credit on doing it with a very, very good common-sense approach. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if people want the bigger numbers (Voltage) or if they took the right approach for marketing to the US population. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: