Makita 18V Couple Shaft Review – String Trimmer, Pole Saw, Pole Hedge Trimmer

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Review

If the idea of an attachment system for your lawn care needs sounds appealing, Makita has to be on your list. With a deep line of attachments, it’s one of the most comprehensive systems available and you have multiple powerhead options. Today, we’re taking a deeper dive into the Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft along with its string trimmer, pole saw, and hedge trimmer attachments.

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Powerhead

There are a total of four powerheads currently available. There’s an MM4 4-stroke for those you sticking with gas, an 18V X2 LXT (36V) model, the 18V LXT version we’re looking at today, and most recently, a 40V max XGT one. Each has a purpose and all three cordless models are brushless.

The 18V (model XUX02) uses a single 18V LXT battery and is your best bet for lightweight cutting. Without a battery or attachment, it’s just 5.6 pounds. With a 4.0Ah battery, it’s 7.0 pounds and the 13-inch string trimmer attachment brings the total up to a very manageable 9.2 pounds.

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Review

There are two speeds to choose from. Unlike most units, it’s you change modes with an electronic button rather than a mechanical slide switch. The same button also acts as an on/off that you need to press before the tool can come to life.

Control Button

The trigger activation is easy and natural. As you place your hand on top of the handle, it presses in the trigger safety and then the trigger is active.

Makita uses a spline-style drive shaft that makes the attachments easy to connect. Simply match up the arrow on the attachment with the one on the power head and you’ll feel it click into position. Spin the clamp on the right forward until it tightens up and you’re good to go.

Attachment Connection

To remove an accessory, reverse the process. The only difference is you’ll need to hit the red button to release the attachment once the clamp is loose.

Makita Couple Shaft String Trimmer Attachment

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft String Trimmer Review

The EM409MP attachment turns the Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft into a 13-inch string trimmer. While powerheads such as the XGT model pair with a 17-inch string trimmer attachment, Makita gives a nod toward greater runtime with a 13-inch head.

The head itself is a quick-load design. When it’s time to add new line, align the two arrows on the head, run your length through to the middle and then twist the head to wind it in. No more manual line winding!

The head comes preloaded with 13 feet of 0.080-inch line. It’s also capable of using 0.095-inch and if the runtime is enough for you to step up, we recommend you do.

With the 18V LXT powerhead, the trimmer runs at a quick 7000 RPM at high speed or 5000 RPM at low. In lighter cutting conditions, low speed works well, extending your runtime and keeping the noise level a little lower. When you run into thicker grass or you simply want to get done fast, high gear makes quick work of your trimming duties.

Makita Couple Shaft Pole Saw Attachment

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Pole Saw Review

The combo kit we got our hands on also includes Makita’s 10-inch pole saw attachment (model EY401MP). The bar takes a standard 3/8-inch pitch, 0.050-inch gauge chain.

Couple Shaft Pole Saw Attachment

When you connect it to the powerhead, the tool has a length of 7 feet. That’s great in many cases, but many people need more. Consider adding Makita’s 42-inch extension to get a total length of 10 1/2 feet. For most people, that’ll give you a total reach of 14 – 15 feet.

This is an automatic oiling pole saw that holds about 3.5 ounces of bar oil.

A single stud holds the bar in place. To adjust the chain tension, you need to loosen the bar nut slightly and then grab the scrench or Phillips screwdriver and turn the screw on the front right next to the bar. The placement is somewhat inconvenient for the scrench and we recommend using a screwdriver instead.

Attached to the Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft powerhead, you get 3940 FPM chain speed in high. If you’re new to chainsawing/pole sawing, always cut in high gear. When you do, a good sharp chain such as the one Makita provides melts through the cut with ease, even in hardwoods.

There’s also another pole saw attachment. The EY402MP is very similar but has a few differences. For one, there’s a branch hook. The others are that it uses a 0.043-inch gauge chain instead of 0.050 and it runs at a slightly slower 3740 FPM.

Makita Couple Shaft Pole Hedge Trimmer Attachment

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Articulating Hedge Trimmer Review

Having a pole is great and pairing it with a pole hedge trimmer is even better. But an articulating pole hedge trimmer is a game-changer. It can trim high, low, and at just about any angle keep the shape of your tallest hedges. Plus it can reach behind hedges far enough to help you avoid crawling between them and the wall.

Makita’s EN401MP Couple Shaft articulating pole hedge trimmer covers your needs beautifully. It has 20-inch knives with a 1-inch cutting capacity. With the 18V LXT Couple Shaft powerhead, it cuts at a quick 4000 SPM and cruises through hedges.

When you need to attack at an angle, pull down the red collar and use the black handle to adjust into any of 13 different positions. Starting perpendicular to the shaft, it has 135° of positions to work in overhead and down low.

Articulating Hedge Trimmer Adjustment

When you’re finished, the knives swing all the way around and tuck in next to the shaft so its storage footprint is smaller.

Additional Attachment Options

  • UB401MP Blower
  • EN420MP 10-Inch Articulating Hedge Trimmer
  • EN410MP 10-Inch Hedge Trimmer
  • BR400MP Bristle Brush
  • SW400MP Paddle Sweep
  • KR401MP Cultivator
  • EE400MP Edger
  • EN403MP Brush Cutter
  • EM405MP 17-Inch String Trimmer
  • ER400MP Curved Shaft String Trimmer

Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft Price

There are a lot of ways to get started with the 18V powerhead and its various combo options. Here’s a breakdown:

  • XUX02 18V LXT Powerhead: $164
  • XUX02ZX1: String Trimmer and Powerhead (no battery or charger): $219
  • XUX02SM1XS String Trimmer Kit: $279
  • XUX02SM1X2 String Trimmer/Articulating Hedge Trimmer Combo Kit: $419
  • XUX02SM1X3 String Trimmer/Blower Combo Kit: $369
  • XUX02SM1X4 String Trimmer/Pole Saw Combo Kit: $299

The Bottom Line

The Makita 18V LXT Couple Shaft system is a great fit for homeowners and Pros looking for a multi-head solution that prioritizes lighter weight. Makita has a deep line of compatible attachments, making it a very convenient way to have the right tools on hand to keep your lawn and landscaping looking great!

Discover more great Makita outdoor power equipment products here!

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