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October 28, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum

Makita Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Makes Quick Cleaning More Convenient

We’ve spent a lot of time testing shop vacuums and dust extractors. Primarily for dust control with your tools, they’re great. But what about actual custodial cleaning? That’s where more of Makita’s cordless cleaning system comes into play. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum.


Pros

  • Incredibly quiet operation
  • HEPA-rated system
  • Comfortable harness design
  • Easy-to-reach battery and filter cleaner placement
  • Controller clips in the most convenient place for you
  • Metal telescoping extension wand with excellent reach

Cons

  • Needs a beater brush nozzle to be more effective on carpet

Recommendation

Makita’s Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum works well for hard surfaces and short carpet, and it has a comfortable harness design that helps reduce fatigue along with super-quiet operation. Pair it with the XCV19 Upright Vacuum to get the best overall results in offices, hotels, and other commercial cleaning environments.

You can use the Makita XCV17 with your tools if you like, but we find rolling dust extractors to be more convenient for that. It’s a handy choice for final cleanup in occupied spaces, though.

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Design

Main Vacuum

Makita thought out the design of their vacuum incredibly well. First off, it stands up on its own. Whether you store it on the floor, on a counter, or on a shelf, it’s good and stable.

Moving up from the base of the frame, there’s a battery storage bay on each side. Because of the placement and access, we found it simple to switch batteries without taking the vacuum off.

Makita XCV17

The Makita XCV17 is HEPA rated and includes a filter cleaning mechanism. As you’re wearing it, reach just above the battery on your left to hit the paddle a few times to clean it off.

Makita XCV17

At the top, the bag is accessible with the simple release of a latch. Holding up to 1.6 gallons of debris, the bag is easily replaceable with its cardboard lip slipping into a notch at the back and fitting over the opening.

The hose fits in the top, making it easy to hold on either the right or left side, depending on your preference.

Harness

The harness features a hiking backpack-style design with padded shoulder and hip straps. We found that there was plenty of adjustability to fit everyone on our testing team, including a couple of pretty slim guys.

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Harness

There’s a carry strap at the top of the harness. We definitely prefer to move from place to place wearing the backpack vacuum, but it’s helpful when you want to store it on higher shelves.

2 small metal D-rings give you a place to put the controller and hang the extension so your hands can be completely free when you’re not operating the vacuum. There’s even an elastic strap on the belt to strap your extra nozzle when it’s not in use.

Accessories

Whether you buy the bare tool or the kit, Makita includes a hose, a telescoping extension, a floor nozzle, and a crevice nozzle.

The hose is reasonably flexible and has plenty of reach in our opinion.

The telescoping extension is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it’s metal and much more durable than plastic. It also has legitimate reach in its fully extended position. We were able to reach 12-foot ceilings fully extended and 8 – 10-foot ceilings were a piece of cake.

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Telescoping Wand

Overall, the design is very good and I have no complaints. The entire unit only weighs 15 pounds with a couple of 5.0Ah batteries and the harness makes it an easy load to bear.

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Performance

Controls

You operate the Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum with a wired control. It has a clip on the back that you can attach on one of the D-rings, your belt, or a pocket.

Makita XCV17

The top button turns the vacuum off and the middle cycles between low, medium, and high power levels. When you turn the vac off and back on, it remembers the setting you last used.

The third button activates an LED light on the remote. It’s not really bright enough to clean by, but it’ll help you find the light switch when you walk into a dark room.


Suction Power

Makita rates this backpack vacuum at 78 CFM with 44 inches of water lift. In practice, we have found it to be highly effective on hard surfaces and decent on short carpet at high power.

Makita XCV17 In Action

The only complaint we have on carpet is that the vacuum really needs a beater brush nozzle to help loosen some of the debris that gets caught up in the fibers.

Having that capability would make this an excellent standalone unit. However, keep in mind that it’s part of a solution-based lineup. Where the Makita XCV17 finds its limit is where the CXV19 Upright Vacuum takes over.

Noise Level

Makita tells us this backpack vacuum produces 60 decibels (A-weighted) on low and 67 decibels on high. We actually measured it a little lower, though. Measured from my ear while wearing the vacuum, we measured 64 decibels on high, 62 on medium, and 57 at low power.

Regardless, this is a quiet vacuum! Even while cleaning up our office using high power, we were able to talk to one another at a normal conversation level.

Runtime

Makita kits the XCV17 with two 6.0Ah batteries. Using those, you can expect runtimes around 40 minutes on high and nearly 140 minutes on low.

We primarily use 5.0Ah batteries for our Makita cordless tools, so that’s what we tested with. Using those, high nets a little under 32 minutes and low is closer to 110 minutes.

Makita XCV17 Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Price

As a bare tool, you can pick up the Makita Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum for $599. If you want the kit with a pair of 6.0Ah batteries and a dual-port Rapid Optimum Charger, that runs $919.

The Bottom Line

Makita’s Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum works well for hard surfaces and short carpet, and it has a comfortable harness design that helps reduce fatigue along with super-quiet operation. Pair it with the XCV19 Upright Vacuum to get the best overall results in offices, hotels, and other commercial cleaning environments.

You can use the Makita XCV17 with your tools if you like, but we find rolling dust extractors to be more convenient for that. It’s a handy choice for final cleanup in occupied spaces, though.

Makita Cordless HEPA Backpack Vacuum Specs

  • Model: Makita XCV17
  • Air Flow Rate: 78 CFM
  • Static Water Lift: 44 in.
  • Working Sound Level: 67 dB(A)
  • Battery: 2X 18V LXT Lithium-Ion
  • Dimensions: 11-3/4 in. x 6-7/8 in. x 20-5/8 in.
  • Equipped Filter Efficiency: 99.97% of .3 microns
  • Gross Container Size: 1.6 gal.
  • Net Weight with 5.0Ah Batteries: 15 lbs.
  • HEPA Filter: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Kit Price: $919

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