Makita is breaking into the lithium-ion battery realm with gusto and is offering eight new 18V li-ion combo kits, from 2-piece kits to full 15-piece master kits that will leaving you wanting for nothing. We took a first look at their latest Makita LXT702 Combo 7-piece kit which includes, among other things, a Makita hammer drill, a 6.5-inch circular saw, impact driver, reciprocating saw, 4.5-inch angle grinder, flashlight and a Makita jobsite radio. This is a robust kit that only leaves off smaller-sized versions of what’s provided here.
Makita LXT702 Combo Kit Features & Performance
This is a spry new kit that, unfortunately, follows the recent trend of coming “bagged” instead of in custom cases. Like many other builders and renovators, I still like to pack my tools up in the evening into sturdy hard cases where I know they won’t get pummeled to and from the jobsite. Makita redesigned their new 1/2″ hammer drill to include a new 4-pole motor which delivers 450 in. lbs. of torque (not exactly class-leading, but it will do a nice job). The numbers are accurate, too, since Makita adopted the PTI torque testing method. As the drill weighs only 3.9 lbs. it seems to pack a punch in a small package and emphasizes usability over raw power.
The 8 lb reciprocating saw features tool-less blade changes (as we’d expect) and an adjustable shoe. The motor brushes are also replaceable – something we like to see in tools that are expected to get lots of use. The Makita BLR182 reciprocating saw doesn’t feature an orbital motion for the blade, meaning that users of the saw may be in for a slower time when attempting to cut into thicker wood or when making rapid cuts.
The rapid charger is possibly the most impressive aspect of this system—it will recharge a battery in just 30 minutes! We haven’t seen many (if any) chargers do this faster, and for those that do, it’s partly due to the size (amp-hours) of the included batteries. A 30 minute recharge time is far better than what you will see from alternative NiMH or Ni-Cad chargers, and class-leading with respect to lithium-ion batteries. The age of Li-ion, it seems, has finally arrived. Makita provides two 3.0Ah batteries to start and we suspect it won’t be long before most users will want to pick up one or two more (expect to pay around $85+ each).
This is a set that will satisfy any homeowner, casual remodeler or hobbyist DIYer. We’ve seen street prices as low as $530 – not bad for tools of this caliber. Professional contractors may want to look at some of the other brands which offer more torque and better class-leading features and performance. There are a lot of choices, but we think Makita has found a niche that it is filling nicely.