Before continuing, let me state I have purchased all of these tools have been myself, have not been offered a fee for this review and so on. In short- the opinions within, in addition to not being scientific, are my own and only my own.
Many of you have read my posts about the expanding my Makita 12v lineup to compliment my 18v lineup. This all started with assembling a number of swing sets last summer and as much as I love pulling out the premium 18v Hammer Drill/Driver and Impact wrench, let’s be honest those tools are massive overkill for a lot of tasks.
I won’t rehash anymore of what I wrote previously and the post is linked above for those interested. With that background and impetus for checking out the Makita 12v lineup, I suddenly found another benefit, I could fit more tools into my ‘travel kit’. I don’t work in the trades as a career although I spend a lot of time fixing things for friends and family or end up being the person loaning out tools. I often have to load and unload my SUV and space becomes a premium at times. Further, sometimes because things don’t always fit into a bag of tool box with everything else, I occasionally don’t have something I own at my disposal as I forget to pack it (some may recall I recently wrote about the need to plane two doors and my 18v planer being ~75 miles away).
This got me to thinking and truly assessing if there was another solution and what the sacrifices might be. I always take 2 Makita sustainers, which hold my hand tools, small parts kit, glue, PPE, etc. and a Dewalt 28 in. 12 Gal. Mobile Tool Box (outfitted with a Kreg bench clamp base). The Dewalt was outfitted with the Makita LXT (1) Hammer Drill/Driver (XPH07); (2) Impact Driver (XDT14); (3) 1/2” Impact Wrench (XWT08); (4) Angle Drill (XAD02); (5) 5-3/8” Circular Saw (XSS03); (6) Compact Reciprocating Saw (XRJ01); (7) 4-1/2” Grinder (XAG03); (8) Multi Tool (XMT03); (9) 23 Gauge Pin Nailer (XTP01); (10) Flashlight (DML802); (11) Lantern (DML806); plus 2-5ah and 1-2ah batteries, blades, grinder wheels and accessories.
Decent haul; but I couldn’t fit my subcompact drill/drivers/impact (separate bag) which I always take with me (and was another thing to remember and carry) and had to carry yet another (although I rarely had to charge a battery) sustainer with a charger and batteries.
As for what would the sacrifices be if I wanted to take advantage of the smaller footprint of expanding my 12v lineup? (1) power…. Certainly there are jobs the 12v lineup cannot handle. But to be honest when I know I need the most power, I wasn’t breaking out the XSS03, after all it was my “everyday carry (EDC) saw for use in a pinch. When I knew I was going to have to use a circular saw I always took with me (in a separate bag) the x2 7-1/4” Circular Saw (XSR01). Same when I new I would need a reciprocating saw, the x2 Reciprocating Saw (XRJ06) is being packed up. You get the idea; (2) Makita doesn’t make a 12v grinder……. I strongly dislike going anywhere without my grinder. Such a versatile tool; (3) I am going to have to invest some money into 12v tools. But could I do so in a way so as to offset the cost of the investment needed? I found the answer to largely be yes. We have all sold tools so the idea of getting the true value out of them was squashed immediately. I knew I would need to sell tools valued at over $2,500-$3,000 for far less if I was going to cover the roughly $1,400 investment I’d have to make in expanding my 12v lineup and accessories. So I put together a package of 15 tools, accessories and batteries and sold it on Craiglist list to a contractor. Did I get what they were worth? Resoundingly no, but I got enough to cover my new purchases and so we’ll call that a win.
I know, you’re asking yourself so what? Whats the EDC carry now? And to that I present the following to accompany the images below
(1) I substituted the LXT XSS03 for the CXT CC02. I already owned the CC02 and purchased a wood cutting blade, added the blade guard by sourcing parts for $10 online, removed the water bottle and tube. I ended up with a 3-3/8” circular saw that cuts wood and tile (I can put a hole in a water bottle and cool the blade when I need too).
(2) I purchased a 3/8” square drive to 1/4” hex drive adapter adding versatility to the WT05 as both an impact driver and wrench. Combined with the Hammer Drill Driver (PH04), Impact Driver (DT04) and Hex Drill/Driver (FD10) [which I now carry with my hand tool sustainer, I have 4 drill/drivers at my disposal.
(3) I purchased the RJ03 recip saw to replace the XRJ01. Which is the same footprint just a different battery platform (Makita, really? They should’ve redesigned this tools footprint)
(4) I purchased a Dewalt 90 degree impact angle attachment to replace the XAD02. While Im not sold this will work out and will require two hands to use, I’ll give it a try. Worst case I’ll end up with the Makita AD04, the CXT equivalent
(5) I purchased the ML104 and replaced the DML806 lantern. I also removed the Flashlight (DML802) and didn’t replace it
(6) I purchased the TP03 to replace the generation one LXT XTP01 23 gauge Lin nailer. The XTP01 had some terrible design flaws, namely the trigger was a weird two step process and there was no ‘tip depress’ safety mechanism. Also the weight to nail size… overkill to shoot pin nails. The TP03 is superiorly better, lighter, tool-less depth adjustment and on.
(7) I purchased the MT01 to replace the generation LXT XMT03. I have written before about the ridiculous size of the LXT multitool and weight. The MT01 is lighter and equal to the same tasks as far as I am concerned
(8) At this point I was able to fit 3 drill drivers, a circular and reciprocating saw, multitool, lantern a charger, 4 2ah batteries, 1 4ah battery, blades and accessories with ample room remaining. So thus far I was happy and felt the only thing I had not addressed was the inclusion of a grinder. As I began searching options, I realized only Bosch and Milwaukee (of the major took brands) made a 3” grinder. They both offered a rotary tool, not exactly what I wanted and of course I could consider Dremel if I was going with a rotary tool as a poorer substitute. Recognizing I had ample space remaining in my Dewalt box though, I started thinking of what tools I’d love to have on hand with the grinder. A router could be handy, same for a rivet gun. Bosch checked the box on the former while Milwaukee on the later. I don’t set many rivets, and there are drill attachments and hand rivet tools. There aren’t hand routers (that I know of). How about my 12v jig saw? I wrote separately about how I picked up the 12v CXT jigsaw for coping crown. Yes it fit; added the Makita VJ05.
(9) Still room, the grinder is a must and considering I had just purchased the Bosch handheld 12v planer, I want to continue to minimize (as you all know I strongly subscribe to a single battery platform where possible) different batteries and chargers. I ordered the 3” grinder from overseas and hope it’ll arrive sometime before the end of June
(10) the Bosch 12v planer which I wrote about
(11) I recalled that while in Lowes they had a 12v Bosch router. Sure it doesn’t have a variable speed, but before if I wanted the larger router I would’ve had to pack it separately as it wasn’t in my EDC setup anyway. I can still do that while planning for unplanned needs, I can see this filling the need when used within its limitations and specs. Not to mention I took advantage of the free battery offer and that helps with runtime concerns for the planer, router and grinder.
Overall, I have the same total number of tools in the Dewalt box; but I have more versatility with the addition of the planer, router, jigsaw. I have a battery charger. I can carry 8 batteries versus 3. Yes, I sacrificed cutting depth with the circular saw and grinder; but I gained a tile saw. As this isn’t my build a house toolset, If I know I’m going to be doing to doing that type of work I can plan and pack the 18v (and x2) equivalents. I replaced the pin nailer I was unhappy with and lost a flashlight. I may consider ordering from eBay some adapters to convert the Bosch tools to the CXT battery platform. We’ll see in time.
I also gained better organization, it was nightmare packing up the box before, everything had to be be within a millimeter of its intended spot to fit it all and tools were stacked on top of each other. Now, with the exception the recip saw, I can reach in and grab the tool I need. I don’t have to take the grinder or circular saw blade off when putting them away to make every thing fit.
I wasn’t looking to/never be able to, at least not in the foreseeable future, replace all my 18v tools with 12v. Battery technology and tool motors have come a long way, so never say never, but It’s unlikely the x2 chainsaw will be powered by 12v in the future. Same with the 7-1/4” track saw or miter saw. But I am very happy with the versatility I have gained and feel I can get many tasks accomplished with this setup. Of course time will tell- but that’ll just allow my to tinker some more and that’s part of the journey and fun.