There is no doubt that oscillating multi-tools changed the carpentry industry by a great deal upon its first release decades ago. The tool’s ability to quickly chisel and accurately cut through wood makes knives and chisels obsolete. Also, since they are relatively cheap compared to other power tools that work with wood, it is available to people with all kinds of budget.
Multi-tools come in play when you generally work with tight angles, awkward places, and severe cuts. However, that is not to say that you cannot use it elsewhere, because it is really convenient to have a multi-tool at hand if you are a carpenter.
This is where the Makita XMT03Z comes into play; the tool is high-end and relatively expensive when compared to other multi-tools, but it is still cheap enough to be available to anyone who wants it. Ready your seat belts and let's jump right into the XMT03Z review since this is a highly popular OMT (Oscillating Multi-Tool) for carpenters.
Since this is a premium Multi-Tool, there is little doubt that it works with speed and power like none other. This is first and foremost, a cordless, and brushless multi-tool, and that is its main feature. The XMT03Z has a great battery that will last you just above 20 minutes; this almost puts it on the same level as the Milwaukee M12, although that has two batteries of this capacity.
The XMT03Z is also the world's largest cordless tool, and it comes with a fast-charging 18V Lithium-Ion battery. The fast charging is extremely convenient, and you will find that it spends more time working than spending time charging. Last, of all, you also have a battery indicator that warns you when you need to charge, and there is an auto-stop function to protect the motor from burning out.
You cannot judge a tool’s performance if you do not evaluate its flexibility. The XMT03Z has a variable speed control dial that has a speed control range from 6,000 to 20,000 RPMs, and this also is almost the same as the Milwaukee M12. However, this tool is more convenient to use with its soft-start feature that enables you to adjust the speed with more control and without too much lateral force.
Build Quality and Design
There is no doubt that this is the largest cordless tool in the world; so this will come as a surprise that the tool only weighs 4.9 pounds even with the battery! Cordless tools are always made to be light, and even though it is the largest cordless tool in the world, its weight makes it extremely comfortable to hold. Moreover, you also will be able to use it for an extended period without fatigue setting in.
Like the Milwaukee M12, most multi-tools have a tool-free blade change system; all these tools have a lever that you can pull to loosen the blade from the mounting bracket. However, there are manufacturers out there that still prefers the hex wrench (Only God knows why!).
You can say that the XMT03Z is somewhere in the middle; it has the lever that you can pull the lever, but you also have an involved process where you have to unscrew the bolt to loosen the blade. Apart from this, the only other negative aspect of the tool is that it has no LED lights for better control of speed and battery management.
Ergonomics and Control
Although it can be considered a light multi-tool, it is, however, two to three pounds heavier than other multi-tools. The weight cannot be considered a fatal flaw since it still does not cause fatigue, and the tool is extremely comfortable in hand. Makita has done a fantastic job of making an ergonomic multi-tool.
The only thing you will not like about its design is its handle since it’s a little ‘girthy’ and the angles are a bit off.
In terms of vibration control, you will not find a better tool than XMT03Z. The tool will do an excellent job of letting you not feel every oscillation it generates. However, this is not surprising since Makita has a brilliant history of having vibration dampening feature on all of its power tools.
Another negative side of the tool is that it generates a fair amount of noise when in work. At 101 dB (A), you would probably prefer to wear some hearing protection to be safe from long-term damage. The noise is really a disappointment since it is well above Milwaukee's 91 dB, even though Milwaukee is way more affordable.
Things we like
- It has a tool-less blade change capability.
- It is considered flexible with its six-speed dial settings.
- It has a rubber over-mold for better grip.
- It is extremely comfortable to hold.
- The tool itself is affordable.
- It has long battery life.
- It is cordless and has a brushless motor.
- It has a lot of power.
Things we do not like
- It is too bulky.
- The tool is extremely loud, even compared to cheaper tools.
- It has no LED lights.
The XMT03Z’s features and power leaves little doubt as to why this changed the carpentry industry, and why this is the “go-to” multi-tool for most carpenters. The tool is cheap, comfortable to use, and can be used in tight spaces. You can also use it in awkward angles and tough cuts. However, most of all, the tool is cordless, and therefore, you do not have the hassle of carrying cords around your worksite all the time.
If you are a professional, then there is no reason as to why you should not buy this multi-tool, and even if you are new to carpentry, this tool will take you right to the world of great carpentry. The tool is worth every penny you pay for it, and will save you a lot of time at work, and sometimes, even at home!