Makita 18V Cordless Multi Tool Review XMT03Z

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Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool Review XMT03Z

Makita Cordless Multi-Tool XMT03

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XMT03Z
Power source: 18V Li-Ion
The Oscillating Multi-Tool [OMT] has changed the carpentry industry with it’s ability to quickly and accurately make cuts that in the past required tedious and meticulous use of utility knives and chisels. In addition to the time and labor savings these tools have delivered to the job-site, cordless models have made there use even more convenient.

The multi-tool is often the perfect choice for tight spaces, awkward angles, and generally tough cuts. Often the multi-tool is most needed when you least expect it, so having an extremely mobile and reliable oscillating tool is becoming a must have for every carpenter.

Makita is releasing a new OMT that we feel is right up there with the brushless high end models from competing companies. Given the reliability of Makita tools and it’s popularity with carpenters, we were excited to check it out on the job-site, but first let’s take a look at specifications and features in this Makita 18V Cordless Multi Tool Review XMT03Z.

Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool


  • Oscillating Angle: 1.6 degrees (3.2 total)
  • Oscillations per Minute: 6,000 – 20,000
  • Battery: 18 Volt Lithium Ion slide pack


  • Tool less blade change
  • Six speed dial settings
  • Rubber over-mold grip

Out of the Box

This is a exclusive release from Makita that we got a hold of for our 18 Volt Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Head to Head test, so as this was a special shipment it came bare, with no packaging, or kit box, so the literal out of the box characteristics don’t exist.

Regardless, my first impression of the tool was that it is quite large. Not including the blade, the tool measures about 17-inches from the nose of the tool to the bottom of the battery. The grip is quite bulky as well measuring 7-5/8″ around, compared to the field of 18 Volt OMTs on the market the only larger barrel gripped tool is the Bosch MXH180BL. Overall though, the Makita stands out as the big boy in the crowd.

Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool

Second I noticed the familiar flip top tool less blade change lever and pin, that is synonymous with the Fein model, except this flip top lever curls over the nose of the tool making gripping and pulling it easier on the operator during blade change. Still similar the the Fein, this lever can be as dangerous to your finger tips if not careful during blade change.

Finally, the tool itself is no frills, it runs off of Makita’s 30 min charge 3.0 Ah batteries, has six speeds, on and off switch, and plenty of power. The Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool does have some rubber over mold on the primary handle to enhance grip in sweaty conditions or while wearing gloves, but this is where the nice to have features stop. This tool means business and it delivers fast and powerful cuts, in a not so small package, let’s take a look at performance.

Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool On/Off Switch

XMT03Z Performance

This OMT delivers speed and power to the user for all sorts of applications we cut 16d nails, plunge cut plywood, notched old hardwood post and beam construction material, and cut clap board siding for a replacement window, in all applications the tool performed exceptionally.

The major down side of the tool is the bulk and the size of the XMT03Z. In tight spaces the bulky grip and overall length of the tool can make operation cumbersome, requiring you to get creative with blade angle and tool orientation. This model is not only bulky and long, but also pretty heavy. Given the amount of time you may have to hold the tool on an exterior repair you may start to feel the weight.

Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool Cutting Nails

But when it comes to prolonged operation, a really nice feature of the tool is its relatively quiet motor. The Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Tool runs at 68 decibels a hum compared to the whine of many of the 18 Volt models we tested during our 18 Volt Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Head to Head comparison.

Suggested Improvements

This is hands down a great multi-tool, it delivers the power and speed you need to get the job done, but the XMT03Z lacks some no brainer features that leave the user wanting more. First and foremost this is a brick of a tool, it seems to lack any ergonomic considerations and it quite hefty compared to the cordless OMT competition.

Additionally, I’d like to see an LED light on this model, the major challenge for Makita is their blade lock lever which dominates the head of the tool, which makes the lack of the light understandable. Still, given the many awkward uses of this tool, often in dark corners of the job-site, a light is a must have, and in general being able to increase visibility for critical cuts is a huge bonus.

Overall Impression Makita XMT03Z

This field of tools has really exploded since the expiration of the Fein Multi-Master patent in 2008 and as cordless tools have become so powerful and long lasting the deluge has continued. Makita’s XMT03Z separates itself from the pack for delivering lots of power with very little noise. Overall a very effective tool that can be integrated with your standard Makita kit that you’ll definitely be glad you have, especially in those most unexpected situations.

The Makita XMT03Z is currently unavailable, but when it is released it’s sure to make a buzz. In the mean time if you want to learn more about the newest 18 Volt models of Oscillating Multi-Tools currently on the market, check out the Tool Box Buzz OMT Head to Head.


About the author

Philip Benevides

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA. Phil continues to grow his skills as a lead carpenter, managing job sites in and around Boston, and a Captain in the Air National Guard bettering himself as a leader. He loves exploring new building products and construction methods to solve job-site problems and reviewing tools for the pro-contractor and serious DIYer.

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  1. […] the store shelves, Makita has been consistently releasing some really great tools like it’s 18V LXT Cordless Multi-Tool [XMT03Z]. Powerful, quiet, and convenient. I’d expect Makita to reach for that 100 tool […]

  2. this tool does not have a DEPTH STOP and GUIDE RULE accessories!
    For straight cuts the works is not well done!

  3. Mat

    Is there going to be a brushless version?

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