Makita 18V X2 Cordless Lawn Mower

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Makita 18V X2 Cordless Lawn Mower XML03 Review

Makita has come out with a new 18V X2 cordless lawn mower designed for lawns under 1/3 acre. The Makita 18V X2 cordless lawn mower, XML03 features a heavy duty steel deck with 18″ cutting capacity, zero emissions, lower noise, and reduced maintenance compared to gas-engine lawn mowers.

Features

  • Heavy duty steel deck
  • Brushless motor
  • Quiet mode sets speed control to 2500 RPM
  • Single lever cutting height adjustment
  • 10 height settings, from 13/16″ to 2-5/16″
  • Folding handles
  • 16 gallon capacity grass bag
  • Plug for mulching operation
  • Wet Guard weather resistance, IPx4 rating

 Specifications

  • Cutting Capacity (width) : 18″
  • Cutting Capacity (height range) : 13/16″ – 3″
  • No Load Speed : 3,300 RPM
  • Battery : 2X 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion
  • Dimensions (LxWxH) : 66-1/8″ x 21″ x 37-3/4″
  • Weighs 60.46 lbs with batteries, 57.76 lbs without

First Impression

The Makita 18V X2 cordless lawn mower, XML03 features a 1” wider cutting swath and a HD steel deck making it almost 20 lbs. [60.46 vs. 40.8] heavier than its earlier generation [XML02]

This mower is powered by a soft-start, Brushless motor with electronic speed control to maintain constant speed.  The motor operates at either 2,500 – 3,300 RPMs. [2 settings] This mower handled my yard with ease.

Quiet Operation

My first impression of this mower was how heavy and durable it feels.  I’ve been using this mower for approximately a month now and am impressed with its power and cutting quality.

There are only three features on this mower:

  1. Battery gauge – located at the top handle
  2. Quiet Mode: also located at the top handle, this mode saves battery energy, and lowers the rpms from 3,300 down to 2,500 rpms reducing noise slightly. I’ll be honest – I couldn’t tell by listening.
  3. Deck Height Adjustment: this lever provides 10 different height positions.

There are three adjustments for handle height.  The deck height adjustment is by far the simplest and easiest adjustment I’ve seen on a lawnmower. This single lever cutting height adjustment for quick adjustment of 10 cutting heights (13/16″ to 2-15/16″)

The mower has a plug needed for mulching operation and a 16 gallon capacity grass collector bag. I used both and they both work well. The mower does not actually mulch the grass into smaller clippings, the clippings appear to be full size and just are circulated back to the ground.

Quality of Cut

The Makita 18V X2 cordless lawn mower, XML03 produces a nice clean cut.  The centerlines if the front wheels provide a useful line of sight to the mowers cutting swath

Runtime

I live on a ¼ acre have approximately 4,000 square feet of grass, using two 5.0 Ah batteries I was able to mow my lawn on one battery charge and still have three bars on the battery. I actually get two mowing’s on one battery charge.

Makita says this mower will cut up to 7,300 square feet using two 5.0Ah batteries.

Durability

The Lawn Mower is rated for IPX4 which gives the tool dust and water resistance. It features what Makita calls “Extreme Protection Technology (XPT).”  XPT is a protective seal inside the tool, and is engineered for improved operation in harsh conditions by channeling water and dust from key internal components.

Makita Star Protection- What is it?

People often ask if the what exactly is the electronic protection and what does it do?

Makita proprietary Star Protection resides in the tool’s controller, which consists of electronic controls communicating with both the tool and battery during use to optimize performance. Star Protection protects against overload, over-discharge and overheating.

It’s important to note that Makita programs specific controllers for each model (in other words, the controller inside an 18V LXT Driver-Drill is different than the controller inside an 18V X2 (36V) LXT Chain Saw). In addition, the Makita controller and battery communicate in both directions, which is unique in the category (other brands have electronic controls, but all have one-way communication between the tool and battery). The two-way communication inside a Makita cordless tool enables real-time communication that results in better performance and power management (example: the controller can “tell” the battery how much energy is needed for the application at hand).

The combination of electronic controllers and brushless motors results in more performance features. For example, the 18V LXT Brushless Impact Driver (XDT16) uses electronic controls to give users precision features including four speed settings, Assist Mode for driving long fasteners into wood, two Tek Modes for self-tap screws, and an auto-stop feature to prevent losing a bolt nut when reversing.

Improvement

The lawn mower handles fold in the center for storage but I’d like to see a easier / faster way to fold the handles down at the mower deck. As of now you need to unscrew 4 knobs. A cam-type lever at these locations would be faster.

One thing we noticed was that the switch lever at the top of the handle bars has tight tension which could produce some hand grip fatigue over time. It’s also quite possible the cable will stretch over time and become easier.

Price

The mower is available as a bare tool, XML03Z, or as part of a kit, XML03PT1. The kit comes with a dual port charger and (4) 5.0Ah batteries. Both come with the mulching plug and a 3-year limited warranty.

Final Thoughts

This mower is an outstanding addition to Makita’s HUGE 18-volt arsenal of tools. The fact that they kept this tool in the 18-volt platform means that anyone running their tools can now operate their OPE products on their home. It also means you can purchase these OPE tools as a bare too, at a lesser cost, since you may already have the batteries.

We think the Makita 18V X2 cordless lawn mower, XML03 is a winner!

Makita 18V X2 Cordless Lawn Mower Video Review

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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