By Steve Shanesy
Makita has liberated the pigtail from a full-sized random-orbit sander with the introduction of the 5″ LXT 18-volt lithium-ion cordless sander.
Cordless sanders have challenged manufacturers because of the continuous-duty nature of the tool; only Makita and Ryobi have one on the market.
The Makita sander weighs in at 3.6 pounds, not bad for a machine toting an 18v battery – and the tool is well balanced, with the battery tucked behind the grip.
Speed controls are conveniently located at the top front of the tool. The sander has three operating speeds: 11,000 orbits per minute (opm) in high speed for most sanding chores; 9,500 opm for finish sanding and 7,000 opm for polishing. Orbit size is 1⁄8″ inch. In our test, the battery ran for 24 minutes at high speed (four minutes longer than the company states). Recharge time is 30 minutes. While I’d prefer longer run times (of course), the LXT sander delivers solid performance.
As with most random-orbit sanders, dust collection is through holes in the pad and is only moderately functional.
If you have already bought into the Makita 18v-system – it now includes 50 products – the LXT is attractively priced.
Video: Watch a short demo of the LXT cordless sander online.
From the June 2013 issue #204
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