Makita 18V Cordless Hedge Trimmer Drops Weight While Improving Performance
With more than 100 years of experience making electric motors and their acquisition of Dolmar bringing another 90 years of experience in gas OPE, Makita knows a thing or two about making battery-powered lawn care equipment with the performance of gas. So what does all that get you with the latest Makita 18V cordless hedge trimmer?
The short answer is more than what many of the other brands can offer.
- 24-inch and 30-inch blades available
- Low vibration and noise compared to other cordless models
- 3 speed settings with a variable speed trigger
- Reverse gets you out of a jam
- Blazing fast 4400 SPM stroke rate
- 5-position rotating handle
Makita 18V Cordless Hedge Trimmer Performance
Makita has to compete against companies that have 40, 56, 80, and even higher voltage. Rather than going with the 18V X2 platform, they stick with just 18V. And that’s not an issue at all.
The trimmer’s 3/4-inch knives are on par with what many cordless models have, though some are moving up to 1-inch gaps or a little more. However, its 4400 SPM stroke rate is quite a bit higher than most of the competition that tends to be in the 3000–3500 SPM range.
This Makita 18V cordless hedge trimmer also has 3 speed modes to work with—2000, 3600, and 4400 SPM. Low is good for when you’re doing some light trimming and want to conserve your battery. Medium matches the high speed of most of Makita’s competition and high lets you fly through your trimming duties quicker than other most other cordless models.
I prefer to use it at high speed. I get plenty of runtime to get all of the hedges done on one charge and the faster cutting helps get done faster so I can move onto other important work—like making sure somebody keeps the bass on their toes!
One thing I notice is that there’s very little vibration and noise when I’m trimming, even for a cordless hedge trimmer. It’s not an accident and Makita builds in specific vibration controls that you don’t see on some of the other models out there.
Makita Cordless Hedge Trimmer Design
Weight and Balance
The latest Makita cordless hedge trimmer uses just one 18V battery instead of two to get its outstanding performance. It’s interesting that they go with a side entry instead of a rear entry, but it doesn’t seem to affect the balance in a negative way at all.
Balance is dead level on the guide handle without a battery and slightly to the rear with a 5.0 Ah pack. The 30-inch model likely has a more neutral balance with its longer blade.
Our scales show the full weight with 5.0 Ah battery at 9.2 pounds—pretty light in the professional cordless sector and 2-1/2 pounds lighter than the XHU04 with its 18V X2 configuration.
The Makita XHU07T includes a 5-position rotating handle. A simple push-down thumb lever releases it to let you maintain a more natural position when you’re trimming the sides of any hedges.
3-Stage Trigger Safety
Makita adds a power button to its trigger safety system. Just hold it down for one second to activate it. After 1 minute of non-use, it shuts itself off.
The rest of the safety systems are pretty standard. A safety on top of the handle mechanically locks out the trigger and the final one is on the guide handle, ensuring you have to use two hands when you’re working.
Makita sees the majority of their users take an overhand grip to their hedge trimmers, so the guide handle safety pushes in toward the blade. I initially wanted to argue for a different placement because I like an underhand grip. But the more I used it, the more I realized I use an overhand grip the majority of the time as well.
Reverse doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense on a hedge trimmer since it’s a reciprocating motion. But jam the blades on a branch that’s a little too thick and Makita’s makes a lot of sense. It makes a quick reverse movement and stops, letting you release the branch before continuing on your merry way.
When 24 Inches Isn’t Enough
You have a couple of options when it comes to the blade length for the Makita 18V cordless hedge trimmer. The Makita XHU07T (or Z for the bare tool) comes with a 24-inch blade. The XHU08T has a 30-inch blade. The rest of the tool is the same and you can swap the blades out if you like.
Makita 18V Cordless Hedge Trimmer Price
As a bare tool, the Makita XHU07 runs $249 and it’s $389 as a kit with two 5.0 Ah batteries and a Rapid Optimum Charger. The 30-inch XHU08 is about $20 more.
Cordless hedge trimmer pricing is all over the map along with features and performance. The differences are so great, that there’s not a really great way to compare this Makita cordless hedge trimmer to others in such a short space. But you can check out some of those in more detail at OPE Reviews’ hedge trimmer shootout!
The Bottom Line
Drawing on its deep history in gas equipment and cordless tools, Makita scores a huge win with its latest 18V cordless hedge trimmer. It significantly drops the weight down from the 18V X2 model while putting some serious distance on their competition in cutting speed. Combine that with a feature set that makes your job easier and the Makita XHU07T and XHU08T are very easy to recommend.
Makita 18V Cordless Hedge Trimmer Specifications
- Model: Makita XHU07T
- Battery: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion
- Strokes Per Minute: 4,400 SPM
- Blade Length: 24 inches
- Length: 44-1/4 inches
- Weight: 7.8 lbs, 9.2 lbs with battery
- Warranty: 3 years limited
- Price: $389 .00