Makita Cordless Grinder Upgrades with X-Lock Wheel Interface
We’re really excited to get out hands on the first Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder. Launching two other options (one cordless and one corded), it adds X-Lock’s easy-to-use wheel change system to Makita’s thoughtful design.
- X-Lock grinder interface makes wheel changes super-easy and fast
- Electronic brake
- Active Feedback-sensing Technology (AFT)
- Anti-restart protection
Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder Performance
The Makita XAG26 maxes out at 8500 RPM and matches up most closely with the XAG20 (or XAG21 with AWS) if you’ve been using that model. However, it’s a single-speed design, not variable speed.
We did a variety of cutting, grinding, and polishing to see what kind of work we could accomplish. The brushless motor did a nice job of keeping the RPMs high as we cut notches out of 3/8-inch angle iron and it was able to grind down problem areas effectively. Where it really shined—literally—was how quickly it cleaned up our angle iron with a wire cup brush and flap disk.
There’s definitely a difference between this and some of the higher voltage cordless grinders, but keep in mind that this is a 4 1/2 to 5-inch grinder. Of course, it’s going to have less power than 6-inch angle grinders. If you’re looking for a corded power equivalent, this one matches up well with grinders in the 8A to 9A class.
Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder Design
Obviously, the big design feature for this Makita cordless angle grinder is the X-Lock wheel interface. If it’s a new concept to you, it’s a hands-free, tool-free locking system to secure grinder wheels. To release a wheel, pull the lever on top and it drops the wheel.
That action also holds the X-Lock interface open to accept the next wheel. You can push the grinder down on the wheel, but we find it’s easier to just pop it on by hand. When you press the wheel against the X-Lock mechanism, it clicks audibly enough to hear under hearing protection and holds tight.
If you have other Makita grinders (or any other brand) with a standard 5/8-inch arbor, don’t worry about keeping 2 separate wheel styles in stock. X-Lock wheels fit on standard arbors. However, you can’t make a standard wheel work on an X-Lock grinder.
The Makita XAG26 is a braking grinder. When you release the paddle switch, it electronically controls the brushless motor to stop it quickly—less than 2 seconds.
There’s no lock-on switch on this model. If you take your hand off of the paddle switch or drop the grinder, the brake kicks in and brings it to a stop. If you’d rather have a lock-on switch, look to the XAG25 to get that feature instead.
Makita also developed AFT and uses it in this grinder. It stands for Active Feedback-sensing Technology and stops the wheel if it binds up or stops for any reason.
Finally, there’s anti-restart protection. If you happen to insert a battery and still have the paddle switch engaged, the motor won’t spin up until you cycle the switch back off first.
LED Battery Level Indicator
I don’t normally point out the battery level indicator when the battery already has them. However, the indicators on the battery point down and Makita adds a 3-LED indicator on top where you can see it easily without turning the tool over. It’s a little thing, but we appreciate it. Just hit the switch and it lights up.
Size and Weight
The Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder is on the smaller, lighter side. It’s only 14 3/4 inches long with a girth that makes the barrel easy to find a comfortable grip on.
Without a battery and with the side handle, the XAG26 weighs 4.6 pounds. Adding a 5.0Ah battery to it brings it just under the 6-pound mark.
- Automatic Speed Change senses the load and adjusts power to the wheel to keep RPMs high
- Soft start
- Spiral bevel gears
- Tool-free guard adjustments
- Wire mesh covering the intake vents
- 2-position side handle (left/right)
- Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) improved dust and water resistance
Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder Price
If you want the Makita XAG26 with its paddle switch, the bare tool runs $179—the same price as the XAG20 with a standard arbor. If you’d prefer the lock-on switch instead, the XAG25 is $159. There are no kit options at the moment and these are the only Makita cordless grinders with the X-Lock interface at the time we’re writing this.
If you don’t mind a cord, Makita’s GA4570 7.5A small angle grinder has X-Lock as well.
Makita also has a full line of X-Lock accessories, making it easy to keep shopping with your favorite Makita distributor.
The Bottom Line
The Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder tackles your small angle grinder work with solid performance, an intelligent design, and the convenience of an X-Lock interface. It’s a good start but we’re a little greedy. We’d love to see the line expand into cordless medium and large angle grinders. With Makita’s XGT system launching, we’re hoping that’s sooner rather than later!
Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder Specifications
- Model: Makita XAG26Z
- Battery: 18V LXT
- Motor: Brushless
- Wheel Diameter: 4 1/2 or 5 in.
- No-Load Speed: 8,500 RPM
- Spindle Type: X-Lock
- Switch Type: Paddle
- Electric Brake: Yes
- Variable Speed Dial: No
- Bind-Up Control: Yes
- Length: 14-3/4 in.
- Weight: 5.99 lbs. with 5.0Ah battery
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $179 (bare tool)