Professional Tool Reviews for Pros
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!
We’re really excited to get our hands on the first Makita 18V LXT Cordless X-Lock Angle Grinder (XAG26). 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.
The Makita XAG26 grinder 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.
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 the XAG26 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.
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.
The Makita XAG26 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 a side handle, the XAG26 weighs 4.6 pounds. Adding a 5.0Ah battery to it brings it just under the 6-pound mark.
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 Makita XAG26 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!
On the clock, Kenny dives deep to discover the practical limits and comparative differences for all kinds of tools. Off the clock, his faith and love for his family are his top priorities, and you'll typically find him in the kitchen, on his bike (he's an Ironman), or taking folks out for a day of fishing on Tampa Bay.
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Out of curiosity, how come this one got a lower rating than the flex, when this one has “No significant drawbacks” and the flex does?
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Professional Tool Reviews for Pros
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