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Makita CXT vs LXT: What’s the Difference in 2021?

Makita CXT vs LXT

Makita CXT vs LXT

Review Summary

Makita is one of the names that many professionals trust when it comes to their tools. They’re known as a brand that makes professional-quality tools, but with the addition of their CXT lineup, they’ve entered a more affordable sphere. No longer are all Makita tools equipped with a hefty price tag.

If you’re looking for an affordable set of basic tools for repairs and DIY around the home, then the CXT lineup is a great way to get Makita quality without spending a fortune. But if you need heavy-duty tools that can handle professional abuse and put out serious power, you’re going to want to go with the LXT line instead. And if you’re looking to have a diverse tool collection with many tools sharing the same battery, you’ll want to skip the CXT lineup and stick with the versatile LXT family of tools.

That’s not to say that the CXT line is sub-par. The tools in the CXT lineup are great tools that offer decent performance at a very affordable price. They’re also small and lightweight, which is perfect for anyone who has trouble with heavier tools. But they just don’t offer the same level of performance that you get with the LXT lineup, and there are far fewer options available in the CXT family.

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At a Glance

Makita CXT vs LXT

Let’s look at the key points of each product.

Makita CXT Line
  • 12-volt battery packs
  • Lithium-ion
  • 30+ tools in the lineup
  • Compact sizing
Makita LXT Line
  • 18-volt battery packs
  • Lithium-ion
  • Over 275 tools in the lineup
  • Offers more power

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Overview of Makita CXT:

Makita DT04Z 12V Max CXT

The CXT line is Makita’s 12-volt cordless power tool family. There are over 30 tools in the lineup, all of which use the same 12-volt lithium-ion battery packs.

Small and Streamlined

For most, the most appealing feature of the CXT line is the smaller size of the tools. They’re compact and easy to hold. Plus, they tend to weigh quite a bit less than their cousins in the LXT lineup. Tools from the CXT line are the perfect choice for anyone who has a difficult time holding and using larger, heavier power tools.

Affordable Pricing

The other really attractive thing about the CXT line is how affordable these tools are compared to members of the LXT family. Makita tools aren’t known for being cheap, but the CXT family offers some of the most affordable options available from Makita.

Limited Options

In the CXT 12-volt lineup, you won’t find multiple options of impact drivers to pick from. You’ll get fewer choices regarding each tool, and there are fewer members in the CXT family total. If you want to keep expanding your tool collection past the basics, then the CXT family might not provide all of the tools you want to add in the future.

Fewer Volts, Less Power

The other drawback of the CXT family is that they’re not anywhere near as powerful as their LXT counterparts. Members of the CXT lineup use a 12-volt battery pack that just can’t power the tools the same as the 18-volt batteries in the LXT line.

Pros
  • Very compact size
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Affordably priced
Cons
  • Lacking in power
  • Not as many choices
  • Fewer tools use the batteries

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Overview of Makita LXT:

Makita XDT13Z 18V LXT

 

The LXT line of cordless power tools is the bread and butter of the Makita family. It’s a diverse range of tools that many professionals trust to handle their difficult jobs daily.

More Than 275 Tools in the Family

If you’re looking for options, look no further than the LXT line of tools from Makita. There are more than 275 tools in this family, and they all use the same 18-volt LXT batteries. Even the X2 line offering 36 volts for the largest and most powerful tools is powered by using 2 of these 18-volt LXT batteries. If you want to expand your tool collection in the future, the LXT line offers an outrageous number of options, including tools like lawn mowers and leaf blowers!

Multiple Choices for Each Tool

If you want a particular type of tool, you can usually find several different models within the LXT lineup. Each model will offer different features and performance at a different price point, giving you many options to pick precisely the tool you need.

18-Volts Offers More Power

One of the biggest advantages of tools in the LXT line is that they’re more powerful, thanks to the 18-volt battery packs that LXT tools use. Some tools from the LXT family are twice as powerful as the equivalent tool from the CXT line.

They’re Not as Streamlined

You can’t have everything, and if you want the power and versatility provided by the LXT line, you’re going to have to give up some size and weight. Tools from the LXT family tend to be heavier and bulkier than their streamlined relatives from the CXT line.

Pros
  • Over 275 tools share the same batteries
  • Superior power compared to CXT
  • More options for each tool
Cons
  • Bigger and bulkier than CXT models
  • They weigh more than CXT variants
  • They tend to be more expensive

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What Are the Differences Between Them?

Makita CXT Line

Performance

Edge: LXT

When it comes to performance, it’s not even close; the LXT line decimates the CXT family of tools. Some models from the LXT lineup offer twice the power of their CXT brethren, making them the far better performers of the group. CXT tools still offer adequate performance for homeowners and hobbyists, but they’re not quite sufficient for professional use.

Price

Edge: CXT

The CXT family of tools is definitely more affordable than most of the same tools from the LXT line. This makes sense when you consider the lower voltage and performance offered by the CXT battery packs and tools.

Size

Edge: CXT

Tools from the CXT line definitely win the size war. They’re smaller and lighter on average than their LXT counterparts, making them the better choice for anyone that has difficulty using heavier power tools.

Versatility

Edge: LXT

The CXT family has a fair number of options with more than 30 tools for you to choose from. But that can’t hold a candle to the diversity offered by the LXT lineup with more than 275 tools sharing the same batteries. If you plan on ever adding to your tool collection in the future, the LXT line offers far more options without having to buy into a new set of batteries and chargers.

What the Users Say

Though we’ve done our best to provide a fair and thorough comparison of these two tool lines from Makita, we’re not the only people with opinions on these tools. We searched all over for additional opinions, scouring reviews, forums, comments, and more so we could bring you the full picture.

Most homeowners and hobbyists were completely satisfied with the CXT line of tools. Many people thought they offered plenty of power for their needs. Across the board, everyone seemed pleased with the small form factor and light weight of tools from the CXT family.

But some people noticed the lack of power in the 12-volt tools. Most of these people had used similar tools in a professional capacity before. While many admitted that the CXT tools offered decent power for what they are, it still didn’t seem to satisfy many users.

When it comes to the LXT tools, many of the users are professionals who rely on their tools every day to make a living. A large swathe of these users said they swear by the Makita LXT line and wouldn’t use anything else. Some users had attempted to use the CXT line, though ended up forgoing it for the lack of diversity and power in the lineup.

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Conclusion

There’s no definitive answer to which of these tool lineups is superior. It depends on what you need. If you’re looking for small, compact tools for use around the home or for hobbyist or DIY work, go with the CXT line. For powerful tools that are suitable for professional work, you’ll want to stick with LXT tools. The CXT family is the better choice if you’re looking for the most affordable options, but the LXT lineup offers far more versatility with more than 275 tools sharing the same batteries.

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