Power tools, like many other items, have changed a lot over the years. Power tools available today are safer, more powerful, and easier to use. Changes in technology have created tools that are lightweight, compact, and portable, while still having all the power you need to get the job done. Makita LXT Lithium Ion cordless tools are a good example of this.

Cordless tools have been around a long time and Makita has been known for carrying high quality tools with the latest technology. This continues to be true with the Makita LXT Lithium Ion cordless tools. Lithium Ion is the one of the latest improvements in cordless battery technology. Lithium Ion batteries charge faster, hold a charge longer and are much lighter than standard Nickel Cadmium and Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries. They are also designed to be able to be charged at any time and do not require you to run the battery completely down before charging. Previous batteries, like those in many other electronics, would only allow you to use as much charge as you had just put on the battery, so if it was not completely drained when you charged it you would lose the ability to get the full charge allowance of the battery. The ability to charge the Makita battery at any time with no effect on the memory is one of the great advantages of this new technology. In addition, these batteries do not lose as much charge during non-use, so they are ready to use even after sitting in your toolbox all weekend.

The Lithium Ion batteries are not the only advantage to these tools, however. Makita has designed them with a four-pole motor instead of the usual two-pole motor, allowing them to charge with every 90-degree turn instead of the 180-degree turn required in the past. Once again, this design allows the tool to be lighter and still have more power. Many of the Makita LXT tools, like the Makita 18v drills, also have a three-speed selection switch in place of the common two-speed option. This is a very nice feature, allowing you to adjust the speed of the tool even more to fit the job you are doing. The tools are also designed with an ergonomic shape, which along with the lighter weight, makes them very comfortable to use even for long periods of time.

Makita has been expanding its selection and now offers many different tools in this line (they even have the rugged-ized Makita radio). At this time, however, there are still not as many options as in the other cordless styles, so you will have to see if the tools available will do what you need. If you are looking for a 3/8" drill, the only ones available at this point are right-angle. The standard drills are all 1/2". You will also find there are not as many different options for impact drivers as in the other styles. Many tools have been added to the line since it started, however, and the options will certainly continue to increase as this technology becomes more popular.

The tools come with a battery and charger and many of them are available in kits as well. The kits usually include two batteries, a charger, and a case and sometimes include other accessories like screwdriver bits. Many of the tools also have built-in LED lights to illuminate your work. This is the case on the 1/2" drills. The line includes a driver-drill, a hammer driver-drill, and a powerful hybrid impact/hammer/driver-drill. The hybrid has 16 clutch settings to add to its versatility.

With all the advantages that come with the new technology, there is no question that the Makita LXT tools are worth purchasing. However, deciding when to start buying them is not that simple. The Lithium Ion batteries do not work on other styles of tools and the Nickel Cadmium and Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries will not work on these tools. If you want to continue to use the other styles and not replace all of your tools, you will have to deal with using different batteries and different chargers. Other companies have designed tools that will use both types of batteries, which is helpful if you have older batteries around that you want to be able to use. However, if you are buying the tool because you want the new technology, using the older style batteries defeats your purpose. If you are ready to start transitioning and want the latest design, the Makita LXT tools are a good value and well worth the investment.