Makita is one of the two major brands that manufacture powerful battery-powered tools. With DeWalt as their main competitors, they really have to step up their game every time they put out a new product. The person who ultimately wins from this healthy competition is the end-user. Models like the Makita XPK01Z LXT Cordless Planer are a testament that cordless models are soon to reach corded ones in terms of performance. In this review, you will learn about the most important features of the XPK01Z and see some of its main advantages and disadvantages over other models in its class.
My Verdict: If you are looking for a powerful cordless alternative for your woodworking tool set, then the Makita XPK01Z is a good place to start your search from. It does everything you want it to and the build quality and performance are on par with other premium electric hand planers. The major downside is that it can easily cost three or four times more than other cheaper planers, and in most cases it won’t come with a battery, so that will add even more to the cost.
Head over to my buyer’s guide on the best hand planers for 2020 if you want to see other models or learn more about hand planers in general. Now, let’s get started!
Overview & Features
The best way to describe this planer is that it effectively combines the effortless comfort of a cordless tool with the power capacity of a corded one. Battery technology has almost reached corded output in terms of performance and to think that it is still in its dawn is just a solid proof that in the near future most companies will convert to cordless tools. The best thing about companies like Makita and DeWalt is that they use universal battery packs across all their tools. The bad part to all that is that those battery packs aren’t cheap and often don’t come in the box when you buy a brand new tool from them.
The motor here is on par with the rest of the quality of this tool. It is quite potent and gets is juice from a powerful 5Ah 18V battery pack which is used across Makita’s range. The bad part here is that if you are new to Makita’s universe of tools, you will have to get the battery pack and charger separately which will add significant bulk to the end price.
Also, if you have other battery packs from Makita, make sure that they have the star symbol, as those are the universally compatible ones.
In terms of cutting width, this planer has a 3 and 1/4 inches of it. It can go up to 5/64 inches deep on a single pass which is adjustable from 0 to 5/64″. The depth scale is very easy to read thanks to the large font.
The adjustment knob itself has a great feel to it. It is rubberized and has a good lick when you turn it which makes working with gloves easy.
Design & Build Quality
The comfort that this planer brings to the table is quite unique. It has an ergonomic design with a good center of weight which helps you control the tool when you’re making your pass. The front and rear handles are rubberized for even more comfort. The buttons are placed well and the tool is relatively easy to work with both hands. One thing I don’t like is that it doesn’t have double-sided vents for the wood dust. The only vent is on the right side.
The base shoes are made out of machined aluminum and are perfectly parallel straight out of the box, as it is expected from this premium class of planers.
Overall, the power-to-weight ratio here is quite good, even if the tool itself is a bit on the heavy side. The blade system is easy to change and maintain, and there is even an electric brake which increases productivity. One more thing about the weight here, Makita has done a great job at figuring out where exactly the center of mass should be, and the tool is, therefore, very easy to control even one-handed.
In terms of additional features or accessories, there is a spring-loaded stand which helps keep the base elevated in order to not mar any surfaces you are working on.
I just wanted to add one more thing here… As I mentioned a few times already, the price here isn’t ideal for a lot of people who are just looking for a handy tool that will be used every once in a while when it’s needed. If you are looking for something to invest in the long run, then this just might be it, even though batteries might require a change after a few years. Still, if you are on the market for something cheaper with (somewhat) similar functionality, I suggest checking out the Wen 6534 Electric hand planer.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Powerful Motor
- Double-edge carbide blades
- Depth adjustments from 0 to 5/64 inches
- The adjustment knob is very easy to use
- Comfortable handle
- Sturdy construction
- Machined aluminum base
- Some units are known to snipe straight out of the box even at 0 inches. If yours does that, make sure you return it for a replacement. Still, that is a very rare occurring
- The planer is quite expensive and if you don’t have a Makita battery pack and charger it will cost you extra to get one of those
- It is a bit heavy at 7.4 lbs
- No double venting system for the dust
If you want to learn the dos and don’ts of these tools, I suggest checking out this article on how to use an electric hand planer.
Conclusion and Rating
If you are a finish carpenter, remodeler, or just a general contractor, the Makita XPK01Z LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Planer is perhaps one of your best choices for an electric hand planer. It is everything you might need from such a tool, even though it is a bit expensive at first, especially when you have to add the cost of the batteries and charger. Still, as a long-term investment, there is hardly any real competition here.