Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Makita 18-Volt LXT Cordless Finish Nailer REVIEW! (XNB02Z)

Provided by the Home Depot Prospective Program for Review

Tool Review Zone was sent the Makita 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 2-1/2 in. Straight Finish Nailer, 16-Gauge (model XNB02Z, tool only) for a review, and we liked what we saw.

We review a lot of nailers on the TRZ channels, but most of them are pneumatic. Last month we reviewed the Dewalt cordless framing nailer and really liked it, (DEWALT Framing Nailer Review) so I was excited to see if the Makita finish nailer was worth the hefty $325.00 price tag?   

The first thing I noticed when taking it out of the box was the size and weight of the nailer. It’s 9.5 lbs without the battery, and the gun is much larger than any other finish nailer that I have ever used. That being said, I was somewhat surprised with how well balanced the gun actually felt in the hand. The grip was made to conform to your hand, and the plastic/rubber casting made it nice to hold. Not only that, but the nailer is designed to give a good line of site while in operating, so I didn’t have any issues with not being able to see my work. It also has an LED light in the front to help illuminate the work area, so that was a plus. I will say that I liked the overall quality of the nailer, but you will need to get used to the size and weight if switching from a pneumatic unit.

Selector switch
As for operation, I was a bit frustrated at first use. In order to drive the nail(s) past flush, you really need to add some pressure. If you don’t have the unit flush, and pressed firmy against the wood, the nails will only sink flush or even exposed from the wood. I noticed that I had more issues with this when bump fire was selected, but got better once I got comfortable with the gun. As for how far you can sing the nails, only about a 16th of an inch into pine, so keep that in mind when working with harder wood. The depth adjustment knob is large enough to make easy adjustments, but I still think that it still needs to be adjusted a bit to drive the nails further into the wood if needed.

Now I mentioned that you could switch from single shot to but shot, but what I love about this nailer is how easy it is to do it. There is a switch that is protected with a plastic cover (to keep water out) that you push in order to select the mode you want to be in. This literally only takes a second to do, and is a great design that’s meant to make your life a bit easier on the job.

For the single shot, you must press the head onto the wood then fire by pulling the trigger. On the bump/rapid fire setting, you can simply keep the trigger pulled back and, well bump it. You will hear the nailer rev up before each shot, but it’s not very loud at all (much more quiet than air). The speed of each shot was also impressive. I will say that this gun can probably rev up and be ready for the next shot before you are ready to fire it again. Even during the bump fire testing, I did not have any misfires or jamming of the nails at any point. Even if you did encounter a jam, Makita makes it very simple to clear it as they added a quick release (tool-less) nose to help fix that issue quickly.  

So how far can you go on a full charge? Well, Makita states that if you use a 5Ah battery, you can fire over 1,000 nails before a new battery/recharge is needed. You can also place up to 110 nails in the gun, so you can definitely get some work done while using this nailer.

Now with all that said, my three biggest complaints are:
1.   It’s a bit bigger than any pneumatic nailers out there, but it’s also much more portable, and no worries about needing a compressor, cartridges or oil.
2.   You need to ensure you a completely flush, and add enough pressure so the nails drive past flush.
3.   It’s not brushless. Yes, you heard me (its brushed)      

Is this nailer perfect, not even close, but is it more convenient than using a pneumatic nailer, absolutely. It’s ideal solution for trim work, baseboard and crown molding installation, flooring and other woodworking applications. And it drives standard 16-Gauge straight finish nails from 1 in. to 2-1/2 in. length.

More specs
  • Powerful motor design drives standard 16-Gauge, straight finish nails from 1 in. to 2-1/2 in. length
  • Drives up to 1,000 finish nails using a 5.0Ah 18-Volt LXT Battery (battery not included)
  • Cordless for increased convenience; eliminates the need for a compressor and air hose
  • Compact center height enables viewing around the nose tip when fastening in tight spots
  • Anti-dry fire mechanism engineered to help prevent driving blanks and damage to work surface
  • Tool-less depth adjustment for precise flush and countersink finish
  • 2-mode selector switch for control over nailing operation
  • Trigger lock button for operator convenience
  • Built-in LED light illuminates the work area
  • Tool-less nose design is easy to clear for fast nail extraction
  • Rear lock-and-load magazine holds up to 110 nails for maximum efficiency
  • Ergonomically designed handle with rubberized soft grip provides increased comfort
  • Rubber bumpers protect the tool and surface from damage
  • Reversible belt clip allows the tool to remain close
  • Narrow nose design allows easy nailing access in confined areas
  • Includes two removable no-mar tips with convenient on-tool storage
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 11-5/8 in. long
  • 3-year limited warranty

Amperage (amps) 0.0
Battery Power Type Lithium Ion
Battery Size 18-volt
Cordless/ Corded Cordless
Depth Control Yes
Motor Type Brushed
Number of Batteries Included 0
Product Weight (lb.) 9.5 lb
Returnable 90-Day
Tools Product Type Power Tool
Voltage (volts) 18

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is
partnering with me to participate in
the ProSpective 2018 Campaign. As a part of
the Program, I am receiving compensation in
the form of products and services, for the
purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All
expressed opinions and experiences are my
own words. My post complies with the Word Of
Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics
Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission

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