If you are on the hunt for a single battery system to rule them all, the Makita is a solid choice when it comes to cordless leaf blowers. This is an overall top-notch blower that utilizes interchangeable batteries with the Makita handheld power tools. This leaf blower has tons and tons of power to clear all sorts of debris, all while being relatively quiet and decently ergonomic. It doesn't have the most amazing battery life but it is by far our top recommendation if you want to try and keep the same battery system across all your cordless power tools, earning it the Top Pick Award.
Makita XBU02PT1 Review
Pros: Plenty of strength, quiet
Cons: Unimpressive battery life, so-so ergonomics and comfort
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Makita XBU02PT1 finished close to the top of the entire group overall, just behind the Ego Power+ 580 CFM and ahead of the Snapper 82-Volt Max. The Ego and the XBU02PT1 cost about the same and have about the same level of ergonomics, but the Ego has a better battery life and is a just a tiny bit more powerful. The Makita is a bit quieter though. Basically, the Ego is a better option if you are only going to buy a cordless leaf blower and other cordless yard tools or don't mind having multiple battery systems, while the Makita has an advantage if you already own other Makita brand tools or want to only use one battery system. The Snapper is just a bit weaker than the Makita and a bit louder but it is a tad bit more ergonomic and has a better battery life. Additionally, the Snapper is significantly less expensive, making it a much better value buy if you are concerned on cost.
To pick out which cordless leaf blowers are truly worthy of earning an award, we compared the manufacturers' specifications and user reviews for an enormous number of different leaf blowers, then picked out the products that showed the most promise and bought them all to try out for ourselves. We conducted a wide variety of different tests, grouped into four weighted rating metrics, with the Makita's performance in each outlined below.
Accountable for half of the total score for each product, power is our most significant testing metric. We rated and ranked each product based on its maximum useful range at clearing sand, how easily and quickly it can clear mixed debris and the height that it can float a beach ball in a stable configuration. The Makita XBU02PT1 delivered one of the best results of the entire group, meriting an 8 out of 10.
The XBU02PT1 did very well at levitating the beach ball, floating it to a height of 6' and holding it there.
This cordless leaf blower also has an impressive range, able to effectively move sand almost 18' (213 inches) away from the end of the blower, which is one of the furthest ranges that we have seen from these products.
The XBU02PT1 did exceptionally well at removing mixed debris from our parking, sending all sorts of leaves, pine needles, rocks, and soil flying. It didn't have any issues at all removing the caked-on dirt layer from the asphalt or moving small stones or pebbles. It isn't quite the best we have seen but it is a strong contender for the runner-up position.
It makes clearing leaves and pine needles an absolute breeze though it can struggle a small amount if the pine needles clump together into a giant mat. It moves small to medium piles without an issue but we did manage to stump the Makita when the pine needles stuck together enough to form a massive mat that stretched across multiple parking spaces.
Following our trio of strength tests, we next rated and compared the battery system of each cordless blower, which is responsible for one-fourth of the final score for the Makita. Points were awarded based on the runtime of each leaf blower with a fully charged battery and how long it took to recharge a totally dead battery. The XBU02PT1 didn't do amazingly well, receiving a 4 out of 10 for its slightly below average battery life.
This cordless leaf blower uses a pair of 5 amp hour, 18-volt batteries in series to get a nominal operating voltage of 36 volts. Unfortunately, these batteries didn't last for a very long time at all, with the Makita failing to make it to 15 minutes on a full charge, dying after 14 minutes and 37 seconds.
Fortunately, these batteries charge quite quickly. The included charger can charge both batteries simultaneously and we found that it took about an hour to completely recharge a dead battery, plus or minus five minutes or so.
Constituting 15% of the total score, our ergonomics metric came next in terms of significance. The Makita did about average, earning a 5 out of 10 for its comfort level and overall ergonomics. This score is based on how balanced the XBU02PT1 is, how its grip felt, where its air intake vent is, and how much it weighs.
The Makita is right on par for these products when it comes to how much it weighs, tipping the scales at 9.2 lbs. with the pair of batteries installed.
It has an acceptable grip but it isn't quite as balanced as we would have hoped. It naturally rests at an angle that is just a bit too steep, forcing the nozzle to point right at the ground, which isn't the most optimal leaf blowing angle.
This cordless leaf blower has a dial interface to control the speed, with a cruise control setting for the max power mode. We did like that the dial is super easy to reach with your thumb while holding it compared to many other models that require you to use a second hand.
The intake vent is on the back of the Makita, so it can be prone to snagging your shirt when you are switching the XBU02PT1 from hand to hand but we never found this to be too much of an issue and didn't really stop the air flow.
Our last pair of tests scored the Makita on the amount of noise that it produced. Using an SPL meter, we measured the sound level experienced by the operator when the XBU02PT1 is on its most powerful mode and the noise felt by a bystander approximately 50' away. The Makita finished out with a solid performance in this metric, which is responsible for the leftover 10% of the score, earning a 7 out of 10.
The Makita only created noise levels of about 84 dBa for the operator, without any particularly irritating high-pitched tones. This dropped significantly for bystanders, with our meter only recording levels of 68.5 dBa at the measured 50' way.
While the Makita is an excellent cordless blower and does offer more universal battery compatibility than many other models, it comes at a bit of a premium price and isn't the best value. There are far better bargain options out there for the budget-conscious.
The Makita XBU02PT1 is a fantastic cordless leaf blower that holds its own with the best models that we have seen. It's got plenty of power, it's ergonomic, and it isn't upsettingly loud, all while offering compatibility across the line of Makita tools.
— Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman