Makita XRU15PT 36V Review
Pros: Easy to use, great battery life, low noise
Cons: Not the lightest tool around, pricey
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Our Analysis and Test Results
One fairly unique feature of this string trimmer is that it uses a pair of batteries in series to achieve the higher voltage used by most cordless yard tools. This means that it uses the same batteries as many of Makita's cordless hand tools, like drills or impact drivers, allowing you to use the same battery across your entire spectrum of Makita tools, cutting down on the clutter of charging cords and chargers in your garage considerably.
Our most important rating metric for these tools is their weed-eating performance, with scores based on how effective each trimmer is at clearing vegetation, how much power it has for cutting through tougher plants, and how easy it is to use for making detailed or precise cuts. The Makita XRU15PT delivered a phenomenal performance, earning one of the top scores overall.
We found the Makita XRU15PT to be very effective at clearing weeds and plants. It cuts a clean path wherever you point it. We also liked that you can cut almost flush with the ground without kicking up a giant cloud of dust. This tool also has plenty of power to slice and dice even tougher vegetation, cutting through woodier stems and thicker patches of weeds without getting bogged down or stalling at all.
While the Makita XRU15PT does pack plenty of power, we still found it to be an awesome tool for making detailed cuts. It has a smaller guard that lets it be highly maneuverable and a slower speed setting so you can clear weeds away from objects and more delicate plants without completely destroying them in the process.
Ease of Use
After rating and ranking the weed eating performance of each, we moved on to scoring how convenient and easy to use each cordless yard tool was. The Makita XRU15PT once again delivered some exceptional results, earning its spot right at the top of the group.
This string trimmer uses a bump mechanism to dispense more line, which we found to operate very smoothly and efficiently. It wasn't the most intuitive to change the line the first time since there weren't any immediately apparent marks or labels to show where to release the cover. However, it was super easy to do once we consulted the manual and didn't have any issues once we figured it out.
This trimmer is just a bit heavier than some of the other models but we didn't find this to be too much of an issue since the tool is so nicely balanced and ergonomically designed.
It's very comfortable to hold, even for marathon weed-eating sessions. The shoulder strap holds it at a good angle and the handle has a rubber dampener that helps minimize fatigue from vibration. The handle also has a grippy texture and is easy to hold securely.
We also are big fans of the guard on this string trimmer. It's small enough to not get in the way while making precise cuts but still does a good job of blocking debris and bits of cut plants from getting blown back at you.
Our next round of tests focused on how long you could run each of these cordless tools and if you have the option of reducing power to maximize runtime. The Makita XRU15PT continued to dominate, again earning one of the best scores of the group for its top-notch showing.
This cordless string trimmer ran for just under an hour and a half continuously under no-load conditions using the stock batteries, which is one of the longest times of the entire group.
This string trimmer also offers three different speed settings — low, medium, and high — so you effectively balance your power and runtime requirements for maximum efficiency.
Our final round of tests looked at how loud each of these yard tools is, with scores based on measured noise levels for both the operator and a bystander about 50' away. We also deducted points from any models that had particularly irritating tones or high-pitched whines. The Makita XRU15PT finished out our review process with another top-tier performance.
This cordless string trimmer is one of the quietest models of the entire group, with our SPL meter registering around 85 dBa from an arm's length away.
This trimmer produced a fairly low-pitched hum which we found to be fairly inoffensive for bystanders.
Unfortunately, this tool is one of the most expensive of the entire group so it isn't necessarily the best option if you are shopping on a budget.
Overall, the Makita XRU15PT is one of our all-time favorite string trimmers and we highly recommend it. It has plenty of weed-eating power and runtime, all in a comfortable and easy to use form factor.
— David Wise and Michelle Powell