Which Makita Cordless Range is Best? 12V, 18V or 40V?

As someone who’s sold tools, used tools, and spoken to 100s of tradies and customers over the years, I’ve developed more and more of an appreciation for the need to invest in the right tools… I used to appreciate peoples ability to ‘Make Do’ and overachieve with what they had. (Which of course I still do!)

However, as suppliers bring out more and more tools, I kept thinking to myself ‘Do we really need this?’ Or ‘Who is going to want one of those?’ or moreover ‘Who is going to pay THAT MUCH for that?’. But you know what? If you’re in a trade, then time is indeed money, and like any other form of business, if you can find a way to do your job, do it well, and do it quickly – you’re going to jump at the chance, right?

Well Makita’s arsenal of cordless tools is now in the 400s, and although I can’t confess to being the owner of all 400, I have spoken to people that have got really comprehensive collections and virtually all of them cross over between ranges. They have a few tools in the 12V platform, loads in 18V and then a few more in the 40V.  

So, with their advice ringing around my head, I am here to tell you why you shouldn’t just stick to one range if you’re a Makita fanboy….  You should embrace them all.

Makita CXT 12V: Compact and Versatile

Makita 12V CXT Range

Starting with the 12V CTX range, these tools really are unsung heroes for anyone that is using them. Like most tradies I know of, people are a bit like Clarkson when it comes to tools. They just want more ‘POWER’… therefore, loads of people don’t bother looking at 12V at all. That is just so wrong! There is a massive reason that Milwaukee are investing so much in their impressive M12 range and that’s because people love it!  

Their compact size and lightweight design make them perfect for those tight spaces and delicate tasks. Whether you’re assembling furniture, doing some light electrical work, or handling smaller woodworking projects, fitting kitchens… there is loads and loads of jobs which can be achieved using smaller, lighter tools. If you can get away with using something that costs less, isn’t as heavy and is much smaller – why wouldn’t you?

Makita’s 12V lineup includes around 50 tools, ranging from drills and impact drivers to recip saw, blowers and more specialist tools like tile cutters and caulking guns.

Shop Makita 12V CXT Tools

The Makita 18V Range: The All-Rounder

Makita 18V LXT Range

Makita 18V LXT… if you’re using cordless tools and you like Makita, chances are you have some of these! LXT has dominated the British Cordless tool industry for the last 20 years.  These tools strike a balance between power and portability, making them ideal for a wide variety of jobs. From heavy-duty drilling and driving to more demanding cutting and grinding, sanding, you name it, there is an 18V tool capable of doing it! (I think the latest count is around 275+ LXT tools.

This includes everything from saws, drills, and impact drivers to more niche tools like garden equipment and job site radios. The versatility and power of the 18V range make it a desirable product for trades and DIYers too.

Shop Makita 18V LXT Tools

The Makita 40V Range: Ultimate Power and Best (To Date) Performance

Makita 40V XGT Range

Makita’s 40V XGT range has been developed to give users that extra step up when it comes to power and runtime. There are just certain applications and tools which don’t run that well (or last that long when you’re using 18V batteries), even if you’re using 2x 18V batteries (made popular by Makita range of 36V tools).

40V tools are designed mainly, for heavy construction, large-scale remodelling, or intense landscaping projects, the 40V tools. Yes, they are bigger, heavier and more expensive, but in many cases, they’re now outperforming corded mains tools.

Despite being the latest range brought out by Makita only a couple of years ago, the 40V range already offers over 50 tools, including high-performance drills, saws, about 10 grinders (I know!) and landscaping tools. These are built to handle the toughest jobs, providing the power and runtime that professionals need.

Shop Makita 40V XGT Tools

So, do I need to pick a range?

Questions questions questions

One thing to bare in mind with Makita’s 18V LXT and 40V XGT is that they ARE NOT cross-compatible. If you look over at what DeWALT have managed to do with ‘FLEXVOLT’, they’ve produced tools and batteries which run at the higher voltage (54V in this case), but they have batteries which can power their 18V tools too. So if you’re running loads of 18v XR tools, all you need to do is invest in a few FLEXVOLT batteries. You’re good to start adding 54V tools to your kit, and you can use those batteries in either tool! Unfortunately, that isn’t the Makita for Makita. Both platforms are stand-alone!

Now, you might think, why not just pick one range and stick with it? Here’s where my personal experience, opinion and (albeit small) focus group comes in.

For intricate, small-scale tasks, the 12V tools offer precision, ease of use, and are gentler on your bank balance. For heavier-duty, general-purpose, everyday tasks, the 18V range is versatile and powerful. And for projects that demand maximum power, the 40V tools deliver ungraded performance.

By investing in tools across all three platforms, you’re not just buying tools—you’re building a versatile, efficient, and capable tool kit.

Each range has its unique strengths, and by combining them, you can tackle virtually any project with the perfect tool for the job, which in the long run, will save you time and money! – Also let’s you get down the pub quicker!

What Makita tools to buy if you’re just starting out?

Baby with Makita Tools

I would say to start with the essentials. I recommend beginning with the LXT 18V range for its all-around utility, and popularity (you might be able to pinch someone else’s batteries on-site if yours run out! Haha). As you start to get into a bit of a routine with what jobs you’re doing regularly, add in some 12V tools for their compact size and convenience. Finally, for those heavy-duty projects, round out your collection with key 40V tools that provide the power and endurance required.

This approach allows you to gradually build a comprehensive kit that will be the envy of your peers, and one which covers all your bases. Plus, with Makita’s ever-increasing range combined with the ITS Makita Cordless Kit Builder (we have one for 12V, one for 18V and one for 40V), it’s incredibly easy to expand your collection without hassle.


Diving into the world of Makita tools has been a game-changer for me. Each range—the 12V CXT, 18V LXT, and 40V XGT each offer something unique, and when used together, by serious Makita fans, they create a powerful, versatile toolkit.

Maybe next time you’re looking to invest in new tools, don’t limit yourself to just one range. Embrace all that Makita has to offer and experience the efficiency and satisfaction that comes with using the perfect tool for every job. Trust me, your clients, your wallet, and your colleagues will thank you.

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