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Executive Report : Cutting the cord
Makita UK’s steady release of new power tools continues at an impressive rate. Alan Guthrie reports.
Research and development is obviously at the heart of new product design. Makita UK continues to introduce new additions regularly to its range of power tools and other equipment with hire potential, and the company says this is as a result of keeping in close contact with hirers and customers, to determine what they need.
“Our R&D colleagues from Makita in Japan regularly visit us in the UK, as they do in other countries,” said Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager of Makita UK. “They go to construction sites, hirers and users, as well as dealers, to see what is required by various market sectors.
“Another key driver behind product development is the ongoing rise of cordless tools. In the early days of battery technology, there were significant limits to the amount of power and length of running time that could be achieved. Today, however, advances in battery technology, motors, gearboxes and other components mean that, increasingly, our philosophy is: why make a machine with a cord if you can manufacture a cordless one that offers the same or better performance?”
Illustrating this approach is the DHR400ZKU, one of the new products highlighted on the company’s stand at the Show. This cordless SDS-Max rotary demolition hammer is powered by
two of Makita’s 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries, giving 36V for productivity and offering the same performance as the corded HR4013C equivalent. It also gives reduced vibration and does away with trip hazards associated with trailing cables.The tool offers 8.0 Joules of impact energy and is claimed to be able to make a 40mm hole in concrete. In addition, the DHR400ZKU, which was included in the Innovation Trail - Live initiative at the Show, can be paired wirelessly via Bluetooth to a compatible dust extractor.
Other new tools based on the twin 18V battery concept include the DGA901ZUX2, a 230mm angle grinder which accepts a maximum wheel thickness of 6.5mm and has a high-torque brushless motor. It can also be connected to a dust extractor using Bluetooth.
Also launched is the DHR281ZJ brushless rotary hammer, an SDS-Plus model with a quick-change chuck to accept different drill bit types for drilling into wood or steel. In hammer mode its quoted vibration rating is 9.5m/s2, for chiselling 9.0m/s2 and when drilling into metal, 2.5m/s2.
Makita has introduced a range of ‘cold cut’ mains and cordless steel cutting tools. The company says that, when heat is generated by a metal cutting saw or angle grinder through the use of an abrasive wheel, the operator requires a GC07 Hot-Work permit. This is required for any operation involving flames or when heat or sparks are created. Products available include the LC1230 (305mm) mains TCT cut-off saw, the DCS551ZJ (150mm) TCT and the DCS550 (136mm) TCT 18V LXT brushless Lithium-Ion cordless metal saws.
Some of the other new cordless products are even more innovative. For example, the DCJ206Z LXT and CJ106D CXT heated jackets are powered respectively by the manufacturer’s 14.4V and 18V, or 10.8V and 12V batteries. They have five heat zones, two on the chest and three on the back, with a transparent front pocket for ID cards.
And Makita has also introduced a mouthwatering newcomer in the shape of the DCM501Z cordless coffee maker. It thoughtfully comes with a dedicated cup designed to fit the machine without leaving a gap to protect against dust. For years, manufacturers have told professionals to be aware and smell the coffee with regard to cordless tools. Now they literally can. •