Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event – Dallas 2017
Expanding their US operations, Makita USA opens their 4th distribution center in the States. Wilmer, TX lies on the outskirts of Dallas, and now hosts the Makita Distribution and Training Center. At 227,000 square feet currently under roof, Makita can house 16,500 pallets of tools. Makita owns the property and plans to expand another 70,000 sq/ft when needed. After all, everything’s bigger in Texas! We are honored being a part, as the Makita Media Event is the first event held in the new facility.
The Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event brought in tool professionals from magazines, social media, online publications, and even those guys from Pro Tool Reviews and Shop Tool Reviews. In addition to the tool pros, Makita also hosted dignitaries from the community (Mayor, Police and Fire Chief, etc.) and Makita corporate.
Over dinner the night before, a select group became privy to some top secret tool information, in addition to new tool launches coming the next day. Product managers, engineers and some in marketing share information with us, as well as welcome our questions. Makita is expanding in almost every category with new and/or better performing tools. From construction, to automotive, industrial and even Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE), you are sure to see more Teal Blue on the shelves.
Makita Distribution and Training Center Tour
This brand new facility packs in the tools, from wall to wall. Industrial racks are home to the thousands of pallets full of the tool giant’s latest and greatest. Loading docks currently allow for 16 full loads each day with the room to expand for more. Makita’s intentions are to provide single day turnaround of tools coming in, and shipping out to retailers, as well as drop-shipments to customers.
Plenty of conveyance provide pathways for product to flow, to make things easier for tools to enter and leave the Dallas Distribution Center. By adding this new distribution center, Makita cuts restocking time to stores and tools shipped to you. As Makita launches new tools and upgrades others, we’ll see how quick they make it to the shelves.
Makita Tool Training and Display
In addition to stocking a plethora of tools, the Dallas Distribution Center also includes a tool room display to rival any tool store. In the midst of the tools lie areas for training on the latest tools and accessories. Product managers and Makita engineers focus training on the latest technology to ensure tools are used properly while understanding new features.
Makita setup the tool training area in a modular design to allow changing of tools and equipment to best suit the application. On display when during our visit includes metal cutting with Makita’s cordless circular saw, the new 12V LT02 3/8″ Angle Impact, as well as the 36V Makita RoboPRO.
It’s TOOL TIME!
Yeah, we’re not stupid. We know you could care less about the beautifully written sentiments above, you’re just here for the tools. We know our audience – so single-minded (finger pointing at self). The Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event had hundreds of tools on display, and for trial, but we couldn’t possibly cover them all. We focus on a few that really catch our attention.
New Makita 10″ Miter Saw
Makita really stepped up with their new 10-inch miter saws. We got a first look at the corded version LS1019, due to make it’s debut to the shelves in just a few short weeks (July 2017). In addition, the X2 36V cordless version of the new Makita 10-inch miter saw, model XSL06PT, brings all the features of it’s corded brother, with a couple more. Both Makita 10-inch miter saws include a new dual slide design that allows the saw to be placed much closer to a wall. Eight (8) inches closer, when compared to the Milwaukee Cordless Dual Bevel Miter Saw.
Forward controls also help with keeping the rear of the tool free from hassling. A knob on the front-end of one slide allows the user to lock and release the dual-miter adjustment. Plenty of power is on tap to cut a full 45-degrees on a 2×12 without bogging. The power feels the same on the corded and X2 cordless. A simple dial near the user’s thumb allows for simple laser adjustment, to ensure the operator a cut. The Makita XSL06PT is set to release in September 2017. The kit will include 2 LXT 5Ah batteries and fast charger.
Dust collection is enhanced on both models as well. With two dust ports on the Makita 10-inch miter saws, one port collects the majority directly above the blade. The other port pulls from a large rubber boot, funneling the remnants from the rear of the cutting area. In addition to being cordless, the X2 36V Makita XSL06PT includes an added button. This button allows the user to wirelessly trigger dust extraction. With Bluetooth technology, dust collection can now start when the cordless saw is in use.
Reviews Soon To Come
We hope to review both of these Makita 10-inch miter saws in the near future. These may both set the standard in 10-inch miter saw class. We may also see the cordless miter be a standard, even in the shop. Especially with the added Bluetooth triggered dust extraction. We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted as the releases near.
Makita X2 Cordless Track Saw
Not to be outdone by competition, such as the Festool TSC 55 REB Plunge Cut Track Saw, Makita steps to the plate. The new X2 cordless track saw brings all the features of the Makita SP6000J. All the power, with the convenience of cordless. One of the notable features is a simple slide button that allows the saw to separate from the track.. This makes for a very easy single-movement to release, unlike other models and manufacturers. A very thin kerf blade is included with the track saw, which helps in performance. We are interested to see how it performs in testing. This is another that we hope to see in a review soon.
Dirty Floors? Release The RoboPRO!
Cheesy heading, I know, but the best I could come up with. If you think of the Roomba when comparing to the Makita RoboPRO, think much bigger. It looks like the Makita RoboPRO ate 3 Roombas. This is seriously made for the shop. Another Makita built on the 36V X2 platform. The RoboPRO is seen cleaning floors constantly during the Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event. Below is a short clip from our STR Instagram page, which you should follow.
New Automotive Tools
Makita is not known to have a lot of SKUs in the automotive realm, but they do have a few. In fact, there are quite a few that crossover from other other industries, such as impacts and drills. One tool to release soon is the LT02 90-degree 3/8-inch angle impact wrench. This is powered on the CXT platform. Does it look familiar? It happens to be the little brother to the XLT02 18V model.
In addition to the 90 3/8″ square-drive, the same tool is available with the 1/4″ hex angle impact driver. This enables the user to reach tight spaces, using their favorite insert bits. The CXT 12V platform aids in size and weight for these handy tools.
New Makita Orbital Polisher
One that we’ve heard about for months is totally new design of the Makita orbital polisher. Unfortunately, this polisher is not here at the Makita Media Event in Dallas. We’re beginning to think this could be a unicorn at the end of the rainbow. I’m sure we’ll see it soon, and we’ve been promised that we’ll get one for review. Sorry that we don’t have any pictures. MAKITA, bring us the polisher!
Editor’s Note: The new polisher is on the way, so we should have a review in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) – Lawn and Garden
There is no shortage of OPE tools here at the Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event. Makita wants to make sure everyone knows they know the OPE market, and they want to be a major player. We get to play with blowers, chainsaws, string trimmers, and even battery-powered wheel barrows.
Make no mistake about power. Makita doesn’t live only in the electric world. They make a large line of gas-powered tools and equipment as well. Makita purchased Dolmar back in the 80’s. They are just now starting to rebrand the Dolmar tools with Makita, however keeping the Dolmar orange.
Makita Cordless and Gas Chainsaws
Outside the Makita Distribution and Training Center, Makita setup several areas to test their OPE tools. Chainsaws galore! We see the power of the X2 36V platform decorated in Teal Blue, battling it out with gas-powered rivals. Unfortunately, the Makita XCU03Z X2 Chainsaw didn’t make it in the Best Batter-Powered Chainsaw Shootout, over in the PTR camp. We will be sure to get one for review in the coming weeks.
The bright red-orange is easy to see on the newly badged Makita gas-powered saws. The old Dolmar name is being phased out, but the bright orange color is staying. It’s a little odd to see the orange with the Makita brand. It is no doubt, part of the strategy is going straight at the competition. We can’t think of any competitors with orange in their color scheme.
Cordless and Gas Blowers from Makita
Just like the chainsaws, Makita has blowers powered on the X2 platform, as well as gas. The new MM4 4-stroke EB7650WH blower rivals the best in the industry with 670CFM and 200MPH velocity. Might I say, much quieter as well with the 4-stroke engine. Red beware, there’s a new back-pack blower in town. Also available is the PM7650M, which adds the back-pack mister. This should be one heck of a power mister.
On the battery side of things. The Makita X2 36V XBU02 handheld blower does what others can’t. With clear plastic tube, Makita showed off the power of the blower, suspending balls in a column of air. Most of the other brands were available to try, none of them able to accomplish the same.
Line Trimmers and Wheel Barrows and More
For those that are looking to ease the load a bit, Makita wants to help. This has to be every boy’s dream as he rakes leaves or moves dirt. The new Makita 18V battery powered wheel barrow slash load hauler. The hauler holds two 18V LXT batteries, however it only uses one at a time. Operators can switch from battery 1 to battery 2 with a switch. Pull the finger-lever throttle and the hauler moves at a steady pace, hauling up to 300 lbs.
The motor is housed in the hub of the front wheel. Cable operated disc brakes are applied with a bicycle type brake handle. Large rubber-pneumatic casters balance the rear of the hauler. The bucket can be switched out for a more tubular flatbed. For help in the dark, the Makita powered hauler is available, as pictured, with LED lights as well.
Line trimmers are nothing new to the Makita OPE lineup, but they have made some upgrades. A brushless motor now resides on the head of this new line trimmer, providing more efficiency and better power. The Makita XRU07Z makes total sense, no power being robbed by a shaft and/or gears. Powered by 2 LXT 18V batteries, this too belongs to the X2 family. Users can select Low or High speed, spinning 5,000 RPM and 6,500 RPM. With 0 emissions and no maintenance needed, just charge the batteries and go. Powered by 2 LXT 5Ah batteries, Makita claims a full hour of runtime.
Makita Media Event – Dallas 2017 – Conclusion
As they say, everything great must come to an end. Such is the same with the Makita Distribution and Training Center Media Event. Makita did a great job of bringing in industry pros as well as some of the best in media tool coverage. We enjoyed some great barbecue while sampling most of what Makita has to offer. Even some of the Makita future offering. We can’t wait to do it again. Stay tuned as we wrangle in some of these tools for review.