Specialty Power Tools

Makita XRU12 String Trimmer Video Review


When the Home Depot sent us the Makita XRU12 String Trimmer as part of their THDProspective program, we were a little concerned about whether an 18V tool could really cut it. We’ve used the Makita X2 36-volt XRU15 for years, and we know it performed well. However, how will one less battery affect performance? We put it to some real-world testing to find the truth.

Makita XRU12 String Trimmer Kit

Makita XRU12 String Trimmer Features

Makita is pretty comfortable in leading with technology, so the XRU12 comes with quite a few unique features in this sub-$200 tool. By the way, that’s $199 with the 4.0Ah battery and charger from the Home Depot. That price is hard to beat. Holding the power button for a continuous 1-second will wake-up or activate the tool. This also sets the tool in Auto-mode, which we’ll get to in a moment. Press the power button again, and it shifts to Low-speed (4,000 RPM), press again and it shifts to Med-speed (5,000 RPM), once more gives you High-speed (6,000 RPM).

Auto Torque Drive Technology

With the Makita XRU12 in Auto-mode, you enable the Auto Torque Drive Technology that throttles the speed for you. The Makita String Trimmer cruises along at a battery-sipping 4,000 RPM until it needs more, hence when you encounter thick grass, the tool senses it, and the Auto-mode sends more power to the head. You can actually hear in our video as this happens in real-time. Once it’s back in the easy stuff, then it settles back down to Low. This extends runtime or adds power when needed.

Makita XRU12 String Trimmer Connector

Final Thoughts

The Makita XRU12 String Trimmer is very light, weighing at just 8.6 lbs with the battery. With the brushless motor and the Auto-mode, this XRU12 really does an amazing job at normal lawncare. It uses .080 (comes with) to .095 line, which we would recommend staying on the lower end for less bog. For the typical American 1/4-acre lot with a home and driveway, this is an excellent tool. When it’s time to put it away for the season, simply pull it apart and put it in the closet. No worries with gas, oil, spark-plug, fuel-treatment, etc. With a charged battery, next Spring, you’re ready to go again. Or, as in our case here in Central, Florida, it never gets put away.

You can find the Makita XRU12 Trimmer at the Home Depot for just $199.

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