Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander Review

This Makita cordless random orbit sander, the XOB01Z (or DBO180Z depending where you are in the world), is one of only two cordless sanders in the Makita LXT range (the other being the XLS01Z Cordless Drywall Sander).

I bought the ‘tool only’ version to complement my growing arsenal of cordless Makita power tools. I’m fortunate in that I already have batteries, from 3.0Ah to 5.0Ah, and chargers to fit so didn’t have to buy the fully kitted out version.

However, if you don’t yet have any Makita LXT tools, the XOB01T kit would be a great starting point for you as it comes with the charger, two 5.0Ah batteries and a Makita tool bag to keep it all in.

The Techie Stuff

Obviously, with this being a cordless sander the power has to come from that clever little LXT battery which slides & clips nicely into the rear of the tool. For those of you who, like me, want to know what LXT stands for, it’s Lithium-ion Xtreme Technology. I don’t really know what that means but I believe it’s pretty clever technology.

Now I don’t know about you but I think they hit the nail on the head with the design and battery placement. The balance is great with both the weight of the tool and battery sitting almost directly above the sanding pad, right where you need it.

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander being used as a car polisher

In the past, there have often been times when a cordless version of a tool just doesn’t pack the same punch as it’s corded brother. If you think back to some of the early 12V versions, they were, to put it mildly, a massive disappointment. I’m glad to say that in this instance the cordless version has all the power you need, albeit for a limited time if you don’t have more than one battery but more on that later.

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander on/off switch and 3 step speed control switch

The motor pumps out 190W and spins the sanding pad at 7,000, 9,500 and 11,000 opm (orbits per minute) coupled with 14,000, 19,000 and 22,000 spm (strokes per minute) with a one-touch electronic speed control button.

My understanding of all this, and to try to explain it in plain English, opm (orbits) are the round and round action and spm (strokes), are the backwards, forwards and side to side movement.

This combination of movements produces a random elliptical effect hence the term, random orbit sander. The benefit of this action is that it doesn’t leave swirl marks on your wood and it is generally not necessary to follow the direction of the wood grain like you would with a belt sander for example.

Battery Life

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander 4.0Ah battery

Getting back to the battery power; I have used this sander extensively with 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah and 5.0Ah batteries. At full speed with the 3.0Ah I have been getting around 20 minutes work and with the 5.0Ah that increases to around 40 minutes depending on how aggressive I am i.e. how hard I press.

The LXT batteries are pretty fast charging so I can work with two of them no problem, one charging while the other is in use.

  • 1.5Ah = 15 minutes charge time
  • 2.0Ah = 20 minutes charge time
  • 3.0Ah = 30 minutes charge time
  • 4.0Ah = 40 minutes charge time
  • 5.0Ah = 45 minutes charge time
  • 6.0Ah = 60 minutes charge time

Sanding Pad

The sanding pad is a 5 inch/125mm 8-hole ‘hook & loop’ (or Velcro®) system similar to other orbital sanders on the market. This makes it a very quick and convenient to change sanding discs at any time and due to its compatibility there are a plethora of sanding discs out there to choose from.

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander - sanding disc being removed

Makita does include a single 120 grit sheet with the sander just to tease you a bit with its ability before you have to go buy more!

Dust Collection

The Makita random orbit sander comes with a dust skirt and dust bag. The skirt is held in place with a single screw and a 12-point location system which allows you to set the dust port in any direction in 30° increments. The dust bag fits comfortably over the dust port in whichever direction is most convenient for you.

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander dust collector attachment

Dust collection is adequate but certainly not 100%, which is pretty normal with any sander. However, provided you use an 8-hole sanding disc and position it correctly in line with the holes on the pad, most of the dust gets collected in the attached bag.

Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander dust bag

I have also used it with a Festool Mobile Dust Extractor attached and it performed quite well but this effectively morphs it from a cordless to a corded sander which kinda defeats the purpose. In fact, the 1″ suction hose I was using was way more of an inconvenience than any power cable!

Convenience and Versatility

It is perhaps stating the obvious slightly when I say that the convenience of the cable-free design makes this a sander that I find myself using regularly. Maybe it’s my lazy side but I just find it so handy not having to plug it in or run an extension cord.

Something else I really appreciate is how comfortable it is to use overhead? The ergonomic design and relatively light weight make this a sander you can easily use above your head one-handed without the high level of discomfort normally associated with overhead work.

The Good and The Bad

Pros:

  • No power cord – great for working up ladders or on scaffolding.
  • Excellent versatility – can literally use anywhere.
  • Convenient – great for quick finishing at home or on the job site.
  • Adjustable dust skirt orientation – very useful when sanding awkward pieces or in confined areas.
  • Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol.
  • 3-year limited warranty on tool.

Cons:

  • Dust collection with the dust bag is adequate but not brilliant.

Final Thoughts on The Makita XOB01Z Cordless Random Orbit Sander

As far as cordless random orbit sanders go, the Makita XOB01Z is a perfect little package for both the keen amateur and the professional woodworker alike.

It’s probably not going to be your go-to power tool for any big jobs but for anything small to medium it is more than capable.

Coupled with the convenience of a cable-free design this is definitely one of my most used power tools and an important part of my toolbox.

As always I would love to hear your comments on this article or experiences using this sander. And please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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2 thoughts on “Makita XOB01Z 18V Cordless Random Orbit Sander Review”

  1. Thank you so much for this article. Yes, I am with you, Makita is great, and I think the cordless sander will be our next one. We have an old one and the cord looks like a mess because I always sand it, and it seems always too short. Especially when we do our 3 M wood planks for our garden house. I like Makita, it is a strong, heavy-duty machine for a great price.

    Reply
    • Hi Monique,
      I’m so glad you found my review helpful. Yes, Makita has a very good reputation for reliability and robustness which is what I look for in any power tool.
      Good luck with your garden house, as a certified wood-nut I would love to see some pictures.
      All the best,
      Rab

      Reply

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