Makita launch 30 new products
by TurfPro Editor, Laurence Gale MSC, MBPR
Laurence Gale MSC, MBPR

Last week I was fortunate to be asked to attend a Makita Trade day at the superb Walton Hall (Mercure) Hotel in Warwickshire, located just a stone's throw away from Shakespeare's birthplace. The Walton Hall Hotel & Spa is a 16th century Grade II listed building set in 65 acres of private grounds - an ideal setting for the day’s event.

This grand residence was once owned by famous drag artist and comedian, Danny La Rue, in the 70s. The Hall was then passed on through several hands before finally being acquired by the present owners who now run the hotel resort, which made for an impressive setting for this event.


Makita had kindly arranged overnight accommodation for many of the delegates, who had travelled far and wide, offering opportunity to network with fellow attendees. I spoke at length with Kevin Brannigan, the company’s marketing manager, finding out more about the event and what Makita had in store for us.

Kevin has worked for Makita for over 20 years and has seen many new products come to market. He was very excited about the new range of cordless garden products that Makita was launching at the event. Particularly as the day was attended by a varied horticultural and landscape sector audience.

Makita say its products are renowned for its build quality and performance, particularly the range of construction tools - which the building sector has taken as one of the industry’s standards.


With over 100 years of trading and manufacturing experience, Makita believes the key to its vision is the constant strive for innovation and development of new products. I was astounded to hear that the company has in excess of 270 products in its product portfolio that work with the 18v LXT battery platform covering both 18v and twin 18v (36v) – at this event Makita launched a further 30 new products.

Makita manufactures its tools in plants across the globe, from its headquarters in Japan to here, in the UK. Its Telford manufacturing plant is the only production facility for power tools in the UK and has been successfully running construction on many of our top line cordless power tools since 1991.

Makita's acquisition of Dolmar in 1991 has also meant that it has one of the strongest histories in the outdoor power equipment market and the plant in Germany constantly delivers tools worldwide to a high quality.

At the heart of its manufacturing process is the belief that for a good tool you need a good motor, and Makita makes every effort to make sure its motors are of the best quality. Makita sources what it describes as the absolute best raw materials and components in order to build the most powerful and efficient motors possible.

With the world going down a new path of renewable energies, Makita, like many other competitors, are embracing new battery and motor technologies to provide a more efficient and clean way of powering tools.

Makita now offers over 100 gardening tools:-

• 23 hedge trimmer options including 10 cordless
• 25 line trimmers and brush cutter options including 13 cordless
• 26 chainsaw options including 7 cordless
• 9 petrol rotary lawn mowers
• 4 electric (Cable) lawn mowers
• 18 battery cordless lawn mowers
• 2 electric scarifies
• 3 battery grass shears
• 11 blowers including 8 cordless options
• 1 electric shredder
• 2 cordless battery pack pruners
• And more to come


The event started with a warm welcome and introduction to the day’s event by Mark Earles, Makita business development manager for garden machinery, who ran through a number of slides and spoke about the vast range of products Makita produces and highlighted the many new products we would be testing throughout the day.

L-R Mark Earles Business Development Manager Kevin Brannigan Marketing Manager.

The delegates were spilt into seven groups and were given the opportunity to try out the new products across seven workstations. There was certainly something for everyone to see and try out. I personally, was particularly drawn towards the mowers, line trimmers, blowers and hedge cutters as I tend to use these when maintaining a number of my clients’ gardens.


One of the first products I tried was the self-propelled DLM533 a 530mm (21") cordless lawn mower powered by two 18v LXT Li-Ion batteries in series. The new mowers will take four batteries to work as a dual fuel tank, which means for larger areas when the first pair of batteries run down, operators can simply flick the switch and change over to the second pair of batteries and continue working.


Recommended for lawns up to 2,300m², with a running time of around 30 mins (for each pair of batteries), it was light and manoeuvrable with easy handlebar controls and it runs very quietly. It cuts well and seemed very robust - however I would like to try it out on some more testing ground conditions.


I then visited the hedge trimming stand and caught up with one of the company’s demonstrators who showed me the new DUN500W - a 500mm cordless pole hedge trimmer powered by a single 18v LXT Li-Ion battery. I was very impressed with its cutting performance and the way it is easily handled. A very well balanced and light in weight (3.9-4.4 KG) hedge trimmer.

The next product I tried was the new cordless 36v LXT backpack pruning shears. The DUP361ZN, provides 36v of power and features a 2-stage blade opening adjustment which varies according to the size of the branch. The shear has a maximum cutting capacity of 33mm and a maximum blade opening of 54mm. The blade can be interlocked with the trigger providing smooth blade movement similar to that of a hand pruner. A newly designed, slim backpack harness provides comfort, while an arm band and cord holder prevent the connection cord from dangling around the operator’s body and from getting caught on branches.



Using two 5.0Ah Li-Ion batteries a run time of three working days is delivered, although branches and growth of wider diameter can reduce this slightly. The charge time of a 5.0 Ah battery using a Makita fast charger is 45 minutes and Makita’s intelligent battery technology heightens charge retention. Including the back-pack harness, this model has a net weight of 3.3kg, has low sound and low vibration levels.


The line trimmers and brush cutters were again neat, light and compact and offered a durable harness and battery pack system to extend running times.

Makita’s new models, the DUR369A and DUR369L, offer Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT) that shuts down the tool to protect the user if the rotation speed suddenly slows down along with Automatic Torque Drive Technology that automatically changes the cutting speed according to load condition for optimum performance. The 1kw motor is equivalent to a 33cc 2-stroke engine and Makita recommend professional users to consider the PDC01 back-pack battery system for extended run-times.

Finally, I tried out a couple of blowers - the DUB184 that has a running time of between 9 to 55 minutes depending on the power setting you have it set on, along with the DUB363 that has a running time of between 9 – 30 minutes. Both were very light and benefitted from low hand vibration and noise levels. Again, there are options to increase running times with the universal PDC01 battery back-pack system where the batteries are interchangeable within the back-pack rather than having an integrated back-pack battery system where the entire unit needs to be recharged, so again contractors can carry on working and downtime is reduced.


I was also impressed by the large range of power chainsaws now available. 36 in total, of which 20 models are electric / cordless battery operated. They come in various sizes and offer some great safety devices, particularly the instant stopping lock of the chain when you release the trigger.

Makita’s twin 18v brushless top handle chain saw LXT DUC306Z is a cordless top handle model powered by 18vx2 LXT Li-Ion batteries in series.


While on the subject of chainsaws, Makita had commissioned a Chainsaw Artist, Matthew Crabb to demonstrate his chain sawing skills during the event.


Matthew started his own chainsaw carving business in 2006. To begin with he produced small sculptures and portable art, inspired by his natural surroundings in Exmoor national park. As the business grew, he travelled all over the country demonstrating the carving process at shows and selling smaller pieces whilst producing commission work.

The final station was centred on the Makita construction industry’s national standard range of power tools. There are too many to count but all are very well made and do what they say on the tin.


There was something for everyone to see and try at the event and above all the weather was very kind to the organisers, with the sun shining throughout the demonstrations. I am sure, like me, all those who attended had an enjoyable experience and got to learn a lot more about the vast choice and range of Makita tools and applications on offer.

I would like to thank Mark and Kevin for inviting me and putting on a well organised event that certainly captivated the 100 plus delegates that attended.

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