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bee-man

Makita 36V blower (XBU02Z)

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Been slow here for a while, so I'll post my latest toy. I have no idea why this particular tool is so expensive... this and the stupid jigsaw. Made in Japan, maybe. It was hard to justify the cost, especially since the Ego 56V can be purchased for much less with the battery and charger, but I was reluctant to introduce another charger on my already crowded shelf. In any case, I have had my eye on this ever since its debut, and for a short period it dropped below $250 shipped on Amazon, so I jumped on it. Very well balanced - the only negative so far is that my clothes keep getting stuck on the intake, though I do admit they are somewhat baggy. There is just so much air moving in and out, it's really quite amazing.

 

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Holy crap that price is insane!! The Ego leaf blower is $179 at HD right now! At that price I personally could justify another battery platform!! Man I wonder why its so expensive for the bare tool. I would hate to see how much the kit would cost. I'm not hating on Makita just shocked on the pricing on this.

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So I did something bad...  in my quest to blow, I sold my Makita for the new and improved 530cfm EGO blower. After about a month of use, I can honestly say that I miss my Makita. It took me a while to figure it out, but I have a huge write up between these two blowers, and why the Makita is more enjoyable to use... I'm just not sure where to post it, or if I should create another thread.

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Also interested to hear because that Ego is likely in my future. The Milwaukee seems too tardy to the party. 

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1 hour ago, bee-man said:

So I did something bad...  in my quest to blow, I sold my Makita for the new and improved 530cfm EGO blower. After about a month of use, I can honestly say that I miss my Makita. It took me a while to figure it out, but I have a huge write up between these two blowers, and why the Makita is more enjoyable to use... I'm just not sure where to post it, or if I should create another thread.

That's up to you dude, a tool review is ALWAYS appreciated!

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Yes I would like to see it. I have the Makita and love it and curious what you have to say. After watching the @ourbuild review I made my choice. And on a recommendation I bought the barreled Makita jigsaw. Another great tool. I think I paid $199 for the Makita blower a few months ago. Thanks bee-man.

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So I did something bad...  in my quest to blow, I sold my Makita for the new and improved 530cfm EGO blower. After about a month of use, I can honestly say that I miss my Makita. It took me a while to figure it out, but I have a huge write up between these two blowers, and why the Makita is more enjoyable to use... I'm just not sure where to post it, or if I should create another thread.

Yes feel free to put it here in this thread, keep your experience on this topic in one place is my thought.

Actually feel more than free, I want to read it since you mentioned it, you have to share now!!

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I'm interested to hear as well, I'm in the market for the other (less expensive) Makita 36 V blower... 

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6 hours ago, bee-man said:

So I did something bad...  in my quest to blow, I sold my Makita for the new and improved 530cfm EGO blower. After about a month of use, I can honestly say that I miss my Makita. It took me a while to figure it out, but I have a huge write up between these two blowers, and why the Makita is more enjoyable to use... I'm just not sure where to post it, or if I should create another thread.

Definitely post it.  A new thread would be good for comparison of the blowers.

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1 hour ago, MikeyB said:

I'm interested to hear as well, I'm in the market for the other (less expensive) Makita 36 V blower... 

I haven't used the lesser one but it isn't brushless. I own the one the OP had and love it. while expensive it is a fantastic blower.

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Sorry for not responding sooner, but I'm having trouble logging in from home on my Window 10 machine. I'm not sure if it's my browser, or if there is some sort of coincidental maintenance occurring.

 

OK, glad I have an audience. It's a fairly lengthy review that nitpicks on some really small details between both blowers, and I just have to proof it a few more times. 

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Sorry for not responding sooner, but I'm having trouble logging in from home on my Window 10 machine. I'm not sure if it's my browser, or if there is some sort of coincidental maintenance occurring.

 

OK, glad I have an audience. It's a fairly lengthy review that nitpicks on some really small details between both blowers, and I just have to proof it a few more times. 

Oh, don't second guess if you have an audience or not when it comes to tools here, you can count on the fanatics here to readily give you a hand lol!

I enjoy reading the details of a tool, Dan and Eric have said it before, they aren't professional users, and that's the point of view that I need. So I have this place and others to gain info about these things. The small details to a diy or light user could be minor, but that adds up for someone using all the time and relying on it as their livelihood. That's why I need details on many tools

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On 7/20/2016 at 3:07 AM, MikeyB said:

I'm interested to hear as well, I'm in the market for the other (less expensive) Makita 36 V blower... 

Hey mikeyB ! 

 

If possible, skip the old model and save up for the new brushless type :) completly different animal ! :)

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5 hours ago, kornomaniac said:

Hey mikeyB ! 

 

If possible, skip the old model and save up for the new brushless type :) completly different animal ! :)

Thanks Korno, any idea on a release date? 

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Thanks Korno, any idea on a release date? 

I think he is referring to the already released brushless the thread is about.

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Sorry for the delay guys!

 

OK, so apparently, the grass is not always greener…

 

So as you can see, I purchased the Makita XBU02Z blower back in October with roughly 9 months of ownership. I used it mainly to sweep my garage and other tasks like sidewalks, drying cars and occasionally leaves. It did a fantastic job, but when are we ever satisfied?

 

I really wanted to stay with Makita for all my OPE, but they do not have a 36V mower readily available in the US. EGO, on the other hand, has one of the slickest cordless mowers along with a compelling product portfolio with great reviews. When they released their 2nd gen 530cfm blower earlier this year, I was convinced that it would be the end all for my blowing needs, and I could tolerate a second battery platform dedicated to OPE.

 

When EGO had their promotion a few months ago, I couldn’t resist and purchased the blower and trimmer to start my slow migration. There was no way I could justify 2 blowers so I sold the Makita… but prior to the sale, I had about an hour to compare both so for my first quick test, I told my daughter to stand 20 feet away and tell me which blower felt stronger - the Makita subjectively came out on top. I continued to blow different items for comparison, and in general found that the Makita could more efficiently push smaller items. Not saying the EGO couldn’t do it, I just had to increase the speed a lot more. Still in somewhat denial that the highly acclaimed EGO was inferior, I eventually conceded that it could still meet my requirements so I sold the Makita.

 

Now that I have been using this EGO blower daily for roughly 2 months now, I can honestly say that I miss my Makita. At first, I didn’t know why, but then I felt compelled to identify the differences and reasons why the Makita offers a better user experience for my needs - repeat, for my needs. Do not read further if all you care about is performance - it will bore you. But the following (in order of importance) is why I have come to appreciate the design of the Makita XBU02Z.

 

Air velocity/focus - EGO has been boasting CFM, and I don’t doubt that it’s important for leaf blowing, but the energy of the Makita seems to be more focused, like a flashlight that throws. On low, the Makita blows small rocks with less effort, and would create havoc on shoes, slippers, and other items near the garage entry. I don’t get that same effect with the EGO unless set to at least medium speed – in fact, any speed less than medium and it feels like I’m carrying a carpet dryer. Could the extra claimed air velocity of the Makita make that much difference? Observations:  1) the business end of the Makita is smaller in diameter than the EGO, 2) the Makita has 3 aggressively angled turbine blades as opposed to the EGO’s 12, and 3) RPM. Actually, when you look at the turbine on both blowers, it’s hard to believe something so small can generate so much force, but whatever it is, the Makita seems to be able to push small rocks more efficiently than the EGO – again, both can do the job, but the speed on the EGO needs to be increased at the cost of noise, which leads me to my next point.

 

Noise – All the crap that blows in during the day gets blown back out before I close my garage at dusk. Well, this is where my neighbors hate me even more now. Both blowers are relatively loud, but the tone on the EGO, in my opinion, is perceivably louder with an element of high frequency that is more piercing, shrill, and fatiguing (and this is on low speed). This may be attributed to the fact that it has an open intake design which is great for airflow, but exposes the turbine more than the Makita, and hence the noise. The turbine on the Makita is enclosed deeper within the shell, and the inside of the intake appears to be lined with foam, likely in place to help reduce noise. At higher speeds, things only get worse for both blowers, but the high frequency on the EGO is harsher to my ears.

 

Trigger response – the EGO has both a start and stop delay that is too long. IMO, it’s not even a soft start – it’s a start delay. To make matters worse, the EGO continues blowing after the trigger is released for a debatable amount of time, and can be annoying because there are times where you just need to cut power immediately, like when things unexpectedly get blown or toppled over. I have since learned to release the trigger and point the EGO in a different direction if this situation arises, but sometimes other things get blown. I cannot think of any reasonable explanation why it was designed this way. On the other hand, the Makita trigger behaves much like its power tool cousins – start response is almost instant, and releasing the trigger immediately cuts power to the motor (sorry, no electric brake).

 

Variable speed - Adjusting speed on the EGO requires two hands, whereas the Makita has a thumbwheel speed dial. I did not realize how much I used the variable speed on the Makita until I found myself constantly reaching for the speed lever on the EGO. In addition, the trigger on the Makita is also variable albeit sensitive; therefore, you have the ability to set the maximum speed with the thumb dial, and the ability to control that maximum speed with one hand. Makita’s motto should be, “Control beyond belief.” Sorry, couldn’t resist.

 

Speed selection – The EGO has a variable speed lever from low to high; however, there seems to be a considerable jump between high and turbo. The Makita has 6 equally spaced speeds. Using the same scale on the EGO would yield speeds 1 through 4 for the adjustment lever, and speed 6 for turbo. There is no speed 5, which at times I seek. This makes me wonder how many users actually find the high setting on the EGO adequate for leaf blowing. I mostly observe turbo used when reviewers are demonstrating leaf blowing capabilities.

 

Winning points on the EGO:  1) The open air intake design, tends not to suck my clothes in as much as the Makita, which could be partially due to the horizontal support that runs towards the battery area… or because the CFM ratings are not correct. Makita was constantly sucking my shirt/shorts, but that’s my fault for wearing baggy clothes. 2) The push or thrust back feels less on the EGO, which means less fatigue on your arm and wrist. Maybe this is due to the intake design, but from what I remember, the Makita felt as though it would be more fun on a skateboard. 3) The LED on the EGO battery (even though facing backwards) acts as a useful light when blowing in darkness. *Idea alert for Makita – incorporate LED on front of blower! 4) The turbo button is very convenient for quickly dislodging stubborn items. 5) EGO is a great value that includes battery and charger – the value of the Makita is terrible, no explanation necessary.

 

I do not use blowers for extended periods so I cannot comment on the weight and balance. I didn’t notice anything considerable, so I suppose that’s a good thing.

 

Am I saying Makita is better than EGO? Absolutely not. Both will get the job done, but with the Makita, I felt more connected and in control of the tool. Perhaps I would not have noticed the nuances of the EGO if I actually used the blower for what it was intended to do – blow leaves during the day. Also, I would think that the EGO with its wide and massive air movement would outperform the Makita on a smooth surface, but what about leaves on grass? Does the extra speed of the Makita offer any practical advantage?

 

So now the Makita XBU02Z blower is back in my Amazon cart. If the price drops enough, I’ll have big blue/teal in my garage again, and this time, I will test the performance of both blowers to see if the extra speed trumps the extra CFM. But in the end, I hope this breakdown helps another person with their decision if they are shopping both blowers.

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Hey thanks for the detailed explanation you have experienced, great tips and things to be aware of for someone just looking into these for the first time

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