Makita XCV11 Cordless 18V LXT Wet/Dry Vacuum – 2 Gallon Dust Sucker

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No matter how lightly you tread, your shoes are high powered dirt magnets that inevitably bring the outdoors in. Luckily, others handle the indoor vacuuming at my home – it’s one of the perks of marriage. But my luck ends at the driveway, an unpaved witch’s brew of dirt, leaves and stump grindings. Car floorboards quickly become debris pits, then I’m sent to the gas station pay-vac (another marital “perk”) to evict the ick. We recently received a Makita 18V LXT cordless portable vacuum cleaner to check out. The XCV11 is a brushless battery powered wet/dry vac, dust extractor and blower. And it turned my chore into my pleasure!

A Little Portable Vacuum That Does It All – No Cords Attached

The Makita XCV11 is a truly portable dust extractor for handheld power tools.
The hose fits 1-1/2” dust ports.

Like most portable vacs, the Makita XCV11 can be used as a wet or dry vac, a dust collector for small power tools and as a blower. It can go a long way towards intercepting fine particles that would otherwise fill the air and settle on everything in the area, including the insides of your lungs (and HVAC system). Especially when working indoors.

The XCV11 has a blower port and onboard hose and nozzle storage.

It’s little and has no extension wand, but does fairly well at blowing dry grass, sand, leaves and sawdust off of a small patio, walkway or workbench.

Makita XCV11 Cordless Portable Vacuum Cleaner – It Sucked Me In

The battery (we received the XCV11Z bare tool package, no battery included) slides in at the top and is covered by a hinged lid to keep out dirt and debris.

The XCV11 is plenty powerful for its size. But there’s more to draw you in than just its 57CFM of air movement and 27” of water lift suction. Here are some highlights:

* Vacuum pressure: (low) 42 hPa; (high) 67 hPa

* Collection capacity – (dust) 2.0 gallon ; (water) 1.2 gallon

* Power supply – 18V LXT Li-Ion battery. 5Ah is recommend, but other 18V LXT battery packs can be used as well. Expect less run time with smaller batteries.

* Includes HEPA filter – Captures 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns.

There are two speeds to choose from. “Normal” (1) moves air up to 46 cu. ft/min. High speed (2) boosts that as high as 57 cu. ft/min.

* 2-speed BL brushless motor.

* Onboard hose and nozzle storage.

* Onboard battery meter.

* Weighs just over 10 lbs. (when using a 5Ah battery).

* Up to 1 hour continuous run time (when using a 5Ah battery).

* Makita’s Star Protection circuitry guards against over-discharge, overheating and overload conditions.

* 3 year warranty

The unit can be used with an optional shoulder strap.

Don’t Get Hosed

Super flexible hose gets around tight corners.

Most portable vacuums come with stiff, cumbersome hoses that can be hard to manage and even harder to stow away. That’s not the case here.

One end of the hose has a locking twist connector that grabs onto the vac, even if you tug a little too hard.

The Makita XCV11 comes with a soft, wire reinforced hose that can U-turn tighter than a pretzel in a bench vise and stretch farther than the truth from a politician’s mouth. Well, the hose does stretch from about 2 feet to nearly 6. So at least one of those is true. And it does make some pretty tight turns.

Hose storage is simple, but very effective.

Keeping Your Charge In Check With An Onboard Battery Level Meter

There’s a battery charge tester right on the side of the Makita XCV11 cordless vac. It’s like the one on the battery itself, but has only three bars (the battery has four).

The orientation of the 18V LXT battery – and the fact that there’s a lid – prevents you from even seeing its built-in charge indicator. But don’t let that drain you; Makita already solved the problem! To the left of the XCV11’s power/speed selector switch is another battery meter, similar to the one on the battery itself.

After vacuuming the floor of my SUV and the floor and trunk of a Camry, there was still charge left in the 5Ah battery. I ran the XCV11 for over 30 minutes in total, mostly on high. On the battery itself, two of the four bars glowed.

Makita XCV11 Cordless Portable Vacuum – The Tool I’ve Been Wishing For

So many times I’ve wished for a battery powered vacuum that could do the job and have plenty of run time to spare. This certainly fits the bill.

I don’t mind vacuuming my wife’s car. But I have to be honest: making a special trip to the “convenience” store can be, well, less than convenient. Sure, I could run a power cord and use a portable vacuum that I already own, but it’s a genuine pain in the vac to do so. Our parking is outside and there are no power outlets on the front (or nearest side) of the house.

Not today, punk! Best find yourself another “sucker”. Never again shall you steal my money!

To further “enhance” the pay-per-play experience, a third of the time (literally, it’s so annoying) popping my $1.50 into a coin-op vac results in one of the following: It’s clogged and has no suction; it doesn’t come on at all; the coin slot is jammed so I lose the $1.25 that did manage to go in or; it times out halfway through the job and my frantic, failed attempt to out-race the hidden timer costs me six more quarters.

Makita XCV11 Cordless Portable Vacuum – A Great Option For Car Detailers

The wide nozzle is perfect for a job like this. I pulled the mats and got underneath as well.

Makita’s XCV11 is capable of way more than tidying your spouse’s car, but that’s probably where this one will see the most action. It’s just so convenient; and that makes my life a lot easier. We’re both happy!

The 18V XCV11 cleaned as well as the vacuum I used to power with quarters (and only took a tiny bit longer). And I don’t have to race the clock, wait my turn or drive to another location because this one isn’t working.

As for my own vehicle, I only ever bother to vacuum it at times like this, when I’m reviewing a portable vac. And so I did. But honestly, I don’t care nearly as much about mine as my wife does about hers. It must be a guy thing.

Nothing beats a crevice tool for tight, hard to reach spaces.
There’s always a bunch of leaves and pollen thingies piled up on the weather seal under the hood and trunk.
The Makita XCV11 sucked it right up.

Hella HEPA – Filtering Out The Nonsense

What you see here is the pre-filter bag that keeps the bigger stuff from clogging the HEPA filter.

The Makita XCV11 actually comes with three layers of filtering. There’s a pleated HEPA filter that stops particles as fine as 0.3 microns. Around that is a damper. Finally, the whole thing is engulfed in a cloth prefilter.

The dirt and debris from two cars.

Final Thoughts On The 2 Gallon Makita XCV11 18V LXT Cordless Portable Vacuum Cleaner

Don’t mind me, folks. I’m just carrying an awesome cordless vacuum cleaner back to the shop!

Hands down, my favorite thing about this vacuum is the fact that it’s cordless. Then there’s the 2-speed BL brushless motor that lets you extend battery life when you don’t need full power. And really, low speed is sufficient a lot of the time. Though you’ll probably want to use the higher speed for tool dust collection, sucking up water, and for dirt embedded deeply into carpeting.

On the down side, it’s priced at the higher end of the spectrum for a vac like this and that might not win over buyers who aren’t already on team teal. I also feel that for the price it should include the shoulder strap, rather than it being an optional accessory. Maybe even an extra HEPA filter. That said, it does do a great job. It’s also more compact than most vacs in this class, making it really easy to stow or carry around – all of which can be desirable traits.

Purchase the Makita XCV11Z (tool only) for just under $167:

Buy Now - via The Home Depot

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About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

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2 thoughts on “Makita XCV11 Cordless 18V LXT Wet/Dry Vacuum – 2 Gallon Dust Sucker”

  1. I’ve read dozens of full-length reviews of cordless vacuums. Your review is the most useful and most engagingly written, by far! I’m on Team Milwaukee, but I’ve been looking for reasons to make an exception for this vacuum. You’ve delivered. I’ll use it with my Milwaukee M18 batteries, affixed with a third-party adapter. I may need to remove the hinged battery cover, but judging from your write-up, it would be worth it.


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