Makita XMT04ZB vs XMT03Z Review

Are you searching for a cordless multi-tool? We reviewed the Makita XMT04ZB and the XMT03Z to compare them to determine if one is better overall. Our multi-tool comparison will assist you in choosing the best fit for your needs.

Makita XMT04ZB Multi-Tool

We want to start our review with essential background information. Both the Makita XMT04 and XMT03 are part of Makita’s 18V LXT lithium-ion battery platform with a wide range of compatible tools and accessories. This technology offers protection against overcharging and guards against dust and moisture.

But when you see the letter “Z” at the end of the product name, the model is a “bare tool,” and the battery is not included. (The letter “B” means that it is a “black” tool.) However, if you have other cordless 18V Makita tools, you can swap battery packs with this multi-tool.

Who is the XMT04 made for? This sub-compact oscillating tool is ideal for plumbers, carpenters, general contractors, and wood floor installers. It’s compatible with StarLock Max accessories for sanding, cutting, scraping, grout removal, and many other functions. That means you can use blades from Bosch, Fein, and Metabo.

If there’s any downside, it’s that although the tool has a slim barrel, the large head gives it a tight fit when using half-moon blades in small spaces.

How is it different from the XMT03? First, the XMT03 is the older model with a smaller oscillation angle. Now, the XMT04 has a 3.6-degree angle for faster cutting and sanding ability. Makita adjusted the variable speed dial range to 10,000 to 20,000 oscillations per minute to accompany the update. But even with these changes, the tool feels nearly vibration-less.

That’s because the XMT04 has advanced anti-vibration technology. The internal counterbalance system significantly reduces vibration for user comfort and safety. Makita claims that the XMT04 has 85% less vibration compared to the XMT03.

What’s more, the XMT04 also has a brushless motor for longer battery life and better performance.

Lastly, the XMT04 weighs about half a pound less than the XMT03. All this decrease in vibration and weight makes this multi-tool more comfortable to use and easier to control than the XMT03.

Additional features

  • Soft start
  • Overall length is 12 inches
  • LED for workspace illumination
  • Ambidextrous power switch
  • XPT protection against dust and water
  • Compatible with StarLock Max, StarLockPlus, and StarLock accessories

Makita XMT03Z Multi-Tool

When the XMT03 was released almost a decade ago, it was a noteworthy tool. It features a 3.2-degree oscillation angle and variable speed settings between 6000 to 20,000 oscillations per minute.

Like the XMT04, the XMT03 offers tool-free blade changes. It even comes with multi-tool adapters for accessories from competing brands. However, if you choose the XMT03Z model, there is no battery pack or charger in the box.

Although it has a brushed motor, it’s more than powerful enough for typical scraping, sanding, wedging, and cutting jobs. The slim barrel with the grippy overmolding makes it pleasant to hold and easy to direct.

However, it can’t match the vibration control of the XMT04. It’s also louder. Furthermore, it lacks an LED light, so you’ll need separate elimination for the workspace. Lastly, the XMT03 weighs about half a pound more than the newer version.

Fortunately, given that this is the earlier model multi-tool, it’s likely to be lower in price.

Additional features

  • Soft start
  • Overall length is 12 inches
  • 20-minute continuous runtime with an 18V LXT 3.0Ah battery pack (not included)
  • 1-1/4-inch plunge blade also included


If you’re on a budget, you could save money by choosing the XMT03Z, as it’s the older model and a bare tool with no battery pack or charger. Moreover, the XMT03Z would suit contractors and DIY enthusiasts who wouldn’t need a multi-tool for daily use. And if you have applications requiring a slower speed, the XMT03 drops to 6000 OPM, lower than the XMT04 can achieve.

On the other hand, the XMT04ZB would be an excellent choice for anyone who regularly uses a cordless multi-tool. The standout benefits are the impressive lack of vibration, larger oscillation angle, and lower weight. The brushless motor contributes to longer battery life, plus the tool is compatible with a wide range of StarLock accessories.

Click here to purchase Makita XMT04ZB on

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