Most helpful critical review
59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Good tools, bad batteries
on October 25, 2011
So far these have been good tools, but the batteries tend to fail early, after maybe a dozen charges. I checked around on the web and found out there is a design bug in the battery that makes them fail early. Makita knows about it and will quietly replace batteries with under 150 charges on them, regardless of warranty.
They seem to fail if left unused for a while, then put on the charger. The symptom is flashing green and red lights on the charger, with a fairly new battery. The reason is a design bug in the control board of the battery. It's always the first cell that fails, gets deep discharged, because its the only one used to supply power to the control board. So it shows a deep discharge, while the other cells are charged. If you try to charge it 3 times with a deep discharged cell, the control board bricks the battery. It will register as bad, even though there is plenty of useful life left.
So if this happens, send them to the Makita Service Center for replacement.
If Makita won't replace them, you can probably charge them and use them on a clone charger that doesn't read the control board. Clone chargers cost about $60 on the big auction site.
Until Makita fixes this, I would not advise buying these tools.