Makita and Bosch X-Lock

If You Use an Angle Grinder, There’s Lots Happening with X-Lock

Woodworkers who use an angle grinder to carve wood, shape countertop material or trim tile may have noticed something new in the big box stores. Companies such as Diablo, Bosch and Makita are offering a system called X-Lock, which is a tool-free wheel changing method.

For example, Bosch has just released the GWX18V-50PCN, which is an 18V EC brushless, connected-ready 4-1/2” angle grinder with a No-Lock-On paddle switch and X-Lock technology. An EC, or electronically commutated motor design is about 35% more efficient than a conventional motor. The new Bosch grinder delivers power equivalent to a 10 Amp corded tool, and it also has an X-Brake, which helps the wheel stop when the switch is turned off. The company says that “the X-Lock mount offers a wheel change that’s up to 5X FASTER than conventional interfaces. There’s an audible snap when mounting an X-lock Wheel on an X-Lock grinder. The wheel mounts properly without the need for a spanner wrench or flange nuts.” Basically, you press a red button on the tool and the wheel pops off, or you press the wheel onto the tool and it snaps in place. The X-shaped hole in the wheel is gripped by a pair of spring-loaded expanding jaws. It’s simple, clever and effective.

On July 13th, Makita U.S.A., Inc. announced its new X-Lock angle grinder accessory line that includes a variety of blades, wheels, and brushes. The accessories are designed to work with Makita® X-Lock angle grinders (XAG25, XAG26, GA4507, all sold separately), and most of the new accessories are also compatible with standard 7/8” arbor grinders found in the marketplace today. Among the new products are diamond blades in segmented, turbo, or continuous rims and they have more bond material for faster material removal and taller segments for faster cutting. There’s a new Type 27 flap disc for blending and finishing in a variety of grit options, and Type 29 angled disc for grinding and polishing in a range of grits. Then there are 4-1/2” and 5” grinding and cut-off wheels for metal and stainless-steel cutting that have more bond material for faster material removal and cleaner cuts. The new accessories also include wire cup brushes and wheels including a variety of crimped wire and knot wire brushes, as well as full cable knotted twist and stringer bead twist wheels. (These are only compatible with X-LOCK angle grinders because their design prohibits the flange and lock nut from securing the accessory to a standard 7/8” arbor mount angle grinder.) Other than that, the rest of the new line-up of X-Lock accessories work on both X-LOCK and standard angle grinders.