A nicely designed and lightweight, low-noise leaf blower; the Makita DUB183Z works well but slowly.
- Uses same batteries as other Makita products
- Compact and powerful for its size
- Can vacuum dust
- Lack of air volume
- Review Price: £50 (body only)
- High, medium and low volume settings
- Can be used as a blower or vacuum
- Air speed 52m/sec
- Weight 1.9kg
The Makita DUB183Z is a small, compact 18V leaf blower that uses Makita’s standard 18V batteries – which could be handy if you have existing cordless tools. It has simple variable controls that can blow very gently indeed, a comfortable soft-grip handle and an angled nozzle. Even on the highest setting it’s quiet, but even with all its power it isn’t able to lift leaves and debris fast. If you want to suck up dust with your Makita DUB183Z, you can buy a bag and attachment, but it won’t cope with leaves.
Makita DUB183Z – Design and features
The first thing you’ll notice about the Makita DUB183Z is its compact form. Controls are minimal: there’s a black, variable speed finger-trigger that you just press and away it goes. To increase the speed you simply pull the trigger further. There’s also a black thumbwheel behind the trigger that offers three different levels of air volume, up to a maximum of 2.6 cubic metres per minute. Basically, when you move this thumbwheel the motor goes faster.
The Makita DUB183Z has a curved nozzle. The machine can be used as a vacuum with an optional bag and hose attachment (which I didn’t have), but the biggest item you can pick up with the two is sawdust. Anything larger will block the intake, so you can’t use it for leaves.
The Makita DUB183Z runs off Makita 18V batteries, common to all of the brand’s power tools. As such, this leaf blower makes a lot of sense if you’ve already got Makita cordless products, especially since the Makita DUB183Z is commonly found as a body-only product without battery. Expect to pay £100 more for a 3Ah battery and charger. I tested with this combination.
There are four red indicator lights on the battery – not the charger – to indicate the state of charge. The fan on the DC18RC charger makes a low hum and battery charge took one and a half hours. We managed 14 minutes run-time on low speed. For more time you can invest in bigger-capacity batteries – although, if you have yourself a collection of Makita tools, then you can just swap out the battery as you go, too.
Makita DUB183Z – Performance
The controls couldn’t be simpler, and this is one of the nicest things about the machine. It’s also very light, compact and well-balanced, and when held in the hand the curved nozzle is almost horizontal to the ground, so it’s at the perfect angle for wafting leaves along.
On the lowest setting, the Makita DUB183Z can barely move a piece of tissue paper over a floor, so this would make it ideal for blowing light dust across a workshop floor. Its variable-speed trigger means it’s useful for any tasks requiring steady, gentle power, such as clearing grass clippings off a path.
When you switch on the leaf blower the sound resembles a hairdryer, and even on the top setting it only reaches “crazy hairdryer” in volume. This helps if you don’t want to annoy close neighbours.
The angle of the nozzle is such that you can blow leaves about a metre in front of you, and if there are particularly stubborn, sticky ones, swinging the nozzle back towards your feet increases the angle at which the air blast hits the ground and makes it easy to remove them.
The air volume is far less than the other blowers in the trial and really shows in the Makita 183Z’s ability to shift leaves. On full power, the blower easily lifted damp leaves over a 4-inch kerb on my drive, but it took a slow five minutes to clear them off 40 square metres of grass. As a result of the low volume of air, it takes longer for the Makita DUB183Z to do its work, but it’s still quite a powerful compact machine.
Why buy the Makita DUB183Z?
The Makita DUB183Z is a low-cost, comfortable, super-reliable blower that’s easy to use. It’s low-noise is neighbour friendly and it can even be used for cleaning up a workshop floor. For anyone with existing Makita tools, the Makita DUB183Z could be a good choice thanks to the ability to share batteries across devices. Other leaf blowers that we’ve tested are more powerful and better suited to larger areas, while the Makita DUB183Z is a good choice for smaller areas or less frequent use.