The Makita MW001G Portable Microwave: Bringing Culinary Convenience to the Great Outdoors

Wanting a portable microwave is simultaneously a problem that I’ve never had or thought of, and a problem that I now can’t stop thinking of. If we can have portable coffee makers, portable induction stovetops, and portable blenders, why hasn’t anyone ever built a portable microwave yet? Sure, microwaves consume massive amounts of energy to stay operational – so do refrigerators and air-conditioners, but you’ve got portable ACs and fridges, right? Well, seems like Japanese power tool manufacturer Makita took on this rather unique challenge and designed what is easily the first ever portable microwave I’ve ever seen. Given the company’s core strengths, the microwave looks a little like a portable power station – and with good reason too. It runs on two 40V 4Ah lithium-ion batteries, and has a power output of up to 500W, giving you the ability to heat up to 11 dishes in one full battery cycle. It sports a USB-A port to charge your smartphones and comes with a handle that lets you carry the appliance around and even take it outdoors. Why? Because you can!

Designer: Makita

The fact that a power-tool maker built a portable microwave makes a fair bit of sense considering its primary audience. Picture this – you’re a construction worker who’s on site. It’s lunchtime and everyone’s digging into their room-temperature sandwiches and burritos… but you show up with the Makita MW001G. Thanks to the MW001G, you (and a bunch of your other friends) can have a hot, nourishing meal instead of a cold, insipid one. Pretty cool, right?

The MW001G measures 13.50 x 12.52 x 13.31 inches and weighs about 20 lbs (8.8kg). Its inner cabin is compact enough to fit one meal in at a time, or a few mugs of coffee. The microwave comes with two power settings, a lower 350W that lets the appliance run for longer, but takes more time to heat your food too, and a max 500W output that gives the microwave 8 full minutes of run-time. There’s no rotating table inside the MW100G, and a pretty rudimentary control panel lets you start/stop the appliance, and set the timer for your heating cycle, which displays on the simple seven-segment LED display.

The MW001G runs on Makita’s standard XGT batteries that also run the company’s other cordless power tools. This is convenient if you use Makita’s appliances because there’s a fair bit of synergy in being able to easily swap out battery packs between appliances for better convenience. The MW001G runs on two XGT batteries that easily clip onto the back of the microwave, and a 2.4 A 5V USB-A output allows you to charge your smartphone on the go.

Although designed to be a convenient appliance for the blue-collar worker, the MW001G doesn’t come cheap. Limited to a Japan-only release for now, the MW001G is priced at ¥71,500 ($540 USD) making it roughly 3-4 times the price of a regular (and much bigger) corded microwave. Me, I’ll just enjoy my cold burrito instead.