Makita cordless drill

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Best Makita 12v/18v Cordless Drill & Impact Driver Set Reviews

It is surprising how jobs can go faster if you have the right tool in hand. At home, for instance, that perfect tool is a power drill.

It is capable of performing a variety of functions such as driving or retracting screws and stirring mortar. In addition, if you love DIYs, then this is a definite must-have.

Now, power, torque, and speed are three things you need to consider when buying a power drill.

By far, Makita has consistently proven itself a leader in the field of cordless power tool technology. The brand offers a wide selection of drills and drill sets.

Let us find out which Makita tool will suit your needs most.

Table of Contents:

Top 5 Best Makita Cordless Drill Kits

1. Makita XFD10R 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2″ Driver-Drill Kit

Makita XFD10R 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2" Driver-Drill KitFor most reviewers, the Makita XFD10R is the best cordless drill on the market today. Most of them command the drill’s soft rubber, ergonomic grip design that makes it very easy and comfortable to use even for hours.  

Thanks to its 21 clutch settings, you can easily fine-tune the tool. It is also equipped with dual LED lights with better water and dust resistance for dark and harsh job site conditions.

This drill has a two-speed transmission with a maximum speed of 1,900 RPM and can deliver up to 480 in. lbs. of torque.


  • Fast-charging battery
  • Features a four-pole motor
  • Delivers 480 in. lbs. of max torque
  • Mechanical two-speed transmission
  • Runs up to 600 and 1,900 RPM
  • Dust and water resistant
  • Dual LED lights
  • Lightweight, only 3.3 lbs.


  • Does not come with on-tool bit storage

Bottom Line:

While there are other, more powerful and faster tools on the market, the Makita XFD10R model is more than enough to carry out almost any kinds of drilling tasks. This is indeed a good buy for a cordless drill kit.

2. Makita XPH012 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Hammer Driver-Drill

Makita XPH012 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Hammer Driver-Drill Kit with One Battery- DIscontinued by Manufacturer (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

The Makita XPH012 is a pretty powerful drill for its weight and size. This 4-pound light tool is very easy to use even for long hours, and its compact size is perfect for tight workspaces.

It comes with a keyless chuck, a belt clip, and an LED light. This has to be one of the most versatile tools in the market as it can carry out drilling, driving, and hammer drilling tasks.

It is suitable for drilling into masonry and concrete, producing 6,000 blows per minute (BPM) in low and 22,500 BPM in high.

The tool can also deliver up to 480 in. lbs. of torque with two-speed ranges of 400 and 1,500 RPM).  It is powered by an 18V lithium-ion slide-style battery.

What is interesting to note is that in this category, the Makita XPH012 has the fastest charging time (only 20 minutes). Less charging time means more time to work.


  • The battery can run up to 3 hours
  • Can work as driller, driver, or hammer driller
  • Fast charging time
  • Star Protection-equipped tool against overloading, overheating, and over-discharging
  • 4-pole motor that can produce 480 in. lbs. of max torque


  • No bit holder
  • No charge or battery indicator

Bottom Line:

This tool has a very good value for your money. The Makita XPH012 can serve as a driver-drill or a hammer driver-drill, allowing you to carry just one tool instead of two.

3. Makita XPH12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill Kit

Makita XPH12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Brushless Cordless 1/2" Hammer Driver-Drill Kit

If you are looking for speed and torque in a device, then the Makita XPH12T is a good deal for you. Actually, this bears some similarities with the Makita XPH12T.

Both can run any drilling, driving, and hammer applications. The two are also powered by an 18V Lithium ion battery and has a four-pole motor rated at 530 in. lbs. of torque.

However, the XPH12T is lighter, weighing only 3.9 lbs. It is also faster when it comes to speed. Its dual duel speed designs allow this tool to deliver a maximum of 2000 RPM and 30,000 BPM in the high-speed setting.

With this power, any kind of drilling applications is surely possible. This has better illumination too with a LED lights installed.

Furthermore, it has an improved dust and water resistance, thanks to its new extreme protection technology (XPH).


  • Has a charging ring to let you easily change between modes
  • All modes have forward, reverse, two gear ratios along with variable speed
  • Quick charging time (less than 30 minutes)
  • Ergonomic design with soft rubberized grip and hardshell case
  • Improved dust and water resistance with two LED lights


  • It produces a harsh sound at times
  • No drill bits included

Bottom Line:

The Makita XPH102 can actually be a bang for the buck. It has several settings to offer and is designed for wood, metal, masonry, and concrete use. By the way, did I mention this is ranked first on Amazon’s best-selling list?

4. Makita FD05R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit

Makita FD05R1 12V Max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit, 3/8"You have probably heard about this model as this is known to be one of Makita’s most successful units. The kit already includes two 12V max CVT Lithium ion slide-style batteries, a charger, and a tool case.

While Makita says this is a combo, the FD05R1 model is basically just one unit with several options to offer.

However, it is impressive to note that for an ultra-compact tool, it can deliver a decent punch to your low- to mid-range driving, fastening, and drilling tasks.

The Makita FD05R1 can be used day in and day out as it is lightweight (only 2.4 lbs.) and is very comfortable to use (equipped with a rubberized soft and slip-free grip).

It is powered by 12V Max CXT lithium ion 2.0 Ah batteries with an LED charge level indicator.

Just like other Makita drills, this has a variable two-speed design with a max of 1,700 RPM. Although switching between modes is discouraged, this tool is the exception to this rule.

This can cover several applications using its 250 in. lbs. of torque and 18 clutch settings.


  • Reduces operator fatigue at only 2.4 lbs.
  • Contains LED battery charge level indicator
  • Integrated with Battery Protection Circuit technology to prevent overheating, overloading, and over-discharging
  • Lightweight and quite
  • Good for amateurs


Bottom Line:

For amateurs who have no idea about drills, the Makita FR05R1 is a good beginner kit. This tool can easily breeze you through simple and everyday tasks. It is also versatile for either male or female hands.

5. Makita XPH07Z LXT Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless Hammer Driver Drill

Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Hammer Driver-Drill, Tool OnlyThis tool is probably one of the most powerful 18V drills on the market, offering a massive 1,090 in. lbs. of torque.

That definitely is one heck of a power. This brushless motor tool can give longer run times and has longer battery life. In hammer mode, this can deliver a maximum of 3,500 BPM.

Now, if these are not impressive enough, Makita adds more features to make this stand out.  This drill boasts of an electronically controlled motor that matches the torque and RPM of a specific task.

With a wide range of applications, this drill allows you to choose how you can deliver the power through gearing.

The Makita XPH07Z is actually not that heavy for its size, but it is not a compact lightweight either. However, its ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold.

The handle has the right size, and the rubber molding promotes comfort. Meanwhile, it only takes 45 minutes to recharge the batteries from dead flat, thanks to its Rapid Optimum Charger.


  • Brushless motor for increased speed and power, longer runtime, and longer tool life
  • Three-stage LED gauge that indicates battery life
  • Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overuse, overheating, and over-discharge
  • Two-speed transmission for fastening and hammer drilling
  • Comes with an attached handle for easy storage and handling


  • Too clunky; bulky battery packs

Bottom Line:

The Makita XPH07Z suits well for those looking for a tool with humongous torque that can perform heavy household tasks or construction jobs. With this, you can surely finish your job efficiently and quickly.

Top 5 Best Makita Cordless Impact Driver Sets

1. Makita XDT042 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Makita XDT042 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit (Discontinued by Manufacturer)This best-selling tool features a brushed four-pole motor that can generate massive 1,420 in. lbs. of torque. It features a two-speed transmission with a variable-speed trigger.

Its top speed can reach up to 2,300 RPM with 3,200  IPM. The Makita XDT042 weighs only 3.3 lbs. with the battery included. It has a convenient one-touch ¼-inch hex chuck for quick bit changes.

Just like other impact drivers, this tool is equipped with an LED light that helps illuminate dark work areas. This light automatically shuts off when the trigger is released so your battery will not quickly run down.

It is powered by an 18V lithium ion battery. While you do not have a gauge to check its life, it is sufficient enough to last for quite a while.


  • Compact design at only 5-7/16 inches long and weighs only 3.3 lbs.
  • ¼-inch hex chuck makes for fast, one-handed bit changes
  • Delivers 1,420 torque that can make bore big holes using short bits
  • Star protection control to prevent overloading, overheating, and over-discharging
  • Four-pole motor with variable speed


  • Should have come with an extra battery

Bottom Line:

The Makita XDT042 is designed for a variety of driving and fastening applications. It is perfect for any pro contractor that needs a good compact cordless impact driver.

2. Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Makita XDT111 3.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver KitImpact drivers are built with two to three times more power and speed than your conventional drill. And Makita’s XDT111 is no exemption.

This drill is equipped with Makita’s proprietary hammer and anvil impact technology that allows it to drive long screws and fasteners.

It can deliver a solid 1,460 in. lbs. of torque and can generate a top speed of 2,900 RPM with 3,500 IPM. Its dual LED lights make this suitable for use in dark and tight areas.

They leave a few seconds of afterglow the instant you release the trigger.

Its improved XPT Extreme Protection Technology also gives an extra protection layer against dust and water. This tool is powered by an 18V 3.0 Ah LXT lithium ion battery that can keep you at work longer.

One more thing, this is equipped with a four-pole, four-brush design motor. This is more energy-efficient as it consumes less battery power while generating 26% more speed at the spindle.


  • Four-pole, four-brush design motor
  • Two variable speed of 2,900 and 3,500 RPM
  • Soft rubber handle with limited hand fatigue
  • A powerful tool with a 1,460 in. lbs. of torque to cater to any drilling and fastening applications
  • Can be purchased in three variants


  • A bit heavy for an impact driver, weighing 3.9 lbs.

Bottom Line:

The Makita XDT111 an incredible impact driver designed for heavy everyday construction or average DIYs. It works well in driving large, long screws into thick, dense materials such as screwing down subfloors or building decks.

3. Makita XDT08Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver

Makita XDT08Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact DriverThe Makita XDT08Z has been designed with comfort and convenience in mind. It has been commended for its excellent ergonomics and handling.

This will not likely twist your wrist too as it only weighs 3.4 lbs. and is just 5-7/8 inches long. Meanwhile, this tool has a brushless motor that can generate a powerful 1,420 in. lbs. of torque.

Makita has redesigned this brushless motor tech in order to deliver greater performance while consuming lesser battery power.

It features a two-preset variable speed at a maximum of 3,200 RPM. This driver can easily break cheap bits, and it can only take hex shank bits because of its ¼-inch hex chuck.


  • Perfect ergonomic design
  • Brushless motor
  • Tool Belt Clip included
  • Built-in LED light
  • Bits are easy to swap even with one hand only


  • Battery and charger are not included in the kit

Bottom Line:

This is a good heavy-duty equipment. However, it can run a bit expensive since you still need to purchase a battery and charger.

4. Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode Impact Driver

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),Performance-wise, the Makita XDT12T is one of the best impact drivers there is in the 18V class. It can deliver a top speed of 3,600 RPM with an impact rate of 3,800.

Torque is pretty solid at 1,550 in. lbs. too, allowing you to handle major driving needs.

This tool boasts of the Quick Shift Mode (now called T-mode), which starts fast and slows near the end of the drive. This mode prevents damage to fasteners and bits, especially when working with metal fastening applications.

It also has the Assist Mode (A-mode) for wood applications. This offers a slow start and accelerates speed to give you a controlled start.

Other than these two modes, the XDT12T also features four different standard modes.


  • Features the T-mode for metal applications and A-mode for wood
  • Has four standard impact driver modes that give you control options than single-speed or three-speed models
  • The ergonomic design makes it convenient and comfortable for use all day long
  • Best in class for speed and near top impact rate
  • Dual built-in LED light


  • Light is located between the head shaft and trigger, so shadows often occur
  • Price is quite expensive

Bottom Line:

The Makita XDT12T is a well-rounded, compact driver with amazing features and incredible performance. However, the price should have come cheaper.

5. Makita XDT13R 2.0Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Makita XDT13R 2.0Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Brushless Cordless Impact Driver KitWhen it comes to versatility and performance, you can count on the Makita XDT13R impact driver. This tool is equipped with a brushless motor, offering 50% longer run time, increased power, and longer tool life.

This electronically controlled brushless motor can efficiently optimize energy use to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application.

It can deliver a max torque of 1,500 in. lbs. with a variable speed of up to 3,400 RPM and 3,600 IPM.

This can carry out any driving and fastening applications too like tightening down lag bolts and fastening a variety of screws. However, this can run a bit heavy, especially for daily and extended use. The tool weighs 10 lbs.


  • Brushless motor that can generate a solid 1,500 in. lbs.
  • Variable speed of up to 3,400 RPM
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Efficient Brushless Motor to optimize battery use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
  • Compatible with any Makita 18V lithium ion batteries with a star symbol


  • Runs a bit heavy, weighing 10 lbs.

Bottom Line:

The XDT13R model from Makita will definitely suit your professional needs. This is perfect for electricians, plumbers, woodworkers, or any pro contractor.

Which Makita Screwdriver is Better?

The choice of this or that Makita screwdriver depends, first of all, on the application. According to this blog, the models are divided into 2 basic categories: professional and domestic. That’s why you have to make a choice.

Professional Use

To work with fasteners at the assembly plant, e.g., in the furniture workshop, an ordinary electric screwdriver without drilling function will do.

The high speed of the rotation speed (2500 RPM) ensures that the work process is significantly accelerated. The integrated reverse function not only allows for driving but also unscrewing (both screws and self-tapping screws).

If the tool is to be used in installation or construction work and requires high mobility, Makita cordless screwdrivers are the right choice.

During construction or repair works, it may be necessary not only to do in a self-tapping screw but also to drill a hole in wood, metal, or concrete. In such a scenario, a drilling screwdriver is the best choice.


Overall, Makita has a variety of drivers to choose from, depending on our needs. You will surely have the perfect tool for you whether it is based on performance, price, etc.

Other Tools and Resources:


Makita Cordless Drill Parts & Models

Carbon Brush Set

Part Number: CB408

In Stock, 25+ available

This #191938-1 (CB-408) Makita carbon brush set contains two individual carbon brushes with wire leads and brush springs attached. The set contains genuine Makita replacement parts, and comes packaged in a Makita retail box.

This brush set will fit the Makita tools listed at the bottom of the page.

• Worn brushes are often the cause of a poorly running motor
• Replacing brushes can fix an intermittent motor
• New brushes can restore a motor’s electric braking

Carbon motor brushes are one of the most commonly replaced power tool components. Because carbon brushes are wear items, meaning that through friction and use they will gradually wear away, they will eventually require replacement. Worn brushes are common causes of intermittent motor function, reduced electric braking, and reduced motor power. A worn out brush will often be worn down near the wire lead and may be cracked, pitted, or burned. When replacing carbon brushes, be sure to also inspect your armature for burns, cracks, or other damage which indicates a larger motor problem.

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Best Cordless Drills of 2021

While car shopping, you might consider a vehicle’s power, performance, speed, and handling. The same applies if you’re in the market for a cordless drill—only instead of driving highways, you’re driving screws and holes into wood, drywall, and metal.

In the past decade cordless drills have become more versatile, powerful, lighter, and energy-efficient, thanks to advancements in lithium-ion battery technology. (The batteries often last longer and charge faster.)

“A more recent trend we’re seeing is interchangeable batteries that work among a brand’s entire suite of power tools,” says Courtney Pennicooke, CR’s market analyst for cordless drills. “So you can use the same batteries for your drill, chainsaw, and string trimmer. You can adjust the voltage to match the project you’re working on and save money by buying bare tools to complete your set.”

Whether installing a new ceiling fan or building a backyard shed, more consumers are turning to adaptable heavy-duty drills to get the job done. According to a recent CR member survey, those who own cordless drills overwhelmingly prefer heavy-duty models (18 to 20 volts or higher). Forty-two percent of members own 18-volt drills and 22 percent own 20-volt models. Two percent go all-in with drills that have 22 volts or higher.

But how much power do you really need? General-use (about 12 volts) and light-duty drills can handle most household jobs.

You know the drill. We narrowed down the field to the most widely available models and ran them through a series of tests in our cordless drill lab, where we use a device called a dynamometer that measures torque under different loads. We translated those readings into scores for power, speed, and run time. We also incorporated ratings for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction based on data from CR’s member survey. Two-thirds of cordless drill brands rate favorably for both. Bosch, DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Ridgid top these ratings, earning Excellent marks for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. Chicago Electric Power Tools sits on the opposite end of the spectrum, rating only Fair for reliability and Poor for owner satisfaction.

Ten of our top cordless drills are listed here in alphabetical order. For more details on drill types, see our cordless drills buying guide or jump right to our comprehensive cordless drill ratings.


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