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Best Makita Drills

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 9 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 134 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Makita drills

    Last Updated November 2018

    Makita, a company that is globally recognized for its innovation and quality tools, started in 1915 on a slightly different path. Mosaburo Makita founded the company with the idea of repairing and selling motors, transformers, and lighting equipment. It wasn't until 1958 that the company began marketing electric planers. By the following year, Makita was officially making electric power tools, and in 1969 premiered its first rechargeable drill.

    Over the past half century, Makita has managed to amass an expansive line of drills, drivers, and combo packages for professionals and DIYers alike. With such an overwhelming number of options, how do you know which Makita drill or combo set is right for you?

    BestReviews is here to help you make an informed decision with a comprehensive shopping guide to Makita drills.

    Makita is Japan's top manufacturer and exporter of electric power tools. The company has over 350 products, including everything from screwdrivers and drills to jackhammers and band saws.

    Makita drill innovations

    Makita focuses on creating tools that are both user-friendly and environmentally friendly. The company has continually been an innovator, incorporating new technology at times decades before the competition. Following are some of the innovations you'll find on Makita drills and drivers, as well as how they impact you.

    18V LXT lithium-ion cordless system: Created in 2005, this advanced cordless technology exceeds the performance of corded tools. The result is an extensive line of more efficient, higher-powered cordless tools.

    12V Max CXT lithium-ion cordless system: Makita's more compact cordless solution. The result is a longer run time, increased power and speed, and longer life for the tools you use most.

    Active 3 controls: A technology that enables chargers and batteries to exchange current, voltage, and temperature information during the charging process. The result is a battery that spends more time working and less time charging.

    Automatic speed change: Detects load and automatically adjusts the tool's speed and torque. The result is a consistently higher-performing drill.

    AVT (anti-vibration technology) and Advanced AVT: Based on seismic engineering, this technology significantly reduces vibration in hand tools with a three-component system. The result is less fatigue for the user and more power to the bit.

    ImpactX and Impact GOLD: Technologies designed to help keep bits from breaking under the increased performance demands of contractor-quality tools. Results in bits that last up to ten times longer.

    Oil impulse: Utilizing an oil bath in the hammer-anvil mechanism, Makita has found a way to reduce the noise of impact drivers. The result is a tool that can be used in low-noise environments.

    Push drive: This technology reserves power for times when the tool is engaged in working. The result is increased efficiency, longer run time, and lower noise.

    Quick shift mode: A technology that is used in impact drivers to assist with precision fastening. The result is less screw stripping and breaking, as well as less damage to your work.

    XPT (Extreme Protection Technology): A system of integrated seals designed to keep dust and water out of your tools. The result is tools with increased durability and longer life.

    Two heavy-duty drill and driving tools

    Both tools in this Makita 18V LXT set have a durable brushless motor that offers greater efficiency and longer life. The set includes a heavy-duty hammer driver-drill that can handle the most extreme materials and a remarkable impact drill that delivers an astounding 1,500 inch-pounds of torque. The kit also comes with two 18V LXT lithium-ion 4.0Ah batteries, an 18V lithium-ion Rapid Optimum Charger, and tool case.

    Types of Makita drills

    Makita has five tool lines available when it comes to drills and drivers – drills bore through material, drivers set screws.

    • Driver-drills: This versatile tool is designed to drill holes and drive screws.

    Price: These tools range from $100 for just the tool to $235 for the tool, batteries, charger, and bag.

    • Drywall screwdrivers: These tools are specially designed to drive drywall screws.

    Price: The average price ranges from $140 for just the tool to $300 for the tool, batteries, charger, and bag.

    • Hammer driver-drills: A hammer drill combines rotation and rapid blows to drill into masonry or rock. Some feature a setting that also allows for driving screws.

    Price: The average price ranges from $100 for just the tool to $350 for the tool, batteries, charger, and bag.

    • Impact drivers: This driver uses rotation and concussive blows to drives screws into dense wood.

    Price: The average price ranges from $115 for just the tool to $235 for the tool, batteries, charger, and bag.

    • Screwdrivers: These tools are specifically designed to drive screws.

    Price: The average price ranges from $150 for just the tool, $190 for the tool with auto-feed, to $340 for the tool, batteries, charger, and bag.

    • Combo kit: Sometimes you need more than one tool to get the job done. For instance, if you're working on drywall, you might need a cut-out tool along with a drywall screwdriver to finish up. Makita has packaged related tools together, along with the accessories, so you can purchase everything in one combo kit.

    Price: Since what is included in a combo kit can vary, the price can range from $140 to over $800, depending on your needs.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Makita makes drill bits that are 17 times more magnetic than regular bits. This technology helps hold screws to the end of the bit in even the most challenging situations.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The look of Makita tools has changed drastically over the years. Before moving to the trademark shock-resistant turquoise plastic casings, the earliest tools were made of brushed metal and look rather primitive by today's standards.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Makita's Auto-Start Wireless System takes advantage of Bluetooth technology on the jobsite to trigger a dust-extraction system that only runs while the equipment is operating. This eliminates excessive noise on the site because the dust-extraction system only engages when it’s needed.

    Makita drill warranties

    The best way to figure out how long a product is designed to last is to take a peek at the warranty. If it's covered, odds are that it won't be breaking down in that time frame. But how long a tool will last after the warranty period depends on use and care. The better you treat your Makita drill, the longer it will work. Some construction professionals have stated that up to 15 years is a good run. Here's the warranty structure for Makita.

    30 days: Every Makita product, except for accessories and/or wearable items, comes with a 30-day return/replacement guarantee.

    One year: Every Makita product is warranted to be free of defects from workmanship and materials for one year.

    Three years: Every Makita lithium-Ion tool, battery, and charger is warranted to be free of defects from workmanship and materials for three years.

    High-impact combo kit

    The Makita 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit is the perfect addition to your tool arsenal. The two-speed drill-driver is highly versatile, offering up to 1,300 rpm, while the lightweight impact driver with soft-grip handle delivers an impressive 800 inch-pounds of maximum torque. The kit also comes with two 12-volt max lithium-ion batteries, charger, and case.

    Tips

    • When using a Makita drywall screwdriver, use a lower revolutions per minute (rpm) setting. The lower rpm delivers higher torque, which will help you fasten the screws into the wood studs.

    • As soon as you start to notice an appreciable performance loss in your cordless Makita tool, it’s time to stop using that tool and charge the battery. If you discharge the battery to the point where it can no longer power the tool, you may cause permanent damage to the battery. This will result in decreased run times.

    • Makita makes it easy for you to dispose of batteries. You can take them to any of the company's factory service centers for recycling. Alternately, any rechargeable batteries you have may be taken to a Call2Recycle drop site. For more information or to find a location near you, call 800-822-8837.

    Near the end of World War II, in order to survive the threat of damage from air raids, Makita Electric Works moved south from Nagoya (located between Tokyo and Osaka) to Sumiyoshi-cho.

    FAQ

    Q. What do I do if I need more specific information on a particular Makita power tool?

    A. The upper right-hand corner of the company website has a search box where you can enter the model number. This will take you to a page detailing the specifics of the model you entered.

    Q. Is it possible to overcharge a Makita lithium-ion battery?

    A. No. Makita has designed its chargers to communicate with the batteries. Once the charger detects that a battery is fully charged, it switches to maintenance mode.

    Q. How long does it take to fully charge a Makita battery?

    A. The average charge times per ampere-hour are as follows: 1.5Ah take 15 minutes; 2.0Ah take 20 minutes; 3.0Ah take 30 minutes, 4.0Ah take 40 minutes; 5.0Ah take 45 minutes; 6.0Ah take 60 minutes.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Allen
      Allen
      Writer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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