10 Best Makita Drills of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
There are a lot of inferior tools on the market. If you’ve ever mistakenly purchased one, then you know what a frustration this can be. Because of this, many professionals and hobbyists alike tend to find a single brand that they can trust and rely on for all of their tool needs.
One company that many professionals use and believe in is Makita. Since 1915, Makita has been making tools that are consistently high quality and reliable. Their tools are on the cutting edge of technology, helping workers become more efficient and constantly innovating the marketplace.
But that doesn’t mean all Makita tools are created equal. Like any company, they have some products that are markedly better than others. So, when it was time to replace our drills, we decided to do some testing to see which Makita drills are kings of the hill. The following 10 reviews will share what we learned along the way so, hopefully, you don’t have to test as many tools to find the right ones.
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020
|Best Hammer Drill||Makita XPH07Z Brushless Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill||
|Best Value||Makita 6407 Electric Drill||
|Best Mixing Drill||Makita DS4012 Spade Handle Drill||
|Best Impact Driver||Makita XDT16Z Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Impact Driver||
|Best Cordless Kit||Makita XFD061 COMPACT Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill||
The 10 Best Makita Drills Reviewed
1. Makita XPH07Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill – Best Hammer Drill
Combining power, control, and cutting-edge features, the Makita XPH07Z is our favorite Makita hammer drill. It’s completely cordless, providing you with ultimate freedom. Better yet, this drill is built with brushless motors that are more efficient and longer-lasting than traditional brushed motors.
But those brushless motors are more than just efficient; they’re also very powerful. This drill creates a max of 1,090 inch-pounds (in-lb) of torque; pretty darn impressive for a cordless tool. Helping control all that power is a 2-speed transmission with a variable-speed trigger allowing for speeds up to 2,100 RPM.
To efficiently use all that power, there’s a built-in handle that rotates to either side of the drill so you can find the perfect position for plenty of leverage. The all-metal chuck is a ½-inch for fitting large bits. The only downside is that no battery is included and the whole package is a bit pricey when you factor in the cost of the battery.
2. Makita 6407 Electric Drill – Best Value
Makita tools are known for their quality, but they’re not known for being particularly affordable. Luckily, the Makita 6407 Electric Drill is priced much lower than other tools for the company, but it’s still one of the best Makita drills for the money.
This drill is equipped with a 4.9-amp motor that can turn at up to 2,500 RPM. The variable trigger lets you control all that speed and the recessed lock-on button helps prevent hand fatigue when drilling for an extended time.
We were surprised that such an affordable drill could be so quiet, but this one runs at just 79 decibels. On the downside, you’ll always be plugged into a power cord, but for the price, we can’t complain.
3. Makita DS4012 Spade Handle Drill – Best Mixing Drill
Makita makes drills for many tasks, like the DS4012 Spade Handle Drill that’s perfect for mixing up a variety of materials like thin-set, drywall mud, or concrete. It’s got a large D-handle on the back that spins 360°, allowing you to find the perfect placement for optimal leverage and comfort.
This is a pretty large tool, but at just 6.2 pounds, it’s lighter than you might think from looking at it. It’s equipped with an industrial ½-inch keyed chuck that provides a firm grip on any bit. You’ll need that firm grip since this drill is loaded with an 8.5-amp motor that helps it spin through thick materials like concrete that hasn’t gotten enough water yet.
Of course, this drill is good for more than just mixing. That might be where it performs best, but it’s still perfectly usable for standard drilling jobs. However, with a max speed of 600 RPM, it’s not the best choice for drilling most holes. It’s also always tied to a power cord, limiting your mobility. But if you tried mixing concrete with a regular hammer drill, you’d likely burn it up pretty quickly. So, for mixing purposes, the DS4012 is the clear choice.
4. Makita XDT16Z Quick-Shift Impact Driver – Best Impact Driver
Compact and lightweight, the Makita XDT16Z is our favorite impact driver, and it’s the one we use for installing and removing screws and fasteners of all types. At just 3.4 pounds, you’ll hardly notice it clipped onto your belt, and the tiny size helps it fit in tight spaces.
But the most impressive thing about this tool is the massive power it fits into such a small package. With 1,600 in-lb of torque, you’ll have a hard time finding any fasteners this driver can’t drive. With a 4-speed transmission and a variable trigger, you get precise control over the entire speed range up to 3,600 RPM.
To pack so much power into such a small tool, Makita opted for brushless motors in the XDT16Z. This helps it to be more efficient, providing superior battery life over brushed models. There’s also an assist mode that helps prevent stripped screws and cross-threading.
But this driver isn’t cheap. On top of the price, you’ll also have to purchase the battery separately. But for us, this level of quality and reliability is absolutely worth the higher price.
5. Makita XFD061 COMPACT Cordless Driver-Drill – Best Cordless Kit
We’ve covered quite a few different types of drills on this list so far, including several cordless options. The problem is, most of them don’t include batteries, a charger, or a carrying case. But the Makita XFD061 kit contains everything you need to start completing projects today.
The drill-driver in this package is equipped with brushless motors and a 2-speed transmission. You’ve got a max speed of 1,550 RPM in high and a top speed of 400 RPM in low for precise control over the drill.
One nice thing about this tool is how light it is. At a mere 3.8 pounds with the battery installed, it’s one of the lighter models we tested, saving your arms throughout the day. But we did have a complaint with the poorly placed LED work light. It creates a shadow on your work, making it difficult to see what you’re doing in some situations.
6. Makita XPH12Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
The Makita XPH12Z Brushless Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill didn’t impress us as much as other Makita hammer drills, though it’s still a solid tool overall. It’s made with brushless motors that offer improved efficiency and lifespan over brushed motors. This drill can reach a max speed of 2,000 RPM, but with a max torque of just 530 inch-pounds, it’s not as powerful as others we’ve tested.
Still, we like the cordless freedom this drill provides. And it’s pretty lightweight at just 4.2 pounds with the battery installed. Unfortunately, the battery isn’t included, so you’ll have to factor that additional expense into an already pricey drill.
7. Makita XPH10Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
There’s one thing we really liked about the Makita XPH10Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill — the price. It’s far more affordable than other cordless hammer drills from Makita, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of a battery because none are included with this drill.
That said, this drill is still packed with great features. For instance, it’s equipped with dual LED lights to illuminate your workspace and the Makita XPT technology protects the inner motor from water, dust, and debris.
Despite the decent features, we found this hammer drill lacking. Hammer drills are meant for drilling into tough materials like brick and concrete, so you need a lot of power. With just 480 in-lb of torque, we wouldn’t say this drill has a lot of power. It’s also got a max speed of just 900 RPM, so it’s much slower than other models as well.
8. Makita XFD12Z Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill
We like how small and compact the Makita XFD12Z Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill is. It weighs in at less than 4 pounds with a battery. Too bad no battery is included. And to be fair, most of the similar drills from Makita that we tested weigh pretty close to this with some coming in even lighter.
Still, this drill is equipped with brushless motors and a 2-speed transmission that’s capable of speeds up to 2,000 RPM. However, there were too many little flaws that held this drill back in our eyes.
First, the reverse switch is poorly placed, resulting in many accidental presses while working. Next, the built-in LEDs are terribly placed, and they don’t even illuminate the bit! Finally, the chuck tends to loosen up while you’re working, eventually dropping your bit. For the price, we were hoping for better quality.
9. Makita XFD11ZB Sub-Compact Cordless Driver Drill
The Makita XFD11ZB is a sub-compact drill-driver that’s lighter than any of the others we tested at just 2.8 pounds with a battery installed. Of course, there’s no battery included, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.
Because it’s so small and light, this drill is easy to maneuver and will fit in the tightest of spaces. But there’s a major tradeoff here. It might be small and light, but we certainly wouldn’t classify this drill as powerful. With a max torque rating of just 350 in-lb and a top speed of 1,700 RPM, this tool just doesn’t perform on the same level as other Makita drills that we tested.
10. Makita HP2050 Hammer Drill
It’s pretty rare that we’re truly disappointed with a Makita tool, but the HP2050 Hammer Drill is one tool that we’d never recommend. It’s not a complete failure, with a handle that swivels 360° for optimal placement and a recessed lock-on button for reduced fatigue when drilling deep holes. But overall, there were too many flaws to overlook.
To start, this drill is pretty underpowered compared to other Makita hammer drills. The 6.6-amp motor isn’t as big as the motors in other hammer drills and it feels weak when you use it. Despite this, it’s big and heavy at nearly 15 inches long and weighs just shy of 6 pounds.
But it gets worse because the real failure is the chuck. It was advertised as having a ¾-inch chuck, but when it arrived, it was a ½-inch chuck instead. Even when we wrenched it down with the included key, the chuck never stayed tight and continuously dropped our bits. With so many glaring flaws, we can’t recommend this hammer drill.
As you can see, there are many different Makita drills to choose from in various shapes and sizes with drastically different abilities. How are you supposed to pick just one?
Well, in many cases, one isn’t enough. A lot of it comes down to the type of work you plan to perform with your drill. Are you just drilling holes, just installing screws and bolts, or are you doing both? Are you going to be mixing up concrete and thin sets? Do you need extra power to drill through concrete and masonry?
If this sounds confusing, then don’t worry; this buyer’s guide is for you. In it, we’re going to attempt to clarify the different types of drills and what tasks you might perform with them.
Different Drills for Different Jobs
The reason there are so many different types of drills is that they’re all meant to perform specific functions. While some of them can perform a variety of functions, they’re usually best at something specific. Let’s take a look at the different types of drills and what they’re used for.
This is the most basic and versatile drill, and it’s probably the one that pops into your head when you think of a drill. They’re great for drilling basic holes and installing fasteners in a variety of materials. However, they’re not the most powerful of drills and they tend to have a hard time sinking fasteners into hard materials when they tend to strip out the heads.
These are the most common types of drills and they’re also generally the most affordable. You can get this type of drill in a cordless or corded setup, depending on your preferences.
These drills are heavier and larger than regular drill drivers and they usually have a handle to give you extra leverage. But hammer drills aren’t just bigger, they’re also more powerful. These drills are made for putting holes into hard materials like brick, concrete, and other masonry, so they’re loaded with pretty impressive torque specs.
Spade Handle Drill
Spade handle drills are giant and they’re usually pretty hefty. They’re bigger than hammer drills overall, though they’re not usually quite as long. These drills feature a handle like hammer drills, but this time it’s a big D-handle on the rear of the drill.
Spade handle drills usually have the biggest, most powerful motors of all; designed for mixing up thick materials like concrete, drywall mud, and thin-set for tiles. To prevent all that material from being thrown out of your bucket, they’re generally limited in speed, topping out around 600 RPM. You can still use these drills for making holes, but it will be slow going and the extra bulk and size of a spade handle drill will definitely weigh you down.
Impact drivers are fairly new compared to the other types of drills we’ve covered. These are generally very compact and lightweight, making them ideal for working in tight spaces. They’re also incredibly powerful, despite the small size. Many of these tools produce upwards of 1,000 in-lb of torque.
The reason an impact driver needs so much power is that they’re meant for driving fasteners. But instead of constant turning like you get with a drill, an impact driver makes hundreds of tiny impacts per minute, which can power the fastener through materials that a normal drill wouldn’t handle. The impacts also make it less likely to strip out the head of the screw — a problem that’s all too commonplace when driving fasteners with a standard drill.
On the other hand, these are some of the least-versatile drills of all. They’re not great for drilling holes since they don’t turn smoothly like a drill bit requires. Moreover, they generally have ¼-inch chucks that won’t accept standard drill bits anyway.
One thing’s for sure; there’s no shortage of Makita drills for you to pick from. While writing these reviews, we tested many kinds of drills, and we finally settled on a few that we feel confident recommending.
For our money, the best hammer drill is the Makita XPH07Z. It’s entirely cordless and built with brushless motors that create 1,090 in-lb of max torque with two-speed transmission and variable trigger for complete control.
If you’re looking for the best value, we suggest the Makita 6407 Electric Drill with a 4.9-amp motor that spins up to 2,500 RPM and operates at just 79 decibels.
The Makita DS4012 Spade Handle Drill is the drill we’d choose for mixing up materials like drywall mud and concrete. It’s got an impressive 8.5-amp motor with a D-handle that rotates 360° for optimal leverage and comfort.
When you need to install or remove fasteners, our top pick is the Makita XDT16Z impact driver with 1,600 in-lb of max torque and a top speed of 3,600 RPM.
And finally, our favorite cordless kit with everything you need to get drilling is the Makita XFD061 with a drill-driver, battery, charger, and convenient carrying bag.
More buying guides like this:
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- Makita 5007MG vs 5007MGA: Which One’s Best?
- Which is our all-time favorite lithium-ion drill?
- A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020
- The 10 Best Makita Drills Reviewed
- 1. Makita XPH07Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill – Best Hammer Drill
- 2. Makita 6407 Electric Drill – Best Value
- 3. Makita DS4012 Spade Handle Drill – Best Mixing Drill
- 4. Makita XDT16Z Quick-Shift Impact Driver – Best Impact Driver
- 5. Makita XFD061 COMPACT Cordless Driver-Drill – Best Cordless Kit
- 6. Makita XPH12Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
- 7. Makita XPH10Z Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
- 8. Makita XFD12Z Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill
- 9. Makita XFD11ZB Sub-Compact Cordless Driver Drill
- 10. Makita HP2050 Hammer Drill
- Buyer’s Guide