The Makita Drill is the pride and joy of Japan’s power tool industry and is among the best in the worldwide cordless drill market. I will be covering a brief background of Makita as a brand, their competitors in the industry, and an in-depth review of one of their bestselling cordless drills. By the end of this Makita cordless drill review, I hope that you will develop a greater understanding of the company, their cordless drills, as well as other brands on the market, and will be able to make better decisions towards your next homeowner purchases. Most importantly, I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Born in 1915, Makita Corporation was founded by Mosaburo Makita in the town of Nagoya in the Aichi Prefecture, originally coined as Makita Electric Works. The company began its ventures selling and repairing lighting equipment, motors, and transformers, which were in high demand at the time, as this was around the early years of World War I. A couple of decades went by, and in 1935, Makita developed the first exported electric motors and generators to the Soviet Union, and this became the company’s first memorable export case.
As their success grew, Makita eventually transformed into an electric power tool manufacturer as of 1959, and the years that followed saw the company expand all over the world, most notably to countries such as the USA, Australia, and many European countries, including France, Italy, and Germany as the major ones.
As of 1981, this expansion even reached South America, with the first Makita establishment taking root in Brazil (1). With such rapid global influence happening every year, Makita Corporation celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015 to acknowledge a century of business operation. They did this by marketing the cordless drill Gold Color series as a special model to commemorate their century-long success. They are known for making powerful tools that can take on small and larger projects. Makita makes a variety of drills, from the 12-volt drill to the 18-volt drills; both come in a corded drill and cordless drill style. They are a well-known and reputable brand that makes quality tools.
Makita Cordless Drill Review
- 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Motor ½ inch Driver-Drill
- 14-inch Contractor Tool Bag
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact 2.0Ah Battery
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger
- Powerful compact drill
- Ergonomic design makes it easy to handle
- Lightweight at only 2.8 lbs, easy to carry for anyone
- Easy to use in tight spaces
- Mechanical variable two-speed transmission of 700 RPM for a wider range of drilling
- Dual LED lights which illuminate the work area for easy drilling and error-free work
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for long-lasting use per discharge cycle
- Water and dust resistant
- 3 year limited warranty
- The battery takes an hour to charge.
- No extra battery
- Chuck is made of plastic rather than metal, which is not as durable.
The Makita Cordless Drill features a compact and lightweight design with comfortable, rubberized ergonomic handles for an easy grip that encourages control and accuracy when in use. The brushless motor delivers 530 pounds of torque power, which is greater than average drills, and possesses a variable two-speed transmission of 700 RPM for a wider range of drilling. This powerful drill delivers a high amount of blows per minute and can handle most, if not all, jobs around the house. Switching out drill bits is easy, and the battery life is comparable to other drills in this price range.
Not only is this drill suitable for a variety of tasks, but it also lasts longer than most drills with its LXT (Lithium-Ion Xtreme Technology) construction which is complimented by lithium-ion batteries, giving it a longer runtime per discharge cycle as well as a longer life. This helps negate the fact that there is no spare battery which is a nice thing to have when you are mid-job and don’t want to stop and wait for the dead battery to recharge.
The superior construction of Makita’s cordless drill is hard to beat and backed by a 3-year warranty; the brand stands strong in ensuring customer satisfaction. Additionally, over 300 Amazon reviewers have averaged a rating of 4.6 stars, with notably high ratings by feature for ergonomics, lightweight, and maneuverability, each feature receiving an average of 5.0, 4.9, and 4.9 stars, respectively. The 3-year warranty guarantees that your cordless drill is of the highest quality upon arrival and ensures that customers do not settle for anything less.
The batteries provided in this kit are made of lithium-ion, which complements the LXT design of the Makita cordless drill. This means the batteries are rechargeable, and the drill is designed to last longer before needing to be charged again. In addition, the drill’s overall lifespan is increased and usually lasts about 3 years of regular use, or 300-500 discharge cycles, which is a decent battery capacity. The charger has a battery level indicator, so you know the current battery charge level and how much battery power you have should you not want to wait for the full recharge. As a homeowner, this can really last a lifetime, as it is unlikely that you would need to use the drill more than a few times a year unless you are a construction worker.
For such a top-quality cordless drill, Makita makes its prices very affordable to the general public, which makes it a great choice for homeowners and construction workers alike. You could expect to pay just a couple hundred dollars for a basic cordless drill combo kit and less than $500 for more extravagant combo kits. Overall, the price range for Makita is similar to that of Dewalt, making it suitable and affordable for a range of buyers.
Who is this drill best suited for?
The Makita cordless drill is best suited for homeowners, lightweight construction workers, and anyone in between. I would not recommend this kit for heavy-duty construction work or even home tasks that are too ambitious, such as drilling large holes into the ground. This drill is designed for work on woods and other similar surfaces and should not be used for thick concrete or masonry-related tasks, as this will require a greater force than 18v of power. It’s one of their more versatile tools but best used as a regular drill than a heavy-duty construction tool.
What are people saying about it?
With an Amazon rating of 4.6 stars by the real users of this product, it’s safe to assume the vast majority are saying positive things about their experiences with Makita cordless drills. Upon investigation, I found much of the praise to be directed at the lightweight and ergonomics of the drill, with many also attesting to its torque power and ability to get the job done. On the negative side of things, some comments claim to have received a damaged product and had to return it. Fortunately, cases like these are easily overcome with Makita’s limited warranty, which allows you to get the drill replaced for free in such a scenario.
How do Makita Drills Compare to other brands?
Makita vs. Hilti
Makita vs. Hilti is like a battle between East vs. West, although in the world of cordless drills, cultural differences play very little part in determining superiority, and the decision as to which is better is rather subjective to the interpreter. This right here is a classic example of this, as a homeowner looking for a good bargain would be more enticed by Makita’s wide range of 12-volt and 18-volt cordless drills.
On the other hand, a construction manager would be looking at the best tools possible and would not consider price as an obstacle, as quality and a huge 20-year warranty would be of extremely good use to them; hence they would likely choose Hilti. Read more about it in our Hilti Cordless Drill Review.
Makita vs. Dewalt
Makita and Dewalt are perhaps the most similar brands in terms of quality, what they offer, and price, despite being from opposite ends on the world map. Both these brands strive to bridge the gap between homeowners and construction workers by providing tools that could be used by both parties interchangeably.
The most significant difference I’ve identified between the two is that Dewalt offers 20v cordless drills, while Makita stops at 18v for the same type of drill. Moreover, Makita has a slightly better torque power on the cordless drill, exerting 530 lbs of torque compared to Dewalt’s 500 lbs of torque power. Read more about it in our Dewalt Cordless Drill Review.
Makita vs. Black and Decker
The way I like to see Black and Decker is like the “homeowner” version of Dewalt, as this is essentially what the company strives to be. As such, it’s not too surprising that Black and Decker would have a slightly larger range of homeowner drills, particularly around the 12v capacity tools.
My advice to you on this one is this: if you feel your tasks will be purely homeowner-related without the possibility of delving into anything construction-related, then go with Black and Decker, as you’ll likely find just what you need at the best price.
On the other hand, if you think you may need the drills for more than just homeowner-related tasks, then I suggest looking into Makita’s range. Read more about it in our Black and Decker Cordless Drill Review.
Makita vs. Bosch
From my own perspective, I feel that Bosch is the European competitor of Black and Decker, in that it has an extensive range of homeowner-related tools. However, its warranty is quite inferior, being only 1 year, compared to Black and Decker or Makita, who have 3 years of warranty.
As such, when deciding between a brand like Makita and one like Bosch, it again comes down to whether you’re after strictly homeowner-related tasks or want something that can be used on construction sites effectively too. For me, the relatively super-short warranty of Bosch is a deal-breaker, though they do have an exceptionally wide range of 12v cordless drills. Read more about it in our Bosch Cordless Drill Review.
Makita Drill FAQ
What is the Makita Drill warranty?
Makita offers a 3-year limited warranty on these excellent drills.
What is Makita Drill’s return policy?
Makita’s return policy is that they will replace your drill within the first 3 years of purchase for free if there are any manufacturing defects or damaged pieces at the company’s fault.
What else comes with the Makita 18v Drill?
In addition to the Makita 18v Drill, you will also receive a required lithium-ion battery, charger, and contractor tool bag, as well as a 3-year limited warranty.
How long does the battery last?
The lithium-ion battery is designed to last around 3 years of regular use, which often turns out to be close to a lifetime for homeowners. This adds up to somewhere between 300 to 500 discharge cycles.
What’s the difference between the Makita 12v, 18v, and 36v drill?
The main difference is, of course, the amount of voltage carried by each drill. On a lesser obvious note, the 12v drills are the smallest-sized drills that are intended for smaller tasks around the home/backyard. The 18v drills are medium-sized, which are usually multi-purpose, and can tackle most homeowner tasks as well as many light-construction tasks. The 36v drill is a heavy-duty beast designed strictly for heavy construction work and is not to be used for homeowner tasks. If you are looking for plenty of power, this is the right one for you.
Is a Makita Cordless Drill worth it?
Makita’s Cordless Drill is well worth the expenditure for the vast majority of homeowners and construction workers. The quality of the brushless motor, the comfort of the rubberized ergonomic handle, and the superior torque power are all very valid reasons to invest in a Makita cordless drill. Backed by a 3-year warranty and a 4.6 star Amazon rating, the quality is well-validated and secured. My final take is that the Makita cordless drill is the most well-rounded cordless drill that has the most versatility in terms of the numerous and varied tasks it can complete. A must-buy for all homeowners and construction site workers!
This article is by Yaseen Hijazi.
1 – https://www.makitatools.com/company/about-us