Makita Cordless Combi-Drills - a Toolstop Buying Guide to the Best

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How to Know the Best Makita Combi-Drill to Buy


Makita is quite probably the UK's biggest manufacturer of professional combi-drills. The signature blue and black styling of their drills is a common sight on job sites, building sites and workshops all over the world.

Their history with pro cordless combi-drill goes back a while and it's not surprising to see the company's technology evolve as the years have progressed, from ni-cad batteries to lithium-ion, to improved motor technologies, better ergonomics and compact sizes.

In this guide we'll be taking you through what the Japanese power tool giant has to offer in the world of cordless, professional combi-drills. Each combi-drill in our guide will detail exactly what you need to know about it in terms of spec, what it'll allow you to do and any great features that warrant your attention.

Makita 8391DWPE 18V Combi Drill

We've all seen the 8391Dat work; we might even be packing one in our kit right now! Proven to be tough and durable thanks to the metal gearing, it certainly stands out thanks to its red battery pack. While ni-cad batteries might be seen as yesterday's technology, the 8391D is still a respectable combi-drill to own and we still sell lots of them!

Makita 8391DWPE 18V Combi Drill


Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 27/42Nm (16+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-19,500 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-1,300 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 36mm
  • Max in Masonry: 13mm
  • Net Weight: 2.3kg


Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • Ni-Cad batteries have a charge time of 30 minutes


Makita BHP453 LXT 18V Li-Ion Combi Drill

This is by far Makita's best selling professional power tool in the UK! Essentially it has the same spec as the 8391D, as you'll see below, but rather than relying on ni-cad batteries, it's completely compatible with Makita's 3Ah 18v batteries.

We all know these batteries, most of us probably have at least one in our kit somewhere. The 18v  li-ion batteries benefit from LXT technology, helping to protect the battery when charging and when in use, the batteries are also lighter than ni-cad batteries and will accept more recharges, giving them a longer lifetime.

The rest of the combi-drills in our guide use LXT lithium-ion batteries.

Makita BHP453RFE LXT 18V Li-Ion Combi Drill

Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 27/42Nm (16+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-19,500 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-1,300 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 36mm
  • Max in Masonry: 13mm
  • Net Weight: 1.9kg

Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • 22 minute charge time



Makita DHP456 LXT 18V Li-Ion Combi Drill

Makita launched their long awaited 4Ah LXT 18v li-ion batteries, promising longer runtimes for your cordless tools. Now any cordless Makita tool that starts with the letter D, like the DHP456, will be compatible with the new 4Ah packs (the model we're showcasing is supplied with one in the case), but is also backwards compatible with your 3Ah batteries.

Learn all about these new batteries by clicking here.

So, the BHP456 was already a big seller for the company, and again, we know loads of you guys have one in your kit.

However, the DHP456 is available with the bigger capacity 4Ah batteries, therefore 35% more runtime per fully charged 3Ah battery.

Again like the BHP453 we've got a metal gearbox for greater durability and lifetime, however the DHP458 does give let you drill slightler larger holes into wood (see the spec below) and has a bit more Nm of torque than its cousin. And note that the larger capacity batteries don't add any weight to the combi-drill; in fact it's even lighter!

Plus, you may notice that it's available in white...

Makita DHP456RMWX 18V White Li-ion Combi Drill

Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 36/50Nm (16+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-22,500 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-1,500 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 36mm
  • Max in Masonry: 13mm
  • Net Weight: 1.6kg

Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • 36 minute charge time for 4Ah batteries (22 minutes for 3Ah)



Makita DHP458 LXT 18v Combi-Drill

Another suitable update to an already popular combi-drill, Makita has replaced the "B" in the BHP458 with a "D" to once again signify that the DHP458 is available with the new 4Ah lithium-ion batteries.

The DHP458 also comes bundled with a depth stop and a side handle, signifying this is a combi-drill that's expected to handle some big jobs for you; see the spec below for an idea of what you'll be able to do with it. And it also benefits from a full-metal gear box.

One great feature that's worth noting about this combi-drill is Makita's inclusion of XPT.

XPT denotes "Extreme Protection Technology" and is a clear nod to that fact that, at times, you're combi-drill's going to take a wee bit of abuse while you work. Basically XPT means you're combi-drill has a degree of protection against water and dust ingress.

This is ideal for any of you working outdoors in the great British weather, obviously, but also when you're drilling into masonry. We all know that the fine dust created can be damaging to our power tools. Hence, XPT is a great addition to have when you're working in harsh environments.

Makita DHP458RME 18v Cordless li-ion Compact 2-speed Combi Drill

Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 44/88Nm (21+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-30,000 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-2,000 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 65mm
  • Max in Masonry: 16mm
  • Net Weight: 2.3kg

Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • Twin LED joblight
  • LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • Battery charge indicator
  • 36 minute charge time for 4Ah batteries (22 minutes for 3Ah)



Makita BHP459 LXT 18v Brushless Combi-Drill

With the BHP459 Makita introduced brushless motor technology to their stable of professional cordless combi-drills.

What's the benefit of having a brushless combi-drill?

Brushless motors, due to the fact they don't have brushes, are smaller and lighter. This means power tools fitted with brushless motors are smaller and lighter. They also run cooler. Heat damages power tools, so a brushless power tool will have a longer lifetime. And because brushless motors run more efficiently they can run for longer on a fully charged battery than a brushed motor can, with Makita claiming up to twice the runtime of a brushed cordless combi-drill.

So, lots of benefits. Read up on brushless motors here.

The BHP459 runs off the 3Ah 18v LXT batteries we're already seen on the BHP453, but it's lighter and more capable, as you'll see from the spec list below.

Makita BHP459RFE 18v Cordless li-ion 13mm Brushless 2-speed Combi Drill

Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 25/45Nm (16+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-22,500 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-1,500 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 38mm
  • Max in Masonry: 13mm
  • Net Weight: 1.7kg

Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • Brushless motor
  • 22 minute charge time for 3Ah



Makita DHP480 LXT 18v Brushless Combi-Drill

Finally we've got one more brushless cordless combi-drill, again, compatible with (and available with) 4Ah 18v batteries, while being backwards compatible with your Makita 18v 3Ah packs.

It offers very similar spec to the BHP459, with a slight boost in Nm (see the spec table below), however when put head-to-head with the BHP456 (more on that here) it'll provide with you 1.4 times the amount of work on a single battery charge. Why? The brushless motor, as explained above.

It also benefits from XPT dust and water protection as well as all-metal gear construction.

So, we've got a very capapble combi-drill running off 18v 4Ah batteries, that'll take a knock while you work, all packaged in a light and compact bodythanks to the brushless motor.

Makita DHP480RMJ 18V Cordless li-ion Brushless Combi Dril

Key Specs:

  • Max Torque: 36/54Nm (16+drill torque settings)
  • Blows per minute: H: 0-22,500 L:0-6000
  • No Load Speed: H:0-1,500 L:0-400rpm
  • Max in Steel: 13mm
  • Max in Wood: 38mm
  • Max in Masonry: 13mm
  • Net Weight: 1.7kg

Key Benefits:

  • 2 mechanical gears
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Electronic brake
  • Twin LED joblight
  • LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • Brushless motor
  • Battery charge indicator
  • 36 minute charge time for 4Ah



We want to hear from you about your favourite Makita cordless combi-drill; how long have you had it, what's the biggest job you've used it for, etc? Which one's on your "wish list" for 2014? Tell us in the comments!

And be sure to check out our other buying guides here.

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