Makita Impact Drivers - What's the Best For 2016

guide to makita cordless impact driver

If there's one tool that's becoming more and more of a "must have", it's the cordless impact driver. Whether you work in construction, build extensions, fit kitchens, install decking, a cordless impact driver is a key piece of kit for quickly driving even the biggest screws into the hardest wood.

And the key word is "quickly". Of course, any drill/driver will drive big screws.

But because of the concussive blows delivered by an impact driver, you have way more raw screw driving power.

Typically you have around 3 times more turning torque from an impact driver than you do from a drill/driver. And it's the most comfortable and ergonomic way to drive long, thick screws due to the way the concussive action (the BPM) delivers the energy to the screw, not to your wrist.

In this guide, we'll be looking at what Britain's favourite professional power tool company has to offer in the impact driver space.

What Makita Impact Driver Should You Buy?

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We'll break this down into battery capacity to help you decide which Makita impact driver is best for you:

Thrown into the mix will be whether to go for a naked (or body-only) impact driver where you don't get a battery with the tool, but you save some cash, or one that comes in a carry case with a battery and charger.

Makita 18v LXT Impact Drivers

For those who are price conscious first, then the DTD146Z (see it here) is definitely worth a look. It represents an incremental evolution of Makita's longest running 18v impact driver, and is compatible with all of the LXT battery range, namely 3Ah, 4Ah and 5Ah.

makita dtd146z impact driver

The "Z" in the product name denotes it's a body-only version, so you'll need to have your own LXT batteries to power it, but it's certainly the cheapest in the range as a result.

Spec-wise, the 4-pole motor is housed in a body that's only 138mm long, making it perfect for confined space work, and it outputs 160Nm of torque, with 2300rpm and 3200ipm.

Next up is the 18v LXT DTD152 (see it here). This is the latest in Makita's stable of hard working impact drivers, and comes supplied in a Type 2 MacPak case with a DC18RC fast charger and two 4Ah batteries. It's also available body-only, click here.

makita dtd152 impact driver

Performance-wise, this thing is a beast, and it's all packaged up in a very small footprint, having a headlenght of a mere 137mm. At the front there's twin LED lights to brighten up those dark spots where you're working, and the all metal gears in the motor deliver a whopping 165Nm of torque.

The bits are turned via the variable speed trigger at up to 2900 revolutions per minute, while the screws are driven hard into the wood thanks to the 3500 impacts per minute.

The DTD152 is an impact driver for those that'll be absolutely relying on it for longer periods of time through the day to drive hundreds of screws. Imagine having this at your disposal for that plywood sub-floor laying job, for example!

Watch our Toolstop TV video here.

So, out of the two 18v LXT impact drivers by Makita, it's comes down to whether you'll be using it all day, every day, or whether you need one in your kit to partner your existing 18v LXT cordless tools. The choice is yours....

Makita 10.8v CXT Impact Driver

The Japanese company earlier this year announced a massive change to its 10.8v battery platform, moving the batteries closer to their 18v LXT big brothers. Now we have slide-in functionality and better performance as a result, coupled with a minimum of 2Ah capacity, and Makita calls the platform CXT.

Read our full report on CXT batteries here.

This has allowed Makita to improve the performance of their 10.8v power tools, including the newly launched impact driver.

makita td110d impact driver

The TD110D is available with a charger, case and two 2Ah batteries, or you can save a bit of cash and grab a body-only version, allowing you to slide on the 10.8v CXT 4Ah battery pack.

Spec-wise, this is a true performer. Size-wise, it's a little longer than the 18v LXT versions, roughly 2cm or so, however it's about 0.5kg lighter, which is a bonus. Plus, the profile of the head is narrower. And because of the improved battery technology, we've got some fantastic performance from such a compact tool.

Watch our Toolstop TV video here.

3500 impacts per minute are going to blast the biggest of screws into the densest, thickest pieces of wood. Partner the IPM with the 110Nm of torque and the 2600 revolutions per minutes, and you'll have a very capable, but extremely lightweight tool in your hand.

What's your impact driver of choice and why do you favour it? Let us know in the comments below!

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