Makita Impact Driver Review – XDT12T

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Featured Image for Makita Impact Driver XDT14T Review
QUICK SPECS:
MAX Torque: 1,500 IN-LBS
Impacts/Min: 3,800
Max RPM 3,600
Weight 2.4 lbs
Batteries Included: (2) – 18V LXT 5.0Ah
Adj Speed: 4-Spd, A-Mode, T-Mode
Tool Length: 4.625 Inches

Are you looking for an ULTRA compact and well rounded impact driver? Look no further!

The new XDT12T impact driver is an impressive from Makita. It’s packing loads of power, two awesome 5.0Ah batteries, and has some very advanced features, such as, Assist Mode and Tightening Mode. And what’s even better is that Makita has managed to fit all of this into one of the most compact impact drivers that we have ever seen.

We love this Makita Impact Driver so much that it is ranked third on our Best Impact Driver list.

What are the features?

An Adjustable 4 Speed Setting

Image of Makita Impact-Driver XDT12Z 4-Speed Setting Close-UpThe XDT12Z comes with four speed settings (RPM 0-1,100/ 0-2,100/ 0-3,200/ 0-3,600 & IPM 0-1,100/ 0-2,600/ 0-3,600/ 0-3,800).

This is pretty much as good as it gets for speed adjustment features. The settings are plenty and would cover pretty much any situation you would need. They are spaced out well in terms of power, unlike the Dewalt DCF887.

Assist Mode & Tightening Mode:

Image of Makita Impact Driver XDT12Z Assist Mode Overview

Assist Mode:

An additional setting that Makita added to this tool is Assist Mode. Makita describes this mode as a new setting that helps eliminate “screw cam-out” and “cross threading” by driving at low speed until tightening begins, and is ideal for driving longer fasteners. This mode is separate from the 4-speed adjustments and can be used at the same time.

Tightening Mode:

Lastly, another additional setting that Makita added to this tool is Tightening Mode. Makita describes this mode as a new setting which downshifts and reduces rotation and impact speed prior to driving the screw into place, and is engineered to minimize screw thread stripping, screw breakage and damage to work..

The addition of both of these settings are some of the best features we’ve seen across any tools and has helped make this Makita Impact Driver one of the best tools available.

LED Light:

Image of Makita XDT12T LED LightThe Makita XDT12T includes dual built-in LED lights to help illuminate your work area.

These lights turn on when the trigger is pulled, and remain on for a few seconds after the last time the trigger was pulled.

These lights will help you see while you’re working, however, the light is located between head shaft of the tool and the trigger. Shadows will often occur and you will not be able to adequately illuminate the necessary areas in all situations. Dewalt and Rigid both now offer tools with 3 lights that circle the head shaft of the tool and provide much better lighting.

What do we love about it?

Its so compact!:

The XDT12T Makita Impact Driver is only 4.625 inches long. That’s more than a half inch more compact than the next smallest tool that we have tested. With a size this small, we’re sure you’ll be able to get the drill to work in some of the most tight situations.

The Included Batteries :

The Makita XDT12T includes two 18V LXT 5.0Ah batteries in its kit. These aren’t the most high end batteries on the market (some manufacturers have batteries as high as 9.0Ah), but they’re close. With batteries like this, you’ll probably be able to work all day on a single charge.

The New Features:

Many of the impact driver manufacturers have begun to equip their top-of-the-line tools with extra features such as Adjustable Power settings. Makita has decided to do this as well, but has decided to take it even one step further. Makita has two extra settings on the XDT12T that are called Assist Mode and Tightening Mode. We’ll cover this more later in the features section.

It’s Lightweight: 

This isn’t the lightest driver that we’ve had the pleasure of using, but it is close. At 2.4 lbs, you’ll definitely be comfortable using this for extended periods.

How does it stack up against the competition?

Let’s see how the Makita Impact Driver XDT12T stacks up against some of the offering from other leading manufacturers.

Makita DeWALT DeWALT Milwaukee
Model Number: XDT12T DCF887D2 DCF886D2 2753-22
MAX Torque: 1,550 in-lbs 1,825 in-lbs 1,500 in-lbs 1,800 in-lbs
Weight (tool only): 2.4 lbs 2.0 lbs 2.1 lbs 2.1 lbs
Tool Length: 4.63 inches
WOW!
5.30 inches 5.55 inches 5.25 inches
Speed Settings: 4-Speed / A-Mode / T-Mode 3-Speed None 4-speed
Max Impacts/Min: 3,800 3,200 3,800 3,700
Battery: (2) 5.0Ah 18V LXT (2) 2.0Ah 20V MAX XR (2) 2.0Ah 20V MAX XR (2) 5.0Ah RED LITHIUM XC
Tool Warranty: 3 years 3 years 3 years 5 years
Shop

As you can see, this Makita Impact Driver holds up pretty well in almost every category. The only area where it seems to be lacking is in power. At a max torque of 1,500 in-lbs, the Makita trails the Dewalt Impact driver by over 300 in-lbs of torque.

Of the impact drivers that we have reviewed, the Makita Impact Driver XDT12T has the most compact frame that we’ve ever seen!

Beside the max-torque, the other main area that Makita is falling behind the competition is with price. This tool kit comes at a steep, steep, price. This is one of the most expensive kits that we’ve seen. When compared to other high end kits, it only stands up well until you consider the price.

Instead of spending all this money on this product, you could just as well purchase the Milwaukee 2573 (which was rated #1 on our Best Impact Driver list) for about $100 less, and have that extra money left to buy another fun tool. You’d have a much more powerful driver at a much lower price.

What could be better

This is a pretty solid tool all around. There’s not many issues with it beside being a bit low on max-torque and having a steep price tag.

The Price:

This is one of the most expensive impact driver kits on the market. For much less money, you could get either the Milwaukee or Dewalt kit and be just as happy (or maybe more).

The Torque:

With a price tag like this, we would expect much more in terms of max-torque performance. This model is trailing many of its competitors in this department.

Overall Score: 8.2/10

The team at Makita has done a pretty good job of creating a well rounded, ultra compact impact driver. We were very pleased with the performance and features of this driver, but felt that the price was a tad bit too high, given the specs.

If Makita could get the price down to a more reasonable level, then this Makita Impact Driver would easily be considered one of the best on the market.

Power (Max Torque)
1500 in-lbs
Weight
2.4 lbs
Included Batteries
Two 5.0Ah 18V
Features
4-Spd, A-Mode, T-Mode
Warranty
3 years
Price
$349
OVERALL
8.2/10

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