DeWalt Impact Driver vs Makita Impact Driver

DeWalt Impact Driver vs Makita Impact Driver

Welcome to the land of the giants

Every once in a while, a new tool or piece of equipment comes along and you find yourself asking how you ever got anything done before, or how you ever coped without it, and this seems to be the case with cordless impact drivers. You’ll find more and more DIYers and professionals tossing their cordless drills aside to get their hands on a more powerful tool, and it’s easy to see why.

Why impact drivers are effective

Impact Drivers provide more torque and power, without the extra weight – perfect for long jobs and regular usage. They also allow us to drill holes into most timber and materials without the need for pilot holes – that is some serious drive!

However, despite impact drivers being a popular choice, there is still much debate as to which brand of driver is the best.

We have narrowed it down to the two best impact drivers that are flying off the shelves today, and have compared all their top-selling features so you can make the best purchase for all of your upcoming projects.

I built this workbench using a Makita Impact driver to fix the screws for all material. Completed the job from start to finish in a couple of hours and the bench is rock solid. 

Strength beyond Strength
Weight beyond Weight

Makita DTD153Z 18V Lithium-Ion Impact Driver

This Makita Impact Driver is a powerful tool. Numerous features ensure it stands out from the competition.

These Include:

  • Brushless motor
  • Variable speed control by trigger
  • Keyless single sleeve chuck
  • 170Nm Torque
  • No load speed 0-2400 RPM
  • Long battery life
  • forward/reverse rotation
  • Built from sturdy materials and long-lasting
  • Lightweight and easy to manoeuver
  • Dust and water resistant

Reviews for the Makita DTD153Z 18V Lithium-Ion Impact Driver

“I’ve been using this today doing some building work in the garden. It’s fantastic. The rubber grip is good for sweaty palms, the battery life is excellent. I love how it sets the torque. I’ve always been a Dewalt user but the newer ones I’ve had haven’t lasted as long as the older drills. I’ll be buying Makita from now on, they feel really well built.” 

“I confess that I’m a Makita fanboy. I have mostly Makita tools because they’re consistently great and the batteries are compatible. This is no exception. If you’re driving screws into wood this impact driver is the business!” 

“I bought this in January on a whim and only played with it a few times. Yesterday I used it properly by spending half a day and using ~ 300 screws putting metal banding in to reinforce a fence. Brilliant. Loads of power, still had loads of battery left, drove those screws straight in. It feels like a proper, workhorse of a tool.” 

DeWalt 18V DCF880N-XJ Lithium-Ion Impact Driver

The DeWalt Impact Driver has been branded as ‘The Best of the Best’. A friend with serious benefits.

It delivers 1330 in/lb of torque at 2300rpm, with the frequency and force of impacts being considerable.
Therefore, this tool is ideal for heavy-duty tasks, such as driving fasteners into wood, metal, or concrete. So whether you’re a professional comparing for work, or a DIY enthusiasts bettering their home over the next few months, the DeWalt driver is a perfect choice.

Features Include:

  • 203Nm
  • Reload speed 0-2300
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 1/4″ drop-in keyless front hex driver
  • Variable Speed Trigger – an intelligent and easy-to-control trigger that allows for the increase of speed, impacts and torque
  • Anti-slip ergonomic grip for extra comfort
  • Frameless motor with replaceable brushes
  • Bright white LED work light with flashlight function
  • Steel belt clip with magnetic bit holder
  • Two speed all metal transmission for increased runtime and longer tool life
  • Quick charging and long-lasting
  • Aluminium front housing provides greater heat dispersion increasing motor life

Reviews for the DeWalt 18V DCF880N-XJ Lithium-Ion Impact Driver

“I already had the monster version from DeWalt and I bought this one due to its smaller convenient size, I use them mainly for automotive jobs and I use this one with a 2amp battery to keep it small and compact. I recently did a full suspension change on an Audi and this tool made life so easy.” 

“Just finished building a new deck and this saved me hours. Coped with everything from 120mm screws through framing timber to precise driving of “hidden” pocket screws through hardwood boards. Small and comfortable to use with surprising power for its size.” 

“I use this for Scaffolding and it is great for the job,speeds it up as well!” 

“I love how light it is even with a 5ah battery on it, the 3 speeds are good however I only tend to use fast and slow. This has had had no trouble removing the toughest screws from an old barn and installed new ones without any stripped heads, this is an amazing tool, wish I had bought one years ago instead of trying to use drills!” 

Quick Comparisons

Weight

I’m sure we’ve all been at the top of a ladder, juggling around our equipment whilst trying to support the dead weight of a robust power drill.
Both drivers are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, making them perfect for long jobs or in confined or difficult to reach places.
The Makita driver, however, is slightly lighter, weighing in at 1.3kg as opposed to the DeWalt at 1.6kg. There isn’t much difference here, but it’s always good to know the numbers.

Winner of Lightest drill: Makita

Battery Type

Both impact drivers use Lithium-Ion batteries that are popular for their compact size. These batteries are what make it possible for them to be cordless but still very powerful.

It’s also good to know that most models now use batteries that are also compatible with other powers tools. This means you may be able to save yourself some money. For example, the DeWalt driver charger can also support 18V, 10.8V, 14.4V and charge them to full capacity with ease.

When comparing the battery life, however, the DeWalt Driver uses 4.0Ah Li-Ion Batteries, meaning they will last twice as long as the 2.0Ah Li-Ion Batteries that Makita drivers use.

Winner of best battery life: DeWalt – they last longer

Charging Time

Most power tools in use today no longer require those cumbersome wires. Now you can go anywhere with your impact driver. Since they rely on Lithium-Ion technology, they are able to easily retain energy.
They are easily recharged quickly and they are now a lot more affordable. This means that you can work undisturbed until your batteries need power again.
Make sure that the battery packs you use are well suited for the impact driver.
Both drivers charge super quickly, and last for long periods of time, using li-ion batteries.

Winner of quickest charging time: Tie

Torque Value

When you think about purchasing a new impact driver, one of the main features to consider is the torque value.
Impact drivers really pack a wallop that drills and other power tools just cannot match.
Both the DeWalt and the Makita drivers feature 18v voltage, allowing them to boast up to 2250 inch pounds.
When comparing their torque value, the Makita does come in lower at 170Nm compared to 203Nm from DeWalt.

Winner of higher torque: DeWalt

Comfort/Ease of Use

As well as being lightweight and compact, impact drivers also have an ergonomic leg-up on drills, due to the feel-good factor whilst in use. Rubber moulds around the handles provide extra comfort for the user, which is super effective for long jobs and regular usage.
The DeWalt and Makita drivers consist of an anti-slip ergonomic grip that really gives an advantage over other tools, as well as a magnetic bit holder to keep all of your loose bits safe and easy to access.
The variable speed trigger also means easy change during projects and makes it perfect for various uses, from your typical weekend wood furniture-assembling jobs, to working with metal or even concrete!

Winner of most comfortable: Tie

Overall winner – DeWalt

The Best of the Best - How to they match up?

Whilst both drivers have so much to offer in terms of power, torque value, durability and user-friendliness, they both have their pros and cons.

The DeWalt driver may be deemed as a better choice for professionals, most likely due to the longer-lasting battery life, higher power and overall ergonomics allowing for extra comfort.

In the end, it may just come down to the user’s preference and their individual budget. It could be said that for those with a higher budget, the DeWalt would be a recommended choice due to the extra features, but the Makita is trailing behind at an extremely close second, offering almost all the features of the DeWalt driver, for a more cost-friendly price.

 

DeWalt

Makita

Weight

1.6kg

1.3kg

Torque

203Nm

170Nm

Reload Speed

0-2300rpm

0-2400rpm

Magnetic Bit Holder

Yes

Yes

Cordless

Yes

Yes

Battery Type

Lithium-Ion

Lithium-Ion

Anti-Slip Grip

Yes

Yes

Voltage

18v

18v

     

The Best of The Rest

#1 Bosch Professional GDR 18V-LI Cordless Impact Driver

Functioning as an impact wrench as well as a driver, this professional GDR 18v impact driver from Bosch gives users a unique choice between premium batteries for longer runtime and compact batteries for lower weight.

  • High powered with a torque value of 160Nm
  • Lightweight at 1.5kg
  • Impact rate of up to 3,200 bpm
  • Flexible power
  • Long battery life, using lithium-ion batteries
  • No load speed – 0-2,800rpm
  • Hex bit holder size: ¼”
  • 230 horse power
  • 3 working modes with low-high speed

#2 Ryobi One+ Impact Driver 18v

The Ryobi One+ is a popular choice amongst both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Features include:

  • High powered with a torque value of 220Nm
  • Lightweight at 1.4kg
  • On board bit storage
  • Comfortable positive grip
  • Variable speed – reverse and brake
  • Keyless hex drive

The battery life is questionable, however, with a more powerful torque value, it could be argued that this tool takes longer to charge and does not last as long as other models. Not the best for long jobs or everyday usage, perhaps.

#3 Milwaukee M12 BSD0 12v Impact Driver

This Milwaukee M12 driver could be deemed as the perfect choice for home use or smaller DIY jobs at the weekends. Features include:

  • 12V Voltage
  • Torque value 19Nm
  • No load speed – 1200rpm
  • Powerstate motor last 3x longer than other models
  • Flexible battery system, working with all M12 batteries
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver, weighing 1.1kg
  • 1/4″ Hex chuck for quick and easy bit change
  • LED light

#4 Black and Decker 20V Cordless Impact Driver

This budget-friendly impact driver could be the solution to all of your DIY requirements. In fact, the tool offers the user comfort, especially during prolonged use, as the torque of 155 Nm ensures that you can drive screws and bolts easily and quickly with minimum effort. Other features include:

  • Variable speed of 0-3000rpm
  • Quick release hex chuck for easy, one-handed bit change
  • 155Nm of torque
  • Chuck Size: 6 mm; Sound Pressure: 94 dB(A); Sound Power: 105 dB(A); Vibration: 18.1 m/s²
  • Metal gear casing for increased durability
  • Anti-slip soft grip