Tool Review: Four-Speed Impact Driver

Compact & Cordless Impact Driver from Makita

by Ali Turner, editorial assistant


Cordless tool technology has come a long way over the years. That being said, it takes a truly innovative product to stand up to the mountains of competition amongst cordless jobsite tools. Makita® U.S.A., Inc., has a legacy of innovation that continues to set the standard for impressive tool selections, and its new 18V LXT® Brushless 4-Speed Impact Driver combines all the impressive features of the LXT line with the most compact and lightest weight impact driver in its category.

Makita’s Brushless Cordless 4-Speed Impact Driver has four levels of impact, making it a versatile choice for a variety of jobsite applications. The assist mode is for driving longer fasteners into wood. You’ve undoubtedly experienced damaged threads at the hands of an impact driver, but assist mode allows the tool to drive at a low speed until tightening begins. Auto-stop mode allows the driver to begin spinning at full speed then stops upon impact, keeping the tool from stripping the material. There are two tightening modes, one for lighter gauge materials and one for heavier gauge materials, which adds to the precise abilities of the tool.

Our team took the impact driver for a test run on some composite decking. Makita has placed the one-touch speed power selector button just under the chuck, allowing for one-handed changes that limit project interruptions. We witnessed first-hand the convenience of this design. The compact build of Makita’s new impact driver also allowed our team to get into some pretty tight spaces without sacrificing maneuverability. Additionally, the impact driver is lightweight at just 3.4 lbs., which meant that our team didn’t fatigue nearly as quickly as with a bulky, corded impact driver.

Makita’s Quick-Shift Mode™ feature automatically uses the brushless motor’s electronic controls to find the best balance of speed and torque for each application for more efficient fastening. Our team witnessed this feature while installing the composite decking. Some spots required real power, and Makita’s impact driver was able to perfectly adjust to the necessary torque speed. As with many applications that require a tool such as an impact driver, overdriving is a cause for concern. Makita’s Quick-Shift Mode helped our team eliminate that hazard from the very beginning.

When choosing a cordless product, contractors should pay attention to the battery pack, since it’s the powerhouse of the tool. Makita’s LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0 Ah battery provides the convenience, efficiency, and productivity that all contractors are looking for in a cordless tool. It’s been around for over a decade and is known as one of the most reliable battery packs on the market. It reaches a full charge in 45 minutes or less, has an integrated LED battery charge level indicator, and is compatible with many other Makita tools. It is also equipped with STAR Protection Computer Controls™ to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and over-heating. This innovative protection is communication technology that allows the tool and battery to exchange data in real time and monitor conditions during use to protect against pesky issues that can come along with cordless tools. Additionally, contractors don’t need to worry about a dead battery after their tool being in storage. Makita’s LXT battery resists self-discharge and remains ready for use even after long periods of storage.

Makita’s 18V LXT Brushless 4-Speed Impact Driver saves time for contractors on the job. Its lightweight profile takes stress off of hands, wrists, and arms without sacrificing power and maneuverability. The well-engineered battery pack allows for continuous runtime without worrying about stopping to charge, and it is compatible with a full range of Makita tools. This impact driver is a smart choice for any contractor to add to their collection.

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