We have worked with Makita in the past, but this is the first time we had a chance to check out their new 12V drill driver. The Makita FD07R1 is a 3/8″ drill/driver that has a ton to offer. Before being introduced to this drill, my go to 12v drill was the Bosch 12V. I think both of these 12V drills leave the competitors in the dust. I know I will get some slack for that, but let me explain. With a 12V drill, I don't want the biggest, baddest drill. I don't want all that extra weight and size. If I really desire power, I am going with an 18V drill. For a 12V I want something I can get in small spots, do repetitive work and not tear my arm apart and I want something I can easily work with. As long as my 12V can drive 3″ screws into hardwood and drill some sizable holes with a spade bit, I am a happy camper. So with that said, the Makita FD07R1 fits perfectly into that category. This drill offers everything an 18V drills offers, but in a lighter and smaller size.
Makita designed an incredible drill around a compact brushless motor. Get this, the drill is only 6-1/16″ long and weighs 2.3 lbs. Yes, that is with the battery. How can you not already love this drill? However don't let the size and weight fool you, it still packs a powerful punch with 280 in-lbs of torque. This means that you can still do a ton of hard work. You can drive 3″ screws into hardwood without having any issues. You can also use your spade bits to drill holes. The drill offers two speeds, high and low which will produce 0-450 & 0-1,500 RPM. One cool hidden feature is the electronically-controlled motor. Basically this matches torque and RPM to the changing demands. The clutch has 20 settings plus a drilling mode. In regards to overall use, I love the handle design and the over molded grip. As far as an LED light, Makita placed it just above the trigger. I have to say it does a decent job lighting up the spots you need. It's just one of those tools that feels right in your hand. While they designed one of the perfect 12V, what did they do with the battery?
I think Makita also hit the nail on the head with their batteries for a couple of reasons. First, they decided to use a flat pack instead of the torpedo slide in packs. I like the flat packs purely for convenience. When you set the tool down, the tool sits up right where the packs that slide into the handle, tend to fall down. May not be a huge deal for some, but this is just something I prefer. Second, is the battery amps. This drill comes with a 2Ah battery, but you can upgrade to a 4Ah battery. While some still release their tools with a 1.5Ah battery, Makita went with the bigger gas tank. Inside the battery, Makita has a built in protection system. This system protects it from overloading, over discharging and over heating. Okay all cool, but what I really like is the on board built in fuel status gauge. There are 4 lights that when you push a button, it will show you how much juice is in the battery by using a four bar light system.
Okay so I talked about all the things I love about this tool. What about the things I don't like or I think need improving? I know I am always suppose to find some improvements, but I have to say I really can't with this drill. It does everything I want in a 12V drill. I can't even find something to nit pick at. I guess if I really had to come up with something, it would be they don't sell it in packs of two, one for each hand.
Makita FD07R1 Specification
- Capacity (steel) 3/8″
- Capacity (wood) 1-1/8″
- No Load Speed (var. 2 spd) 0 – 450 / 0 – 1,500 RPM
- Maximum Torque (in.lbs.) 280 in.lbs.
- Battery 12V max CXT™ Lithium-Ion
- Overall Length 6-1/16″
- Net Weight (with battery) 2.3 lbs
Overall I am in love with this drill/driver. This is just one of those tools that feels comfortable in your hands. This is the little brother to their 18V drill. It has all the features and benefits you see in an 18V drill. A brushless motor, 2 speed, adjustable clutch, metal jaws and a great feel and balance, plus battery fuel status on the battery. With a 3 year warranty, this is hard to beat. I think Makita hit this one right on the head when they designed this drill. I think I found my new 12V go to drill/driver. Check out more about the Makita FD07R1