Makita raised the bar with their subcompact line. These tool offer power of an 18V, but the size of a 12V tool.
So here is the deal, a while back we reviewed this Makita combo set which you can find here. So why are we taking another look at it? This kit has been on the market for a while and we have heard a ton of feedback. It's clear this is a winning tool and we wanted to make sure it gets its respect from the tool world. So here is our Makita Subcompact Review.
I use to think if you want power, go with an 18V. If you want compact to go with a 12V. But it was one of those things where you couldn't have power and compact. Personally, I think Makita broke the mold with the subcompact platform. Yes, there are other manufacturers who make subcompact tools but trust me, they are not like the Makita subcompact. These tools are awesome. You can pick this kit up at The Home Depot and the kit comes with a drill, impact, two batteries and a charger.
Makita Subcompact Review – Ergonomics
If you were blindfolded and you picked up these tools, you would assume they were 12V tools, they are that small and lightweight. The tools are designed with an incredible feel to them. I know some people say who cares about the feel, but if you are using tools all day, you understand how important the right tool can be.
The driver is only 2.8 lbs while the impact is only 2.6 lbs. Amazing for an 18V system.
Makita Subcompact Review – Features
Both tools are designed with a brushless motor which means more power and a longer life. The drill offers 2 speeds (0-500 & 0-1,700 RPM) and the impact offers (0-1,300/0-3,000 RPM). A ton of speed and power for most daily applications.
One cool feature to the impact is the modes located at the base of the tool. There is an A-Mode (assist Mode). When on this setting the tool controls itself to help eliminate cam out and cross threading by driving at low speeds.
Makita Subcompact Review – Power
Both the drill and impact offer a ton of power for their size. Now I am not saying you're going to be mixing concrete with the driver, but when you look at the size of these tools, you will be impressed by their output. The drill offers 350 in.lbs. torque and the impact offers 1,240 in.lbs. of torque. The impact has an IPM rating of 0-1,600/0-3,900 IPM which means you can use this for a wide range of fasteners.
Makita Subcompact Review – Performance
If you were to pick up these tools, I promise you that your first thoughts would be they feel good and they are cool, but won't perform much work. This is where you're wrong. The 2Ah batteries provide ample run time and won't die out even when fastening 3″ screws. These tools are awesome for hanging cabinets and a ton of other applications.
Makita Subcompact Review – Price
If Makita wanted to, I think they could have charged a premium and gotten away with it. I just think they are that nice. However, they chose to offer an incredible value for these. At The Home Depot, you can pick this kit up for about $240 which includes the drill, impact, two 2Ah batteries, a charger and a bag. Not a bad deal to jump into a huge platform with two nice tools to start out with.
Makita Subcompact Review – Final Thoughts
While all manufacturers have a compact drill on the market, I can't find one that competes with the Makita. These tools are compact, lightweight and offer plenty of power. I tried hard to find something I don't like about them, but even with a low price tag, it's hard to beat. If I had to be picky, it would be the bag. I still like cases for my tools. If you are looking for a perfect drill and driver that won't break the bank and are the top of the top, the Makita combo kit should be your choice.