When it comes to the Impact Driver world, Makita has dominated this category for years. The new Makita XDT16Z shows why they have stayed at the top in this category. Full of features, power and all wrapped up in a small package.
So when it comes to impact, what power tool manufacturer comes to mind? While I know there are a variety of companies, most people think of Makita. Makita is known for their large 18V tool line up and other tools, but they have been one of the leaders in the cordless Impact Driver category. So speaking of leading, let's check out the Makita XDT16Z Review and see if this puts them out front.
Makita XDT16Z Review Overview
Impact drivers are relatively new when compared to a drill. An impact driver has some major advantages over drills because of the way the internal mechanism works. While a drill just spins, an impact spins and hits at the same time. So for fastening needs, an impact driver excels at sinking self-tapping metal screws, large screws and even large lag screws.
For someone in the trades, they might encounter these and other types of fasteners on a daily basis. So if you are looking for an impact that is powerful, lightweight, works in small areas and can be used on a wide variety of fasteners, the Makita XDT16Z is a perfect impact as it has all these traits.
Makita XDT16Z Review Features
The Makita XDT16Z is built around a brushless motor that delivers 3,600 rpms and 1,600 in-lbs of torque while only weighing 3.4 lbs and measuring 4-9/16″ long. As with some of the other Makita impacts, this one uses a Quick-Shift that automatically matches the speed and power of the motor to your application.
The impact is powered by the Makita 18V line of batteries. While you can use the 5Ah battery for longer run times, this tool really shines with a 2Ah battery and will still provide plenty of run time for the day.
The tool utilizes a 1/4 chuck and is designed for one-handed insertion operation. Just insert the hex shank bit into the tool and it will automatically lock into place. To remove, just pull out the collar and the bit will come out.
On the base of the tool is where all the magic happens. Makita preprogrammed this tool for the most common types of applications. On the left-hand side, there is a push button to select from four different speeds:
- 0-1,100 RPM, 0-1,100 IPM
- 0-2,100 RPM, 0-2,600 IPM
- 0-3,200 RPM, 0-3,600 IPM
- 0-3,600 RPM, 0-3,800 IPM
On the left side, you can also control the LED light.
On the right-hand side is the auto assist side. Again just push a button and you can switch between different modes. The first mode is for large fasteners. The tool will start out slow and then ramp up to help prevent cam-out. The next selection is for taking off nuts. As soon as the tool senses the fastener is released, the tool will stop spinning. This way you can take the nut off by hand and not worry about the nut dropping and now you're trying to find it in an engine block. The last two items are #1 and #2. This is a self-tapping mode for light metal and heavy metal. When the tool senses an increase in torque, the tool will shut down and prevent the self-tapping screws from stripping or breaking a head.
This is a really cool and unique feature for the tool. This is a quick selector. So instead of changing speeds at the base, you can just use your index finger and change between 1-4 speeds. Perfect if you only have one hand available or are in a tight spot. You can also use this to program your favorite setting such as speed 3.
The impact driver uses a variable speed trigger so no matter what selection you are in, you can still control the speed of the tool.
While some manufacturers put an LED light on the base or just above the trigger, Makita places an LED light on the left and right side of the tool.
The handle is the typical Makita handle with the rubber over-mold grip. For me, I like these handles as they are very comfortable.
Makita XDT16Z Review Performance
So I could sit here and tell you that we did 3,000 screws, buried some fasteners into steel and this thing rocks. While we ran a ton of different fasteners and this tool shines, there is more to this tool. Sure it has plenty of power, run time is great and will complete a ton of tasks but for this impact, it's different and not just the power. Power is expected, run time is expected and in today's battery world, you can run these tools all day. Here is where this tool shines, convenience.
First, it is the convenience of having so many features at your fingertips. The four speeds and the different assist modes. Second, I love how I can change the speed with my index finger and not have to deal with the base. Sure the base is fine but there are those times it's much better with your finger.
So for me, it is the weight and balance, to power ratio. Once you get this impact driver in your hands, you will fall in love with it right away. I know we have been criticized because we talk about the ergonomics but for some in the field that is huge. A perfect example is my electrician. He was in his 50's and I got talking to him asking about his impact. While he loves it, he leaves the day with his shoulders on fire. He has done so much abuse to them over the years, weight and ergonomics is an issue. As he told me, he uses his hammer so much and goes back and forth from impact driver, to hammer to working with pipe. Mostly over his head. So for him, even a couple of ounces a day means much less stress on his shoulders throughout the day. So yes, ergonomics are very important to a lot of people and this driver has it.
The size makes it perfect for cabinets, drywall and so much more. People who need power, people who need to get into tight spots, people working overhead and so much more.
Makita XDT16Z Review Value
You can pick up a bare tool for about $190 on Amazon. While it might seem like a lot without a battery or charger, it's well worth the cost. Once you get this driver in your hands, you will see why so many people love this driver. It's powerful, smooth and will tackle any task.
Makita XDT16Z Review Final Thoughts
As of this article, my top tool for 2019 is the Makita XDT16. I love the design and power. First, it's very lightweight, powerful and is packed in a small body. Second, I love the innovation of the impact driver. I love how I can use it as a driver but then there is assist mode for the common items you use an impact for. Best of all, I love the small switch to change speeds without having to mess around with the base. All in all, this is a great impact driver and this keeps Makita at the top of the impact driver class.