Makita DT03 12V Impact Driver

Makita DT03

I am not sure if you have had a chance to test drive one of the Makita 12V tools, but next time you’re at the store, pick one up.  Makita has done a great job with this line.  We had a chance to check out their 12V drill and it is one of our top picks.  Now we have the chance to check out their 12V impact driver, the Makita DT03 and this is just as impressive.  Now I know we will get some people who say it’s not the most powerful 12V tool on the market.  Yes, I understand that, but here is why I don’t care.  First, this tool is not far off from being the most powerful.  So yes, why the torque numbers aren’t the top, they are pretty darn close.  Second, I don’t care about having a ton of power in a 12V line.  I would rather give up a little power for a smaller, lighter tool.  As long as my 12V can drive 3″ screws into hardwood and is capable of working hard, that’s all I care about.  If I want power, I am going for my 18V tool.  So for me, this Makita is one of the perfect impact drivers on the market.

So what’s inside and how does this perform?  The Makita DT03 puts out 970 in.lbs. of Max Torque.  So as you can see, this isn’t your typical driver.  This has some power.  As for speed, it’s not slow by any means.  The tool is a variable speed, controlled by a responsive single finger trigger.  A user can adjust speeds and impact from 0-2,600 RPM & 0-3,500 IPM.  Okay, so it has power, but what about weight and length, since this is a 12V.  For length, it only take up 6″ of air space, not bad considering what this tool can do.  Here is the kicker, it only weighs 2.3 lbs and that is with the battery.

I have to say I have been digging the Makita 12V line of tools.  They are comfortable, lightweight and powerful.  As you know, we always look for something to improve on for a product.  The Makita DT03 is pretty hard to find anything to complain about.  However the one thing I would like to see, is a triple LED ring on the front of the tool like I have seen with some 18V impact drivers.  This isn’t a make or break deal for me, but I just tend to love that style.  I am happy to see that they chose to put their LED light just above the trigger instead of the base of the tool.  While I know some people like the base light, I am not a huge fan.  When the LED is on the base, sometimes gloves can actually block the light.  With an LED light above the trigger, you usually don’t get any obstructions.

Makita DT03In regards to the Makita battery, they designed a heck of a battery.  First, I love the fact that the battery has a fuel status gauge right on the battery.  So instead of having to put a battery on a tool in order to see the charge of a battery, with the Makita you can just press a button on the battery and know for sure.   I also love the flat pack style battery compared to the battery that fits in the handle of the tool.  In regards to amps, Makita has a 2Ah battery and you can even upgrade to a larger fuel tank of a 4Ah battery.  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.

Makita DT03 Specifications

  • Hex Shank 1/4″
  • No Load Speed (variable speed) 0 – 2,600 RPM
  • Impacts Per Minute (variable speed) 0 – 3,500 IPM
  • Maximum Torque (in.lbs./N•m) 970 in.lbs./110N•m
  • Overall Length 6″
  • Net Weight 2.3 lbs.

Overall the Makita DT03 is another winner from Makita.  The impact driver is lightweight, has a small design and is just one of those tools that feels great in your hands.  While we haven’t tested all the Makita 12V tools, we have getting our hands on some of the main ones.  If you aren’t invested into a 12V line and looking for a compact tool, take a look at the Makita 12V.  With a 3 year warranty, it’s hard to beat.  Learn More




  1. Man Makita has stepped up their game in the 12v line with this little impact. Has impressive stats for a 12v tool. And now with the fuel gauge on the battery how sweet. I will be keeping my eye out for this tool. Thanks TIA for the review. #tiacrew

  2. I work for a Japanese fork truck mfg. as a repair tech and Makita is what they supply I use it all day every day, the battery holds a great charge charges quickly and the gun has great torque with a smooth trigger feels good in hand all day at work, at home I have a Milwaukee and love it as well. Love watching your tool reviews . Thanks.

  3. Makita Cordless Drivers are some of the best around. I think you nailed it spot on. Having handled this one in particular, it’s comfortable and torquey as hell for what it is. Solid review.

  4. These are brilliant. I used a friends when building a deck a little while back. Amazing little tool.

  5. I work in the airline industry where tools are really put to the test. I own 7 Rollaways full of tools. I have been doing this over 30 plus years. I bought a makita DT03 for being light weight and compact and to run hundreds of small bolts out once they were broken loose. The DT03 doesn’t measure up. After 20 bolts I have to open it up and tap the drive gear back on the shaft of the electric motor. The DT03 is good for light ( very light ) projects but I wished I would have bought the Milwaukee now, it was the same price. The DT03 is worthless in an industrial setting.


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