In order to understand what “compact” means, you always have to take into account the type of item to which the name’s applied. For example, a “compact” dump truck would be small compared to a normal dump truck, but probably not so small in comparison to your friend’s Honda Civic.
So keep that in mind when we tell you about Makita’s “compact” 18V impact driver. It’s not as small as, say, Bosch’s new 10.8V Impactor, but it’s actually slightly smaller (and, more importantly, lighter) than the 14.4V we used in the Bosch comparison test. And when you consider that it delivers a li-ion-driven 1,280 in-lbs of torque, you’re starting to get the picture.
Besides the high-current batteries, the key to the Makita’s sweet torque rating is its 4-pole motor, which packs extra umph into a small space. The motor’s brushes are accessible for replacement, and Makita’s 45-minute charger is “smart” so you don’t have to worry about accidentally killing batteries by leaving ’em on the charger too long. We’d guess that the 3.0 Ah battery should deliver good runtime as well. All this adds up to a pro-level tool.
And weighing in at under 3 pounds, it should be easy on the arms (and shoulders) if not on the wallet. We found the Makita starting at around $270 online.