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Only a week after the Bosch event where Makita and three other competitors stacked up against Bosch to drive screws, the folks at Makita have released a new challenger to their 18v lineup. The LXFD01 is the name, and the game appears to be pushing the rest of the field for small form factors and big power.

It seems clear that all these tool companies have been talking to users and finding that bigger size doesn’t necessarily mean better.  So Makita took its predecessor, the BDF452, and decided to shave over a half inch in length and drop about a quarter of a pound off the weight (now at 3.8 pounds) while bumping the max torque to 480 inch/pounds (or 290 on the Power Tool Institute’s scale).

We’re curious to see how it stacks up to other manufacturers’ latest offerings and what this means for actual hands-on testing. We’ll list pricing as it becomes available in real numbers, but expect it to play in about the same range as other 18v Li-ion drill kits.

LXFD01 1/2″ 18v Li-Ion Drill [Makita Press Release]


19 Responses to Preview: Makita 1/2″ 18v Li-Ion Drill Kit

  1. karl says:

    I used to love makita drills but then someone started making all of the products ugly. pass.

  2. PutnamEco says:

    someone started making all of the products ugly

    I wish they made tools without regard towards “style” , most of the newer tools look like they were designed by a 12 year old who wished he had laser gun. The average American consumer must be pretty fickle to buy a tool “because it looks cool”. I would rather have a plain looking functional tool over an stylish one any day. They are usually easier to keep clean, without all those creases and crevices that trap the typical crud that collects on them from the average job site.

    18 volts seems to be the sweet spot for drills and impact drivers, but I’m hoping Makita will do more with their 36 volt batteries. Circular saws and reciprocating saws have much better performances at the higher battery capacities.
    I’m wondering where this drill lost the weight. I’m hoping they are not going to those frameless motors. I just can’t see bearings riding in plastic being long lived, especially anywhere near anything that may get hot.

  3. rob says:

    most of the lxt line is frame less
    I have a box a 452 parts I keep building new drills from
    the bearings and motor are typicaly fine the brushes and triggers seem to be to week link and on the older 3 speeds it was the transmission

    I have some 13 makita batteries and 12 tools and I have to say
    the tools take abuse really well granted the box of drill parts I have form
    other coworkers drills in the company may say other wise but it is only 5 drills from almost a 100 that have had non warrantied issues though the first generation of batteries die quick makita has stepped up to the plate and offered free replacements for any battery with less than a 1000 charges

  4. zoomzoomjeff says:

    Yeah, I guess they did kinda go Hitachi on the styling. I’ve got a 14.4v from ~1999 that I love.

  5. Michael says:

    Impact is the way to go! I have a small Bosch ps40 which is only 10.8v but it has 800 lbs of torque. I didn’t think i would like the impact part because of the noise and I thought it would be slower–it is faster than my ps20 and has power to spare–it has twice the torque of my DeWalt 12volt.

    Being a guy, naturally I like bigger and more power….but when you have to use one of these all day forget the bigger and of course heavier–I will take the performance in a smaller, lighter package.

    Oh, and the impact—I don’t have to press REAL HARD on the back of the drill to put in long screws or take them–because of the impact they go in easy AND the bit doesn’t cam out—I have yet to strip either a screw or a bit with it–I was going thru bits using my standard DeWalt.

  6. TominDC says:

    I like Makita – love their track saw. However, I bought an 18V Lithium drill from Milwaukee, and it is the best drill I have ever owned. Compared to the Makita drill pictured, besides it being red, Milwaukee’s two LI batteries are about a third less thick which makes the Milwaukee light and very flexible. Despite the puny battery size, Milwaukee has enough torque to stir two 10lb buckets of thinset mortar on one charge or drive screws into hardie backerboard for 2 hours!

  7. KenZ says:

    Hey TominDC- Don’t forget Makita has slim pack batteries as well (the white ones). Not all their tools will accept the white batteries admittedly though due to current limitations.

  8. John says:

    I have a lot of tool repair experience especially with Makita. You don’t have to worry about frame less motor bearings melting into plastic. I can say that is one failure I have never seen by the time it got that hot you would have destroyed the motor. Makita in my opionion has the best motor in the tool industry.

  9. Hugh says:

    Well unless most of you have a time machine the good old days are gone. The new tools all have different looks, so what. The looks don’t matter its the performance. All the new lines are lighter and stronger than the last. I have the first gen of this drill and it has worked just fine for me since 2006. The makita is just as strong as the milwaukee. The half packs will work on any of the tools if you chip the little block out of the battery port. Makita just didn’t want people using the half packs on big hammer drills and not understanding why they ran out of juice so quick. 36 volt tools aren’t on the rise so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that line growing too much unless you live in Japan.

  10. John says:

    Makita tried that between 2000 and 2005 the cordless tools did not change in appearance and the cordless sales tanked. The majority of cordless buyers are young and they want something cool looking. You old timers don’t buy enough cordless to keep any tool company in business.

  11. PutnamEco says:

    Re: Hugh says:
    The new tools all have different looks, so what.
    When the “styling” makes a tool hard to clean, it does matter to me. I maintain my tools and would rather not waste time having to clean all manner of nooks and crannies just so some noob can look cool, and how much extra am I having to spend on that “look” over something designed purely to function well?

  12. Hugh says:

    Unless you are doing surgery on people your tools are going to get dirty, everyone takes care of them if they care about the money put into them. You are paying the same price as you would for those prehistoric tools you have. You can love the old ones all you want but while you are waiting for your old nicad or nimh batteries to charge I’ll be getting something done.

  13. PutnamEco says:

    I know I shouldn’t be feeding the trolls but…

    Hugh Says:
    You are paying the same price as you would for those prehistoric tools you have.
    My time costs, when I have to spend more time cleaning styling than on something that wasn’t stylized would take, that is money lost. A lot of high end customers expect a certain level of cleanliness in their homes and businesses, if your tools, equipment, and self do not meet their expectations, no matter how good your work, they will find someone who will.
    I’ve actually been spending a lot more on tools these days, purchasing tools like Hilti, Festool, and Mafell that don’t waste their engineering dollars catering to the type of consumers who value stylishness over function. Who also, for the most part, tend to produce their products in places where their employees earn a decent living wage.
    The reason I still have so many old tools is because I’ve always chosen tools that are built well over tools that look good.

    Most of my old tools are shop (where multiple back ups are at hand) and shelf queens that no longer see action on jobsites where a tool failure would not be welcome. Most of my daily use tools are under two years old and some don’t even last a year.

  14. John says:

    Most Hilti cordless drills look like something Captain Kirk would shot a Klingon with. And Makita actually makes some tools for Hilti. Festool well if you really want to pay to much go ahead. Who said these companies pay a living to it’s employees? They made be assembled in Europe that does not by any standard mean they are made in Europe they import those parts from Asia.

  15. PutnamEco says:

    Re: John says:
    Hilti cordless drills look like something Captain Kirk would shot a Klingon with,
    Hilti seems to be slipping more towards Asian production these days, sad to say. Their smaller drills seem to me to be a weak spot in their lineup. Their larger drills can’t be beat though.

    Festool,I’ve been led to believe, still sources most of its components from EU member states, where their unions insure that they have decent (better than US) wages and benefits and much longer vacations to boot. One of the reasons that they do cost as much as they do, besides our weak dollar and the strong euro

  16. Hugh says:

    The only difference is when a hilti tool breaks you payed about a hundred more dollars than anything else unless it is festool. By the way how do you like cleaning the new rubber over molds on the festool and the hilti any way! I worked with master carpenters that despite what there tools look like clean or not there work spoke for them. I learned from them, it is carpentry one o one to keep a clean job site. PutnamEco you are the one percent of people that would clean you tool with a brush, I’m sure when they are designing the tools they are worried about how easy they are to clean. You seem to know a lot about tools, so why don’t you read that little manual they send in the box when you buy the tool and learn the limitations of the tool. Maybe they will last you a little longer than two years. You seem to be obsessed with appearance do you also wear abercrombie and fitch to work as well?

  17. PutnamEco says:

    Re: Hugh says;
    The only difference is when a hilti tool breaks you payed about a hundred more dollars than anything else
    Hilti has some of the BEST customer service I have ever experienced, never had one “normal wear and tear, not covered under warranty” excuse. More often than not walking away with a fixed or new tool on the same day. Going above and beyond, like this is a very good reason to spend a couple extra dollars on a tool. Time not spent dealing with broken tools out of service equals more man hours on the job.

    By the way how do you like cleaning the new rubber over molds on the festool and the hilti any way!

    I don’t like to clean them, that is my rant….
    at least the Festools are fairly plain and fitted well unlike some of the Chinese manufactured tools that have large gaps and loose edges around their coverings.

    Re:! I worked with master carpenters that despite what there tools look like clean or not there work spoke for them.

    I have done work for customers who believe (like some tool buyers) that appearance is everything, who actually did pay me well enough to go out and buy new tools just for their jobs, who will have their staff show any one who shows up at their properties with ratty tools or equipment, the door. They won’t care how good their work is, they aren’t getting a foot in the door in the first place. 🙄 fun customers, but they pay extremely well….

    why don’t you read that little manual they send in the box when you buy the tool and learn the limitations of the tool.
    I do, I’ve have even procured some factory service manuals. Unfortunately, I like to actually use my tools, rather then look at them or use them as a fashion accessory. The problem is that tools wear out quickly, having been designed not for long life, but to move off the store shelves as quickly as possible(which is where the excessive stylization comes in) and not to be cost effective to repair, so even more tools move off the store shelves.

    I actually do maintain my tools, often above and beyond what the manuals recommend, and have been known for my mechanical sympathy, another reason for my older well designed tools longevity.

    do you also wear abercrombie and fitch to work as well?

    I prefer Brooks Brothers as Abercrombie appears to have changed their target demographic more towards the teen aged shopping mall crowd than for those in it for the long haul….. 🙂

  18. John says:

    Makita tools are cost effective to repair. Well for some of you who just beat a tool all to hell it may not be cost effective. If you send it to a factory service center that is the best place to send it. If you got a old Makita tool that runs fine but is rough looking you can get a new housing put on it that is cost effective also. I see some guys who have twenty plus year old tools get new housings they have old tools that all look like new. Tools are exposed to a lot of cosmetic damage that is just the nature of the work they do. If it runs good and you have been happy with the performance do not throw it away just because the housing has wear and tear. Get a new housing put on it so you stay satisfied with it. It is still cheaper than a new one. And any tool you send to a Makita factory service center if the estimate is more than you can afford ask them to help you out most of the time they can. Don’t start screaming and demanding a warranty repair. Like anything you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  19. PutnamEco says:

    Makita tools are cost effective to repair.

    A lot of times they are, but sometimes you just have to let them go.As a rule, For me at least, if it costs more than 75% of the cost of a new replacement, I’m buying a new tool, with older tools this comes up quickly. Those old 7.2v and 9.6v drills come to mind. I could go buy a used one from an auction website or classified ad for less than the cost of a set of brushes, which, on some of those tools are an extreme pain to replace, having to take motors apart that were not meant to be disassembled.
    And then there are the tools that have multiple little problems, like sticky mode selectors and intermittent triggers and chucks that like to jam, or the tools that need to have the same repair multiple times. To me, if a tool needs the same repair twice, and it is not an exceptional or irreplaceable tool,(how many of these are there today?) I’m getting a new one, probably a different brand or model.
    This also does not take into account time. If your not doing the repair yourself, most service centers also charge labor.

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