April 12, 2010

Makita 14.4-Volt Drill: 2006-2010 - R.I.P.

makita_rip.jpgThe Makita died this past weekend. Friday, it worked. Sunday, nada. It was a good drill but since we got it on the eve of the big lithium-ion explosion, it always seemed a little heavy and clunky to us. It was durable though...3-1/2 years in our hands is no treat for any tool (and in it's latter days, we were particularly rough with it). There's no doubt that while we had it, it earned its keep.

But now, we're not sure as to where to go from here. Where do you guys stand? What are some of your favorite drills? Drop a comment and let us know.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at April 12, 2010 5:00 AM
Recent Comments

hands down my Makita 18 volt drill driver and drill set... 4 batteries and they never stop.. still using my smaller batteries after 3 years.
Love the reciprocating saw as well..

Posted by: Kathy at October 6, 2010 11:30 PM

il like the makita compact driver and drill (the white one)i had a dewalt 14.4 xrp drill before that and bolth tools combined are lighter then the dewalt and the light on them is awesome. and I managed to trade sombody for an extra charger and 2 batteries so i usually have 2 batteries ready to go when the ones im using die and i can charge 2 at the same time.

Posted by: Brendan at June 9, 2010 9:27 PM

Try crazy-gluing or epoxying a piece of copper wire to the broken bit. You might need to etch the surface first. If that doesn't work, try one of those new easy-outs that cuts a reverse thread as you drill into it in reverse.

Posted by: blair at May 20, 2010 11:18 PM

A couple of years ago I bought a Makita drill kit which operated satisfactorily until a week ago, when the impact drill's chuck turned useless due to a broken hex bit that broke flush inside...I've tried soooo... many ways to take out the damn broken piece, but I couldn't! ... Does anyone have any idea of what to do, other than throw it away?
I've been searching answers to this problem in almost all over Internet without any results (I've also been looking useful advice on others websites (www.toologics.com , www.articleslane.com etc.) , but it seems that, in the end, I'm going to end up buying another damned impact drill ...) I will be open to any suggestion of anyone who knows how to get back to life my dead makita drill...(R.I.P) :)

Posted by: Norman at May 13, 2010 5:59 PM

my condolences. It's always saddening when a well-used and hard-working tool dies.
just a recommendation, but I personally have had great luck with DeWalt corded and cordless tools. their drills are some of the best I have used.

Posted by: Discoman at April 21, 2010 12:00 AM

I install commercial cabinetry and trim 14 hours a day when on the jobsite. I have a great DeWalt rep who gets me the latest and greatest first. I had the nano's and wasn't happy with them. He got me new battery packs, since "the 1st generation weren't as good as the 2nd". After fighting these for 3 months, I abandoned ship and got 2 sets of Makita compact (white) drivers and drills, plus 2 more batteries for a total of 6. My partner got 2 sets of Milwaukees. I have run through a battery once in a day, he's swapping batteries twice. The Makita's are lighter than the DeWalt's with almost the same punch, but match the Milwaukee's in driving power. If you're doing a deck or using 6" hole saws, get the 3.0 ah batteries and you can keep up with the DeWalt. The hook problem is annoying, but the delayed off L.E.D. light is fantastic. Milwaukee's hook is great, the battery gauge is a good idea if you're running to the other end of a big project for a punch item and the piggyback charging plug is a stroke of genius. But the run time and weight are less than stellar, no light timer and they don't offer a right angle impact driver like Makita. Mr. DeWalt is promising me 2 sets of the new, smaller guns that are due out this summer. Until then, Makita reigns as the top performer in my book.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at April 20, 2010 1:39 PM

I'm thinking the same way, want to streamline all my various batt lines. Jeez, after reading TOH & your July 10, 2007 review, some of those comments regarding ridgid's lith ion drills are kinda scary.

Posted by: Kevin at April 17, 2010 7:10 PM

I have the Dealt 18V compact lithium ion impact driver and drill combo. I is on sale at HD for $200. The set includes the driver, drill, 2 compact lithium batteries and the quick charger. I am a homeowner but have a lot of project in my older home. The batteries last for a good amount of time and with two if I have run out the first on is charged long before the second one runs out. The torque on the impact driver is amazing and the drill is no slouch either.

With Dewalt 18V tools the batteries are interchangeable and work in the circular and recip saws I have too.

Posted by: Jason at April 13, 2010 9:02 AM

Two years ago I bought the Makita LXT-202 kit which has Makita's lithium-ion 18 volt battery technology, the BHP-451 drill/driver. The thing that makes this drill great is that the gearbox allows instant switching between hammer-drilling/ regular drilling and clutch mode. It's one of the few that has this and a three-speed gearbox. Torque is plentiful and balance is great. But ergonomics is where this drill excels - the trigger switch and reversing switch are comfortably located even for smaller hands, while the dual-LED light makes working in dark locations a breeze with the after-glow function that keeps it lit for about 10 seconds after releasing the trigger. The 1/2" chuck is a premium-quality ratcheting keyless type, and holds up well in tough conditions, as does the whole drill. The intelligent charger is quick and easy on the battery with a built-in fan and charge rate monitoring. This was the first cordless drill I purchased since my 25 year old Makita 7.2 volt drill, which still works after all these years. Of course the new lithium-ion units are a quantum-leap ahead, as they should a quarter-century later. The rest of the Makita LXT 18 volt litium-ion line is equally well thought out, a great system that never disappoints.

Posted by: Blair at April 12, 2010 9:09 PM

I'm leaning toward Kevin and maybe a Milwaukee. I used to have a great Panasionic (pre li-ion) and loved it, but now I'm getting to the point where I want to have the option to expand the battery platform with other tools in the future. Panasonic only has the circ saw in addition to the drill (and it costs over $400). The new Makita is nice too (the blue one, not the white one), so that's a consideration as well.

Posted by: Tool Snob at April 12, 2010 7:36 PM

my condolences. I just picked up a Ridgid 18volt lith ion compact drill at depot for 89 bucks this past weekend. Nice drill,Lots of power,good feel, well balanced, only one batt though and a weird chuck.
I'm on the fence weather or not to keep it or get the Milwaukee impact/drill combo on Amazon for 2 bones.

Posted by: Kevin at April 12, 2010 4:18 PM

If you want another 14.4 volt drill, the Panasonic Li-ion is hard to beat. Light weight, tons of power and really long run time.

Posted by: Boot at April 12, 2010 11:42 AM

I love my Makita BDF452HW. Granted I am nothing more than a weekend warrior, but it has a lot going for it. The battery may not last as long as the larger lithium-ion batteries. I don't know one way or the other. But I am willing to sacrifice battery duration for the lighter weight. It is plenty strong. I haven't tried lag screws with it but it worked just fine in screwing pressure treated 2x into 4x4, (I was building a fence). In my experience the battery charges so fast that by the time you can wear out a battery the other is completely charged and ready to go. best cordless I've ever used.

Posted by: Adam at April 12, 2010 8:25 AM
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