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Best Brushless Combo Kit: 6-Tool Kit Buying Guide


Finding the best brushless combo kit isn’t easy. There are all kinds of kit options out there, but many Pros will settle in looking at 6-tool kits. 3-tool kits are available, but they tend to miss one tool or another that Pros want to have on hand.

When we set out to find the best cordless 4-tool combo kit, Milwaukee and Makita ended up with an unfair advantage. The goal was to look at kits containing a drill, impact driver, circular saw, and reciprocating saw. DeWalt and others have a kit that does this, typically with just the addition of a work light.

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DeWalt’s DCK592L2 kit is relevant today, but Makita and Milwaukee don’t have comparable kits. So we had to move up to their 6-tool kits. Unlike DeWalt’s 5-tool kit, they have brushless motors. But DeWalt also has a comparable brushless 6-tool kit to what the other two have, so it’s time to look at how these three popular brands compare.

What’s most exciting about comparing these three kits is that even though there are some differences, none of them are disappointing.

Best Brushless Combo Kit: Best Overall

Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

Makita XSH03Z Application

Makita takes the top spot in a race that’s hotly contested at nearly every point of consideration. In the end, its balance of performance, ergonomics, and price give it an advantage over the others. If not for the $200 difference in price between Makita and Milwaukee, there’d be almost no way to recommend one over the other.

DeWalt falters only in their reciprocating saw. It’s enough of a weak spot to relegate their overall placing to third. What keeps it a close third place is that the addition of their brushless multi-tool is a very attractive tool to include over an angle grinder.

Runner Up: Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Third Place: DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit: Performance

Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit- 6-Tool Kits

Milwaukee takes first in overall performance. Each tool is close to the top in head to head testing. It’s the consistent first and second place finishing that puts the kit a notch above the others.

Makita is second with their impact driver and circular saws being their “weak” spots. But calling them weak is misleading – their Excellent ratings just happen to be lower than the others.

DeWalt’s reciprocating saw holds the kit back in overall performance, but their impact driver and circular saw are both class leaders.

Runner Up: Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

Third Place: DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit: Ergonomics

DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

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DeWalt and Makita go toe to toe when it comes to ergonomics. Makita tends to be more compact and lighter while DeWalt tends to fit better in the hand. At the end of the day, the difference between the two may come down to simple preference – but DeWalt gets the slight advantage for me.

Milwaukee’s design has more of that “Nothing But Heavy Duty” feel to it with handle designs that aren’t quite as polished and slightly heavier construction.

Runner Up: Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

Third Place: Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit: Price

DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

DeWalt DCS570 20V Max Brushless Circular Saw

If you can call it a win, DeWalt wins the price battle over Makita by $0.99. If it’s value you’re looking for, it will boil down to whether you want an oscillating multi-tool or an angle grinder. DeWalt also gets the nod with the addition of newer models.

Milwaukee runs $200 more expensive. You get an extra two years of warranty and arguably better build quality for it, though.

Runner Up: Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

Third Place: Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit: Warranty

Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Fuel Kit Featured 4

Milwaukee warranties the tools in this kit for 5 years. The other two kits carry just a 3-year warranty. DeWalt gets a nod over Makita for their 1-year service contract that takes care of wear and tear items in the first year after purchase. All three brands warranty their batteries for 3 years.

Runner Up: DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

Third Place: Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

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Best Brushless Combo Kit Details

DeWalt 20V Max XR 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Brushless Combo Kit- 6-Tool Kits

 

  • Model Number:  DeWalt DCK694P2
  • Price: $799 .00
  • Warranty: 3 years limited

Pros: Outstanding ergonomics, full brushless kit, Very Good hammer drill, Outstanding circular saw and impact driver, deep lineup of 20V Max tools, brushless oscillating multi-tool included, 5.0 AH batteries

Cons: Warranty could be longer, reciprocating saw is a weak area for DeWalt

The Bottom Line: Performance specs are one thing, but head to head testing doesn’t lie. DeWalt took first place in our Impact Driver Shootout and is the top performer among the three circular saws in this group in a shootout as well. DeWalt also offers the only 7-1/4″ circular saw in this group of kits. While the kitted drill doesn’t have the same level of torque as Milwaukee and Makita, it’s still a solid performer.

The weak spot for this kit is the reciprocating saw. Its stroke speed is below the others and DeWalt isn’t exactly known for its vibration control and cutting speed in their recips. Still, you get a compact model that will help you get in some tighter spots.

DeWalt breaks away from the angle grinder bonus tool and adds an oscillating multi-tool instead. That’s a move that contractors who focus more on trim work will really like.

DeWalt 20V Max XR Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill

  • Model: DeWalt DCD996
  • Speed: 0 – 450 / 0 – 1300 / 0 – 2000 RPM
  • Torque: 840 in-lbs.
  • Impact Rate: 38,250 BPM
  • Weight: 4.3 lbs

DeWalt 20V Max XR Brushless 3-Speed Impact Driver

  • Model: DeWalt DCF887
  • Speed: 0 – 1000 / 0 – 2800 / 0 – 3250 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0 – 3800 IPM
  • Torque: 1825 in.lbs.
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs

DeWalt 20V Max XR Brushless 7-1/4″ Circular Saw

  • Model: DeWalt DCS570
  • Speed: 5,200 RPM
  • Blade Size: 7-1/4″
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs

DeWalt 20V Max XR Brushless Compact Reciprocating Saw

  • Model: DeWalt DCS367
  • Speed: 0 – 2900 SPM
  • Stroke Length: 1-1/8″
  • Weight: 5.0 lbs

Additional Tools

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Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑Pc. Combo Kit (5.0Ah)

Best Cordless Combo Kit - Makita

  • Model Number:  Makita XT611PT
  • Price: $799 .99
  • Warranty: 3 years limited

Pros: Outstanding ergonomics, full brushless kit, Excellent circular saw and impact driver, Outstanding reciprocating saw and hammer drill, deep lineup of 18V LXT tools, brushless angle grinder included, 5.0 AH batteries

Cons: Warranty could be longer

The Bottom Line: There’s really not a bad tool in this group, though the grinder will be the one that is the most limited. Makita edges out Milwaukee head to head with their hammer drill and their two reciprocating saws earn the same rating from our Pros.

The impact driver ranks the lowest among these three kits, but that’s only because one of them had to. It’s an excellent model and well ahead of most other brands.

Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver‑Drill

  • Model: Makita XPH07Z
  • Speed: 0 – 550 / 0 – 2,100 RPM
  • Torque: 1,090 in-lbs.
  • Impact Rate: 0 – 31,500 BPM
  • Weight: 5.9 lbs

Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless Quick‑Shift Mode 3‑Speed Impact Driver

  • Model: Makita XDT14Z
  • Speed: 0 – 1,100 / 0 – 2,100 / 0 – 3,600 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0 – 1,100 / 0 – 2,600 / 0 – 3,800
  • Torque: 1,550 in.lbs.
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs

Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 6‑1/2″ Circular Saw

  • Model: Makita XSH03Z
  • Speed: 5,000 RPM
  • Blade Size: 6-1/2″
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs

Makita 18V LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless Recipro Saw

  • Model: Makita XRJ05Z
  • Speed: 0 – 2,300 / 0 – 3,000 SPM
  • Stroke Length: 1-1/4″
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs

Additional Tools

  • Makita XAG03Z Angle Grinder
  • Makita DML802 LED Flashlight
  • (2) 5.0Ah Battery (BL1850B)
  • Dual Port Charger (DC18RD)

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Milwaukee M18 FUEL LITHIUM-ION 6-Tool Combo Kit

Best Cordless Combo Kit - Milwaukee

  • Model Number:  Milwaukee 2896-26
  • Price: $999
  • Warranty: 5 years limited

Pros: Outstanding reciprocating saw, Excellent impact driver, circular saw, and hammer drill, 5.0 AH batteries, brushless angle grinder included, deep M18 product line, 5-year warranty on tools, full brushless kit

Cons: Price is high compared to closest competition

The Bottom Line: Like Makita, you’re going to be the most limited by the grinder in this group, but it’s still a tool worth owning. The hammer drill comes in just behind Makita and the impact driver is a close second to DeWalt. All things considered, there’s nearly no difference in rating between Milwaukee and Makita with their recip saws.

Milwaukee has the best cordless circular saw available in the 6-1/2″ class, but DeWalt moves well ahead of it with their new 7-1/4″ DCS570. The only real negative for Milwaukee’s kit is that it’s $200 more than both competitors. But your tools carry 2 more years of warranty and arguably have a slightly better build.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver

  • Model: Milwaukee 2704-20
  • Speed: 0-550/0-2,000 RPM
  • Torque: 1,200 in-lbs
  • Impact Rate: 32,000 BPM
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver

  • Model: Milwaukee 2753-20
  • Speed: 0-3,000 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 3700 IPM
  • Torque: 1,800 in-lbs
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 6-1/2″ Circular Saw

  • Model: Milwaukee 2730-20
  • Speed: 5,000 RPM
  • Blade Size: 6-1/2″
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs

Milwaukee M18 FUEL SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw

  • Model: Milwaukee 2720-20
  • Speed: 0-3,000 SPM
  • Stroke Length: 1-1/8″
  • Weight: 7.4 lbs

Additional Tools

  • Milwaukee 2780-20 Grinder
  • Milwaukee 2735-20 Work Light
  • (2) M18 REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack
  • M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger

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Why a Brushless Kit?

Brushless motors in cordless tools have several advantages. First, they have less maintenance since there are no carbon brushes to change. They also run cooler and offer a longer lifespan than brushed models. But probably most importantly, they extend runtime as much as 50% over brushed motors and often come with a performance boost.

For Pros, the era of brushless motors is here and it’s time to get on board.

What Are the Criteria?

Each kit has to contain brushless motors in each of their tools along with main tools plus a work light. We’ll take a look at the specs for each tool plus our experience with them to consider categories that set each kit apart and are important to potential buyers.

Rating Key

  • Outstanding – best in this class
  • Excellent – not the top, but close
  • Very Good – solid, nothing to be ashamed of here
  • Good – It’ll work, but we wouldn’t want to go any lower

Disagree With Our Choices?

That’s okay! We know personal preferences take a front seat in determining the best drill and impact driver kit, and every trade is different. Do Pro Tool Nation a favor and tell us what your top pick is and why you love it. Feel free to put it in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Why Pro Tool Reviews is a Reliable Source

At Pro Tool Reviews, we have our finger on the pulse of the tool industry. We’re constantly keeping up with the latest press releases and researching the newest tools. The most relevant tools for our Pro audience make it into our editorial calendar for review. We do hands-on reviews of more than 200 tools each year as standalone evaluations. We run dozens more through our head to head tool shootouts. Additionally, we get our hands on hundreds of other tools at media events and trade shows throughout the country and internationally. With a team of Pro reviewers across every major trade involved in the construction process, you’re sure to get an expert opinion every time.

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11 Comments on "Best Brushless Combo Kit: 6-Tool Kit Buying Guide"

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Joe
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How about a little info on the warranty on your tool reviews? For Example Milwaukee Has a 5 year warranty on tools and 3 on battery yet DeWalt only 1 year on the tool and battery! With all the new electronics in these tools a better warranty goes a very very long way!

Ashton lowe
Guest

Makita all day not sure many would agree with you that the Milwaukee skilly is better also in my experience the Makita has more power and is alot smoother

Robby Davidson
Guest

I’m just wondering something. I’m from the South, living in the Heartland area, now, between Nashville and St. Louis. The tool brand that I see most professionals using are DeWalt, and on a rare occasion, Milwaukee. I’m wondering, do the different regions of the country have their own prevailing, favorite tool brand?

Matt Hakenjos
Guest

In Wisconsin it’s mostly Milwaukee tools. DeWalt I’d say would be the runner up.

Cody Phelps
Guest

More about trades than region, from my experience.

Dewalt is common among framing and other wood-oriented construction. Milwaukee is preferred by electricians and plumbers, Makita gets in where they fit in. Bosch and Hilti are big in concrete. Metabo is all about steel finish work. Etc… So on…

John Powers
Guest

Dewalt: made in USA.
Yup I’m buying that one

Cody Phelps
Guest
Nope. Made in several different countries and assembled in the USA, and only a handful of their tools are assembled in the U.S. Makita actually makes more tools in the U.S. than Dewalt, and Bosch has the better manufacturing standards out of all of them, even if their tools are under-performers in most categories except hammer drills. And I still buy Milwaukee because their cordless lineup is the most consistent in performance and quality, and they’ve stated they won’t be making anyone swap their batteries out for the next decade while Dewalt is busy telling everyone they need to buy… Read more »
John Powers
Guest

Right. I know the brushless drills and impacts are, I think several others are too. I see that dewalt is coming out with a cordless air compressor that is us made. Assembled in us with global materials is the term they use, but if they are using American workers I will support them 100%

Thomas T J Jahn
Guest

While i would pick Dewalt over the others, id be careful with that statement. Some of the tools are made in the USA, not all of them. Im not sure if the drill or impact are. The light isnt, i dont think the circular saw or multitool are. Now its still better than Milwaukee and Makita which both have 0 tools made in the USA. Just have to be cautious about that statement.

Jim R
Guest

Actually you might want to check your facts Makita assembles more tools in America than DeWalt. There’s a plant in Buford Georgia

Patricio Antonio Pérez Martínez
Guest

José Rodríguez

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