Makita 40V XGT Impact Driver Stays True to Its Roots
Makita spent a lot of time and effort in developing compact, high-performing impact drivers on their 18V LXT line. We set out to discover if that DNA translated over to the Makita 40V Max XGT Impact Driver.
- Improved performance and strength
- Compact design
- Four standard modes and six smart modes
- There’s not a battery as compact as the 18V 2.0Ah to shave weight with
Makita 40V Max XGT Impact Driver Performance
When you look at Makita’s flagship cordless impact driver, the XDT16, you’d be hard-pressed to accuse them of chasing bigger torque numbers. At the same time, they’ve always delivered relevant and even class-leading performance in our head-to-head tests.
If you were hoping to see 2500 in-lbs of torque as something that was really more of an impact wrench with a 1/4-inch hex collet, that’s not what Makita is doing with XGT. The power does move up, though. You now get 1950 in-lbs of torque to go with 3700 RPM and 4400 IPM on the top end.
In one benchmark test, we tested 8-inch GRK RSS screws to see how long it takes both impact drivers to deal with a long fastener. The 18V LXT XDT16 finished with an average of 8.53 seconds. Its fastest time was 7.68 seconds and its longest was 9.59.
The Makita 20V Max XGT GDT01 finished slightly faster at 8.44 seconds. It was a bit more consistent with a top time of 7.90 seconds and 9.05 at its slowest. At least in this test, the two perform similarly with the XGT impact driver edging ahead.
With an extra 350 in-lbs of torque, we also wanted to check power using nut-busting torque as a measure. The XDT16 broke 3300 in-lbs in its testing. The 40V XGT is clearly more powerful, breaking 4000 in-lbs on our rig!
Makita 40V Max XGT Impact Driver Design Notes
Size and Weight
Side-by-side, the XDT16 and GDT01 don’t look terribly different. The 18V model was already the most compact we’ve tested, the 40V Max XGT only adds 0.19 inches. Measuring 4.75 from tip to tail, it’s still incredibly compact compared to other models.
As a bare tool, the XGT impact driver weighs 2.2 pounds. With a 2.5Ah battery, it moves up to 3.7 pounds. Compared to the XDT16 with a 5.0Ah battery (both batteries are 90Wh), it’s only a gain of 0.3 pounds.
Even though the 40V Max XGT is slightly bigger and heavier, it’s really very close to the size and weight of its 18V counterpart. Where the 18V model still has an advantage is its ability to use a 2.0Ah compact battery to shave some weight.
The control panel appears pretty similar to the XDT16, but there are some differences. For starters, you have four standard modes to cycle through. Above the trigger, the same button is there as before. Instead of being programmable, it’s just a convenient button to cycle through the four standard modes.
Then there are the three smart modes that have functions in both forward and reverse. In forward, the first is an assist mode for slow starts to reduce damage to the fastener head. It gives you a controlled start before ramping up to full speed. The other two are for self-tapping screws—one for thinner metal and one for thicker.
Flipping over to reverse, the first two smart modes break the faster loose and stop after different rotation counts. They’re great when you want to hand thread a fastener off. The third mode breaks the fastener free and then continues at a slow speed to keep your release under control.
Makita keeps their dual LED lights on either side of the collet. These do a better job of lighting up your work area than foot-mounted designs.
- Reinforced gear housing
- XGT Rapid Charger (included in kit) needs just 28 minutes for full charge cycle
Makita 40V Max XGT Impact Driver Price
There’s a little bit of a premium if you’re moving up to the XGT impact driver. As a bare tool, it runs about $15 more at $195. The kit with two 2.5Ah batteries and Rapid Charger is $399. Even though that’s more than the XDT16 on both counts, there’s legitimately more going on under the hood, especially on the electronics side.
Makita XDT16 vs GDT01 Quick Comparison
|40V Max XGT|
|Top Speed||3600 RPM||3700 RPM|
|Impact Rate||3800 IPM||4400 RPM|
|Max Torque||1600 in-lbs||1950 in-lbs|
|Head Length||4.56 in||4.75 in|
|Weight with Battery||3.4 lbs||3.7 lbs|
|Kit Price||$349 (2 x 5.0Ah)||$399 (2 x 2.5Ah)|
The Bottom Line
The Makita 40V Max XGT impact driver showed us better performance and strength than their 18V flagship. That’s not a reason to jump to the higher-voltage platform all by itself, though. The XDT16 is still one of the finest impact drivers available. If you’re committing to other tools on the XGT platform, absolutely grab the GCT01 to go with them.
Makita 40V Max XGT Impact Driver Specifications
- Kit Model: Makita GDT01D
- Motor: Brushless
- Hex Shank: 1/4 in.
- Max Torque: 1950 in. lbs.
- Max RPM: 0-1,100 / 2,100 / 3,200 / 3,700 rpm
- Impacts per Minute: 0-1,100 / 2,600 / 3,600 / 4,400 IPM
- Length: 4-3/4 in.
- Weight: 3.7 lbs.
- Warranty: 3 years
- Kit Price: $399
It will be interesting to revisit this once the TD172 makes its way across the pond.