Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Head-to-Head Review

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Head-to-Head Review

This week, we have two of the heaviest hitters in the game going 1 vs 1. Representing the premium professional class and with their most advanced, highest-performing models, we have a Makita vs Milwaukee hammer drill head-to-head review for you!


Check out our Makita vs Milwaukee overview for a higher-level comparison of these two powerhouse brands!

For Makita, it’s the 40V max XGT GPH01 hammer drill. Using Makita’s newest platform, it’s running at twice the voltage of Milwaukee and boasts Makita’s most advanced battery ever.

Makita GPH01 Hammer Drill

In the red corner, Milwaukee’s 4th generation M18 Fuel Hammer Drill is ready for action. It sports upgrades in both performance and features, earning our #1 overall recommendation in our 2023 Best Cordless Drill buying guide.


Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2906 Hammer Drill

Both drills had to complete four performance tests as part of our evaluation. While certainly the most significant aspect of drills at this level, performance isn’t everything. We’re also going to consider size, weight, features, and price. We’ll set all that out for you, and you can decide for yourself which of these impressive tools deserves the win.

Isn’t There A Newer Makita Drill?

Makita does have a second drill on the XGT line. However, the GPH02 is a compact model and focuses on reducing size rather than getting the highest possible performance. For this test, we want the fastest, strongest models available, ADN that’s the GPH01 for Makita.

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Specifications

Before we jump into the performance tests, here’s how these two drill line up on paper.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Top Speeds650/2600 RPM500/2100 RPM
Max Torque1250 in-lbs1400 in-lbs
Max Hammer Rate39,000 BPM33,000 RPM
Head Length7.1 in6.9 in
Bare Weight3.7 lbs3.3 lbs
Weight w/Tested Battery5.3 lbs (2.5Ah battery)4.9 lbs (5.0Ah battery)
The Makita 40V max 2.5AH battery and Milwaukee M18 5.0Ah battery have the same capacity (90Wh).

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Test Results

We ran a series of four tests to gauge the performance of both hammer drills. Before each test, we fully charged the battery.

Soft Torque

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Head-to-Head Soft Torque Test

To test the soft torque, we used an inline torque meter and drove a thick lag screw as far as we could into stacked OSB subfloor. This gives us an idea of how much torque each drill is able to put into wood fastening, but it’s not perfect.

Modern brushless motors sense the load and shut the motor off before it reaches its full power potential as a protection mechanism. Still, we get an objective, comparable number that’s representative of the soft torque in a demanding wood fastening application.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Max Measured Torque428 in-lbs539 in-lbs

Spade Bit

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Head-to-Head Spade Bit Test

For our medium-load test, we used a 1-inch spade bit with a self-feeding tip to drill through 4 inches of stacked and glued 1/2-inch OSB. The result is the average of three tests. Any outlier results were thrown out, and the run repeated.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Average Time2.6 seconds3.4 seconds

Self-Feed Bit

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Head-to-Head Self-Feed Bit Test

To get an idea of how these hammer drill perform under a heavy rough-in load, we used a 2 9/16-inch self-feed bit to drill through a 2×4 pine stud. We tried each drill in high speed first, and if it was unable to complete the test, dropped into low gear. The result is the average of three tests. Like before, we eliminated any outlier results and repeated the test.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Average Time2.1 seconds2.6 seconds

Concrete Bit

Concrete Bit Test

The final test was drilling through concrete. Using a 3/8-inch concrete twist bit, we drilled 3 inches deep in fully-cured 4000 PSI concrete. We took the average of three tests to get our results. Again, in the event of any outliers, we threw out the result and repeated the test.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Average Time4.2 seconds3.7 seconds

What About Milwaukee’s High Output Battery?

Milwaukee 6.0Ah High Output Battery

To make out Makita vs Milwaukee hammer drill head-to-head review a little more complete, we also gave Milwaukee the advantage of running the same tests with its 6.0Ah High Output battery. You won’t find that battery kitted with this tool, and it adds a bit more weight to the package, but we did see some improvement. Here’s how it all stacked up:

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906 w/5.0Ah
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906 w/6.0Ah HO
Soft Torque428 in-lbs539 in-lbs591 in-lbs
Spade Bit2.6 sec3.4 sec2.6 sec
Self-Feed Bit2.1 sec2.6 sec2.2 sec
Concrete Bit4.2 sec3.7 sec3.4 sec
Weight5.3 lbs4.9 lbs5.7 lbs

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Highlight Features

As the flagship drills for their respective platforms, these some of the best features available from these two top brands. Here’s a quick breakdown of the major highlights:

Makita GPH01

  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback control
  • Electronic clutch (41 low-speed settings, 21 high-speed settings)

Milwaukee 2906

  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback control
  • One-Key customizable controls, tracking, inventory, and security

Makita Vs Milwaukee Hammer Drill Price

The last piece of the puzzle is price. As top-tier tools from premium brands, it’s not a surprise to find that these drills are on the expensive side of what’s available. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad value, though. When you need the best performance available or the most innovative features make a real difference in how productive you are, top-of-the-line tools can actually be a fantastic value.

One more quick note—Milwaukee’s hammer drill is also available without the One-Key features. We’ve included that price as well.

Makita XGT
GPH01
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2906
Milwaukee M18 Fuel
2904
Bare Tool$244$249$199
Basic Kit$499
GPH01 Hammer Drill
2 x 2.5Ah Battery
NA$299
2904 Hammer Drill
2 x 5.0Ah Battery
2-Tool Combo$469
GPH01 Hammer Drill
GDT02 Impact Driver
2 x 2.5Ah Battery
$449
2906 Hammer Drill
2957 Impact Driver
2 x 5.0Ah battery
$379
2904 Hammer Drill
2953 Impact Driver
2 x 5.0Ah Battery
Prices at Acme Tool at the time of writing

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