With Power Exceeding Our Expectations, the Makita XWT14 Cordless Impact Wrench is a Must-Have for Mechanics
This has been a big year for Makita on several fronts, and they’ve really stepped up their impact wrench game. The Makita XWT14 is an 18V cordless impact wrench on the compact side of things, and it has impressive power to go with intelligent controls!
- Higher nut-busting torque in our tests than specified
- Similar performance to a mid-torque impact wrench in a smaller, lighter package
- Six auto modes in addition to four standard modes
- Independent on/off switch for the LED
- No significant drawbacks
RecommendationLightweight, compact, smart, and powerful—if there’s a flaw in Makita’s design for the XWT14 cordless impact wrench, we haven’t found it yet. It has the performance to replace the last generation’s mid-torque models from most brands with genuinely helpful assist modes. Unless you’re looking for something with a lower price tag, there’s no reason to pass on this one.
Makita XWT14 Cordless Compact Impact Wrench
Size and Weight
Before we dive into the performance that we’re so excited about, let’s toss in some context. When we say this is a Makita “compact” cordless impact wrench, we’re not talking about the Sub-Compact line. It’s not a stubby, either.
At 5.6 inches long and 4.0 pounds with a 5.0Ah battery, it fits in your impact wrench arsenal as the smallest of the standard designs. At the same time, you still get legitimate performance to cover everything from automotive to MRO jobs.
Speaking of performance, the Makita XWT14 lists up to 3200 RPM, 4000 IPM, and 240 ft-lbs of fastening torque with 430 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque.
We LOVE when a tool outperforms our expectations, and that’s exactly what Makita did with this compact impact driver. As we increased the torque to 400 ft-lbs on our test rig, the impact wrench just kept breaking the bolts loose.
425? No problem. 450? Still going. We got all the way to 500 ft-lbs and still couldn’t stop Makita from breaking the bolts loose. It had to work to get them off, but it successfully completed each attempt.
After experiencing the power Makita packs into this model, it’s no wonder they opted for a 1/2-inch square drive over a 3/8-inch.
With both the forward and reverse torque levels we found, there’s no doubt you can absolutely use the Makita XWT14 for lug nuts on passenger vehicles. It’s also capable of a wide range of other tasks you might come across. Thanks to its compact design, it’s even easier to use than your mid-torque impact wrench and handles many of the same jobs.
As one of Makita’s flagship impact wrenches, it’s high up on the technology scale. It starts with four standard speeds controlled with a variable speed trigger:
- 1000 RPM/1800 IPM
- 1800 RPM/2600 IPM
- 2600 RPM/3400 IPM
- 3200 RPM/4000 IPM
Then there are three Auto-Stop modes, each with a different function in forward and reverse:
- 1st: Stops after one impact
- 2nd: Stops after a few impacts
- 3rd: Stops after several more impacts
How much actual torque you deliver in each mode depends on the size of the nut or bolt you’re working with. We found that Auto-Stop mode 3 was fine for most lug nuts and mode 2 was more appropriate for aluminum rims that carry a little more risk.
- 1st: Breaks loose and immediately stops
- 2nd Breaks loose and stops after a moment
- 3rd: Breaks loose and slowly continues to reverse
The first two Auto-Stop reverse modes are helpful when you’re trying to make sure your fastener doesn’t come all the way off. Which one you use depends on how much thread you have to work with.
We really like the 3rd mode as a way to fully remove nuts and bolts while keeping things under control. When we’re working with longer bolts and deep sockets, it’s our favorite.
- Makita-built BL brushless motor
- LED light below the square drive with independent on/off selection
- Fan-cooled rapid charger included in the kit (45 minute charge time for 5Ah batteries)
You can pick up a Makita XWT14 cordless compact impact wrench for $199.99 as a bare tool or $399.99 as a kit with two 5.0Ah batteries and a Rapid Optimum Charger.
With the charger needing just 45 minutes for a full charge cycle, you only need the two batteries in the kit to work all day without interruption.
The Bottom Line
Lightweight, compact, smart, and powerful—if there’s a flaw in Makita’s design for the XWT14 cordless impact wrench, we haven’t found it yet. It has the performance to replace the last generation’s mid-torque models from most brands with genuinely helpful assist modes. Unless you’re looking for something with a lower price tag, there’s no reason to pass on this one.
Makita Cordless Compact Impact Wrench Specs
- Model: Makita XWT14
- Voltage: 18V
- Battery: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion
- Square Drive: 1/2″
- No Load Speed (var. 4 spd.): 0 – 1,000 / 0 – 1,800 / 0 – 2,600 / 0 – 3,200 RPM
- Impacts Per Minute (var. 4 spd.): 0 – 1,800 / 0 – 2,600 / 0 – 3,400 / 0 – 4,000 IPM
- Nut-Busting Torque (ft.lbs./N•m): 430 ft.lbs./580 N•m
- Fastening Torque (ft.lbs./N•m): 240 ft.lbs./330 N•m
- Overall Length: 5-5/8″
- Warranty: 3 years
- Kit Price: $399
Head over to Makita’s website for more information.