Makita Impact GOLD Ultra Magnetic Insert Bit Set Review
The Makita Impact GOLD Ultra Magnetic Insert Bit Set not only includes bits, it also has bit holders, nutsetters, socket adapters and more—like a handy case that (unlike many competing products) gives you easy access to the bits without having to literally rip them out of the housing. We’re actually working with Makita this week and giving away one of these kits to a lucky reader. The 21-piece kit includes a magnetic two-piece holder. The way it works is that you insert the bit holder into your impact driver, remove the plastic sleeve (which houses a neodymium magnet at the front), insert the bit and then replace the sleeve. You can now insert a screw and the plastic magnetic-tipped holder will allow you one-handed use of your driver to sink screws. And, the bit holder is tough—it takes a real man to remove the inserted bits. This is because it uses a non-magnetic snap-ring instead of a magnet—eliminating metal debris build-up common in magnetic holders. It also has the added benefit of getting rid of any slop in the insert bit, so you get less cam-out due to wobble.
Makita Impact GOLD Ultra Design
Makita’s Impact GOLD bits are made specifically for high-torque impact drivers and you can tell that the steel tips are really precisely engineered as they fit really well into into our Grip Rite test screws. The solid fit made them less prone to cam-out and we found that they drove a considerable amount of screws compared to several other comparable impact-rated bits we tested.
Similar to some other technologies we’ve seen, both Makita’s Impact GOLD bit holder and the bits feature something the company dubs “Xtreme Torsion Technology”. Basically, the torsion section (shaft) of the bit is allowed to flex under load. This takes the pressure off of the tip of the bit and lets you pull off high torque applications without snapping as quickly. This is particularly useful in metal self-tapping applications through steel sheet metal.
Makita Impact GOLD Ultra Magnetic Insert Bit Set Testing
We use a ton of #2 bits and, in addition to having tested #2 bits in the past when we reviewed impact driver bits, I simply had plenty of them on hand. While we tested 2″ #2 Phillips bits in the past, using Makita’s insert bits didn’t seem like we were varying much in our application, except that we used Makita’s bit holder. The advantage here, of course, is that the Ultra Magnetic Bit Holder is fit with a neodymium magnet, which allowed the screw to be held securely as we started each screw. Did this offer an unfair advantage? Perhaps, but Makita sells this system and so it didn’t strike us as too unfair to use it in the manner for which it was designed. (In fact, we would have had to have gone out of our way to use another brand’s bit holder.) The 18V impact driver we used for testing was set to the highest impact/speed setting. We chose the 1-5/8″ Grip Rite drywall screw, because it’s a popular fastener and easily available at places like Home Depot.
The testing material was a 3/4” piece of red oak which was placed atop a two sandwiched pieces of 3/4” plywood subfloor. We like using the red oak as the top layer as it presents a somewhat more difficult load for the bits and more accurately simulates a higher stress and torque setting for the bit to repeatedly power through. I did all drilling one-handed to allow the tool to do the work and to avoid skewing the results. Bit failure was determined when the bit was not longer able to grip into the head of the screw securely. At this point I experienced significant cam-out and/or the bit failed. I retired each bit after four of five sequential cam-outs. Several runs were performed until I was sufficiently convinced my results were consistent.
Makita Impact GOLD Ultra Magnetic Insert Bit Set Results
As far as impact-ready bits go, the Makita bits did really well, resisting cam-out better than most other bits I tested. The head simply fit our Grip Rite screws really well. Makita pulled off nearly 200 screws, bettering all but three of the other brands we tested previously. In terms of cost-per-screw, however, Makita was one of the lowest, making it one of the better deals on the market for an impact-ready bit.
It's really hard not to like these bits. Not only are they available in 15-piece bulk packs, they simply hold up well under stress. Makita's torsion technology seems to work well, even in cam-out applications. A lot of competitor bits will cam-out much more easily under stress, focusing mostly on bit snapping and extreme torque. Makita seems to be striking up a good balance. Add to that the low price fo these bits and you have a compelling product.
Buy it online at Home Depot