Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

12V Cordless Drills

Speed Under Load
Torque
Feature Set
Weight
Footprint
Value
Final Thoughts

The FD07 is pretty steady across the board. Its speed is high enough to be relevant and it has solid torque. Makita puts it in a package that is lightweight and fairly compact compared to other 12V models. Even though it finishes mid-pack, it has the chops to warrant your serious consideration.

Overall Score 3.9 Shootout Results

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Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill FD07R1


We’ve been talking a lot about 12-volt tools lately. Adam Spafford debated the need for both 18-volt and 12-volt tools in a Pro’s tool arsenal. Kenny Koehler spearheaded the team with a good old fashioned head to head with the top 12-volt drills currently on the market. We certainly hope you learned a lot from our experiences. I pulled the Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill from the group to take a closer look at what Makita is doing in this tool class.

Like we saw with their 12V Max Recipro Saw, Makita is jumping on board with really looking at the design and performance aspects of what 12-volt cordless tools are and what they can become. While the Recipro Saw had a drastically new look compared to others in the class, the Makita FD07Z drill appears fairly standard. I want to dive deeper and see if the appearance may be deceiving.

Shootout Results

The FD07 is pretty steady across the board. Its speed is high enough to be relevant and it has solid torque. Makita puts it in a package that is lightweight and fairly compact compared to other 12V models. Even though it finishes mid-pack, it has the chops to warrant your serious consideration.

Overall 12V Cordless Drill Ranking: 6th place

To take a look at our testing methods, check out the head to head review here.

Sizing it Up

The Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill has a traditional cordless drill look. Of the most recent models, it’s one of the tallest, but with the shortest length from tip to tail. The short length is great for getting into those tight areas and I’ve found the additional height doesn’t really get in the way.

With the compact 2.0 amp hour battery, the drill weighs in at just 2.33 pounds on our scale. Its bare weight is less than 2 pounds. There are a couple of drills that are lighter out there. However, Makita’s FD07R1 sits comfortably in third place.

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Ergonomic Upturn

When Makita first announced their CXT line, the talk was about the slide style battery pack. Why is that such a big deal?

Slide packs don’t have to be surrounded by the handle to make a connection. That makes it much easier to design the handle around comfort instead of three lithium-ion cells and their housing.

 

Makita’s ergonomics are simply outstanding in this model. The Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill fits nicely in your hand, is well-balanced, and is comfortable to use under load. Combined with its light weight, you’ll pick this up over an 18-volt drill any time you can afford to drop down in power.

Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill 04

Let’s Go For a Run

Run time testing is never something I look forward to. It’s tedious. It’s boring. It takes forever. At the same time, the results tell us so much about the tool.

In Makita’s case, the BL brushless motor proved to be the most efficient of all the ones we tested on a couple of fronts. First, it drove more 2-inch drywall screws than any other drill using a compact battery – including Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel 2304 (326 to 317, both on 22 watt-hour batteries).

Best 12V Cordless Drill - Run Time Results Lo Res

That’s a great stat and a cool picture, but it goes deeper than that. When we broke down the watt-hours of each battery to look at true efficiency, the Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill drove 14.8 screws per watt-hour to top the entire class. That tells us Makita is handling their design very well when it comes to battery technology and motor efficiency.

Note: this runtime test is from a previous 12V shootout, not the most current one.

Other Makita 12V Products

Performance Enhancement

When we looked at Makita’s earlier CXT drill with a brushed motor, it did well, but we weren’t really blown away by the performance. The addition of Makita’s BL Brushless Motor has clearly changed things. In the shootout, we tested speed under load and soft torque.

This model doesn’t blow us away in speed and its efficiency (percentage of no-load speed) under load is fairly tame. Its 104 in-lbs of torque is in line with most of the other models out there.  More recent models from Bosch, Metabo, and Skil put a little harder, though.

Makita CXT 12V Max Brushless Drill 06

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Price

There are a couple of ways to get your hands on the Makita FD07:

Time for an Upgrade?

You might be able to snag a deal for the FD07 online. If you want the latest model, look to the newer Makita FD09. It’s a touch lighter in torque and has an extra 200 RPM to bring the speed up.

The bigger deal is that it uses a Makita-built brushed motor. You might see shorter runtime but consider its pricing as well.

  • Bare Tool (Makita FD09Z): $82.70
  • Kit with Two 2.0 Ah Batteries (Makita FD09R1): $99.00

There are also multiple combo kit options available.

The Bottom Line

The FD07 is pretty steady across the board. Its speed is high enough to be relevant and it has solid torque. Makita puts it in a package that is lightweight and fairly compact compared to other 12V models. Even though it finishes mid-pack, it has the chops to warrant your serious consideration.

Makita 12V Max CXT Brushless Drill Specifications

  • Model: Makita FD07R1/FD07Z
  • Power Source: Makita Lithium-ion Battery
  • Batteries Included: (2) 22 watt-hour
  • No Load Speed: 0 – 450/0 – 1,500 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 280 in-lbs.
  • Chuck: 3/8″
  • Weight: 2.34 pounds with battery
  • Height: 8-1/2″
  • Length: 6″
  • Warranty: 3 years limited
  • Price: $153.58

This article was originally published on September 2, 2016. We’ve updated the scores to reflect its performance in our recent Best 12V Cordless Drill Shootout.

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Dustysa4

I sometimes wonder if there is still a point to Makita’s 12v drivers. With the new 18v compact drill/impact combo, you have more torque and battery life in a smaller size. Also, you’re not stuck on the limited 12v platform. I hope they run with the compact 18v idea instead of focusing on more 12v tools.