Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill XPH11 Review Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

18V Cordless Drills

Speed Under Load
Torque
Feature Set
Weight
Footprint
Value
Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that the Makita Subcompact Hammer Drill is essentially a 12V tool strapped to an 18V battery. Its size, which is even smaller than other compact 18V models, makes it incredibly lightweight and compact. The trade-off comes with their available torque and speed. They're not going to crank out the same type of speed and power as most compact 18V drills, but they're incredibly handy tools to have when you want 12V size without leaving Makita's 18V battery.

Overall Score 3.8 Shootout Results

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Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill XPH11 Review


Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill Nails Most Compact Size in the 18V Class

We’ve taken over 50 drills and put them in head to head competitions with each other by their various classes. If that sounds like something that might tickle your fancy, click your way on over to the Best Cordless Drill Head to Head Review. For now, we’re looking at Makita’s tiniest entries into the 18V category: the Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill (XPH11) and Drill Driver (XFD11).

These two models carry almost identical specs, save for one has a hammer mechanism and the other doesn’t. Let’s look at how these diminutive tools stack up next to their compact 18V peers.

Shootout Results

Keep in mind that the Makita Subcompact Hammer Drill is essentially a 12V tool strapped to an 18V battery. Its size, which is even smaller than other compact 18V models, makes it incredibly lightweight and compact. The trade-off comes with their available torque and speed. They’re not going to crank out the same type of speed and power as most compact 18V drills, but they’re incredibly handy tools to have when you want 12V size without leaving Makita’s 18V battery.

Overall 18V Compact Hammer Drill Ranking: 4th place (XPH11)

Overall 18V Compact Drill Ranking: 4th place (XFD11)

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Setting the Table

If you’re not familiar with Makita’s Sub-Compact lineup, it makes compact even more compact. The basic idea is to take 12V tool size, weight, and performance, and run with an 18V battery so you don’t have to buy into a separate 12V battery platform for those core tools.

So before we dive into the results, let’s start from the perspective that these tools are intentionally designed to be less powerful with a smaller size and weight. If that size reduction is significant compared to other compact drills and hammer drills, then Makita’s product team met their goal.

Performance

For performance, we test each drill’s speed under load and how much torque it can generate. For detailed information about how we test for these measurements, check out our Best Cordless Drill Head to Head Review. If you just want to skip to the class-by-class results, check out the 18V drill and the 18V hammer drill competitions.

Speed Under Load

Out of the gate, Makita’s intention of sticking to 12V performance is clear against traditional compact models. Out of all of the compact 18V drills and hammer drills, both the Makita XPH11 and XFD11 lagged a bit behind everybody else.

18V Drill Driver 3/4″ Auger Bit Speed Results

18V Hammer Drill 3/4″ Auger Bit Results

That’s no surprise given the design intent. A quick peek at the 12V results in the same test shows that only two of the newest brushless models had speeds higher than Makita’s Sub-Compacts (Metabo and Skil).

Looking at the efficiency of the Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill is these tests, it’s not as high as the majority of the compact class. Again, that’s not a surprise. We expected the motors to work harder but there’s nothing to suggest that both the hammer drill and drill driver models can’t handle the task at hand. In general, they feel more capable than the 12V models they’re replacing.

Makita Sub-Compact Drill XFD12

Shifting from wood to concrete, the Makita XPH11 is the slowest of the group, needing an average of 9.48 seconds to drill 3″ deep with a 1/4″ concrete bit. It’s perfectly capable of making the hole without bogging down the motor, it just needs a little more time.

Torque

Our torque test is a soft torque test and it’s obvious this doesn’t match manufacturer’s specifications since most of them report hard torque. The Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill and Drill Driver report their torque as 350 in-lbs—nearly 200 in-lbs less than their compact XPH12.

The difference isn’t quite as dramatic in a soft torque test, but the results show us that the Sub-Compact’s 94.0 in-lbs is well behind the Compact’s 126.4 in-lbs.

Features

There aren’t any crazy bells and whistles with the Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill and Drill Driver. They feature brushless 2-speed motors, belt hooks, and LED lights. There are no self-tapping modes or smart controls here. They’re pretty basic tools in the grand scheme of things, but they do their jobs well.

Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill XPH11

Footprint

Finally, we reach the point where the Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill and Drill Driver stand out: size and weight.

Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Combo Kit

Both the Makita XPH11 and XFD11 finished their respective weight and footprint categories in 1st place. The Makita Sub-Compact Drill weighs in at 2.04 lbs bare and 3.01 lbs with its 2.0 Ah battery. The hammer mechanism adds a scant 0.14 pounds to the Hammer Drill.

Neither of these Sub-Compacts takes up a whole lot of real estate, either. We measured the XFD11 at 7.8″ tall and 6.4″ long. The Hammer Drill is 7.1″ long thanks to the additional hardware inside.

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Value

The Makita XPH11 Hammer Drill retails for $99.79 as a bare tool or $187.86 for the kit. It comes with two 18V 2.0Ah batteries and a charger.

The Makita XFD11 Drill Drive runs $109.00 as a bare tool and $179.95 for the 2-battery kit.

Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Combo Kit

The best value is a 2-tool kit with the Sub-Compact Impact Driver and a couple of batteries. You can pick the Drill Driver combo for $194.70 or the Hammer Drill combo for $249.99.

Part of the real value of these tools comes from what they offer 18V Makita users who want to go a size or two down without having to invest in a bunch of 12V batteries. These are small, light, get into tighter spots, and you don’t need to horse around with a whole new battery platform.

Recommendation

Keep in mind that the Makita Subcompact Hammer Drill is essentially a 12V tool strapped to an 18V battery. Its size, which is even smaller than other compact 18V models, makes it incredibly lightweight and compact. The trade-off comes with their available torque and speed. They’re not going to crank out the same type of speed and power as most compact 18V drills, but they’re incredibly handy tools to have when you want 12V size without leaving Makita’s 18V battery.

Makita Sub-Compact Hammer Drill Specs

  • Model Number: Makita XPH11
  • Capacity: 1/2″ (steel); 1-7/16″ (wood); 1/2″ (masonry)
  • No-Load Speed: 0-500 / 0-1,700 RPM
  • Blows per Minute: 0-7,500 / 0-25,000 BPM
  • Max Torque: 350 in-lbs / 40 Nm
  • Battery: 18V LXT Compact Lithium-Ion
  • Length: 6-15/16″
  • Weight: (with Battery): 2.9 lbs
  • LED Light: Yes
  • Warranty: 3-Year
  • Price: $187.86

Makita Sub-Ccompact Drill Specs

  • Model Number: Makita XFD11
  • Capacity: 1/2″ (steel); 1-7/16″ (wood)
  • No-Load Speed: 0-500 / 0-1,700 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 350 in-lbs / 40Nm
  • Battery: 18V LXT Compact Lithium-Ion
  • Length: 6-3/8″
  • Weight (with battery): 2.8 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-year
  • Price: Check on Amazon

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