Makita XDT09M Featured image 2 Framing Tool Reviews

Makita XDT09M Impact Driver With QuickShift Mode


Pro Review

Build Quality
Speed
Torque
Ergonomics
Feature Set
Value
Final Thoughts

Makita has a real winner with the Makita XDT09M Impact Driver with QuickShift mode. The combination of features, performance, and ergonomics is one of the best I've seen in the 18V/20V class.

Overall Score 4.3 Pro Review

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Everyone’s looking for ways to get ahead. Make it the most powerful, the most compact, the most ergonomic, or with the best features. You know how it is. Anytime you can claim “best in class” or “the best ______ we’ve ever built”, it gets attention. It also breeds skepticism. So is the Makita XDT09M all that they’re building it up to be? Does it deliver significant improvements over the Makita LXDT08 impact driver?

In a word, yes. But what if you gave me 4 words? Lightweight. Compact. Ergonomic. Powerful. I might be able to stop writing a review of the Makita XDT09M Impact Driver kit right now with those four. When the folks at Makita told me they had packaged together the most torque in their most compact 18V impact driver, I smiled and nodded. When I actually got my hands on it to test and experience it…that’s when my eyes lit up. We also got to experience this driver at the Makita 100 year anniversary event in California where we did some additional comparative testing.

It’s impressive enough that Makita packed an 18V system inside this compact housing. What I’m really excited about is that they also got 1550 inch pounds of torque in the same package. Every manufacturer has their niche. Could we be seeing Makita start to focus on high performance in class leading compact housing? For now, let’s just answer the questions about build quality, features, and performance.

*Note: The Makita XDT09M is the model number for the kit, and the Makita XDT09Z refers to the bare tool

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Build Quality and Features

Two things struck me when I picked up the Makita XDT09Z for the first time. For starters, it’s incredibly lightweight. It’s just 3.3 pounds according to the specifications, and you’ll notice how light it is even with a 5.0 amp hour battery installed. If it didn’t have the 18V LXT battery pack attached to it, it could be mistaken for a 12V model. The other obvious characteristic is how compact it is. At 4-11/16″, it appears to be able to make it into some spaces that previously required a right angle impact driver.

Makita XDT09M Size Comparison

Here are the 18V Makita XDT09M and the Makita XDT08 LXT lithium-Ion brushless cordless impact drivers placed side by side.

The Makita XDT09M kit is my first experience with Makita’s QuickShift Mode. This is the feature that electronically downshifts when you near the end of your fastener driving to protect both the fastener head and bit. Unlike a drill/driver, the impact driver drops both speed and torque when it downshifts. To get into QuickShift mode, simply press the mode selection button through its 4 stages: Soft, Medium, Hard, and QuickShift.

Makita XDT09M Mode Change

When it comes to build quality, there’s not much to complain about. Rubber overmold in all the right places protect the driver and improve the ergonomic feel of the handle. Internally, Makita’s proprietary hammer and anvil impact mechanism use “the best raw materials with the highest quality heat hardening process” in order to provide higher power. I’m going to take their word on that one since I have no desire to take this apart and test that claim.

Makita XDT09M Profile

Ergonomically, the Makita XDT09Z is outstanding. The aforementioned rubber overmold makes the grip more comfortable. You really couldn’t ask for anything lighter in the 18V class for overhead work. Well, you could I suppose, but you won’t find one. The balance is going to be biased towards the battery. However, it doesn’t feel unnatural at all.

Makita XDT09M Additional Features

  • BL Brushless Motor: higher performance, longer run time
  • Extreme Protection Technology (XPT): increased dust and water resistance
  • 3 Stage Battery Gauge: on board the tool rather than the battery
  • Built in LED: illuminates dark work spaces
  • Star Protection Computer Controls: electronic protection against overload, over-discharge, and overheating

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Performance

Lightweight and compact is great, but if it won’t drive what you need it to, what’s the point? I had a variety of fastening jobs to perform around the shop. Most of the work was simple screws into wood that barely make the impact driver sweat. Simple, yes. But this was a great way to test out the QuickShift Mode.

Drill/driver users will want to note that QuickShift isn’t like a clutch. It doesn’t stop the fastener from being driven. Even after downshifting to mode 2, there’s still plenty of torque to overdrive a screw into wood or drywall. QuickShift electronically shifts from hard to medium modes to take some of the force off. I found this particularly helpful when assembling a miter saw stand for our Compact Miter Saw Shootout. One of the first things that happened while using a socket adapter was the popping off of a bolt head. Nuts. (I crack myself up sometimes) The silver lining of this failure was how little force the Makita XDT09M transferred to my hand and how easily it broke the bolt.

Makita XDT09M Miter Saw Stand Assembly

Anyway… I switched over to QuickShift mode and completed the stand with no further damage. The compact nature of the impact driver really made getting around some awkward spaces relatively easy. Thanks to the light weight, it was also easy to switch over to my left hand without feeling the typical sense of multiplied weight that comes from using your non-dominant hand.

Makita XDT09M Specifications

  • Model: XDT09M Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 3-Speed Impact Driver Kit
  • Power Source: 18V LXT Battery Pack
  • No Load Speeds: 0 – 1100, 0 – 2100, 0 – 3600 RPM
  • Impacts: 0 -1100, 0 – 2600, 0 – 3800 IPM
  • Maximum Torque: 1550 inch pounds
  • Length: 4-11/16″
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Price: $399.99
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Kit Includes: Impact driver, (2) 4.0 amp hour batteries, Rapid Optimum Charger, plastic case

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Parting Thoughts

Makita has a real winner with the Makita XDT09M Impact Driver with QuickShift mode. The combination of features, performance, and ergonomics is one of the best I’ve seen in the 18V/20V class. Jumping into any professional cordless line is always more costly thanks to the cost of batteries and charger. The Makita XDT09M kit runs $399.99 and comes with a pair of 4.0 amp hour batteries. However, if you’re already invested in the battery platform, the Makita XDT09Z is going to cost $189.99 to bring it into your arsenal.

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Simon
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Simon

Hello.
hmm, Makita complicating things with their naming-policy.
This high end model with the translucent cover should be the DTD170 in the rest of the world, right!?!
See: http://www.makitauk.com/products/cordless-tools/impact-drivers/all-cordless-impact-drivers/dtd170z-18v-impact-driver-bl-lxt.html

Seems very impressive..

One thing i wonder: is Quick-shift mode the same as Teks- or T-Mode found on many other (especially older) Makita Models??
The wording on the UK specs-site above seems to support that.
Would be good, because then I don’t have to buy the newest & hence most expensive Impacter just to get that mode!

Thanks and greetings over the pond from good ole Germany,
Simon

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John commented on Pro Tool Reviews:

The photo shows this impact driver used with a chromed socket which is incredibly dangerous with impact drivers and impact wrenches. Non impact rated sockets like that will shatter upon failure and the chromed finish leads to razer blade like shrapnel when that occurs. Even worse no gloves in case that does happen. Never ever use non impact rated sockets on these types of tools and wear proper safety equipment.

Kellie Sherwood on Facebook
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Can’t wait to buy an impact driver skin on the weekend .. so many things I can do with it, can’t wait

John
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John

The photo shows this impact driver used with a chromed socket which is incredibly dangerous with impact drivers and impact wrenches. Non impact rated sockets like that will shatter upon failure and the chromed finish leads to razer blade like shrapnel when that occurs. Even worse no gloves in case that does happen. Never ever use non impact rated sockets on these types of tools and wear proper safety equipment.