DEWALT vs. Makita: Impact Driver Comparison

Back in the day, impact drivers were considered a specialty tool that only the most hardcore construction workers and mechanics would ever need, and it had the price tag to match this sentiment. But with an increase in manufacturers, prices have dropped, and they’ve become a staple part in any DIY collection of power tools.

Makita XDT131 18V LXT

Today, we’d like to pit the DEWALT DCF887D2 head-to-head against the Makita XDT131. Both of these impact driver kits have been well-received by their audiences, but is it possible to objectively determine which of the two is the better toolYes, it’s possible. Keep reading to find out whether you would benefit more from the DEWALT or the Makita.

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Brushless Motor

DEWALT and Makita
Of the two types of motors installed in impact drivers – brushless and brushed – brushless motors are by far the better, more efficient type. They dissipate heat much quicker than their brushed counterparts, and they use less power to run. You may not need the added efficiency of a brushless driver unless you use the impact driver regularly and for long periods at a time. Both the DEWALT and Makita come installed with their respective manufacturer’s proprietary brushless technology.

Battery Size

Many people mistake a larger battery for more power when it truth it simply means holding a larger charge for extended work periods. The DEWALT uses a 20V rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack that provides roughly 30 minutes of work. Better yet is the quick-charger which can refill an empty pack to full capacity in just about 30 minutes. But the best thing of all is that this kit comes with two 20V rechargeable battery packs!

DEWALT DCF887D2 20V Driver Kit

The Makira uses a tinier 18V rechargeable battery pack, but the efficiency of the brushless motor allows the battery to power the tool for just under 30 minutes. Like the DEWALT, the included quick-charger recharges an empty battery capacity in 30 minutes.

Conclusion: Both of these impact drivers’ batteries can deliver just about 30 minutes of power after 30 minutes of charging. With this in mind, we can conclude that the DEWALT’s charger is more efficient than the Makita’s, but the Makita’s motor makes better use out of an 18V charge than the DEWALT’’s. Either way, you should be happy with what you get. If you get the Makita, consider purchasing an additional battery pack to reduce downtime.

Max Torque

The main difference between impact drivers and power drills is the amount of torque it delivers. Torque is needed to break seized nuts and bolts as well as drive long screws through dense materials like wood, plastic, and even mortar. The DEWALT delivers a maximum 1,825 inch-pounds of torque which should be more than enough for DIY home renovation and car maintenance jobs.

The Makita, on the other hand, has a more limited range of torque delivery. At most, it delivers 1,500 inch-pounds which, for the most part, is not an issue at all. In most cases, when building or deconstructing furniture, you won’t need more than 1,000 inch-pounds of torque anyway.

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Impact Driver Kit Review

Conclusion:Technically, the DEWALT’s higher maximum torque delivery is “better” than that of the Makita. Realistically speaking, you probably won’t even know the difference. In most settings, the Makita will be able to whatever the DEWALT can do. Unless your goal is to deconstruct a semi-trailer truck, then neither of these tools is for you (you’re looking for an impact wrench).


DEWALT and Makita
The way an impact driver can exert thousands of inch-pounds of torque is a built-in hammer hits an anvil within the tool. The hammer delivers thousands of blows per minute, creating a tremendous amount of rotational force for effectively driving screws into dense materials. Generally speaking, the higher the IPM (impacts per minute) rating, the more effective the impact driver. Both of these tools deliver up to 3,600 IPM on their highest speed setting.

Variable Speed

Variable speed is of grave importance when using an impact driver. You never want to exert the highest amount of torque when driving screws since there will be a greater likelihood of stripping the head. The DEWALT uses a 3-speed motor that produces anywhere from 0 to 3,250 RPM at varying levels of torque and IPM output.

DEWALT DCF887D2 20V Driver Kit Review

In terms of speed, there isn’t much to compare between the two impact drivers. The Makita has a variable speed feature that lets you control how much speed (0 to 3,600 RPM), IPM, and torque output to exert.

Conclusion:A 350-RPM difference is hardly worth mentioning. After all, the most important things in an impact driver are how much torque and how many IPMs it delivers. In reality, you will most likely never want to exceed 2,000 RPM since you run the risk of stripping the screw head.

Chuck Size

DEWALT and Makita
The size of the chuck correlates with the size of the motor. Typically, a larger motor can support a wider chuck which can be used for heavier-duty projects. Both the DEWALT and Makita use the smallest size available – ¼-inch hex chucks – making them suitable for light- to medium-duty projects at best. For DIY home renovation, furniture building, and light car touch-ups, a ¼-inch chuck is all you’ll need.

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit

Included Carrying Case

We’re glad to report that both of these tool kits come with their carrying case. The DEWALT kit comes in a hard-sided case made of durable plastic with built-in compartments for the impact driver, both batteries, and the charger. Everything fits snuggly in their appropriate storage compartments.

As for the Makita, you get a traditional carrying case made of a durable fabric. It’s not the most reliable carrying case, especially if you’re traveling with the tool on bumpy roads. You may want to opt for your hard-sided case to keep the charger and battery from bashing into each other during transport.

Conclusion:There’s nothing to complain about here. They both come with their cases for taking the tool, battery, and charger with you wherever you go. However, we much prefer the DEWALT’s style of case over the Makita’s fabric tool bag, but that’s just our two cents.

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Impact Driver Kit

DEWALT vs. Makita – Which is the better Impact Driver kit?

In terms of performance, the differences are minute. Their torque output and IPM ratings are practically identical, and there’s no one job where one tool would outclass the other by a significant amount. That being said, we think the DEWALT is the better, more user-friendly kit for first-time impact driver buyers for two reasons: first, it comes with two batteries that essentially eliminate downtime, and second, the hard-sided carrying case which keeps everything nice and safe.


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