Drilling rough surfaces is a strain on your hand and wrist as you attempt to counter force the torque. With the right impact driver, fastening screws, nuts, and lag bolts is a snap. This power tool uses a hammering action which delivers a downward, rotational force, making easy work of drilling into hard surfaces. It’s also rather power-efficient compared to electric screwdrivers that don’t provide the type of force that impact drivers do.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two of Makita’s cordless impact driver models – the XDT111 and the XDT131. A lot of good has been said about Makita’s selection of power tools in general, and we find that purchasing from a high-quality brand like Makita has very little downsides. However, there might be a little bit of confusion concerning what the XDT111 and the XDT131 have to offer and their differences. Without further ado, let’s compare and contrast.
Brushed vs Brushless Motors
There are two motor types for people to choose from – brushed motors and brushless motors. The XDT111 features a 4-pole, 4-brush motor system which is designed to increase RPM by 26% without sacrificing torque.
In a nutshell, the main difference between brushed and brushless motors is the heat output after constant use. The XDT131 features a brushless motor design which consumes roughly 50% less energy than its counterpart with a brushed motor. This basically means you get more usage out of the impact driver per single charge.
We predict that brushless motors are going to become the norm in the near future. In this case, we prefer the XDT131’s brushless design since it produces less heat which results in prolonged battery life and tool life.
In this section, we’re going to take a look at total RPM, IPM, and torque. The XDT111 with its variable speed delivers up to 2,900 RPM, 3,500 IMP, and 1,460-inch-pounds of torque. We find that for an entry-level, budget-friendly impact driver, these specs are pretty impressive, though we think they could be a tad bit better.
The XDT131’s motor with variable speed delivers up to 3,400 RPM, 3,600 IPM, and 1,500-inch-pounds of torque, which are considerably more impressive than the XDT111, especially since these are two comparable products, price-wise.
The XDT131 is the clear winner here. Both impact drivers are within the 18V and 3.0 amp realm, but the XDT131 offers much more impressive performance specs. There’s nothing wrong with the XDT111 in this regard, but if you need to complete more heavy-duty tasks, the XDT131 would be the better choice between the two.
The length of the unit from nose to backend is important, especially when needing to complete tasks in small areas or at awkward angles. The XDT111 measures at 5-3/8 inches from front to back, making it a compact choice for fastening and drilling applications.
On the other hand, the XDT131 measures 5 inches from chuck to end. In all fairness, the 3/8-inch reduction is hardly noticeable, and this isn’t exactly a significant difference, but the more compact-oriented purchasers out there would definitely prefer the XDT131 over the XDT111.
We’ll leave this up to you. We personally don’t mind the size difference between the two, and it’s not a huge determinant in swaying our decision to purchase one over the other.
Li-Ion Battery Charger
Both of these cordless impact driver models use external chargers to refuel their 18V rechargeable batteries. The XDT111 comes with a DC18RC charger which takes roughly 60 minutes to charge an empty battery to max capacity. You can expect between 30 and 45 minutes of use per single charge.
There is an obvious difference between these two units’ chargers. This kit includes a DC18SD-X charger which is much more powerful and quicker than the one included with the XDT111. It only takes about 30 minutes to fully recharge an empty battery, and operators can use this impact driver for between 30 and 45 minutes per full charge.
The XDT131 wins again – the 30-minute charge time is incredible, especially since you’re getting about the same or even more time out of the battery per full charge. In the end, this results in reduced downtime and increased productivity. However, if you purchase the XDT111, you can enjoy the same quick-charge if you purchase the battery charger (sold separately from the XDT111).
Extreme Protective Technology (XPT)
The XPT tag is a Makita-made certification for a number of their products. Essentially, any of their products featuring the XPT sticker/badge/tag passes the company’s standards of water resistance and dust resistance to protect the tool’s internal hardware. The XDT111 features the tag.
The XDT131, on the other hand, doesn’t. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the impact driver will rust or break when exposed to harsh weather conditions or heavy sawdust showers, but there’s just no guarantee from the company that it’ll withstand the same conditions as XPT-certified products will.
The XDT111 wins this match, solely based on the fact that the XDT131 doesn’t come with the XPT badge. This is quite unfortunate since the tool in every other regard is superior to the XDT111.
Makita XDT111 vs XDT131: Bottom Line
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the differences between the XDT111 and the XDT131 are hardly noticeable. For instance, the similar lengths, the same ¼-inch chuck sizes, the same 3.3-pound weight, and the minute differences in RPM, IPM, and torque. However, the significant differences between the two impact drivers are worlds apart.
First of all, the XDT131’s brushless motor with reduced heat production, extended battery life, and prolonged longevity makes the XDT131 a much better investment for the long-term compared to the XDT111. In addition, the quicker charger that comes with the XDT131 means a significant reduction in downtime and an increase in overall productivity. However, the same charger can be used in the XDT111’s 18V battery since the two models utilize the exact-same battery model.
To sum up, the two 18V LXT Series impact drivers are similar in many regards, but the improved performance, battery power, and brushless motor put the Makita XDT131 streets ahead of the Makita XDT111.
3 Recommended Impact Drivers
- INCREASED VISIBILITY: Has built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Compact (5.55 in. front to back)and lightweight (2.8 lbs) design fits into tight areas
- ONE HANDED BIT LOADING: Has a 1/4 in. hex chuck and accepts 1 in. bit tips. No load speed: 0 2,800
- High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
- Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
- Compact & Lightweight for ease of use
- Dewalt built Brushless Motor, Compact, Lightweight Design for tight spaces
- Variable speed trigger, no load speed 0 to 1000, 2800, 3250
- 3 speed settings for versatility with Precision Drive for added Control