As I mentioned yesterday – Favorite Screwdriver and Impact Driver Bits? – I’ve been preparing for an upcoming head-to-head drill/driver test (and also a following impact driver test). In doing so, I picked up various power tool accessories, leading to a search for new bit holders to try out.
I know that Makita has been coming out with a new line of improved impact-rated screwdriver bits and accessories, called ImpactX, and came across them again when researching latest-generation bit holders.
Umm… why are there two somewhat similar Makita ImpactX bit holders at the same price? The 2-3/8″ bit holders I were looking at were described nearly identically, and were priced exactly the same.
So what’s the difference?
I reached out to Makita USA, and they cleared things right away (thanks!).
On the left, a one-piece bit holder. On the right, a two-piece one. The one-piece is described as being made from stainless steel, and the two-piece of a specially optimized form of S2 steel.
- Magnetic bit retention
- C-clip retains 1″ bits in holders
There are 2 major differences:
The one-piece is slightly heavier than the two-piece. This is barely noticeable in the shorter insert bits, but with the longer insert bit holders the weight difference is noticeable to some.
When talking about 2-3/8″ bit holders, the weight difference comes out to be ~0.01 lbs (0.1 lbs vs. 0.09 lbs).
But when talking about 12″ bit holders, the weight difference is more substantial – 0.55 lbs for the one-piece bit holder vs. 0.28 lbs for the two-piece.
The one-piece 12″ bit holder is about double the weight of the two-piece 12″ bit holder, weighing more than a quarter pound heavier. And since that quarter pound is spread along nearly a foot in front of your tool, it will likely have a very different feel to it.
You can see that there’s a lot more mass, even when comparing the 6″ bit holders.
More mass and thickness can be a good thing, potentially making longer bit holders stiffer and less prone to bending or wobbling.
Shape and Lines
The one-piece has smoother lines than the two-piece. Some users believe that, when working in tight spaces, the one-piece has softer edges and therefore is easier to maneuver around multiple obstructions or tight spaces.
I can definitely see that. If working in tight spaces, the two-piece bit holders, especially the longer ones, might snag wires or other obstructions. But the thinner shaft might also make it easier to reach slightly wider angles than could be achieved with the longer one-piece bit holders.
It comes down to user preference. Makita says that both are engineered to withstand the hardest-hitting impact drivers, with superior construction and fitment for full-contact fastening applications.
Looking good Makita, looking good.
Price: $4.97 for the 2-3/8″ sizes, more for longer ones. For the 12″ bit holders, the one-piece costs a little more than 10% more ($18 and change vs. $16 and change).
The one- and two-piece bit holders are available in 2-3/8″, 3″, 6″, and 12″ sizes.
Sizes and Model Numbers
I like the option of being able to choose. *Thumbs Up* to Makita for giving us both options. Maybe we’ll see a locking bit holder next?
Which would you prefer?
I think that I’d gravitate to the 1-piece when it comes to the smaller sizes, and for the larger sizes I’m not quite sure what my preference is.
I recently picked up some Milwaukee Shockwave bit holders for $4 each. I wouldn’t hesitate to try these at $5 for the 2-3/8″ size.