Glen wrote in with a tip about Makita’s new 18V XST01 (DTS141 overseas) cordless brushless oil pulse impact driver. Calling this an impact driver isn’t perfectly accurate, as the driver doesn’t have the same basic hammer and anvil driving mechanism design as other impacts. It’s more of an impulse driver, which is a name that could definitely grow on me.
Makita designed the XST01 oil pulse driver with a new “oil unit” that transmits fastener-tightening power with less noise and greater speed. The 18V driver also features a brushless motor for high efficiency and lower heat during operation.
In addition to being quieter, the new cordless oil impulse driver is also quite compact, with a head length of just 136mm (~5.35″). It also features three speed and power settings, including a special tightening mode for installing self-drilling screws. Right near the speed range control, there’s also an on-board LED battery fuel gauge.
- “Soft”: 0-1,000 RPM, 0-1,400 IPM
- “Medium”: 0-2,100 RPM, 0-2,200 IPM
- “Hard”: 0-2,700 RPM, 0-2,700 IPM
Makita engineers also managed to spruce up the on-board lighting. There’s an LED worklight with “afterglow” function that keeps it lit for 12-13 seconds after the trigger release. If you don’t like this feature, you could turn it off! This is the first time I’ve heard of such implementation. As if that wasn’t enough, the tool has a phosphorescent (glow in the dark) front bumper right behind the 1/4″ hex bit holder.
Maximum fastening torque is 40 NM, or about 355 in-lbs.
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Here’s a Makita promo video:
There are definitely some nice pluses about the new Makita cordless brushless oil impulse driver. It’s said to be much quieter than ordinary impact drivers, it’s compact and lightweight, it has multiple speed and power ranges, and it offers some nice LED worklight controls.
But there’s definitely a downside to the quieter oil impulse design – the tool offers a much lower torque-to-weight ratio than other traditionally styled impact drivers.
You might be wondering how a 355 in-lbs impact – er… impulse – driver can be used. While I am greatly intrigued by the design, I thought about how well the DTS141 would fare against a 12V-class cordless screwdriver with comparable torque, such as the Milwaukee M12 Fuel brushless screwdriver that can deliver up to 325 in-lbs of torque. But, looking at the M12’s top 1700 RPM speed, I’m now thinking that the Makita driver would perform significantly faster, especially in the higher torque range.
It’ll be interesting to see more details and chatter about the new oil pulse impact driver once it’s closer to launching.
This product is now available in the USA!
Thanks Glenn for the heads-up!
The older (brushed) unit was insanely expensive if i remember correctly. I can only imagine this one is similar?
Dominic van Lievenoogen
Very much a niche tool.
Only sold it once to the caretakers of a group of local old people’s homes.
They wanted an impact but without the noise. So this was the right tool for them. But still a very specialised tool for a specialized function
Ridgid’s drill and impact drivers (at least the 18V series) keep the LED lit for a period of time after releasing the trigger, but I don’t think you can disable that feature.
I would agree with the other comments. Seems like a very niche tool. Probably only useful in situations where noise is critical.
I can certainly see a use for this in some industries. I work in HVAC and our electricians and ourselves are driving screws frequently but irregularly. Max power is just not needed, precision control is more important.
Also there is the customer and their neighbours to take into account…we try our hardest to not inconvenience them with noise etc when doing an install so there would be some benefit here as well as not having down time grabbing the hearing protection every time you drive a few screws.
That said, Although our electricians use impact drivers, I personally just use an M12 angle drill as we just don’t need anything more powerful.
Dominic van Lievenoogen
Indeed. I do suppose that in a setting where the 40 newtons of torque are enough for your job that it’s a much more pleasant tool to work with noise wise then a normal impact driver.
I love my impact driver. It’s a brushless 3 speed, and for the most part, I use it more than anything else. It’s very loud, however, which has always been the one negative in general for impact drivers. So, when I read about a quiet impact… er pulse driver, I was very intrigued. Then I saw the torque specs. And they leave me wondering if this will be a quiet, but very underpowered driver, or if it will make good use of the smaller torque.
Niche market? Too expensive? Not powerful enough? Really? Many new technologies are unapproachably expensive and not totally practical. I think it’s awesome. Just like battery powered tools being underpowered or brush less motors being far to expensive those things may come if the technology is sound. I think it’s exciting to having a new drill that wouldnt make such a racket.
could be awesome for sparkies, or for laying decks in reckon. anyone who mainly uses phillips head or square drive screws.
If the mechanism works similar in effect to a dead blow, sort of smoothing out the force you could get a lot more mileage out of your bits and have a lot less mangled fasteners
“It’s more of an impulse driver, which is a name that could definitely grow on me.”
I could relate to that too…ahem, impulse buying…lol
Regarding the “oil-pulse-impact” technology, that is quite impressive. Aside from how well it may perform, I would still buy one for the innovation side of things…and for the fact that it supposedly is quieter.
I kind of mentioned something in the past that why do impact driver manufacturers are not focusing in making them quieter….I was thinking more on the lines of insulating the wall of an impact in trade of off 1/4” inch around and such…but they went ahead and re-invent the wheel sort to speak. Nice!
From the video I can see that there is still a hammer (two) that hit the anvils which i’m guessing use a spring or just centrifugal force to reset themselves….I like it but i’m a dewalt fan…lol
I’m wondering if it also has planetary gears in between…
This is the second impact driver with a focus on reduced noise. Hitachi has a 10.8 V impact with less noise WM10DBL http://www.hitachi-koki.co.jp/powertools/pro/drill/wm10dbl/wm10dbl.html
67 dbi. and 10 steps of torque control. It will shut off when reach the pre-set torque. Most of dust-free labs are assembled by brushless impact driver. I am not sure if it is also required less noise device while setup the labs or production line.
Stuart, I have heard that this is planned for a Dec 2015 launch in the US!
I’m my area there is a large hospital expansion going on and my makita rep said makita has been working closely with the workers. they have crazy noise and vibration regulations in the hospital and they are catering some products to these fields. Looks like this may be one such product.
One crazy restriction is absolutely no hammer drills.. all holes, even small anchor holes must be core bored using a rotary only drill
I got my Mikita 3 speeds brushless impactor 6 years ago.
I paid $350 for it. It came with 3 battery.
I am a cabinet maker by trade.
When I tell you this impactor has done a serious amount of work.
Both in the shop and in the field. (usually I would only get about a year and a half out of an impactor)And it’s sill going strong and out performing other impactors.
It’s got great power,drives screws fast. The variable speeds is great. The fact that you can turn off the light is fantastic. For certain applications. The battery indicator is very handy. only Mikita impactors had that feature at that time.
The battery lasts longer with brushless.
Both I will say the new Dewalt 20 volt lithiumion is very impressive now. And I really don’t like DeWalt products.
I think Mikita is falling asleep. My reason for saying that is as follows:
Number one I am a carpenter in NYC and I have to carry my tools with me. Which in turn means I take the subway a lot. Which means there is a lot of stairs. My toolbox weighs about 80 lbs.
2) mikita charger is too big.
3) their batteries are too heavy.
But I will say this is still a great impactor , and is still stronger than the Dewalt. Faster And the battery last longer. Even at its age, and all the work it has done.
Well worth the money.
Went to a small Tool Fair in the countryside of Japan. Reps from all the big makers. Pushing the next generation tools not available off the shelf at retailers to the general public. Ordered a Makita soft impact. Waited a week and it arrived.
The representatives warned that this gun was effective up to 13mm bolts. I accepted the downside and pulled the trigger. ~$250, gun only, no case (they suck), lots of batteries and chargers at the shop.
Turncoat. I’m a Hitachi guy.
So I’ve got my huge power hitachi in my set for heavy jobs. Now I have Makita soft impact.
The Makita rep said soft impact can’t do 17 mm nuts on local scaffolding. Wrong. Hitachi does it and makes a noise/vibration fatigue. Soft impact deletes the hammer banging a steel pipe. It’s wonderful.
Same issue fastening tapping screws into box aluminum deck framing. The noise is just gone.
It easily drives screws into concrete and untapped hardwoods. Silent, smooth and breaks bits/fasteners far less frequently. Operator fatigue reduced. Noise complaints reduced. My saw is louder.
Downside? There is a learning curve to how many blows before a fastener is set. So quiet and smooth, it’s easy to over-set.
Parked my hitachi impact into a bag under the shop bench. Makita Soft Impulse is now in my hard box, with all other tools that make money daily.
This machine is rare here in Japan. I’m an early adopter. I can say it’s so good that I shelved my “hammer”.
By the time it is available worldwide, it’s a sure bet.
I guess I need to order one.
As a cabinet maker I decided to try this driver. All I have to say is ITS WELL WORTH THE PRICE. Too many positives to list. Highly recommend
i love the rigid pulse driver.. I don’t want to use the other tools because of noise.
You feel a bit more torque in your hand, so I would not use it for driving alot of screws all day.. but for a small job its super pleasant to use. If you keep the rigid one on the lowest setting, and depress the trigger gently.. it will be slow but nearly silent.. you just hear a chug chug chug.
Mine got drywall dust in it and seized up, smoking like hell. Got it repaired for free (still under warranty), barely used it. Tries to undo a 2in wood screw, guess what, started smoking again. It’s best for small/quiet jobs. Unless the repair guy didn’t do the best job, but he said he replaced the motor. Dunno. I’d go with the bad ass Japan models, water/dust resistant and maaad power.