Makita has come out with a new 18V sub-compact cordless drill, model XFD11. There’s also a new sub-compact Makita brushless impact driver, XDT15, and combo kit CX200RB.
Over at the Home Depot product page, it describes how this is a new class of tool, characterized by offering the smaller size and lighter weight of lower voltage tools (presumably 12V), but with the “performance, power, and compatibility of 18V.”
In other words, Makita is saying that this is an 18V tool that feels like a 12V tool.
Upon looking at the specs, it looks like the new Makita sub-compact XFD11 drill performs like a 12V Max tool as well.
We’ve asked Makita USA for confirmation about the specs, but they have not yet gotten back to us.
- 350 in-lbs max torque
- 1/2″ chuck
- 6-3/8″ length
- Weighs 2.8 lbs with compact battery (not included)
- 0-500, 0-1700 RPM
- LED worklight
Price: $119 for theXFD11ZB bare tool, $229 for the CX200RB combo kit that includes the similarly classed sub-compact XDT15 impact driver. The bare tool impact driver, XDT15ZB, is also $119.
Compare(Makita 12V Brushless Drill)
These days, many compact 18V-class tools are small enough to where they’re nearly as small and lightweight as 12V-class tools.
Take the Milwaukee Surge hydraulic pulse driver and Hitachi triple anvil impact driver. On the brushless drills side of things, consider the Dewalt DCD791, which is slightly longer and heavier than this new Makita.
The largest part of these and other compact 18V tools rests in the battery pack area. You can shrink the handle, chuck, gearbox, and motor, but you can’t shrink that battery pack or the size of the connection zone.
To me it looks like Makita took their FD07R1 12V Max CXT brushless drill, slapped on a 1/2″ chuck, added some new circuitry, tweaked the battery connection, changed the housing and/or overmold slightly and ended up with a 12V Max-sized tool that can be powered by an 18V battery pack. The LED worklight looks to have been upgraded as well.
Here’s a look at the two drills:
One of the questions I asked Makita USA, and am still waiting for a response for, was if these tools would replace their white compact tools, often considered to be aimed at homeowners.
Why are these tools – the new drill and impact driver – black instead of teal?
I found it both interesting and concerning that this new sub-compact 18V drill is matched in peak torque by Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel model. The M12 Fuel brushless drill has been on the market for around 4 years now. It’s appreciably longer than the Makita XFD11 sub-compact 18V brushless drill, and 0.1 ounce heavier.
Another question is this: is 350 in-lbs enough power for a compact cordless drill?
The bare tool price isn’t too bad, but for around the same money or a little more, you can get a higher powered compact brushless drill or a premium brushless 12V-class offering.
Right now, you can get the Makita 12V Max CXT compact brushless 3/8″ drill in a kit for just $160.
While I love the idea of a compact and lightweight 18V drill, the on-paper specs give rise to hesitation.
What do you think? “YESSS I love how compact and lightweight this is!” or “I’ll keep my compact brushless or brushed motor 18V drill.”