We wrote about the Makita XPH012 18V hammer drill kit a couple of times now, most recently in our Best 18V Cordless Drill Kit under $100 roundup.
It’s a Makita compact cordless hammer drill that came out last year, and it makes its appearance every holiday season as a $99 kit offering.
A reader wrote in, asking for us to compare Makita’s $99 cordless drill kit with a Milwaukee offering. We compare it to more models in our $100 drill kit guide, but I think the Makita vs. Milwaukee comparison is a good one to get into since both will be very visible at your favorite retailers this holiday season.
The Milwaukee M18 drill kit, along with Bosch’s $99 offering and Dewalt’s, are mentioned in our Best Black Friday 2015 Cordless Drill Deals discussion. Perhaps I should add mention of the Makita hammer drill in there as well?
Gary wrote in:
Curious to hear what you think about the $99 Makita drill that Home Depot (and Amazon) is carrying vs, the Milwaukee 2606. From what I have read you really like the Milwaukee 2606.
I’m curious to hear what you would recommend between the two, any drawbacks to the Makita? I am not a contractor, just a homeowner looking for something solid that will last for years to come. From what you can tell is the Makita a stripped down version of the tool or is it the same as the Milwaukee in terms of it being the regular tool.
As far as I am aware, the Makita is a re-release of a “white” Makita 18V tool (XPH01RW). It looks identical, top to bottom, although maybe there are some internal differences. The specs are identical.
Makita’s white tools, which are bundled in kits with compact Li-ion batteries, are considered by some to be their “DIYer” and “consumer-grade” products. Maybe giving the XPH012 a teal-colored housing makes it look more like their professional tools?
Thus it’s not really a “stripped down” drill, and I don’t think it means much if this drill’s origins are tied to Makita’s compact “white” 18V tool line.
Standout features include the single 3Ah battery pack and fast 30 minute charger.
- 480 in-lbs max torque
- 2-speed gearbox (0-400, 0-1500 RPM)
- 1/2″ chuck
- LED worklight
Milwaukee M18 2606-21CT
I’ve mentioned Milwaukee’s 2606 drill kit deal a couple of times as well.
This M18 compact drill is said to be a little more powerful and faster than the Makita model, and it comes bundled with a single compact Li-ion battery pack. There’s also a 2-battery pack, but for more money.
This is Milwaukee’s “regular” brushed motor drill that’s bundled in a single-battery kit to achieve the lower price.
- 500 in-lbs max torque
- 2-speed gearbox (0-400, 0-1800 RPM)
- 1/2″ chuck
- LED worklight
Which to Buy?
If push comes to shove, weigh the benefits and tradeoffs of each.
Do you want a hammer drill function? Or the motor with the higher torque rating and faster RPMs?
Do you want to buy into Makita’s 18V lineup with a 3Ah battery pack, or Milwaukee’s M18 lineup with a compact Li-ion battery pack?
Do you want the more compact and lighter weight tool (Milwaukee)?
I have much more experience with Milwaukee’s M18 cordless power tool platform, but I have also had good experiences with the couple of Makita 18V tools I’ve used or tested.
There are good reasons to buy into either brand’s cordless tool platforms.
Honestly, I don’t think you could go wrong with either.
What do you guys think? Milwaukee M18 2606 or Makita 18V XPH012?