Makita USA has “teased” about the launch of another new brushless impact driver, model XDT16.
All they’re saying so far is that the new XDT16T will be powerful and compact with 4 speed settings and a range of fastening modes for category-leading performance.
(Makita tends to be very reticent when it comes to providing any details or answering questions about tools that they “tease” about before they’re “officially announced,” and so we’re not able to obtain any official details or specs. Meaning, consider all of the following details as unconfirmed.)
However, it looks like the Makita XDT16 is the USA or North American version of the Makita TD171 that launched overseas. The TD171, the successor to the TD170 that’s rebranded in the USA as the XDT12, looks to have quite the array of advance features.
First, there’s a new selector button, just above the trigger switch, which is describe as a “fast switching mode function.” (Remember, this is translated from Japanese and Chinese websites, so there might be some inaccuracies.)
The Makita TD171 measures 116mm long and weighs 1.5 kg (~3.3 lbs) with battery. It can deliver up to 180 Nm of torque (~1593 in-lbs), and is described as having eight impact modes.
Additional TD171 features include “bit wobbling reduction” – “Zero Wobbling” – attributed to a double ball bearing shaft design.
As shown in the image, there are two LEDs, on left and right sides, for shadow-eliminating illumination.
The impact and torque modes are described as including 4 special modes and “4 stage switching.”
4 Special Modes
- Wood mode: 0-1800rpm/0-3800ipm
- Bolt mode: 0-3600rpm/0-3800ipm
- Thin board: 0-2900rpm
- Thick plate: 0-3600rpm/0-2600ipm
4 Speed Modes
- Maximum: 0-3600rpm/0-3800ipm
- “Strong”: 0-3200rpm/0-3600ipm
- Medium: 0-2100rpm/0-2600ipm
- Low: 0-1100rpm/0-1100ipm
It also features “reverse self-stop technology.”
The international TD171 is shown with a 6.0Ah battery, and there are claims of a 40 minute recharge time.
In the USA, the XDT16 will be available in a 5.0Ah battery kit (XDT16T), and as a bare tool (XDT16Z).
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8 operating modes sounds interesting. It’s curious that the special modes change the speed and impact ratios, allowing for different impact characteristics. Normally, these ratios are linear in a multi-mode brushless impact driver.
Translated specs lists say that you can have up to 50% of max rotational speed but up to 100% of impact speed, with the “wood” mode. And for the “thick plate” mode, you have up to 100% of rotational speed, but up to ~68% of the max impact speed? I’d really like to know how that works.
The Makita XDT12 impact driver, their current flagship model, has 6 modes – 4 speed modes with relatively linear speed and impact speed ratios, ranging from low to high, plus 2 other modes – “assist” and “tightening.”
From Makita USA’s website, there looks to be 9 different impact drivers (or impact driver-like tools) that you can buy right now – XPT02, XDT131, XDT15, XDT14, XDT13, XDT12, XDT11, XDT111, XST01. I’m not counting the XDT11ZW, which looks to be a white version of the XDT11.
There’s no word as whether the XDT16 will be sold alongside the XDT12, or if it’s replacing it.
See Also: Hitachi Triple Hammer Impact Driver Review
Makita says that the new XDT16 brushless impact driver will be available in the winter. Hopefully they’ll be up for talking about it in detail, because there are a ton of questions and uncertainties, but a lot of things to be excited about.
“Zero Wobble” sounds like a bold but potentially game-changing claim. The addition of new modes is also interesting.
The TD171 (and likely also the XDT16) might also be the most compact impact driver on the market. If not, it comes extremely close.
The difference in length between this and the Milwaukee 2853 is so small that a determination cannot be made from on-paper specs, which are often rounded up or down slightly. Based on the specs available – 4.59″ for the Milwaukee, and 116 mm for the Makita, the span of “before rounding” values that are permissible for those numbers to still be true can lead to (4.585″ to 4.595″ for the Milwaukee, and 115.5 to 116.5 mm for the Makita), either model could be “most compact.” It’ll take a micrometer, or knowledge of Makita’s impact driver’s length in inches to 2 decimal places, to determine which tool is smaller. And by “smaller,” we’re talking about extremely small margins. For practical purposes, the two impacts could be considered as the very nearly the same length. Together they’re the most compact impact drivers of their kind.
Part of me wondered aloud “does Makita really need a 10th 18V impact driver on the market right now?” But then other voices shout “yes, look at what it brings to the table.”
We’ll keep you posted if or when we find out more.
Finally this is coming to the US. This was the driver that I was referring to when I commented in your Milwaukee impact driver review. Can’t wait to get my hands on this baby.
Does anybody else here dislike impact drivers? I really hate them as they are so freaking loud and they become so slow once the impact mechanism really starts to kick in that a normal drill beats them hands down in speed. I like their small size, but other than that really hate them. I would like to have a driver the size of an impact without an impact mechanism. Been looking at Makita 10,8v and 18v drivers with a hex chuck, I just wish DeWalt would make an 18v one.
Take a look at the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760. It uses a hydraulic power train and Milwaukee claims it’s 50% quieter than traditional impact drivers. I recently got one just for this reason, and while I haven’t used it a lot yet it is much quieter and so far I love it.
I don’t think I will look at it, as Milwaukee tools cost double the money or even more compared to other brands here in Finland and I don’t like the handle design on Milwaukee tools.
Maybe take a look at one of the Bosch 10.8V (they call them 12V in the USA) Screwdrivers. The Flexclick provides a lot of options – and has been offered at some good pricing from time to time.
Won’t take a look at Bosch either, their handles are horrible. I would really like to buy a drill with interchangeable chucks, and I could buy the flexiclick if they were to make it with slide-style batteries like Makita cxt and DeWalt 10,8v tools. I have heavily invested in the DeWalt 18v (20v max) platform, but I fear DeWalt will never bring one out.
That’s why, when asked about tools to recommend – I usually recommend that you put your hands on them – and try them out.
My wife thinks that my M12 tools are “bulky and chunky” – but they fit my big mitts just fine. She likes Bosch 12V better – but she has pretty big hands too. Its sort of like fitting shoes or boots – they need to fit well to feel good.
I agree the noise of impact drivers can be a nuisance at times, especially if you are framing with metal studs or working inside a confined space. That said, I would never use a non-impact driver of some sort on a job where I was driving screws or lags for any significant period of time. Not only do they drive the screws in faster, they are far less likely to cam out of a screw head. Biggest benefit to them is the amount of strain they put on the user. You feel almost zero torque in your hand/wrist/arm, where you would be fighting 100% of the drive torque of a drill driver. If you’re just driving a couple screws or you are working in your own shop at a leisurely pace then what drill you use comes down to what you want. Go to any construction site, if someone is driving screws into wood or metal they are using an impact driver(sheetrock and subfloor are the exception as they are driven with specialty drivers if the person doing the job is concerned actually making money) and I can assure you nobody would be using them if they were not a superior fastener driving tool.
I can’t speak on the cost of Milwaukee tools in Finland, as I don’t live there but I will assume what you said is true. As for the handle design, I have a Makita, Dewalt and Milwaukee sitting in front of me and the handles are almost identical in terms of dimensions with less than 1/8″ of difference between any two of them. Geometrically they are within 1 degree of each other in terms of grip angle to the center axis of their respective chucks. Only real difference of note is the contour of the triggers with the Milwaukee and Dewalt being almost identical with a rounded over radius, while the Makita has more squared off corners with a much tighter radius as well as having finger end of the trigger canted upward about 3 degrees compared to relatively squared orientation of the Dewalt and Milwaukee.
Makita makes a hydraulic type driver too.
Makita makes an oil impact driver as well. I just got one and it’s VERY nice to use. It’s so smooth and quiet I wasn’t sure it was even impacting at first.
Decibel measurement does NOT accurately reflect how loud traditional impact drivers are. Protecting my hearing was the #1 reason to buy it. The fact it’s so smooth and nice to use is just icing on the cake.
I love impact drivers! I work in a theater where we re use old 2×4 and 4×4’s all the time and they get incredibly hard over the years. Impact drivers have changed the game for me in our shop.
If the noise is a real issue why don’t you look at the Makita Oil Impulse driver or the Milwaukee Surge? Ridgid and Ryobi have their own versions as well but I’m not too sure of their capabilities.
I don’t have Makita nor Milwaukee batteries. The Makita oil driver 299 euros as a bare tool, and I don’t even want to know how much the Milwaukee one costs (Milwaukee tools cost a fortune here in Finland).
I was in Finland this summer – but did not look at any tools. I did buy a batch of chocolates to give as gifts from a Fazer Café near our hotel in Helsinki. I have to say that the recipients liked what I bought at Fazer better than what we bought in Riga at Laima – although none of the recipients said that either sort were not good.
Impacts drivers have their place. One that can be adjusted to match the fastener and application have the edge – but for fine control I still use my M12 2401-20
For driving bigger stuff – e.g. lags for landscape projects I’ve been using a M18 – 2765-22 that I both drill clearance holes with (7/16 hex shank auger bits) and drive lags with impact sockets – via a Proto 7/16 hex to 1/2 square adapter
Rami, I have the CXT brushless 1/4 hex diver and it is excellent for my needs. Its my go to drill for just about everything.
I also have the CXT impact driver but tend to only use it for heavier duty or repetitive tasks as its easier on my worn out old wrists.
Makita also make an 18v sub compact version that is the same size as the CXT. Try either in store, pretty sure you will like the feel, weight and size of them.
Metabo makes a cordless drill that runs around 4000rpm, no impact.
I bought the Makita 18volt oil in pulse impact. It has to be the best impact out there. Super super quite. Look it up.
This changes everything!
How could you overlook the greatest feature of this new model? Look at the dual LEDs!
I know it’s been a feature on other tools for years, and it’s one I have been very jealous of. The single LED always casts an annoying shadow.
I noticed that also. That’s why I love the three radial LEDs on my Dewalt impact drivers. Most manufacturers either place one somewhere between the trigger and the motor housing or down at the bottom by the battery. I’ve been waiting for an innovative solution for cordless drills to have a similar radial design. Although it is obviously more of a challenge.
Well… other brands have three, and even built-in diffuser rings.
I didn’t overlook it, I avoided it. I’ll add a mention in (sorry, I thought I had), but not commentary, since I can’t tell if it’s a pro or con that it has 2 LEDs. In the photos, the LEDs seem to stick out a bit to the sides.
It’s a pro. The LEDs are excellent on this unit.
hmm – well I’ll be intrigued to try one but
My Dewalt doesn’t have any bit wobble that I’ve noticed. and It puts out similar torque and has similar speeds. 3 selections. good lighting.
I don’t know I just don’t see much special here. Unless all of that is new for makita but I’d be surprised they make quality kit. So What’s new here?
Is it shorter?
It is considerably shorter than the DeWalt, has more power, and has nearly zero bit wobble. The DeWalt definitely has bit wobble, you are just used to it.
It does not have more power …1593 Makita …DeWalt 1860….finesse yes
I’m not a fan of impacts getting too complex, but I can see how it might be appealing for others. That’s a lot of modes.
I can’t stand the mode buttons on impacts. Often hard to press and you need to look at a small LED. It would be a nightmare cycling through 8 modes to finally get the one you want!
I’ve seen people criticize Dewalt for their old school mechanical switch, but I think this is by far the best way to switch modes on an impact. You can do it by feel without looking, and jump straight to the mode you want. I can’t imagine they could fit many modes in with this approach however.
Anyway, this new TD171 looks great! I used to own a TD170 and it was super high quality (made in Japan) with perfect ergonomics. I sold it because it was too fast/high RPM for my liking, and I just like trying new tools. I ended up replacing it with a Triple Hammer.
EDIT: Actually Metabo have the best approach with their wheel selector! I forgot about that on their new brushless impact.
The mechanical switch is way better than those last a month push buttons, Dewalt never go to those push buttons
Hilti …the best tools 4ever
Only vacuums and sds
I was in Oregon last week for work, I stopped to watch two guys hanging USG durorock w/ Hilti cordless screw guns…….I am seeing more and more Hilti screw guns on job sites.
I imported the td171 6 months ago. It’s the nicest impact I have ever used. I put it against the 3rd gen Milwaukee. The Milwaukee’s a little more powerful but more violent. The makita is silky smooth.
Is it made in Japan like the TD170? (the one I used to own was)
The 170 was the nicest I’ve used as well. Ergonomics and balance were perfect. The Hitachi Triple hammer is great too, it was hard to tell which was better when I briefly owned both. My answer would be it depends, they were each better in different ways.
Yes. Made in Japan. There is a considerable difference in the plastic molding’s accuracy that is kind of hard to not see now.
We’re commercial contractors and big Makita fans, although it’s a toss up between Milwaukee or Makita. Both platforms are great, Dewalt had lots of love but have noticed quality of their plastics is becoming poorer. Have never had a bad experience with Makita in 30+ yrs of work , except for 1 or 2 batteries inconveniently bricking.
Impacts have changed the workplace in the field in so many ways, improving multiple fastening situations.
If you’re running & gunning all day long, plugs are a necessity(or buds w/music), but really unnecessary during day to day operations.
Haven’t really been paying much attention as of late to any innovation in Impacts, so this actually excited me. Will purchase as soon as I get the chance to see what the hype’s all about.
Great Blog, thx for creating it!
I’ve had one of the TD171 from fleebayed from Japan since June. The button to control speed has four lights and it’s easy to tell what speed you’re at. The button to control modes also has four lights, but writing on the tool and in the manual is in Japanese, so I still don’t know which mode is which light.
What i DO know… it’s similar to the earlier 3-mode impact …. there’s “assist mode” which adjusts speed and torque automatically, used mostly for long screws. The mode for self-tapping screws is called “T-Mode”. Mode 3 is for “thicker metal”. The new fourth mode is for attaching nuts to machine screws?
What you’re missing is the switch above the trigger, where the light used to be…. that’s the memory switch, it allows you to go back and forth between your two favorite modes. But like I said, the manual is a mixture of kanji and kana, so i don’t know how to set the memory.
Now I’ll go look for that manual in english. But before I go, I hot, Hot, HOT! gossip. Get out your searchamatron, and look for the Charging Adapter, model ADP03.
I wish this sucker would hurry up and come out. I’m in the market for a new impact, and I want to see what happens to prices on the XDT12 when this one hits.
It’s sort of out, there are places taking orders for them, but they’re listed as temporarily out of stock.
Makita finally put up the webpage for it too.
Thanks for the update!
Here is a more detailed description (from New Zealand; that gets many of the Japanese models):