I am fascinated by professional power tool brands’ holiday season 18V cordless drill promos. Things change a little different every year, and I’ve found that the promo models and pricing can shed some light on industry trends and progressions.
Last year, Makita came out with a $99 brushless drill kit with 3.0Ah battery, and I bought one. I also then bought one for Ben, which he reviewed here.
Over at Amazon and Tool Nut, two new Makita drill kits just popped up – a brushless drill kit, and a brushless hammer drill kit.
Now, it’s not unusual for cordless power tools to be kitted with a single battery, but it is unusual for cordless drills.
The new Makita XFD131 drill/driver and Makita XPH131 brushless drill/driver are completely different, aesthetically, than last year’s $99 promo drill kit. Things appear to be a little different internally as well.
Last year’s model had a 0-400/0-1550 RPM 2-speed gearbox and 530 in-lbs max speed. This year’s XFD131 and XPH131 drills have a 0-500/0-1900 RPM 2-speed gearbox and 440 in-lbs max speed.
I’d guess that perhaps the same motor is used, or at least a very similar one, but with different gearing to trade some torque for higher speeds.
Aesthetically, everything is different – the chuck grip, clutch dial, vent hole placements, LED light, and there’s no battery gauge on the base of the new drill (which is okay seeing as how they added built-in fuel gauges to most batteries 3 years ago).
Interestingly, the new models sport “131” model numbers, similar to the XDT131 budget brushless impact driver that came out last year.
I’m thinking these will be promo-priced kits, but there’s also a slight possibility that they’re simply new compact drill/driver models. Given the way the tool kits are configured with a single 3.0Ah Li-ion battery pack, and the timing of the release, the greatest likelihood is that these will be holiday promos.
Dewalt’s DCD777C2 budget brushless drill kit came out 2 years ago, and just before Father’s Day 2018, Dewalt came out with a DCD778L1 brushless hammer drill kit with compact high capacity battery.
There were many other promo drill kit deals last year, including a $99 brushless Milwaukee deal.