Let’s say you want to buy a new 18V cordless drill and impact driver combo kit this year. Well, your timing is great, because now’s the best time, or at least a good time to score some great deals. This new kit, Makita XT281S, looks to be the best “balanced choice” of all the Black Friday and Holiday deals I’ve seen so far.
Maybe you want an 18V cordless combo kit? Get this one. Just a drill and impact driver on a budget? This will be your best deal. Oh, you want something brushless? A drill and impact driver that will serve you well and for under $200? That’s where this deal discussion comes in.
With every non-brushless kit or combo kit I mention, the naysayers chime in that brushless is better. Well, it is better, but you also have to pay more. And usually, if someone is budgeting to spend more, they usually have a longer list of criteria to aid in their purchasing decision.
But, sometimes a user only wants a new cordless drill and impact driver, and something a little better than entry-priced. That’s where this post comes in.
Here I’ll be talking about Makita cordless combo kits. I am also fond of Dewalt, Milwaukee, and other brands, but if we’re talking about a budget that’s under $200, Makita’s picks are more compelling. Sure, we could expand this discussing to include options over $200, but at that point the decision isn’t just about drills and impact drivers.
So why this kit?
As you might know, there are plenty of 18V drill kits for $99 this time of year. There are also plenty of impact driver kits for the same price. You can buy a drill kit and an impact driver kit for $198, or sometimes a little bit less. But do you need two chargers and two kit bags?
This Makita kit, XT281S, bundles together the same brushless drill and impact driver as in their $99 special buy kits, along with (2) 3.0Ah batteries, a standard (but not “fast”) charger, and tool bag.
They’re good tools at fair pricing.
- Drill (XFD13)
- 440 in-lbs max torque
- 0-500/0-1900 RPM
- 6-5/8″ length
- Weighs 3.6 lbs with battery
- Impact Driver (XDT13)
- 1500 in-lbs max torque
- 0-3400 RPM
- 0-3600 IPM
- 5″ length
- Weighs 3.3 lbs with battery
Alternatively, you could spend less and get the Makita CT225R kit, which is $159 via Amazon. This kit has been a Black Friday deal for $149 in the past. It comes with a brushed motor drill and brushed impact driver, and their specs are actually decent and a little better even than what you get with the brushless kit discussed above. But, the tools are a little larger, and the batteries are lower capacity.
If you’re spending $159 for a drill and impact driver combo kit, you might as well spend $20 more to get brushless versions of the tools and higher capacity battery packs. Right? But I’ll leave it up to you.
See Also(Brushed Motor Kit via Amazon)
You might want to wait to see what kind of pricing Black Friday brings. I would bet that the brushless kit stays at $179, and the brushed motor tool kit dips down to $149 again.
As for the other Makita 18V cordless drill and impact driver combo kit to watch or consider this holiday season, let’s talk about their sub-compact brushless kit, CX200RB.
Makita’s 18V sub-compact brushless cordless power tools are popular, but are they right for you?
The tools in this kit are as small as “subcompact” implies, rivaling the size of some brands’ 12V-class power tools.
Here are some important specs:
- Drill (XFD11)
- 350 in-lbs max torque
- 0-500/0-1700 RPM
- 6-3/8″ long
- Weighs 2.8 lbs with compact battery
- Impact Driver (XDT15)
- 1240 in-lbs max torque
- 0-1300/0-3000 RPM (2 speeds)
- Assist mode to help eliminate cam-out and cross-threading
- 5-5/16″ long
- Weighs 2.6 lbs with compact battery
We’ve seen better promos in recent years. $199 for this kit is okay, but I’d hope for better, or for a bonus battery – something to make me feel better about the price. But, I suppose strong demand and good value for what you get explains why we don’t see aggressive pricing or discounting here.
Makita’s subcompact tools aren’t for everyone. Personally, I prefer good brushless 12V Max drills to their sub-compact, but only because I don’t like the ergonomics of the adjustable clutch.
The best part of these tools is that they’re compact and lightweight, but fully compatible with Makita’s 18V batteries. They do compromise on torque and speed, but you can’t have smaller motors and top specs.
For a lot of users, this kit provides all the drilling and driving performance they’ll need. But if this Makita subcompact combo is not yet on your wishlist, you might be better served by the “standard” brushless kit described above. That other brushless combo is a safer pick for anyone who doesn’t already know they want this subcompact kit instead.
Would you recommend a different brand or combo kit over these to someone who knows they want a “better” drill and impact driver combo kit?
I don’t think we’ll see better pricing on the brushless combo kit, but perhaps we’ll see better promos on the subcompact combo.