Drill Buying Guide. Best Makita Drills in 2024

Last updated: February 8, 2024

Have you ever looked at the vast number of drill types and styles available on the market and wondered what they are all for – do you even need that many different types of drill?!

This guide will help you identify the main differences in the range of drills available on toolden.co.uk and buy the best drill in your next purchase.

Corded vs Cordless Drills

Most drills fall into two categories: Corded or Cordless. The main difference between these two drills is their convenience and power. Corded Drills are usually lighter as there is no heavy battery pack. However, a Cordless Drill offers better mobility, and you can use it anywhere you want without dragging an extension cable with you. Because of their built-in battery technology, cordless power tools are usually more expensive than their corded equivalent.

Corded Drills typically have a power range of 450 watts to 1500 watts. The amount of power you need depends on the job’s demands. Drilling into masonry is much more power-intensive than drilling plasterboard, for example. If you use your drill for masonry, you need a higher wattage.

Cordless drill power is rated in Voltages, usually from 12V to 20V. As with Corded Drills, the higher the power rating, the more capable the drill is in undertaking demanding jobs. Like all battery-powered devices, your Cordless Drill will need recharging. It’s often a good idea to have more than one battery per drill to minimise downtime. 

Brushless vs Brushed Motor

Brush;ess vs Brushed Motor

You have probably encountered a lot of cordless power tools with brushless motors on the market, but do you actually know the difference between a brushed and brushless motor?

Before we can discuss the difference between brushed and brushless motors, we should first understand how a DC motor works. A DC motor uses oppositely charged magnets that are attracted to each other. The main idea behind a DC motor’s structure is to keep the opposite charge of the rotating piece (the rotor), attracting the non-moving magnets (the stator) in front of it, so there’s a constant pull forward.

A  brushed motor has four basic parts: permanent magnets, armature, commutator rings, and of course – brushes.

The permanent magnets are positioned on the outside of the mechanism, and they are static. This makes up the stator of the motor. One of the magnets is positively charged, and the other one is negatively charged, creating a permanent magnetic field. The armature is a coil (or coils) that becomes electromagnets when power is applied. They make up the motor part that spins, e.g. the rotor. The commutator rings are attached to the armature coil, and they rotate with the armature. Then, we have the carbon brushes that stay in place and deliver an electrical charge to each commutator piece.

Brushless motors do not have a commutator and brushes, but they have an electric controller instead. In the brushless motor configuration, the permanent magnets act as a rotor and rotate around on the inside. At the same time, the stator comprises fixed electromagnetic coils, now positioned on the outside. The controller powers each coil to the charge it needs to attract the permanent magnet. 

The main advantage of using a brushless motor is low overall maintenance cost due to the lack of brushes. The brushes in a brushed motor get worn down after a while, and they need to be replaced with new ones. Brushless motors are also highly efficient and have a high output power-to-size ratio.

On the other side, Brushed motors are better in an extreme operating environment and their controller is simpler and less expensive than the electric controller of brushless motors. 

Drill Types

Depending on the type of material you want to drill into, your drill needs a specific function and technical specifications. To drill small holes in wood and plasterboard, a Drill Driver might be ideal. But if you need to drill into masonry or stonework, you will probably require something with more power and a hammer action function.

Combi Drill

Combi Drill

Most combi drills have hammer settings that give the drill both an impact force and rotational force, allowing you to drill into concrete and masonry. However, if you are using your combi drill for masonry work, you need to ensure that you use specific masonry drill bits with a diamond or carbide tip. Furthermore, a slower speed setting must be used as a higher torque is required in masonry drilling. Higher drill speeds should be used when drilling into wood or metal.

Drilling into dense materials like stonework will also use much more energy from your drill, and you may notice a Cordless Drill with a lower power rating runs out of charge faster with jobs like this.

Drill Driver

Drill Driver

Drill Drivers are the perfect solution for small DIY jobs at home. They not only drill holes into wood and metal but also act as drivers, which means that they can loosen or tighten screws. Usually, Drill Drivers are much more compact and lightweight than their more powerful counterparts.

Power screwdrivers

Power Screwdriver

Cordless screwdrivers are light and perfect for tightening loose screws in confined spaces around the house and can make assembling flat-pack furniture a breeze. These handy little power tools are more convenient and lighter than drill drivers. Forward and reverse settings make these tools easy to use, but they lack the power to drill holes.

Impact Driver

Impact Driver

An impact driver is mostly a heavy-duty screwdriver for repetitive or more extensive screwdriver projects. An impact mechanism helps reduce the impact on your wrist by doing most of the hard work for you. Impact drivers are perfect for tightening bolt heads and nuts and drilling into metal due to their high torque capacity. Furthermore, they are slightly more compact and lightweight than a drill driver.              

Impact Wrench

Impact Wrench

The Impact Wrench could be considered a big brother to the Impact Driver. Usually larger and more powerful, an Impact Wrench also comes with a 1/2” Square Drive instead of a chuck that can fit drill and driver bits. Impact Wrenches deliver enormous torque to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts. You’ll often find an impact wrench in mechanical environments as they are perfect for automotive applications.

Hammer Drill

Hammer Drill

This type of drill is mainly used with a masonry bit and can make light work of drilling concrete, stone, and brickwork. A hammer drill is equipped with a forward and backward movement of the drill bit and the usual rotational movement, which makes it excellent for masonry drilling.

SDS Drill

SDS Drills operate similarly to Hammer Drills but with a more complex mechanism designed to apply maximum force in a hammering action. They use special ‘slotted’ bits pushed back and forth by a piston inside the drill. They can also be used in a ‘hammer only’ mode with chisel bits for heavy-duty masonry purposes. SDS Drills are usually larger and much heavier than other drills. SDS, SDS+ and SDS Max Drills all use different fittings and are not interchangeable. Some SDS-style drills can use adapters or changeable chucks to allow them to use regular drill bits.

Makita Drills Background

Makita is one of the leading manufacturers of electric power tools globally. It is a tool brand developed and tested to the highest standards. Hence, it is no surprise that their signature blue and black drills are popular on construction sites and workshops worldwide.

The company was founded in 1915 in Japan under the name “Makita Denski Seisakusho. ” Initially, its business activities mainly concerned selling and repairing electric power tools; however, in 1958, it began manufacturing them. Twenty years later, in 1978, Makita introduced its first cordless power tool, the 7.2V Cordless Drill. Following this, the company initiated mass production, expanded its factory operations worldwide, and became one of the largest power tool suppliers and an industry leader in innovative power tool technology.

Some of the significant changes that their power tools have undergone include improved motor technologies, better ergonomics, more compact sizes, and a shift from NiCad batteries to Lithium-ion. This allowed their consumers to enjoy a low-maintenance battery that can tolerate a broader range of temperatures. Furthermore, Lithium-ion batteries are smaller and can be stored for months without losing charge.

Best Makita Cordless Drills in 2024

Makita DHP486Z 18V LXT Brushless Combi Drill

Makita DHP481Z 18V LXT Brushless Combi Hammer Drill (Body Only)

The Makita DHP486Z is a robust and adaptable tool designed for various tasks. Its compact size, measuring only 178mm, makes it ideal for tight workspaces. The brushless motor delivers a powerful peak torque of 130Nm, while the durable aluminum gear housing ensures longevity. With a mechanical 2-speed gearbox and all-metal construction, this drill provides reliable performance. The single-sleeve keyless chuck allows easy bit changes with one hand, and features like the electric brake, variable speed control, and forward/reverse rotation enhance control. Additionally, the ergonomic handle, LED job light, belt clip, and XPT (Extreme Protection Technology) make the Makita DHP486Z a top choice for drilling and driving tasks.

Makita DTD152Z LXT 18V Cordless Impact Driver

Makita DTD152Z 18V LXT Impact Driver (Body Only)

The Makita DTD152Z 18v LXT Impact Driver Body Only is Makita’s most recognised impact driver. Built onto Makita’s Li-Ion battery platform, the DTD152 is a lightweight and compact driver designed with the user in mind. It offers forward/reverse rotation, Twin LED work lights for improved accuracy and a one-touch bit installation method. This is packed into an impact driver as small as 137mm in length. As it’s so light and compact, it’ll fit in as an extra for any tool bag and if not, attach it to your hip with the belt clip! It is our most popular standalone product and is an essential tool kit.

See in action!

Makita DHP458Z 18V Combi Drill

Makita DHP458Z 18V Cordless Combi Drill (Body Only)

The Makita DHP458 cordless combi drill/driver is an extremely compact tool with an overall length of 225mm, the shortest in its class, with high power and productivity achieved with a new DC motor (FD31-30). The DHP458 has enhanced dust and drip-proof performance to ensure reliable operation. With significantly more power, drilling capabilities, increased robustness and added extras such as a depth stop and side handle, the DHP458Z is an all-around winner if you’re looking for the perfect combi to add to your collection.

Makita DDF484Z 18V Drill Driver

Makita DDF484Z 18V Drill Driver (Body Only)

The Makita DDF484 is a Cordless driver drill powered by an 18V Li-ion battery and developed based on the model DDF480. Improvements include a speed increase from 1550rpm to 2000rpm. This small machine with an overall length of 182mm is at ease in tight spots and features a single sleeve keyless chuck for easy bit installation and removal using one hand. Moreover, 2 speeds and 21 torque settings add to the tool’s versatility. The capacity of the drill chuck is 1.3 – 13mm or 1/16 – 1/2 inch.

See in action!

Makita DHP482Z 18V LXT Combi Drill 2 Speed

Makita DHP482Z LXT 18V Cordless Combi Drill (Body Only)

The Makita DHP482 18V LXT Combi Drill is a mid-level drill from Makita. It is great for DIY use and can cope with on-site use. It has a built-in electric brake, 2-speed control triggers, and twin LED work lights to help see in low light. It is powered by Makita’s Li-Ion battery platform.


Which Makita drill is best for heavy-duty applications?

The best Makita drill for heavy-duty applications is the Makita DHP481Z 18V Brushless Combi Drill. It features a brushless motor for increased efficiency and longer battery life. With its high torque output, dual-speed settings, and robust construction, this combi drill is well-regarded for handling demanding tasks in construction and professional settings.

What is the difference between Makita’s 18V and 12V drill models?

The main difference between Makita’s 18V and 12V drill models lies in their power and intended applications. Makita’s 18V drills are generally more powerful and suitable for heavy-duty tasks, making them preferred for professional use and demanding applications. On the other hand, 12V drills are typically more compact and lightweight, making them suitable for lighter tasks and ideal for DIY enthusiasts or those who prioritize portability and manoeuvrability. The choice between 18V and 12V depends on the user’s specific needs and the nature of the tasks they intend to perform.

Are Makita drills suitable for DIY projects or primarily for professional use?

Makita drills are suitable for both DIY projects and professional use. Makita offers a wide range of drills with varying power levels, features, and sizes, catering to the needs of DIY enthusiasts as well as professional contractors. Whether it’s a compact 12V drill for home projects or a robust 18V model for heavy-duty construction work, Makita provides options that suit a diverse range of users and applications.

If you have any additional queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at 01358 726719 or by email at