An impact wrench is a must-have addition to any garage full of tools. There is simply no other way to deliver such a high torque with such low effort from the user. Trying to use a regular socket wrench to perform at the capacity of an impact wrench only results in damage to the fasteners, the tool, and your hands, elbows, and shoulders. Moral of the story –an impact wrench will save you a lot of time and aggravation!
When it comes to impact wrenches, battery powered wrenches are becoming more and more popular these days due to increased battery storage capacity that is resulting in longer charge life, making these tools more convenient than their corded counterparts. A product that checks all the right boxes when it comes to battery powered impact wrench features is the Makita XCWT02MB 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Wrench. It is a powerful, compact tool from a quality manufacturer. Makita just celebrated its 100th year of providing reliable tools to the masses. They specialize in both residential and industrial tools with products that include drills, wrenches, saws, grinders, routers, planers, nailers, and more. Makita impact wrenches are arguably some of the most common impact wrenches found on professional job sites. With such high pedigree, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review the Makita 18V LXT, which is also proudly listed on our guide to choosing the best impact wrench.
Why is the Makita 18V such an appealing product? For starters, it is versatile enough for the weekend warrior or everyday construction worker. This little guy delivers an astounding 210 ft-lbs of max torque with its brushless motor. Being a ‘little guy’ in itself is a benefit with a head length of just 5-3/4” and weighing under four pounds including the battery as it makes for a wrench that is easy to position and maneuver. The lightweight nature of this tool reduces user fatigue during long wrenching sessions.
When it comes to batteries, they are one of the most important aspects when it comes to rating the quality of battery powered impact wrenches. Since removing rusted bolts and driving fasteners through hard materials is going to take a lot torque and energy, you want a long lasting battery so you don’t have to swap them out every other fastener. Similarly, you don’t have to buy and keep a bunch of spare charged batteries lying around just to keep the job moving. Two factors contribute to the Makita 18V battery life. First, there is a 3-speed power selection switch so that you can preserve battery life on less demanding jobs. In addition, the brushless motor is electronically controlled which allows for about a 50% longer battery run time which is enhanced by the lack of carbon brushes. Remaining battery life is indicated by a built in LED battery gauge which eliminated the guess work of determining whether it’s time to recharge the unit or not. It should be noted that the Makita LTV uses modern lithium-ion batteries, which have significantly more battery life than older generation impact wrenches.
Another neat feature that helps the Makita 18V improve job efficiency is a built-in LED light to help enhance the brightness of the work area. Regular users are split on whether an integrated light really helps but this impact driver includes an independent on/off switch so you can turn it off if necessary. The lightweight design makes operation comfortable as does the rubberized cushioned grip on the handle. The Makita 18V is sold in a package that includes a handy tool carrying bag and an extra battery. Also included is a battery charger that can reach full charge in about 40 minutes (which is why the second battery is handy.)
Many consumers are often worried about impact wrenches burning out because of their heavy workload responsibility and intense duty cycle. Makita has taken this into account with their internal build quality features. For example, a feature called Star Protection Computer Controls™ electronically protects against overloading, over dis-charging, and overheating. Makita has also earned a reputation of using high-quality raw materials in their products. The proprietary hammer and anvil impact mechanism on this driver are made using quality steel that has undergone a unique heat hardening process which helps boost fastening and driving capacity. Another Makita original feature is Extreme Protection Technology (XPT™) which makes the tool more resistant to environmental damage such as that from water, dust, grease, oil, and other unwanted debris. The result of all these features is an impact driver that is soundly built both inside and out. Overall fit and finish is top notch and is sure not to disappoint.
The price tag is always a consideration when choosing any tool. With impact wrenches especially, you should expect to pay more for increased quality because you want a product that performs and lasts. Buying a cheap wrench is a good way to end up spending more money to upgrade in the future, so it pays to get it right the first time. The Makita 18V LXT retails in the high 300 dollar range, which represents a significant investment. It should also be noted that the price includes two batteries, a carrying case, charger, and a 3-year tool and battery warranty which makes it a damn good deal. That said, due to the technology included in this wrench, it won’t become obsolete for many years to come unlike some of the other aging product offerings on the market. Overall the Makita 18V LXT is a quality product at a good price. We’d highly recommend it if you have the coin.
As far as where to buy, Amazon.com’s free shipping deal makes it the most competitive deal around that we have encountered (as is usually the case). They typically outpace local stores as well as the more major online tool houses so it’s a no-brainer!
All in all, it’s a great tool at a solid price. You can see more pictures, read more reviews, and see prices by clicking here!