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Makita 18v Lithium Ion Cordless Drill Review

Eddie knows the importance of using the right tool for the job, in the garage or in the kitchen.

Powerful, dependable, and long-lasting—the Makita 18v Lithium-ion drill driver set

Powerful, dependable, and long-lasting—the Makita 18v Lithium-ion drill driver set

Makita 18v Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill Impact Driver Combination Set

Makita has always delivered a solid, reliable product. I still have my first Makita drill from 1984, and it still works; it just doesn't compare to the drills of today, so it was time to upgrade. I bought a Makita LCT300W 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-Piece Combo Kit, and wow, was I impressed. This drill is both lightweight and powerful.

The price of the kit was $300, which is very reasonable for a cordless drill combination set of this quality. If it lasts as long as my first drill, it's worth every penny. I had a good-sized project coming up, and my old drill just couldn't handle the job.

Having a cordless drill combination set increases productivity by 50% because you save time by not having to change bits constantly. I used both tools for the project. The batteries lasted longer than any other tool I have ever used, and the power and torque were very consistent. I figured I would have to charge the batteries at least once throughout the day, but the tools just continued to run.

The cordless drill has a led (light-emitting diode) light mounted under the drill chuck. This feature was very handy when it started to get dark, and light was limited. It also aided me when working under my porch in a low-light situation. This feature will also be great when working under a dash or in the trunk of a vehicle. The light is bright and completely lit the work area at the front of the drill.

Another nice feature of this drill is the flat-bottomed battery. This allows it to stand on a flat surface like a deck rail or windowsill should you need to place it down for a minute. The Makita 18v cordless drill and drill driver also has a clip built into the base of each unit, so if you're wearing a tool belt, you can easily clip it to your belt or your pants pocket. It's a nice feature when you're on a ladder with limited space.

Battery Charging

Another time-saving feature of the Makita 18v Lithium-ion cordless drill is the time it takes to charge the batteries. Depending on which battery you have, how long it takes to charge will vary. The compact 1.5Ah takes 15 minutes to charge but has a shorter run time, while the 3.0Ah is a 30 min charge but has an extended run time.

Having such a short charge time is great, but I chose to have a longer run time, and I expect the life of the batteries to be extended as well. In other words, you won't have to buy new batteries as often.

Choosing the Right Tool

Before investing in any tool, you need to determine how much you're going to use it and if you really need to spend the money buying the tool or should you rent it. I use my tools daily and like to buy reliable, long-lasting tools. Not only do I use this Makita 18v Lithium-ion cordless drill combination set at home, but I also use it at work. Being an automotive technician for over 25 years, I learned the importance of buying the right tool the first time.

When choosing any tool, you should always consider holding the tool in your hand to see if it feels comfortable or awkward. Some tools just don't fit your hand for whatever reason, or maybe it feels too heavy; that's why it's best to try it before you buy it.

Steer clear from buying cheap tools; tools are created to make the job easier and less time-consuming. If you're spending all your time fixing a tool or packing it up to return it to the store, it's all a waste of time, and time is money. Time IS money; it really is—if you don't believe me, why do people always say, "Don't waste my time"? Something to ponder.

Other thoughts to consider, can you add tools to this combination set? Like a radio, flashlight, saw, grinder, leaf blower . . . you get the point. If you buy a cheap tool at a bargain store, it may not last as long, and you're limited to the options of adding accessories, so choose wisely. I find it very helpful to go to the Home Depot and Lowes website and read the customers' reviews on the products I'm looking to buy. Customers usually give their honest opinion; you just need to wean out the people who don't know how to use tools in general.

I once read a customer review on a leaf blower; it said, "The tube keeps falling off the blower" I had the same model leaf blower; I knew you had to snap the tube into place in order for this to not happen. In fact, I read many reviews that said the same thing; I thought there was a real problem, then a customer wrote in his review, "I know a lot of people have a problem with the tube falling off; you just need to snap it into place." So just be cautious; not everyone is mechanically inclined—some are mechanically challenged, the scary part is, they don't even know it.

Almost every tool I have ever bought was based on a customer review, whether it was through conversation or an online search, the consumer knows best because they put the tool through the test of time. I owned the first Makita 9.6v cordless drill, and I still have it; the best part is you can still buy that drill today, new!

I would highly recommend that drill to anyone who has small projects around the house, it's a mini workhorse, and it will last forever, plus you can add other tools to that battery like a flashlight. The flashlight that works with that 9.6v battery is awesome and will blow away any 3d cell mag light.

Final Thoughts About Cordless Drills

Will the parts and accessories, like batteries, be around for a while? I had a DeWalt 12v cordless drill that didn't offer any accessories, and the batteries were hard to find after 5 years, just when you need them. Don't throw caution into the wind; set your sail so you know where you'll be in 5 years. The Makita 9.6v battery is still on the shelf at most hardware and tool supply stores; it was a great tool then and is still a good tool now.

Why My Review Counts

After working in the automotive field for over 25 years, I know the pain of buying substandard tools and having to pay twice because the first tool didn't hold up to the punishment I put it through. I have also worked with people who repeatedly bought inferior tools and never learned from their mistakes. Tools are designed to make any job easier, but purchasing the wrong tools can initiate buyer's remorse.

The review here is a personal review of the said tools; I use customer reviews myself to base my opinion on whether I should purchase a specific tool or not. I find customer reviews honest and true for the most part, and if you do your due diligence like me, you should minimize the times you get burnt.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 03, 2011:

I love Makita power tools, I still have the first drill but it's getting tired, I think I'm going to give it to my son so he can finally put it to rest. Lol . The new lithium ion battery is awesome, the charger has a cooling fan built in so the battery is room temp imediately after charging, nice feature!

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on September 02, 2011:

Like you, as an electrician I use a cordless set constantly on the job. Also like you I started with a 9.6 Makita, but it is long gone, having died a horrible, smoky death. Too many 1"+ holes through steel, I guess! LOL

My current set is a Rigid 24 volt lithium and I hate it. Heavy, the batteries quit all the time from heavy use and the drill chuck bearings are failing after a year. Who knows - maybe a Makita drill kit is in the future?