There’s no question that impact drivers take the punishment out of driving big screws and lags. But, up until now, it’s been hard to manage all that torque when you need to install more delicate fasteners. Well, Makita’s new 18-volt LXT Li-Ion Impact Driver (Model BTD144) may change how we woodworkers think about impact drivers. This tool is both powerful and precise.
Makita has tamed this beast — which is capable of delivering a whopping 1,420 in.-lbs of torque — by providing a three-speed power selection switch. If you need to drive lag screws, simply set the tool to maximum power for full impact delivery. Want to assemble a cabinet carcase with a handful of #8s? Switch the driver to medium mode, and an internal clutch will limit the impact action to prevent overdriving and snapping screwheads. You can even use the driver for installing tiny screws by setting the clutch to the lightest mode. Each of the three power settings limits both no-load speeds and impacts per minute.
Aside from the power selection feature, the 18-volt LXT comes with a brushless motor, which extends the tool’s service life, makes the motor operate more efficiently and adds 20% more battery run time, according to Makita. It also shaves off a bit of weight and size — the driver weighs just 3.3 lbs with battery. Bits slip easily into the 1/4-in. hex chuck, and you can turn on an LED light under the head when working in dark spaces.
Makita’s new BTD 144 Impact Driver ($349) comes with two 18-volt batteries and a 30-minute charger. Or, you can buy the tool without the charger and batteries (Model BTD144Z) and power it with the 18-volt batteries from your other Makita Li-Ion tools.
If you’re in the market for an impact driver, Makita has woodworkers in mind here. Give this tool a closer look.