The race for the toughest cordless drills and Impact drivers has been stiff since the 1960s and the improvement of tool power across all major brands makes the choice of one perfect kit very difficult. Most companies are now selling combo kits making a complete package that can handle any drilling or driving tasks on-site or at home. Milwaukee, Hitachi, and Makita jointly provide the largest range of drill/drive power tools in the market with nearly identical features which is why even professionals find it hard to settle on one particular brand.
It is always smart to stick with one brand though because you can interchange chucks and batteries between the same brand tools. The choice of the best combo kit involves matching torque and speed to the material you plan to work on and thorough market research is a very important task which is where we come in. We did research with a team of DIYers, construction experts, and woodworkers with over 10 years of experience to create this comparison allowing you to make your own informed decision.
Table of Contents:
- Overview of Makita tools
- Overview of Hitachi tools
- Overview of Milwaukee Tools
- Top Milwaukee, Makita, and Hitachi Combo Kit Review
- Head to Head Comparison of Makita, Hitachi and Milwaukee combo kit tools
- Our opinion
Overview of Makita tools
Makita started small in 1915 repairing electric appliances including motors, lighting appliances, and transformers but it now Japan’s largest exporter of portable tools. They have been manufacturing in North America since 1958 creating their first cordless drill which became a best seller countrywide in the 70s. The greatest attraction to their tools today is the tough build, strong external protection, and high-speed operation.
Makita 18V drills are the largest range for the category in the market famous for their high speeds over 2000RPM and so are their impact drivers with over 3500IPM. Their focus is mostly construction workers which is why they employ their premium external protection mechanism called XPT which makes their tools very durable. Their tools are still a great addition to the personal tool collection for DIYers and homeowners.
Overview of Hitachi tools
Hitachi started in Japan in 1910 as a mining equipment manufacturer specifically motors which it has improved for over a century. Hitachi was the first company to create a cordless impact driver. Their major focus in on powerful motors and batteries able to deliver on the toughest projects. This is why even Hitachi 12V tools are able to compete with standard 20V drills. The company is now Metaboo HPT in North America but still produces the same powerful Hitachi impact drivers.
Hitachi tools are the market deal breakers when it comes to battery technology because of the new power connectivity that accepts both corded and cordless connectivity. This removes the former constraints of excess battery weight and short life while still allowing you to enjoy all the advantages of a powerful cordless tool. Moreover, Hitachi tools have a lifetime warranty.
Overview of Milwaukee Tools
Milwaukee has introduced very many firsts in the power tool market but their most important contribution in the market was the Hole shooter, the first one handed drill that they build for Henry Ford in 1918. Since then, their tools focused on steelworkers and heavy-duty construction site demands that have seen them produce one of the best motor designs in the market. They also created the first right-angled drill after WWII, and later improved to powerful compact drills to suit any kind of tight space.
Their compact designs and powerful motors have seen the rise in Milwaukee tool popularity over the years. They also produce one of the most competitive 18V combo drills combining a set of the highest speeds and power able to handle any metal, wood and masonry applications. They have very light batteries and premium external cover on their products which are covered by a 5-year warranty.
Top Milwaukee, Makita, and Hitachi Combo Kit Review
1. Makita CT225R LXT Combo Kit
The Makita Combo kit has a combined torque able to handle any level of drilling or driving tasks at home or on a construction site. Both the impact driver and the drill are light and compact weighing less than 3lbs. They are also suitable for working in tight spaces featuring bright LED lights and powerful external protection to protect the motor and other moving parts. Their deal breaker is the Makita 4 pole motor, powerful and durable.
The drill being the primary attraction of the package is exceptionally powerful delivering variable speeds of 0-600 and 0-1900RPM which allows you to drill on metallic and concrete surfaces quickly. It features a metallic ½ inch ratcheting chuck able to retain large bits and drill any diameter of holes without chipping. Its design is suitable for heavy-duty tasks handling large bits and screws up to 10 inches.
The Impact driver also has top-notch performance delivering a whole 1460lb torque which can drive your largest screws and fasteners through any metal in a very short time. The whole package comes with 2 2ah batteries compatible with both tools. The quick Makita charger is also one of the fastest in the market able to charge the batteries within 30 minutes allowing you to work more and spend less time charging.
- Strong external casing for increased tool durability
- The tool features all metallic gear for durability
- Powerful 4 Pole motors are quick and very durable
- The quick charger recharges within 30 minutes
- The 2ah batteries can`t run both tools for long
- The drill has a lot of vibration on the arm
2. Hitachi KC10DFL2 Combo kit
This is a 12V package, one of the latest from Hitachi and so far, a favorite in the market competing with 20V combo kits which is why it made it to this review. The most important thing you need to know about Hitachi is that they create very tough tools covered by a lifetime warranty. This package also includes a bright flashlight which allows you to work at night. The tools are powerful enough to deliver all the torque you may need on a DIY project for both drilling and driving operations.
The drill is rated at 300lbs in torque, the highest of any 12V drill and a drill speed rated at 1300RPM which is able to handle tasks on concrete and metallic surfaces. It is also very light weighing just 2lbs which makes it a great choice for overhead drilling. Its compact design is further complemented by a 21point ratcheting chuck that gives you full control of the amount of torque applied at each point.
The Impact driver is especially powerful suitable for driving large screws through tough material. It is also very light and compact weighing less than 3lbs with a slim ergonomic handle that gives you full control. Its lightweight build reduces the impact on your arm reducing vibration and fatigue. It delivers up to 955lbs of torque hitting at 3200IPM and driving at 2700RPM faster than its competitors in this review.
- Very light tools both weighing less than 3lbs with batteries
- The kit includes a flashlight for night time work
- The kit comes with long life batteries
- Both tools can be used as corded or cordless with Hitachi adapters
- They are covered by the Hitachi lifetime tool warranty
- the drill has a low torque unsuitable for heavy duty
- The package batteries have a short life
3. Milwaukee 2691-22 Combo Kit
Milwaukee combo kit is a very close match to Makita featuring a 4 pole motor with premium steel gears that give very high speeds and torque. It is an excellent package for contractors featuring the Milwaukee 18V drill with over 400lbs in torque and 1500RPM in drill speed. The impact driver is also very compact and powerful rated at 1400lbs in torque able to handle any stubborn screws on a construction site or any other DIY project.
The main advantage of such a high torque drill is that you can use it independently on site without needing to employ the impact driver which saves the battery and time. This Milwaukee package comes with 2 2ah 18V batteries compatible with all Milwaukee 18V tools. It also includes a quick charger for the batteries refilling within 30 minutes allowing you to concentrate more on working than charging.
The Milwaukee design allows full control and precision because the tools have ergonomic handles with quick response controls that put you in charge of the torque. Their Fore-Drill motor design also ensures that the full force of the vibration is directed to the bit reducing vibration and fatigue on the arm when working. Both tools weigh 3lbs with batteries included making them a suitable choice for overhead drilling as well.
- The kit is protected by a 5-year warranty
- High bit retention
- The batteries are very light
- Fore-drill motor focus reduces vibrations
- Mid grip ergonomic handles give better control
- The drill is large (over 7 inches) Likely to get stuck in tight spaces
- Package batteries have a short life
Head to Head Comparison of Makita, Hitachi and Milwaukee combo kit tools
|Feature||Makita 20V||Hitachi 12V||Milwaukee 20V|
|Speed||. The drill is rated 0-600 RPM and 0-1900RPM in high-speed mode.
. The Impact driver is rated 0-2900RPM and 0-3500IPM in Impact
|. This is a small drill with 0-1300 RPM speed.
. The Impact driver is rated 0-2700RPM and 0-3200IPM in Impact
|. The drill is rated 0-350 RPM in high torque mode and 0-1400RPM in high-speed mode.
. The Impact driver is rated 0-2200RPM and 0-3200IPM in Impact
|Torque||The drill is rated 480lbs while the impact driver has 1460lbs||The drill is rated 300lbs while the impact driver has 955lbb||The drill is rated 400lbs while the impact driver has 1400lbs|
|Battery||2 18V 2ah batteries with a 25min charger||2 12V 1.3ah batteries with a 25min charger||2 18V 2ah batteries with a rapid charger|
|Weight||The drill weighs 3.3lbs while the impact driver weighs 2.75lbs||The drill weighs 2.1lbs while the impact driver weighs 2.2 lbs||The Drill weighs 3.5lbs while the impact driver weighs 2.75lbs|
|Warranty||3 years||Lifetime limited tool warranty and a 2 years warranty for batteries and the charger||5 years|
|Case||Soft Case||Soft case||Soft case|
|Light||Single LED work light||4 LED bulb work light plus a flashlight||Single LED flashlight with flood mode.|
We actually had no favorite because all the professionals gave near matching scores for each tool in different project categories. Makita and Milwaukee are our top recommendations for commercial grade projects while Hitachi has everything a DIYer and a homeowner may need in a combo kit. Overall, Makita is our top pick for both DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors. Its High torque for both the drill and the impact driver allows you to handle any stubborn screws and tough surfaces. We recommend the combo kit for any project because of the high combined power able to handle metalwork, woodwork, and concrete quickly comfortably.
The Hitachi kit is a friendly tool, small and compact which is why it is very suitable for a home environment. The High-speed operation of the impact driver allows you to drive and tighten quickly when doing home improvement and decoration. The kit is not recommended for heavy-duty construction tasks although a contractor can use it as a second drill for tight spaces and overhead drilling. Milwaukee, On the other hand, is an all-around tool. Its compact tools and friendly design makes it a tool of choice whether you are working on a commercial project or simple woodwork and other DIY projects at home.
A combo kit is a major purchase decision that requires a thorough review, especially when buying a popular brand like Makita, Hitachi, and Milwaukee. All major tool manufacturers are making improvements to their tools but some still remain better in certain work environments than others which is why you have to match features to the project. We have no favorite brand but our close examination of the best seller combo kits for these top brands has helped us match each kit to a matching project type allowing you to make an informed decision at purchase.