Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Review

Almost every professional handyman we know of is familiar with the brand Makita. It is because Makita is a popular manufacturer of high-performance impact drivers known the world over. The XDT12T is one of its top-of-the-line tools that we are going to get to know in this review. This high caliber impact driver boasts of so many features that make it worth every penny you pay for it.

Almost all reviews say only positive things about this impact driver. When this kind of reception is received, you can be sure that it comes at a price.  The XDT12T is indeed at the top of its class in terms of performance, but it is also one of the more expensive options in the market. Let us dive into this tool a little deeper to see what all the hype is about.


Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),


  • Has the Quick-Shift mode selector
  • Comes with Makita’s trademark BL Brushless Motor technology
  • Designed with a four-speed power selection switch
  • Has the Assist mode (A-mode) feature that drives at a low speed
  • Installed with a Tightening mode (T-mode) to tighten self-drilling screws faster
  • Compact and ergonomically designed
  • Equipped with Extreme Protection Technology (XPT)
  • Has a 3-stage battery gauge that lets you know the battery charge level
  • Comes with a ¼-inch hex chuck
  • Features a built-in dual LED light
  • Handle is made of a soft rubberized material
  • Designed with Star Protection Computer Controls
  • Comes with Makita’s proprietary hammer and anvil impact mechanism
  • Covered by a three-year limited warranty
  • Measures 4.625 inches long
  • Weighs 12.1 lbs.
  • Has superb water and dust resistance
  • Offers 1,550 in. lbs. of max torque


  • One of the most expensive impact drivers in the market today

Our Opinion

The Quick-Shift Mode Selector

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),The Quick-Shift Mode selector is a Makita exclusive that features electronic controls to help find the perfect balance of torque and speed for every application. It adjusts depending on which material you are working with, ensuring a more efficient fastening.

  • The Assist mode (A-mode) helps prevent “screw cam-out” and “cross threading” by driving at a lower speed until it starts to sense that the tightening has begun.
  • The Tightening mode (T-mode) prevents the screw or workpiece from being damaged by tightening self-drilling screws faster.
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BL Brushless Motor Design

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),The XDT12T comes with Makita’s BL Brushless Motor that no longer uses carbon brushes. This innovation gives longer work life by making it run at a cooler temperature, assuring you durability and stability for a longer time.

This impact driver provides you with 1,550 in. lbs. of max torque that can fully drive 3-inch deck screws into treated wood. The four-speed power selection switches between a variety of speeds.

  • Rotations per minute: 0-100, 0-2,100, 0-3,200
  • Impacts per minute: 0-1,100, 0-2,600, 0-3,600, 0-3,800

A wide range of speed options allows you to adjust with precision to what your task requires. This feature makes the tool versatile and reliable in any situation.

Ergonomically Designed Impact Driver

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),The XDT12T is designed to be more compact and lightweight than competing brands. Slimmer at just 4.625 inches long and lighter at 12.1 pounds, you will be able to work easily even in the most cramped spaces.

Its soft rubberized grip fits your hand really well. It lets you do the most demanding driving and fastening jobs comfortably for extended periods of time. Say goodbye to operator fatigue with this ergonomic tool.

Dual Built-in LED Light

The dual built-in LED light is located between the head shaft and the trigger. It is turned on when you pull the trigger and will remain lit for a few seconds after the last time the trigger is pulled. It does not follow the traditional on-off switch functionality that other tools have.

Night jobs will not be a problem anymore, and neither are enclosed dark spaces. Referencing back to its light and compact design, the LED light complements this feature by allowing you to reach and illuminate tight and hidden spaces.


Proprietary Hammer and Anvil Impact Mechanism

Makita specifically designed the proprietary hammer and anvil impact mechanism for maximum fastening and driving power. This innovation has already found its way to a number of Makita drills and drivers, this tool included. This feature ensures strength, accuracy, and consistency in your usage.

Star Protection Computer Controls

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),The Star Protection Computer Controls is Makita’s exclusive invention. The XDT12T is installed with this feature that is designed to keep the tool and the battery from getting too hot and eventually burning out. Definitely, this impact driver has crossed over to the smart tool category.

Lithium Ion Battery and Charger

The Makita XDT12T uses an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah battery that can be charged quickly with the 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum charger that also comes with the impact driver kit.

The kit comes with two 18V 5.0Ah lithium ion batteries. This type of battery has a way of keeping you working non-stop without the need to stop and charge in between uses. You can get a full charge in as little as 30 minutes so you can easily pop the spare in as soon as the other drains out.

Unlike lots of the models available, this tool comes with a three-stage battery gauge that shows you how much juice you have left. This feature is not easy to come by, but because you are paying a premium amount, you get access to this functionality.

Comparison with Makita XDT13R

The XDT13R shares some features with the XDT12T, like the BL Brushless Motor, LED light and 18V batteries. Both offer almost the same rate of max torque. However, the former comes at a more wallet-friendly price. Paying less also gets you a lot fewer functions than those loaded on the XDT12T.

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Another good thing these impact drivers share is that they are both well made for high-performance driving and fastening jobs. They deliver as advertised and more and there is always an added value you can enjoy with either of the two.

Makita XDT12T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver Kit (5.0Ah),


The XDT12T has set a new standard in the cordless impact driver category by being an all-around fastening solution that is perfect for contractors, hobbyists, and DIYers alike. While the price may be a little steep, consider it an investment that could effortlessly take you through various projects.