Ready for an exciting face-off between Makita and Metabo HPT impact drivers? Today, we bring you two of our all-time favorites. Instead of relying on subjective opinions, we decided to pit them against each other in a series of tests to determine a clear winner. Keep in mind that everyone’s needs and preferences differ, so the points awarded may not necessarily align with your own priorities. We value your feedback, so please let us know why you prefer either Makita or Metabo HPT’s flagship impact driver. Here’s a closer look at our contenders.
Meet the Competitors
Makita 18V LXT Quick-Shift 4-Speed Brushless Impact Driver
- Model: Makita XDT16
- Power supply: Makita 18V LXT battery
- No-load speed: 0–3600 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 1600 in-lbs
- Impact rate: 3800 IPM
Metabo HPT Triple Hammer 18V Brushless Impact Driver
- Model: Metabo HPT WH18DBDL2
- Power: Metabo HPT 18V or MultiVolt battery, Hitachi 18V battery
- No-load speed: 0–3300 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 1832 in-lbs
- Impact rate: 4000 IPM
When it comes to size, both impact drivers boast compact designs. The Makita XDT16 measures 4.6 inches in length and 7.4 inches in height (without the battery). On the other hand, the Metabo HPT triple hammer is slightly larger at 5.0 inches in length and 7.8 inches in height. However, Makita has a significant advantage in terms of front-to-back length. In fact, it has the shortest front-to-back length among all 18V impact drivers. The only model that comes close is Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 2857, which is only 1 mm longer.
To evaluate the weight of these impact drivers, we used bare digital scales and also considered the weight with the compact battery. The Makita XDT16 weighs 1.99 pounds without the battery and 2.85 pounds with batteries. Similarly, the Metabo HPT weighs 2.02 lbs without the battery and 2.90 lbs with batteries. With a mere ounce difference in weight, we consider it a tie.
Both impact drivers offer essential features, but let’s dive deeper into their capabilities.
- Motor: Both tools are equipped with brushless motors.
- Hammers and Anvils: Makita incorporates a traditional 2-hammer system, while the Metabo HPT impresses with its unique 3-hammer system.
- Collet: The Makita allows for one-handed bit insertion, but lacks spring ejection. On the other hand, the Metabo HPT lacks both of these features.
- Battery: Both models utilize a hassle-free slide-in battery system.
- Speed: The Makita boasts 4 speeds with four assist modes and a programmable button for two modes. Meanwhile, the Metabo HPT offers 3 speeds and an assist mode. Makita takes the lead in this category, thanks to its LED lights and impressive chuck design.
To test the power of these impact drivers, we conducted two tests. In the tightening test, each impact driver was used to tighten a hardened nut to a bolt, and the force required to break it was measured using a digital torque wrench. The Makita XDT16 fasteners required an average of 2131 inch-pounds of torque to break, while the Metabo HPT required 1982 inch-pounds. In the second test, we verified the breaking force of each impact driver by loading the same hardened nut at specific intervals. The Makita exhibited a breaking force of 3,300 in-lbs (206.25 ft-lbs), while the Metabo HPT lagged behind at 2,760 in-lbs (172.5 ft-lbs). Despite the lower torque specified by the manufacturer, the Makita demonstrated more measurable tightening and breaking forces than the Metabo HPT, making it the winner in this category.
Using 1/4″ beam screws, we measured the RPM each impact driver could achieve. The Metabo HPT secured an impressive average of 573 RPM, but the Makita outshone its competitors with a speed of 651 RPM. Although the Metabo HPT proved to be the second fastest impact driver we’ve tested, the Makita takes the crown in this category.
Fastening efficiency measures how easily the motor works under load. The closer the RPM is to the tested no-load speed during tightening, the less stress the motor will experience. In a test using ledger screws, the Makita maintained 21% of its test no-load speed, while the Metabo HPT reached 24%. The Metabo HPT clinches this category, but it’s worth noting that both impact drivers fell significantly short of their specified no-load speeds.
Verdict: Metabo HPT
To power your impact driver and extend its runtime, it’s essential to know the battery options available. Makita offers a variety of 1P and 2P battery packs in its 18V LXT series, ranging from 2.0Ah to 6.0Ah. Meanwhile, Metabo HPT offers an even more versatile range thanks to its MultiVolt battery compatibility, with options including 1.5Ah, 2.5Ah, 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah, 5.0Ah, 6.0Ah, and an impressive 8.0Ah Multi-voltage battery. It’s also worth mentioning that Metabo HPT tools are compatible with Hitachi 18V batteries. However, Metabo HPT’s 18V batteries are not compatible with their 36V MultiVolt tools. Makita also has its advantages, as its 18V battery can power more powerful 18V X2 (36V) tools without the need for battery changes. However, their upcoming 40V max XGT series will introduce a different platform.
Verdict: Metabo HPT
Makita currently offers an extensive lineup of around 225 tools compatible with its 18V LXT batteries, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. Although Metabo HPT doesn’t have as many individual products, its range is comprehensive enough to cater to most professional needs.
When it comes to pricing, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best deal. Here’s a breakdown of the prices for each impact driver:
Makita 18V impact driver:
- XDT16Z (bare metal): $179
- XDT16R kit with two 2.0Ah batteries: $299
- XDT16T kit with two 5.0Ah batteries: $359
Metabo HPT Triple Hammer Impact Driver:
- WH18DBDL2Q4M (bare metal): $179
- WH18DBDL2M kit with two 3.0Ah batteries: $269 (currently listed for under $389 at multiple retailers)
Overall, the prices for the bare metal impact drivers are neck and neck, but the Metabo HPT takes the lead in terms of kit pricing. The Metabo HPT kit includes two 3.0Ah compact batteries, providing more capacity compared to Makita’s 2 x 2.0Ah kit. However, the Metabo HPT’s list price is $90 higher than Makita’s. While current pricing favors the Metabo HPT, it’s uncertain how long this advantage will last. As a side note, it’s important to mention that there are no 5.0Ah or 6.0Ah kits available for the Metabo HPT.
Verdict: Metabo HPT
When it comes to warranty, Makita offers a generous 3-year warranty on both their tools and batteries. On the other hand, the Metabo HPT offers a 1-year battery warranty but a lifetime warranty on its lithium-ion tools.
Verdict: Metabo HPT
In this ultimate face-off between Makita and Metabo HPT Impact Drivers, Makita narrowly takes the lead with a score of 5-4 (1 draw). If you’re looking for the perfect combination of performance, size, and an extensive range of compatible tools, the Makita XDT16 Impact Driver is an excellent choice. However, if you’re seeking solid performance at an even better price with exceptional warranty coverage, the Metabo HPT Triple Hammer Impact Driver is the way to go.