We’ve updated the famous ITS “What Makita Drill” blog for 2017! The new “What Makita Drill” blog is here!
In this blog I hope to give you a bit of a breakdown of the various models of cordless drills that Makita make so you’ll know the market well enough to make the best choice when it comes to buying a new Makita drill.
If you’re in the trade then chances are you are already familiar with Makita as they are one of the largest manufactures of Power Tools in the UK and they have a massively comprehensive range of cordless drills. So much so that it could seem pretty daunting when purchasing one for yourself, I mean how do you know if you need a 456 or a 458?! Well hopefully after reading this you’ll have a far better understanding of what all those model numbers mean to you the customer.
We’ve recently been down to Makita’s head office and we got Martin to run us through the most popular models and their place on the market – Click below to watch the video.
Compare Makita Drills
In Makita’s 18v Lithium-ion Cordless range, there are several models of drill driver and combi drill. These tools are siginified by a model number that is spilt into 3 Letters and 3 Numbers for example the BHP456. Using this as an example the 456 refers to the model ‘number’ and the BHP is the model ‘type’. With regards to the model ‘type’ the 18v Cordless Drill range are represented by two ‘types’ which are BDF/DDF – drill driver and BHP/DHP – Combi. Again using the same example there is a BDF456 (the drill/driver) and a BHP456 (combi). Both these models have the same number in the name which means that from a technical point of view they are indentical, its just that the BHP has the addition of a percussion mode (which makes it a combi) For the purpose of this comparision we will be looking mostly at the BHP/DHP (combi) versions which are the more popular models.
Now the main thing to consider when deciding what makita cordless drill is best for you, is what jobs are you doing with it & how often? The reason these questions are important is because whatever the answer, there will be a Makita drill to cater directly for your needs and there is no point spending silly amounts on a top end drill if all you’re going to be using it for is light and infrequent work on timber.
The drills listed below are the popular Makita 18v lithium-ion range of drills. All of the models below share the same basic build but its where they differ that really matters to the user. With that in mind we are going to look at their motors, overall runtime and most importantly drilling capacity.
LIGHT DUTY DRILLS
So with that in mind let’s look at the entry level of the Makita range – this is for those of you that need/want a professional standard drill/driver or combi but don’t need to put it through its paces on heavy duty applications.
Makita BHP453 (DHP453)
So the 453 is an entry level model The important thing to note is that this drill has a maximum torque of 42Nm, which means light work; so smaller screws and smaller fixings. Its limited torque capacity is down to its canister motor. This means that the motor is a sealed unit, with no external brushes to change. Its the design of this motor that restricts this drill from having a larger capacity of drilling and places it firmly in the light duty category.
Makita BHP459 (DHP459)
Next up in the light duty bracket is the 459. This is the first example of a Brushless Makita Drill. Brushless Motor is a term that you’re going to hear more and more often. Without wanting to go into too much detail into the inner workings of brushless it basically means that the motor doesn’t have any touching parts, so it reduces heat and friction. Therefore you actually get more ‘concentrated’ power from the motor, meaning a slight increase in capacity, far better runtime (your drill will last longer per charge) and ultimately the longevity of your drill’s motor will be increased. The BHP459 can manage slightly more torque as it hits around about 45Nm, so in terms of spec it’s pretty similar but the main reason you’d want this model is if you need downtime to be reduced, because its brushless motor will get through more work per single charge than the canister motor above.
GENERAL PURPOSE DRILLS
Now we move onto the machines that are required for those bigger and more frequent jobs – These are for you if a drill is key to your trade and you’ll be using it virtually every day
Makita BHP456 (DHP456)
Now we’re moving up in the range we can expect more from our drills. The 456 is a brushed motor which offers users 53Nm of torque so it’s capable of doing higher spec jobs and drilling with bigger drill bits or screwing with bigger screws. So although it’s not massively different from the 459, this model has got the little bit of extra punch to it so bigger capacity and a stronger motor.
Makita DHP480 (Yes that’s right there isn’t a BHP480)
The 480 is a slight step up again, this is a new drill released in September 2013 and comes as standard with Makita 4ah Batteries. So this drill takes its place above the 456 because you’re taking the spec from the 456 and adding to it, not only with the 4ah batteries but also it boasts a brushless motor, which as mentioned previous gives you extra runtime, efficiency and ultimately longevity. So if continuous work and the ability to keep your drills running for long periods of time is what you want then this brushless model is the way to go.
HEAVY DUTY DRILLS
Finally we’re up to the top end of the market! If you’re looking for a drill here you are the sort of person that will be using it pretty much all the time and you need a drill that is certainly going to pack one hell of a punch!
Makita BHP458 (DHP458)
Okay so this really is (currently) the top of the range Makita drill in terms of power (not anymore!), so much so that Makita find it nessessery to provide you with a side handle as standard. The 458 has a massive 4 pole motor, so this model is able to work at a massive capacity. With this drill we’re looking at 88Nm of torque (hence the side handle) and you’d be able to get a 65mm solid drill bit into wood and holesaw up to around 120mm. Another pointer that this is a serious drill is that the motor and gearbox are enclosed in an aluminium case, because the plastic housing from the other models just wouldn’t be able to cope with the motor from the 458. Additionaly the chuck is a full metal chuck; again this is down to the fact that the standard chuck from the previous drills just wouldn’t be able to handle the amount of power that the 458 exerts.
As you can probably tell there is a pattern emerging here; for ‘Light Duty’ and ‘General Purpose’ uses there is a brushed/canister motor model and also a newer brushless model available, however there is currently no heavy duty Makita brushless drill. Well pure speculation on my behalf makes me think that we can expect one early in 2014, so if you’re looking to upgrade to the best of the best, it may be worth holding tight just for now.
ITS here! Finally Makita have burst the competition out of the water with a very impressive new combi drill called the DHP481. It is going to take some topping!
This is NOW (as of Sept 2014) the top of the range Makita drill in terms of power and runtime. This drill is coming with one hell of a big side handle (The picture doesn’t do it justice) . The DHP481 has an effiecnt Brushless Motor, so this model is able to work at a massive capacity with excellent runtimes. This combi offers a wooping 115Nm of torque and you’d be able to get a 75mm drill bit into wood and holesaw up to around 140mm. For full spec rundown see our full blog article here
Its new on the market so we’d be intressted to see how well this model goes down on site. If you’re lucky enough to get yourself one please let us know if Makitas biggest and best stands the tests of being on a real site.
So hopefully that breaks down for you the variety of cordless Makita drills that are out there, and gives you the ability to buy the one that is perfect for you.
At ITS we have put together a handy category dedicated to Makita Drills which allows you to browse between all of the above tools so you can compare prices and packages. If you’re looking to buy your own model then make sure you check it out by clicking here.
If you have any specific questions about the range please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, Call us on +44 (020) 8532-5000 or connect with us on our various social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and we’ll answer as best we can.