Tomorrows Tools

  • Looking ahead to the Makita DHP481

  • ITS have gained some insider information on what we believe to be the upcoming DHP481 which is a brushless cordless hammer drill driver.

    Please be aware that this blog doesn’t contain any official information, its speculation based on in depth knowledge of the Makita cordless range and teaser photos/videos that we’ve luckily gained access to! This really is an undercover job and the details mentioned below areliable to change!


    A few months ago I took the time to simplify the Makita 18v Li-ion cordless drill range and break the current models down into categories you can read the full article here

    As I noted in that post Makita have been producing ‘brushless’ motors in there light duty and general purpose drills however the heavy duty model the DHP458 doesn’t (at time of writing this) have a brushless equivalent and as I mentioned in the post I suspected it’d only be a matter of time until they designed and built one. Especially seeing as their main competitor Dewalt have recently launched the DCD995 which is a heavy duty brushless combi.

    And I take no pleasure in saying this, but it appears I was right!

    Makita DHP481 – Smaller but Stronger


    Information is pretty hard to come by, but it looks as if the new model that we’ve all been waiting for is the DHP481 (funny that seeing as the last one they released was the DHP480).

    So we already know that its going to have a Brushless Motor, and a side handle (because the 458 does) but what else can we expect from the DHP481?

    Well lets look at torque: The DHP458 reached a max Nm of torque of 88 which was impressive, but for the upgrade we think that Makita will try and push this bad boy up above 100, in fact the numbers being touted around are 125Nm of torque which is astounding! Especially when you consider that Makita’s 18v impact drivers max out at around 160Nm.


    Size; because of its brushless motor Makita will be able to reduce the size of the drill body itself, so we can expect a more compact hammer drill driver, perfect for getting into those awkward positions.

    Compatibility; Like all of the newest Makita 18v Li-ion range I guess that the DHP481 is going to be cross compatible with all of the Makita 18v Li-ion batteries from the 1.5Ah to the 4Ah batteries and maybe even the 5Ah BL1850 (Click here to read more about the BL1850) – Although of course runtime and performance will be affected!

    New Makita Cordless Drill

    We’re really looking forward to seeing if our guesses are anything close to what the DHP481 will be, and can’t wait for Makita’s newest addition to what is already an impressive line-up of cordless drills.

    We suspect that the Makita DHP481 will be available in the following packages:

    Makita DHP481Z – Tool Body Only!
    Makita DHP481RFE – Tool Body, With Carry Case and 2 x 3Ah Li-ion Batteries
    Makita DHP481RMJ – Tool Body, With Carry Case and 2 x 4Ah Li-ion Batteries


    And who knows maybe by the time we see the 481 Makita will have already released the BL1850 meaning that there will be a model number that caters for the DHP481 with carry case and 2 x 5Ah li-ion batteries and carry case which we suspect will be called the DHP481RTJ!

    What do you think we can expect from the DHP481? Let us know your thoughts and if this is going to be added to your wish list but commenting and sharing below!

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    6 comments on “Looking ahead to the Makita DHP481
    1. Darren says:

      I’m thinking about purchasing the Makita dhp458 drill but know I see there will be a new and powerful Model coming soon. Do you know when? And how much it will cost?

      • Richard Hughes says:

        Hi Darren,

        I’ve just replied to your other comment – right now we have no idea of a release date. The DHP481 is likely to not be brought into the UK until late in the year, probably around Oct/Nov sort of time but as soon as I hear anything I will let you know.


    2. Darren says:

      Thank you.

    3. Bob Daniels says:

      The DHP481 Sux!!

      The ‘Hammer’ Action makes a LOT of noise but does very little damage. Used it on hammer twice – once on Besser Block, once on concrete. Barely scratched the concrete

      The gear box is fragile and has failed after a month of (occasional) use.

      The motor IS quite strong but this rather heavy & expensive unit is a flop that I definitely would not recommend to any Tradie!!!

      A shame really because .all my other top end 18V Makita stuff works quite well.

      • Jake says:

        Mine locks up as well, if I’m using a hole saw or something that needs a bit of power it’s useless. I don’t know if the Gears have failed or what?

    4. xavier says:

      The automatic spindle lock mechanism tends to activate during deceleration causing clattering and the chuck to come to an abrupt stop with a loud clunk. This mechanism requires more refinement as Milwaukee have done.
      Its motor protection, if it has any, is not 100% efective. I burnt out the inverter module by working it way too hard repeatedly stalling my DHP481. It put up a good fight. I didn’t claim warranty as I considered that I was abusing it.

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