Makita 8V LXT Hammer Driver-Drill Review


Unleash brute force and precision with the Makita XPH14Z. This 18V LXT® cordless hammer drill packs a punch with 1,250 in.lbs. of torque, conquering tough jobs while its compact 7″ design offers superior maneuverability.


  • Powerful brushless motor for efficiency & durability
  • 18V LXT battery powered (not included)
  • 1,250 in. lbs. max torque for tough jobs
  • 2-speed drilling & hammer drilling with LED light
  • Compact & ergonomic design for easy handling
  • 1/2″ chuck, drills wood (3″), steel (1/2″), masonry (5/8″)
  • Weighs 4.4 lbs without battery

At the heart of the XPH14Z lies a Makita-built BL Brushless Motor, meticulously engineered to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge, while simultaneously enhancing the motor’s lifespan by minimizing wear. The tool’s impressive 1,250 in.lbs. of maximum torque ensures that even the most challenging tasks are accomplished with ease, making it an indispensable asset for a wide array of applications, from construction and carpentry to masonry and metalworking.


The design of Makita’s 18V LXT Hammer Driver-Drill (XPH14Z) includes elements that significantly improve its usability for individuals with diverse physical capabilities, including those with limited hand strength or mobility. Its compact size and ergonomic build, notably shorter than earlier models, facilitate ease of use in tight spots and during prolonged tasks, reducing the strain on the user. This thoughtful construction ensures the tool can be comfortably managed by a broad audience, enhancing control and reducing fatigue for those who may face challenges with traditional power tools.

Further enhancing its user-friendly nature, the XPH14Z boasts a rubberized soft grip, which aids in maintaining a firm and comfortable hold. This feature is especially important for ensuring stability and precision during use, catering to those who might struggle with maintaining a strong grip. The soft grip design not only makes the tool more comfortable to hold but also aids in preventing the tool from slipping out of hand, providing an added layer of safety and confidence for all users.

Design and Ergonomics

The Makita XPH14Z stands out for its compact and user-friendly design, with a length of only 7 inches, which is notably 14% shorter than previous models in its line. This smaller stature contributes positively to its functionality, especially when maneuvering in constrained environments, without compromising the tool’s robust performance. Its design prioritizes user comfort and efficiency, aiming to alleviate physical strain during prolonged periods of operation. The visual appeal of the XPH14Z, characterized by Makita’s distinctive blue and black color scheme, not only presents a sleek, professional appearance but also facilitates a uniform and cohesive look across Makita’s tool range.

Makita’s emphasis on ergonomics is evident in the XPH14Z’s design, which is engineered to improve the overall user experience. The reduced size of the tool serves a dual purpose: enhancing accessibility in cramped spaces and minimizing the fatigue users might experience during extended tasks. This focus on ergonomics demonstrates Makita’s commitment to producing tools that are not only high in quality and performance but also comfortable and easy to use, aligning with the needs and well-being of its users.

Power and Performance

At the heart of the XPH14Z is Makita’s BL Brushless Motor, delivering a maximum torque of 1,250 in.lbs., making it one of the most powerful hammer driver-drills in its class. This power is essential for demanding tasks such as drilling into masonry or driving large fasteners. The brushless motor also contributes to longer run time, increased power and speed, and extended tool life by eliminating carbon brushes.

The 2-speed transmission (0-550 & 0-2,100 RPM) offers versatility, allowing users to select the appropriate speed for various drilling, fastening, and hammer drilling applications. The hammer drilling function, with up to 31,500 BPM (Blows Per Minute), is particularly noteworthy for its efficiency in masonry materials, making the XPH14Z a go-to tool for both wood and concrete projects.

Chuck and Bit Gripping Strength

The Makita XPH14Z distinguishes itself with an all-metal ½” self-ratcheting chuck, a feature engineered to address and overcome common challenges encountered with bit retention in high-demand scenarios. This chuck design is a key component in the drill’s ability to deliver consistent, high-quality performance, especially in applications requiring high torque. The self-ratcheting mechanism ensures that the bits are automatically tightened with the right amount of force, reducing the likelihood of the bit slipping during operation. This is particularly beneficial when dealing with tough materials or when applying substantial force, as it ensures that the drill bit remains securely fastened, providing users with confidence and reliability in their tool’s performance.

The robust construction of the XPH14Z’s chuck contributes significantly to the tool’s overall durability and longevity. By employing all-metal components, Makita guarantees that the chuck is capable of withstanding the rigors of heavy-duty use without succumbing to the wear and tear that plastic or lesser metal chucks might endure. This durability is paramount in professional settings where tools are frequently pushed to their limits. Furthermore, the enhanced bit gripping strength plays a critical role in user safety. A securely held bit minimizes the risk of it coming loose or ejecting from the drill unexpectedly, which could lead to injury or damage to the workpiece. Thus, the design of the chuck not only boosts the tool’s efficiency but also its safety features, making it a reliable choice for both professional tradespeople and home DIY enthusiasts.

Battery System and Efficiency

The tool is part of the expansive Makita 18V LXT System, which is renowned for its large selection of cordless tools powered by 18V lithium-ion slide-style batteries. These batteries are known for their fast charge times, ensuring that the tool spends more time in use and less time on the charger. The compatibility with Makita’s 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Batteries, especially those with the Star Protection symbol, ensures protection against overloading, over-discharging, and overheating through real-time data exchange between the tool and battery.

Added Features for Enhanced Usability

Makita’s attention to detail is evident in the added features designed to enhance user experience. The built-in L.E.D. lights are a simple yet effective addition, illuminating the work area and improving visibility in low-light conditions. The rubberized soft grip provides increased comfort, reducing hand fatigue during prolonged use, which is particularly beneficial for professionals engaged in all-day projects.

Durability and Reliability

Makita tools are known for their durability, and the XPH14Z is no exception. The tool’s construction, featuring high-quality materials and a robust design, ensures it can withstand the rigors of heavy use in various environments. The brushless motor further contributes to the tool’s longevity by minimizing wear and tear.

Makita’s commitment to durability is epitomized in the construction of the XPH14Z hammer driver-drill, a tool built to endure the demands of rigorous and continuous use across a wide range of working environments. The choice of high-quality materials in its construction is a testament to Makita’s dedication to producing tools that professionals can rely on. From the all-metal gear housing to the reinforced composite materials, every component is selected for its ability to resist wear, impact, and environmental factors. This robust design philosophy ensures that the XPH14Z is not only capable of performing under pressure but also maintains its integrity over time, making it a valuable investment for tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts alike who require a dependable tool for their projects.

General Maintenance Tips for Power Tools

  1. Read the Manual: Always start by reading the manufacturer’s manual. It contains specific maintenance advice for your tool, including lubrication requirements, parts that need regular checking, and safety precautions.
  2. Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean your tool to remove dust, debris, and any other materials that could accumulate. Use a soft brush or compressed air to clear vents and moving parts. For tougher grime, a damp cloth can be used, but ensure the tool is completely dry before storing.
  3. Check for Wear: Regularly inspect your tools for signs of wear or damage, such as frayed cords, worn brushes, or damaged bits and blades. Replace any components that are worn out or damaged to prevent accidents and maintain efficiency.
  4. Lubricate Moving Parts: Keep moving parts lubricated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper lubrication reduces friction, prevents overheating, and prolongs the life of the tool.
  5. Tighten Loose Parts: Vibration from regular use can loosen screws, nuts, and bolts. Periodically check and tighten these parts to ensure your tool remains stable and accurate.
  6. Battery Care: For cordless tools, it’s important to follow best practices for battery care. Store batteries in a cool, dry place and follow the charging instructions provided by the manufacturer. Avoid leaving batteries in the charger after they’ve reached full charge.
  7. Store Properly: Store your tools in a clean, dry place to prevent rust and corrosion. Using cases or toolboxes can protect them from physical damage and keep them organized.
  8. Sharpen Cutting Tools: Keep blades and bits sharp for better performance and safer operation. Dull blades can cause tools to work harder, leading to unnecessary wear and potential safety hazards.
  9. Check Electrical Parts: Regularly inspect the power cords, plugs, and switches for damage. For battery-operated tools, ensure the contacts are clean and free from corrosion.
  10. Professional Servicing: Some maintenance tasks may require professional servicing, such as replacing a motor’s brushes. Refer to your tool’s manual to determine when professional servicing is recommended.

Makita 8V LXT
Pros and Cons


  • High Torque: The Makita XPH14Z offers an impressive 1,250 in.lbs. of max torque, making it suitable for the most demanding drilling and driving applications.
  • Compact Design: At only 7 inches long, this tool is 14% shorter than its previous models, enhancing maneuverability in tight spaces and reducing user fatigue.
  • Brushless Motor: Equipped with a Makita-built BL Brushless Motor, it ensures longer run time, increased power and speed, and extended tool life.
  • Variable Speed Transmission: The 2-speed transmission (0-550 & 0-2,100 RPM) allows for a wide range of drilling and fastening tasks, adding to the tool’s versatility.
  • Enhanced Chuck: The all-metal ½” self-ratcheting chuck improves bit gripping strength and durability, ensuring reliability during high-torque applications.
  • LXT System Compatibility: Part of Makita’s extensive 18V LXT System, it offers compatibility with a wide range of batteries and chargers, maximizing convenience and efficiency.
  • Built-In Features: Features like the dual L.E.D. lights enhance visibility in low-light conditions, while the rubberized soft grip increases comfort during use.


  • Battery and Charger Not Included: Sold as a “tool only” option, requiring separate purchases of batteries and chargers, which can be an additional expense for users without existing compatible components.
  • Heavier than Some Competitors: Despite its compact size, it might be slightly heavier than some competitor models, which could affect handling for some users.
  • Price Point: The Makita XPH14Z might be priced higher than some entry-level models, making it a more significant investment, particularly for casual or occasional users.
  • Limited Chuck Size: With a maximum chuck size of 13 millimeters, it may not accommodate larger bits used for specific applications, potentially limiting its use in certain scenarios.
  • No Hammer Only Mode: While it excels in hammer drilling, the lack of a “hammer only” mode may limit its use for certain masonry and demolition tasks that require such a feature.

Comparison Table

FeatureMakita 18V LXT (XPH14Z)DeWalt 20V MAX XR (DCD996B)
Power SourceBattery Powered (18V)Battery Powered (20V MAX)
Maximum Torque1,250 in.lbs.820 in.lbs.
Maximum Speed2,100 RPM2,000 RPM
Hammer Drilling BPM31,500 BPM38,250 BPM
Chuck Size½” All-Metal Self-Ratcheting½” Metal Ratcheting
DesignCompact and Ergonomic, 7″ LengthSlightly Larger and Ergonomic
WeightLighter, Enhancing PortabilitySlightly Heavier
Brushless MotorYesYes
Built-In LightYes, Dual LEDYes, 3-Mode LED
Battery CompatibilityMakita 18V LXT SystemDeWalt 20V MAX System
Special FeaturesVariable Speed, Star Protection3-Speed Settings, Nitro-Carburized Metal Chuck

Makita 18V LXT (XPH14Z) VS. DeWalt 20V MAX XR (DCD996B)


  • Model: DCD996B
  • Voltage: 20V MAX XR
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Tool Type: Hammer Drill
  • Chuck Size: 1/2″ (13mm)
  • Weight (Tool Only): 4.7 lbs (2.1 kg)
  • Length: 8.4″ (21.3 cm)

While both drills use lithium-ion batteries, the DeWalt boasts a higher voltage offering slightly more power than the Makita. However, the Makita is significantly lighter and more compact, perfect for tight spaces. DeWalt counters with faster hammering and a 3-mode LED light, while Makita offers dual LEDs and Star Protection for battery health. Ultimately, the DeWalt packs more punch while the Makita prioritizes maneuverability and durability. Choose based on your power needs and workspace size.


The Makita 18V LXT Hammer Driver-Drill (XPH14Z) is a testament to Makita’s commitment to innovation, power, and user-centric design. Its compact size, coupled with its impressive power output, makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from home DIY projects to professional construction tasks. The XPH14Z’s versatility, durability, and part of the extensive 18V LXT system make it a valuable addition to any tool collection, promising performance and reliability that Makita users have come to expect. Whether you’re drilling into wood, fastening screws, or hammer drilling into concrete, the XPH14Z stands ready to deliver the power and precision needed to get the job done efficiently and effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Makita XPH14Z suitable for heavy-duty drilling tasks?
    Yes, the Makita XPH14Z is well-suited for heavy-duty tasks, thanks to its high torque output of 1,250 in.lbs. and its hammer drilling function, making it capable of handling demanding drilling and driving applications in various materials, including masonry.
  2. Does the XPH14Z come with a battery and charger?
    No, the XPH14Z is sold as a “tool only” model, meaning batteries and chargers are not included. It is compatible with Makita’s 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries, which must be purchased separately if you don’t already own them.
  3. Can the speed of the drill be adjusted?
    Yes, the XPH14Z features a 2-speed transmission with settings of 0-550 and 0-2,100 RPM, allowing users to choose the optimal speed based on the specific task at hand.
  4. How does the brushless motor benefit the XPH14Z?
    The brushless motor in the XPH14Z enhances the tool’s efficiency and longevity by reducing friction and heat buildup, which in turn minimizes wear and tear. This leads to longer run times, increased power and speed, and extended tool life.
  5. Is the XPH14Z heavy to use for extended periods?
    While the XPH14Z is designed to be compact and ergonomic, reducing user fatigue, its weight may still be noticeable during extended use. However, its balanced design and rubberized soft grip help to mitigate this, making it more comfortable to use over longer periods.
  6. Can the XPH14Z be used for drilling into concrete?
    Yes, the XPH14Z is equipped with a hammer drill function that provides up to 31,500 BPM, making it suitable for drilling into concrete and other masonry materials efficiently.
  7. What type of chuck does the XPH14Z have?
    The XPH14Z features an all-metal ½” self-ratcheting chuck, which enhances bit gripping strength and durability, ensuring that bits remain secure during high-torque applications.
  8. Is the XPH14Z compatible with other Makita 18V batteries?
    Yes, the XPH14Z is part of the Makita 18V LXT system and is compatible with all Makita 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries, offering flexibility and convenience for users with existing Makita tools and batteries.
  9. How can I ensure the longevity of my XPH14Z?
    To ensure the longevity of the XPH14Z, follow regular maintenance routines such as cleaning the tool after use, checking for and tightening any loose parts, lubricating moving parts as necessary, and storing the tool in a dry, secure place.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! If you found our review on the Makita 8V LXT Hammer Driver-Drill helpful or have any questions, please drop a comment below. Sharing your insights and experiences can benefit our community of enthusiasts. And if you enjoyed our content, a quick share would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


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