The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Makita XFD10R Review

While the Makita is a decent drill, its habit of randomly dying while completing difficult tasks held it back
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Price:   $170 List | $149 at Amazon
Pros:  Good drilling power for light to moderate tasks, solidly convenient
Cons:  Expensive, weird battery issues with difficult tasks
Manufacturer:   Makita
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 23, 2019
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Drilling - 35% 6
  • Driving - 35% 4
  • Included Battery - 20% 4
  • Convenience - 10% 6

Our Verdict

While we originally thought the Makita XFD10R had a reasonable shot at claiming an award, we were overall disappointed at its overall performance. This drill did alright in our drilling tests but slightly below average when it came to driving in fasteners. Its battery performance ended up being below average as well, but we did find the Makita to be decently convenient, with a handful of handy features. Unfortunately, this drill also has one of the higher list prices, making it solidly hard to recommend.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Makita XFD10R
Awards  Editors' Choice Award    
Price $170 List
$149.00 at Amazon
$180 List
$97.99 at Amazon
$160 List
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$180 List$160 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Good drilling power for light to moderate tasks, solidly convenientPowerful, great battery life, fantastic integrated worklightExcellent drilling performance, tons of driving power, decently convenientBurly construction, tons of powerPhenomenal driving performance, solid drilling power
Cons Expensive, weird battery issues with difficult tasksExpensive, only includes a single batterySo-so battery life, somewhat priceyHeavy, costlySubpar battery life
Bottom Line While the Makita is a decent drill, its habit of randomly dying while completing difficult tasks held it backIf you want a heavy-duty drill that can keep up with all your toughest projects, the Kobalt is the best you can getThe DCD777C2 is one of the best drills we have seen and would have claimed the top spot if it only had a better battery lifeThis beefy drill features industrial build quality with an all-metal chuck but was just slightly outmatched when it came to drilling powerThe DCD771C2 is a good option if you value driving performance above drilling power
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Rating Categories Makita XFD10R Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 DEWALT DCD777C2 Milwaukee M18 DEWALT DCD771C2
Drilling (35%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Driving (35%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Included Battery (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
4
Convenience (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs Makita XFD10R Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 DEWALT DCD777C2 Milwaukee M18 DEWALT DCD771C2
Battery Capacity (Included) 2 Ah 2 Ah 1.5 Ah 1.5 Ah 1.3 Ah
Battery Voltage 18V 24V 20V 18V 20V
Max Chuck 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2"
Battery Chemistry Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
Drill Model Tested XFD10 KDD 524B-03 DCD777 2606-20 DCD771
Box Model (Kit) Tested XFD10R 672823 DCD777C2 2606-22CT DCD771C2
RPM Low: 0 - 600
High: 0 - 1900
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 1750
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1800
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1800
Peak Torque 480 in-lbs 650 in-lbs 340 UWO 500 in-lbs 300 UWO
Measured Length 7-1/4" 7-3/8" 7-1/4" 7-1/4" 8-3/8"
Measured Weight 3 pounds
6 oz
3 pounds
15.2 oz
3 pounds
4.1 oz
3 pounds
12.6 oz
3 pounds
7.3 oz
Measured Charge Time 26 minutes 75 minutes 65 minutes 31 minutes 58 minutes
Battery Indicator Location Battery Battery N/A Battery N/A
LED Location Above the trigger Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The XFD10R finished just behind the 12-volt Bosch PS31-2A and ahead of the 12-volt DEWALT DCD710S2. The XFD10R is the most expensive of these drills but matched the Bosch when it came to drilling performance, battery life, and convenience features. However, the Bosch did outperform the Makita when it came to driving. The DEWALT falls short of the Makita when it came to drilling power, battery life, and features but did match it when it came to driving in fasteners.

The XFD10R did alright but we found a few areas where it struggled in our tests.
The XFD10R did alright but we found a few areas where it struggled in our tests.

Performance Comparison


To rate the performance of the Makita XFD10R, we bought it — and all the other drills in this review — and tested it head-to-head against the rest of the drills. We divvied these tests into four separate testing categories, with the XFD10R's performance in each of them discussed below.

The 5" hole saw gave this Makita drill a solidly hard time.
The 5" hole saw gave this Makita drill a solidly hard time.

Drilling


The XFD10R did slightly above average in this test, earning a 6 out of 10. We used three tests to assess performance for this metric, which accounts for 35% of the final point tally.

Our first test with this drill was using it to drill several holes in a 2x12 piece of dimensional lumber with a 1" spade bit. The XFD10R handled this test with total ease, drilling the holes extremely quickly and easily. It never stalled out or showed any sign of a struggle at all.

The XFD10R had more than enough power for the 1" spade bit.
The XFD10R had more than enough power for the 1" spade bit.

It struggled a little more at drilling through the steel sheet but still made it through without too much of an issue. It took a little longer than the top drills to make it through the 16 gauge sheet with the ¼" drill but still only took about 2.4 seconds. It did about average with the ½" drill, taking 5-7 seconds to drill through but never stalled out.

The Makita also made it through the steel fairly easily without stalling.
The Makita also made it through the steel fairly easily without stalling.

Unfortunately, the XFD10R didn't do all that well with the 5" hole saw test. It made it through once, but the battery randomly died on us in all the other trials. We started with a fully charged battery and started drilling. After 20-30 seconds, the drill would stop and the battery indicator would show that it was completely dead, with it failing to work again until we put it on the charger long enough to fully recharge. We aren't sure if this is triggering some safety mechanism or if it is actually depleting the battery that fast, but we did contact Makita customer support and they didn't really provide any more clarity besides telling us to take it to a service center. This also happened with both of the included batteries in our tests.

The XFD10R is able to set the heads on countersunk screws in a controlled manner.
The XFD10R is able to set the heads on countersunk screws in a controlled manner.

Driving


After scoring the XFD10R's so-so drilling performance, we then moved on to rating and comparing how easily and quickly it is at driving in fasteners. These tests also account for 35% of the total score for the XFD10R, which earned a 4 out of 10 for its lackluster showing.

The Makita did an excellent job at driving in the 3" long, #9 wood screws, setting the countersunk heads in a controlled manner extremely quickly.

The XFD10R struggled to drive in the lag screw in our test.
The XFD10R struggled to drive in the lag screw in our test.

However, the XFD10R did very poorly in our second test: driving in a 5" long, ½" diameter lag screw. It seemed like it was doing very well at the start of the test but then we encountered the same battery issue from before.

We were a little disappointed by the performance of the Makita's batteries in our tests.
We were a little disappointed by the performance of the Makita's batteries in our tests.

Included Battery


Our next series of tests assessed the battery performance of the XFD10R, which — unsurprisingly after its previous showings — didn't do all that well, earning another 4 out of 10. This metric is responsible for 20% of this tool's overall score and is based on the XFD10R's effective runtime, the time it took to recharge a dead battery, and the number of batteries included.

To compare the effective battery life of each drill, we started them with a completely charged battery, then set them to work alternating between driving in 16 of the #9 wood screws from the earlier tests and drilling three holes with the spade bit. The XFD10R only made it through three sets of this before dying, while the best tools made it double or even triple that before dying.

However, the Makita did earn some bonus points by including a pair of batteries and by recharging extremely quickly, taking less than half an hour to totally refill a dead battery.

The XFD10R is about average in weight and the chuck can hold bits up to 1/2" in diameter.
The XFD10R is about average in weight and the chuck can hold bits up to 1/2" in diameter.

Convenience


For the last component of the Makita's total score — constituting the leftover 10% — we compared and judged any convenience features that this tool has to improve your workflow, as well as how its specs stacked up against the rest of competition. This drill did decently well, meriting a 6 out of 10.

This cordless drill is about average in weight (3 lbs., 6 ozs.) and includes a belt clip near the battery for hands-free transport. It has two gear ratios so you can maximize speed or torque, depending on whatever your project requires, and the chuck can expand to a maximum size of ½".

It has an integrated work light that is really bright, but we found the light on the XFD10R created a shadow across where you were working most of the time in our tests.

The integrated light on the Makita provides a decent amount of illumination when working in a dark area.
The integrated light on the Makita provides a decent amount of illumination when working in a dark area.

We did like that this Makita drill does have a battery charge indicator right on the battery and that it is fairly easy to insert or remove a battery, though the locking release button can be a bit weird.

Value


We didn't think that the Makita is a great value, as it performed relatively poorly in our tests but it is priced like a top-tier tool.

Conclusion


Overall, we weren't really enthused with the performance of the XFD10R in our tests. It scored comparably to drills that cost significantly less and couldn't really compare to the performance of the best drills.


David Wise and Austin Palmer