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Makita XDT16Z Lithium-Ion 18V Review

A powerful driver with a great battery life that's a fairly large investment
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Makita XDT16Z Lithium-Ion 18V Review
Credit: Makita
Price:  $151 List
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Manufacturer:   Makita
By Ross Patton and Matt Spencer  ⋅  Oct 18, 2022
88
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Speed - 35% 9.0
  • Torque - 25% 10.0
  • Convenience - 20% 8.0
  • Battery - 15% 9.3
  • Noise - 5% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Makita XDT16Z is one of the highest-performing impact drivers we've tested. It maxed out our torque tests and offers lightning-fast speed. It has one of the longest-lasting batteries out there and has some amazing bonus features, such as an awesome light and eight different speed and torque settings. Like most impact drivers, the XDT16Z is loud. The main reason why it failed to earn an award is its high cost. Unless you already own the compatible battery and charger for this model and are able to find a place to buy the tool on its own, there are less expensive versions available that offer a comparable performance. See how this one measures up to our favorite impact drivers in our full review.
REASONS TO BUY
Several fastening modes
Nifty lighting approach
Great battery efficiency
REASONS TO AVOID
Noisy
Pricey

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award 
Price $151 List$135 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$129 List
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$110 List$120 List
$83.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line This model offers tons of power and speed along with fantastic battery life but isn't quite budget-friendlyThis impact driver offers fantastic speed and torque in a compact packageIf you want a high performance impact driver that can hang with the best, this is a good choiceAn exceptionally fast and powerful tool that is slightly held back by an average batteryWhen it comes to 12-volt impact drivers, it's hard to beat the performance of this model
Rating Categories Makita XDT16Z Lithi... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Makita XDT13 Ryobi P238 Milwaukee M12 Fuel...
Speed (35%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Torque (25%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
Convenience (20%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Battery (15%)
9.3
7.0
8.8
4.8
3.5
Noise (5%)
4.0
2.0
3.0
1
3.0
Specs Makita XDT16Z Lithi... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Makita XDT13 Ryobi P238 Milwaukee M12 Fuel...
Impact Driver Model # XDT16Z 2853-20 XDT13 P238 2553-20
Average Measured Fastening Torque 300 ft-lb 300 ft-lb 282 ft-lb 300 ft-lb 143 ft-lb
Measured Breaking Torque 300 ft-lb 300 ft-lb 300 ft-lb 300 ft-lb 275 ft-lb
Measured Length 114 mm 116 mm 126 mm 161 mm 132 mm
Average Measured Sound Pressure Level 94 dBa 99 dBa 97 dBa 104 dBa 97 dBa
Quick Bit Insert? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bit Holder? No Yes No Yes No
Multiple Fastening Modes? Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Makita XDT16Z is one of the fastest and strongest impact drivers that has ever come through GearLab headquarters. When it comes to 18-volt models, the 16Z's battery life is unmatched. If you already own Makita 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, this model should certainly be on your radar.

Performance Comparison


makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the makita xdt16z is quick, strong, and has phenomenal battery life.
The Makita XDT16Z is quick, strong, and has phenomenal battery life.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Speed


This model was one of the fastest drivers in our speed assessments. It takes an average of four seconds to sink a 3 ⅝" ledger screw into a stack of douglas fir 2x12s. When it came to driving a 3" x ½" lag bolt into the same stack of boards, the 16Z only took 14 seconds to sink the screw and an impressive five seconds to remove it.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the xdt16z was one of the fastest models during our speed testing.
The XDT16Z was one of the fastest models during our speed testing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Torque


Our torque tests were another strong suit for the Makita XDT16Z. This was one of the few models to completely max out our assessment apparatus. The XDT16Z was able to tighten large nuts to 300 foot-pound and had no problem loosening nuts tightened to the same pressure.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the makita xdt16z produces an impressive amount of torque.
The Makita XDT16Z produces an impressive amount of torque.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Convenience


When it comes to convenience, the Makita XDT16Z is one of our favorite models to use. With an overall length of 114 mm, this version is small enough to squeeze in between wall studs, under sinks, and into the tiniest of attic and crawlspace spots. It has eight different modes, including four assist and impact modes, allowing you to customize the settings for any project.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the xdt16z is well suited for both light and heavy-duty jobs.
The XDT16Z is well suited for both light and heavy-duty jobs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We love the quick-insert chuck on the Makita XDT16Z. This feature allows you to stick a bit into the tool with one hand and know that it will be secure without double-checking it while you're searching for a fastener on top of a ladder or on your back in a crawl space.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the chuck on this version uses quick-connect, allowing you to insert...
The chuck on this version uses quick-connect, allowing you to insert bits with one hand.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery


The Makita XDT16Z has stupendous battery life. To test battery life, we alternated between sinking fourteen ledger screws and setting a large lag screw in and out of a pre-determined size and type of lumber and gave out points according to the number of sets that each model could complete. The Makita crushed five sets of our gauntlet before running out of juice on the 10th screw of the sixth set.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - many, many screws were sunk for the sake of wearing these batteries...
Many, many screws were sunk for the sake of wearing these batteries out.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Noise


The Makita XDT16Z is far from the quietest model in our review, but it is by no means the loudest. With an average sound level of 96 decibels, it's probably not the best model to operate while your neighbors are enjoying dinner.

makita xdt16z lithium-ion 18v - the makita xdt16z is outright loud.
The Makita XDT16Z is outright loud.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Makita XDT16Z?


The XDT16Z is definitely the right impact driver for certain people. If you require ultra-high performance from a tool with minimal bulk, this model is the way to go. Also, if you already own Makita 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, you can save a good chunk of change by buying the tool by itself.

What Other Impact Drivers Should You Consider?


In the realm of impact drivers, if you want super-high performance, you're going to have to drop the extra coin. Unfortunately, the Makita XDT16Z is pricey. If you want an impact driver that's easy on the wallet, the Ryobi P238 offers a notable performance at a fraction of the cost of the top dogs. You may not need an 18-volt version at all. If you need a driver that is light and will take care of most light installations, tinkering, and adjustments around the house, then check out the Milwaukee M12 Fuel.

Ross Patton and Matt Spencer