Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z Impact Driver Review

Makita GDT01Z Angle 5
Table of Contents

Quick take

The Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z has incredible battery life and a wide array of drive mode settings that offer nearly endless driving versatility. It also has sufficient torque performance to drive big screws and lag bolts easily. Admittedly, we expected far better torque performance on a 40V platform. Consider that the lackluster driving speed performance is another letdown for such a hefty tool, especially with the sky-high price tag. Accordingly, it’s best suited for prosumers and professional trades workers who can maximize the battery performance and aren’t concerned with securing the highest torque output model on the market.

Brand Makita
Platform 40V XGT
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 758.4
IPM 4,400.0
Drive modes 10
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as GDT01

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)16.210
Torque (in-lbs)758.45
Battery run time (min.)83.01
RPM3,113.09
Bare weight (lbs)2.1515
Impacting noise (dBA)98.619

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.51 / 5 ⭐️’s

Pros

  • Long battery run time
  • Brushless motor
  • Drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • Versatile light

Cons

  • Large and heavy working footprint
  • Poor noise performance
  • Requires two hands to remove bits

Buy

Kits and bare tool options

GDT01D

Includes (1) XGT 40V 2.5Ah battery

Series lineup

Model #PlatformDrive ModesTorqueIPMReview
GDT01Z40V XGT10758.4 in-lbs4,400.0Full review
XDT13Z18V LXT1682.8 in-lbs3,600.0Full review
XDT14Z18V LXT4589.8 in-lbs3,800.0Full review
XDT19Z18V LXT8595.2 in-lbs3,800.0Full review

Alternatives

Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z: The XDT19Z uses a similar design language that is highly compact and lightweight. The primary tradeoffs are the XDT19Z doesn’t offer as much torque, though it is faster under load. Compare side by side

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20: The 2953-20 is a better pick for most people since it is faster under load and pushes out more torque. Impressively, it achieves class-leading performance in an incredibly compact footprint. Compare side by side

Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887: The DCF887 is a flagship Dewalt impact driver with improved torque and speed under load, though it is longer from tip to tail. Compare side by side

Lab results

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: Yes
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 83.0
Head angle (deg.): 93.0

The GDT01Z closely mirrors the design of Makita’s popular 18V LXT impact driver lineup, all of which have surprisingly compact footprints. But we don’t recommend buying the GDT01Z if a nimble impact driver is essential to you (more on that below).

The grip has good ergonomics for solid gripping power, and a large amount of the grip is covered in a rubber overgrip, improving shock absorption.

Otherwise, the GDT01Z includes a standard belt hook but not a bit holder or magnetic holder for fasteners, common features with several Ryobi impact drivers.

Weight

Makita GDT01Z On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.15
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs): 3.67
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

The GDT01Z is heavy as a bare tool and with a battery. We don’t recommend this impact driver in any battery configuration if you’re seeking a lightweight tool. The bare tool footprint is relatively compact, but Makita’s 40V XGT batteries are incredibly bulky.

The 40V XGT 2.5Ah battery tips the scales at 1.52 lbs, compared to around 1.0 lb for most other brands’ comparable battery sizes.

To keep it as lightweight as possible, combine the GDT01Z with Makita’s 40V XGT 2.5Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the GDT01Z with Makita’s 40V XGT 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Makita GDT01Z Footprint1

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.500
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.375
Collet to back length (in.): 4.625
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.750
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.375
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.250
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The GDT01Z’s footprint is noticeably bigger than most impact drivers we’ve tested, except for the collet-to-back length. Notably, the max base and head width dimensions are wider than average. Add on a 40V XGT battery, and the working height is massive.

Compare footprint test results

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 4,400.0

Brushless motors are table stakes nowadays due to their improved driving performance, battery efficiency, and longevity over brushed motors. The GDT01Z’s brushless motor should have excellent longevity (though we’ve not tested the shelf life). It is also one reason the battery run time is so long.

We anticipated the high advertised impacts per minute would crush our driving speed tests, but that didn’t play out in practice, with the GDT01Z finishing in the middle of the pack.

Drive modes

Makita GDT01Z Drive Modes

Drive modes: 10
Drive mode 1:  Max impact 
Drive mode 2:  Hard impact 
Drive mode 3:  Medium impact 
Drive mode 4:  Soft impact 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

One of the standout features of the GDT01Z is its wide array of drive mode settings that give you unmatched driving versatility.

You can select from four impact-frequency settings, and there are also six assist modes for driving screws into different materials and loosening bolts. The ten driving modes can also be programmed to the quick mode-switching button near the trigger for toggling to a saved favorite drive mode.

Drive modes we label as 1, 2, 3, and 4 advertise max impacts per minute of 4400.0, 3600.0, 2600.0, and 1100.0, respectively.

When pressing the assist button, you can select from the following drive modes:

  • Wood: Prevents a screw from stripping and helps set the screw into your work material at the beginning of driving by starting with a slow RPM and then increasing the RPM once the hammer begins impacting.
  • Self-tapping 1: Prevents screws from over-tightening by stopping the tool soon after impacts start.
  • Self-tapping 2: Prevents cam-out and stripping of screws by slowing the RPM when impacts begin.
  • Bolt 1: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting. When in reverse, the impact force is setting 2.
  • Bolt 2: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting for 0.3 seconds. When in reverse, the impact force is setting 4.
  • Bolt 3: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting for 1.0 seconds.

The assist modes are more than a marketing gimmick and work well in practice. The wood assist mode finishes screws nicely and consistently into your work material, and the jolt of turbo is welcome for longer screws. Consider that you lose some precision driving the screw to a desired depth as the RPM ramps.

The Self-Tapping modes precisely drive screws into thin or thicker metal and lower-density materials without over-tightening.

The various bolt modes loosen bolts quickly and precisely, partly because the trigger is more sensitive and ramps to the highest RPM faster to bust bolts loose.

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 16.2
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 3.2
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 12.3
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.5

With the GDT01Z’s size and advertised specs, we anticipated it blowing away the competition in our driving speed tests. The GDT01Z drives big screws and lag bolts powerfully, but the driving speed performance was one of the most glaring letdowns in our testing. Frankly, the bar is high with the price tag, so anything below flagship performance is a letdown.

Kitting it out with a higher Ah battery will improve driving speed, but the gains are minimal and especially underwhelming considering the size, voltage, and premium price tag.

The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z, Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02, and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 are alternatives for faster driving performance.

Compare driving speed test results

Torque

Makita GDT01Z Torquemeter
Makita GDT01Z Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 758.4
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 718.8
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 455.4
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): 263.4

One critical letdown of the GDT01Z is the torque output. While we were able to generate high levels of torque output with the GDT01Z, the bar is set much higher when considering the power potential inherent to a 40V platform and the sky-high price tag.

Consider the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 for models with better torque output.

Compare torque test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 83.0
Battery tested: 40V XGT 2.5Ah (BL4025)
Voltage: 40

The GDT01Z shines regarding battery run time performance, topping the ranks in our Summer 2023 test batch. We tested the GDT01Z with a 2.5Ah battery, whereas other models tested used a 2Ah version. So, battery run time is understandably better since the test isn’t 100% apples to apples.

But consider that the GDT01Z has outstanding efficiency with a higher run time per Ah than other models tested. Accordingly, if Makita offered a 40V 2Ah XGT battery, we’d anticipate it outperforming setups running the same Ah battery.

We expect the battery run time to perform similarly well when running the GDT01Z with a 40V XGT 5Ah battery compared to other setups running the same Ah battery.

Compare battery test results

Battery lineup

Makita 40V XGT 2.5Ah Battery

Makita offers 2.5Ah, 4Ah, 5Ah, and 8Ah batteries in its 40V XGT lineup. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increase battery run time and improves driving performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs. The higher Ah batteries are also excessively bulky and heavy, fit mostly for construction tasks and trades workers.

Having at least two batteries in your setup is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend buying two Makita 40V XGT 2.5Ah batteries for most 40V XGT impact driver setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

Makita’s standard chargers only charge a single battery voltage. You’ll need a dedicated charger for your 12V, 18V, and 40V Makita tools. Many Milwaukee impact drivers come in kits with a hybrid 12V and 18V charger in one, which conveniently saves space in your shop if you have multiple tools in the ecosystem.

Charging time

Makita 40V XGT Fuel Gauge

Charger tested:
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Coming Soon
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.):
Fuel gauge: On battery

Compare charging test results

RPM

Makita GDT01Z RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,113.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,854.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,733.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 856.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,299.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,818.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,840.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 922.0

The GDT01Z’s RPM readings were moderately high, but we don’t consider this a knock on the versatility and driving performance. The wide array of drive mode settings, torque, impacts per minute, and RPM provide more than enough driving power than most people will need, and it’s highly versatile.

Compare RPM test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.750
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.125
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 5.875

We don’t recommend the GDT01Z if you consistently drive fasteners in spaces requiring a lot of height clearance. A sub-compact or compact footprint can squeeze into these tighter spaces, especially if they have a shorter height.

However, it has solid clearances in our 45-degree driving test, thanks to its short collet-to-back length, surprising for such a bulky setup with the battery.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

GDT01Z Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 85.1
Max impacting noise (dBA): 98.6

While no impact driver is quiet, the GDT01Z is among the louder models we’ve tested when impacting.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are hydraulic impact drivers with quieter impacts, albeit much lower torque.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 17.9
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.0

Compare vibration test results

Light

Makita GDT01Z Light
Makita GDT01Z Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: Yes
Number of lights: 2
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

The GDT01Z’s light illuminates work surfaces well with a large coverage area. You can also turn off the light when holding the drive mode settings button. Turning off the light is good for versatility and saves battery life. Otherwise, there is a 10-second delay for the light to turn off after releasing the trigger.

Another unique feature of the GDT01Z is that the impact driver acts as a dedicated flashlight. Set the forward/reverse switch to the neutral position, then squeeze the trigger to turn on the light and squeeze it again to turn off the light, all without the motor ramping up.

Collet

Makita GDT01Z Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: No
Easy-insert collet: Yes

It takes two hands to remove bits on the GDT01Z, one hand to slide the collet and the other to remove the bit. The collet does include an easy-insert feature, which helps with one-handed bit insertion.

Most Dewalt impact drivers are ideal for one-handed bit changes since these impact drivers include a well-designed easy-insert and bit-eject collet.

App integration

App integration: None

There is no bluetooth app integration to review impact driver diagnostics or to customize driving profiles on your phone. Dewalt’s ToolConnect and Milwaukee’s One Key models offer app integrations that track impact driver usage, display tool diagnostics, and allow you to set custom driving profiles, such as adjusting the RPM for each drive mode.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 3
Battery warranty (years): 3

Makita stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The GDT01Z has a three-year warranty. Makita 40V XGT batteries include a three-year warranty.

What's new?

12/5/23: Updated alternatives to consider
7/27/23: Full review published
7/14/23: Preliminary review published

Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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