Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z Impact Driver Review

Makita XDT14Z Angle 5

Quick take

The Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z is a fantastic impact driver in an already outstanding lineup of Makita 18V XDT models. This impact driver has a long battery run time, drives big screws fast, has a small footprint, is lightweight, and offers several helpful drive modes for versatility. This combination of features is typically only provided in flagship models, but the XDT14Z comes at a fraction of the price. One potential downside is the poor noise performance when impacting, but that’s easy to overlook for a category of tools that isn’t designed to be a wallflower. It also doesn’t offer as many drive modes and work light features as other flagships. If these aren’t downsides to you, few impact drivers can match the versatility and performance for the price, making it an excellent fit for DIY’ers and trade workers.

Brand Makita
Platform 18V LXT
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 589.8
IPM 3,800.0
Drive modes 4
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as XDT14

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)14.64
Torque (in-lbs)589.814
Battery run time (min.)56.03
RPM3,301.04
Bare weight (lbs)1.946
Impacting noise (dBA)97.216

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.61 / 5 stars

Pros

  • Compact footprint
  • Long battery run time
  • Brushless motor
  • Drive modes
  • Driving speed
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • Versatile light

Cons

  • Poor noise performance
  • Requires two hands to remove bits

Recommended configuration

XDT14T

Includes (2) 18V 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

Lab results

Torque

Makita XDT14Z Torquemeter
Makita XDT14Z Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 589.8
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 248.4
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 280.2
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The XDT14Z isn’t the impact driver to buy for best-in-class torque. It is powerful enough to tackle any demanding job around the home and for DIY projects. But its tested torque output is middle of the pack, highlighting the fact that the XDT14Z is better for its RPM and associated driving speed, not breaking loose rusty lug nuts.

Compare torque test results

RPM

Makita XDT14Z RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,301.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 1,766.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 946.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 3,231.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,139.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,004.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,033.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 3,571.0

The XDT14Z shined in our driving speed tests partly because of the high RPM readings we measured. The high RPM drives screws quickly before impacting takes over, with the torque doing most of the work thereafter.

We measured the highest RPM readout with the XDT14Z in reverse in drive mode 4, which offers extra oomph for busting loose stubborn screws and bolts.

Compare RPM test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 14.6
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.9
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 10.8
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.2

If you covet an impact driver with brute force to drive screws rapidly, consider the XDT14Z. This impact driver turned in driving speed performance results that were on par with or better than several high-quality models with higher price tags.

Jump to the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, Dewalt 20V Max DCF845, or Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z to squeeze out slightly improved driving speed.

Compare driving speed test results

Drive modes

Makita XDT14Z Drive Modes

Drive modes: 4
Drive mode 1:  Hard impact 
Drive mode 2:  Medium impact 
Drive mode 3:  Soft impact 
Drive mode 4:  Self-tapping 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

One sacrifice we’re happy Makita avoided with this model is its drive mode settings. The XDT14Z doesn’t offer as many drive mode settings as its more expensive cousins. But it still includes the essential drive modes to satisfy most users and beats out many competing impact drivers that only offer a single drive mode.

You can select from four impact-frequency settings. Drive modes we label as 1, 2, 3, and 4 advertise max impacts per minute of 3800.0, 2600.0, 1100.0, and 2600.0, respectively.

Drive mode 1 is ideal for driving big structural screws and lag bolts efficiently, whereas drive modes 2 and 3 give you more control over the finished screw depth and help to avoid cam-out and stripped screws.

Drive mode 4 is the equivalent of a self-tapping mode other brands offer. This mode is ideal for driving screws into thin metal.

Unlike some of the best Makita impact drivers, there are no other specialty assist modes for loosening bolts. There also is no quick mode-switching button at the trigger to toggle to a favorite saved drive mode. These are two of the sacrifices made to bring the price down for the XDT14Z compared to other models in the XDT lineup.

Collet

Makita XDT14Z Collet Closeup

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

The XDT14Z requires two hands to remove a bit since it doesn’t include a bit eject collet. Makita’s collets don’t smoothly accept an inserted bit like Dewalt and Ryobi models, but you can insert a bit with one hand on the XDT14Z without extending the collet.

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.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 3,800.0

Brushless motors offer vast performance improvements over brushed motors. The brushless motor in the XDT14Z improves longevity, driving performance, and increases battery run time.

The high advertised 3800.0 impacts per minute is one reason the XDT14Z shined in our driving speed tests.

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 56.0
Battery tested: 18V LXT 2Ah (BL1820B)
Voltage: 18

One of the XDT14Z’s standout features is its battery run time. This impact driver delivered some of the longest battery run times we’ve come across and handily beats many similarly-priced models.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. We expect the battery run time to perform similarly well when running the XDT14Z with an 18 LXT 5Ah battery and comparing it with 5Ah setups from other brands.

Compare battery test results

Charging time

Makita 18V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Makita LXT Rapid Optimum (DC18RC)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 24.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 51.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 11.1
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Rapid Optimum charger (DC18RC) included in most Makita kits charges batteries exceptionally fast. Our tests found that this charger tops off 5Ah batteries in less time than it takes to charge smaller-capacity 2Ah batteries from other brands using their standard kit chargers.

Makita’s DC18RC charger only charges a single battery voltage. You’ll need a dedicated charger for your 12V and 18V Makita tools. Many Milwaukee drills and Dewalt drills come in kits with chargers that charge multiple voltage batteries in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several tools on those platforms.

Compare charging test 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.): 82.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

Weight

Makita XDT14Z On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 1.94
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.78
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 4.28

The XDT14Z is exceptionally lightweight for an 18V impact driver, nearly rivaling the bare tool weight of sub-compact 12V impact drivers. Moreover, the working weight is comparatively low among the competition when kitted with one of Makita’s 18V LXT batteries.

To keep it as lightweight as possible, we recommend combining the XDT14Z with Makita’s 18V LXT 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.If weight is less of a concern, pair the XDT14Z with Makita’s 18V LXT 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Makita XDT14Z Footprint1
Makita XDT14Z Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.250
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.125
Collet to back length (in.): 4.625
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.625
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.125
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.250
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The XDT14Z is exceptionally compact and squeezes nicely into tight spaces with its short collet-to-back length, which is among the most compact we’ve tested outside of sub-compact impact drivers. The XDT14Z is a smidge shorter in height and a smidge longer from collet to back than its flagship cousin, the Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z.

Compare footprint test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.375
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.000
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 5.875

The XDT14Z squeezes well into small openings and tight spaces. Notably, it has a short length from the collet to the back. It is one of the few models we’ve tested that broke the 6-inch threshold in our interior 45-degree driving clearance test.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

XDT14Z Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 77.9
Max impacting noise (dBA): 97.2

One downside is the noise performance. While no impact driver is tame, the XDT14Z 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 quieter options since both are hydraulic impact drivers with subtler impacts, albeit lower torque.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 36.8
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.3

Compare vibration test results

Light

Makita XDT14Z Light
Makita XDT14Z Light Closeup

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

The XDT14Z’s light illuminates work surfaces well but has a smaller coverage area than other Makita 18V XDT impact drivers. Nicely, you can enable or disable the light by holding the drive mode settings button for a few seconds. 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.

One feature Makita cut to reduce the price tag is that the XDT14Z can’t act as a dedicated flashlight. Other impact drivers, such as the Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z and Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z do include this feature where you can 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.

Warranty

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

Makita stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The XDT14Z has a three-year warranty. Makita 18V LXT batteries include a three-year warranty.

Picture of 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.

Related

Leave a Comment