Milwaukee M18 2850-20 Vs Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z

Milwaukee 2850-20 Angle 5

Milwaukee 2850-20

Quick take

Compare the two impact drivers below and see side-by-side results from our lab testing to determine which model is right for you.

Brand Milwaukee
Platform M18
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 850.2
IPM 4,200.0
Drive modes 1
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as -
Brand Makita
Platform 18V LXT
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 595.2
IPM 3,800.0
Drive modes 8
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as XDT19

Editorial opinion

Rating

3.79 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Great driving speed
  • High impacts per minute
  • Long tool and battery warranty

Cons

  • Battery life
  • Single drive mode
  • Requires two hands to change bits

Rating

4.62 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

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

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)14.75
Torque (in-lbs)850.23
Battery run time (min.)38.014
RPM3,240.06
Bare weight (lbs)2.018
Impacting noise (dBA)96.810
TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)13.73
Torque (in-lbs)595.213
Battery run time (min.)48.06
RPM3,296.05
Bare weight (lbs)1.885
Impacting noise (dBA)96.615

Recommended configuration

2850-21P

Includes (1) M18 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery

Lab results

Torque

Milwaukee 2850-20 Torquemeter
Milwaukee 2850-20 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 850.2
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

Torque output is one of the calling card features of the 2850-20, as evidenced in our testing. The 2850-20 generated some of the highest torque output we’ve seen in the 18V class, impressive for such a modestly-priced impact driver.

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 offers considerably more torque and better handles demanding applications, should you be looking for best-in-class performance.

Compare torque test results

Torque

Makita XDT19Z Torquemeter
Makita XDT19Z Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 595.2
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 577.8
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 275.4
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): 275.4

The XDT19Z offers flagship-level driving speed with its high max RPM. But its torque profile is more subtle and doesn’t compete with the highest torque impact drivers we’ve tested, such as the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20.

The XDT14Z won’t perform as well in demanding torque applications, including busting loose stubborn bolts, as it will driving screws quickly, which it excels at

Compare torque test results

RPM

Milwaukee 2850-20 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,240.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,139.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.):  N/A 
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.):  N/A 
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.):  N/A 

The 2850-20 achieved solid results in our RPM tests. The high RPM performance is a con, especially with only one drive mode, but it can be a helpful feature in certain situations. The high RPM sets fasteners quickly into your workpiece.

But such a high RPM too frequently results in cam-out. The cam-out potential is exacerbated by the fact that there’s a single drive mode, leaving the cam-out possibility to how delicately or not you feather the variable speed trigger.

There is no significant RPM difference between forward and reverse driving, unlike some impact drivers that increase the reverse RPM to remove stubborn screws more easily.

Compare RPM test results

RPM

Makita XDT19Z RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,296.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,867.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,794.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 964.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,296.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,914.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,848.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 1,022.0

The XDT19Z has a comparatively high max RPM, great for driving screws rapidly. Other impact drivers with high RPM readings can suffer from frequent cam-out and stripped screws, but the XDT19Z’s array of drive modes fixes this potential issue.

While we didn’t test the RPM for the bolt loosening assist setting, the trigger is noticeably more sensitive in reverse when using this drive mode, resulting in the RPM ramping quicker with a shorter trigger pull than other drive modes.

Compare RPM test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 14.7
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.9
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 11.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.2

In our driving speed tests, few impact drivers we’ve tested broke the threshold of averaging less than three seconds per screw. The 2850-20’s high impacts per minute undoubtedly explain some of the performance, particularly when finishing the last leg of driving long lag bolts and structural screws.

Higher-end models, such as the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z, and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845, beat out the 2850-20 with impressive driving speed performance.

Compare driving speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 13.7
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.7
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 10.1
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.0

The combination of the XDT19Z’s torque, impacts per minute, and high RPM results in fantastic driving performance. We tested the driving speed using the highest-frequency impact setting and achieved speeds that were among the fastest we’ve come across.

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 are alternatives if you want to squeeze out slightly improved driving speed.

Compare driving speed test results

Drive modes

Drive modes: 1
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  N/A 
Drive mode 3:  N/A 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

One critical missing factor is that 2850-20 includes only one drive mode, though the variable speed trigger helps in scenarios where a lighter driving force is needed. Additional drive modes would improve the driving versatility, albeit increasing the price tag.

The Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 are good alternatives with more driving versatility.

Drive modes

Makita XDT19Z Drive Modes

Drive modes: 8
Drive mode 1:  Max impact 
Drive mode 2:  Hard impact 
Drive mode 3:  Medium impact 
Drive mode 4:  Soft impact 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

Makita’s high-end impact drivers are packed with drive mode configurations that give you unmatched driving versatility, essentially giving you a single tool that handily tackles light and heavy-duty tasks. You can select from four impact-frequency settings, and there are also four assist modes for driving screws into different materials and for loosening bolts. The eight 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 3800.0, 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 by starting with a slow RPM and then increasing the RPM once the hammer begins impacting.
  • Bolt loosening: The tool automatically stops once a bolt is loosened in reverse mode. This action ensures that bolts don’t fall off. The trigger is also more sensitive, so the RPMs ramp faster with a shorter pull.
  • 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.

The assist modes are more than a marketing gimmick and work well in practice. The wood assist mode finishes screws nicely 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.

Collet

Milwaukee 2850-20 Collet Closeup

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

It takes two hands to change bits on the 2850-20, one hand to slide the collet and the other to insert or remove the bit. The collet has no easy-insert or bit eject feature, which helps with one-handed bit changes.

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.

Collet

Makita XDT19Z Collet Closeup

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

The XDT19Z 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 XDT19Z 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: 4,200.0

The 2850-20’s advertised 4,200 impacts per minute is high for an impact driver. Our in-house driving speed tests demonstrated that the elevated number of blows results in exceptional driving performance at this price point.

The 2850-20 also Includes a brushless motor, which helps with battery life, smoothes out driving performance, and should improve long-term durability. However, we haven’t tested the multi-year durability to confirm its shelf life.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 3,800.0

The XDT19Z includes a brushless motor, which offers vast performance improvements over brushed motors. The brushless motor improves longevity and driving performance and increases battery run time.

The advertised impacts per minute are one feature that doesn’t jump off the specs sheet. However, this spec doesn’t tell the whole story. The XDT19Z shined in our driving tests, including its snappy speed when driving big bolts and other screws.

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 38.0
Battery tested: 18V Red Lithium CP 2Ah (48-11-1820)
Voltage: 18

One letdown of the 2850-20 is the run time performance in our battery tests. The brushless motor significantly improves run time over comparable brushed motors. But 38 minutes of no-load battery run time isn’t much to write home about, especially considering that some cheaper impact drivers have a longer battery run time, more driving mode versatility, and higher torque.

Expect running with any of Milwaukee’s higher Ah 18V batteries to increase run time, but still lag behind other impact drivers running a similar Ah setup.

The Ryobi 18V One+ P237 is an excellent alternative budget option with better run time and several drive modes. The Makita 18V LXT XDT13Z is a better pick than the 2850-20 due to the Makita’s exceptional battery performance at a comparative price point.

Compare battery test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 48.0
Battery tested: 18V LXT 2Ah (BL1820B)
Voltage: 18

Makita’s 18V XDT lineup has outstanding battery run time performance, which holds with the XDT19Z. While the run time falls slightly behind the Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z and Makita 18V LXT XDT13Z, the no-load battery run time is still among the best we’ve tested.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. We expect the battery run time to perform similarly well when running the XDT19Z with an 18V LXT 5Ah battery and comparing it with 5Ah setups from other brands.

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Charging time

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Multi-Volt (48-59-1812)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 41.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 98.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 20.1
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Milwaukee M12 and M18 multi-volt charger (model 48-59-1812) included in most kits is reasonably fast at charging batteries, including to beat out team red’s most frequent adversary, Dewalt. It takes 41 minutes to charge an M18 2Ah battery and 98 minutes for a 5Ah battery, or approximately 20 minutes per amp-hour.

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 charger charges multiple battery voltages in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

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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.

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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.): 75.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

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

Milwaukee 2850-20 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.01
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.96
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.62

The bare tool weight is moderately light for an 18V impact driver. It isn’t as lightweight as other drivers with a battery when adding Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery, which is a slightly heavier 2Ah battery than several different manufacturers.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it lightweight, we recommend combining the 2850-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the 2850-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium XC 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

Weight

Makita XDT19Z On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 1.88
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.72
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 4.22

The XDT19Z is one of the lighter bare tools in the 18V XDT lineup, which is already light compared to many similar impact drivers that more commonly approach 2.25 lbs.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it as lightweight as possible, we recommend combining the XDT19Z with Makita’s 18V LXT 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the XDT19Z with Makita’s 18V LXT 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Milwaukee 2850-20 Footprint1
Milwaukee 2850-20 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.625
Max width (bare tool, in.): 2.625
Collet to back length (in.): 5.125
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.125
Base width (bare tool, in.): 2.625
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.500
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The 2850-20 has a middle-of-the-road compact design that makes it versatile for tasks around the home. One of the more essential measurements, the collet-to-back length, isn’t too long, giving you solid clearance in tight spaces.

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Footprint

Makita XDT19Z Footprint1
Makita XDT19Z Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.375
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.125
Collet to back length (in.): 4.500
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 XDT19Z 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.

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Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.750
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.125
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.125

We don’t recommend the 2850-20 if you consistently drive fasteners in tight spaces. A sub-compact or smaller footprint compact impact driver can squeeze into tighter spaces, especially if they have shorter collet to back lengths.

Compare driving clearance test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.375
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.000
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 5.750

The XDT19Z has a short length from the collet to the back, squeezing well into small openings and tight corners. The XDT19Z 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

2850-20 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 83.7
Max impacting noise (dBA): 96.8

Our noise performance tests demonstrate that the 2850-20 is not a quiet impact driver.

If you want a comparatively quiet impact driver, consider hydraulic models, such as the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 or Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20.

The Ryobi 18V One+ P237 and Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02 are worth considering if you want to squeeze out a few decibels of lower noise at a similar price point and with equivalent driving performance.

Compare noise test results

Noise

XDT19Z Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 80.4
Max impacting noise (dBA): 96.6

One letdown is the noise performance. While no impact driver is a joy to listen to, the XDT19Z 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.

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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 37.6
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 1.9

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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 14.8
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.9

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Light

Milwaukee 2850-20 Light
Milwaukee 2850-20 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 1
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

The light on the 2850-20 does the job but is not as bright as most other models. The single LED light has a blue tint that we didn’t encounter with other models. You also don’t get the versatility of having the option to turn off the light when pressing the trigger, like many Makita impact drivers.

Light

Makita XDT19Z Light
Makita XDT19Z Light Closeup

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

The XDT19Z’s light illuminates work surfaces well with a large coverage area. 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.

Another unique feature is that the XDT19Z 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.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 5
Battery warranty (years): 2-3 (depends on model)

Milwaukee stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The 2850-20 has a five-year warranty, which is among the longest offered by any manufacturer. Milwaukee’s M18 batteries include a two-year warranty.

Warranty

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

Makita stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The XDT19Z has a three-year warranty. Makita 18V LXT batteries include a three-year warranty as well.

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.

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