Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench 3-Speed 1/2” Brushless Review

Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench

More power doesn’t have to be in large packages anymore. The new Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench 3-Speed (XWT11T/Z) delivers more than 210 ft.-lbs of torque through the 1/2” square anvil, in the frame of a typical 1/4” impact driver. It seems that the power tool market may be following the market of firearms, automobiles during a gas crunch, and cell phones in the ’90s. Everywhere you turn, it’s compact, sub-compact, mini, mid-torque, etc. Manufacturers are trying to pack the most punch in the smallest package. With the market driving this, it’s hard to say it’s the wrong move.

With Makita being a major player in the power tool market, they have to ensure their lineup is full. This XWT11Z fits the bill for the smaller end of the 1/2″ impact wrenches. Even with the small form factor, 210 ft-lbs allows this Makita impact to tackle some larger projects too. In our case, this was intended to be a handy impact to use for dismantling interiors, for detail work. Because of convenience and power, it finds itself removing lug nuts, transmissions and engines.

Our Top 3 Features:

  1. Small and Light – you still know you have an impact in your hands, but it’s much more convenient than larger cordless impacts.
  2. Powerful – for the size, it does more than you expect.
  3. Auto Stop – when enabled, the Makita 18V LXT impact wrench will detect when a fastener is loose, and it will stop rotation.


Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench 3-Speed Features

3 Speeds

3 Speeds

The XWT11Z is the model number of the tool only, while the XWT11T includes 2 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0 ah batteries, charger, and a soft bag/case. The lithium-ion battery along with the brushless motor combine to provide the Makita 18V LXT impact wrench with extended run-times while delivering increased power and speed. Eliminating friction parts and better efficiency with the brushless motor and controller equate to better durability, hence a longer life of the tool.

Along with the power, Makita has also outfitted the XWT11T 18V LXT impact wrench with three speeds; 0-1,600, 0-2,100, and 0-2,800 RPM. These speeds coincide with the Impacts Per Minute (IPM) of 0-1,800, 0-2,600, and 0-3,500 respectively. Another innovative feature is the reverse rotation auto-stop mode. When a fastener is adequately loosened, the auto-stop mode will stop rotation in two seconds. This feature is a great fit for the automotive industry, especially when removing engine fasteners.

Star Protection Computer Controls created by Makita, communicates with the Star Protection-equipped tool and battery to exchange real-time data. In addition, the Star Protection also monitors in-use conditions to protect from over-discharging, overheating and overloading. Makita’s 18V 5.0 Ah battery (BL1850B) fuels more run time and has a charge time of only 45 minutes. This charge time leads the industry in this category. In short, the Makita charger has fans that circulate cooler air through ports in the battery. This allows Makita to charge batteries faster without damaging heat absorption.

Detailer’s Details – Testing the Makita Impact

We thought a perfect choice for this small form impact wrench was our detailing pros at Michael’s Auto Detailing. They are the professional detailers in the Makita polisher 7-inch 9237C video review, and Michael has 25+ detailing years under his belt. While polishers, buffers and spray bottles typically fill their hands, it’s not uncommon to find them with tools removing interiors. As we anticipated, this Makita 18V LXT impact wrench fits the bill perfectly for them. It works great removing seat and seat belt fasteners. The auto-stop feature works great around interiors, so we don’t have fasteners flying around at 2,800 rpm.

In addition to the interior, we have found additional uses for this little Makita. Removing wheels becomes a part of many details, and this is our new go-to tool for this. Sure, some of the larger 3/4-ton HD trucks may require more grunt, but the XWT11Z handles all the passenger cars and light truck wheels with no problem. Using the Makita 18V LXT impact wrench is much easier than bringing out the pneumatic impact and dragging around a hose.

Furthermore, detailers fall in line with mechanics in their love for cars. We’re car nuts around here too. An ongoing project in-house is a 1999 Camaro SS. To say this has a few mods is a bit of a joke. There’s not much on this car that hasn’t been upgraded, replaced or rebuilt. This includes a new 383 stroker LSX, rebuilt trans and new torque converter. We used the Makita XWT11Z for every fastener during the removal and installation, with flawless performance. This Makita impact is a new favorite tool in the detail shop.

Makita Battery Indicator

Makita Battery Indicator

Makita 1/2” Impact Wrench XWT11T Specifications

  • Model: XWT11T
  • Title: 18V LXT® Brushless 3-Speed 1/2″ Impact Wrench
  • Battery: 2 – 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah Battery (BL1850B)
  • Charger: 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger (DC18RC)
  • Case: Tool Bag (831303-9)
  • Square Drive : 1/2″
  • No Load Speed (var. 3 spd.) : 0 – 1,600 / 0 – 2,100 / 0 – 2,800 RPM
  • Impacts Per Minute (var. 3 spd.) : 0 – 1,800 / 0 – 2,600 / 0 – 3,500 IPM
  • Maximum Torque (ft.lbs./N•m) : 210 ft.lbs./280 N•m
  • Battery : 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion
  • Overall Length : 5-3/4″
  • Net Weight (with battery) : 3.8 lbs.
  • Shipping weight: 11.7 lbs.


Our Thoughts

Ergonomics used to be something talked about only because there may not be any features to discuss. This is not the case anymore. Smarter workers, as well as industry standards, are driving focus to ergonomics in tools. A more comfortable tool makes for a happier worker, which in-turn should create better efficiency. The Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench 3-Speed gives the user 210 ft-lbs of torque in the palm of their hand, literally. The XWT11T measures 5-3/4” long and weighs only 3.8, with the 5.0 Ah battery. More importantly, better ergonomics and less weight means less fatigue.

Makita Doing Transmission Work

The Makita XWT11Z bare tool can be purchased for under $200, and the XWT11T combo will run that amount to around $400. This is definitely a tool that any detailer or mechanic can use in their toolbox. With the use and abuse that we have put the XWT11Z Makita 18V LXT impact wrench through, we confirm our original thoughts. This Makita is small and light enough to fit in tight spaces, and powerful enough to tackle larger jobs. We continue to raise this question – “why carry around a heavier tool if a smaller tool (Makita XWT11Z) can complete 80%+ of your work?” Work smarter!

To get your Makita XWT11T/Z 3-Speed impact wrench, click here.

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