Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench – First Impression

Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench

Remember the series of reviews on cordless impact wrenches we did a few months back? Well, we haven’t given up on covering cordless impact wrenches around here. And today, we’ve got another model from the fine folks at Makita. This time, however, instead of looking at the super-heavy-duty, crazy-high-amounts-of-torque model, we’ll be working in the other, more “adorable” end of the spectrum. The Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench has a 3/8″ square drive, and it operates on Makita’s 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery platform. Ultra compact and ergonomic, this impact wrench weighs in at only 2.7 lbs with the battery attached, and it measures out to a diminutive 5-5/8″.

Granted, its size will keep it from cranking out the kind of torque that the wrenches in our shootout could manage, but its size and feature set should keep it useful in some particular applications around the shop.


The Cutest Cordless Impact Wrench

The obvious selling point for this new tool comes down to its size and weight. Makita has really found a great niche market with their sub-compact line of tools that produce an adequate amount of power (for most applications), while also remaining small and light. These tools tend to work really well in tight spaces and overhead applications. They feel really comfortable in the hand due, in part, to the rubber overmolding that the sub-compact lineup utilizes. The Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench also has these characteristics, making it a great choice for applications where you won’t be needing all the torque in the world.Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench

Makita Sub-Compact Impact WrenchSpeaking of torque, this pint-sized cordless impact wrench features a brushless motor that generates 130 ft. lbs of maximum torque. It has variable speed settings, generating 0-1200 RPM (no load) in low speed and 0-2400 RPM (no load) in high speed. It generates anywhere from 0-3600 impacts per minute.

The Makita Sub-Compact Impact Driver also features a Reverse Rotation Auto-Stop Mode, which stops rotation and impact when the tool “feels” the fastener loosen up enough.

The tool also features a variable speed trigger, an LED work light, and a 3/8″ square drive for quick and convenient socket changes. Star Protection Computer Controls protect the battery and tool from overheating. Plus, this new model also features Makita’s Extreme Protection Technology. XPT acts as a protective seal around the vital inner bits of the tool, channeling water and dust away.

Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench

The 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless 3/8″ Square Drive Impact Wrench is available as part of a kit or as a bare tool. By itself, the bare tool retails for around $159. It comes with Makita’s 3-Year warranty on the tool, battery, and the charger.

Final Thoughts

Makita Sub-Compact Impact WrenchThe first impressions we’ve had with a few of Makita’s sub-compact line have been largely positive. While we joke about them being “cute” or “adorable”, the truth is that they’re lightweight, compact, agile, little tools. They seem to be well-built and functional as well. They have all felt extremely comfortable to hold, and if there is no pressing need for a ton and a half of power, this line from Makita will more than likely get the job done.

Of course, there are automotive shop applications where you’re probably going to want something with more power. You probably won’t be trying to run off bolts from your tires or suspension systems. And, internal engine work might be a bridge too far as well. But, for interior work and anything under the hood (but outside the engine) might fall into the Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench’s sweet spot. Removing seats, valve covers, oil and transmission pans, and even intake manifolds would be perfect jobs for this little Makita sub-compact beast.

If you’re using a 1/4″ hex to 3/8″ bit adapter in your 1/4″ (hex) impact driver to remove fasteners, your torque is being lost in the gaps. Anytime extensions or adapters are used in an impact situation, a large percentage of the impact force to the fastener is lost in the joints, hence never makes it to the fastener. The Makita sub-compact impact wrench is a much better choice, and it’s naturally made for the sockets you’re using. The 3/8″ square drive will deliver more force (compare to a 1/4″ hex), and more of that force will make it directly to the fastener.



Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench Features

  • BL Brushless Motor delivers 130 ft.lbs. of Max Torque
  • Variable 2-speed (0-1,300/0-2,400 RPM & 0-2,000/0-3,600 IPM) provides fastening control for a wide range of applications
  • Reverse Rotation Auto-Stop Mode stops rotation and impact when fastener is loosened adequately
  • Ultra-compact and ergonomic design at only 5-5/8″
  • Weighs only 2.7 lbs. with battery for reduced operator fatigue
  • Ideal for working in tight spaces and overhead applications
  • Convenient 3/8″ square drive for quick socket changes
  • Dual L.E.D. lights illuminate the work area
  • Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) – engineered for improved dust and water resistance for operation in harsh conditions
  • Efficient BL Brushless Motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
  • The BL Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • The electronically-controlled BL Brushless Motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
  • Ergonomically designed handle with rubberized soft grip provides increased comfort
  • Makita’s proprietary hammer and anvil impact mechanism are manufactured using the best raw materials with the highest quality steel and unique heat hardening process for maximum fastening and driving power
  • 3-year limited warranty on tool, battery, and chargerMakita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench

Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench Specs

  • Kit Model Number: XWT12RB
  • Square Drive: 3/8″
  • No Load Speed (variable 2-speed): 0-1,200/0-2,400 RPM
  • Impacts Per Minute (variable 2-speed): 0-2,000/0-3,600 IPM
  • Maximum Torque: 130 ft.lbs./180 N•m
  • Battery: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion
  • Overall Length: 5-5/8″
  • Net Weight (with battery): 2.7 lbs.
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 lbs.
  • Kit Includes: Tool, (1) LXT Lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger, (2) 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact 2.0Ah Battery, (1) 14″ Contractor Tool Bag
  • Also Available As A Bare Tool: XWT12ZB
  • Bare Tool MSRP: $159
    Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench

For more information about the new Makita Sub-Compact Impact Wrench, or other Sub-Compact Tools in Makita’s Lineup, visit their website here.

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