High Torque Impact Wrenches
The Makita XWT08 was a solid performer in our recent Impact Wrench Shootout. Though it didn’t overwhelm us in any one category, it consistently finished in the middle of the pack of the strongest contenders.
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If you’re just joining us, we’ve recently been spending a fair amount of time looking at the best cordless, high torque impact wrenches. Our coverage began when we pit 9 different models from industry leaders against each other in our head to head shootout. Since then, we’ve been showing these various models some individual attention, week by week. To date, we’ve looked at the Ingersoll Rand, MAC Tools, AC Delco, and Milwaukee models. It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotions so far, and the fun’s not over yet. Because, this week, we’re looking at the Makita XWT08 High Torque Impact Wrench.
As a brand, Makita has a pretty loyal following, and with good reason. They make dependable and quality tools that, generally speaking, work really well. The XWT08 is certainly no exception, as we found in our shootout. It finished 6th place out of 9, which might sound a little underwhelming except for the fact that almost every model we tested finished within a few points of one another. The truth is that the Makita did its job well, but perhaps it wasn’t the flashiest contestant we saw. Here’s what we found in our testing.
Let’s start with the really good news about the Makita XWt08: it’s fast. After using 500 ft-lbs of torque to crank down a series of nuts into a steel I-beam, we then used all our impact wrenches to loosen these 10 nuts. The Makita finished the task in a mere 12.6 seconds, which was better than almost every other wrench by at least a half a second. Only the 2nd generation Milwaukee wrench bested the Makita.
Now, for the bad news: while the Makita was one of the fastest models we tested, it was also one of the weaker models in terms of raw power. In our torque tests, the XWT08 could only do 75% of the work that our winner could do. Of course, this tool will still handle the vast majority of applications that will get thrown at it. But, it might not handle that application quite as effectively as some of the other models we looked at.
Value can be a tricky thing to test; there are a few factors that go into figuring out how a tool finishes in this category. Plus, it can be a subjective category to work with. We do our best. All that said, we felt that the Makita XWT08 finished in the middle of the pack. It wasn’t crazy cheap, like the DeWalt, and it doesn’t have the best warranty, like the Milwaukee. However, it also wasn’t an abject failure in the value department like the Matco. The Makita runs around $459, and it comes with a 3-Year warranty.
As far as the feature set goes, the Makita keeps up with just about everyone else. The XWT08 features a brushless motor, as well as a work light. It has 3 speeds and an electric brake. Also included is a handy tool hook, which was overlooked by some manufacturers.
You should be noticing a theme by now, but if not, I’ll spell it out. Makita finished somewhere in the middle with the ergonomics. On the plus side, the XWT08 felt really nice in hand; the overmold felt comfortable and there weren’t any issues with our fingers getting irritated by a wonky seam. However, Makita could have improved this wrench by making it a bit lighter. It finished next-to-last in the weight category at almost 8 lbs. We also felt like the reverse switch was located in kind of a strange position. We found that those of us with larger hands could inadvertently switch the wrench to the neutral position.
To reiterate some of the points made in the intro, the Makita XWT08 finished 6th out of 9 places. Admittedly, this sounds pretty mediocre. But, when you consider that the top 7 were almost interchangeable, 6th place might only be deceptively unflattering. The fact is that, while Makita’s model didn’t overwhelm anyone by leading the pack in performance, ergonomics, features, or price tags, it really didn’t disappoint, either. Perhaps, this wrench’s consistent mid-table finishing could be seen as both a benefit and a detriment. It didn’t fail at anything, but it really didn’t outperform any other models either.
In the end, if you’re already a big fan of Makita’s work, this won’t be the tool that will change your mind. You’ll definitely enjoy the functionality and speed that this impact wrench provides. And, if you’re thinking about jumping onto the Makita platform, this impact wrench will offer a pretty good representation of how Makita products perform: solidly.
Makita XWT08 High Torque Impact Wrench Features
- 740 ft.lbs. of Max Torque and 1,180 ft.lbs of breakaway torque
- 3-speed power selection switch (0-900/ 0-1,000/ 0-1,800 RPM & 0-1,800/ 0-2,000/ 0-2,200 IPM)
- Compact and ergonomic design
- 1/2″ anvil with friction ring
- BL Brushless Motor
- Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
- The electronically-controlled BL Brushless Motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
- Weighs only 7.9 lbs. with battery
- Rubberized soft grip handle
- Built-in dual L.E.D. lights with pre-glow and afterglow
- Electric brake
- Tool hook
- 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
- Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and over-heating
- 3-Year Limited Warranty
Makita XWT08 High Torque Impact Wrench Specs
- Anvil: 1/2”
- IPM (Impacts Per Minute): 2,200
- Max Tightening Torque: 740 ft-lbs.
- Max Loosening Torque: 1,180 ft-lbs.
- Battery Volts: 18
- Battery Amp Hours: 5.0 Ah
- Mfr. Weight: 7.3 (as tested – 7.96 lbs.)
- Speeds: 3
- RPM: 0-950 / 1,000 / 1,800
- Warranty: 3 Year
- MSRP: $459
For more information on the Makita XWT08, check it out on Makita’s website here.