Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Drills – White vs. Blue

You may also like...

51 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does Makita have any plans to expand this line?

  2. Brian Mark says:

    This line is compatible with the blue LXT tools, so this is actually an expansion on that line. They’re working on creating more and more cordless tools in the LXT line, so yes – there will be a lot more in this line.

    If you’re asking about more pricepoint tools, keep an eye on the 14.4V Lithium-Ion tools they’re releasing. Depending on how the few they’re releasing now do, that should be a full line down the road. But based on the response to this one so far, I’d say they’ll be releasing more in their 18V value line too (if they’re half as smart as they appear).

  3. Velosapien says:

    The drill is rated at 450 in/lbs but it does so at 400rpm. The blue one does 560 but at a lower geared 300rpm. Doing the conversion they should come out very close in actual power. I don’t think the point of this drill is value. This looks like a tool thats designed to be as powerful as possible in as small a package as possible. The compact batteries are quite lower and lighter than the 3.0ah ones. This is the ideal drill for people like wood workers who usually get by with a 12v drill. This drill weighs and is about as large as 9.6v or 12v drills but packs all the power of an 18v.

    The 3.0ah batteries will work on this drill and increase the total weight to 3.9lbs. However the compact 1.5 ah batteries will NOT fit on the blue tools. There is a small notch on the tool preventing them from sliding in. That can easily be cut off and they should work but I’m not willing to try on my new tools. I’m not sure why Makita wouldn’t want you to use the compact batteries on the blue tools. The only drawback should be shorter run time but they can come in handy for some very tight spots or in an emergency if you find yourself with no charged 3.0 ah batteries. I would love to use these batteries on the impact driver to make it even smaller. Besides, they charge in under 15 minutes with the new rapid charger so its not bad.

  4. Brian Mark says:


    According to our sources at Makita, these arer designed entirely for price so they can target current “Yellow” customers with a higher power, newer technology drill. They were going after price, but you’re totally correct about opening new markets.

    You’re also correct on the power. The motor assembly is nearly identical, but the transmission is changed to give it different ratings. It’d be interesting to see if you can swap out the transmissions… maybe when we get the new schematics posted I’ll grab the parts and see if they’d line up.

  5. Leonard Bonamo says:

    I agree with velosapien, and would like to reempahsize that this tool takes the bulk out of the beast so your arm will not fall off when using it all day long.

    I think brian misses the point on this one on both price and capability. Price is a steal considering value and convenience and should be consider a big bonus. The smaller battery size and drill size are the real benefit here without sacrificicing power. There is NO SUCH THING as a value line of any type at Makita. I am an electrician, and own and use big, heavy and bulky tools everyday. When you need a hammer-drill or are going to spin a large-diam hole saw, use a big gun. But this revolutionary new concept of a powerful drill in a light and compact package is a stroke of genius. I also just bought the new LI- Ion 24v Rigid 4 pc kit – it is a little bulky, but much more powerful while being lighter than my rigid 18V NiCAd tools.

    This new compact 18 volt Makita is a technological breakthrough and is the state of the art and a new benchmark for a new generation of tools in a class by itself.

    This is the coolest powertool on the planet. The charger can even play Mozart (or 3 other melodies or beep or remain silent)to signal completion of charge – to alert the construction worker by any other means would be uncivilized…

  6. Brian Mark says:

    Wow, you guys are harsh.

    Really, I don’t make this stuff up. Our reps refer to it as a value line. Perhaps they don’t know what they’ve got.

    BTW, I believe a Makita value line would still be way above par for the industry.

  7. Velosapien says:

    Brian, not trying to be harsh at all ;). I was actually quite surprised to find out Makita intended it as a value line drill. No doubt in the process they seem to have struck upon something even more practical and usefull! The second (and I really mean the very instant) I saw the first picture and specifications of this drill I knew I had to have it. It was exactly what I was looking for and more. I own the blue LXT and other yellow NiCD tools which I use most of the time but even the Blue LXT drill, while light, is still fairly large for some uses. I was about to settle for a nice little 12v drill for those times when the 18v ones are just too cumbersome to handle until I saw this. It seemed pointless to bother with an underpowered 12v drill when I can get the same weight and size and not sacrifice any power. This has become my favorite tool.
    As a value drill it is simply in a class of its own. I can’t really think of anything that can even compare to this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    makita threw a wrench in my plans.

    i was set to get the lxt202 combo..the drill and impact driver then i saw this gem.

    not sure what to do now. i won’t get both, and always wanted the impact driver. just to drive screws without stripping em.

    any advice? i’m an advanced diy’er.

    i have to replace my milwaukee 14.4 which i got with 3 batteries (promotion). only one will charge now and the chuck is falling apart.

    i do have the dewalt cordless screw driver…the 7.2V one…its my favorite tool.


  9. KMS Chris says:

    well this tool is in the same line of 14.4v BDF440 drill. Small, light and powerful.

    for the ‘anonymous’ post above, what i would suggest is the LXT200 kit. This is a 14.4v kit, small and powerful. The drill rates in at a very solid 400in/lbs and the impact gun has a very respectable 1240in/lbs which is a mere 40in/lbs(3.3 ft/lbs) less than the 18v version.

    of all the makita lithium ion stuff, this has probably had the best feed back from the end user. Plus Makita is going to fill out the 14.4v line very soon in Li-ion.

  10. Brian Mark says:


    Unfortunately, most of the 14.4 lithium stuff hasn’t made its way to the states yet. All we can get right now is the impact. If Anonymous is in Canada, that’d be an option, but in the US it isn’t right now.

  11. KMS Chris says:

    hmm, so the makita website is accurate then. i was wondering about that. i find it strange that the states doesnt have 14.4 series yet considering the states typically gets things before we do.

    on a side note i forgot to mention, the true makita home owner/value is the “Maktec” kinda like dewalt->black & decker or Bosch->Skil.

    However, in their industrial line they do have heavy industrial, and a light industrial line up because sometimes you dont need the extra weight and expense of that super powerful tool when something lighter and cheaper is much more practical

    hey brian, dont suppose you know when the states is going to pick up the rest of 14.4v line?

  12. RG says:

    thanks for the input guys. 14.4 i would imagine makes more sense for my use. if i need more power, i could just use my corded drill.

    i called makita and they said they won’t have any announcements about the lxt200 or any 14.4 lithium drill until after 1/1/07, which is less than 6 weeks away. so i guess waiting to see what happens then is always an option.

    but, then i started thinking whether i need the lithium ion at all and looked at the 14.4 nicd makita kit that comes with drill/impact drive/light for about 200 bucks at amazon. that’s a pretty good deal and i could save the 130 bucks or so compated to the 18v lithium kit. but then a month or so, you forget about the 130 bucks while you’re staring at an 18V bad boy.

    i think too much :)

  13. Brian Mark says:

    I’m pretty sure you’re talking about the 6935FDWDEX. Nice set of tools. We’ve got it for the same price as Amazon. We’re in stock as well as them, but our penny shipping is ground, not the “Value” that they offer for free. If you’re in the US, we should get it to you quicker.

    As for the Ni-Cad vs Li-Ion debate, that’ll come down to how often will you be using the tools. More frequent use is where lithium excels, although having the charge last for a long time without use is nice, too. If you’re using it every once in a while, the age will kill the batteries, making the less expensive batteries make more sense.

    Either way, you’re getting quality tools.

  14. Tom says:

    I really like the BDF452HW for the less weight, smaller size and lower price. I was thinking of getting the BDF451 but don’t want the additional weight and size. I’m a more than occasional home user. I do have concerns about the running time of the smaller 452HW with the 1.5AH batteries. I would most likely buy one extra 3.0AH battery to keep for use with the 452HW when needed. That brings me to another question. When charging the 3.0AH battery on the rapid charger that comes with the smaller 452HW is the 22 min. fast charge just as good of a charge that you would get with the intended optimum charger that comes with the larger 451? Or, should I also pick up an optimum charger cheap on Ebay to use for the 3.0AH battery?
    Thanks in advance for your help !

  15. Brian Mark says:


    Makita feels the charger is at least as good as the slower one. They are changing all of the other tools to use this fast charger next year, so I can’t see any reason why you’d need to go get the other charger.

    If you’re looking at the batteries, 2 packs of LXT batteries are the way to go. Saves $40+ vs. buying 2 singles.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m in Canada and recently bought the 14.4V LXT200 kit. My version included the drill, impact driver, light, 2 batteries and a bag. I have seen another version that excludes the light in favor of a hard case, but it was more money too. To me it’s surprising that we get something here before USA, but let me tell you that so far these tools kick butt. I think the previous mention of 400 in-lbs of torque on the drill is inaccurate, think it’s more like 270 but what is 100% correct is that these tools are compact without sacrificing much of anything else. Heck, the little drill even has a 1/2 inch chuck. Anyone in the USA planning a drill/driver purchase in the not too distant future, if you want tools that are compact, light weight, yet powerful..the LXT 14.4V line may be worth the wait.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I should add to the last post just for clarification that the LXT 14.4V tools available in Canada are blue (not white), have 3.0 Ah batteries and a 45 minute smart charger with cooling fan

  18. KMS Chris says:

    just checked the makita website, the tool is listed at 339 in/lbs. dunno where i got the previous 400 in/lbs from. I must say that 339 is a very accurate sounding number, typically the ratings seem to be rounded off.

  19. Anonymous says:

    this is killing me. As the occasional DIYer I really don’t need to spend $200 for a drill. But I have a 12V Makita that didn’t quite have enough power and the NiMh batteries finally crapped out. So I still need to spend about $120 for a quality 14.4. The extra $80 seems worth it, but I’m worried about the li-ion’s lifetime (time, not charge cycles). Any guesses on the battery shelf-life? And also, any guesses on the future 14.4 price point?

  20. KMS Chris says:

    shelf life for li-ion batteries? Hard to say right now for sure because they havent been in north america for more than two years yet.
    However, if you follow what the powertool companies say about battery storage i would imagine you should get a good number of years in storage. Li-Ion is supposed to hold a charge for up to 18 months of inactivity. For proper storage you want to keep the batteries at room temperature, and ideally around 50% energy capacity.
    Unfortunetly all batteries degrade of the years, lithium ion being no exception.

    btw, sure are lots of posts on this thread :)

  21. adam says:

    I have been looking for the 14.4 new lithion 2 pce driver/impact set in the London Ontario Canada area and can only find the 18. Anyone have any idea who might have it in stock and what the Cdn price is.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Now I am really confused. I had just decided to get the Milwaukee 14.4 volt NiCad drill plus hammer drill combination because of the good ratings and smaller size (for my woodworking/home repair habit)figuring that they would eventually produce a lithium upgrade. Now you make the Makita 18 volt or the pending 14.4 volt sound very appealing. Any recommendations? Thanks

  23. Brian Mark says:

    I’d say you’d have trouble calling either one a bad choice. They’re both fine quality and more power than most people ever really need.

  24. rzzy1 says:

    Received the BDF452HW for Christmas. This drill is just as good if not better then I expected for ease of use, power and compact lightweight. Too early to tell about the stamina of the 1.5 amp. hr.batteries yet, but after some minimal usage and a lot of playing they’re still going strong on the initial manufacturer charge. One small item that annoys me a little though. It doesn’t come with a driver bit holder like most drill/drivers do. It references to this item in the manual as an optional item just as the belt clip is also. That would be fine, but then it doesn’t tell you where or how you can aquire one of these to attach to the pre-drilled hole for it on the drill. No where on the Makita website does it list this also. ToolGeek, you got any suggestions? I would like to add the bit clip for sure and quite possibly the belt clip also. I think the BDF451 comes with these two items as standard equipment.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Any update as to when the Makita LXT 14.4V would be available. Ready to spring for a 18V LXT202 set but 14.4V would do all I neeed and should be smaller, lighter, and less expensive.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I just purchased this drill and i love it. I am comeing from a 14.4 dewalt xrp hamerdrill that lasted 3 years witch is pretty good for me. I use my drills pretty hard every day as a contractor and everyone that looks at this new makita of mine trys to steal it. 1 mounth of hard testing and i am sure that it is great.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What would you recommend the Hitachi 18V Lithium Ion or the Makita 18v Lithium Ion (either white or blue)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Never used an impact driver before, but just saw a demo of one. Looks great for screw driving. Was looking at the 6935FDWDEX set which has the “normal drill” and the imapct drill. Then I saw the writeups of the “white” li-on 18v. It costs the same price as the set. Anyone know if there will be a “white” impact driver that I could buy later? The tools by themselves without batteries and chargers tend to be reasonably priced.

  29. herman says:

    Guys, I just returned a blue Makita 24V Lithium drill after a few weeks. The clutch burned out after 6 holes in concrete. I was very disappointed to say the least. the Hilti 18V Nicad is vary comparable but at a 2.0 Amphour battery. Has anyone heard news of LI-ION from Hilti? Now that would be a toll you would never have to replace.

  30. Anonymous says:

    i am a big makita fan but i can’t get over how incredibly ugly the new LXT line of tools are. The previous models had classic style and were also pretty ergo too, but these new ones seem to be designed by aliens. If you want to see alien tools styled correctly, check out hitachi HXP line. I really like makita but the LXT design just makes me want to vomit everytime i see it. Especially the impact driver and drills….ugh….any of you agree with me here? Someone has to say it!

  31. terrybfla says:

    OK, I bought the LXT Drill and Drill Driver set, the LXT circular saw AND then I also bought the compact White drill driver. My two 3.0 ah batteries fit all the tools, but the two 1.5 ah batteries only fit the White drill. It looks like the rail on the left side of the 1.5 ah battery is thicker than the rails on the 3.0 ah batteries, so I am tempted to shave them down so all 4 batteries are interchangeable. Anyone have any comments on this strategy? I cannot think that the smaller battery could harm the LXT tools (same voltage), but I am not sure. Anyone???

    BY THE WAY.. The bit holder (missing from the drill/driver and the White drill can be purchased for $2.00 from any Makita service center. Part# 419276-2.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Brian Mark:
    I almost bouth the “Shamu,” 18 V home repair purpose Li ion Makita in black and white sporty and trendy tool. What stopped me? I chose the Panasonic EYC140B Li Coblat legand metal ion complex driver and drill set. It is a set that it comes with ipact driver with a 3 phase 14.4 V AC motor with signal generator and electronic torque control with LED indicator lamp and light. The kit boxes do not allow both tools to fit into one case. I have been a Makita fan since high school. I started with their 9.6 V orange battery and stick packs, NiCd. My last Makita was 6217D with NiMH 12 V 2.6 Ah. All the Makitas are still working and original batteries after years of use. They have not broken, yet. They are all magnificent. Why not Makita again? I wanted to try a different name and type of tool, Panasonic. The Panasonic 14.4V Li Cobalt ion is rated at 390 in lbs. I already have a 12V NiMH Makita and 9.6 V NiCd Makitas. If these ever worn out, then I will replace them with the Li ion Makita, otherwise, I will keep on using them along with my panasonic day in and out working on fences and small wood pieces for others and myself. I enjoy your blog, does answer the significant question, what is the difference between the blue green version and the black and white “Shamu” version. I saw them at Western Tools. The Panasonic is in the “Shamu” coloring, but I will nick name them “Honu.” I have not tried the Panasonic long enough to twell you that they will lasts. I have tried the 9.6 V NiCd Makitas and 12 V NiMH Makitas to tell you that they lasts for years even in heavy usage. The plastics on the “Shamu” and Panasonic appears to be the same. The electronic controls on the Pansonic in the impact driver is more advanced, closely to Festool C12 design. The belt clip is better on the Makita, metal, not plastic like in the Pansonic. The battery recharger on the Panasonic is backwards compatible with the old NiCd batteries tools. The Makita Li ion recharges are not backwards compatible. Which is a better tool? The differences are so minor. Makita has a better parts availability in common stores, while Panasonic is just a tool division, they are a conglomerate of companies and divisions like Hitachi. Pansonic is definitely better than Kawasaki or Hitachi in the cordless tools. Makita is the top, but the one that tries new, unproven designs is Panasonic. Panasonic was the first to have an offset hexdriver chuck in a 9.6 V NiCd (discontinued) like the Festool centrotec chuck. I dreamed about owning a Festool C12, but cannot afford it. I am glad in away, because Festool does not provide long support for their older cordless tools like 9.6 V DC NiCd batteries. Makita will provides decades of support, even when the tool is long discontinued. Panasonic provides great long term support, too, hint, their Li Cobalt legand metal complex ion chargers are backwards compatible with their older black and yellow NiCd tools.
    Lawsen Lew

  33. Anonymous says:

    I own The Makita 18V drill (White model)with the 1.5 amp/hr batteries. I just bought the circ and recip saws(bare tools) and noticed the batteries wouldn’t fit. They do now, and the tools run just fine. You don’t alter the batteries themselves, just’t shave/cut/remove the small plastic tab on the tools’ battery rails. should be easy to spot once you know what to look for.

  34. Anonymous says:

    1.5 amp hr batteries will work on other tools. don’t modify the batteries themselves, just remove the small plastic tab along the inside of the tools’ battery rails.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The batteries for the BDF452 have a defective cell and are subject to a ‘silent’ recall by Makita. If you bought your drill up until June of this year you should call a Makita service center. The recall isn’t mentioned anywhere on their website or anywhere else. Mr.G

  36. Chris says:

    Brian, does Makita have a rubber jacket for the battery? I bought the 202 kit and also bought but returned the Milwaukee drill/impact kit, too heavy; I noticed that the Milwaukee has a rubber jacket around the battery so that it won’t slide. Is there an after market or Makita brand of this kind for Makita batteries?

  37. Chris says:

    I bought the 202 kit and so far quite happy with it, got it for b-day. I tried the Milwaukee drill/impact kit, but too heavry, and noticed that they have a rubber jacket around the batteries to prevent it from slipping. Is there an after market or does Makita carry a rubber jacket for the battery? I just thought that it’s a nice thing to have around the battery.

  38. Brian Mark says:


    I’m not aware of anything like that available for the Makita. If I hear of anything, I’ll post something back, but I really doubt it.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Now that Milwaukee has an 18V compact Li-ion (2601-22)unit out, does anyone done a comparison with the BDF452HW? Looks like they are priced to compete. The Milwaukee at least looks like a Milwaukee vs the Makita looking like a gym shoe! Just on looks the Milwaukee wins but I’d like to hear the opinions.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Makita is lighter, more comfortable, and has a little more power and speed I’ve held both side-by-side, and I choose the Makita. I’m a Milwaukee fan too, but the deciding for me was getting the drill with the impact driver in a kit. Milwaukee has nothing that can compete at that price point with both products, and I use the impact drive now more than the drill.

  41. Anonymous says:

    i have just bought the makita 18v (white one) with the 3.0ah battery with it and to be honest it mint kicks ass out of mxt 18v drill i had because of the crappy plastic gear box (which i replaced twice)what im saying for value for money you need to get modle and it gives you as much punch as the 18v modle

  42. JWN says:

    I bought the 1.5Ah white drill about a year ago. It works great and I thought it was a great deal. I just use it for projects around the house (light use). About 2 months into it, a battery died. It was quickly replaced by Makita. Yesterday a second one died. This seems to much of a coincidence. Anyone with experience in poor battery life.

  43. SEA-BUILT says:

    I am a general contractor
    I bought my LXT202 late summer ’07
    Use the BDT140 impact driver 10x as much per day as the BHP451 drill
    Great screw driving No Stripping and one Batt. Hold up almost all day!
    Both met my expectations in power performance and I like the weight!
    When I considered purchasing new cordless tools I wanted a variety of tool that had an interchangeable battery system like those yellow tools that have 40 different tools,
    And now have the Li batt. but there costly How do they compare?
    But went with what my dad raised me on. Makita Good call dad!
    Hope to see more LXT tool come out soon
    Are the Makita LXT cordless Trim saw and or circular saw worth it?
    Heard the compact (white) Makita cordless don’t holdup and Batt. Burns out quick Makita Rep. said technology doesn’t work right with 1.5v (Li-Tec mumbo jumbo) didn’t understand totally By the way the work site is not a fashion show don’t worry about it! They look pretty cool I think
    Thanks: Steve206

  44. Anonymous says:

    I am a general contractor
    I bought my LXT202 late summer ’07
    Use the BDT140 impact driver 10x as much per day as the BHP451 drill
    Great screw driving No Stripping and one Batt. Hold up almost all day!
    Both met my expectations in power performance and I like the weight!
    When I considered purchasing new cordless tools I wanted a variety of tool that had an interchangeable battery system like those yellow tools that have 40 different tools,
    And now have the Li batt. but there costly How do they compare?
    But went with what my dad raised me on. Makita Good call dad!
    Hope to see more LXT tool come out soon
    Are the Makita LXT cordless Trim saw and or circular saw worth it?
    Heard the compact (white) Makita cordless don’t holdup and Batt. Burns out quick Makita Rep. said technology doesn’t work right with 1.5v (Li-Tec mumbo jumbo) didn’t understand totally By the way the work site is not a fashion show don’t worry about it! They look pretty cool I think
    Thanks: Steve206

  45. Anonymous says:

    I bought the “Shamu” Makita 18v Lithium-Ion thinking it was the hottest ticket in town… well now after light use around the house the first battery crapped out just about a year after purchasing it and now three months later the second one is gone so now I’m left with a charger and an empty drill carcase. Authorized center said sorry and now I’m hoping the rep will come thought.. but it’s not looking good.
    I love the size, weight and the balance of the drill but if I have to replace the 80 dollar battery every year then maybe I should look at another brand.

  46. John says:

    I have 3 18v lithium batteries I bought 13 months ago. Within the last 2 weeks 2 of them have just died. Charger indicates cannot be charged.

    Is this ‘planned obsolesence’ when the warranty is 12 months?

    I am not impressed at all with the life of these batteries. My experience over many years using cordless tools is that batteries usually last far longer than the warranty period. I have older style Makita batteries that have lasted several years before not holding a charge.

    Anyone else experiencing short lived batteries?

    The use to be a Makita service center close to me and they had a device that could read the memory chip i the battery and tell many facts about it. Like how many charges it has had and other conditions. They closed it down and there is not anywhere to get the batteries checked to find out what might be wrong with them.

    Frustrated -I am!

  47. flatthead says:

    I picked up the black and white drill and its killer, use it constantely. the battery charges in about 15 min. So far, so good.

  48. Glenn says:

    Bought my drill in the summer of ’07. Mostly light wood working and homeowner stuff. Both batteries died in the past two months. I’m Disapointed

  49. flatthead says:

    Never heard of the batteries dying, I’d take them batteries to a service center adn get them replaced.

  50. Dick says:

    Does anybody know what screw is required to hold on the belt hook? I know it is a Phillips head and that the part number is 251314-2. It seems just stupid to pay $6.50 shipping to get a $0.10 screw. What is the thread size and the length?


  51. Anonymous says:

    My batteries died when the drill was 91 days old (both batteries). The service center first said it was the switch, and the switch damaged both batteries, but then they ended up replacing the switch, the charger and both batteries.

    Seems to me that it was either the batteries or the charger, I can't see how the switch can damage batteries without shorting out and smoking the batteries all together.

    Anyway, I regret buying the Shamu Makita – the batteries seem to have a VERY limited life, and the one year warranty is pretty short for a $200 drill – I certainly will not buy a new pair of batteries if they fail out of warranty.

    Makita should step up and extend the warranty on these batteries to 3 years to match the warranty on the rest of the drill or offer a real low-price exchange program. The retail price on the pair of batteries is almost the price for the entire kit.