Whether you’re dealing with stubborn lug nuts or driving screws, you’ll need a good impact driver to get the job done. A cordless unit such as the Makita XDT131 is a good choice for that. However, what are its specs and features? Is it worth buying?
To help you decide whether to buy this impact driver or not, I wrote a comprehensive review below, which also includes the tool’s pros and cons.
As a lithium-ion powered impact driver, it can handle most lug nuts and screws thanks to its moderate amount of torque. However, what makes this tool stand out from the competition is the brushless motor and the usability features that are particularly great for when your hands are full.
This impact driver has variable speeds of up to 3,400 RPM and an impact rate of up to 3,600 BPM. As for the torque, the unit’s brushless motor will deliver up to 1,500 inch-pounds. The tool only weighs 3.3 pounds, so it’s neither on the heavy nor the lightweight side – perfect for those who want a balanced mix of durability and convenience.
The tool is backed by a 1-year limited warranty for defects in workmanship and materials. However, Makita built their impact driver with impressive durability features so you may not even need to worry about making use of the warranty.
For instance, it runs on a BL brushless motor, which not only adds longer lifespan to the tool, but also allows it to run quietly and reduces the need to constantly replace carbon brushes. Moreover, it has an all-aluminum gear housing that makes it ideal for job sites, no matter how rough and tough they may be.
As this impact driver is part of the LXT series, which uses Star Protection Computer Controls, it has protection against overheating, overloading, and over-discharging its battery.
There are many usability features on the Makita XDT131 worth mentioning. For instance, it has a rubberized soft grip that helps to reduce user fatigue. What’s more, it has a single-touch 1/4-inch hex chuck so changing the bit, even when your hands are full, will be a breeze.
Moreover, it has dual LED lights to illuminate your work area, whether you’re on a job site or in a dim garage. With a 5-inch length, this makes the tool easy to control and store.
Should You Buy the Makita XDT131 Impact Driver Kit?
The Makita XDT131 is an ideal impact driver kit for you if usability features are what you’re after, such as quick bit changes, an ergonomic grip, and LED lights for illuminating your work area. It bears a balanced weight so it will appeal to people who want a durable impact driver that’s not too much on the heavy side.
If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Makita XDT131
Let’s start with the positives.
It features a brushless motor.
Like many quality impact drivers out there, the Makita XDT131 features a brushless motor. This eliminates the need for carbon brushes that wear out and need to be replaced. As a result, it will simplify the maintenance of your tool.
Moreover, brushless motors are highly-praised for producing less heat, allowing you to use the impact driver for longer periods of time without worrying about overloading. This is because fewer mechanical parts move inside the unit with a brushless motor.
It has dual LED lights.
Built-in work lights are always a plus for any tool, especially if your garage or job site is quite dim. This is particularly useful when working on vehicle repairs and other tasks that require multitasking. Instead of carrying a separate flashlight, having built-in LED lights will easily help you see what you are working on.
Changing the bit is easy.
With the 1/4-inch hex chuck, changing bits becomes simplified. This would be helpful when your hands are full and you are in a difficult position when working with a fastener or screw.
It bears an ergonomic grip.
Having a comfortable grip on your impact driver (or any power tool, for that matter) is important, not just for safety but also to keep fatigue at bay. Whether you’re the type to have sweaty hands or you’re wearing gloves, having a secure and comfortable grip will make the job easier and more precise.
Cons of the Makita XDT131
Even though the Makita XDT131 is a great tool, there are a few cons worth noting as well.
It doesn’t support 220V.
Unfortunately, the impact driver doesn’t support 220V, so you might need to look for another impact driver if you need dual voltage on your job site.
The included storage bag is too small.
Although this is a minor con, I would’ve liked it better if the impact driver came with a bigger bag to store the unit with more room to spare.
What Are the Alternatives to the Makita XDT131?
Let’s start with a unit from the same manufacturer – the Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Impact Driver is a tool with a considerably lower weight of just 2.43 pounds. It also has a brushless motor so it won’t be troublesome with maintenance.
Compared to the variable-speed controls of the Makita XDT131, this unit has a 4-speed selection depending on your application needs. The highest speed of this impact driver is 3,600 RPM with an impact rate of up to 3,800 BPM. It even has an assist mode to avoid cross-threading and coming out of the screw using low speeds.
Another unit with a brushless motor to consider is the Ryobi ONE+ HP 18V Cordless Impact Driver, which also has a 1/4-inch hex chuck for single-handed operation and quick bit changes. This impact driver has up to 2,900 RPM of speed, up to 3,800 BPM of impact, and up to 1,700 inch-pounds of torque.
Like my first Makita pick, this tool also has an on-board LED work light for your convenience. Similar to Makita’s LXT tool line, this impact driver is also part of a cordless tool system (the Ryobi ONE+ series) for easy cross-tool battery exchanges.
If you prefer a higher torque unit, you will like the Metabo HPT WH18DBDL2Q4 18V Cordless Impact Driver, which is at 1,832 inch-pounds. I like that this tool has a higher impact rate of up to 4,000 BPM and a speed of up to 2,900 RPM.
You will also prefer this tool if you work outside often due to its IP56 protection against water and dust. Since it only weighs 2.9 pounds, it won’t be bothersome to carry around the job site or a home garage. What’s unique about this impact driver is the Triple Hammer Technology (third anvil) that increases the speed, torque, and impact without amplifying the vibration.
Overall, I think that the Makita XDT131 is a well-balanced impact driver that has everything you’ll need for standard jobs. The caveats I mentioned are very minor and its usability features completely outweigh such cons. If you’re looking for an all-around impact driver either for the job site or for home use, the Makita XDT131 is worth investing in.