Makita

Makita FD07R1 12V MAX CXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill Kit 3/8"

    At one time 12 volt tools were pretty much the top offering from all manufacturers.

Although 12 v tools are still somewhat popular, it seems that the industry as a whole has given higher priority to the 18v/20v Max arena. With 18 v tools shrinking in size and weight while still giving better power and runtime, 12v tools seemed to make less and less sense.
Things may have changed with the release of Makita’s new CXT 12v Max line. The new tools are not a simple reboot of previous designs with a different battery shape. By just looking at them you would think they were the same tools as before with a new battery platform. In actual use though the difference becomes clear. They all have improved performance.

Leading the way is the all new FD07R1 brushless driver drill and PH05R1 hammer drill.

Right off the bat I will just say this is my all time favorite drill, ever, of any voltage, period. It packs near 18 volt power in a 4.8v size. It is truly the most compact 12v Max drill I have ever seen! It is smaller than every drill that I have ever seen offered by Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Metabo or Festool.

When you first hold it, you realize you have something very special in your grasp. It truly feels like an extension of your hand. The Chuck is so close to the grip it is easily the most controllable drill on the market. The soft rubber overmold and the ergonomically designed slim handle make it ever so comfortable to hold. Gone is the oversized handle of most 10.8/12v max pod style battery tools. No extra girth or bulge to make it uncomfortable in extended use. The weight and balance are great as well. The change from in handle pod style to slide style batteries moves the weight lower to the end of the handle. This creates the perfect balance between motor and battery.



Unless you are living under a rock, you have no doubt heard about brushless motors. The benefits of brushless motors are rarely exemplified more effectively than with this tiny powerhouse. The extra power is really there. The boost in runtime is impossible to argue. Despite its diminutive size I found it to be every bit as strong in use as the perennial class leader, the Milwaukee m12 fuel drill/driver. In test after test it matched screw for screw and hole for hole while being much smaller and lighter. Equal performance in a smaller size with less weight = more user friendly.

    It breezed through all sizes of decking screws up to 4″ so I tried 6″ long 1/4″ diameter ledger lock screws. Next I tried 10″x 3/8″ Torx head timber screws.  It gobbled them up like candy. Next I tried some Bosch Daredevil bits. They are like a paddle bit but have a threaded tip that really grabs and pulls the drill through the material very quickly. Imagine a cross between a spade bit and a self feed bit. I first tried 1″ then 1 1/4″ in treated 2x lumber. Watch it here >>>https://youtu.be/A8NhkVdJCvQ I was very pleased with the performance. It was even better in 2x Douglas fir.

        Some will miss the full 1/2″ Chuck of the m12 fuel drill when moving to his model. I have not yet found the need since I have other 1/2″ drills already. If this was my only drill, I would be limited in the range of hole saws and self feed bits I could use. The more I think about it, the decision to use a 3/8″ Chuck was probably a good one. It eliminates a whole world of overload possibilities.

Overall, I call this a home run for Makita. They really did their homework before bringing it to market. Everyone who has used mine just loves it. They are always surprised by the power in relation to its size. The entire CXT line is a nice improvement but this drill and its hammerdrill counterpart are most certainly the Crown Jewels. I have not seen them at Home Depot but they are available online at Acme Tools and others.

Thanks for visiting! Don’t forget to give a follow and a like??

17 Comments

  1. Ku'i Young

    Your tool reviews are great and it’s very helpful to see the comparisons by means of the tool challenge. Great idea for the Makita give away!
    Instagram: agapevibe

  2. James merrick

    merrick1738

    I really enjoy woodworking, but I really don’t have money for any adequate tools. These are really nice tools

  3. Mana_Clash

    I would love to win one of these!

  4. Eric Sardo

    Ig name is @kush4dayzzz great review by the way!!

  5. Bremon

    That really is bananas. So tiny. The slide packs do seem like a big improvement. Stem packs are what have me shying away from my M12 gear and deeper into M18 and 20v Max.

    • The lines are getting blurred. This drill was the most compelling reason to go CXT. Now the sub compact 18v is out and I have a new favorite!

      • Gov Jay

        Paul, you are correct… the lines are getting blurred regarding drills and impacts. However, remember that the CXT tools are somewhat lighter by about 0.5 lb, not to mention that the batteries are smaller. That being said, it appears that Makita mated the FD07 and a brushless DT03 (aka TD111D brushless) with the 18V LXT platform to create the new black subcompacts.
        Incidentally, the photos and commentary that you posted on Instagram for the new Makita subcompacts were really great.

  6. Hi Paul, do you have any interests about the batteries?

  7. André

    This is the european model version. Not sure what the US model number is..

    http://www.its.co.uk/pd/DF032DZ-Makita-108v-CXT-Li-ion-Brushless-Drill-Driver-Body-Only-_MAKDF032DZ.htm

  8. Gov Jay

    Great review Paul… not to mention all the other insightful reviews you have posted over at Amazon.com. You are correct, it is mostly about ergonomics, as if a tool is too heavy, not well-balanced, has a bulky grip, etc., it becomes uncomfortable… if not downright difficult… to use effectively.

    Recently, I migrated from the ‘old’ Makita 12V max platform (pod-style batteries) to the CXT tools, having this tool as well as the Makita FD06 1/4″ Hex Driver-Drill and DT03 Impact Driver. As you pointed out, the CXT line is a great improvement over the previous 12V models. I have to admit that the FD06 is perhaps the most well-used driver-drill in my arsenal and it would be nice if Makita would offer the FD07 with a 1/4″ hex chuck in the near future, as this design would further reduce the overall length by perhaps 3/4″ or so. (Makita also should consider introducing a brushless 2 or 3 speed, ultra compact impact driver as well.) My only ‘gripe’ about the FD07 is that it should have a little more speed to closely match or equal that of its brushed siblings, the Makita FD05 / FD06 (although this would probably result in some type of trade-off in maximum torque).

    • Thanks Jay,
      There is actually a brushless with the 1/4″ Chuck. I am not sure of the model number. I am looking forward to what those mad scientist geniuses come up with for the BL impact. No matter what it will be a world beater. No one does impacts better than Makita. Even the brushed version is easily the strongest 12v on the market at this point. I could not beleive my eyes when it matched and even slightly beat the fuel m12. I am with you on the BL RPMs. It seems strange to give the more powerful tool by far lower top speeds. Nevertheless it is still my favorite drill ever.

      • Gov Jay

        You’re most welcome, Paul…
        At any rate, do you have a link for the model number on that brushless drill with the 1/4″ hex chuck driver-drill?. It must be very new as I’ve not seen this tool on the Makita USA website. (Is it perhaps a Japanese import?) Are you thinking about the FD06? (If so, the FD06 is a conventional brushed design and is essentially the FD05 with a hex chuck.)

        Yes, I also have to agree that Makita makes the best impacts. About a month ago, I constructed a mobile scrap wood storage bin (approx. 24″ sq x 36″ h) with 1/2″ OSB fastened to a 1-1/4″ sq fir lumber frame, using #8 x 1-1/2″ Spax screws (one of my favorites as well) for attaching the OSB to the framing and a single #10 x 3″ cabinet screw in each side panel corner to join the sections together. My tool of choice was the new 12V DT03 impact driver for pre-drilling the fastener holes and driving the screws . This little impact just didn’t stop and I had at least over 50% charge in the 2.0Ah battery when finished…. downright impressive.

  9. Jay R.

    Great review Paul… not to mention all the other insightful reviews you have posted over at Amazon.com. You are correct, it is mostly about ergonomics, as if a tool is too heavy, not well-balanced, has a bulky grip, etc., it becomes uncomfortable… if not downright difficult… to use effectively.

    Recently, I migrated from the ‘old’ Makita 12V max platform (pod-style batteries) to the CXT tools, having this tool as well as the Makita FD06 1/4″ Hex Driver-Drill and DT03 Impact Driver. As you pointed out, the CXT line is a great improvement over the previous 12V models. I have to admit that the FD06 is perhaps the most well-used driver-drill in my arsenal and it would be nice if Makita would offer the FD07 with a 1/4″ hex chuck in the near future, as this design would further reduce the overall length by perhaps 3/4″ or so. (Makita also should consider introducing a brushless 2 or 3 speed, ultra compact impact driver as well.) My only ‘gripe’ about the FD07 is that it should have a little more speed to closely match or equal that of its brushed siblings, the Makita FD05 / FD06. (Note that this would probably result in some type of design trade-off in the maximum torque delivered without increasing motor size.)

  10. scott

    Love the website mate, nice work.

Leave a Reply