At this year’s STAFDA show in Atlanta, we had the chance to see a lot of cool and interesting new products that are either just currently out or coming out soon. Among them was a new compact, lightweight drill and impact driver kit from Makita. I saw first-hand how these tools fared and how they felt, and spoke to the reps about why Makita created a whole new class of tool.

The answer to that last part is simple: Like all tool manufacturers, Makita spends time on jobsites with the people who use its products, in an effort to better understand the user’s needs and work habits. The company discovered that many tradespeople have both 12-volt and 18-volt tools. It also realized that we most often reach for the most compact tool available for the job. With that and the fact that folks were managing two battery platforms in mind, Makita decided to try to bridge the gap—at least with regards to drill/driver and impact drivers. The result is the 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Combo Kit (CX200RB). The tools are both black to distinguish them from the 12V versions, which are about the same size.


When equipped with a 2.0Ah battery, the ½-inch Drill/Driver (XFD11ZB) weighs a mere 2.8 pounds. It has a no-load speed of 0-500 and 0-1,700 rpm. While that number is smaller than a typical 18V Drill/Driver (the XFD07MB, for example, runs at 0-550 and 0-2,100 rpm), it still delivers on power. The sub-compact model will drill up to 1 7/16-inch-diameter hole in wood and ½ inch in steel (compared with 3 inches in wood and ½ inch in steel for the XFD07MB).


When equipped with a 2.0Ah battery, the ¼-inch Impact Driver (XDT15ZB) weighs in at 2.6 pounds. It has a no-load speed of 0-1,300 and 0-3,000 rpm and impacts per minute of 0-1,600 and 0-3,900 (compared to the XDT11Z, which runs at 0-2,900 rpm and has an impact rate of 0-3,500 ipm). The XDT15ZB delivers a respectable 1,240 inch-pounds of torque--enough to drive long TimberLoks in 4-by and 6-by material.

The kit is available now and sells for $229. It comes with the drill/driver, impact driver, two 18V LXT 2.0Ah batteries, rapid charger, and carrying case.

This article originally appeared on JLC's sister site: Tools of the Trade.