I wanted to try to find a lightweight, efficient drill for my tool collection and that meant two things. I was probably going to want to find a drill that had Lithium Ion batteries, and I was going to want to find one of the most lightweight 18v drills that I could find. This search led me to the Makita BDF452HW. This 18v cordless drill will likely become the king of the hill as the premier drill in your arsenal if you give it the chance.
Let’s get into the details of this fine drill, read on to become more familiar with what this drill will offer you.
It Feels Good In Your Hands
The first things you will notice when you pick up and handle this tool is that it feels very compact and lightweight. It also has a really good balanced feel and just feels at home in your hands.
The total weight of this drill with battery is only 3.5 pounds, a full pound or more lighter than some drills with similar power.
The ergonomic grip is designed to feel natural when being held by any size hands, andthe handle is positioned in the middle of the drill for good balance.
The weight and ergonomic design of this drill combine to reduce the wear and tear on your hands and arms during extended periods of drilling and fastening work.
A Compact Size
In addition to the light weight, this drill also is compact in size for an 18v drill. The Lithium Ion battery packs are smaller than typical Ni-Cad batteries and the drill body is only 8 inches in length.
This smaller size allows you to reach into tighter spots and can make the drill that much more useful in tight situations.
The Power and Speed Settings
Makita uses a 4-pole motor that will deliver 450 inch pounds of max torque, which is going to be plenty of power for the jobs this drill is intended for.
Makita also lists a PTI torque of 285 inch pounds. Makita is one of few manufacturers currently adopting PTI torque testing standards.
The engine utilizes an all-metal transmission to deliver it’s power at two speeds. The first speed offers 0-450 rpm in a high torque setting, and the second speed offers 0-1,500 rpm in a low torque setting.
These power capabilities will combine to give you plenty of power options for all types of drilling, whether it be through wood, metal or anything else.
Adjusting the Torque
There is a torque adjustment ring at the front of the drill body that allows you to select between 16 different torque levels and a no-slip setting for when you don’t want the clutch to slip at any torque level.
The clutch slip can be very handy when dialed in correctly, it will help you drill and drive without having to worry about stripping screw heads and over-tightening fasteners.
According to the manual, the drilling capacities of this cordless drill are as follows:
- Steel = 13 mm (1/2”)
- Wood = 38 mm (1-1/2”)
- Wood Screw = 10 mm x 89 mm (3/8” X 3-1/2”)
- Machine Screw = M6 (1/4”)
Makita also notes that these are the original specs, and they reserve the right to make improvements that aren’t noted in the manual. But this should give you a pretty good snapshot of what this drill is capable of driving.
Variable Speed Trigger
When you pull the trigger, the speed is determined by how far you pull the trigger. A light pull will give you a slow speed, and a fully depressed trigger will operate the drill at full speed.
When you fully release the trigger, the electric brake instantly stops the drill.
The Electric Brake
This drill uses an electric brake to stop the drill instantly when you fully release the trigger. This helps to give you better control and helps you to prevent stripping screws, for example, since the drill stops instantly when you want it to stop.
This feature, in combination with the clutch, will give you the ability to drive many screws without worrying about stripping any – as an example.
The Forward/Reverse Switch
This drill comes equipped with a forward/reverse switch that allows you to easily toggle between each. The switch is located right above the trigger and is easy to use with one hand.
The LED Light
This drill comes equipped with an LED light, which is a feature commonly being seen on many impact drivers and drills.
The LED light is really handy when you are trying to see your drilling target in low light situations. And if you have ever done a good amount of drilling, you will know that low light situations are quite common when working in tight spots.
The light is activated when you pull the trigger, and stays on for about 10 seconds after you release the trigger.
The Lithium Ion Batteries
Currently, Lithium Ion batteries are all the rage and for good reasons:
- They hold charges longer
- They can be charged more quickly
- They offer more overall charging cycles
- They provide full power up until the battery is fully dead
This drill uses Lithium Ion batteries, which helps keep the weight of the drill down and the power capabilities at a maximum.
If you like the idea of charging batteries in 15 minutes, this drill is for you. When you consider that this kit comes with two of these batteries, it is likely that you will never have to wait for battery charging, creating inopportune downtime, while using this drill.
A Tool With Many Uses
Typically, we look at tools in terms of how they can be used for woodworking. But many of the drill and drivers we look at cross over and are useful for many things beyond typical woodworking projects.
This drill can be used for:
- Driving screws and fasteners into wood and drilling wood
- Driving screws and fasteners into metal and drill metal
What types of jobs could this drill be useful for?
- Home remodeling and home woodworking
- Professional woodworking
- General contractors
- Electrical jobs
- Plumbing jobs
- HVAC jobs
My dad, for example, uses his compact drill both during his day job as a residential and commercial electrician and also at home for many types of around-the-house jobs.
What Kind Of Warranty Do You Get?
Makita offers a three year warranty that covers defects and workmanship of the drill. The batteries are covered by a 1 year warranty.
What’s In The Kit?
This 18v cordless drill kit comes with the Makita BDF452HW drill, two Lithium Ion batteries, a 15 minutes rapid battery charger and a hard plastic case.
This is a quick snapshot of what you’ll have once you unpack the box.
Where Can You Buy This Drill?
We like to recommend that you checking pricing at Amazon first. They offer free shipping and last time we checked they had the best deal on this drill.
What Are Other Saying?
Here are some comments that others have made after purchasing this drill:
- “The BDF452HW is super light, easy to handle and has good power. The batteries are physically small, but still pack 18 volts.”
- “After nearly two years of heavy use my husband has stolen my drill from me. He loves it. Last weekend, he drilled through a steel beam in the basement. He’s hard on stuff, but the lil Makita drill has held up superbly.”
- “Makita comes close to achieving perfection with the concept of reigning in the size of, while retaining the “power” in your power tool.”