Makita CXT 12V Max Drill

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Editor’s Conclusion
If you are a DIYer who wants a good cordless drill for light repair and ordinary household tasks, you may shy away from the more expensive Makita FD07R1. Fortunately, the Makita CXT 12V Max Drill, product number FD09R1, offers many features for a lower price. The main difference between the two models is that the costlier one (around $180) has a brushless motor, in contrast to the brush variation in the FD09R1.

Brushless motors offer the advantages of high efficiency and, as a result, more power, better runtime, greater durability, and less maintenance. These are practical advantages for someone engaged in remodeling, building a deck, or drilling a multitude of pilot holes and driving schools into hardwood or plywood beams that may be unnecessary for someone engaged in assembling a rack, hanging drapery rods or pictures, replacing cabinet handles, or other occasional light work.

The drill offers all the conveniences a DIYer wants in a drill, including variable speed, reversible, keyless 3/8" chuck, an LED work light, and a case. For someone who has other Makita tools, the two 2.0Ah batteries will expand the work-life of all compatible tools.
Editor's Pros & Cons

Mechanical 2-speed transmission (0-450 & 0-1,500 RPM)

12V max CXT slide battery design enables the tool to stand on its own for user convenience

Built-in LED. light illuminates the work area

Convenient 3/8" keyless chuck for a quick bit change

2V max CXT cordless tools are also compatible with the 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion 4.0Ah battery (BL1041B)


Drill needs 15 minutes resting time between battery changes

Drill bits may not stay in place

Key Features & Performance

  • Size: 7"
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Variable 2-speed design (0-450 & 0-1, 1,700 RPM) covers a wide range of drilling and driving applications
  • 12V max CXT® Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah Battery (BL1021B) with charger
  • 3/8" chuck
  • Built-in LED to illuminate the work area
  • Improved design
  • Makita-built motor delivers 250 in. lbs of max torque
  • 3-year warranty


    This 12-V CXT 12V Max Drill (FD09R1) delivers 250 in. lbs of max torque, just slightly less than the brushless model.


    The variable 2-speed design offers 0-450 RPM on speed one and up to 1,700 RRM on speed 2. The range is greater than the FD-7R1, so it can easily handle screw driving at its lower speed and hole drilling at a higher speed.


    In tests of the ability of cordless drills to repeatedly drill holes and drive screws at high and low torque, the 12-V Makita CXT is an excellent performer. Even without a brushless motor, the tool can handle whatever you throw at it.

    Length of Charge

    Usage determines how long the battery lasts, but with two batteries included, a DIYer doing minor repair or assembly tasks will unlikely need the second battery in a single work session. However, Makita is known for its speedy recharge times, complete with temperature sensors and feedback circuitry that protects the battery.

    Handling and Ease of Use

    The drill is compact, although slightly larger and heavier than the brushless model. Some male owners claim that their wives and mothers confiscate it because it is so comfortable to hold while working, but the resulting maneuverability is popular with all users. It easily fits in small spaces. Between uses, the drill stands up, so it is easy to grab it again when you need to drill the next hole or drive the next screw. It comes with a belt hook – a commentary on how light this drill is.

    The body of the drill has a handy work light that illuminates and focuses on the work area.


    The batteries in this kit are compatible with other Makita tools, which makes the drill versatile. They can even be replaced with 4.0Ah batteries for more extended work life.


    The brushed model FD09R1 offers the same Makita quality and has many features as the brushless FD07R1, making it a great addition to any toolbox. Even considering that it has two batteries and a durable plastic case, it is not the cheapest drill on the market.

    A quick scan of the Amazon or Home Depot websites shows an array of well-rated 12-V drills starting at $30 that appear to have many similar features. However, the 2.0Ah batteries (two of them in fact), the torque, and the hard-to-find plastic case make this Makita a winner in brushed cordless models.


    For someone who needs a powerful drill for occasional use, the Makita CRT 12-V Max drill (FS09R1) is a no-brainer, especially if they own Makita saws, drivers, vacuums, etc. other tools that use the same batteries.