Makita Next Generation 12V Tools

Makita Next Generation 12V Tools

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: Multiple [scroll down]
Price: Ranges [scroll down]
Power source: 12 Volt
Weight: Super light

Makita12V max CXT™ Tool Review

The engineers at Makita have certainly been on a role lately, I guess having 100 years of innovation and boasting the worlds largest 18 volt cordless tool line up just wasn’t enough. They’re now redesigning and attacking the 12 volt line of tools with some brand new, and frankly, very sexy, uber-compact offerings.

Makita Next Generation 12V Tools

Makita’s new 12V CXT tools include

  1. Drill-driver
  2. Hammer driver-drill
  3. Impact driver
  4. Reciprocating saw
  5. 3-3/8” circular saw
  6. 2-piece combo kits
  7. Brush-less driver-drill
  8. Brush-less hammer driver-drill

I reviewed the drill-driver, impact driver and reciprocating saw.

Fuel Gauge

Makita slide-Style Battery Design

Newly designed 12V max CXT™ Lithium-Ion slide-style batteries with on-board LED fuel gauges power all eight of these Makita tools.

The 12V slide-style battery was purposefully designed to focus on the user and handle ergonomics. Makita wanted to avoid designing a bulky tool handle that housed a cylinder stem-style battery.

The batteries all have an LED fuel gauge that stays on a few seconds after pressing, and are offered in 2 Ah and 4 Ah batteries.


The first thing that came to my mind was how compact, light weight and comfortable these tools felt in my hands while using them.

All of the tools are equipped with a bright LED light. The reciprocating saws LED light shines through the blade guard, providing and extremely well placed cutting light. The drill and impact drivers LED also produce a surprisingly bright and perfect circle with the tools bit producing a shadow. The LED light stays on, for approximately 15 second, after the trigger is released.

Well placed belt hooks on both drivers were useful on my remodel project.

How They Performed

I’ve been using these tools in the shop, and also in a recent remodel project. They all performed well and I absolutely love the compact size. Oh yeah, did I mention I love how compact these tools are?

By far my favorite tool is the Makita 12v impact driver, followed by the 12v drill-driver and 12v reciprocating saw last. This is mostly because I use the impact driver the most and loved the power to size ratio. The reciprocating saw is the least used in my applications.

All of the tools had decent power and run-time and were the perfect solution for lighter duty drill, drive and small cutting applications.   Installers, woodworkers, electricians, MRO finish carpenters are going to love these tools! For us, when not in the shop, these are ideal finish carpentry and punch list tools.

Drill and Impact

Drill and Impact

Makita 12V max Impact Driver DT03R1

The Makita12V ¼” hex chuck impact driver delivers 970 in. lbs. of Max Torque, 0-2,600 RPM and 0-3,500 IPM.

The BEST part is that this tool weighs only 2.3 lbs. This little guy was powerful enough to quickly and effortlessly drive 3.5 inch deck screws into a double LVL. While not a normal application, I wanted to see if this lil guy had the juice, it did!

While this was my favorite Makita tool of the bunch, I’d like to see the next generation impact come with a 2-speed switch.

Note: The kit includes the Impact Driver, two 12V max CXT™ 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and tool case.

Makita 12V max 3/8” Bushless Driver-Drill FD07R1

The Makita 12V 3/8” Driver-Drill has a brush-less motor that delivers 280 in. lbs. of Max Torque with 2 speeds (0-450, 0-1,500 RPM). The tool has a plastic 3/8” key-less chuck, weighs 2.3 lbs. and is 6-1/16” long.

While it would certainly impact its weight, this tool would benefit from a higher quality metal ratcheting chuck.

Note: The kit includes the Driver-Drill, two 12V max CXT™ 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and tool case.


12V max CXT™ Reciprocating Saw RJ03R1

The new 12V CXT™ Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw delivers a no-load speed of 3,300 strokes per minute with a ½” blade stroke.

This saw has a dual trigger on/off switch that allows for either paddle switch or trigger switch operation. I found the safety on the trigger switch just out of reach for my thumb. It’s possible this is simply a learning curve for me but I found the position of the safety awkward.

The paddle switch safety and trigger, however, is pure genius. I love the idea of having a paddle switch and allowing me to position the tool in any position and easily activate the blade. Kudos Makita!!

The Makita reciprocating saw has a tool-less blade changing system, that ejects hot blades, without having to touch them. I thank you in advance for that!



Recip Working End

The tool weighs 2.9 lbs. and I really liked the angle of the recip handle in relation to the saws main body. The handle shape results in a better hand control and handling of the tool.

Generous rubber over mold, and an oversized hand shroud protect the non-trigger hand from slipping toward the working end of the tool. A safety feature that most folks are not aware of!

Note: The kit includes the Reciprocating Saw, 4” Metal Blade, two 12V max CXT™ 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and tool case.

Makita Next Generation 12V Tools – Cost

12V max CXT brushless driver-drill

  • FD07R1 Kit: $219.99, available now
  • FD07Z tool only: not available at this time

12V max CXT recipro saw

  • RJ03R1 : $149.99, available now
  • RJ03Z: $119.99, available now

12V max CXT impact driver

  • DT03R1: $129.99, available now
  • DT03Z: $99.99, available now

12V max CXT Lithium-Ion 4.0Ah battery               

  • BL1041B: $79.99, available now

Video Review

Three Year Limited Warranty

All of these Makita Tools, their Batteries and Charger are warranted to be free of defects from workmanship and materials for the period of 3 years from the date of original purchase with exceptions.

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Reynods


    Nice review. You rave about how compact these drills are, but what would really be helpful would be a shot of these new tools next to their 18V counterparts. Thanks!

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