Makita - BTD144 Cordless Impact Driver - Fine Homebuilding Tool Review
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BTD144 Cordless Impact Driver

Makita - BTD144 Cordless Impact Driver

Makita's BTD144 impact driver features an electronic switch that lets you match the speed/torque to the task

$370.00 (As of 9/17/2009)

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Editor's Review: Tool Hound Video Review: Makita BTD144 Impact Driver

review date: October 1, 2009

Watch our video review of Makita's BTD144 cordless impact driver's video series to learn about this tool and see how its variable-speed/impact feature works. Click below to watch the members-only video.

read full review

Editor Test Results:

Overall Rating Excellent
Runout N/A
Ergonomics/Balance lightweight and compact
Endurance on a Single Charge N/A
Torque 1420 in.-lb.
Chuck/Transmission Quality Good, multiple speeds

Editor's Review: Impact Driver Lets You Choose the Speed

review date: September 16, 2009

When it comes to driving screws, nothing beats a cordless impact driver. But sometimes the combination of speed and hammer action can pack too much punch, making it hard to keep the driver bit engaged in the head of the screw. Choosing a model that has a reliable variable-speed trigger helps, but even that can be dicey. Makita must be doing its homework, because the company just released an impact driver to solve the problem.

The BTD144 is an 18v Li-ion-powered impact driver that looks similar to the drivers in Makita’s existing lineup. Lightweight and compact, the driver delivers an arm-twisting 1420 in.-lb. of torque, and features a belt hook and an LED light. A brushless motor (less maintenance) is a great addition, but the big change on this tool is the electronic three-speed selector switch.

The concept of the speed-selector switch is simple: Set the speed/torque to match the task (soft, medium, or hard). If a gentle level of hammer action and a slow speed are desired—to sink small, delicate fasteners, for instance—set the speed to S (1300 rpm/ 1300 impacts per minute). If the application calls for a bit more muscle (cabinet screws, for example), choose M (2000 rpm/2800 impacts per minute). The H setting offersthe highest speed and hammer action (2600 rpm/3400 impacts per minute), ideal for driving or tightening long screws or bolts.

My only reservation is the price tag. The BTD144 costs $50 to $100 more than its predecessor, the BTD141. That’s a large price hike just for the convenience of speed selection and reduced motor maintenance. Still, Makita is on to a great concept, and I look forward to competitive pricing when other toolmakers pick up this technology.


Editor Test Results:

More In-Depth Information

Tool Hound Video Review: Makita BTD144 Impact Driver New adjustable speed setting on Makita's BTD144 cordless impact driver offers better control when driving screws

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Makita
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-462-5482
Weight Lightweight
Dimensions N/A
Chuck Type N/A
Clutch Settings N/A
Chuck Capacity N/A
Speed selectable up to 2600 rpm/3400 impacts per minute
Volts 18 volts
Recharge Time N/A
Battery Type Li-ion
Accessories N/A

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