TESTED: The Makita DHP453RFW combi drill

Posted On 23 Sep 2015
Comment: Off

Makitadrill1The Makita DHP453RFW 18V 3.0Ah Li-Ion LXT is a three function combi drill with hammer action, percussion drill and screwdriver functions. It is part of the LXT Lithium-ion range of tools that utilises the same battery unit for each item in the portfolio from radios and drills to a coffee maker and even a powered bicycle.

This year Makita is celebrating 100 years since it was founded as a privately managed company offering sales and repair of motors under the name “Makita Denki Seisakusho.” After years of testing and improving its technology, Makita began exporting electric motors in 1935. In 1938 the company was incorporated under the name “Makita Electric Works, Ltd.

Makita UK is located in Milton Keynes with a manufacturing plant in Telford. As part of the Makita global network of ten manufacturing and assembly plants, Telford is described as the only full-production facility for power tools in the UK and has been running construction on many of the company’s cordless power tools since 1991.

In 2015 power tools are quite different from their predecessors and today the trend among the manufacturers is to utilise the flexibility of a range of tools that benefit from the same interchangeable battery pack.

The LXT Lithium-ion range from Makita follows this trend with a few notable features that will suit the professional tradesperson. One of these is the extremely fast battery charge times.

The DHP453RFW we reviewed came with a 3.0Ah battery pack (supplied as standard for this unit) along with a fast charger unit. The battery took its full charge in just over 20 minutes which is considerably quicker than some other units we have tried in the past. And if you want more battery life the company boasts that the 5.0Ah battery will charge in just 45 minutes.

If you’re worrying that the drill will drain the battery quite quickly too there is a nifty sign to look for on your pack. The small star on the battery indicates the battery protection system which automatically cuts off the power to the tool to extend battery life.

The combi drill itself has 16 torque settings and two speeds plus trigger sensitive speed control for finer work. It also has the usual three settings for hammer action, percussion drill and screwdriver and is keyless for easy bit change.

The drill comes in a blow-moulded case with space for two additional batteries (plus the already included charger and screw bit) available from 1.5Ah to 5.0Ah.

In tests we used the unit for a number of tasks and it fared extremely well. Brickwork was no problem at all, but for woodworking we would have liked a slightly quicker speed but that is just being picky. The screwdriver function was effortless.

People always want to know the negatives rather than the positives from reviews yet apart from the drill speed for woodwork it’s not easy to find one with the DHP453RFW. There’s no light on the drill and it’s not available in the recognisable Makita teal, but that’s as negative as we can be.

The unit we tested is currently (Summer 2015) on sale for £119.99 at Screwfix and while you can certainly pay more (the Makita DHP459RFE from the LXT range is listed at £389.99) you can be confident that the DHP453RFW will more than meet your requirements from a lightweight unit.

Read the full review in the September 2015 edition of PSI magazine.