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Makita-DHP484-18V-Combi-Drill-BL-LXT-Review

Makita DHP484 18V Combi Drill BL LXT2022 Review

Arguably the best tool brand to come from the far East, Japan’s Makita are no strangers to making the best cordless drills. Thanks to more than a century of experience and countless hours of research, the DHP484 is a stunning brushless combi drill for savvy DIYers and professionals alike.

This “bare” tool doesn’t come with a charger or any batteries, but you get one of the more powerful cordless drills on the market right now. Boasting an extremely well-designed grip shape and a huge number of torque settings, it’s ideal for heavy-duty jobs as well as when you need a bit more precision.

Makita DHP484 18V Combi Drill BL LXT Review

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Design
    Performance
    Power
    Noise
    Safety
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4.5833333333333
  • Hammer Drill / Drill Driver
    Combi Drill
  • Power
    18V
  • Batteries Supplied
    Bare
  • Charge Time
    1 hour
  • No-Load Speed
    0-500, 0-2,000
  • Torque Settings
    21+1+1
  • Max. Torque
    54Nm
  • Chuck Size
    13mm
  • Max. BPM
    30,000bpm
  • Weight (Excluding Battery)
    1.2kg
  • Accessories Included
    No

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How I Tested The Makita DHP484 18V Combi Drill BL LXT

Testing the best cordless drills meant setting up a test rig to put each drill through its paces. Driving screws into timber and drilling holes in different materials like steel plate and brick seemed like a solid challenge for each tool.

The other way I tested the drill was less scientific and more about feel. Generally, you can tell a quality piece of kit just by holding it, listening to it, and getting a grip on how well balanced it is. So, as I was testing the fundamentals of each drill, I was paying attention to how it behaved and if I would buy it again.

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Our Verdict of The Makita DHP484 18V Combi Drill BL LXT

I need to warn you that I’m a big Makita fan already. I was concerned that the slightly lower specs on this cordless drill in comparison with the big DeWalt DCD796 would mean it was less capable, but now I’m not so sure. It might be that Makita are more conservative when displaying their product details, but this drill has all but blown away the competition.

If you want a drill to make holes in all sorts of materials easily, comfortably, and quickly, you can’t go wrong here. It does everything it’s asked as soon as you ask it to. The trigger response is lightning fast, and the entire drill feels refined and well put together. It might have a plastic chuck, but it’s not a flimsy little thing that’ll fall off any time soon.

The only cordless drill to compare this one to on my list is the DeWalt DCD796, and the yellow and black drill beats it in just a few places. The Makita doesn’t come with a case and the work light is a bit basic in comparison. Other than that, the Makita DHP484 is an incredibly powerful combi drill that I would buy straight away.

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Design

Makita-DHP484-18V-Combi-Drill-BL-LXT-Review-design

If you’re at all familiar with Makita’s approach to grip shape, it’s not quite as fun to look at as the DeWalt, but it’s just as grippy and comfortable. I also like that Makita always print the material they use directly into the part. I know for certain that the grip is made from thermoplastic elastomer, or TPE.

Thanks to the small size of the brushless motor, this cordless drill takes up far less space than traditional brushed motor tools. Measuring a mere 185 mm from nose to tail, its small size means it’ll fit nicely into tight gaps, even with longer drill bits installed. Sometimes it’s millimetres that count when you’re in a tight spot.

Weighing in at 1.6 kg, this isn’t an ultra-light tool, but thanks to the good balance, it doesn’t really feel heavy. At 220 mm tall without a battery installed, it’s not huge but there’s still enough room for a grip that fits my hands.

One of the many ways this cordless drill impresses me is by just how solid it feels. I was irritated by the battery wobble in both the DeWalt cordless drills, but there’s no rattle at all in the Makita DHP484. The battery slides in snugly and firmly without a millimetre of movement. Just how it should be!

It’s probably worth mentioning how they’ve stopped the slop. If you look inside the battery compartment, there are a pair of white UHMW rubbery stops that hold the battery tight against the catch. It’s only a small thing, but it stops any battery from rattling around. A sign of quality manufacturing and not skimping on materials.

It’s a bit of a shame that a premium cordless drill like this doesn’t have an all-metal chuck. Over time and hard use, plastic chucks get scratched and lose their grippy surface. They’re just not as durable in the long term. You can always buy a separate Makita keyless metal chuck and fit it yourself, but that’s probably beside the point.

The drill/driver mode and torque selector rings are also plastic, but they still have a solid, positive action when you click them around. They feel tight and accurate when putting them into place. You also get a much wider range of torque settings on this cordless drill compared with some of the competition. There’re a massive 21 torque settings to choose from, meaning you can dial in the exact torque you need to snug down a screw without splitting the surface of the workpiece. I like it.

Further back, it’s good to see a bit more metal on show. The aluminium gear housing holds the all-metal gear construction underneath, so you know this drill has been built to last for a long time.

You get a decent LED work light on the Makita DHP484 too. It’s placed above the trigger, so you can still light up where you need to drill, even if it’s in a tight space. I personally prefer this to the light being sited on the bottom of the grip, but it might not be to everyone’s taste. The light stays on after you release the trigger, but only for 10 seconds. It’s no great hardship to pull the trigger again, but this won’t replace a work light any time soon.

Although this cordless drill comes “bare” without a battery or charger, you do get a belt hanging hook. They’re unbelievably useful to have on a drill, you won’t know how you got by without one! You can, of course, switch which side the hook is on for left or right-handed users.

Performance

Makita-DHP484-18V-Combi-Drill-BL-LXT-Review-performance

As I expected, drilling 30 holes into 38 mm thick CLS timber was incredibly easy. The powerful brushless motor made short work of the job, and the drill felt balanced and comfortable throughout. There was torque in spades, but I always felt in control. I’m already a Makita fan, but this was the icing on the cake. I would say this is one of the best drills for wood.

As for driving screws, there was plenty of torque and not a lot of kickback. Using the first gear, it was easy to stay in control when driving ten 70 mm wood screws into some other timber. The Makita DHP484 also made short work of driving a 150 mm wood screw in and out of a piece of timber.

Next up was drilling through a 3 mm thick steel plate. Using a typical 3 mm wide HSS bit that you might use for a pilot hole, it didn’t take much longer than a minute in 1st gear to get through. The comfortable grip and extra weight of this cordless drill really helped here.

The final challenge: a London house brick. Drilling a 5 mm wide hole in the surface took a mere 18 seconds. The high bpm provided by the hammer action made short work of the brick, which makes this cordless drill ideal for jobs around the house.

Power

Makita-DHP484-18V-Combi-Drill-BL-LXT-Review-power

This brushless hammer drill driver is powered by 18 Volt LXT batteries and charged with one of Makita’s fast-charging stations. Seeing as this is a “bare” tool, it doesn’t come with any of the trimmings, so I needed to use my own 3.0 Ah batteries during testing.

Thanks to the brushless motor on this cordless drill, it’s a powerful, efficient, and essentially maintenance-free piece of kit. Seeing as there’s less friction inside the motor, it’s ideal for battery-powered tools and helps them last longer per charge.

If you’re looking for raw power, the torque on this Makita DHP484 is impressive. Putting out a maximum fastening torque of 54 Newton metres, it blows away a lot of the competition, if not the big DeWalt DCD796. There are also 2,000 rpm and 30,000 max impacts per minute (ipm) to play with when you’re in hammer mode. That’s plenty of grunt for any job around the home, especially when drilling through brick.

Noise

Rated for 99 dB, this isn’t the loudest cordless drill on my list, but it’s still an equivalent noise level to a kitchen blender at top speed. If you’re tackling masonry with the hammer drill function, this will probably sound even louder than that. I always wear ear defenders when I’m drilling holes, because it’s not difficult to permanently damage your hearing.

What I like about this Makita cordless drill is that everything feels, and sounds, smooth and solid. There are none of the rattles or clicks that I heard coming from either of the DeWalt drills, for example. The noise of the drill at low speed is almost gentle, it’s a more refined sound than a lot of the other cordless drills I tested.

Safety

The fundamental rules for safe drilling mostly centre around keeping steady and choosing the correct drilling speed. The Makita DHP484 has an enormous range of torque settings, meaning you have more control over the power you’re putting into the screw. Having more control means you’re less likely to slip.

The grip on this cordless drill is fantastic. I’ve got large hands, and the rubberised handle fits me well, which helps with confidence when drilling. If you’ve got a good grip on a drill, you’re less likely to slip or drop it, and if there is any kickback, you’re less likely to twist your arm.

Value for Money

Just like any “bare” tool, this cordless drill is aimed at tradespeople or clever DIYers that already own batteries and chargers. If you want an entire kit to get you started, this is not the drill for you. However, if you do have a collection of power packs, this capable drill is a bit of a bargain.

For the performance you get out of this cordless drill, and for how comfortable and well balanced it is, I would have expected it to be more expensive. Frankly, I would rather have this drill and buy more batteries than save a few quid and buy a less capable kit with everything included.

Overall

6 4.5833333333333

I need to warn you that I’m a big Makita fan already. I was concerned that the slightly lower specs on this cordless drill in comparison with the big DeWalt DCD796 would mean it was less capable, but now I’m not so sure. It might be that Makita are more conservative when displaying their product details, but this drill has all but blown away the competition.

If you want a drill to make holes in all sorts of materials easily, comfortably, and quickly, you can’t go wrong here. It does everything it’s asked as soon as you ask it to. The trigger response is lightning fast, and the entire drill feels refined and well put together. It might have a plastic chuck, but it’s not a flimsy little thing that’ll fall off any time soon.

The only cordless drill to compare this one to on my list is the DeWalt DCD796, and the yellow and black drill beats it in just a few places. The Makita doesn’t come with a case and the work light is a bit basic in comparison. Other than that, the Makita DHP484 is an incredibly powerful combi drill that I would buy straight away.

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Product Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Makita DHP484 18V Combi Drill BL LXT Found Today

Prices last updated: 17 May, 2022

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