Although the majority of my power tools, all my power tools are cordless, are in the 18v class; I have some 12v Makita CXT tools to compliment my 18v lineup. Aside from the CXT 3-3/8” tile saw (CC02) and Recip (RJ03) I also own the CXT Drill/Driver (FD09), Hex Drill/Driver (FD10z), Impact Driver (DT03) and Impact Wrench (WT04).
Before continuing, let me state I have purchased all of these tools have been myself, have not been offered a fee for this review and so on. In short- the opinions within, in addition to not being scientific, are my own and only my own.
Ok- so why have 12v drill/driver/impact/wrenches when I am a home owner and not a tradesman/wood worker? Answering that may require an exploration of why as a home owner I have more than 50 cordless power tools. I did work… mostly as a laborer starting at age 6 and thru my teenage years for a General Contractor. Both my mother and her husband built homes in Pennsylvania and my aunt and her husband were residential GC’s in NY - as a result my cousins and I were readily available free labor; particularly in the summer. With an indoctrination in power tools early in my life, I’ve had an affinity and an appreciation for what good tools in the hands of a skilled user can accomplish. I have also see what good tools in bad hands and bad tools in good hands can accomplish. Suffice to say it takes a combination of both to produce quality work.
Anyway- my experience is the 12v lineup compliments my 18v lineup very well. Just this summer I assembled two large swing sets for close friends and repaired a third that had been handed down after 10 years of use. In assembling and repairing - I often found grabbing the 12v drill driver was preferred. The combination of having the necessary power and battery life for installing fasteners in a smaller profile and lower weight meant I wasn’t as fatigued after driving 500-750 screws into some of these play sets. Sure if I was a tradesman and perhaps used to driving hundred of screws each day- perhaps the weight of an 18v driver wouldn’t be something I was so unaccustomed to- but I am not and on 90+ degree days and in the sun for 12-14 hours; every advantage was welcomed.
What was also welcomed was those benefits, less tangibly, meant better results. Not only is using an 18v hammer drill driver to install 100- 1” outdoor screws for cedar plank flooring overkill, the weight leads to fatigue and fatigue, by extension, worse results.
It was also convenient and faster having multiple drill/drivers, impacts and wrenches on each job. I didn’t have to change bits each time I ran into different size fasteners and drill bits. The CXT line was used mostly for 1” to 1-1/2” Phillips and Robertson screws and 1/8” to 1/4” drill bits (for pilot holes). 12v was also preferred for the smaller 3/8” hex fasteners and even the 1/2” bolts. The 18” subcompact and regular drill/drivers and impacts were used for larger 1/2 holes and several 7/8” bolts to secure the main beams.
And as my preferred platform for hanging pictures or assembling flat pack furniture; the 12v lineup stores compactly in my hall closet, ready for action.
As for the Makita CXT drill/drivers and impacts- rather than writing an individual post on each one - their performance can be summed up I’m a few words… they are excellent well built tools with equally impressive performance that you’d expect from Makita. I found all of the tools had excellent features, operated smoothly and performed well up to the parameters they are designed for. I have no hesitation saying that for many tasks on a job site- these 12v tools would perform admirably.