Makita Vs Milwaukee Impact Driver Head-to-Head Review

In a battle of two premium professional brands, we’re diving deeper into the Makita GDT01 vs the Milwaukee 2953 impact driver in a head-to-head review. For Makita, it’s the flagship for their high-performance XGT line. For Milwaukee, it’s the 4th generation M18 Fuel model that came out in 2022 followed by the 2957 with a One-Key upgrade in 2023.

We’re going to lay out what we objectively know, but the ultimate question is… which one is right for you? Everyone has different priorities, so it could come down to the highest performance, lightest weight, lowest price, or something else. It’s your call.

Check out our best impact driver recommendations for the year!

Why Not Use a Makita 18V LXT Impact Driver?

Makita’s 18V LXT line is certainly the more popular of its three cordless systems, and we have a lot of love for our XDT16 impact driver. However, we wanted to test the hightest performing tools for this head-to-head, and we find that on the 40V max XGT line.

Makita Vs Milwaukee Impact Driver Specifications

Here’s what the manufacturers say about both impact drivers along with the head lengths and weights we measured:

Makita XGT01 Milwaukee 2953
Top Speeds 1100/2100/3200 3700 RPM 1700/3000/3900 RPM
Max Impact Rate 4400 IPM 4400 IPM
Max Torque 1950 in-lbs 2000 in-lbs
Head Length 4.8 in 4.5 in
Bare Weight 2.2 lbs 2.2 lbs
Weight Battery 3.7 lbs (2.5Ah)* 3.9 lbs (5.0Ah)
*Makita’s 2.5Ah XGT battery is the watt-hour equivalent of an 18V 5.0Ah battery.

Makita Vs Milwaukee Impact Driver Test Results

We ran three different performance tests to see what these impact drivers can do. For Makita, we used a 2.5Ah battery that has 90Wh of total capacity. MIlwaukee’s battery has the same 90Wh capacity, but as an 18V pack, it’s a 5.0Ah battery.

The first test compares medium-load by driving a 6-inch x 1/4-inch GRK Fasteners RSS screw into stacked OSB subfloor. The result is the average of three tests.

The second test is timed to see how far each model can drive a 10-inch x 1/2-inch lag screw into the same material in 30 seconds. The result is the average of how much of the screw remained proud in three tests—less is better.

The third test is to see how long it takes to break loose a nut that is set to 150 ft-lbs (1800 in-lbs). The result is the total time added together for 5 bolts.

Makita GDT01 Milwaukee 2953
RSS Screw Average 12.8 seconds 8.6 seconds
Lag Screw Average 3.5 inches 1.7 inches
Nut-Busting Total 6.0 seconds 2.5 seconds

What if you have access to Milwaukee’s advanced High Output batteries? We tested that, too! The overall capacities of the batteries aren’t the same, but we used the 6.0Ah pack to keep them as close as we could.

Makita Vs Milwaukee Impact Driver Head-to-Head Review
Makita GDT01 Milwaukee 2953 Milwaukee 2953
w/6.0Ah High Output
RSS Screw Average 12.8 seconds 8.6 seconds 6.7 seconds
Lag Screw Average 3.5 inches 1.7 inches 1.2 inches
Nut-Busting Total 6.0 seconds 2.5 seconds 1.9 seconds

Makita Vs Milwauke Impact Driver Features

Makita GDT01

Makita GDT01
  • Brushless motor
  • Additional mode selection button above the trigger (cycles through the four standard modes)
  • Three smart modes – two for tightening and one assist
  • Three forward and three reverse auto-stop modes=
  • LED halo surrounding the collet

Milwaukee 2953

Milwaukee 2953
  • Brushless motor
  • Three standard modes and one assist mode
  • Available customizable controls through One-Key (model 2957)
  • Three LED lights surrounding the collet
  • One-hand bit insertion

Makita vs Milwaukee Impact Driver Price

Makita GDT01 Milwaukee 2953 Milwaukee 2957
One-Key
Bare Tool $224 $149 $199
Standard Battery Kit $449 (2 x 2.5Ah) $299 (2 x 5.0Ah) NA
2-Tool Combo $469
GDT01 Impact Driver
GPH01 Hammer Drill
2 x 2.5Ah Battery
Charger
$399
2953 Impact Driver
2904 Hammer Drill
2 x 5.0Ah battery
Charger
$449
2957 Impact Driver
2906 Hammer Drill
2 x 5.0Ah Battery
Charger
Warranty 3 years 5 years 5 years
*Prices at the time of writing from Acme Tools

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