Best Product – New Makita CXT Hammer Drill Doesn’t Seem Like Much of an Upgrade

Makita PH06R1 12V Hammer Drill

Makita has added a new cordless hammer drill, PH06, to their 12V Max CXT cordless power tool lineup.

Surprisingly, this does not appear to be brushless hammer drill. Digging into Makita’s spec sheets, all they say about the motor is that it is “Makita-built.”


Makita’s brushless motors also typically have highly visible BL Motor branding, which this new model does not. This all suggests it has a brushed motor.

Makita does have a separate 12V Max brushless hammer drill. Compared to their brushless hammer drill, which came out more than 2 years ago, this new model is a little less powerful (~10% lower max torque), considerably longer (7-5/8″ vs 6-5/8″), and marginally heavier.

There is also an existing brushed motor 3/8″ hammer drill in Makita’s 12V Max CXT lineup, model PH04. Makita launched the PH04 6 years ago. Compared to the PH04, this new PH05 has the same max torque rating, the same speed range, and the same weight The older hammer drill measures 7-7/8″ in length, and the new model measures 7-5/8″, a difference of ~1/4″.

Makita PH06R1 12V Hammer Drill Drilling into Wood

Makita PH06 Features & Specs

  • 3/8″ drill chuck
  • 0-450/0-1700 RPM max speed
  • 0-6,750 / 0-25,500 BPM
  • 250 in-lbs max torque
  • Weighs 2.5 lbs with battery
  • 7-5/8″ length
  • LED worklight

Makita PH06R1 12V Hammer Drill Kit

Price: $149 for the kit (PH06R1)
ETA: Unknown; Tool Nut has a 30-35 day shipping estimate

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In their press materials, Makita says:

The PH06 [sic] an ideal solution for users seeking a more compact driver-drill for applications in tight spaces.

However, users seeking a more compact hammer drill would likely be better off with Makita’s brushless version, or competitors’ compact and more powerful 12V-class brushless hammer drills.

I’m really not seeing Makita USA’s reasoning for this model. It’s only 1/4″ shorter than the brushed model they came out with 6 years ago, and the kit costs $10 more. Despite being slightly shorter than their older brushed motor hammer drill, the new model is still 1″ longer than their brushless model.

After SIX YEARS, all they did was shave just 1/4″ off the length of the hammer drill?

Is it “more compact” than the older version? Technically, sure. But, it’s far from being the “ideal solution” for anyone working in tight spaces. Makita’s brushless kit ($179) is much more compact. Dewalt’s kit ($159) is also much more compact, with a 6.6″ length that rivals that of Makita’s brushless model.

When we’re talking about 7-5/8″ vs 7-7/8″ cordless drill/driver lengths, 1/4″ is not a big difference – it’s just 3.17% shorter. Maybe there are other differences that Makita USA is not disclosing?

Do you think the new model being ~3.2% shorter in length over the older model is worth paying $10 more for?

I would expect for the new PH06 model to replace the older PH04 model, but Makita seems to like having a vast number of drill and impact driver SKUs for customers to have to sort through.