This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. A Rotary Hammer is one of those tools that you might not use every week but when you need one – you NEED one. The Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer is sized right to fit into your toolbox, tight spaces and your price range. This tool doesn’t weigh you down while it hammers through brick, block and cement. Join us as we run it and a Bosch Speed Clean Dust Extraction bit through its paces.
Comfort and Power in the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer
The Makita XRH06ZB 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless 11/16″ SDS-PLUS Rotary Hammer sent to us for this review adds to their 18V LXT system of tools with a lightweight and compact tool. It’s specifically designed for tight spaces or overhead applications where a larger, corded model would be more difficult if not impossible to use. It weighs in at 4.6 lbs. with the battery. This model is tool only but is compatible with other Makita LXT tools. The battery and charger starter kit can be purchased for about $150. The brushless motor can result in 50% longer run time, increased power and speed.
Design features like the vibration-absorbing handle, LED light and variable speed trigger all work in concert to add comfort and usability to the tough job of drilling into brick, block or cement. The Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer was tested in a cement water drainage basin, down under a workbench and up on a ladder to see how it felt and handled. The weight is nice when you are climbing up and down ladders or down into a water basin to ‘perforate’ a 9 inch round hole into the cement wall – maybe not a typical DIY project but good to know all the same.
Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer SDS-PLUS Bits
There is a specific bit that is required for use with the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer, hence the SDS-PLUS in the full name. The good news is that there are full sets of SDS-PLUS bit or they can be purchased individually on an ‘as needed’ basis. They lock in securely and easily into the chuck of the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer. The bad news is that you can’t use any of the other drills, masonry bits, or drivers that chuck up in a traditional drill. So while the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer has two settings for rotation only or hammering with rotation, your typical drill bit set won’t work with this drill. You need to use SDS-PLUS bits with the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer.
I was able to use the BOSCH Hollow Speed Clean Dust Extraction Drill Bit (also provided to us for this article) with the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer since they too are SDS-PLUS. The picture using BOSCH Daredevil Multipurpose Drill Bits illustrates the pile of dust that is created when you are drilling into brick or block.
While it is designed to be used with a larger vac (or ideally an OSHA silica-standard compliant HEPA vac), my smaller version really worked well. It greatly reduced the dust that was in the air and falling on the floor. I did make a rookie mistake and attempted to pack up the shop vac there in the room. Yes, the plaster and dust that was in the hose ended up all over the floor – not exactly the point of using the vac in the first place. Next time, I will head outside to pull off the hose and pack up the tools. You’re never too old to be reminded you have a lot to learn.
Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer Handle and Depth Gauge
The additional side handle for the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer is engineered well. Not only can it be used in any position around the smooth portion of the chuck but there are notched settings for added strength in securing the handle in place. This is easy to use, tighten and/or remove entirely.
The plastic depth gauge runs through the side handle and serves its purpose well enough. I prefer a metal gauge when I need to set the depth I am drilling. The depth gauge that came with this tool had a slight arc to it, but again, it serves it purpose. In general, if you are using a rotary hammer to drill into cement, it usually isn’t to 1/8 inch accuracy. There are times when you need to make sure that you are deep enough for the fasteners being used or that you are not blowing all the way through the other side of a cement wall and this gauge will help do that.
Taking the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer Into Tight Spaces
Having a brick home, with brick fireplaces and chimneys, a masonry block wall basement/foundation and a brick two car garage, there is no shortage of high, low, and hard to reach drilling needing to be executed here at the residence. I was running electric lines and outlets under a work bench for an air compressor. In addition to brushing up on my yoga flexibility, the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer was light and easy to wield down in a tight space with little light and a solid block wall. The power of the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer was great and the tool absorbed most of the shock and hammering.
I used the SDS-PLUS masonry bits to drill into the brick of the house and then switched over to a ‘standard’ cordless drill to drive in the fastener to hold the downspout strap to the house. The lightweight and compact Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer would hang in a tool belt, or rests nicely on the ladder waiting patiently to be called back in to work. The SDS-PLUS bit system is easy to use and locks in beautifully and I was as efficient as ever switching between drills (no, I do not give estimates on how long a job should take anymore).
You don’t have to set up a pottery studio to need the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer. Garages, basements, retaining walls, cement steps and risers. . . Whether working overhead or down in tight spaces, the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer did a really nice job without all of the size, weight and cord-hassle of the traditional rotary hammer.
Running Time for the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer
The light weight and compact design of the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer are definite positives. The technology of the 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries can boast the fastest charging time in their category of battery. The fast charging combined with the brushless motor provide longer time working with less time charging. For most DIY or typical rotary hammer projects, this will prove more than enough running time. If you are looking to spend days drilling a cement foundation for anchors, you may still be going to look for a corded model that you can lean on until the bit wears out.
Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer Specs
• Max. Capacity (concrete drilling) : 11/16″
• Optimum Range (concrete drilling) : 5/32″ – 3/8″
• No Load Speed (variable speed) : 0 – 680 RPM
• Blows Per Minute (variable speed) : 0 – 4,800 BPM
• Impact Energy (Joules) : 1.2 J
• Impact Energy (ft.lbs.) : .88
• Vibration (m/s²) : 9
• Bit Type : Accepts SDS-PLUS
• Battery : 18V LXT® Compact Lithium-Ion
• Net Weight (with battery) : 4.6 lbs.
Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer Does the Job
Whether down in a water basin or underneath a workbench, the Makita 18V Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer was able to hammer through brick, cinder block and cement with ease. The power packed in this lightweight, sub-compact rotary hammer is impressive. It will continue to be utilized in this house “made of stone.”
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.