Makita Vs Ryobi Cordless Drill | Which Brand Is Best?

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From time to time, we stumble on two Japanese branded power tools and what will happen if we made them cross swords and that’s exactly what happened with our review of the Makita FD07R1 and Ryobi P1811.

Seasoned power tools users with a lot of tool purchases under their belt judge Makita tools as the more upscale ones.

They generally glint with the reputation of Japanese industrial manufacturing and engineering since Makita tools are precise, powerful, and durable.

Ryobi, on the other hand, comes off to the market as the more budget-friendly brand. You’ll actually settle for a Ryobi for your first set of power tools on your way to saving up for Makita kits.

The Ryobi P1811, however, looks and feels like a premium tool belonging in the higher pricing tier of the power tools market. Will we see an upset in this review? Let’s find out.

Quick Summary

Both of the drill kits in this review achieve best seller status in Amazon thanks to good power tool fundamentals like power, user-friendliness, and technology.

However, they differ in size and energy output as the Makita FD07R1 is 12V while the Ryobi P1811 is 18V.

The Makita FD07R1 weighs less than 3 lbs and measures only 6 inches – that’s half a ruler. It sports a decent 280 in-lbs of torque.

The Ryobi P1811 is the longer and heavier tool but it boasts of more power since it revs up to 1,600 RPMs, making it more capable of handing tougher drilling and fastening jobs.

Makita FD07R1 Vs. Ryobi P1811: Which Japanese Brand Cordless Drill Kit Is The Best?

Makita FD07R1

Makita designed the FD07R1 with a 12v motor to keep things small and intimate. The drill/driver kit serves as a great solution for workers who want a drill/driver around the house for those small home improvement projects.

Light and Compact

The Makita FD07R1 comes into the weighing scale at a light 2.3 lbs with a length of 6.16 inches. It’s perfect for working in narrow places or in elevated project surfaces that require you to bring the drill/driver above your head.


For users curious about the tool’s power, the FD07R1 boasts of 280 in-lbs of nutbusting torque. That’s enough power to drive most fasteners into wood or concrete.

Energy Efficiency and Durability

Makita engineered the FD07R1 to equip its state of the art brushless motor that saves energy output by 50% and increases the motor’s life by twice than the standard brush motor’s lifespan.


The Makita FD07R1 sports an on-board electronic chip system that monitors the voltage coming out of the charger, battery, and motor.  It’s a system that prevents the tool from overloading and overheating while charging. Users won’t have to worry about the tool shorting out while recharging or while using it to work.

What We Like

  • Nice ergonomically designed handles keep tension off users’ hands and provides a good fit and feel even if you’re wearing gloves.
  • LED lights on the tool provide much needed illumination to dark spots.
  • If you opt for the kit, the tool comes with a compact carrying case perfect for storing bits, batteries, and carrying the drill/driver to projects or storing them in your workshop.

What We Don’t Like

  • The chuck’s hold on the bits can be a little loose and the bits will slip from time to time.

The Solution

Users will need to make sure to manually tighten the bit and make sure it is securely inserted in the chuck every now and then.

Ryobi P1811

The Ryobi P1811 combines a medium-sized frame with a powerful 18V motor that performs well even in those tight, claustrophobic places.

Power in a Small Package

The Ryobi P1811 comes with a 1/2 inch sized chuck to keep the tool’s overall footprint small. What’s impressive is the tool can ratchet up to a maximum of 1,600 RPMs despite Ryobi scaling down its size.

Precision Clutch Controls

Users can set the amount of immediately available torque the tool will work with upon pulling the trigger through the clutch ring. The clutch ring has 24 positions users can use to set how little or how large the amount of torque will be applied on the project.


The tool features a magnetic tray at the base of the tool to screws and fasteners within easy reach while drilling. A receptacle at the base also allows users to store bits, allowing easy switching in case they need to work on a screw with a different head.


Ryobi encased the tool in their patented GRIPZONE design for better handling and less slippage. The great plastic overmold also feels prevents hand fatigue.

What We Like

  • The tool is part of Ryobi’s ONE+ system which gives the Ryobi P1811 access to different battery packs with higher or lower AH.
  • Variable speed controls that allow users to work with 0 – 440 RPMs and 0 – 1,600 RPMs.
  • Keyless chuck equipped with spindle lock makes for no-fuss bit changes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Like the  Makita FD07R1, the chuck’s hold on bits is weak – a potential design flaw of keyless chucks.

The Solution

Users will have to be mindful and make it habit to check if the bit is snug and tight in the chuck before and after every round of work.

Makita FD07R1 Vs. Ryobi P1811: Which Is Better?

Right off the bat, we’d like to say we like what the Ryobi P1811 brings to the table. It’s not as light or as compact at the Makita FD07R1 but we’ll take its power and nifty creature comforts over its rival.

The Ryobi P1811’s case design features nooks and trays that make it convenient to work on projects since we don’t have to go down from a stepladder just to get screws.

We can take them with us on the Ryobi drill/driver’s magnetic tray. We’re sure Makita will think of something like this in the future.

The Makita FD07R1’s torque is decent for its size but for professional jobs that require bigger and thicker screws and fasteners, we’ll need something with the Ryobi P1811’s power for that.

We believe that their companies engineered the tools for specific users in in mind but for our purposes we choose the Ryobi P1811.

Final Thoughts

Although we opted for the Ryobi tool in this review, the Makita FD07R1 is the perfect companion for home renovators, women, or aging contractors.

The tools size and weight empower users to work with the Makita FD07R1 for long periods of time without strain or fatigue, driving in fasteners in places bigger and bulkier tools will not be able to maneuver. The Makita FD07R1 will obviously score 5 out of 5 stars for that slice of the market.

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