Professional Tool Reviews for Pros
When it comes to drywall screwdrivers, Makita has a deep lineup of both corded and cordless options. From the field-tested FS4200 and FS6200 corded models to the newest XRF03 brushless option, you’re sure to find a Makita screw gun that suits the way you work.
The most recent Makita cordless screw gun is the 18V LXT XRF03. If you’ve been using Makita’s cordless models for a while, you’ll notice the model number is very similar to the XSF03. However, this one replaces the XRF01 and it’s a long-awaited brushless update.
One of the big differences between this model and other Makita screw guns is that the magazine is integral to the tool’s operation rather than being an optional separate attachment.
The newer model cranks up to 6000 RPM, a gain of 2000 RPM over the ’01 model. It’s more compact by nearly 2 1/2 inches and it drops 0.3 pounds.
Its 1 – 2 3/16-inch screw length range shifts down somewhat from the ’01’s 1 3/4 – 2 15/16-inch range.
The runtime is impressive. Using a 5.0Ah battery, you can drive up to 2250 screws on one charge. Two major technologies are in play. The brushless motor is more efficient than brushed models and Makita’s Push Drive system ensures the motor only runs when you press in to drive while still giving you the option to use a lock-on button to improve your speed.
Physically, the design is very similar, but there are several significant differences. One is a different collated screw guide that boasts cleaner feeding.
The tool’s auto-feed magazine features a simple one-touch hook connection, making it easy to access the bit when it’s time for a change. The thumb wheel depth adjustment system is more or less the same.
Price: $349 bare tool
Switching gears to a magazine-optional cordless drywall screw gun, the Makita XSF03 is your best bet. It’s a brushless model that has the same Push Drive technology as the XRF03 above. The combination nets up to 2325 screws on a single 5.0Ah battery.
On its own, this model weighs 3.8 pounds with a 5.0Ah battery and is 9.7 inches long. While that’s significantly more compact than the magazine-dependent XRF03, adding the optional magazine brings them closer together. With it, the XSF03 is 4.7 pounds and 16 inches long.
One of the convenient design elements is the magazine can rotate, making it easier to work in corners.
Price: $159 bare, $249 kit (2 x 2.0Ah), $309 kit (2 x 5.0Ah)
Makita’s XSF04 is essentially the same tool as the XSF03 but downshifts to a 2500 RPM top speed. From a feature point of view, it offers the same benefits. However, the ’04 is slightly heavier at 4.1 pounds with a 5.0Ah battery.
Price: $179 bare
Take the XSF04, swap out the nose for a wider one designed for a 5/16-inch nut setter, add more torque, and you get the Makita XSF05. It still has a 1/4-inch hex connection, so you can also use other bits. However, Makita’s add-on magazine is not designed for use with this model. Other than a slight drop in weight, everything else is the same as the XSF04.
As we shift into corded Makita screw gun options, there are three models specifically for drywallers that are very similar. The FS2200, FS4200, and FS6200 share the same pistol grip design with finger channels at the top of the grip, a two-finger variable speed trigger, a lock-on button, and a belt hook on top of the housing. All three are also compatible with Makita’s add-on screwdriver magazine.
Where they primarily differ is in speed. The FS2200 tops out at 2500 RPM, the FS4200 hits 4000 RPM, and the FS6200 reaches all the way to 6000 RPM.
Makita’s FS2701 shares most of the same characteristics as the corded options we’ve already discussed with a 2500 RPM top speed. There are two primary differences. The nose design still has a magnetic 1/4-inch hex, but doesn’t have the same taper and doesn’t connect to Makita’s collated screw magazine.
The other big difference is this model has an adjustable torque range. Just like the clutch on a drill, six different settings help you dial in the amount of driving force you need to avoid overdriving into your material.
If you like the design of the FS2701 but don’t need the adjustable torque feature, the Makita FS2500 is the screwgun for you. It has the same design, motor, and 2500 RPM top speed without torque settings.
On the clock, Kenny dives deep to discover the practical limits and comparative differences for all kinds of tools. Off the clock, his faith and love for his family are his top priorities, and you’ll typically find him in the kitchen, on his bike (he’s an Ironman), or taking folks out for a day of fishing on Tampa Bay.
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