This prototype of the XPH07 was photographed at the STAFDA show in November 2013. If the motor housing looks bigger around than normal—it's because it is. This drill/driver has a large motor.
This is the opposite side of the prototype. Note the 4.0 Ah battery. It wasn't out when the photo was shot but will soon be available for purchase.
This is a photo of the DHP481, which is out in Japan, Australia, and some other parts of the world. The U.S. version of the tool will be called the XPH07.

Last fall at the STAFDA show I saw a prototype of the XPH07, a new Makita cordless hammer drill. It was inside a plastic case and I was unable to touch or try it out but was told it would have more torque, speed, and runtime than any tool of its kind. The drill has yet to be announced but ads have been circulating that say it produces 1,090 inch-pounds of torque, 365 inch-pounds more than its closest competitor, the Milwaukee FUEL model 2603 (725 inch-pounds). That’s a huge disparity.

Of course torque ratings are not a perfect stand-in for how tools perform in the real world. Unless the test was performed in accordance with PTI protocols (which is rarely done because it results in lower ratings) there is no way to be sure how it was done. Two manufacturers (using their own protocols) could test the same tool and get different results. But the results would likely be slightly different—and 365 inch-pounds is not a slight difference. So on paper at least, the XPH07 is significantly more powerful than other drill/drivers.

But there’s more to performance than torque, there are also the electronics. In the past, Makita’s drill/drivers contained less sophisticated electronics than some other brands and one would occasionally see videos of people abusing those tools and “smoking” their motors. A video from the tool enthusiasts at OZ Tool Talk (which was recently shared in a post by ToolGuyd) suggests the new Makita hammer drill has an upgraded electronics package because power was cut to the motor when the load became too great—a protective feature that has become increasingly common in recent years. The video also shows the tool to be very powerful.

The guys at OZ Tool Talk were able to test the drill because a version of it (DHP481) is already available in Australia (Oz). Makita hasn’t announced the XPH07 here, but according to a post on Coptool, the U.S. launch is set for later this summer. It’s unclear what the new hammer drill will cost or how it will be packaged, though Makita's Japanese website says it was tested with the company’s 3.0 Ah and soon-to-be-released 4.0 Ah packs.

The XPH07 has a brushless motor and at 8-1/16 inches long, is 3/4 of an inch shorter than the predecessor model. Features include a single sleeve 1/2-inch metal chuck, dual LED headlights, belt clip, side handle, and something Makita drills have not had before—a built-in three-bar battery gauge. The side handle is exceptionally long, which makes sense given the tool's high torque rating.

At 5.9 pounds with a full-size battery the hammer drill is heavy for a tool of its kind. By way of comparison, a similarly equipped Milwaukee M18 Fuel drill/driver weighs 5.0 pounds and a DeWalt (DCD980) drill/drivers weigh 5.2 pounds. The new Makita hammer drill is also quite fast, with no-load speeds of 0-550 and 0-2,100 rpm. The M18 fuel tops out at 1,850 rpm and the DeWalt at 2,000 rpm.

Whatever the runtime per charge turns out to be, Makita claims a speed advantage in charging. Their 4.0 Ah packs are said to charge in 40 minutes, versus 70 minutes for DeWalt's and 90 minutes for Milwaukee's. The faster batteries can be charged the less likelihood there is of you being caught without a pack that’s charged and ready to go.

For my part, I like the idea of having the hammer function on my most powerful drill/driver. A hammer drill or heavy duty drill/driver is not something I use every day so I can live with that tool being heavier than others. But I would not want to the XPH07 as an "everything" drill. I would use a lighter drill for the majority of tasks and save this one for tasks beyond the capabilities of a less powerful tool. I could see using this tool to drill big holes (in wood, concrete, or metal) and drive large fasteners—though for heavy fastening I’d probably use an impact driver. It’ll be interesting to try this tool out when it becomes available in the U.S.

The specs below are from the Makita Japan website but will likely apply to the U.S. version of the tool when it comes out. A drill/driver version of the tool exists in other parts of the world and is likely to someday make it here.

Capacity: 1/2” steel; 3” wood; 5/8” masonry
No load speed (rpm): 0-550; 0-2,100
Impacts per minute: 0-8,250; 0-31,500
Weight (w full-size battery): 5.9 pounds
Clutch: 21 settings