Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by Barry Gray
If I’m honest, I don’t have an overall preference when it comes to the make of power tool I own. I think I’ve owned many brands over the years, and they pretty much all have their good and bad points.
But that then makes it even more interesting when you compare two brands. You get to see what they offer and where they share similarities or differences. It may even reach the point where you feel more inclined to go ahead and purchase one brand over the other.
Today, I’m going to make this comparison and look at two known and respected brands, Bosch and Makita. They both produce a wide array of power tools, so I think it’s a pretty good comparison to make.
By the end, I hope to have reached some sort of a conclusion as to which brand stands out. However, I know they both have their own market in mind, so it’s not always as easy as that.
With that thought, let’s get on with comparing these two huge brands.
So out of the two brands, which one would I see as best? Honestly, it’s a tough call. Both have their positives and negatives. It comes down to what you want to get out of the tool and the projects you have lined up.
So, let me try to break it down once and for all to perhaps help you reach your own conclusion.
Bosch tools come with slightly less abilities. However, the abilities that are missing will tend to only be linked to tasks or projects covered on a regular basis by professionals. So, if you simply plan on doing the occasional job here and there, then I wouldn’t worry about that.
However, if you have several projects and use your tools repeatedly, that thought would push me more toward Makita rather than Bosch.
But if your decision is based on budget, then Bosch wins in that area and, at times, by a considerable amount.
Overall, you need to consider your reason for owning the tool, as both brands are excellent.
The History of Bosch
Bosch was founded in Germany in 1886, so they are undoubtedly one of the oldest companies in this particular industry. However, they started off focusing on precision mechanics tools before evolving into power tools later.
As a company, they were undoubtedly viewed as innovators, but even though they launched in 1886, it took until 1901 before they opened their first factory. At that point, they still focused on producing other products, as it was not until 1932 that they managed to create their first power tool.
This first power tool was a power drill, which was not unusual as that tended to be the first tool developed by different companies moving into this ever growing industry.
As their tool section grew, the company decided to produce two different types of power tools. This led to green versions of their tools being manufactured along with blue versions. The green version is for the DIY’er, while the blue version is for professionals.
Bosch manufactures their tools in various locations worldwide, so it is a global enterprise. With factories in several countries, you never really know where your Bosch tool will come from.
But here’s something to think about. If your Bosch tool mentions that it’s made in China, then there’s every possibility that it contains various parts made in a multitude of other countries.
Who Buys Their Tools?
Bosch is undoubtedly viewed as more of a budget-friendly brand. Their primary focus appears to be the home DIY’er, and there’s less attention paid to developing tools for the more serious hobbyist or professional.
That means you may find times when the power ratio is lower, and the tools simply lack that little extra that separates a tool for a DIY’er or a serious craftsman.
However, you should still find these tools to be robust and reliable even if you cannot hammer them in the same way as you can with other brands designed to cope with even more punishment.
Why Buy Bosch Tools?
I see a number of reasons why you would go ahead and purchase a Bosch tool.
The first reason is the quality of their tools. This is something that just cannot be called into question as Bosch has been responsible for producing quality tools for decades.
Bosch also spends a considerable amount of time researching its products, which has undoubtedly led to even an improvement in the quality of its tools.
But you will know in advance that your Bosch tool will reach the heights you expect from this brand.
The design of Bosch tools is something else I want to talk about. Bosch clearly spends a lot of time working on their design development, and they do focus on the ergonomic side of things making these tools very easy to use.
What also helps is that the blades used in Bosch tools are designed to reduce vibration. I find this to be extremely useful since that also reduces the chances of fatigue in your arms when using them.
I also feel Bosch products are particularly good at dealing with dust created when using power tools. That’s because their tools come with their PRO-GUARD dust solutions, which means their tools meet various regulations connected to dust.
If you work in a tight workshop, this solitary point may be important when deciding which tool to purchase.
Add in the fact they have a wide range of tools and accessories, and it becomes clear why purchasing Bosch power tools could very well be a great decision.
The History of Makita
Makita was founded by Mosaburo Makita in Nagoya Aichi, Japan in 1915. At first, they began life dealing with motor sales, which is slightly different from what most would have expected before evolving into dealing with lighting equipment.
As we move into the 1930s, the company started exporting its electric motors to other countries worldwide. This development laid the foundation for them to begin developing their own range of power tools, even though that only happened in 1958.
Their first power tool was an electric planer, but it opened the door for them to quickly develop several other power tools that would soon gain a foothold in the market. Within 20 years, they created their first cordless tool allowing them to really break into new markets.
Makita does follow Bosch when it comes to its manufacturing process in that they use factories in a number of countries around the world. This also includes their home country of Japan, but it’s not the only location.
Once again, your Makita tool may state it’s made in a specific country, but it’s more of a global thing that brings a single Makita tool together.
Who Buys Their Tools?
Makita tools focus more on the professional market rather than the basic DIY’er. However, that doesn’t mean they exclude those just starting out with their power tools from buying them. Instead, they do still manage to ensure their tools are easy to use and that they can be set up in next to no time.
But it does mean you can expect Makita tools to have the ability to perform slightly different tasks and to a higher level than Bosch. This is due to better power and torque ratios, while there is a feeling by many that their tools are more substantial from a general performance point of view.
Why Buy Makita Tools
I have several reasons why Makita tools may prove attractive to you. Of course, it all depends on your individual requirements.
The first reason is durability. These tools are designed to last for a crazy length of time and will do precisely that.
They have spent a lot of money and time researching and seeking to be highly innovative with their products. However, they know that this is pointless if their tools simply break after little use.
So, that’s not the case with Makita.
The battery that comes with all cordless Makita tools is exceptional. It outlasts almost every brand out there regarding the length of time it can be in use.
Once again, if you plan on using your cordless power tool for an extended period, owning a brand with an excellent battery makes a lot of sense.
Weight and Comfort
Even though they pack so much power into the tools, Makita manages to keep them relatively lightweight. I do love that since it reduces the possibility of fatigue.
But aside from being lightweight, I also find Makita tools to be relatively comfortable to hold. This is thanks to their ergonomic design and weight distribution throughout the tool. It always feels balanced, which boosts how you use the tool.
Finally, I need to mention their customer service as it’s excellent. Actually, this is an area where Makita has managed to build a strong reputation, and I think it’s important to point this out.
You always feel you can get in touch with them should something go wrong. They are clearly there to help and will answer any questions you may have regarding their power tools. Ultimately, you feel you get a lot out of them.
Overall, I feel that Makita tools have so many positives, and the fact they have one of the largest ranges of tools on the market is just an extra bonus.
Comparing Bosch and Makita Tools
But I know you have less interest in the history of each company and prefer to focus more on the tools they offer and the quality of what they produce.
Bosch – Their Reputation
Regarding their reputation, Bosch is known for producing tools made with quality workmanship that offer reasonable reliability.
In addition, they have developed a reputation for being innovative when it comes to their product development, so there’s every chance you will find slightly different components on a Bosch tool that you won’t always see elsewhere.
However, the one thing you know when purchasing a Bosch tool is that it should be more than capable of putting up with a reasonable amount of punishment without anything going wrong.
Makita – Their Reputation
Makita has also built a stellar reputation for itself, with people viewing them as ultra-reliable.
They also have their Star Protection system, designed to provide you with even more protection. As you know, each power tool has been tested to the highest level.
But that’s not all.
Makita also has a reputation for producing highly efficient and effective tools.
You will also often find that the battery life associated with their power tools is significantly better than with other brands. Of course, that may prove to be an essential point to consider when selecting a brand.
Both Bosch and Makita have an impressive tool range, and it’s tough to judge who has the edge in this department.
This is partly due to Bosch developing three different cordless power ranges with 8V, 12V, and 36V options. However, not every tool appears in each power range, so it’s not as simple as multiplying it up in that way.
For Bosch, most of their tools fall into either the 8V or 12V category. That does mean their main power tools have a lower voltage than you get elsewhere, but that’s not always something that should result in you feeling put off from buying one of their power tools.
But then there’s Makita. This brand offers one of the largest ranges of power tools in the industry, and it’s also because they produce tools with different voltages.
In the case of Makita, their tools cover ranges from 7.2V to 12V, 18V, and 36V but once again, not every tool appears in each category.
The Tool Quality
Tool quality is always important, and I feel both brands perform well in this area.
However, Makita does come across as producing slightly better tools, but it’s due to their need to be robust and withstand working in all conditions. The fact they can achieve this without adding too much weight to the tool is another real bonus.
But again, I’m not saying Bosch makes inferior products. That’s not correct, but I do feel Makita tools are better for harsher conditions, so that could prove to be a deciding factor.
Price always plays a role in a decision, and in this instance, it’s undoubtedly the case that Makita will generally come with a higher price tag. However, the extent to which they are more expensive can vary.
For example, there may be tools where the Makita tool is double the price of the Bosch equivalent. But then, other tools may only have a slight difference in the price, and that’s why shopping around and comparing both options is so important.
It’s also the case that Bosch is viewed as more of a budget-friendly brand. However, that doesn’t mean they are also producing inferior tools. Instead, Bosch tools are fantastic, and their quality does not match their low price point.
Overall, if you want to spend as little as possible, then you would need to go for the Bosch tool if your only options were these two brands. For this, there really is little in the way of comparison.
The warranty you receive with a power tool is important. Even though I always believe nothing will go wrong with the tools, thanks to having confidence in their reliability, you never know what may happen.
However, different brands have their own approach to the warranty. In this case, I would say Makita has the better approach out of the two.
This is thanks to Bosch offering a limited one-year warranty, whereas Makita provides you with a far more standard 3-year warranty.
The Bosch approach is actually somewhat restrictive. You only have cover on potentially faulty parts or where Bosch failed to manufacture a part correctly. Your warranty only comes into play if it’s something where you can show it was a mistake made by them.
But while that single-year warranty is relatively poor, Bosch also offers a service protection plan. For this, they will check over the electrics of your tool, along with the lubrication components, without it costing you anything. They will also replace parts clearly having been worn down thanks to what they deem as regular use.
The warranty from Makita only covers things that happen due to a mistake in manufacturing by them. If you break the tool, then you won’t be covered. However, you have this protection for three years, and I find that to be absolutely fine from a warranty perspective.
In saying that, they don’t cover you from a servicing point of view.
Bosch and Makita have a reputation for producing high-quality tools that don’t always come at a high price. However, out of the two brands, I feel that Bosch would be the better option if you are relatively new to DIY, while Makita is slightly better for the more experienced individual.
For me, it all comes down to your experience and what you plan on doing with your power tools. Both options work well, and I certainly would have no problem recommending one of their tools to anybody.
Ultimately, it depends on which aspects or features are important to you and your project. I always believe you need to look at your project and then find the tool that helps rather than the other way around, and that even comes down to the brand.