Makita vs DeWalt: Which Brand is Better?

Both Makita and DeWalt are very popular among professional woodworkers and DIYers across the globe.

Because of this, most power tool users have a common dilemma on whether to go for Makita or DeWalt. Despite both companies having high-quality products, the choice depends on the user’s preferences. 

Here is a quick comparison of Makita vs DeWalt:

  • Makita began its operations in Japan, whereas DeWalt is an American brand.
  • DeWalt has always been a machine and tool manufacturing company, unlike Makita, which began as an electric motors repair company.
  • DeWalt has a three-year limited warranty and one-year free service on its products, whereas Makita only offers a 3-year warranty.
  • While both brands have high-quality tools, Makita’s are more expensive.
  • Most Makita saws are lightweight compared to DeWalt’s, making them easier to control during projects.
  • DeWalt provides powerful batteries to give you portable power in their cordless tools.

I’ll provide background information about the two companies and compare some of their best tools. Let’s get started.

Makita Corporation

The Makita brand started in 1915 in Japan. Initially specializing as a motor sales and repair company, it was started by Mosaburo Makita. By the mid-1930s, the company had begun exporting its proprietary line of electric motors, and in 1958, it became the first company to make and sell portable electric planers in Japan.

They then introduced the circular saw and electric drill in 1962. As one of the oldest power tool manufacturers, Makita was the first company to introduce cordless models to their range. In 1978, they launched their first cordless tool and introduced the 7.2V cordless drill that had 15 compatible devices a decade later.

By 1985, the company had opened a manufacturing and assembly plant in Buford, Georgia. In the new millennium, the company made major milestones by launching the first brushless impact driver in 2009 and welcoming its 100th compatible tool that runs on 18V lithium-ion battery technology in 2015.

Over the years, the company has expanded to Brazil and the United States. Makita’s global headquarters is in Anjo, Japan. The base of operations for Makita Corporation of America is in Buford, Georgia, but the head office is in La Miranda, California. They also have a location in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, Dallas, and Wilmer in Texas.

Makita Products

Both Makita and DeWalt have excellent options for power tools. Here are some of the popular products from Makita that you can use for your woodwork projects.

  • Makita Hammer Drill

Makita has exceptional hammer drills, and I believe the Makita XPH14Z 18V is one of the best. It has impressive speed and performance.

Running on 18V lithium-ion batteries, it’s a lightweight tool of about 1250lbs with a design that provides increased user comfort. In addition, less weight minimizes hand fatigue, especially when handling extended projects.

This tool has a maximum speed of 2100 RPM, it’s 7 in long, and has a battery weight of 6lbs. This product has boosted performance over the last model but maintains the same features and quality design.

  • Makita Impact Wrench

For these tools, Makita has developed its cordless impact wrench line more extensively than DeWalt’s. A perfect example of a top-of-the-range impact wrench from Makita is the Makita XWT17 cordless impact wrench. It’s a 1250 ft-lbs power tool used by pros and beginners.

This tool has 4 standard speed models.

  • Makita Impact Driver

The flagship impact drivers from Makita, such as Makita XDT16Z 18V, hold an advantage over DeWalt’s because they are more compact and lighter. In addition, they have an impact rate of 3800 IPM and a maximum speed of 3600 RPM.

For this tool, Makita doesn’t incorporate the use of an app. However, it has in-built two self-tapping screw modes, a slow start assist mode and a reverse rotation auto-stop mode. In addition, the company includes a button below the LED light to switch between your two favorite modes easily.

  • Makita Circular Saw

The company has several high-quality circular saws for users to choose from. They come with a lower weight and an excellent performance for projects. Besides, Makita saws have a smoother operation due to their Max Efficiency.

With a higher blade speed of 6000 RPM, Makita pioneered the AWS—Auto-start Wireless System. Using a compatible cordless tool, the trigger automatically kicks on the vacuum.

Why You Should Buy Makita Products

If you are considering purchasing Makita power tools, here’s why you should buy them.

  • Innovative Designs

With more than 100 years in the business, Makita has been more aggressive in research and development. As a result, they have innovative designs and keep producing more advanced tools.

  • Lighter Tools

Working with portable tools requires using your hand for extended periods. Makita products are much lighter due to the material used in production. This makes it easier to use and has less hand fatigue.

DeWalt Corporation

DeWalt is an American company. Officially launched in Leola, Pennsylvania, in 1924, the company was founded by Raymond DeWalt, popularly known for inventing the radial arm saw. DeWalt was an inventor, and he immediately launched the Wonder Worker, the woodworker machine that you could configure in 9 different ways.

With continued expansion, the company got acquired by American Machine Foundry in 1949, which then expanded its operation to Canada in 1953. The company was then resold to its current owners Black & Decker, in 1960.

In the 90s, DeWalt ventured into a new market. They introduced their initial series of portable electric power tools in 1992, targeting contractors and professional woodworkers. 2 years later, they revolutionized the power tool industry with 30 new cordless power tools that included a 14.4V cordless drill/driver.

In 2000, the company acquired Emglo Compressor Company and Momentum Laser, Inc. By the following year, they had introduced more than 200 power tools over 800 accessories in the market.

As the company grew, they launched their first 12V max tools in 2010 and shifted to 20V max lithium-ion tools a year later. Their recent innovations include the online feature Tool Connect launched in 2015 and the FlexVolt multiple voltage technology from 2016.

DeWalt is under the ownership of the Stanley Black and Decker Group (SBD). The company headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. However, they have other 7 US-based manufacturing facilities. These facilities are in Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

The company sources materials from across the globe, including Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, the U.S, Italy, and Mexico.

DeWalt Products

Just like Makita brands, DeWalt products are considered professional-level for people involved in woodwork projects. So let’s take a look at some of these essential tools.

  • DeWalt Hammer Drill

DeWalt has great hammer drills. I believe the DeWalt DCD999B 20V is one of the best hammer drills as it performs better. It has powerful features that boost its performance. For example, it comes with Tool Connect that you can add a chip to use. This is a 3-speed drill, and it’s faster compared to most Makita hammer drills.

To get the best performance from this tool, you have to use a FlexVolt battery, which tends to heavy. To get a lighter hammer drill, you’ll have to compromise on performance.

  • DeWalt Impact Wrench

DeWalt has a wide variety of high-quality impact wrenches, such as DEWALT 20V DC899HB. They come with smart controls that are Tool Connect enabled. This technology allows for customizable settings, diagnostics, and tracking. This gives you better control.

  • DeWalt Impact Driver

Dewalt’s impact drivers such as DEWALT 20v DCF887B are elegant. They are compact, deliver decent run time, and have LEDs that come in handy when working in dark places.

  • DeWalt Circular Saw

DeWalt has corded and cordless circular saws. They come with the FlexVolt advantage that enables the saws to cut faster than Makita’s. In addition, the saws have a dust collection port and brake to control the movement of the saw.

Why You Should Buy DeWalt Products

Here are some advantages of getting DeWalt products for your woodwork projects.

  • Warranty

DeWalt offers a three-year warranty for its products and a one-year free service. This is perfect if you encounter any challenges with their products.

  • Smart Tools

DeWalt has incorporated technologies such as FlexVolt and Tool Connect that are app-based. These features enable you to connect your tools to your phone and quickly run diagnostics and battery life tracking.

My Recommendation

Makita and DeWalt are some of the biggest power tool companies in the world, and they have been in operation for a long time. The two companies make exquisite products, and I’m speaking from experience because I have used tools from both companies.

Choosing between these two giants is a tough call, and your personal preferences will play a huge role. If you are looking for power and durability, I recommend you go for DeWalt products, but Makita is your best bet if you are looking for light and comfortable tools.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Makita and DeWalt Products

Before you shop for any of these power tools, here are some factors to consider.

  1. Product Warranty

Like every product, you need to ensure that you have a warranty. A tool could run into problems that need to be addressed by the company. 

Both Makita and DeWalt have three years warranty for their devices. However, DeWalt provides extra service for a one-year free service.

  1. Powering Technologies

Some Makita and DeWalt power tools rely on batteries to operate. So before choosing a tool, it’s best to check the battery capacity and how long it’ll last. 

DeWalt offers a boost with the FlexVolt that can switch between 20V Max and 60V Max based on the tool you use. Therefore, you’ll need to consider how much power you need carefully.

  1. Tool Weight

Most products from Makita and DeWalt are portable handheld tools. Professional contractors and DIYers use the tools for most of their activities. 

When using the power tool for an extended period, it’s common to get hand fatigue, especially if the device is heavy. Choose a tool with the appropriate weight depending on your project needs.

Summary

Both Makita and DeWalt are top professional brands in the power tool business. With rich histories, the two companies have made a significant contribution to the manufacturing industry over the years. These two brands provide a wide array of tools suitable for both newbies and professional contactors.

Before choosing which company to acquire your power tools from, sit back and consider what you are looking for in a power tool. This one of the things that will help you make an informed decision.

Related Questions

  • Are Makita Batteries Better Than DeWalt’s?

Makita focuses on 18V. By using two 18V batteries, you can connect your tool to produce 36V power. On the other hand, DeWalt requires you to buy into another battery platform. 

Their voltage ranges from 20V Max and 60V Max FlexVolt lines. Unfortunately, the 20V Max batteries aren’t compatible with 60V Max tools; therefore, you’ll need another platform.

  • Is Makita Expensive Than DeWalt?

Makita products are considered a bit more high quality than DeWalt in some situations. Both brands are professional-level tools that can be used by any individual involved in woodwork projects. However, the higher quality and extensive R&D by Makita could make the products more costly.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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