Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray
There are some great benefits to putting your trust in a single power tool brand. You can swap the batteries between cordless tools, and maintenance and warranties become a lot simpler to keep track of.
But before you can start trusting a brand, you need to find one worth your trust. Both Makita and DeWalt have strong reputations as quality makers of all kinds of power tools, but which should you choose?
That depends on what tools are important to you, and how much you care about things like global distribution and warranties. Pay attention to the areas that are most important to you, and we’ll walk you through all the reasons people choose one of these brands over the other.
Makita and DeWalt are both huge, international companies. DeWalt is owned by Stanley Black & Decker, a US-based multibillion-dollar conglomerate. Makita owns itself and is based in Japan.
DeWalt tools are officially sold in 38 countries and territories. If you travel internationally, you probably won’t have too much trouble getting your hands on DeWalt tools, but that’ll depend on where exactly you plan on going.
Makita lists 181 countries and territories where they sell their products. You’d have to go pretty far out of your way to try and find a place where they don’t sell.
Because one of the biggest advantages of loyalty to a power tool company is your ability to swap batteries between cordless tools, you should make sure the batteries are worth it! Fortunately, both of these high-quality manufacturers use great, durable batteries worth investing in.
Makita only uses one kind of battery: its 18V, rechargeable battery is both lightweight and powerful. There are different models within its 18V line, giving you options for 3.0, 4.0, or 5.0 Ah. This simplicity is powerful: Whether you’re powering a hedge trimmer, a chainsaw, or a drill, you can use the same battery.
DeWalt takes a different approach. They have 12V, 20V, and 60V batteries. Their FlexVolt line fits both 20V and 60V tools but isn’t compatible with their 12V tools. While the flexibility of their FlexVolt batteries is certainly worth admiring, it adds a layer of complexity to what Makita makes simple.
If you’re looking for the power of 60V tools, that’s something Makita just doesn’t offer. Instead, it offers you the simplicity of knowing that one battery will fit all of your tools.
Which of these options is more valuable depends on you, so you should weigh these factors against each other when you make your decision on what brand to buy from.
Of course, prices will vary between high and low-end models, and one brand might have high-priced drills but cheap saws. You should check out some of the tools you think you’ll use the most and see how their prices compare between Makita and DeWalt.
Makita tools tend to have higher prices listed than DeWalt. But there’s a big caveat to this: many of these tools can be found new at discounts, or even gently used at much lower prices. You should do your own research and see what seems like a good deal right now, and what seems to be well-stocked in your area.
Both Makita and DeWalt have strong reputations for customer service. If you have an issue, you can call up their customer service lines and receive fast, helpful service. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be much of a deciding factor because both companies do it so well!
Makita’s phone lines stay open until 7:30 PM, which is a little later than DeWalt’s close at 6:00 PM. But that likely isn’t enough of a difference to be much of a deciding factor–unless you do most of your work from 6:00 to 7:30, both companies’ customer service lines should serve you well.
Warranty & Policies
As two international, reputable brands, Makita and DeWalt both have strong warranty policies. Any Makita or DeWalt power tool you buy will come with a three-year warranty, which is an industry standard you can trust.
But some DeWalt tools come with a seven-year warranty, which is a significant advantage if you can find it. DeWalt also boasts a more consumer-friendly return policy: You have 90 days to return any DeWalt tool you aren’t happy with, but with Makita, you only have 30.
DeWalt also offers a full, lifetime warranty for any tools that you find a manufacturing fault with. Makita doesn’t offer a similar policy, but both brands have a strong reputation for having few faults to begin with.
Overall, DeWalt has more consumer-friendly policies, so you should consider that when making a choice between the two brands.
Makita and DeWalt both make powerful, reliable impact drivers you can depend on. But you likely want an impact driver that can handle any project you throw at it, which means you want to know which is more powerful, easier to handle, and will get the job done faster.
DeWalt has a reputation for powerful tools, and its flagship impact driver proves why. Its DCF888’s maximum torque of 1825 in-lbs is significantly above the Makita LXT XDT16’s 1600 in-lbs and can handle even the toughest work. But torque isn’t the only factor to consider.
The Makita impact driver has a maximum speed of 3600 RPM, whereas the DeWalt can only reach 3250. That means that when the Makita impact driver is handling a simpler task that doesn’t require its full 1600 in-lbs of torque, it can likely complete it faster.
The Makita tool is 0.7 inches shorter and slightly lighter than the DeWalt. The DeWalt is listed at almost $300, and the Makita is $369, although you can find both for much less than their list price.
Overall, which brand you go with for your impact driver could depend on how much you’re willing to spend, whether you think you’ll need the maximum torque possible, and how maneuverable you need your tool to be.
A top-handle circular saw is one of the most versatile and important tools you can have in your shop. It’ll serve you well for any number of tasks, so it’s important you invest in one that’s a high enough quality that it can handle all that work.
The Makita XSH07 is a light, fast, powerful tool. It delivers 6000 RPM, weighs only 7.7 pounds, and has a bevel capacity of up to 56°. Its versatility and power make it a great choice for any number of cutting tasks, and its light weight means you can easily take it wherever you need to go.
The DeWalt DCS578 is slightly slower but has its own advantages. It can reach up to 5800 RPM and weighs half a pound more than the Makita. There are also some complaints about the shoe friction when using this saw, which doesn’t come up as an issue with the Makita. The DeWalt has a bevel capacity of 57°, and a maximum cutting depth that’s about 1/16” less than the Makita’s.
While the Makita edges out or matches the DeWalt on both specs, you may find the price differences important as well. The list price for the DeWalt is $289, where the Makita is listed at $562. But that’s deceptive, as it’s easy to find the Makita for less than $300 and the DeWalt for at least as little as $269.
Cordless drills are one of the most common and useful tools that Makita and DeWalt produce. They’re used by everyone from professionals to normal people looking to do a little bit of repair work around the house. Because of this, you should consider what features are most important to you when comparing the two kinds of drills.
The Makita XFD10R delivers 480 in-lbs of torque, which is impressive for such a compact tool. It weighs in at only 3.3 lbs with its battery, and it can reach up to 1900 RPM. It’s lightweight, versatile, and can quickly take care of most jobs you could expect a drill to complete.
The DeWalt DCD795 is similarly powerful. It can reach up to 2000 RPM, and it weighs only 3.4 lbs with its battery. They’re also priced similarly, with the Makita listed at $180 and the DeWalt at $159–although you’ll likely be able to find discounts if you look around.
Overall, these are two very evenly-matched tools. Both of these brands live up to their reputations, so you can’t go wrong choosing a tool from either.