Makita vs Milwaukee: What tools to choose?

Makita vs Milwaukee; which brand is better? This question is popular among power tool users around the world.

This is because Milwaukee and Makita are heavyweights in the world of power tools. Over the years, they have both built a reputation for providing reasonably priced and quality tools for professional wood contractors and DIY enthusiasts.

Despite occupying the same marketplace, each brand has its unique features and products. So which company is better?

Here are comparative details of the Makita vs Milwaukee:

  • Milwaukee’s origin is in the U.S, whereas Makita began its operations in Japan.
  • From the beginning, Milwaukee made power drills before shifting to other tools, whereas Makita started as a company for electric motor repairs.
  • Makita offers a 3-year limited warranty for all their tools, unlike its counterpart, which has different warranties that range from a few months to a lifetime.
  • Milwaukee has a broader product portfolio and provides trade-specific items.
  • Milwaukee brands will cater more to the higher-end category of tools; therefore, they are used mainly by professionals and are more expensive.
  • Makita has a wider variety of corded tools in comparison to Milwaukee.
  • Milwaukee brands don’t have any petrol-powered tools, unlike its counterpart.

To help you decide between Makita vs Milwaukee, I have covered the background information on these two brands, their technical specifications, and their products.

Makita Corporation

Makita has been in existence for more than 100 years now. Established in 1915 in Japan, it’s one of the oldest power tools manufacturing companies. The company didn’t specialize in power tools initially but rather in repairs of old generators and electric motors.

The company got its name from its founder Mosaburo Makita. By 1958, the company manufactured its first power tool, the electric planer. The success of this first power tool pushed the company to shift to a new direction and start producing more electric power tools.

In 1978, Makita made history as the first company to introduce cordless models to their range. As the range of products expanded, the company also grew its operations to other global markets. Finally, in 1985, they opened the first manufacturing and assembly plant in the U.S in Buford, Georgia.

By 2015, Makita had become a household name in the market and hit another milestone by launching their 100th compatible tool that runs on 18V lithium-ion battery technology.

Today, the company operates in different markets with operations in the United States of America and Brazil. The global headquarters is in Anjo, Japan, and the head office for the American arm of the company is in La Miranda, California.

Makita is now world-renowned for manufacturing mid-range tools for the average DIYer or woodworker. Producing a wide array of power tools, generators, blowers, mowers, and cordless tools, the company hit over $4 billion in global sales in 2019.

Makita Products

Whether you are a homeowner or professional contractor working on woodwork projects, Makita has comprehensive power tool options. Let’s take a look at some of the products from Makita that you can use for your projects.

  • Hammer Driver Drills

Makita has a wide variety of hammer drills, and my favorite is the Makita XPH10Z 1/2 inch Hammer Driver-Drill which uses fast-charging 18V lithium-ion batteries. This is advantageous because users don’t have to spend so much time charging the device. The tool is also light and comes with a rubberized handle that minimizes hand fatigue.

Like other Makita products, it has a high resistance to water and dust for protection. Additionally, it comes with a dual-LED light that illuminates your workstation.

  • Impact Drivers

Makita’s impact drivers are excellent and my favorite is Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT. This tool has a 4-speed power selection delivering up to 3,600 RPM, making it ideal for various projects.

It’s a very comfortable tool to use because it’s compact. It measures about 8.23 inches long, making it convenient for most types of spaces. In addition, the device is easier to handle, thanks to the soft and comfortable rubberized grip.

  • Circular Saws

My favorite circular saw from Makita is Makita XSS02Z 18V Circular Saw. It comes with an in-built motor that delivers up to 3,700 RPM speeds.

It has a maximum bevel capacity of 50 degrees can cut 2X material at 45 degrees. This tool is also safe because of the star protection controls that prevent overheating and injuries. However, it’s heavier than most Milwaukee circular saws.

  • Cordless Jigsaws

The Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Cordless Jigsaw is one of the best jigsaws from Makita. It has a speed of 2,600 SPM.

This jigsaw has a blade-changing system that allows for faster installation. In addition, it includes 3 Orbital settings that help in the cutting of a wide range of materials. Like all Makita products, it has an LED configuration and a 3-year limited warranty.

Why You Should Buy Makita Products

Makita products are created for every average user, whether a professional or a homeowner working on small projects. So why should you buy these tools?

Here are some reasons why I believe you choose Makita over Milwaukee.

  • Budget-Friendly Options

Makita serves the mid-level user. Their products are reasonably priced compared to the Milwaukee options; therefore, they would be perfect for beginners or sem-pros in this business.

  • Standard Warranty

For all Makita products you purchase, the warranty is standardized at three years. So you don’t have to worry about a limited warranty within this period.

  • More Power Tool Options

Most power tools in the market are electrically powered. However, if you are looking for petrol-powered tools such as chainsaws, Makita has such options in the market for you to purchase.

Milwaukee Corporation History

Milwaukee began its initial operations in 1918. The first power tool got developed after American automotive tycoon Henry Ford approached Wisconsin manufacturer A.H Petersen to manufacture the one-handed 1/4-inch power drill known as the Hole Shooter.

However, in 1923, the company shut down due to a recession and a fire that destroyed the facility. A year later, the company’s fortune changed when Petersen’s business partner, A.F. Siebert, purchased the company’s remaining assets at an auction.

With this new development, Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation was born. It got its name from its city of origin in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. In the early 1930s, the company developed tools such as the 3/4-inch electric hammer drill with great success.

Over time, Milwaukee hit significant milestones, such as introducing the Sawzall reciprocating saw in 1951 and the 18-volt contractor cordless power tool and miter saws in the 1990s. By 2005, the company became the first to use lithium-ion battery technology, which was critical for the industry.

Today, Milwaukee has a product line with more than 500 tools and 3,500 accessories primarily meant for professional use. In addition, they have a global presence and production plants in Europe, China, and the United States.

As a significant player in the power tool industry, Milwaukee sales in 2020 hit an estimated 5 billion dollars. This level of success makes them one of the world’s largest power tool manufacturers.

Milwaukee Products

Most Milwaukee products are created with professional contractors in mind. If you’d like to purchase these tools, here are some of the popular ones to consider.

  • Hammer Drills

I believe Milwaukee’s 2804-20 M18 Fuel Hammer Drill is a step ahead of the rest. It’s one of the most powerful hammer drills in the market today.

The drill has a maximum torque of 1,200 in-lbs., which is more than what’s offered by Makita hand drills.

With speeds of 2000 RPM, Milwaukee’s 2804-20 hand drill is heavy-duty and an excellent choice for construction. In addition, it has a more powerful motor and can also be used in smaller DIY projects.

  • Impact Drivers

Milwaukee has a wide variety of impact drivers, but my favorite is Milwaukee’s 2853-20 Impact Driver. This tool enables users to control power and speed. In addition, it has 4-speed modes, which gives you more control, making it perfect for diverse projects.

This impact driver has more power compared to Makita impact drivers.

  • Circular Saws

The Milwaukee’s M18 2630-20 Circular Saw is one of the fastest circular saws in the market today. The brushless motor delivers up to 3,500 RPM to ensure fast cutting. In addition, circular saws under this brand are very durable and can be used for a longer time.

  • Cordless Jigsaw

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL D-Handle 18-Volt Jigsaw is my favorite jigsaw from Milwaukee. It has an RPM of 3,500, providing more precise cuts.

You can use this jigsaw for various types of projects as it can cut materials such as metals and all types of hardwoods. This tool also has a 4-position orbital cutting feature and comes with a blade change, making it easier to adjust.

Why You Should Buy Milwaukee Products

Milwaukee’s line of products is mid-level to high end. Despite this, they are high-quality and would be perfect if you are looking for efficient tools.

Here are some of the reasons why I believe you should buy Milwaukee tools.

  • Durable Products

The company’s focus has always been on strong and durable products. As a result, they make the most reliable tools that are the first choice for most construction workers and woodworkers.

  • Warranty Options

Unlike Makita products, Milwaukee offers different sets of warranties. In addition, each product gets its own guarantee which can range from one year to a lifetime. This feature gives the company a competitive advantage.

  • More Products

Despite both brands offering a wide array of products, Milwaukee has a broader product portfolio. They make tools for all types of users, from the average hobbyists to professional contractors.

  • Higher Speeds

Most Milwaukee products have higher speeds and power that’s enough to handle larger projects in the construction business.

My Recommendation

Makita and Milwaukee are both excellent brands with a rich history and a lot of high-quality tools. Your choice will be determined by the type of your project and your personal preferences. If you are looking for powerful tools, I recommend you choose Milwaukee, but Makita is the best option for you if you are looking for light and easy-to-use tools.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Makita and Milwaukee Products

Both brands provide quality products that you can use for your woodwork projects. Before settling on one brand, here are a few things to consider.

  1. The Warranty Period

As you shop for a new tool, companies offer warranties for each product. In this case, Milwaukee will offer a guarantee from one year to a lifetime, depending on the product. But with Makita, the warranty is at a standard three years.

  1. The Motor Speeds

Power tools require speed to work effectively. It would be best if you chose a tool depending on the needs of the project. If your project needs more power, Milwaukee tools might be a better option.

  1. Your Budget

While both Makita and Milwaukee products are costly, the latter tend to be more expensive. This is the case because they are more durable and have been created for professional purposes.

Related Questions

  • Are Makita and Milwaukee Products Suitable for Beginners?

Both brands are well suited for beginners. However, Makita tools may be easier to use and handle. On the other hand, you can still efficiently operate Milwaukee products by following the manufacturer’s manual. This is because most of them are designed with professionals in mind.  

  • Are Makita and Milwaukee Tools Safe?

Both Makita and Milwaukee companies have invested in in-built safety features. In addition, they come with safety manuals that act as a guide when using the device. As a result, with proper use, you can avoid any injuries.  

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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