Makita Vs. Ryobi Tools for Woodworking (What’s Better?)

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray

Makita and Ryobi are two of the most popular woodworking tool makers on the market. They have strong reputations built on the value they provide to professionals and hobbyists alike.

Because both brands offer high-value products and reasonable prices, customers often wonder which they should buy. 

There are a few factors to keep in mind when comparing Makita and Ryobi tools:

  • Ryobi tools tend to be more affordable than Makita
  • Makita tools are generally considered to be higher-quality
  • Makita tools work well for professionals, but Ryobi are more suitable for beginners and DIYers
  • Both companies include 3-year warranties with their products
  • Makita has been in business since 1915 and Ryobi started in 1943
  • Makita has been selling worldwide since the 1970s, but Ryobi didn’t start international distribution until the early 2000s
  • Both companies originally started in Japan
  • Neither began as a power tool company

You can get an even better understanding of both companies by knowing their history.

Why You Should Choose Makita Products

makita tools saw and driver

Although they can be more expensive than competitors’ products, Makita’s tools have unique benefits that you should consider before making a purchase decision.

Technology

Makita is known for the innovative technology it uses to set its products apart. One of the most famous examples of this technology is its BL Brushless motor.

Makita tools with BL Brushless motors use less power to do professional-quality work. That means they can get up to a 50% higher runtime on a standard battery.

Makita also improves its tools’ power management with Star Protection Computer Controls. This technology helps prevent the batteries from overheating, overloading, and over-discharging, which keeps its power use efficient as well.

These two factors, combined with Makita’s high-quality batteries and chargers, create what Makita calls the “LXT Advantage,” an overall improvement in battery runtime, motor durability, and charging speed.

Versatility

Makita’s tools all use the same batteries. When you consider its 275 tool lineup, you can understand the amount of versatility you can get from using Makita tools.

Build Quality

Over its long history, Makita has built up an impressive reputation for quality. Before it releases products for sale, the company evaluates, re-evaluates, and tests its tools. That careful process is reflected in their build quality and construction.

Why You Should Buy Ryobi Tools

ryobi power tools

There are lots of great reasons to buy Ryobi tools, but these are just a few:

Price

Despite their high quality, Ryobi tools sell for much less than their Makita competitors. This can save you money on projects that can quickly become expensive.

Design

Ryobi’s tools are user-friendly and easy to use. They are compact and lightweight, reducing your fatigue as you work hard on your projects.

History of Makita

makita tool close up

Makita Corporation was founded by Mosaburo Makita in 1915. When it was founded as Makita Electric Works, it sold and repaired lighting equipment, motors, and transformers in Japan.

In 1935 it first exported electric motors and generators to the Soviet Union, making it an international business. By 1958, it was selling the first portable electric planers in Japan, marking the start of its journey into tool manufacturing.

One year later, Makita had already started exporting its electric planers to Australia. Soon after, in 1962, it listed itself on the Nagoya stock exchange as Makita Electric Works, Ltd. It listed itself on the Tokyo and Osaka exchanges in 1968.

Soon after, Makita began selling its products further abroad. It began by selling products in the USA in 1970, and quickly expanded to the UK, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, and Germany.

As Makita expanded worldwide, it continued to create innovative products. In 1978, it sold the first tool powered by a nickel hydride battery. It continued this trend in 2005 when it introduced the first lithium-ion battery tool.

In 1991, Makita Electric Works changed its name to the Makita Corporation. It has continued to expand worldwide since then.

Makita Corporation now sells cordless tools, power tools, petrol equipment, batteries, and accessories for their tools in over 40 countries, and seems bound for further growth in the future.

Makita’s Products

Makita makes its tools across 10 manufacturing plants in 8 countries, and these are some of its most well-known products.

Makita Cordless Drill

makita cordless drill

Makita’s XPH12T cordless drill is powerful but portable, delivering rapid rotation and high torque in a relatively compact package. Because it works as both a hammer drill-driver and a drill-driver, it’s a versatile and powerful tool.

Makita’s cordless drill uses an efficient, brushless motor to do whatever you need it to. It generates a maximum of 530 inch-pounds of torque and can reach 2,000 revolutions and 30,000 blows per minute.

Makita Impact Driver

makita impact

The Makita XDT131 is a high-quality impact driver with a similar, brushless motor. Makita’s impact driver distinguishes itself from others with its efficiency, meaning you can both quickly recharge it and use it for long periods of time.

It’s a professional-grade tool for professional contractors, and many of its users need it for their work in HVAC, woodworking, plumbing, remodeling, and automotive mechanics.

Makita Circular Saw

makita circular saw

Makita is also well-known for the quality of its saws, including the Makita 5007F. Its 15-amp motor rotates at 5,800 revolutions per minute, putting it head and shoulders above competitors like Ryobi.

Many of Makita’s users appreciate its tools’ durability as well. The Makita 5007F’s sturdy aluminum body lets it withstand even the harshest of conditions at job sites.

Makita Multi-Tool Combo Kit

makita tool box

To save money on a collection of high-quality tools, it often makes sense to buy a combo kit. The Makita XT611PT’s 6 pieces are the core tools that many professionals need to get started.

The kit includes professional-grade tools like the ½’’ hammer-driver drill with two variable speeds (0-2,100 RPM and 0-31,500 BPM), all with 1,090 inch-pounds of torque.

One of the other highlights is the kit’s 3-speed impact driver. It can provide 1,550 inch-pounds of torque in only a 3.3-pound package.

The kit’s other pieces are a 6.5-inch circular saw, an angle grinder, a recipro saw, and a flashlight. The power tools in the kit are made more efficient by Makita’s LXT brushless motors.

Ryobi Company History

many ryobi tools

In 1943, Ryobi Seisakusho Co. Ltd. was founded, and it started making diecast products the next year.

1954 marked the first year that Ryobi made plastic diecast products. It started making offset printing presses in 1961. That same year, it listed itself on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

From 1962 and 1971, Ryobi launched a series of manufacturing plants and subsidiaries. Among this rapid expansion, one highlight was the foundation of Asahi Sangyo Co. This moment in 1968 marked the beginning of Ryobi’s power tool manufacturing.

In 1973, the company changed its name from Ryobi Seisakusho Co. Ltd to Ryobi limited. It started expanding further, with companies like Ryobi Land Development Ltd., which manages golf courses. This branch of the company also manufactured golf products from 1983 until it was discontinued in 2002.

1985 to 1994 marked another decade of expansion for Ryobi, and it founded five more companies to manufacture die castings and power tools.

But it wasn’t until 2000 that Ryobi expanded internationally by selling its power tools in North America. That expansion saw immediate success, and the company also established a foothold in Oceania and Europe the next year.

Ryobi Power Tools is now owned by Techtronic Industries. Techtronic also owns Ryobi Outdoor Power Equipment, Milwaukee, and many other companies. As an international business, the company manufactures its products across Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

The company has expanded significantly from its humble beginnings, bringing in $2.25 billion in revenue and $94.6 of net income in 2015.

In 2018, Kyocera Group purchased 80% of Ryobi’s shares, marking a significant investment in the tool manufacturer.

Ryobi Products

Ryobi’s diverse product line offers great options for hobbyists and beginners looking to get started with woodworking.

Ryobi Cordless Drill

ryobi drill

As a drill driver, the Ryobi P277 is perfect for homeowners and DIYers looking to do some construction or renovation projects. 

The drill’s magnet bit holder makes it easy to store and switch bits. While it may seem like a small thing, this kind of convenience can make a world of difference when you’re working on a project.

The drill’s notched, rubber grip also provides convenience, making it unlikely that you’ll let the tool slip from your hand.

The 24-position clutch connected to the 2-gear gearbox lets you control the drill’s torque easily. This makes it easy to do a variety of tasks with the drill, from driving fasteners to drilling holes.

Both Ryobi One+ lithium-ion and NiCad batteries are compatible with the drill, meaning it’s easy to use with the rest of Ryobi’s 18V battery lineup.

Ryobi Impact Driver

ryobi drill and impact driver

The Ryobi P238 stands out as a powerful but affordable impact driver. Its brushless motor can generate 2,000 inch-pounds of torque and offers three RPM settings: 1,050, 2,200, and 3,200. 

The Ryobi P238 generates more impacts per minute than others in its class, and its LED flashlight makes it easy to work with.

Ryobi Circular Saw

ryobi circular saw

Ryobi only offers one circular saw, so it’s easy to see that they made the P508 One+ good enough to fit almost anyone’s needs.

Although the P508 One+ is nearly half the price of a Makita circular saw, it also stands out for its durability. Its brushless motor provides the longevity and efficiency that everyone looks for in a circular saw.

A Ryobi 18-volt battery powers the saw to generate 3,800 RPM. The saw’s 7-1/4-inch blade stands out for its 2-7/16-inch rip capacity, which is especially impressive considering its price.

Ryobi Multi-Tool Combo Kit

Those trying to save even more money on Ryobi tools should make sure to look at their available combo kits. The Ryobi P883 is a great option for beginners who just want the essential power tools they’ll need. 

The kit includes everything a contractor needs for basic work at an affordable price. It includes a work light, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, and a drill driver.

Even better, the included batteries are able to provide power for a full day of work. To check that, you can look at the onboard fuel gauge and diagnostic tool. Those also help diagnose any defects that appear and track battery use.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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