A combo kit is essential for anything that you want to do in your own home, in your place of work, or anywhere else. You want to make sure you get something you can rely on that will not break the bank. With Makita vs. Craftsman, you have two brands with solid reputations and a product worth watching.
Known for producing great power tools, such as compound miter saws, hammer drills, cordless drills with lithium-ion batteries, orbital sanders, fixed-base routers, and more, these two companies will go head to head in this combo kit review.
Table of contents
- Craftsman vs. Makita: Company Histories
- Makita & Craftsman Parent Companies
- Product Line Depths
- Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
- Warranty Comparisons
- Makita vs Craftsman: Tool Comparison
- Head to Head: Features and Benefits of Each Tool
- Wrap Up
- Frequently Asked Questions
Craftsman vs. Makita: Company Histories
Makita Company History
Founded way back in 1915, Makita has managed to grow quite exponentially from its humble roots. Starting out with only the electric motor, they’ve now expanded to encompass hundreds of different products in several different fields and zones. Now, the company is found in over 40 different countries and has plants in eight. With excellent quality, following them ever since, they’re definitely a brand to be counted on.
Craftsman Company History
Next up, Craftsman, which has also been around for quite a while, provides excellent quality and features. Trademarked in 1927 by Sears, Craftsman got a jumpstart into popularity. Praised almost immediately as being better than Fulton and Trojan, it acquired its own spot in the fall catalog in 1929. Since then, the company has continued to grow and expand, creating hundreds and thousands of different products that are available worldwide.
Makita & Craftsman Parent Companies
Makita is just Makita. It’s one of the few remaining power tool brands that is not owned by a larger company. Makita did acquire the Dolmar brand, increasing its already-impressive line of outdoor power tools.
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD)
Stanley Black & Decker, also known as SBD, is the parent company of Craftsman. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Black + Decker
Product Line Depths
Both Makita and Craftsman sell a wide variety of products. Below, you’ll find what each brand’s product line consists of.
Makita Product Line
Makita sells corded, cordless, and gas-powered products. While they may not sell as many products as Craftsman, that doesn’t mean they won’t have what you need. For the average consumer, you can find everything that you need.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from Makita:
- Hedge Trimmers
- Lawn Mowers
- Pole Saws
- Circular Saws
- Miter Saws
- Metal Cutting Saws
- Hammer Drills
- Impact Wrenches
- Area Work Lights
- Random Orbit Sanders
- & More
Craftsman Product Line
Craftsman sells power tools, outdoor power equipment, lighting, generators, storage, hand tools, batteries, and accessories.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from Craftsman:
- Air Compressors
- Compressor Combo Kits
- Air Hammers
- Air Ratchets
- Power Tool Combo Kits
- Drill Drivers
- Hammer Drills
- Dust Extractors
- Angle Grinders
- Impact Drivers
- Impact Wrenches
- Belt Sanders
- Orbital Sanders
- Circular Saws
- Miter Saws
- Chop Saws
- Table Saws
- & More
Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
Here we’ll go over the reputations and cost of the tools of each brand.
Makita Reputation and Tool Affordability
This company has received some high praise due to the performance and high quality of the tools they make. Makita tools are truly durable, long-lasting, and tough.
Unlike a lot of other brands, Makita uses high-quality raw materials for its products and holds itself to high manufacturing standards as well. You can literally drop these tools on the ground over and over again, and they’d still work like the day you first bought them.
Consumers have found that Makita tools last a long time; the electrical components, motors, and other components can withstand high amounts of heat, friction, and general wear. It’s also noted how Makita tools are usually comfortable to use, functional, and have a variety of features too.
Overall, Makita tools are viewed as some of the best tools you can buy. Makita tools are great for DIY jobs, crafts, home use, and more. However, Makita products are marketed towards tradesmen, professionals, and anyone else who needs reliable, high-quality tools for daily, heavy-duty use.
The quality you get with these tools does come at a cost. Makita is one of the pricier brands. However, you really do get what you pay for.
Craftsman Reputation and Tool Affordability
When it comes to Craftman’s reputation, the company is often regarded as one of the highest-quality power tool brands. In 2011, Craftsman received the highest score possible from the Harris Interactive Poll for both Trust and Brand Expectations.
Additionally, not long after, the readers of Popular Mechanics voted Craftsman to be the best brand for hand tools. For those who may or may not know, Craftsman is the official tool brand of both the DIY Network and NASCAR. Regardless of where tools are created, Craftsman’s reputation is that it’s a high-quality tool brand.
The cost of Craftsman tools is very similar to the cost of Kobalt. However, I do feel that even though the cost is the same, Craftsman tools are the better value because of the wider range of tools that you are able to choose from.
Makita offers really good warranties on its products. They have a 30-day replacement guarantee on all of their products. Additionally, all tools have at least a one-year general product warranty for defects. Also, all gas=powered tools have a two-year warranty, and all lithium-ion tools come with a three-year limited warranty.
Overall, Craftsman does have good warranties. Especially since some of the products come with warranties that are several years in length. However, it is important to note that Craftsman doesn’t have as many lifetime warranties as Kobalt does. Additionally, some warranties from Craftsman were handed over to Sears, which no longer owns the company. This can be problematic.
Makita vs Craftsman: Tool Comparison
Craftsman 4-Piece Combo Kit
The Craftsman set gives you a total of 4 different pieces that will definitely give you plenty of power. Working with a 19.2-volt lithium-ion system, the toolkit gives you a drill, reciprocating saw, trim saw, work light, and two batteries, plus the charger and a bag to carry it all in. At a low to moderate price, this kit offers what Craftsman calls ‘fade-free performance’ as well as one-hour charging, so you can get right back to work.
Makita 5-Piece Combo Kit
Makita offers an extra piece to their set with five different pieces to give you an 18-volt lithium-ion system. You get a variable speed hammer driver-drill, impact driver, and reciprocating saw as well as a circular saw and a flashlight, plus two batteries, a charger, and a bag to carry it in. The price comes in quite a lot higher, but you get a 3-year warranty as well as that extra tool to go along with it.
Head to Head: Features and Benefits of Each Tool
So, just what are you looking for when it comes to choosing your next combo tool kit? You want something that has plenty of power, offers variety to the products you get, maybe a bag to carry everything with you, and maybe a few extras.
First up is the power of the unit you’re getting. The Makita version of these products has an 18-volt system, which is definitely strong but actually not as strong as the Craftsman.
Still, you’re going to get some good power, and you’ll be able to get through just about anything that you need (and then some).
The Craftsman tools give you 19.2 volts, which is a little bit of extra power, which means they’re definitely going to help you with anything you might be facing for your next project.
There are going to be a whole lot of things that you can do with these tools (though you can with the Makita versions as well).
When it comes to variety, you are getting one extra tool if you opt for the Makita combo set. This set will give you all of the things that you’re already getting with the Craftsman version, plus you’re going to get a hammer drill driver.
Of course, you’re going to have the drawback of the added cost that you’ll pay for that extra tool. So variety is there, but the price is going up as well.
The Craftsman version gives you plenty of options and variety to get most any job done, but you’re going to have a little bit less because there are only four tools instead of the five from the Makita.
Still, you’ll be able to do quite a bit, and you’re going to save a decent amount of money, so you may be able to buy one separately if you really need it.
With Makita, you’re getting a tool bag that can carry these tools and maybe a few extras.
That way, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to transport things when you’re trying to work on projects that may not be in your own home.
The Craftsman tool set also comes with a large tool bag that will hold everything you need with you to another location and those extra pieces like the screws and drill bits that you’re going to need to get the job done right.
You won’t have a problem transporting these either.
So, what about those extras that you’re going to want? The Makita set will give you an extra tool, but you’re also going to get a 3-year warranty, which is a great benefit to have as well.
You also get a rapid optimum charger, which offers a built-in fan to keep your battery cooler and make sure it charges even faster.
The Craftsman set has quick charge capabilities and will get ready to go in only one hour.
It also offers a fade-free performance, so you’ll get the same amount of power at the beginning and at the end. Not only that, but you’re still going to get a one-year warranty.
Overall, it seems that Makita has a bit of an edge with that extra tool. So, if you’re looking to get more, you’re going to want to go with them.
On the other hand, Craftsman is offering a little extra power and a whole lot lower price.
It’s difficult to come up with a clear winner here, but that warranty also gives Makita a bit of an edge.
Therefore, we’re going to go with Makita as the overall winner, but know that if you go with Craftsman, you still can’t go wrong, and you’re still getting a great kit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Makita and Craftsman the same company?
No, Makita and Craftsman are not the same company. Makita is owned by just Makita. Craftsman is owned by Stanley Black & Decker. They own a variety of different brands.
Is Craftsman good quality?
Craftsman is often seen as one of the best tool brands that you can purchase today. They offer both brushless and brushed options, and the quality is great for DIYers and home use.
Are Makita tools worth buying?
Some Makita tool tests have found that their tools underperform when compared to other top tool brands. However, Makita offers incredible value for its tools.
Are Makita tools as good as Craftsman tools?
For the most part, Makita has several tools that are right on par with Craftsman tools, but there are some Craftsman tools that are of higher quality than the Makita version.
Is Makita better than Craftsman for cordless hand tools?
There isn’t a direct answer to this question. Craftsman tools are good quality and perform well. Makita tools are cheaper but can get the job done. However, one is technically better performance-wise. But Makita may be better for you if you’re just performing tasks around the house. Craftsman makes excellent tools for heavy-duty projects and jobs, but if you don’t need that, why pay the extra money?
Do Craftsman batteries fit Makita?
Although Craftsman and Makita are in the same market space, they each have their own accessories, including batteries, to fit their tools. This is how companies ensure customer loyalty.