Makita vs DeWalt Brand Comparison | The Saw Guy

It used to be when you needed a new power tool, you’d simply head down to the local hardware store and have a look around – probably chat with the clerk a bit about this or that, ask some questions, and then pick out what you wanted; what they had in stock was what was available to you.

Nowadays, in the world of online shopping where everything imaginable is available at the click of a button, the shopping/buying process can be a tad more overwhelming.

Company Histories

Makita Company History

Makita, on the other hand, is a Japanese-born company that coincidentally also started as an electric repair company. Truthfully, they probably ought to be regarded as the biggest innovators in the power tool industry – they were the first to introduce cordless tools way back in the late 70s. So even though DeWalt may have revolutionized the cordless market in the early 90s, they certainly weren’t the first to think of or engineer them.

Nowadays, both brands are massive conglomerates with manufacturing facilities all over the globe. Even though Milwaukee is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the company is actually owned by Techtronic – a massive Hong-Kong based investment enterprise.

Manufacturing-wise, as we said, both brands have production/assembly facilities across the globe. The majority of Milwaukee’s manufacturing is outsourced to China, while Makita has facilities in nine countries, including Japan (where it’s headquartered), Germany, the U.S., and the United Kingdom.

DeWalt Company History

The DeWalt name rose to prominence with their revolutionary line of heavy-duty stationary tools, most notably the radial arm saw, which was invented by the company’s founder, Ray DeWalt. Throughout the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, the DeWalt name came to stand for the best of the best among industrial quality tools.

Very similarly to Ridgid, the DeWalt name was acquired by Black and Decker in the 1960s. At the time, Black and Decker’s tools weren’t known for being much more than inexpensive department store toys – in order for them to jump into the pro-quality power tool market, they needed a more reputable name.

This is why they purchased DeWalt; using the same tools that they were manufacturing and selling as Black and Decker’s, stamped the DeWalt name on them, and took over the power tool industry.

Currently, both brands are still owned by the same parent companies: Emerson Electric (Ridgid) and Stanley Black and Decker (DeWalt).

Makita & DeWalt Parent Companies

Stanley Black & Decker (SBD)

Stanley Black & Decker, also known as SBD, is the parent company of DeWalt. They own a wide variety of brands:

  • DeWalt
  • Black + Decker
  • Craftsman
  • Stanley
  • Lenox
  • Irwin

Makita

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.

Product Line Depths

Both Makita and DeWalt 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 DeWalt 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:

  • Blowers
  • Chainsaws
  • Hedge Trimmers
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Pole Saws
  • Circular Saws
  • Miter Saws
  • Metal Cutting Saws
  • Hammer Drills
  • Impact Wrenches
  • Nailers
  • Vaccums
  • Area Work Lights
  • Random Orbit Sanders
  • Polishers
  • & More

Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools

DeWalt Product Lines

DeWalt 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 DeWalt:

  • Drill Drivers
  • Hammer Drills
  • Jump Starters
  • Cable Cutters
  • Compressors
  • Blowers
  • Dust Extractors
  • Angle Grinders
  • Polishers
  • Impact Drivers
  • Oscillating Multi-Tools
  • Finish Nailers
  • Staplers
  • Air Hammers
  • Air Sanders
  • Combo Kits
  • Rotary Hammers
  • Jointers
  • Planers
  • Routers
  • Orbital Sanders
  • Track Saws
  • Table Saws
  • Miter Saws
  • Circular Saws
  • Screwguns

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.

DeWalt Reputation and Tool Affordability

The number one thing that can be said about DeWalt products across the board is that they are likely some of the best out there. The general consensus about DeWalt tools is that they are fairly high end, maybe not the very best in the world, but certainly up there with the best of them. What most people say, what we agree with, is that DeWalt produces tools and all sorts of products that are ideal for professional and heavy-duty use.

In general, these are the kinds of tools that a tradesman would use on a daily basis for big jobs, and not have to worry about them breaking down. Indeed, DeWalt tools are well known for being durable and long-lasting, often using top of the line materials and components in the construction of their power tools and other products.

Now, this is not to say that non-professional people, such as hobbyists, DIYers, and people looking to do home repairs cannot use them. They are of course more than good enough for occasional and lightweight use.

That being said, DeWalt tools are not exactly cheap, which is why hobbyists and people who just need them for occasional use may not buy them. The flipside of that is that you do get what you pay for with DeWalt, and here you do get a whole lot of quality. Overall, DeWalt tools are recognized for their durability, longevity, comfort, functionality, and ability to deal with big jobs.

Warranty Comparisons

Makita Warranty

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.

DeWalt Warranty

DeWalt does a pretty good job on the warranties for their tools and other products. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their tools. It also offers three-, seven-, or lifetime limited warranties depending on the specific tool you purchase.

Here’s What to Consider When Choosing Between Makita and DeWalt Products

Before start deciding which brand to go with, here are some things to consider.

  1. Product Warranty

Most likely you’ll want to get a product with a warranty. It’s good to have a warranty because a power tool could run into problems that can only be addressed by the company it was purchased from. 

The good news is, both Makita and DeWalt have three-year warranties for their products. However, DeWalt provides one year of service for free.

  1. Battery or Corded

Some Makita and DeWalt power tools rely on batteries to operate. So before choosing a tool, you’ll want to consider if you want a power tool that uses batteries or relies on a cord for power. For example, if you’re looking for a cordless drill you’ll want to check the battery capacity and how long it’ll last. 

DeWalt offers a FlexVolt battery which/ boosts that can switch between 20V Max and 60V Max based on the power tool you use. Meaning, you’ll need/want to consider how much power you need carefully.

  1. Tool Weight

Most products from Makita and DeWalt are handheld portable tools. Professional contractors and DIYers use these types of tools for most of their projects. 

Choosing a tool with the appropriate weight is crucial because it’s common to get hand fatigue when using a power tool for a long period of time. This is especially true if the power tool is heavy.

Tool Comparisons

Makita vs DeWalt Drills

Both Makita and DeWalt have great drill options in both 18V/20V Max and 12V classes. I would like to mention that DeWalt does tend to perform better when it comes to the cordless drills. Here’s how each brand’s flagship drill model stacks up:

DEWALT 20V MAX FLEXVOLT
ADVANTAGE DCD999
MAKITA 18V LXT
XPH14
Max Speed2250 RPM2100 RPM
Max Torque1219 UWO*1250 in-lbs
Blow Rate38,250 BPM31,500 BPM
Length8.4 in7 in
Weight w/ Battery5.9 lbs6 lbs

The DeWalt DCD999 is Tool Connect ready. This means that you just need to add the chip if you want more capability. This product is also a 3-speed drill in comparison to Makita’s 2 speeds. One pretty big thing to keep in mind is that if you want the best performance, you’ll need to use a FlexVolt battery. These are pretty heavy. So if you want a lower-weight drill, you’re going to have to give up some performance.

In comparison, Makita’s XPH14 is overall a boost when it comes to performance over its last model. If you decide to use a smaller 2.0Ah battery with the XPH14, you won’t see as dramatic of a performance drop as you would with the FlexVolt Advantage.

Makita vs DeWalt Impact Drivers

Believe it or not, Makita is the company to go with when it comes to an impact driver. Makitas flagship impact drivers tend to be lighter, more portable, and outperform DeWalt.

In terms of features like technology, it’s a matter of preference. DeWalt has an app-based Tool Connect system to customize control, track, and view diagnostics. However, Makita has several assist modes that don’t require an app.

DEWALT 20V MAX
TOOL CONNECT DCF888
MAKITA 18V LXT
XDT16
Max Speed3250 RPM3600 RPM
Max Torque1825 in-lbs1600 in-lbs
Impact Rate3600 IPM3800 IPM
Length5.3 in4.6 in
Weight2.0 lbs1.9 lbs

Both of these drills have electronic controls and are 4-speed models. DeWalt’s Tool Connect app lets you customize each setting and offers a host of information on diagnostics.

Makita keeps its intelligence feature on the drill with a slow start assist mode and two self-tapping screw modes. There’s a button below the LED light that is programmable. You can switch between your two preferred modes quickly. It simply cycles through the four standard modes if you choose not to program it.

Makita vs DeWalt Circular Saws

Both Makita and DeWalt have a lot of cordless circular saws to choose from. Most of these saws include both sidewinder and rear-handle styles at the top level. They also have some of the most popular corded circular saw models.

In addition to the circular saws, both brands offer corded and cordless track saws. Makita also offers a rail-compatible sidewinder if you don’t need or want a full-out track saw.

DeWalt’s FlexVolt is a great addition to the latest generation of cordless circular saws. They’re definitely faster cutters than Makita’s 18V X2. However, that performance does come at a cost. DeWalt FlexVolt circular saws are heavier in weight.

Makita circular saws also usually have a smoother operation than DeWalt saws. Makita’s Max Efficiency blades make for a better stock blade. If you need more capacity, Makita has a nine 1/4-inch cordless model and a ten 1/4-inch corded one.

Makita vs DeWalt Miter Saws

Makita also has an impressive line of both cordless and corded miter saw options. What characterizes them is a direct drive system that operates more smoothly than belt-driven saws, such as DeWalt’s and most other companies.

Let’s take a glance at the two flagship cordless miter saws from the brands:

DEWALT 120V MAX
FLEXVOLT DHS790
MAKITA 18V X2 LXT
XSL08
Blade Speed3800 RPM4400 RPM
90° Max Cut Length16 in15 in
45º Max Cut Length12 in10 1/2 in
Nested Crown Capacity7 1/2 in8 in
Vertical Base Capacity6 3/4 in6 3/4 in
Cutline IndicatorLED ShadowLaser

DeWalt has an advantage when it comes to miter saws because they make a 120V adapter to run saws on AC power if you like.

Makita includes AWS on the XSL08 along with Automatic Speed Change to help keep a consistent speed.

Bottom Line

Alright, there was Makita vs DeWalt! The jury’s in – what’s the verdict? Which tool brand is better, DeWalt or Makita?

Wow, this is honestly a tough one. We will say that as far as these two combo kits go, we really, really like the sleek and lean design of the Makita’s, and the impressive battery life and charge times that they have. It seems DeWalt will always have the upper hand when it comes to overall power, torque, and durability, but if you’re looking for some of the lightest, leanest, most comfortable tools out there to work with, we highly recommend you take a look at the Makita package.

Are you looking for more DIY wood projects, free woodworking plans, or other resources? Check out some of the other articles I have written:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Makita and DeWalt the same company?

No, Makita and DeWalt are not the same company. Makita is owned by just Makita. DeWalt is owned by Stanley Black & Decker. They own a variety of different brands.

Is DeWalt good quality?

DeWalt 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 DeWalt tools?

For the most part, Makita has several tools that are right on par with DeWalt tools, but there are some DeWalt tools that are of higher quality than the Makita version.

Is Makita better than Dewalt for cordless hand tools?

There isn’t a direct answer to this questionDewalt 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. DeWalt makes excellent tools for heavy-duty projects and jobs, but if you don’t need that, why pay the extra money?

Do DeWalt batteries fit Makita?

Although DeWalt 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.

Jake Roberts
About Jake Roberts

I have been working on wood projects since I was a young boy. My dad made rocking chairs and other furniture to sell all over the mid west. I alway enjoy the next challenge to build to keep sharpening my working skills.

2 thoughts on “Makita vs DeWalt Brand Comparison | The Saw Guy”

  1. Why does an article that supposedly is about the quality of the products go in detail about which company is more American? That is not relevant to the quality of the products.

    Reply
  2. I’ve never had a dewalt last longer than 6 months. (about 4 impact drivers) I do abuse them a fair amount. My last impact, I went with makita because I was tired of replacing my dewalt. I’ve had it over 2 yrs now with no problems at all. The dewalt is a but stronger but I’ll never go back

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Note: this article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may be paid a referral fee at no expense to you.