Makita vs DeWalt (Which is Better?)

Few industries have exhibited such explosive growth over the past 20-years, as that which surrounds the current power tool market. Consumers are now presented with a far larger inventory of power tools to choose from, than ever before.

This has also led to a significant amount of competition between various brands within the power tool market space. Due to stiff competition within the power tool industry, many consumers are left to ponder the question of how best to spend their hard-earned money.

Forming such a determination typically involves comparing various characteristics of two or more competing brands. Of these brands, few draw as much comparison as Makita and DeWalt, both of which are icons of the industry.

The following is a side-by-side comparison of Makita and DeWalt power tools, based upon specs, features, and verifiable test data.

History

Though established half a world apart, Makita and DeWalt both rose to prominence during the early 1900s, growing rapidly with each successive technological development. Today, each serves as a frontrunner in both foreign and domestic power tool markets.

The following is a breakdown of Makita and DeWalt’s rise to prosperity.

About Makita Tools

Makita logo

Makita Electric Works, of Nagoya, Aichi, was founded in 1915. In its earliest days, Makita served as a manufacturer of lighting equipment, electrical motors, and transformers. The company also regularly repaired equipment of the same variety.

Following several decades of generator manufacturing, and a subsequent move to Sumiyoshi-Cho, Anjo-City in an attempt to avoid WWII-ear air raids, Makita began manufacturing portable electric planers in 1958. This initial power tool offering proved quite successful and brought the company much early notoriety.

By the 1960s, Makita had modified its business model, which now centered around the production of power tools. Then, in 1969, Makita released their first battery-powered drill, the 6500D, which also found substantial success.

During the 1970s, Makita expanded into foreign markets, including France, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United States. This was followed by the diversification of Makita’s product catalog, which soon included circular saws, grinders, and impact drivers. Makita also acquired chainsaw manufacturer, Sachs Dolmar GmbH, in 1991.

Today, Makita is known as one of the most prevalent manufacturers of rechargeable battery-powered tools. Makita’s various offerings are sold around the world, to an increasingly sizable consumer base.

See Also: Makita vs Milwaukee (Brand Comparison)

About DeWalt Tools

Dewalt logo

Dewalt tools were founded in 1922, by Raymond DeWalt, the Superintendent of Seabrooks Farms. Initially, Mr. DeWalt’s business was founded upon the production of a revolutionary woodworking machine, which was known for its high degree of versatility and increasing productivity. 

The company’s first manufacturing plant was located in Leola, Pennsylvania. The DeWalt company became well known for its “Wonder Worker” universal woodworking machine that could be operated in nine different ways. They also began offering a dedicated mortiser and jointer. Within a few short years, DeWalt Products Company moved to a new modern plant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

During the 1940s, DeWalt expanded quite rapidly, due largely to a number of wartime production contracts that they had secured. By the end of the decade, DeWalt had been acquired by American Machine Foundry, as expansion continued. The company would continue to grow and expand production, opening operations in Canada. 

In 1992, DeWalt launched its own line of portable power tools and accessories. These tools were designed with the residential contractor and woodworker in mind. By 2001, this line had expanded to encompass over 200 tools and over 800 accessories in total. These cordless power tools were offered in 12V, 14.4V, 18V, and 20V varieties.

Over the next 20 plus years, DeWalt has consistently added new and innovative technology to its line of tools, striving to keep pace with the demands of professional and residential needs alike. The company continues to expand upon its already enormous inventory of traditional and cordless power tools.

Today, DeWalt is owned by Black & Decker. They employ approximately 13,000 workers across the US and abroad.

See Also: DeWalt vs Milwaukee (Brand Comparison)

Manufacturing 

Many consumers consider a tool’s point of origin when contemplating how best to spend their money. In consideration of this fact, we have compiled the necessary information to provide a side-by-side comparison of Makita and DeWalt, in this regard.

Where Are Makita Tools Made?

where are Makita tools made

Makita Tools is headquartered in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, yet operates manufacturing facilities around the world. The company also maintains home offices for various markets, in several different countries, including the following.

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Romania
  • Germany
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Makita maintains a number of manufacturing and warehouse facilities in the United States. Some of the most prominent of the facilities are found in the states of Georgia, Nevada, California, and Illinois.

Read Also: Makita vs Ridgid (Brand Comparison)

Where Are DeWalt Tools Made?

DeWalt factory

Towson, Maryland is the headquarters for DeWalt tools and operates a total of 7 manufacturing facilities in the United States. These facilities are located in the following United States cities.

  • Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • Hampstead, Maryland
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Greenfield, Indiana
  • New Britain, Connecticut
  • Cheraw, South Carolina
  • Jackson, Tennessee

However, not all DeWalt tools are produced in the United States. DeWalt also owns manufacturing facilities in China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, the Czech Republic, and the UK. However, DeWalt tools manufactured in the US will feature the company’s “Built in the USA with Global Materials” label.

Read Also: DeWalt vs Kobalt

Product Line 

Out of all current power tool manufacturers, few offer quite as extensive of product lines as Makita and DeWalt. Both of these tool titans manufacture a broad array of products, much to the liking of their loyal consumers.

The following is a general overview of each company’s product catalog.

Makita

Makita saw

Makita is perhaps best known for its production of electric saws, impact drivers, and drills, the latter of which the company first debuted in 1969. Today, Makita manufactures several different unique power tool lines, though few are as popular as the company’s 18V LXT series of tools. 

At the moment, Makita offers approximately 270 different power tools within the LXT series, all of which are compatible with the company’s 18V Lithium-Ion batteries.

Some of the LXT line’s most popular offerings include drills, impact drivers, weedeaters, and even chainsaws. Larger tools within this line accept two 18V batteries, which are paired to provide 32V of total power.

Makita also manufactures a wide array of specialty power tools, designed to accomplish any chore, from yard work to shop cleanup. Some of the most notable of these tools include shop vacuums, leaf-blowers, and battery-operated lawnmowers. The manufacturer also sells a large assortment of portable lighting solutions.

However, Makita’s product offerings also stray beyond that which is battery-powered in nature. The company also manufactures an assortment of pneumatic and gasoline-powered equipment.

From air compressors to chainsaws, Makita offers the perfect tool for almost any application. Consumers are also provided with a host of standard corded power tools to choose from as well.

DeWalt

DeWalt cordless drill

DeWalt’s dominance within the power tool market began in the early 1990s, with the release of the company’s first set of cordless tools. DeWalt further expanded upon this early success with the release of 30 additional cordless power tools in 1994.

This most notably included DeWalt’s first 14.4V offerings which included screwdrivers, impact drivers, impact wrench, saws, flashlights, and the first combination drill/driver/hammer drill. 

The 20V Max line was first introduced in 2011 and serves as DeWalt’s most prominent series of power tools. There are nearly 200 power tools available within this series, with more being released annually.

Some of the most notable offerings within the 20V Max series include portable drills, reciprocating saws, impact wrenches, and grinders. A series of 20V Max brushless tools were introduced in 2013.

Additionally, DeWalt now offers a complete set of 60V Max power tools for the dedicated tradesman. These tools provide extra power, beyond that offered by the manufacturer’s standard 20V offerings. Tools within this series include nail guns, circular saws, air compressors, and rotary hammers.

Outside of the company’s standard power tool offerings, DeWalt also manufactures a complete line of durable hand tools. Beginning in 2013, DeWalt also began marketing their own heavy-duty line of specialty mechanic’s tools, designed to satisfy the needs of industry professionals.  

DeWalt now offers a line of 40V MAX* Outdoor Power Equipment that provides the power, durability, and runtime that a professional landscaper demands. The DEWALT battery-operated equipment maximizes efficiency by eliminating trips to the pump, minimizes maintenance, and provides low noise levels for properties.

See Also: DeWalt vs Ridgid Tools

Technology    

Makita and DeWalt are both considered industry leaders in the development of new and innovative power tool technology. The following are several of the most noteworthy technical developments that each has pioneered.

Makita

Makita battery

Active 3 Control

All Makita 18V batteries and chargers feature the company’s proprietary Active 3 Control Technology. This system allows communication between Makita’s 18V batteries, and their corresponding chargers, thereby increasing charging efficiency.

All chargers of this nature are capable of monitoring a battery’s current, voltage, and temperature. As a result, charging time is greatly reduced.

Automatic Speed Change

Makita’s latest generation of battery-operated power tools now feature the company’s Automatic Speed Change technology.

This system monitors the operating load encountered by a specific tool, adjusting speed and torque as necessary to get the job done. This proves extremely valuable when working with thick, or otherwise dense materials that would prove difficult to tame in most scenarios.

DeWalt

DeWalt battery

FlexVolt Batteries

DeWalt made significant waves with the release of their FlexVolt series of batteries. These dual voltage batteries are universal in nature, proving adequate for use with both 20V and 60V DeWalt portable power tools.

These batteries automatically switch voltage as you change tools. As such, these batteries are among the most versatile on the market, as they allow consumers to pack a single type of battery for any application and can power over 200 products. 

Jobsite WiFi

DeWalt’s Jobsite WiFi Access Point features easy setup and extends WiFi access from the main construction trailer to the rest of the job site. DeWalt’s Access points are tough enough for any construction site and it’s Made in the USA with Global Materials.

Related: DeWalt Tools vs Craftsman Tools

Warranty and Service

Few considerations are as valuable when purchasing one or more power tools as that which centers around a particular manufacturer’s warranty policy. In fact, many purchasing decisions come down to a comparison of warranty related coverage.

The following is a side-by-side comparison of Makita and DeWalt’s warranty policies.

Makita

Makita warranty

As a general rule, Makita covers its portable, battery-operated power tools with a 3-year limited warranty. This policy protects consumers against any verifiable material or workmanship-related defects. Defects of this type will be addressed at Makita’s discretion, ultimately resulting in tool repair or replacement, free of charge to the consumer.

However, it is worth mentioning that this warranty does not cover standard wear/tear-related defects or any issues that arise from the mishandling of any power tool. Defects of this type will be repaired, at the expense of the tool’s owner.

Also of note, is Makita’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason, you find yourself dissatisfied with one of the company’s power tools within 30-days of purchase, Makita promises to replace the tool in question or provide a full refund of the purchase price.

DeWalt

DeWalt warranty

DeWalt backs the vast majority of their portable power tools with a 3-year limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers tools purchased after 2004 and protects against defects in materials and workmanship for the extent of its duration. Although, this policy does not cover issues that occur out of standard wear and tear.

Besides the company’s standard 3-year warranty, DeWalt also offers a One-Year Free Service Contract. This contract stipulates that DeWalt will repair any defects to their tools that arise out of standard wear and tear, within the first 12-months of service. 

All DeWalt power tools are also complemented by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with the purchase of any DeWalt power tool, return it within 90-day for a full refund, no questions asked.

DeWalt offers a full lifetime warranty on all its mechanics tools. This means a replacement at no cost if the tool should ever fail. No proof of purchase is required.

Makita vs DeWalt: And The Winner Is…

Dewalt logo

To preface, one should never be concerned with making a “bad” purchase, when spending their money with either Makita or DeWalt. Both companies produce outstanding products, rich in technical intervention, and steeped in a lengthy history of greatness.

However, it is our belief that DeWalt’s line of power tools carries a slight advantage over those of Makita, when compared in a side-by-side fashion.

DeWalt offers one of the largest catalogs of portable power tools, the vast majority of which are now compatible with one another, thanks to the company’s use of their new FlexVolt Batteries. Combine this with DeWalt’s class-leading warranty policy, and you have quite the value, at any price.

Nonetheless, DeWalt manages to regularly market their vast array of power tools at a lower price-point than many competitors, including Makita. This often makes DeWalt the tool manufacturer of choice for many consumers, even when faced with a rather restrictive budget.

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