Makita vs Dewalt (2024) — Which Brand Offers Better Power Tools?

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Over the years, I’ve come to recognize Makita and DeWalt as stalwarts in the power tools industry. But which one truly stands out? It’s essential to understand that not all manufacturers craft tools of equal caliber. To steer you clear of potential pitfalls, I’ve drawn from my expertise to present this detailed comparison between Makita and DeWalt tools.

Makita or DeWalt?

Best Compact Choice
DeWalt DCS571B
Best for Power
Makita 5007F
 DEWALT DCS571B No Background
 Makita 5007F No Background
As a front runner from the DeWalt power tools, our team chose the Atomic Mini Circular Saw, it’s excellent for maneuverability and portability. The DeWalt Atomic DCS571B also has a brushless motor for improved efficiency.
The representative for Makita Corporation is the full-sized 5007F circular saw. It comes with a brushless motor with 15 amps of power that can drive the blade at 5,800 RPM. There is even a built-in dust blower that will keep your cut line clear.
Best Compact Choice
DeWalt DCS571B
 DEWALT DCS571B No Background
As a front runner from the DeWalt power tools, our team chose the Atomic Mini Circular Saw, it’s excellent for maneuverability and portability. The DeWalt Atomic DCS571B also has a brushless motor for improved efficiency.
Best for Power
Makita 5007F
 Makita 5007F No Background
The representative for Makita Corporation is the full-sized 5007F circular saw. It comes with a brushless motor with 15 amps of power that can drive the blade at 5,800 RPM. There is even a built-in dust blower that will keep your cut line clear.

Features of Makita and DeWalt

History and Reputation

To really understand each brand, I will provide you a brief background about the brands. Let’s start with Makita, a company that got its start all the way back in Nagoya City, Japan in 1915. The power tool company started by Mosaburo Makita was initially not a manufacturer of power tools. During that time, the brand actually specialized in selling motors and repairs.

In 1958, the brand made an impact in the power tool industry when it first introduced a portable electric planer that took the field by storm. After that, Makita introduced another big hit in the form of a circular saw in 1962.

Makita’s cordless tool was introduced in 1978, and over a span of a decade, the brand gradually added to the line and the innovation continues to this day. Makita made their mark on American soil by opening a manufacturing plant in Georgia. Subsequent noteworthy products I see from the brand include the brushless motor, the brushless Makita impact driver, and other power tool innovations.

Dewalt Portable Bandsaw

DeWalt had a rapid start, and its first tool that made an impact was the radial arm saw, invented by Raymond DeWalt. The saw led to the conception of DeWalt Products Company in Pennsylvania in 1924. Then came the Wonder Worker, which lived up to its name as a tool that could be configured to perform 19 different tasks.

DeWalt has changed hands a few times over the years, first it was acquired by American Machine Foundry in 1949, but the brand is now under the umbrella of Stanley Black & Decker. Since the establishment in 1924, DeWalt has added to their product line at lightning speeds starting with portable electric power tools in 1992, and their cordless tools that came in 1994. DeWalt has a lot of clout in the industry as they created the first DeWalt hammer drill, combination drill and driver combo.

More recently, DeWALT has also added brushless motors and also a line of 20V max lithium-ion tools.

Company Size and Locations

In the longstanding debate between Makita and DeWalt, I’ve observed that DeWalt places a strong emphasis on domestic manufacturing in America. This is no surprise as DeWalt tools was established in the states. Makita still has its headquarters in Japan, but like I mentioned, they have since set up a branch entitled Makita Corporation of America in Georgia, with the head office located in sunny California.

Makita also has different sites scattered across the country with locations in Illinois and Texas. They are quite a large company with a presence in 8 different countries and 10 plants in total. Makita has a manufacturing footprint in China, Mexico, the UK, Germany and more.

Makita-UC4051A

DeWalt’s parent company, Stanley Black & Decker, is headquartered in Maryland as is DeWALT. Most of the manufacturing of DeWalt tools happens in the US, with 7 factories in various states. That’s not to say DeWALT doesn’t have a global presence like Makita tools, as they use parts manufactured in other countries such as the UK, China and Brazil.

Product Price Range: Makita and DeWalt

If you were planning to narrow down your choices by examining the price of Makita vs DeWalt products, then I’m sorry to say but you won’t be left with a clear answer.

Both DeWalt vs Makita are titans in the industry and it isn’t without reason. They are both known for high-quality products, but Makita does have a reputation of being a higher tier than DeWalt.

sealed motor of DEWALT Rotary Saw (DW660)

As usual, products that are considered higher quality also come with a higher cost. There is no clear winner for the product price range section, because you can find comparable prices in products from both Makita vs DeWalt product lines. Both brands have tools that are considered suitable for professional and homeowner use.

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Prices of tools used for woodworking 

Warranty and Service

Dewalt is the brand that offers a more comprehensive warranty plus services for its tools. Both DeWalt vs Makita have 3-year warranties on their cordless tools, but DeWalt one up Makita and tacks on an extra 90-day money-back guarantee plus a 1-year free service promise.

Combo Kits: Makita and DeWalt

Speaking from expertise, combo kits are quintessential tool sets that amalgamate a variety of tools along with pertinent accessories. Both Makita and DeWalt offer comprehensive kits in this category. For a nuanced comparison, I’ve meticulously evaluated the 5-piece combo kits from both brands.

Taking a closer look at Makita’s 20V combo kit, it encompasses a cordless drill, compact driver, LED light, circular saw, and grinder, along with a battery, charger, and supplementary accessories, all housed within a convenient carrying case. Based on my practical experience and assessments, Makita ensures ease in sourcing replacement parts, and their 20V lithium-ion batteries exhibit remarkable efficiency. I’d personally advise investing in an additional battery, allowing for continual work as one battery recharges.

Makita XSR01Z Circular Saw

I chose the Makita 18V LXT lithium-ion 5-piece combo kit for review. The contents of the kit include a hammer cordless drill, a cordless impact driver, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, a flashlight, plus batteries and charger as well as the tool box. Depending on your needs, each kit will be suitable for different woodworkers. If you don’t need a grinder and prefer the reciprocating saw, then the Makita kit is your winner.

Additional accessories can be easily found to enhance each piece in your tool kit. The Makita kit also comes with 2 batteries so there isn’t a need to purchase an extra one. I love both the Makita and the DeWalt brand, but the Makita combo kit is much more versatile and useful for DIY projects and larger jobs.

Circular Saws

Circular saws are an indispensable part of any woodworking shop. They are multi-purpose tools that can come in a more compact design for hard to reach places and portability. The Makita and DeWalt lines of circular saws that are corded and cordless include sidewinders and rear handle options.

For quick cut jobs, I often turn to the DeWalt cordless circular saw because of the FlexVolt technology. But faster doesn’t always mean better, and Makita circular saw options are generally more affordable,  lightweight and cut smoother than the competitor. For cut capacity, Makita also takes the crown as they offer a larger variety of sizes to choose from.

Makita 5007Mg

The Max Efficiency circular saw blades from the Japanese brand, Makita, certainly deliver enhanced performance. They offer smoother cuts, virtually eliminating tear-outs, and provide great versatility. If speed is a primary concern, then DeWalt might be the better pick for a faster cutting circular saw. However, after weighing the pros and cons, I personally lean towards the Makita circular saw.

Hammer Drills: Makita and DeWalt

The hammer drill, made for some of the toughest jobs with the most durability. Just for generalization, I have chosen the Makita 18V LXT XPH14 to go head-to-head with DeWalt’s DCD999. When I look at them at a glance side by side, the DeWalt hammer drill seems to be the better choice, but are the benefits just skin deep?

The DeWalt DCD999 features Tool Connect, which is technology proprietary to the brand that allows you to track, connect and customize your tools. The DCD999 also offers one more speed setting than the Makita hammer drill, and the efficiency and performance can be enhanced with the FlexVolt battery.

dewalt hammer drill

However, I’d like to note that adding the Flexvolt will increase the weight of the drill, so you have to choose between sacrificing weight for efficiency or vice versa. Statistics-wise, the DeWalt model is faster, lighter, and longer, but the Makita drill works fine with a 2.0 aH [1] battery that won’t compromise the performance of the drill.

Impact Wrench

In my experience, an impact wrench is a real time-saver, ensuring items are fastened more swiftly. When I compare the two, the Makita impact wrench typically showcases more enhancements than its DeWalt counterpart. This observation stems from the noticeable effort Makita has invested in refining their tool. However, it’s worth noting that Makita doesn’t offer pneumatic models, which, to be honest, is a letdown for professionals like me.

DeWalt has less items to choose from in this particular line of products, but it does incorporate the Tool Connect Technology. Makita offsets this by integrating their Assist Mode Technology for enhanced efficiency.

Dewalt Impact wrench

Taking a general look at the impact wrenches from the DeWalt 20V and the Makita 18V lines, the Makita options are more powerful in my expert opinion, but DeWalt is a bit more advanced with the help of its technologies. DeWalt has customizable settings while Makita has speed and assist modes to choose from.

Impact Driver

In many of my tool evaluations, DeWalt has often come out on top. However, when it comes to impact drivers, the tables turn. Drawing from my expertise and consultations with fellow professionals, there’s a consensus: I generally lean towards Makita impact drivers. Their lightweight, compact design, coupled with efficiency, gives them a distinct edge in our book.

Like the impact wrenches, all the tools in this category from both brands feature advanced technologies. DeWalt offers the Tool Connect and Makita spreads Assist Mode through all its products. Yes, DeWalt’s Tool Connect has an edge against Assist Mode, but you need an app to control everything whereas Makita keeps everything onboard the tool.

makita impact driver

The competition between Makita vs DeWalt in this section is pretty neck and neck. Even the performance of the tools is quite even with Makita being faster but DeWalt providing more maximum torque. At the end of the day, the choice greatly depends on personal preference.

Air Compressor: Makita and DeWalt

For the question of air compressors, do you want more variety or a smaller selection of well-developed tools? DeWalt has FlexVolt models and many cordless tools and cordless options. Maita has V-Twin designs and is surprisingly quiet during operation. Again, the winner of this section is highly subjective, with me preferring the efficient FlexVolts and others liking the quiet hum of the Makita V-Twin pumps.

Brand Technologies

Both brands incorporate specific technologies to create smart saws. As mentioned, DeWalt Tool Connect is excellent for customizing your experience. Makita offers the Auto Wireless System that starts the saw automatically without you having to do it. However, the Tool Connect from DeWalt isn’t compatible or present on all of their models so if it’s something you desire, you should make sure the tool can be used with the system.

Makita also has Star Protection Technology, which allows for excellent communication between the saw and the battery. It will prevent high temperatures and overload the motor. DeWalt  also has Shocks Active Vibration Control, which minimizes the vibrations during use.

back panel of Makita SP6000J

In my professional experience with Makita tools, one standout feature is the automatic speed change. This intelligent functionality discerns and modifies the torque, power output, and speed based on the task at hand. 

Additionally, based on collective advice from a team of seasoned woodworkers, including myself, it’s highly beneficial to opt for tools that boast tool-less blade change capabilities. Such a feature elevates efficiency and convenience, especially when changing the carbide blade, setting these tools apart from those necessitating additional instruments for blade changes.

Both DeWalt and Makita continue to perfect and enhance their innovative technologies and I’m excited to see what they have in store for us in the future. For now, the winner again depends on your preference.

Batteries

I broke down the battery section into two parts, with a focus on Makita batteries first. Makita is renowned for its 18V line, with the 2.0 and 5.0 aH batteries as the most popular. Their coveted 18V x2 line allows woodworkers to use 2 batteries at once for maximum convenience. Together, they produce 36V of sheer power. Even with the dual batteries, Makita still creates lightweight tool options compared to other leading brands.

DeWalt has their regular 12V brushless motor line, but the showstoppers are the 20V Max and the 60V FlexVolts DeWalt chainsaw batteries. The 20V batteries are seen in their power tool products all the way to lawn care equipment. I love the FlexVolt batteries because of what the name suggests – they can switch between voltages, which maintains efficiency depending on the tool for a longer battery life.

Overall Product Offers: Makita and DeWalt

Both DeWalt and Makita offer good quality cordless power tools and corded options with options that span from handheld tools to larger lawn care equipment. You can find products with electric motors, brushless tools, and other greatly desired products such as a variable speed impact driver, an angle grinder, and a portable groove cutter.

Dewalt Portable Bandsaw use

Customer Experience

I’ve personally interacted with customer representatives from both Makita and DeWalt and I’ve been genuinely impressed by their dedication to top-notch service. Whether addressing a subtle query about the dual LED lights or navigating more pressing concerns with lithium-ion batteries, I was met with informed and accommodating service agents. It’s evident why both brands have carved out such a sterling reputation over the years — their unwavering commitment to quality products and outstanding post-purchase support speaks volumes.

 

FAQ

Is Makita better than DeWalt?

No, Makita is not better than DeWalt. In fact, DeWalt outranks Makita in many categories including the price of their products, battery efficiency, and heavily padded warranty. Both brands have extensive product lines, but DeWalt is the more budget-friendly option for many tools and features free service after purchase.

Is Makita cheaper than DeWalt?

No, Makita is not cheaper than DeWalt. Makita offers tools that are priced slightly above average, and this is because they are heavily invested in performance rather than variety. That’s not to say they don’t offer a wide selection, but as far as the construction and durability goes, Makita edges out DeWalt. You can also compare the Makita to the Festool in another article.

Overall Winner: DeWalt

After a very thorough review of Makita vs DeWalt by me, DeWalt has come out on top. The brand caters to experienced professionals and DIY homeowners alike, with friendly prices, excellent innovation and customer service. They also offer a wide range of products and include thoughtful accessories such as a DeWalt contractor bag, or tool bag.

Also Read: The Best DeWalt Tools for Professionals

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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