Makita and DeWalt are both household names in the power tools industry, but which one comes out on top? Not all manufacturers produce the same exact products. To save you from choosing the wrong brand, our team of professionals provided you this Makita vs DeWalt tool comparison.
Makita or DeWalt?
Features of Makita and DeWalt
History and Reputation
To really understand each brand, our woodworkers 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 we see from the brand include the brushless motor, the brushless Makita impact driver, and other power tool innovations.
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
When it comes to Makita vs DeWalt, the latter puts focus on manufacturing domestically in America. This is no surprise as DeWalt tools was established in the states. Makita still has its headquarters in Japan, but like our experts 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.
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 we’re 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.
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.
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
Combo kits are tool kits that come with a combination of tools plus accessories. The Makita brand and DeWalt both have extensive kits available. For the sake of this comparison, our contractors have taken an in-depth look at the 5-piece combo kit from both brands.
The Makita 20V combo kit includes a cordless drill, compact driver, an LED light, a circular saw, a grinder, a battery and charger plus accessories. All the components come in a carrying case and can be found at your local hardware store. Makita doesn’t make it hard to find replacement parts, and the 20V lithium-ion batteries are so efficient our experts recommend purchasing two batteries so you can work while one is charging.
Our expert contractors 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. Our experts 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 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 line of circular saws include sidewinders and rear handle options that are corded and cordless.
For quick cut jobs, our team turns 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 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.
The Max Efficiency circular saw blades from the Japanese brand offer better performance with smoother cuts and no tear-outs and versatility. If you want a faster cutting circular saw, then DeWalt is the better choice. Overall, our team prefers 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, our experts have chosen the Makita 18V LXT XPH14 to go head-to-head with DeWalt’s DCD999. When we 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.
However, our expert contractors 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  battery that won’t compromise the performance of the drill.
An impact wrench saves you time and screws items in at a faster rate. Overall, a Makita impact wrench will usually have seen more improvements than one from DeWalt. This is because Makita has put more effort into perfecting their impact wrench, although they don’t have pneumatic models, which is a disappointment for our team members.
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.
Taking a general look at the impact wrenches from the DeWalt 20V and the Makita 18V lines, the Makita options are more powerful in our 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.
DeWalt has been taking the crown consistently in the individual tool review sections, but the impact drivers is where it all turns around. In general, our team of contractors prefer Makita impact drivers for their lightweight and more compact bodies plus efficiency.
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.
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 some members of our team preferring the efficient FlexVolts and others liking the quiet hum of the Makita V-Twin pumps.
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.
Makita tools can also feature automatic speed change, which will detect and adjust the torque, power output and speed depending on what you’re working on. Another feature that our team of professional woodworkers advise you to look for is tool-less blade change capabilities on applicable tools. The efficiency and convenience is incomparable to ones that require tools when you are changing the carbide blade.
Both DeWalt and Makita continue to perfect and enhance their innovative technologies and we are excited to see what they have in store for us in the future. For now, the winner again depends on your preference.
Our team breaks 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 brands.
DeWalt has their regular 12V brushless motor line, but the showstoppers are the 20V Max and the 60V FlexVolts DeWalt batteries. The 20V batteries are seen in their power tool products all the way to lawn care equipment. Our team loves 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 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.
Our team has dealt with customer representatives from both brands and have been pleasantly surprised by their excellent service. From something as small as a problem with the dual LED lights on a product to issues with the lithium-ion batteries, our experts were met with nothing but helpful service agents. We can see why both Makita and DeWalt have stood the test of time due to their reliable products and exceptional after service.
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.
Overall Winner: DeWalt
After a very thorough review of Makita vs DeWalt by our team members, 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.