Makita vs DeWalt : Which is Better for You?

In Brief: Makita vs DeWalt

Makita and DeWalt are both global brands in the power tool market. They cater to tradespeople and professionals and offer their tools at the same price point. Makita’s USP is innovation, whereas DeWalt’s is durability. DeWalt offers a wider variety of saws, whereas Makita offers more options in each category.

Differences Between Makita and DeWalt

Makita and DeWalt are two global brands in the tool industry. If you are thinking about buying a new power tool or set of power tools, you might be torn between these two brands. This guide will run through the differences between them and help you make the right decision for your needs.

 MakitaDeWalt
Company historyEst. 1915 in Nagoya, Japan.Est. 1924 in Leola, PA.
Target audienceTrades and professionals.Trades and professionals.
USPInnovation.Durability.
Product linesPower tools and gardening.All job site and trades products.
Types of saws availableFewer types, more options.Fewer options, wider range.
PriceRoughly equal.Roughly equal.
Warranty3-year warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee.3-year warranty, 90-day money-back guarantee.
RepairAt authorized service centers.24/7 online service for shipping repairs.

Company History and Roots

The first thing we will do is take a look at the history of these two brands.

Makita was founded in 1915 in Nagoya, Japan, by Masuburo Makita. They were originally an electric motor sales and repair company, moving into power tools in 1958 with a portable electric planer.

They are now a global brand, operating in over 40 countries. They operate 10 plants in 8 countries across the world.

DeWalt began trading in 1924 in Leola, Pennsylvania, established by Raymond E. DeWalt. Their first product was a universal woodworking machine named the “Wonder-Worker.”

Over the 20th Century, DeWalt expanded across the US and, in 1953, into Canada. They innovated many new designs, including the alligator saw in 1992.

Target Audience

Makita’s tools are aimed at the professional user. Specifically, Makita targets contractors and tradespeople who use power tools and gardening equipment.

They work closely with engineers in the industry to help them provide products useful for workers on job sites, with an expansion of their gardening tools as one of the company’s stated goals. You can see this adjustment by visiting their website, which heavily features gardening contractors.

DeWalt aims squarely at the trades and professionals. Their tools are intended for use on job sites, with a range of products well suited to that market. Their marketing heavily features tradespeople, complete with high visibility vests and hard hats.

Unique Selling Point

Makita’s primary USP is innovation, which is featured prominently on its website and in its marketing.

They created the 18 V Lithium-Ion cordless tool category in 2005 and claims that it has the world’s largest selection of this type of tool in the world.

They also boast another 23 trademarked system innovations that support their claim to be “celebrating 100 years of innovation.” These include battery charging, computer control, and dust management systems.

DeWalt’s slogan, “Guaranteed Tough,” indicates that their USP is durability.

According to their website and other marketing materials, their products are tested in “extreme conditions.” They market their tools as durable even “under the most demanding job site conditions.”

Their USP feeds into their target market – tradespeople and job site professionals. Durability is vital for professionals because they use their tools all day, every day. DeWalt promises to deliver for this market, touting their tools as “made to live on the job site.”

If Makita’s tools work smarter, then DeWalt’s tools work harder.

Product Lines

Makita and DeWalt each offer a similar range of product lines and cater for most of the trades.

Both have the following product lines:

  • Power Tools.
  • Gardening equipment.
  • Batteries and chargers.
  • Anchors and accessories.
  • Instruments and levels.
  • Storage.
  • Job site apparel.
  • Safety solutions.

DeWalt also offer:

  • Hand tools.
  • Site lighting.
  • Digital job site solutions.

Makita also offers:

  • Automotive tools.

Makita’s product lines cater to individual or small scale contractors, with not much in the way of job site-wide solutions.

DeWalt seems much more focused on larger job sites and construction companies, with some products meant for groups of tradespeople to share.

Only Makita caters directly to the automotive industry, providing a range of tools designed for automotive repair and restoration.

Types of Saws Available

Both brands sell power saws, though only DeWalt sells hand saws. Both brands cover the most common portable saws.

The types of saws offered by each brand are listed below, with the number of each type in brackets.

Makita offers the following types of saws:

  • Band saws (5)
  • Circular Saws (17)
  • Concrete & Masonry Saws (8)
  • Cut-off saws (4)
  • Cut-out tools (2)
  • Fiber Cement Saws (1)
  • Jig Saws (5)
  • Metal Cutting Saws (4)
  • Miter Saws (6)
  • Plunge / Track Saws (4)
  • Reciprocating Saws (8)
  • Multi-tools (1)
  • Table saws (1)
  • Chainsaws (7)
  • Hedge trimmers (6)
  • Pole saws (1)

DeWalt offers the following types of saws:

  • Band saws (7)
  • Chop saws & multi-cutter saws (5)
  • Circular saws (12)
  • Cut-off machines (1)
  • Jigsaws (4)
  • Miter saws (12)
  • Reciprocating saws (11)
  • Scroll saws (1)
  • Table saws (5)
  • Tile saws (3)
  • Track saws (2)
  • Cut-out tools (1)
  • Hedge trimmers (2)
  • Chainsaws (2)
  • Pole saws (1)
  • Oscillating multi-tools (3)
  • Pull saws (2)
  • Jab saws (2)
  • Hack saws (1)
  • Hand saws (2)
  • Flush cut saws (1)

As you can see, DeWalt offers a wider variety of saws, but Makita has more of a selection for each of the most common portable saws. DeWalt has the edge in terms of benchtop saw variety, with Makita’s focus being on the portable options.

DeWalt also manufactures a decent variety of manual saws, whereas Makita does not offer any at all.

Makita has the edge in garden power saws, with a decent variety of chainsaws and hedge trimmers.

Price Comparison

For circular saws, the prices are broadly comparable. DeWalt can run a few dollars more, but the price difference is not significant for comparable models.

Makita does offer a few budget circular saws that cost less than the most affordable DeWalt models. Both brands offer most of their circular saws in a middle price range.

Reciprocating saws are also similarly priced, with DeWalt slightly cheaper for similar specifications. However, Makita offers the most budget options with several very affordable models.

Again, both brands appear to be producing mostly around the middle price range, with few options at either extreme.

You will also pay a similar price for batteries. DeWalt offers its 20 V batteries at around the same price as the 18 V batteries offered by Makita. Since these two batteries are broadly on par with each other, if DeWalt does not have a slight edge, the value for money is similar.

Overall, there appears to be little difference in the current pricing between these two brands, meaning that you can choose entirely on performance and aftercare if both brands have the tool that you want.

Warranty & Repair

Both Makita and DeWalt offer a 3-year warranty on their power tools.

DeWalt also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee on their power tools, whereas Makita only gives you 30 days.

DeWalt has ServiceNet, a 24/7 online service for repairs. You can use the service to ship your tools to the nearest factory or authorized service center, or order parts to perform the repairs yourself.

Makita has a service center finder on their website that allows you to locate a shop that will repair your tools. However, not all shops repair all types of tools, so you will need to call before arriving.

Summary

We hope this guide helped to illuminate the differences between DeWalt and Makita. Now that you know the segments they target, the power saws they offer, and the aftercare they provide, you should have everything you need to make the right decision.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

About Joseph Carter

Joseph is DIYer with a passion for building. He is an experienced writer on tools and design and contributes to his ideas on various platforms.

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