Milwaukee vs Makita Saws : Which is Better?

In Brief: Milwaukee vs Makita

Milwaukee and Makita are both established tool brands that cater to the professional market. They both pride themselves on innovation and provide a full range of power tools for professionals and trades. Milwaukee also offers hand tools. Makita has a slight advantage on price, but Milwaukee offers a more generous warranty package on power tools.

Differences Between Milwaukee and Makita

Milwaukee and Makita are both big name brands in the tools industry. If you are looking to expand your toolkit and want to pick one brand to stick with, choosing between two of the industry leaders can be a daunting prospect. This guide will help you make an informed choice between these two brands.

 MilwaukeeMakita
Company historyEst. 1924 in Milwaukee, WI.Est. 1915 in Nagoya, Japan.
Target audienceTrades and professionals.Trades and professionals.
USPInnovation.Innovation.
Product linesFull range for professionals.Power tools for professionals.
Types of saws availablePower and hand saws.Only power saws.
PriceMore expensive, fewer budget options.Slightly cheaper, more budget options.
Warranty5-year warranty.3-year warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee.
Repair24/7 repair service.At authorized service centers.

Company History and Roots

Let’s begin with some history.

Milwaukee Tools was established in 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by A.H. Peterson. Their first product was the Peterson Hole-shooter, the first portable hand drill that could be operated with one hand.

Through the 20th Century, Milwaukee invented numerous new designs that revolutionized the industry. They expanded production and spread across the US to Jackson, Mississippi.

Makita was founded in 1915 in Nagoya, Japan, by Masuburo Makita. They started as an electric motor sales and repair company, transitioning to power tools in 1958 with a portable electric planer.

Today, they are a global brand that operates in over 40 countries. They currently run 10 plants in 8 countries across the globe.

Target Audience

Both brands focus on the professional market with their broad ranges of power tools and accessories aimed at tradespeople.

Milwaukee’s MX Fuel range explicitly targets professionals, as does their range of personal protective equipment and portable power tools.

Makita’s tools are also aimed at the professional user. Specifically, Makita targets contractors and tradespeople who use power tools and gardening equipment in the course of their jobs.

Engineers in the industry help them to design products that are useful for workers on job sites. One of their stated goals for the future is the expansion of their range of professional gardening tools. Their website makes this shift in focus obvious as it heavily features landscapers.

Unique Selling Point

Milwaukee’s primary USP is innovation, providing new solutions to existing problems experienced by tradespeople.

The term they use is “disruptive innovation,” which outlines their intentions quite clearly. Milwaukee pushes the market forward by continuously innovating trade-specific solutions.

Examples of their latest innovations include their line of cordless power tools, and the MX, M18, and M12 batteries that power them. They also have their Shockwave accessories line, through which they believe they are “Driving Performance Forward”.

Milwaukee has a long history of innovation, creating new technologies to solve trade-specific problems. It is even how the company got started.

Makita’s primary USP is also 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.

Product Lines

Milwaukee and Makita both offer a wide range of product lines for tradespeople and professionals.

Both brands offer the following product lines:

  • Power tools
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Gardening equipment
  • Instruments and levels
  • Storage solutions
  • Job site apparel
  • Safety solutions
  • Anchors and accessories
  • Mechanic’s tools

Milwaukee also offers:

  • Hand tools
  • Digital job site solutions

Makita does not offer additional product lines that are unavailable through Milwaukee.

These product lines cover most of the trades and professions within the industry, meaning that whatever your needs are either brand will be able to fulfil them.

The exceptions are in hand tools and digital job site solutions. Makita’s selection of hand tools does not constitute its own line of products outside of the industry-specific lines like mechanic’s tools.

Types of Saws Available

Milwaukee and Makita each offer a range of saws intended for professional use.

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

Milwaukee offers the following types of saws:

  • Cut off saws (1)
  • Band saws. (10)
  • Reciprocating saws. (9)
  • Circular saws. (12)
  • Jigsaws. (6)
  • Table saws. (1)
  • Miter saws. (4)
  • Oscillating multi-tools. (2)
  • Panel saws. (1)
  • Jab saws. (2)
  • PVC hand saws. (2)
  • Hack saws (2)
  • Chainsaws. (1)
  • Pruning saws. (1)
  • Pole saws. (1)

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)

As you can see, the selection of power saws is roughly equal between these two brands. If power saws are your go-to, then either one of these brands will offer the types you need.

However, if you need hand saws then Milwaukee will be the brand you choose. Makita does not offer any hand saws at all.

For garden saws, the clear winner is Makita. They offer a broader range of chainsaws and hedge trimmers for professional landscapers.

Price Comparison

For circular saws, Milwaukee costs a bit more for comparable specification models. Makita offers more in terms of budget circular saws, with Milwaukee trending more towards the high-end.

However, the difference in price is quite slim and they both stick to the mid- to high-end price point for the majority of their circular saws.

The prices for reciprocating saws are broadly similar, with Makita offering more budget models that are very reasonably priced. For the same specifications, you will pay the same price for either brand.

Milwaukee batteries are a bit more expensive than Makita batteries, but they also come with better specifications.

It is important to factor in the price of batteries, especially if you are a professional user. The cost of the tool only needs to be paid once, but backup and replacement batteries can add additional costs that you may need to pay several times over the lifetime of the tool.

Overall, Milwaukee is the more expensive brand and offers fewer budget options than Makita. However, if you are choosing between these two brands then you are probably looking for higher quality tools, so the relatively small price differences may take a back seat to performance.

Warranty & Repair

Makita offers a 3-year warranty on their power tools. Milwaukee offers a 5-year warranty across most of its power tools.

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.

Milwaukee uses their 24/7 eService for small quantity repairs, partnering with FedEx to provide a full repair and delivery service.

Summary

We hope that this guide has helped you decide between Milwaukee and Makita branded tools for your next purchase. While Makita may offer you more bang for your buck, you might decide to choose Milwaukee if performance holds higher importance.

Do you have any comments or questions? If you do, feel free to leave them in the comments section down below.

About Donald Parker

Donald has more than 15 years of experience of working with power tools. But his main area of expertise is working saws, especially chainsaws.

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