Previously, when you required to buy a new tool or toolkit, all that you had to do was to visit a local hardware shop, consult with the vendor and get the most reasonable out of all. However, the choices then were very limited as you had to pick or decide among the ones that are in stock or currently available in the market. Well, nowadays the case is something else, as you get everything imaginable at your fingertips within a click on the e-commerce website. The buying or production selection is somewhat easier and hassle-free than what it used to be.
However, with a surge in the number of companies/brands these days, it again tough to decide which tool to buy and which not to. For that, the buyer must have a good deal of knowledge regarding the dedicated tool and also how its features differ from one company to another. This helps you to make a perfect decision and purchase.
In this article, you will get a vivid comparison and details regarding Makita vs DeWalt tools. Which company should you adhere to? Which product of Makita is good that is not in Dewalt and vice versa? What is the company background and growth of both Makita and DeWalt, warranty, etc.? We are going to talk about all these and more, vividly, including all that come between. Before moving directly to the introduction of both companies, Makita and DeWalt, let's start with their overview.
Overview of Makita Vs DeWalt: Which is Better?
The rivalry of Makita and DeWalt is similar to Toyota vs Chevrolet rivalry– where on one side you get high end, advanced and innovative products equipped and engineered by Japan; Makita, DeWalt is the American classic brand that continues to stand out from the rest other globally leading industrial tools, time and again. As both the brands are currently skyrocketing across the global market, it is substantially hard to confirm which brand out of Makita and DeWalt is the ultimate best.
Now we will take a step deeper into knowing both Makita and DeWalt since their early days.
- Early Years
Makita started its business almost about a century ago. It began its merchandise in late 1915 which makes the company one of the oldest manufacturers of power tools and kits. It began as a sales cum repairing company of electric motors in Aichi, Japan. Mosaburo Makita founded the company, this is where the brand name "Makita" emerged from.
By the year of 1935, Makita was manufacturing as well as exporting both generators and electric motors to the former Soviet Union. By 1958, Makita emerged as the top brand in Japan to manufacture and retail portable electric planers.
Progress and Expansion
Makita is proud of being the first ever company to be manufacturing wireless power drills by merchandising their 6500D battery-powered drill, launched in 1969. Plus, this company is one of the oldest manufacturers of pneumatic power tools since the year of 1981.
Other considerable milestones in the history of Makita consists of the 6213D rechargeable driver drill model development; done in 1996, 40mm rotary hammer engineered with anti-vibration mechanism; done in 2005, and the brushless motor based wireless impact driver, launched in the year 2010.
Currently, Makita is having a collection of about 100+ wireless tools in the market, which can operate through their patented 18 Volt Li-ion battery technology. The company now produces vacuuming tools and power tools, not only for the metalworking industries but also for the woodworking professionals to simplify their business.
Added to that, Makita has been rapidly expanding its business over the time by launching branches in other nations starting from Brazil to the USA. The only thing which has not changed ever since the company has started is the brand's all time desire to adhere to the latest innovations and technologies in the manufacturing of power tools with an aim of making those more useful, durable and convenient.
- Early Years
Even though DeWalt was established in 1924, the story of its forming began in 1922. The company was founded by Raymond DeWalt and was named after his surname. The company perfected in coming up with the first woodworking tool with the objective of increasing versatility and improving productivity among its users. DeWalt was located in Leola, Pennsylvania.
The early years of DeWalt dealt in the manufacturing of their “Wonder Worker” tool; an universal electric machine which is configurable in nine different ways. Additionally, the company manufactured dedicated jointer and mortising machines.
The period DeWalt's expansion started in the early 1940’s, which was followed by the company getting government contracts; as per which, the company made tools to fulfill the requirements of the national wartime and defense machinery.
Progress and Expansion
DeWalt kept continuing with its rapid growth and in the year 1949, the company was taken by American Machine Foundry that then further continued with the expansion to Canada in 1953 prior to reselling the company in 1960 to its current owners Black & Decker.
In 1990’s,the company's venture stepped into the new target market (which included the professional woodcrafters, remodelers, and contractors) by launching their primary line of portable electric power tools and accessories by the year 1992. In 1994, DeWalt improvised the entire power tool industry by introducing its 30 exclusive wireless power tools that included the 14.4 Volt cordless driver/drill. The market of these was at its peak at that time. By the year 2001, DeWalt had 200+ power tools followed by 800+ related accessories in the market. Since that time, DeWalt has been coming up with the maximum number of power tools and accessories, into the market, at the end of each year.
Backed by an incomparable group of skilled and experienced professionals, the company is always going through restless research work to keep on improving the quality of their power tools and other accessories, every year with some newer addition by adhering to advanced modern mechanisms. Now, the company makes a wide variety of tools starting from drills, nailers to air compressors and saws. DeWalt is always venturing into making an array of varied power tools. Furthermore, DeWalt had established a number of branches all across the USA and some countries. By the year 2015, DeWalt overall had 7 manufacturing branches in the USA, exclusive of its branches in other countries.
Key Product Features
The power tools of Makita are developed to outperform the products of its other competitors. Here are the key features which rightly justify the above statement:
- LXT Li-Ion Battery Technology: Other than providing 50% more longevity, the LXT Li-ion battery is capable of being used among different cordless power tools made by Makita
- LXT Brushless Motors: Almost all the Makita power tools are equipped with the LXT brushless motors, which are more efficient than the brush motors. The brushless motors are available in the market in different sizes; each is suited to fit different power tools for different tasks. For instance, the 52 mm one is suitable for a power saw, whereas a 44 mm one is fit for an impact driver.
- Star Protection Technology: This is one of the most latest innovations of Makita that is evident in a major part of their recent manufacture of the power tools. This technology is a high end communication system which lets the tool and its battery/s to conduct data exchange in real-time. The objective of the Star Protection Technology is to take care of the real-time monitoring, in order to prevent overheating, overloading, and over-discharging.
- Cost-effective Brand: Power tools of Makita are budget-friendly if compared to the similar ones made by DeWalt. However, DeWalt being a globally reputed brand, its power tools are yet much affordable.
DeWalt boasts about manufacturing some of the leading power tools that are the best-sellers across the globe. Here are the key features which substantiate the above statement:
- 20V Max XR Line: DeWalt power tools are basically equipped with brushless motors and they support Li-ion batteries of 20 Volt, ensuring improved tool performance and potential.
- Tool Connect: The latest introduction to the power tools of DeWalt states that the tools let their users to track the tool's working and performance remotely, via the Bluetooth-enabled batteries located on the power tools, and get real-time updates.
- Flexvolt: Though this has been around only for some years, Flexvolt is a substantially popular feature. Flexvolt is an exceptional battery innovation by DeWalt which is engineered to modify the voltage level whenever the user switches the battery from one power tool to the other. This voltage changing mechanism of the battery increases both its runtime and power supply.
- Shocks-Active Vibration Control: This feature is engineered to decrease the vibration level by about 50%, in order to make the tool more conveniently operable. This also reduces possibilities of frequent fatigue, if the tool is required for prolonged usage. Plus, this feature is widely common in most rotary hammers of DeWalt.
- Breakaway Blades: Considering the reciprocating saws of DeWalt from 2017 onwards, you will find the quality of its Breakaway Blade really amazing! The blade is designed with innovation which will let you break away the worn out/used up portion of the blade followed by resetting the unused section of the blade. This frees you from the hassle of changing the entire blade, each time it gets blunt or used up.
Warranty of Makita and DeWalt
Both DeWalt and Makita provide a warranty period of 3 years for their Li-Ion based cordless power tools. In case the tool fails to start due to poor material build or faulty craftsmanship (i.e., not damaging the product from your end by intentional testing of dropping the tool from a height of a ladder or something so), you will certainly get a replacement or a free repair (usually they prefer giving replacement over repair), for absolutely free of cost.
Personally, we did not deal with Makita's warranty program, so far. But considering our practical experience with DeWalt products, it might be a hard competition for Makita to beat the customer service of DeWalt. We have already dealt with DeWalt more frequently in the last few years, and have always ended up being nothing less than impressed.
Detailed Comparison of 5 Products of Makita and DeWalt
- Hammer Drills
Makita XPH10Z Hammer Drill is developed with the aim to incorporate high torque and speed within a compact power tool, thereby ensuring user convenience to handle the tool and get impressive performance.
The hammer drill operates on the 4-pole Makita motor which is developed to maximum torque of about 480 inch-pound. The drill needs 18 Volt Li-ion batteries to get started. The ability of the tool to work both as hammer driver drill and driver drill adds versatility to the Makita XPH10Z. The tool features dual-speed allowing it to operate at either (0 to 600) RPM or (0 to 1,900) RPM. Lastly, the dual LED lights on this hammer drill makes the tool fit for working in low light or dull conditions to keep the work going.
DeWalt DC985B Hammer Drill features a motor which is more efficient than Makita's, followed by an all-metal 3-speed transmission, whereas Makita XPH10Z features only two speed settings. Here are the three speed limits: (0 to 600) RPM, (0 to 1,250) RPM, and (0 to 2,000) RPM. So, you can expect a performance much better than Makita's. DeWalt DC985B is useful to conduct an array of applications.
Talking about the battery, the DeWalt hammer drill uses Li-ion batteries of 20 Volt, promising more longevity and designed to deliver 35% longer runtime compared to 18 Volt batteries. The ½ inch metal ratcheting chuck is compatible to accept bits of varied sizes and types. Also, the carbide inserts make sure of preventing bit slippage during the use. The inbuilt LED light with 20-second delay helps illuminate the work area in low light conditions.
2. Impact Drivers
Makita XDT11Z Impact Driver is engineered in a way that makes it a versatile power tool, useful for an array of industrial applications. It features a speed limit of (0 to 2,900) RPM and (0 to 3,500) IPM. The maximum torque of this impact driver is around 1,460 inch-pound. The unique four-pole motor with high power delivery, renders any fastening task a cakewalk. The product weighs only 2.8 pounds which is similar to DeWalt DCF885B. The ergonomic cum compact design of this impact driver lets you use the tool for prolonged periods with minimal fatigue feeling.
The ¼ inch hex chuck allows fast and convenient changing of driver bits, saving much of your time to invest on other activities of your project. The inbuilt LED light lets you use the tool even in low light conditions by illuminating the work space.
DeWalt DCF885B Impact Driver is a lightweight, compact, and an efficiently-built impact driver that runs with Li-ion batteries of 20 Volt. The batteries used are long lasting and ensure longer runtimes. Similar to Makita XDT11Z, DCF885B makes use of a ¼ inch hex chuck which makes bit changing possible single-handedly. Consequently, this also saves your time by reducing downtimes when bit changing is done.
The maximum torque featured is around 1,400 inch-pound which is comparatively lesser than Makita's impact driver. However, DCF885B's torque limit is yet high and workable to conduct most industrial projects. The driver features variable speed limits: (0 to 2,800) RPM and (0 to 3,200) IPM (Impacts Per Minute), making the impact driver highly impactful to carry out varied applications. Three inbuilt LED lights (with 20 seconds delay) makes working under low light conditions easier, as the LEDs illuminate the work area.
3. Reciprocating Saws
Makita XRJ04Z Reciprocating Saw features quicker and efficient cutting. The tool runs on 18 Volt fast charging, slide style Li-ion batteries. The stroke length of the saw is around 1 and ¼ inches which both accelerates the cutting speed and makes the saw more efficient.
Minimum deflection of the saw blade is ensured by a smooth crank mechanism design with reduced vibrations. The saw is backed by XPT (extreme protection technology) for improved water cum dust protection. This makes the tool an ideal option to be used even in a harsh working environment. The 2-finger trigger of the saw makes it easy to operate. The rubberized handle of the saw ensures soft grip during its use, with reduced fatigue feeling. The variable motor speed of (0 to 2,800) Stroke Per Minute is slightly lower than DeWalt DCS381B, however, it is still quite a feasible limit.
DeWalt DCS381B Reciprocating Saw weighs only ½ of the weight of Makita XRJ04Z. Other than being the most lightweight reciprocating saw, it features a faster cutting saw having a stroke length of 1 and 1/8 inches and (0 to 3,000) SPM. The saw runs on 20 Volt Li-ion batteries. Similar to Makita's reciprocating saw, DCS381B also lets tool-free blade change. The adjustable pivoting shoe increases the blade life and makes the cutting depth easy to control.
The overmold handle allows a comfortable grip on the reciprocating saw during its use for an extended period of time. The dual oil sealed shaft ensures longer life of the tool by preventing it from contamination.
4. Circular Saws
Makita XSS02Z Circular Saw features a high torque motor which delivers about 3,700 RPM, thereby ensuring faster and hassle free cutting and ripping of woods. This cordless tool runs on the 18 Volt Li-ion battery. The battery charges up faster without requiring you to wait for a whole day to get it recharged. A 6,5 inches saw blade is used which allows a maximal cutting capacity of 2 and ¼ inches. The bevel capacity ranges from (0 to 50)°, similar to DeWalt DCS393.
DeWalt DCS393 Circular Saw is the replica of Makita XSS02Z in terms of its features and performance. The weight of the both are also almost similar. So, whichever circular saw you pick between Makita and DeWalt, you are the winner either way. DeWalt DCS393 is run by a powerful motor that delivers the maximum output of 460 Watt and generates about 3,700 RPM for swift cutting. 2 and ¼ inches is its maximum cutting capacity with bevel capacity ranging from (0 to 50)°. The carbide tooth blade of 6.5 inches is sufficiently sharp to set the tool ready for instant use. Plus, the sharp edge does not dull quickly.
This circular saw features an optimized, ergonomic handle and lightweight magnesium shoe, making it easy to handle and convenient to control with the least fatigue feeling.
5. Work Lights
Makita DML185 Flashlight is the most suited option for work sites that require high illumination, that too without requiring cords. This super bright xenon flashlight delivers about 4,500-lux of luminosity translating about 180 lumens. Thereby, it is significantly brighter compared to DeWalt DCL040 which is equipped with LED bulbs. The head can be adjusted in 4 different positions, making it a versatile work light which can be used to direct light exactly to the required spot.
DeWalt DCL040 Flashlight is yet another compact work light which is also light in weight, weighing only 0.63 pound. It runs on Li-ion 20 Volt Max batteries with an uninterrupted runtime of over 11 hours. This runtime is two times more than the battery runtime of Makita DML185. 120° rotating head supporting 11 detent positions makes focusing light easier to where it is needed. The light output of the LED
bulbs is around 110 lumens which is lower than Makita DML185.
Quick Overview Comparison Table of 5 Makita Vs DeWalt Products
Winner; Makita is the clear winner in this regard. All the credit goes to the higher speeds and torque of Makita's impact driver.
Winner; Longer striking length followed by better efficiency/work output/ gives a slight edge to Makita's reciprocating saws.
Draw; both the Makita and DeWalt circular saws share similar features and potentialities in almost all regards.
Draw; both the Makita and DeWalt circular saws share similar features and potentialities in almost all regards.
Winner; Makita tops here as the xenon light of Makita is way brighter compared to DeWalt's.
It is tough to draw an ultimate conclusion by overemphasizing only one between Makita and DeWalt. You must rather focus on the quality and performance of the tools that you are looking to buy. Plus, as discussed above, you must check on the key points of both Makita and DeWalt, and then decide accordingly. Whichever company you stick to- be it DeWalt or Makita- you are not going to be a loser as both the brands are currently leading across the globe as the top industry leaders with a user-base of about millions of DIY enthusiasts, occasional hobbyists, pro-grade woodworkers and contractors, etc.
Purchasing the combo kits of either Makita or DeWalt will only save your budget, while ensuring that you have everything that is required in your work. If you ask for a quick suggestion, then Makita's XT505 combo kit is the one to go for at first place. However, the DeWalt DCK590L2 is yet another amazing combo kit which you certainly will not regret purchasing. Well, there are many other good combo kits marketed by both the brands. So, you can go for any of those as well, in case you do not find the above two preferences useful to your purpose or those do not have the tools that you are looking for.