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When it comes to buying power tools you might be surprised by the number of brands available. Now don’t get us wrong there are plenty of brands to choose from, but likely not as many as you may first think. This brings us to our comparison of Makita vs Milwaukee power tools.
Both these brands are available around the world and are very popular. Anyone who has shopped for a power tool has likely seen Makita and Milwaukee tools. But which one is better? Both Makita and Milwaukee occupy the same marketplace (to a point), namely mid-range power tools suitable for home and professional use.
But it would be foolish to say they are the same. We’ll be comparing both Makita and Milwaukee and look at everything you need to know including those all-important pros and cons. As well as any unique attributes/ features of each brand.
So, let’s start by taking a look at their main differences.
Main Differences Between Makita vs Milwaukee
The main differences between Makita vs Milwaukee are:
- Makita have petrol-powered tools, whereas Milwaukee doesn’t have any petrol-powered tools
- Makita’s tools are generally more budget-friendly, whereas Milwaukee are more premium.
- Makita tools are more basic, whereas Milwaukee’s are generally more durable and feature-packed
- Makita’s range of corded tools is quite large, whereas Milwaukee offers more cordless options.
Exploring Makita and Milwaukee Power Tools
Makita and Milwaukee do have plenty in common but to fully uncover which is better we’ll need to take an in-depth look at both brands. Let’s start out with Makita.
A Look At Makita
Founded in 1915 Makita is one of Japan’s leading power tool manufacturers. However, when it was founded it had a very different focus namely manufacturing and repairing light fixtures and transformers.
It wasn’t until the late 1950’s that Makita actually produced their first tools. After seeing success in the power tool market Makita began a new direction and started producing more electric power tools.
During the 1970s Makita slowly began expanding its power tool operations around the globe. Makita also has an interesting claim to fame because they were the first manufacturer to introduce cordless power tools!
Many people think Dewalt holds this accolade. And while it was their designs for cordless power tools that revolutionized the market, Makita was still the first to try and this shows they definitely had an innovative approach to their tools.
A Look At Milwaukee
Milwaukee was founded in 1924, this American power tool manufacturer was based in well you guessed it Milwaukee! Unlike Makita, Milwaukee was primarily US-based for a long time and it wasn’t till after the new millennium that it really began expanding.
When it was purchased by the Swedish tools and equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco in 1995 it began plans to expand. Milwaukee tools were first made available in Germany in 2002 for example.
However, in 2005 Milwaukee was sold to Techtronic Industries (also known as TTI) and slowly continued its expansion. Milwaukee has a very strong emphasis on its professional applications when it comes to its advertisements.
But they do have offerings for other uses as well such as hobbies and home DIY. So, that is a brief look at Makita and Milwaukee let’s now take a look at what tools they offer, shall we?
What Tools Are Available?
Makita offers a wide range of different tools from things like rotary hammers, drills, nailers, cutters, circular saws, and much more. Makita has a strong emphasis on corded power tools but that doesn’t mean they don’t have cordless options available.
Milwaukee’s power tool offerings may seem smaller at first glance. However, they still offer an impressive range of products including drills, grinders, rotary hammers, ratchets, and more. Milwaukee also offers a range of outdoor tools like saws, hedge trimmers, sprayers, and blowers.
Milwaukee also has more cordless options available as well with many of their flagship tools being cordless. Overall the Makita range of products is larger but also a little more confusing. For example, let’s say you want to buy a drill you’ll find plenty of options at Makita.
But learning which is the best option isn’t always going to be easy, especially for the average consumer. Whereas Milwaukee has more easily split their drills into different categories so people can more easily find what they’re looking for. But both manufacturers certainly offer all the tools most people could need.
Both Makita and Milwaukee have a good reputation for their build quality. However, you may still need to purchase some safety gear depending on what you’re using the tools for. Milwaukee and Makita do also offer their own range of safety equipment as well.
While I’m sure most people reading this already know it’s still important to highlight that proper safety guidelines should always be followed. Whether you opt for Makita or Milwaukee ensure you are always following proper safety procedures.
Well, let’s face it the cost is going to be the deciding factor for many people. So, we can’t really look at Makita vs Milwaukee power tools, without examining the cost, can we? In general, Makita is going to be the more budget-friendly option.
Milwaukee power tools are on average more premium. However, this will depend on the tool you are buying. But some of Makita’s tools are also similarly priced to Milwaukee’s.
Features Unique to Makita Tools
Larger Variety of Tools
Perhaps one of the biggest features unique to Makita is that they simply offer a larger variety of tools when compared to Milwaukee for example their expansive range of drills includes the XPH107, XPH11ZB, and XFD12Z.
And that is just a few of the drills in that range. While Milwaukee is often thought of as the more premium/professional option you’ll still find a huge selection of power tools available at Makita including specialist options.
Standard 3-Year Warranty
Another interesting feature unique to Makita is that they offer a standard 3-year warranty with all their power tools.
Petrol Power Tools
Makita does offer some petrol-powered tools like chainsaws. But the majority of their tools are still electric. But if you’re looking for petrol-powered tools, Makita is definitely worth considering.
Features Unique to Milwaukee Tools
No Petrol Options
A unique attribute to Milwaukee is that they offer no petrol options when it comes to their range of power tools. But if you want a more eco-friendly option then Milwaukee could be for you.
Strong Focus on Durability
Milwaukee has placed a strong emphasis on the strength/ durability of all its power tools. If you have ever had one of those nightmare scenarios where a brand new tool has broken after just an hour then Milwaukee is well worth considering. The reputation for their tool’s great durability is well-known amongst professionals.
Rather than offering a standard warranty Milwaukee’s warranties vary quite a lot. Many of their tools offer a standard 2-year warranty however some are shorter. Some of their tools have a much longer warranty as well, including a few that have lifetime warranties.
The warranty is always valuable when buying a power tool, so if you do choose Milwaukee be sure to check out how much time you get.
- An expansive range of power tools
- Some very budget-friendly options
- A 3-year warranty as standard
- May not always be suitable for professional use
- The amount of products could easily confuse people
- Power tools are very durable
- Many of their products are suitable for professional use
- Have a reputation for high-quality
- Some products have a limited warranty
- Generally a more premium option price-wise
A Look At Makita Tools
We can’t really compare Makita and Milwaukee without taking a look at some of their products, can we? First, let’s take a look at some of the tools available from Makita.
The Makita XDT15ZB is a lightweight and comfortable impact driver. With its compact shape and innovative assist mode, it’s ideal for beginners to use. It’s also a more budget-friendly option as well. For more information check out our look into the best Makita drivers.
The Makita 6952 2.3 amp impact driver might be a bit of a mouthful but it’s a high-quality, lightweight, compact tool. While it’s certainly easy to handle and quite powerful it does lack some features like a torque adjustment. Check out our look into the best Makita drivers for more information.
A Look At Milwaukee Tools
We’ve taken a look at some of the tools available from Makita. Let’s compare them with Milwaukee.
The Deep Cut Dual-Trigger 2729S-22 band saw is a durable, portable, and powerful tool. With a 5 x 5 cutting capacity and built-in LED lights this saw offers excellent safety features. However, at nearly 14 lbs in weight, this saw could be hard to use especially for extended periods of time.
Find out more, with our look at the best Milwaukee band saws.
The Milwaukee M18 is compact and lightweight which makes it ideal for tight places. But don’t let the small size fool you either as it offers 2000 in/lbs of torque. This makes it very quick however be warned it is a very noisy power tool.
Find out more with our look at the best Milwaukee impact drivers.
Are There Any Alternatives?
While we are looking at Makita and Milwaukee primarily we should also take a look at some of the alternative power tool brands.
DeWalt is a very popular power tool manufacturer with a wide range of products including saws, drills, sanders, nailers, and more. DeWalt is very popular with professional tradesmen but they are also a common choice for home DIY projects as well. Take a look at our DeWalt DW745 review to see our opinion on some of their products.
Ryobi is another Japanese power tool manufacturer that is popular in America with many of their products being available in stores like Home Depot. They are primarily focused on home-DIY projects making them a good choice for non-professionals looking for high-quality power tools.
Frequently Asked Questions About Makita vs Milwaukee
Answer: Makita offers a standard 3-year warranty on all their products. However, Milwaukee instead offers a different warranty depending on the tool you buy. Many of their products have a standard 2-year warranty. But some tools do offer longer warranties while some are shorter. So, make sure you inspect the warranty closely.
Answer: Both Makita and Milwaukee tools are very safe to use as long as you use them responsibly. This means reading their safety manuals and when needed using the proper safety equipment. For more information about safety gear check out our guide.
Answer: Both Makita and Milwaukee tools are suitable for beginners. However, you may find Makita tools to generally be a little simpler and easier to handle. But as long as you read the manual and follow proper direction, using/ handling tools from either manufacturer should be quite easy.
Our Verdict: Makita vs Milwaukee Power Tools
So, what’s our opinion on Makita vs Milwaukee? Well, the good news is both manufacturers are certainly viable options. But while they have similarities, they are both unique in their own way as well.
Makita is likely going to be the better option for anyone looking for a general power tool for a home DIY project. For example, their simple electric drill and jigsaw are high-quality products ideal for home DIY.
They have an extensive range of power tools available although could do with more cordless options in our opinion. Milwaukee on the other hand is going to be the better option for industry professionals or people looking for a more durable tool.
Their cordless rotary hammer and fuel high torque are great examples of this. Milwaukee on average is also likely going to be the premium option though, so make sure you take that into account.
Overall both Makita and Milwaukee are easy to recommend but it all depends on what you really want. If you’re doing some home DIY work and aren’t likely to be using your tools a lot then Makita could be the better option.
Whereas industry professionals and people who use their tools more frequently will likely find Milwaukee the better choice. Both brands have their place in the power tool market though and while there is some overlap either option would make a fine choice for the average consumer.