When it comes to the never-ending debate of Makita vs DeWalt, the answer isn’t so simple. Your personal preferences and needs play a significant role in making the right choice. However, understanding the histories and offerings of these two power tool giants can help you make an informed decision and ensure that your hard-earned money is well spent.
A Brief History of Makita and DeWalt
Makita Company History
Makita has a long and rich history that dates back to 1915 when it was founded by Mosaburo Makita in Nagoya, Japan. Initially specializing in car sales and repairs, Makita made a significant breakthrough in 1958 with the introduction of their first power tool, the Portable Planer. This was soon followed by the introduction of their first circular saws and drills in 1962.
Over the years, Makita continued to innovate and expand their product line. In 1978, they introduced their first cordless tool, a 7.2V cordless drill. By 1987, Makita had an impressive lineup of 15 compatible tools under their cordless line, with a more powerful 9.6V series featuring 10 tools.
In 1985, Makita expanded its operations to the United States with the establishment of Makita Corporation of America in Buford, Georgia.
Makita’s commitment to innovation didn’t stop there. They introduced the first brushless motor fastening tool for the defense and aerospace industries in 2004. In 2009, they launched their first brushless impact driver, and in 2015, they celebrated the 100th compatible tool for their 18V LXT series.
DeWalt’s journey began in 1924 when Raymond DeWalt founded the DeWalt Products Company in Leola, Pennsylvania. Their first product, the “Wonder Worker,” was a versatile saw that could be configured in nine different ways. The company also introduced a dedicated mortiser.
In 1949, the American Machine Foundry acquired DeWalt, and in 1960, they sold it to Black & Decker. In 1992, DeWalt made a mark in the power tool industry by introducing their original line of portable power tools specifically designed for residential contractors and professional woodworkers. Over the years, DeWalt expanded their cordless lineup to include 30 tools and quickly became a leader in the 14.4V power game. They also claimed to have the first combo drill/driver/hammer drill.
DeWalt continued to innovate and expand its product range. In 2000, they acquired Momentum Laser, Inc. and Emglo Compressor Company. In 2010, they introduced their first 12V max tools and switched to 20V max Li-Ion tools a year later. They incorporated brushless motors into their lineup in 2013 and brought manufacturing back to the US while still using global materials.
DeWalt introduced their Tool Connect system in 2015 and followed it up with FlexVolt multi-voltage technology in 2016. With FlexVolt, they were able to develop tools that provided higher speed and torque by pairing them with a FlexVolt battery. They also introduced the DeWalt FlexVolt Advantage tool, which further enhanced the performance of 20V tools when used with a FlexVolt battery.
Makita vs DeWalt Ownership
Who owns Makita?
In a nutshell, Makita owns Makita. The company acquired Dolmar in 1991 and fully integrated it into the Makita brand name. Makita shares trade on the over-the-counter market.
Who owns DeWalt?
DeWalt is part of the SBD (Stanley Black and Decker) Group, which boasts a wide portfolio of brands. Some notable brands within the group include Black & Decker, Bostitch, Craftsman, and Lenox, among many others. Stanley Black and Decker is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and also owns a 20% stake in MTD Products.
Makita vs DeWalt Locations
Makita U.S. and Global Sites
Makita’s global headquarters is located in Anjo, Japan. In the United States, Makita has a presence in Buford, Georgia, with additional headquarters in La Miranda, California. They also have sites in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and Dallas and Wilmer, Texas. In total, Makita has 10 factories located in 8 different countries, including Brazil, China, Mexico, Romania, the UK, Germany, Dubai, Thailand, and the US.
DeWalt U.S. and Global Sites
DeWalt, part of the Stanley Black and Decker Group, is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. They have manufacturing plants located in New Britain, Connecticut; Hampstead, Maryland; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Greenfield, Indiana; Chiro, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Jackson, Tennessee. DeWalt also utilizes components made in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the USA.
Makita vs DeWalt: Making the Choice
Both Makita and DeWalt are highly respected and well-rounded professional-grade power tool brands. While it’s impossible to compare them in every tool category, we can look at some popular ones:
Makita vs DeWalt Hammer Drill
Both Makita and DeWalt offer excellent options in the 18V/20V Max and 12V categories. In head-to-head tests, DeWalt tends to perform slightly better. However, it’s worth noting that the latest model from Makita, the XPH14, hasn’t been tested yet. Here’s a comparison of their flagship models:
|DeWalt 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage DCD999||Makita 18V LXT XPH14|
|Maximum speed||2250 rpm||2100 rpm|
|Maximum torque||1219 Chapter||1250 in-lbs|
|Blow rate||38,250 times/min||31,500 times/min|
|Length||8.4 inches||7 inches|
|Weight (with battery)||5.9 lbs||6 pounds|
In terms of functionality, DeWalt’s DCD999 is tool-ready to connect, offering a 3-speed drill compared to Makita’s 2-speed option. Keep in mind that the best performance with DeWalt is achieved with FlexVolt batteries, which are very powerful. If you prefer lighterweight tools, you may have to sacrifice some performance.
Makita vs DeWalt Impact Driver
In the impact driver category, Makita tends to have the edge. Their flagship models are more compact, lighter, and outperformed DeWalt in tests. However, DeWalt offers app-based Tool Connect systems for customization and tracking, while Makita has built-in assist modes that don’t require an app. Here’s a comparison of their top models:
|DeWalt 20V Max Tool Connect DCF888||Makita 18V LXT XDT16|
|Maximum speed||3250 rpm||3600 rpm|
|Maximum torque||1825 lb-in||1600 in-lbs|
|Length||5.3 inches||4.6 inches|
|Weight||2.0 lbs||1.9 lbs|
DeWalt’s Tool Connect system allows for customization and provides comprehensive diagnostic information through the app. Makita offers various assist modes that do not require an app, including two self-tapping screw modes and a slow start assist mode.
Makita vs DeWalt Impact Wrench
Makita has a more extensive range of cordless impact wrenches compared to DeWalt, although both brands cover a similar range. Makita’s lineup ranges from compact to a 3/4-inch