When it comes to buying or replacing one of your power tools, there are two brands you can trust: Makita and Milwaukee. While knowing that Makita and Milwaukee are famous in the world of power tools, handymen will still ask the natural question: which brand is better? 

Both brands have an excellent rap for offering high-quality tools for experts and savvy DIYers. Their products are reasonably priced and deliver a good blend of features. 

If you are in the market for a power tool and are confused between Makita and Milwaukee, this post will compare both brands to help you make an informed decision when buying power tools. 

Makita History

Established in Japan in 1915 as an electric repair company, Makita is among the oldest power tools manufacturing companies. Initially, they specialized in repairing old generators and other electric equipment until 1958, when they designed their first-ever power tool, the electric planer.

The electric planer saw a great success, which pushed Makita to continue manufacturing power tools, and over the years, continued to offer quality tools to mid-level price buyers. 

In 1978, Makita became the first power tool company to make cordless models to their range. The company continued improving on its expanding catalog of power tools, and with a vast range of products, Makita grew on a global scale. To conveniently reach their customer, they started opening manufacturing and assembly plants in other countries. 

Today, Makita is known for making excellent mid-range tools and manufactures in 8 different countries worldwide. They are continuously increasing their power tools portfolio and offer all sorts of power tools, cordless tools, and gas-powered equipment for average homeowners, DIYers, and woodworkers. 

Today, the company is known for fabricating a wide range of mid-range power tools, mowers, blowers, generators, and cordless tools. You cannot go wrong with their products. 

Milwaukee History

Milwaukee’s history dates back to 1918 during the American automotive tycoon Henry Ford approached Wisconsin manufacturer A. H. Petersen to manufacture the famed one-handed power drill known as “Hole Shooter”. Precisely, Henry Ford was looking for a fabricator to produce a compact, lightweight, and portable power drill. 

Unfortunately, it shut down following a destructive fire that was followed by a deep recession. In the following, Petersen’s business partner, A.F. Siebert, bought the remaining assets at auction, and the new development gave birth to the present Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation

While Siebert’s chief object was to perfect the design of the Hole Shooter so that it realizes its full potential of sales, Milwaukee’s story didn’t end here. The company continued to develop handy tools that also achieved significant market success. 

Later in the years, the company managed notable milestones, designing products like Sawzall reciprocating saw, right-angled drill, and advanced grinders/sander. They also designed the miter saw lines and 18V cordless power tool that also achieved great market success. 

Unlike Makita, Milwaukee focused on its own North American market until 2002, when its tools were officially introduced to Europe. By 2005, Milwaukee pioneered the use of lithium-ion batteries in power tools and equipment. 

Today, Milwaukee power tools are largely used and loved for their unequaled quality and durability. The company has established a global presence and has production plants in China, Europe, and the United States.

Milwaukee has a line of products featuring over 500 power tools and 3,000+ accessories primarily meant for professionals. The company manufactures all your favorite tools, and you are guaranteed unrivaled quality. 

Differences Between Makita and Milwaukee

The Makita and Milwaukee debate is always a heated one because both brands are colossal conglomerates with numerous manufacturing industries worldwide. 

Makita serves the average user with budget-friendly products that come with standard warranties. In comparison, Milwaukee has a broader product portfolio designed for all types of users. With Milwaukee power tools, you can be sure of the quality, and, unlike Makita, they offer different sets of warranties, ranging from one year to a lifetime. 

While both are excellent brands, most Milwaukee products pack more power and higher speeds that’s enough to handle larger projects in the construction industry. 

So, which brand is better?

1. Durability

Power tools are the heart of any workshop. As such, they need to be durable and with reliable speeds to work effectively. 

When it comes to durability, Milwaukee is known for making some of the most reliable, heavy-duty, and durable power tools and accessories since its beginning. Their focus on quality has never changed to this day. As such, it is safe to say that they make arguably the hardest tools in the industry. 

In comparison, Makita focuses on making quality tools that are affordable for an average user. While their tools cannot rival the durability of Milwaukee products, they are not badly off. 

If you want a good-quality tool that is reasonably priced, Makita products are a great option for you. On the other hand, Milwaukee wins where durability is a major concern. Even better, Milwaukee products are more powerful. 

2. Price Comparison

Quality and price often appear in the same sentence. With Milwaukee products being of higher quality, more durable, and speedy, you can expect them to be pricey. 

Over the decades, Milwaukee power tools have fallen into the higher-end category with premium price tags. Makita, on the other hand, has been striving to compete with Milwaukee and has made quite good progress. All in all, Makita tools are relatively cheaper, with price tags 10 to 20% cheaper than Milwaukee’s.

However, the price factor should not be the only basis for making a final decision when buying your power tools. Although you can be limited by your budget, Makita products are perfect for beginner and sem-pros.

So, do your due diligence to make sure you are getting a powerful tool for your project at a reasonable price. The most sound decision should put into account your project needs, the power speed you can handle, and personal preferences.

3. Warranty Comparison

Most companies offer warranties for their products, and both Makita and Milwaukee are not different. With both brands, you get a reasonable warranty on each power product you buy. 

Talking about their differences, Makita offers a standard warranty on all their tools across the board. As such, every Makita power tool you buy will only come with a standard 3-year warranty (unless they decide to change that in the future). 

On the other hand, Milwaukee has a different form of offering warranties. Every single product sold has a unique warranty that ranges anywhere from a year to a lifetime warranty. The Milwaukee company has a list of company products and warranties on its website, which is updated frequently. You can visit the website to see the warranty of the tool you are planning to buy.

The most exciting thing is that Milwaukee gives a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects on its products. This pair with their up-to-lifetime warranties, making it a winner in the warranty category.

4. Cordless Tools and Equipment 

When talking about outdoor power equipment, Makita was the first power tool company to manufacture cordless models, while Milwaukee is the first-ever company to use lithium-ion batteries in power tools and outdoor equipment. 

Makita has heavily invested in cordless tools and equipment over the years. In 1991, they even acquired Dolmar, a very high-quality German manufacturer of gas-powered gardening, forestry, and agriculture equipment, to realize their goal of being one of the best producers of cordless power tools. 

In comparison, Milwaukee has never produced tools or equipment that use petrol for energy. All the same, they ventured into battery-powered alternatives called MX fuel. The idea behind this venture, featuring higher voltage tools, was to allow cordless power tools to penetrate areas previously reserved for corded machines. 

Considering that Makita heavily focuses on gas-powered tools and has also ventured into battery-powered tools, while their rivals, Milwaukee, have ventured only into battery-powered tools, it becomes very hard to compare them. All in all, both brands have powerful cordless tools and equipment for all skill levels.

As for their cordless products, the key difference is probably their durability features. Although Makita tends to offer better technical features across their tools, the difference is minuscule. 

Although already evident, it may be worth noting that when it comes to gas-powered outdoor equipment, there can only be one winner: Makita. 

5. Corded Tools and Equipment

Makita has an impressively wide range of corded tools and equipment. Typically, every single conceivable power tool is featured in the vast range of items with 240V and 110V for use at your worksite.

Bearing in mind that Makita started its operations as an electric motor manufacturer, you will not be surprised to see them maintain their heritage up to date.

Other than using first-grade materials to produce their motor, the company carries out up to 19 tests on each product to ensure quality and can perform work effectively and efficiently before being disposed of to the market.

On the other hand, Milwaukee has not greatly advanced in the corded tools and seems to be deflating as time moves. It is predominant of larger hammers, saws, breakers, and grinders. Milwaukee admits to having majored on battery-powered equipment; therefore, as the corded range keeps diminishing, the cordless keeps on thriving.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Makita Battery Charges Last Under Constant Use?

The average time that your Makita battery charges will last depends on the size of the battery (the charge it can hold), your speed setting, and the tool you are using. For instance, on average, an 18V 5 amp battery will keep the Makita drill running for around 30 minutes when using the 4-speed setting.

What is the Difference Between White and Blue Makita?

Other than the color difference, the blue and white Makita differ greatly in battery charge capability. The blue Makita is fitted with a 3Ah battery, while the white has a 2.5Ah battery. However, the white can accept the 3Ah battery and function quite well.

What is the Difference Between Makita DDF and DHP?

The key difference between Makita DDF and DHP is that DHP seems to be a DDF with precisely the same specs plus a hammer action. As such, they have a slight weight difference, typically about 50 gm. 

Drills, including those with a drilling and torque adjustable screwdriver setting, are all prefixed DDF. 

What is the Difference Between Black and Green Makita?

Makita colors typically differentiate the batteries they come with. Usually meant for contractors, the black is for their brushless models, which are the size of 12V drills but pack the power of the 18V lineup. In comparison, green models are the LXT brushed models. 

Why is Milwaukee More Expensive Than Makita?

Milwaukee manufactures some of the best power tools and equipment in the market. The brand has a reputation for manufacturing very reliable and durable products, a reason why their products are relatively pricier.

Compared to Makita, Milwaukee also has a broader range of products crafted for professionals. 

What Does it Mean When a Milwaukee Battery Flashes?

When the red flashing indicator light of the Milwaukee battery flashes, it generally means that the battery is too hot for it to charge properly. Giving your battery time to cool should help resolve the problem. 

If the flashing continues when the battery is cool, there’s a chance that it is defective. 

Why are Milwaukee Tools so Popular?

Milwaukee tools have proven to be some of the most innovative, reliable, and highest performing in the industry. They are also incredibly durable. 

What’s the Difference Between Milwaukee Fuel and Regular Milwaukee?

The Milwaukee M18 regular products have a brushed motor, while the Milwaukee M18 Fuel has a brushless motor. The brushless technology is basically for higher performance, increased runtime, and increased motor lifespan.

Conclusion

Makita and Milwaukee are both excellent brands with a good rap in producing high-quality tools and equipment. Their tools have in-built safety features that are sure to keep you safe when working. Because their tools come with remarkable technical features, your choice of tool will depend on your projects, skill level, and, of course, preference.

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