Makita vs Milwaukee | Which is Better? | 2023
If you want power tools that will cope with regular use and provide you with the best results, you need to think carefully about which brands you will be buying from. Nowadays, there are countless manufacturers offering a full range of power tool products, ranging from entry-level cordless screwdrivers to specialist mechanical tools for use in professional settings. Makita and Milwaukee are two of the biggest players in the power tool market, with both manufacturers offering a particularly sizeable product range.
Both brands are good options for the average DIY enthusiast and professional contractor alike, but if you intend to spend a considerable amount of money, understanding the plus points and downsides of both brands is important. Our comparison guide has all the things you need to know about what makes each of these two brands so appealing, allowing you to make an easy choice after comparing Makita vs Milwaukee.
Makita is an instantly recognisable name in the power tool world. This Japanese manufacturer has been around for some time now, starting life in 1915. Originally, Makita was more synonymous with repair services. However, it has since emerged as a premier authority in the power tool market. Makita has continued to establish its dominance in the power tool market and today offers a huge variety of tools, ranging from cordless screwdrivers and motorised saws to more professional-level products. Although Makita tends to be the best option for amateurs looking for power tools that can be used for everyday DIY tasks, they do offer high-grade products that can be used in professional and industrial settings.
Milwaukee is another popular power tool brand. Founded in 1918 in Wisconsin, Milwaukee has been producing power drills for more than a century. Although power drills have always been a speciality of this manufacturer, it has long since expanded to produce a huge inventory of power tools for the consumer market.
One area of the market that Milwaukee dominated for a while was portable power tools. It was one of the first manufacturers to produce portable drills and smaller power tool products and has continued to enjoy a healthy reputation in this sector. Although amateurs will find plenty of suitable products on offer from Milwaukee, the brand is a trusted source of equipment for professionals looking for high-capacity output and extended warranties.
When it comes to product ranges, both Milwaukee and Makita offer an exceptional amount of variety. Both manufacturers currently produce hundreds of individual products, meaning you will not have trouble finding a suitable tool for your project or professional applications.
Historically, Makita tended to produce power tools for the construction market. However, in recent decades, the brand has expanded its product portfolio to include a huge selection of impact drivers, rotary hammers, drills, saws and more. It also produces a significant amount of safety gear and accessories that can be used across their product range. Nowadays, Makita’s product portfolio leans more toward the everyday, with most products designed for the amateur. However, those seeking something more sophisticated for professional and industrial applications will not be disappointed.
Milwaukee also does not disappoint when it comes to an impressive product portfolio. Although the company cut its teeth with power drills, the current product range includes impact drivers, drills, screwdrivers, saws, sanders, nail guns and much more. Although the DIY market is amply provided for, Milwaukee is also a good option for the professional looking for more advanced equipment. The MX FUEL product line from Milwaukee includes a wide variety of products designed for trade-specific use. This includes refined measurement tools, premium safety products and heavy-duty power tools that can be put through its paces on a daily basis.
Although both manufacturers have a sizeable product offering, top marks have to go to Milwaukee for its broader range of products. In addition to power tools for the average consumer, the trade-specific tools and instruments offered by this brand gives it the edge over Makita and other competing brands.
Durability & Quality
In terms of overall quality, both Milwaukee and Makita deliver where it counts. However, before comparing quality between the two brands, it is worth remembering that these manufacturers are geared toward different sections of the market. Makita’s products are designed with the amateur in mind, so while product quality is good overall, it does not hold up to some of the more premium options on offer from Milwaukee.
While Milwaukee’s entry-level products and everyday power tool lines are relatively close in quality to what Makita has to offer, the difference shows when you consider Milwaukee’s higher end lines. You will certainly notice a marked improvement on quality when assessing Milwaukee’s mechanical lines and trade-specific products. However, the asking price for such products is significantly higher, so the improved quality is not surprising.
Warranties and Guarantees
When selecting power tools for home projects and professional use, warranties are important. The average consumer will not be worried too much about extended warranties, but professionals looking for power tools to use on a regular basis will certainly want to the guarantee of an extended warranty.
Makita keeps things simple when it comes to warranties. The majority of Makita’s products come with a 3-year limited warranty. This not only covers most of their power tool products, but also extends to things like tool accessories, battery units and chargers. While this warranty period is somewhat shorter than what you might get from other brands, it is still fairly impressive and should provide you with plenty of buying confidence. It also gives you a general idea of how much operational life you can expect from a standard product from this Japanese manufacturer.
Milwaukee’s approach to warranties is more comprehensive. The most basic power tools from this brand can include a limited warranty that provides you with just a single year of coverage, although some products include warranties that extend well beyond that. In some cases, you will find Milwaukee power tool products with lifetime warranties attached. Admittedly, these lifetime warranties are usually reserved for premium products and trade-specific tools. If you are a professional contractor looking for quality power tools you can count on, Milwaukee is without doubt the best option.
How Do They Compare?
No matter whether you are an amateur looking for a power tool to finish a DIY project or a professional on the hunt for advanced equipment, you are bound to find something from both manufacturers that interests you. However, both Makita and Milwaukee have distinct appeal.
If you are new to the realm of DIY and home improvement, Makita is probably worth investigating first. The relatively affordable asking prices of most of its products will sit well with those looking to keep to a modest budget. The general design of Makita’s power tools are also well suited t the amateur. Makita power tools will perform well for most DIY and low-level construction jobs, with robust builds and user-friendly controls. Despite being geared toward the beginner and mid-level user, Makita does not neglect the professional. Just bear in mind you will have limited options when it comes to high-grade power tools when buying from this manufacturer.
If you are a professional looking for high-end tools that can cope with more demanding tasks, Milwaukee is the better manufacturer to go with. The overall product depth from Milwaukee is slightly larger, with a greater emphasis on high-end power tools that can cope with more heavy-duty applications. Milwaukee tools are generally more powerful, faster and come loaded with more features. You will also benefit from better overall quality, with extended warranties attached to products to ensure you are not left having to fork out for a costly fix or replacement sooner than you should. Of course, all of this comes with an additional cost, but the higher prices are justified.
When weighing up the pros and cons of Makita and Milwaukee, it is easy to make a choice between the two brands. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself what your power tool requirements are. If you only need a small compact drill or screwdriver for casual jobs like assembling furniture or keeping on top of minor repair tasks, Makita’s product range should provide you with more than enough choice. This manufacturer is not only affordable, but offers a full product portfolio. You will also find decent warranties attached to all products.
If you can afford to spend more on power tools, buying from Milwaukee is a better option. Although power tools from this brand are generally more costly, you certainly get what you pay for. Milwaukee offers a huge range of power tool products and accessories, with premium features, advanced power and speeds, as well as superior safety features.
Although you should be prepared to spend more on your power tool purchases from Milwaukee, you will also benefit from much more comprehensive warranties, with some products coming with a lifetime guarantee. This means you can quickly get repairs carried out or replacement products shipped to you should you run into any issues. However, due to their quality, you are unlikely to encounter problems with Milwaukee power tools.