Milwaukee or Makita?

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Forum topic by DMiller posted 12-29-2017 03:54 AM 1627 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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537 posts in 1282 days

12-29-2017 03:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tools comparison makita milwaukee

Recently i’ve been wondering- is Makita or Milwaukee a better brand overall? I personally am a biased Makita fan; but recently iv’e been wondering- is it really better, or not? I was reading some reviews about the two brands where the author, even though comparing the two, was obviously biased toward one or the other. One thing i’ve noticed- Milwaukee does significantly have a lot higher price tag than Makita. What are all of your’re opinions? I’m not in the market to buy another tool, I just thought it would be interesting to see all of your thoughts. Any ideas or thoughts about the two are appreciated. Thanks! DMiller

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

23 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2295 days

#1 posted 12-29-2017 04:17 AM

I used the makita everyday for many years until recently. Solid tools. The sawzall worked well. Never had to do anything to the impact but change brushes. I went through a drill every year or 2. They left a lot to be desired but for a 100$ Bare tool it still earned its keep. The batteries were ok. They usually didn’t last me more than 2-3 years trying to get every ounce out of them. The plastic wasn’t exactly heavy duty but it was just enough to take a solid beating and hold itself together.

I’ve only used the new Milwaukee 20v tools since July and they are impressive. From speeds on the impact to battery indicators to the heft, which is also a negative in a way but that’s the cost of a heavy duty tool.

For stuff around the house I’d buy a makita. It’ll take 6” holesaws for can lights it you take it easy and handle anything else you throw it out on the occasions. Occasions being the key word. No way in hell I’d spend Milwaukee money for once or twice a week at most stuff. Not even for side jobs I do.

I have no doubt the Milwaukee would outlast makita. But they cost.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4457 days

#2 posted 12-29-2017 04:38 AM

Milwaukee or DeWalt might be tougher in
falling off ladders and other rough treatment
situations. You’ll find stuff like all steel chucks
on the drills and more metal inside that bring
the weight up. I heard years ago that DeWalt
used steel gears while Makita’s were plastic
but these days it wouldn’t surprise me if
plastic gears are common in all the brands.

Makita and Bosch tools are a bit lighter in my
experience. All 4 brands are great quality overall.
Sometimes they introduce drills as promotional
items at greatly reduced prices that look a lot
like the main line tools but aren’t the same
quality. Makita used to have a green line,
maybe they still do, and it wasn’t as good
as the blue stuff. Bosch has a cheaper line too
but I don’t think it’s sold in the usa.

I had some older 18v NiCad Milwaukee stuff
and it was built real well. I’ve seen complaints
that since the production is all in China now
the brand isn’t what it used to be, but that can
be said of most of them. Either buyers are a lot
pickier or it’s gotten really hard to build a miter
saw that cuts true and hits a price point these
days. It seems like all the brands are producing

View Woodknack's profile


13442 posts in 3189 days

#3 posted 12-29-2017 05:21 AM

I have no idea which is better but I own Makita and it has never let me down. My impression of Makita is their individual tools may not be the “best” in any category but the brand is consistent and dependable. From casually reading construction and woodworking forums, my impression is that Milwaukee has a lot more doodads and whizbangs that appeal to younger guys but quality control is inconsistent. That’s just my impression from reading other people’s experiences. In reality I think both are good quality brands. I was leaning Makita and got a ridiculously amazing deal on a new Makita set, good living I guess. If the same deal had been offered on Dewalt or Milwaukee instead, I would be a proud owner of those brands.

-- Rick M,

View Tony_S's profile


1336 posts in 3892 days

#4 posted 12-29-2017 01:43 PM

My impression of Makita is their individual tools may not be the “best” in any category but the brand is consistent and dependable.
- Rick_M

I’ve got a shop full of guys that (inevitably)abuse the hell out of a shop full of Makita power tools, cordless and corded.
They hold up amazingly well. When they do occasionally shat the bed, Makita always has parts in stock, and thier repair center always has a quick turnover.
Milwaukee tools from my experience, are damn good tools for the most part, but not enough to justify the price difference IMO.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2660 days

#5 posted 12-29-2017 01:49 PM

I have had both brands for many years, long enough to see them evolve a lot. The two companies are very competitive for top tier tools. Some years the cordless technology is better with one vs. the other. Usually in corded tool technology they are very similar. IMO For cordless drills, it’s a toss up if you go with the brushless technology. I wont use any others at present. For routers the nod (right now) goes to Milwaukee for corded and Makita for cordless. Makita gets the nod on miter saws. I like the Milwaukee jig saws better and my Sawzall just won’t die no matter what I do to it. Circle saws are a real toss up as it depends on how you usually use your saw and how often. Right now I actually prefer the Bosch as it is lighter and has some nice things for the framer. Makita makes some great compressors. I’m not a big fan of Dewalt, however they are pretty durable tools and their miter saws are as good as anyone else.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1313 days

#6 posted 12-29-2017 01:55 PM

All of my rechargeable stuff is Milwaukee… I also have a tool they make called a “hole hog” which works very nice for what it is for. Just a big slow angle drill for plumbing. Some of the Makita stuff seems a little under powered to me, then again some of it is conveniently small too.
I do have one Makita tool that I would not trade for anything….my hypoid saw. I occasionally do brick work and this is Makitas’ version of a worm drive saw. I have put death on this saw for 20 years cutting masonry products and even heavy aluminum sheet metal and it is just like new. I don’t think I have ever used it to cut wood.

View Knockonit's profile


685 posts in 1011 days

#7 posted 12-29-2017 02:19 PM

I’ve a mixture of milwaukee and makita on four different trucks, i’m on the fence, as to which is worth the price point, mostly because i have had no intimate control on usage, charging ect. Both products have had issues, but again, can’t tell if neglect or usage related. I moved away from dewalt due to battery issues, and just plain product failure. tried the ryobi, they are on all trucks as a basic stand by.
in my own shop i have a mixture of dewalts (left overs from the field) couple ryobis, and a couple porter cables, i’m liking the pc and ryobis for weight and usage. (green ryobis, the old blue ones have battery issues, they don’t last anytime at all.
they are the only battery products we use, tried the small saws, for some interior stuff and the nail guns, could’nt get rid of them fast enough. not condusive to daily use.

good luck, hard to drop off one side of fence or the other, i do know, dewalt is not ever again on my list to go to.
Rj in az.

-- Living the dream

View DMiller's profile


537 posts in 1282 days

#8 posted 12-29-2017 03:39 PM

Thanks for the replies, guys! Have any of you noticed that it seems like the plastic on Makita’s older models of tools seems tougher? Thanks- this is some good info!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

View buckbuster31's profile


256 posts in 1325 days

#9 posted 12-29-2017 03:49 PM

I have had good luck with my bosch and porter cable, but when they go out there is no doubt that I am going to go with Milwaukee

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 2033 days

#10 posted 12-29-2017 03:56 PM

First I started with Ryobi and when I decided I wanted to go to something a bit heavier duty I chose Makita.
Within the first 2 months the quick connect coupler broke inside so nothing would lock in place.
Then, the next day, the clutch on the drill broke and it became a paper weight.

I liked the Makita as the size was comfortable for my hands and I liked the weight but i was right in the middle of a project so grabbed my phone and read some reviews and ran to get the Milawukee Fuel drill/driver set and never looked back. Also, was able to get a sawzall for free because of a promotion.

The milawukee is a little larger and heavier than the Makitas but the batteries last a lot longer than any other cordless tool I have worked on and they will hold a charge even if not used for months. I also really like the battery indicator and the variable speed on the impact driver.

For some things around the home and even the shop, the Milwaukees are a bit too strong. I have sheared the head off a couple pocket hole screws when I wasn’t being careful, so I have a set of 12v drivers which work better when screwing in fasteners for woodworking projects and finer work.

View PPK's profile


1768 posts in 1619 days

#11 posted 12-29-2017 06:42 PM

I have used both a lot. Currently I like the Milwaukees better. But I think every brand has it’s GOOD tools, and it’s bad tools. For instance, I’ll never buy a DeWalt drill. But I love their Chopsaws. Or Milwaukee. I love their drills and of course the sawzall, but I’ll never buy a cordless nailer or a sander from them… Porter Cable makes some really great air nailers and sanders, and the OLD routers, but I think their cordless stuff is kind of cheezy. You get the point I think… In the end, everyone has their own opinions :-)

-- Pete

View oldwood's profile


162 posts in 2053 days

#12 posted 12-30-2017 04:44 AM

As a sales representative for an industrial supply company for 28 years I sold all the major lines. Although it was not the most popular line, often due to price, it seems that we had the least warranty issues with Milwaukee. One of their claims to fame has always been their corded drills. They are tough and last for ever and are very common in industrial and heavy construction trades. Makita seems was more common in small shops and on service trucks.

The best thing about Milwaukee is they have at least five plants in the USA, two in Wi. and three here in Ms. I think I read recently that they are building more or expanding some of these. I think Dewalt is bringing some manufacturing back to the states also. All my cordless tools are Dewalt, one reason being the interchangeability of batteries between older and newer models, and they have held up really well.

Bottom line on Red vs. Blue, I would have to give prize to Milwaukee.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2295 days

#13 posted 12-30-2017 05:31 AM

I really wish dewalt nicad batteries didn’t suck. I acquired a set of 18v tools piece by piece over the years and they’re unusable.

I won a dewalt 20v drill from work a couple years back. It stays in the shop. The chuck is plastic and terrible. It refuses to hold onto a bit. Pretty lightweight. I would never pat money for it but for free i can deal with it.

A buddy gave me a 20v porter cable set of an impact and drill. It stays in my personal trucks tool box for side jobs. The impact pretty much has the same dimensions as the drill. I don’t really use it because of that since the drill is more versatile. They’re noticeably lightweight. The plastic chuck isn’t too bad. It works most of the time. I wouldn’t buy it either but for free it’s not too bad.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rich's profile (online now)


5725 posts in 1399 days

#14 posted 12-30-2017 05:50 AM

I really wish dewalt nicad batteries didn’t suck. I acquired a set of 18v tools piece by piece over the years and they’re unusable.

- TheFridge

Same here. I’ve replaced the multiple dead DeWalt battery packs with generic ones that cost a fraction of the ridiculous price they want for the OEM packs. Next time they die, maybe I’ll just move on. I use a 12V Makita set for light weight stuff like AZWoody mentions. They are perfect for drilling pilot holes and the impact driver is right for most needs. I only use the DeWalt for heavier tasks.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View tacky68's profile


89 posts in 2236 days

#15 posted 12-30-2017 06:48 AM

I used to pull wire for a living, and drilled thousands of holes with the HoleHawg. Never missed a beat. Have the
12”scms, recently discovered I am not getting perfectly square cuts-close but not perfect. That is the only experience
I have with Milwaukee. Have no experience with Makita. They strike as being one step down. Comes down to $$$.
I have always been a Dewalt guy, and have owned three of their cordless kits. Two 18v NiCad, and one 20v LiIon
Loved them, No complaints. Used the hell out of them at work. Had to replace the NiCad Packs ~2years.

Loren: My 18v drill took a death dive off a 16’ ladder, my fault. had to replace.
Fridge: My 20v chuck is all metal including the clutch ring. The NiCad packs have only so many recharges them, plus they do not like the cold, ( probably not an issue for you) Another reason I stepped up to 20v LiIon.

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