Makita on the down slide

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Forum topic by mcase posted 11-10-2013 04:26 PM 1947 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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446 posts in 3636 days

11-10-2013 04:26 PM

My old American-made belt sander finally gave up the ghost. It didn’t owe me anything. But, rather than buy a Chinese or Mexican Porter cable I decided to buy a Japanese belt sander. I chose the Makita 9404 4×24” for its low center of gravity and my recollections of Makita quality. Now its been a while since I bought a Makita product, but the ones I have (yeah they still work) were well made with perfect fit and finish and top quality electronics. My first surprise was that I could not buy one over the counter anywhere. I live near a major city so this was a little weird. Turns out Home Depot now controls almost all their sales (look out!) and does not stock the belt sanders. The upshot was I could not actually see one in the flesh before I bought it. So I ordered one from Amazon. The next surprise was the junky thing that I received. I mean this thing looked like a poorly executed counterfeit. The aluminum casting that makes up half the main body was fissured and showed rough grinding marks and grossly uneven surfaces through goopy, bubbly paint. The rear rubber drum was of scored in the middle and thicker on one sided than the other. The front metal drum showed rough grinding marks where the two halves were joined and not was perfectly round, but actually somewhat oblong. The tracking screw would not stay put, continually vibrating out of position. The thing (I call it the thing) says “made in japan” on it, but I noticed that it does not exactly match the picture on the Amazon web site. The pictured Makita 9404 has a white label, is tapped for three attachment screws and shows the old Makita perfect finish. Has anyone else had any recent experiences with Makita? I’m going to return the “thing” and see if Amazon sends a real Makita belt sander as a replacement. I’ll keep you posted

21 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3476 days

#1 posted 11-10-2013 04:36 PM

Hmm, interesting. I read somewhere else that the bean counters at Makita were ruining the quality, but having said that, all the Makita stuff I own and use has been great.

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2163 posts in 2210 days

#2 posted 11-10-2013 04:51 PM

That will make me sad. I have an electric drill and two different sized belt sander from Makita. Bought all three “refurbished” They have been great, could not be happier with them.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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32086 posts in 3373 days

#3 posted 11-10-2013 04:55 PM

I went to HD today and went through the tool department and I was shocked to see what a poor router selection they have. I saw only one Makita. In fact, every category of power tool seemed to be a sparse selection.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MrRon's profile


5715 posts in 3750 days

#4 posted 11-10-2013 05:06 PM

I would suspect Makita has parts made in China and assembled in the USA. I’m pretty sure every tool maker has some connection with China. A Makita made 100% in Japan, would cost plenty.

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5849 posts in 4092 days

#5 posted 11-10-2013 05:15 PM

Why it may be they are made in Japan, as in my book they do cost plenty.
However I suspect they are all at it in some way .
Maybe the parts are made in Japan and shipped out to who knows where for constructing together in some sweaty shop where the staff are paid a penny in the pound or less I don’t know ?
I just like makita tools and also dewalt too. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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210 posts in 2256 days

#6 posted 11-10-2013 05:27 PM

These companies realize that merkunz will buy any piece of crap they throw your way….if the price is right.
Harboring Fright and Northern Fool are there role models. Walmart is The Church of USA. Black Friday will see people trying to kill each other over shoes with L.E.D lights.
It’s just business.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

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2079 posts in 3805 days

#7 posted 11-10-2013 09:36 PM

Makita may not be top-quality anymore, but in my experience their tools are still quite good. I’d send the thing back to Amazon, honestly. It sounds terrible. All you’ll pay is return shipping.

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7741 posts in 2513 days

#8 posted 11-10-2013 10:10 PM

I have a 4”X24” Makita belt sander since 1992. I’ve replaced the cord (twice) and the drive roller once. Every time I take it out I think this thing is a heavy beast, but it sure does everything I ask of it! About a year ago I ALMOST gave it away and I was gonna buy a newer (lighter, smaller) belt sander to replace it. I sure am glad I didn’t.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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1333 posts in 3486 days

#9 posted 11-10-2013 10:34 PM

All of my power tools are Makita, including my belt sander. I have to say all of mine are top notch and well made. I can’t understand why you would receive such a poorly made and constructed tool.

Sounds like quality control took the day off and someone exploited their absence?

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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5965 posts in 2227 days

#10 posted 11-10-2013 10:46 PM

That’s pretty disappointing, but becoming more and more the norm. I’ve stopped using several of my good older tools, cleaned & tuned them up to perfection, just so I have them in case some time down the road. Maybe I’ll be able to show my kids when they’re older what quality used to mean. I still buy up old stuff when I run across it, especially if it only needs something simple like a new cord, great bargaining tool to get a good deal.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Illinoiswoodworker's profile


36 posts in 2396 days

#11 posted 11-10-2013 11:02 PM

All companies are trying to cut costs in any way possible. I am a design engineer and we perform cost reductions on all of our parts. If another supplier can make it cheaper and it performs the job, then we change suppliers. Sometimes the cheaper supplier’s quality is sub par and we have to dump them. Sometimes a part gets by quality and makes it out into the customer’s hands. Sometimes people are unreasonable. They expect the cheapest product to perform as well as a more expensive product.

-- I love the smell of red oak in the morning..........

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446 posts in 3636 days

#12 posted 11-10-2013 11:45 PM

Illinois Woodworker,
I agree people can be unreasonable, but I bought a Makita not a Ryobi.

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283 posts in 2446 days

#13 posted 11-11-2013 03:21 AM

That suprises me. I have had that Makita sander for years. I wonder if it is counterfit. I see some real bad stuff at flea markets. Misspelled labels etc.

I bought a Makita Jig saw a couple years ago and it is just fine as fit and finish.

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2079 posts in 3805 days

#14 posted 11-11-2013 03:40 AM

It’s worth mentioning that Amazon does almost nothing to root out counterfeit stuff that people sell on the site. If you’ve ever bought a cell phone case from them you’ll know what I mean.

I’d return the item (fortunately they always take stuff back for any reason).

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1678 posts in 3139 days

#15 posted 11-11-2013 03:50 AM

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some “Makta” tools on ebay before. They even sported the blue/black color scheme and very similar fonts were used on the badging.

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