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A workshop needs power tools to get work done, no matter if it is DIY or professional. Furthermore, the brand that you purchase should have a good reputation. When thinking about which brand to choose for power tools, many of us will likely struggle to decide a complete comparison of Makita vs Milwaukee.
In the world of power tools, Milwaukee and Makita are two of the world’s most trusted brands, and thousands of woodworkers, DIYers, and contractors use their products every day all over the world.
Makita Vs Milwaukee
Here we cover each brand’s background and then look at some of the top-rated kits from each brand. Knowing this helps you to make a more informed decision when choosing.
History of Makita and Milwaukee
The Early Times
In 1918, Milwaukee was established when the Second World War is nearing its end, and you will discover that Ford is rapidly expanding. One of the reasons Henry Ford features in Milwaukee’s history is that he developed the product recognized as their first power tool.
Several Wisconsin manufacturers packaged a 1/4-inch drill as lightweight and compact products for Ford, which led to the company’s development of a compact and portable version. A revolutionary power tool that weighed only 5 pounds, the Hole-Shooter was commissioned to be mass-produced by Petersen.
A tragedy struck, and the Hole-Shooter manufacturing facility was destroyed in 1924, forcing Petersen and his friend Albert F. Siebert to stop working on the Hole-Shooter. Siebert later bought Makita Electrical Tool Corporation from Siebert’s friend and renamed it Makita Electrical Tool Corporation.
Development and Expansion
Milwaukee did more than that to perfect the design of the Hole-Shooter and boost its sales, as Siebert wasn’t satisfied with finding a great way to shoot a hole in the wall simply.
In the early 1930s, the company became increasingly focused on manufacturing. By the late 1930s, they had developed tools like the 3/4″ electric hammer drill, which had quite a significant market share, and a single horsepower sander/grinder.
With the addition of a spring clutch to create a smoother running power tool, they made the first 1/2-inch right angle drill in 1949 and upgraded their sanders/grinders to a larger size as a result. Their Sawzall reciprocating saw has also become one of their most important tools to this day, still one of their most significant milestones.
Milwaukee has made considerable progress over the years, with developments such as an 18-volt cordless tool and a miter saw. Since 2005, M12 and M18 are the first tools available in the market that use lithium-ion battery technology and have been on the market since 2008. When Milwaukee is known for producing more than 500 tools and 3,500 accessories, they mainly target the professional market. Today they have grown worldwide and had several manufacturing plants in the United States alone.
The Early Times
The Makita tool manufacturer was founded in Japan in 1983 and has become one of the top power tool manufacturers in the United States. In Nagoya, Japan, Masaburo Makita established this company as a motor, lighting, and transformer store.
In the beginning, they focused more on repair work; however, they expanded progressively into manufacturing as the company started to grow. The Soviet Union received their first Makita motors and generators by the end of the year. Further, in December 1938, they formed a newly incorporated business, Makita Electric Works, Inc., to carry on the proprietorship’s business.
Development and Expansion
Before the Makita brand began making new tools and different models almost every year, the company reached several important milestones in its growth and expansion journey.
They began making and marketing their electric hand planers in 1958 when they produced Japan’s first electric hand planers. Moreover, they launched their first nickel-cadmium battery drill in 1978, their model 6010D 10mm drill.
Despite the increasing demand for power tools, Makita improves its product line and expands its reach to other countries. And in February 1981, the AN5000 and the AC6001 air compressors were released, which marked their entry into the air tool market.
Makita had a good decade in the 1980s, and they launched three new power tools, namely a drill, a grinder, and a circular saw, which made their market debut in 1989.
As the companies opened branches throughout the country, including China, Mexico, and Poland, the 1990s were mostly about expansion. At the Chicago Hardware Show in 1997, they presented their 6213D nickel hydride tool as their first rechargeable driver-drill.
The launch of the TD133D cordless impact driver in 2010 was another significant milestone in Makita’s century-long history, getting their brushless motor model on the market four years earlier.
With new products in their power tools portfolio that run on 18V lithium-ion batteries, Makita now offers over 100 cordless power tools and hundreds of accessories.
Key Product Features Comparison
Like any other brand, Milwaukee has its features that make Milwaukee products stand out. These features include the following.
- Designed for high performance and durability, the Power state Brushless Motor delivers constant power and minimizes heating to enhance the tool’s lifetime.
- The unique Battery Redlithium Technology enables users to use their devices for more extended periods while keeping them charged. By utilizing its high efficiency, it also extends battery life.
- Having motors with four different operating modes is a common feature of Milwaukee power tools for the last ten years, and it makes it easier to control tool speed and power.
- They are designed for professional use. Milwaukee focuses on making power tools for commercial and industrial professionals, so the tools they provide are powerful, resistant to damage, and constructed from high-quality materials for regular abuse and challenges encountered in professional construction.
It is not just Makita’s power tool features but its reputation for producing high-quality tools that make it a leading brand. And some of their impressive features include:
- Modern power tools from Makita are obvious features called Star Protection Technology. Star Protection Technology is a communication system with advanced tools that helps prevent overloading, over-discharging, and overheating, bypassing real-time data to the battery for easy monitoring.
- Brushless motors provide better power, efficiency, and durability than drum motors. Brushless motors are available in different sizes, from 38 mm drill motors to the larger 52 mm ones in Makita saws.
- Lithium-Ion Battery Technology. LXT’s battery technology allows for 50% longer runtimes than traditional batteries and allows your tools to be switched from one to another.
- Despite the impressive level of quality, Makita tools are still relatively affordable. Most of the time, Makita tools will be significantly less expensive than tools from other reputable manufacturers.
Milwaukee 2896-26 vs. Makita XT610 Combo Kits
If you’re a busy contractor who uses power tools regularly, or even if you’re a hobbyist or do-it-yourself, then you already know you save a lot of money when you buy a combo kit.
In addition to having different compatible tools, you also get extra batteries which are pretty convenient. Furthermore, the Milwaukee 2896-26 and Makita XT610 combo kits are two of the best combo kits available from these reputable brands.
There are two 6-piece combo kits for the work light, circular saw, reciprocating saw, angle grinder, hammer drill, and Makita impact driver comparison in each kit.
With whichever combination kit you choose, you’re sure to get a great one. We’ve reviewed and compared the tools individually on all these fantastic combo kits, but we want to make your choice easier.
#1. Makita vs Milwaukee Hammer Drills
Milwaukee 2704-20 1/2 inch Hammer Drill
There are only a few hammer drills in its class more powerful than this, is Milwaukee 2704-20. The Makita XPH10Z can deliver 1,200 in. lbs of torque with its higher maximum power.
Hammer drill speeds can be adjusted between 0-550 and 0-2,000 RPM with the variable speed adjustable brushless motor. Additionally, it seems to outperform the Makita hammer drill in many ways, including offering both low and high speeds.
Unlike its competitors, the Milwaukee hammer drill is designed for heavy-duty use and has the durability and strength to withstand the punishment of a regular job site.
It is compact enough so that you can use it in tight spaces. Its ratcheting locking chuck, made out of all-metal material, ensures maximum bit retention while lasting a long time.
This drill features a comfortable, rubberized grip and removable handle, which are also great features since they make it easier to operate, more comfortable, and convenient.
Makita XPH10Z 1/2 inch Hammer Driver-Drill
With their Makita XPH10Z, you can see that Makita makes affordable hand tools and has solid and high-performing products. You can be sure that your time spent will work on charging the hammer drill since it utilizes its fast-charging 18V lithium-ion batteries.
A rubberized handle reduces hand fatigue, which prevents you from being distracted when using this hammer drill for prolonged periods.
Despite having 480 in. lbs of maximum torque, it’s still more powerful than the Milwaukee 2704-20, making it suitable for most drill/drive applications. Additionally, the engines should also offer speed ranges between 0-600 and 0-1,900 RPM.
Makita tools use star protection technology for a long tool life since star protection guarantees high resistance to dust and water with every use. Also included are dual LED lights with afterglows to keep you well-lit at work.
The Milwaukee 2704-20 more than doubles the maximum torque of the Makita XPH10Z, which has a broader speed range. It also has higher maximum torque, so it is a clear winner in this Makita vs Milwaukee comparison.
#2. Makita vs Milwaukee Impact Drivers
Milwaukee 2753-20 1/4 inch Hex Impact Driver
Milwaukee 2753-20’s 1,800 inch-pounds of maximum torque not only outperforms the Makita XDT11Z but is also far better than other brands and models in its class.
In addition to providing faster driving, this impact driver allows users to control the power output and speed more precisely. Even though it features 4-mode drive control, it operates only from 300 to 3,000 revolutions per minute.
In addition to being relatively lightweight and compact, the Milwaukee 2753-20 impacts driver also weighs 2.1 pounds less than Makita’s impact driver. When you’re using this device, you get less hand fatigue and can use it in smaller spaces without bothered by the wires. The 1/4-inch hex impact driver comes with another unique and impressive feature: self-tapping screw mode. The new feature adds a useful feature to the toolbox of users. Moreover, this will help limit breakage as well as over-driving and stripping of screws.
Makita XDT11Z Impact Driver
Milwaukee’s XDT11Z driver might deliver an insignificantly lower maximum torque than Makita’s driver, but 1460 in. lbs of maximum torque are still strong. Also, it’s higher than what most impact drivers can deliver from different brands in the same class.
It impacts driver acceleration of between 0 to 2,900 RPM and speeds of between 0 and 3,500 IPM as well, making it perfect for many tasks.
This compact power tool is just 5-3/8 inches long and is easy to use in tight spaces since it is so close. Combining the small size with the large soft and comfortable rubber grip, you have the chance to play with it for an extended period comfortably.
In addition to the 1/4-inch hex chuck, Makita’s impact driver has a convenient one-touch feature for quick and easy piece changes. It, in turn, contributes to minimizing downtime on the job site.
In our opinion, the Milwaukee 2753-20 is the winner here with higher torque, better speed control, and a lighter color than the Makita XDT11Z.
#3. Reciprocating Saws
Milwaukee 2720-20 SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw
Milwaukee designed it to deliver more than 3,000 strokes per minute, the highest possible speed among reciprocating saws.
Reciprocating saws have a large brush that provides us with the cutting power of a corded saw at a lower cost. Additionally, with the Redlithium battery, you can also be even more confident of longer run times.
Its weight is 7.4 pounds, and this two-piece miter saw is less powerful than Makita’s XRJ04Z, and it is also much more compact for better handling. With a 1-1/8 stroke length, the Makita saw is significantly shorter than the one offered by Craftsman, but it should still provide the same performance. An integrated LED light and an adjustable shoe, and a hook make this reciprocating saw convenient for storage.
Makita XRJ04Z Reciprocating Saw
However, despite being larger and heavier, there is still quite a comfortable (and ergonomic) power tool to use in the Makita XRJ04Z.
This machine is extremely easy to operate. Additionally, Its longer stroke length of 1-1/4″ ensures quicker cutting and more efficient use of the machine.
Likewise, the reciprocating saw uses a tool-less blade change system, which increases productivity by allowing blades to be installed and removed faster. In addition, it features a larger two-finger grip that makes it easier for the operator to use.
It also uses water and dust protection that is similar to that seen in many Makita power tools. A soft rubberized grip makes operating the machine quite comfortable.
Because of its longer stroke length and almost equal speed to Milwaukee’s saw, the Makita XRJ04Z takes this post with a clear win.
#4. Makita vs Milwaukee Circular Saws
Milwaukee 2730-20 6-1/2 inches Circular Saw
The Milwaukee 2730-20 will become a favorite circuit saw once you try it.
As the brushless motor gives this circular saw a powerful and fast performance with up to 5,000 RPM, it is considered one of the fastest ones on the market. You get 1,300 more revolutions per minute with the Makita XSS02Z than you get with the Makita XSS02Z.
The total weight of the circular saw is 6.8 pounds, which is nearly half of the weight of Makita’s circular saw. Plus, you get a convenient, easy-to-handle tool that is relatively more compact and easy to handle for extended years.
It provides a highly durable and lightweight saw base with cast magnesium saw guards and shoes. Additionally, the circular saw is equipped with a built-in LED light and an integrated rafter hook to make it easy to store materials while on the job.
Makita XSS02Z 6-1/2 inches Circular Saw
Makita’s high-torque XSS02Z motor will deliver 3,700 RPM. Milwaukee’s 2730-20 might provide a higher speed, but it’s still pretty high. So if you’re going to use the circular saw, you can rest assured you’ll cut fast.
Its weight is 7.3 pounds, which is a little heavier than Milwaukee’s saw. However, it is still quite a compact saw and is designed with a soft rubberized grip to relieve fatigue and provide a comfortable grip to the user.
The Star protection computer control system of Makita helps prevent overheating, overloading, and overcharging. Like the Milwaukee 2730-20, it can also cut materials up to 2X at 45 degrees, and its maximum bevel capacity is 50 degrees.
Providing you with smooth and accurate cutting along with long tool life is the heavy-duty precision machining foundation of this circular saw.
In the end, It will deliver 1300 more RPM than the Makita while also providing a lighter, more compact design that makes it a more convenient product for use.
#5. Angle Grinders
Milwaukee 2780-20 Angle Grinder
With Milwaukee’s advanced power tool features, there are a variety of tools you can use to enhance your work. Milwaukee’s model, 2780-20, uses the most of them. The brushless motor, powered by a Power state, delivers more consistent power and a longer motor life than conventional brushes.
Furthermore, the 4-1/2-inch angle grinder offers a lifetime warranty accompanied by Redlink Plus Intelligence. It also optimizes performance and prevents safety concerns, such as overheating.
With speeds of up to 8,500 revolutions per minute, the Makita XAG03Z is also an extremely fast and efficient angle grinder.
There is an anti-vibration side handle on this slim skateboard, and it operates with a comfortable paddle-style switch.
The guard adjustment of the angle grinder requires no tools, and accessory changes are 100% tool-free, so productivity is guaranteed.
Makita XAG03Z Angle Grinder
You should be confident of getting a reliable and consistent performance from any angle grinder with a brushless motor like Makita’s XAG03Z.
Moreover, the motor performs at an impressive 8,500 RPM, making it ideal for faster grinding in addition to its soft-start feature to ensure smooth starting and enhanced gear life.
Automatic speed changes on this angle grinder allow users to easily adjust speed and torque when grinding despite the heavy load.
Also equipped with Makita’s XAG03Z is star protection and extreme protection technology. These features reduce the possibility of an overheated tool and improved protection from dust and water.
Besides the soft rubberized grip, this grinder also has a slide switch with a lock-on button, and 3-stage LED indicator, indicating the battery charge level.
In our comparison of Makita vs. Milwaukee, Both grinders are almost similar, from their size to the speed on the grinding wheel, making them challenging to identify which is superior.
#6. Work Lights
Milwaukee 2735-20 LED Work Light
It all starts with an LED bulb with a brightness of up to 160 lumens, designed to outlast an incandescent light. A bright and smooth white beam can be expected, so you are always guaranteed to receive one.
The Makita’s xenon work light is brighter, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to this product. It can also last longer than 12 hours before it needs to be re-charged.
A sturdy aluminum head and lens ensure impact and weather-resistant, but it is also lightweight and compact.
A rotating head and an integrated hook allow for hands-free use as the head can be rotated up to 135 degrees to provide focused and flexible illumination.
Makita DML185 Xenon Flashlight
The Makita DML185 will offer you 4500 Lux/180 lumens of workspace brightness, a great value thanks to its bright bulb.
The work light is very bright, and it is also well built with a soft rubberized grip and a sturdy body to resist constant road abuse, and it is rugged and heavy-duty.
You can easily adjust the head to four different positions, and the replacement bulb and shoulder strap can make the units even more convenient.
Even though the Milwaukee 2735-20 produces more runtime than the Milwaukee 4H, it’s still better than most users’ needs.
As the brighter Makita xenon work light has more of an output than Milwaukee’s LED light, it is still the winner here at the moment.
Despite only having three wins and a draw out of six, Milwaukee 2896-26 seems to be clearly winning here. To make it even better, it comes with a 5-year warranty that’s longer than what Makita offers, making it much more economically sound.
Despite that, both pieces of equipment are still tremendous and assuming budget or price are vital concerns, and you might still want to consider Makita’s XT610 as it costs around half what you’d pay for Milwaukee’s 2896-26 combo kit.
They are both very trustworthy brands, and you won’t regret your purchase of any of their products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Which is better Milwaukee or Makita?
ANS: As a consequence, Milwaukee offers the greatest torque, compact construction, and high control speed due to its lighter and more compact construction. The Makita reciprocating saw makes difference when comparing it to other reciprocating saws due to its longer stroke length.
Q2: Are Makita and Milwaukee the same?
ANS: Makita International is a Japanese company based in Japan since 1915, formed as an electrical repair provider. However, the prices of Makita and Milwaukee are very similar nowadays and deliver their products in more than 8 countries.
Q3: Is Makita still a good brand?
ANS: Since the advent of Makita’s Star Protection system, the Makita drills have been excellent in the overall sense, consistently delivering the best motors on the market, with few exceptions made by other manufacturers.
Q4: Are Milwaukee tools good?
ANS: We think Milwaukee’s miter saw is among the best-corded miter saws out there. Although its features are unchanged for many years, it continues to dominate portability aficionados. First, you need to decide what kind of tool you need in the Milwaukee miter saw vs. DeWalt debate.
Q5: Are Makita tools good?
ANS: Generally speaking, Makita drills are excellent, with their Star Protection system introduced in the past few years, and consistently deliver the highest quality motors on the market.
Q6: Who makes Makita?
ANS: The Makita Corporation was established in Japan in 1967, and since then it has been a leading manufacturer of power tools. Founded in Anj, Japan on March 21, 1915, they operate factories in Brazil, United States, China, Japan, Mexico, Romania, and the United Kingdom. A total of $2.9 billion in annual sales were recorded in 2012.
Q7: Who makes Milwaukee?
ANS: Techtronic Industries is the parent company of Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation (MET). It uses equipment made by Ryobi, Hoover, Dirt Devil, and Vax.
We have given a comprehensive comparison of Milwaukee vs. Makita. Milwaukee and Makita indeed have one of the widest product ranges in the power tool industry, but few other brands can match their quality.
After reading the complete guide on Makita vs Milwaukee, You can make the right choice by choosing another combination kit from either brand if these don’t impress you. It should always come down to your particular needs and preferences which one you choose between the two.