Makita Tools: Yay or Nay? Our Professional Review

Makita is one of the most popular power tool brands used by professionals and DIYers. Makita tools have a reputation for being reliable, durable, and delivering consistent high performance. But are Makita tools really as good as their reputation suggests? Let’s take a detailed look at the key factors that determine the quality and performance of Makita power tools.

Makita’s History and Reputation

Makita was founded in 1915 in Japan and started out making electric motors. In 1958, Makita made their first power tool – an electric planer. Since then, Makita has grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional power tools across many trade industries.

Makita has built a strong reputation among professional contractors and tradespeople for making high quality, heavy-duty tools that can withstand the rigors of daily professional use. The distinctive teal color of Makita tools makes them easily recognizable on any job site.

Many reviews and industry experts consistently rate Makita as one of the top power tool brands overall in terms of features, durability, and performance. While Makita is not necessarily the cheapest tool brand, they have a reputation for delivering good value by combining proven reliability with leading-edge innovation.

Key Factors Determining Makita Tool Quality

Several important factors contribute to the overall quality, durability, and performance of Makita power tools:

Research and Development

Makita invests heavily in ongoing research and development to incorporate the latest technology into their tools. They hold over 400 patents and have numerous innovations that came from their R&D efforts. Makita frequently wins industry awards for its innovative features.

Materials and Components

Makita uses high-grade metals, composite materials, and internal components sourced from top suppliers. Their tools are made with quality copper motor windings, steel gearing, and all-metal transmission parts. These durable components allow Makita tools to withstand heavy use.

Power and Performance

Makita tools are engineered to maximize power efficiency, balance, and performance. Makita uses large copper armatures in their motors to provide more power. Their tools are counterbalanced and ergonomically designed for reduced vibration and comfortable operation.

Manufacturing Process

Makita utilizes automated, high-precision manufacturing processes and rigorous quality control checks during production. Makita factories match the quality of their tools to the demands of professional use.

Durability and Reliability Testing

Before releasing new tools, Makita puts prototypes through extensive testing to confirm their durability. Their tools are made to pass extreme stress tests in harsh conditions beyond what users would subject them to.

Key Makita Tool Technology Innovations

Here are some of Makita’s most noteworthy technological innovations implemented across their power tool line:

  • Brushless Motors – More efficient, longer lasting motors that deliver more power and run cooler. Makita has brushless motor technology on saws, drills, impact drivers, grinders, and more.
  • LXT Lithium-Ion Batteries – Longer runtime, faster charging, and longer overall battery life. Makita LXT batteries have Star Protection Computer Controls to prevent overheating and overloading.
  • Impact XPS Technology – Uses dual torsion springs and gear velocity to multiply torque in impact drivers for more driving power. Provides up to 50% more torque than standard impact drivers.
  • Active Feedback Sensing Technology – Used in impact drivers and wrenches to automatically stop the tool when the fastener is tight to prevent over-tightening and stripping.
  • Automatic Speed Change Technology – Changes the speed/torque on impact drivers and wrenches depending on the fastener resistance to match the correct power to the application.
  • Anti-vibration Technology – Minimizes vibration by using vibration-absorbing components and improved tool housing designs. Provides more comfort for extended use.

Makita Tool Strengths and Advantages

Here are some of the notable strengths and advantages of Makita’s power tools:

  • Durable and reliable tools ideal for professional all-day use
  • Powerful motors deliver superior cutting, drilling, fastening, grinding performance
  • Effective anti-vibration technology reduces fatigue from long-term use
  • Leading-edge electronics and computer controls maximize efficiency
  • Ergonomic and compact tool designs increase control and reduce strain
  • Fast charging, long lasting Lithium-Ion batteries with protective technology
  • Automatic features prevent overloading and stripping for precision fastening
  • Thoughtful accessories and attachments expand functionality
  • Available in both corded and cordless battery-powered options
  • Innovative technologies increase power, precision, runtime, and durability

Are There Any Downsides to Makita Tools?

While Makita tools have many strengths, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

  • Generally priced higher than competitors’ comparable models
  • Limited selection of budget DIY/homeowner-focused basic tools
  • Battery platform and accessories not compatible with other brands
  • Tools may be overbuilt for light DIY use
  • Complex electronics and tech features have a learning curve

However, for most professional uses, Makita’s performance and reliability justify the higher initial investment. The technology innovations add professional capabilities not found in competing brands’ basic models.

Top Makita Tool Categories

Let’s take a closer look at some of Makita’s most popular tool categories:

Makita Impact Drivers

Makita makes corded and cordless impact drivers that lead the industry in torque, speed, precision control, and innovative features. From compact 12V models to 18V LXT brushless drivers, Makita impact drivers excel at professional driving and fastening applications.

Makita Drills and Hammer Drills

Both corded and cordless, Makita’s drills and hammer drills deliver best-in-class power and speed with the latest high-efficiency motors and gearing. Designed to withstand constant professional use, Makita drills are ideal for heavy-duty drilling and driving.

Makita Circular Saws

Makita offers high-performance circular saws with powerful direct drive motors, durable precision machined parts, large cutting capacity, and great dust collection. The hypoid gearing provides high torque with reduced noise. Makita’s innovative brushless cordless circular saws have high efficiency and runtime.

Makita Reciprocating Saws

Top-of-the-line reciprocating saws with high stroke rates, variable speed control, tool-less blade changes, and available orbit action for fast plunge cuts. Makita’s jig saws also have built-in LED lights to illuminate the cut line.

Makita Angle Grinders

Makita makes heavy-duty corded and cordless angle grinders well suited to intensive professional use. Powerful yet compact grinders that have low vibration for more comfort and control. Designed for use with a wide range of abrasive wheels and attachments.

Makita Rotary Hammers

Makita’s SDS and spline rotary hammers have the best combination of power, performance, and durability for concrete drilling and chiseling. Advanced vibration control allows for lower fatigue operation. Additional handles and accessories expand positioning flexibility.

Is Makita Worth the Investment Over Other Brands?

For professional contractors who rely on their power tools every day, Makita is usually worth the higher initial investment over other brands. Makita tools are engineered for the highest durability, performance, precision, and features to meet the needs of the most demanding trade applications.

Professional users will appreciate Makita’s advantages:

  • Tools withstand constant daily use without breaking or wearing out
  • Higher power delivers faster cut speeds, torques, drilling speeds
  • Consistent performance even in harsh conditions
  • Reduced fatigue from lower vibration and better balance
  • Advanced features automate tasks for more convenience
  • Systems remain compatible over years as accessories are added

Additionally, Makita tools tend to retain their resale value well should professionals ever need to sell them and upgrade. Makita’s leading innovation ensures their tools stay up-to-date and competitive.

For lower demand DIY use, cheaper brands may be acceptable. But Makita offers peace of mind knowing your tools can handle anything and last for years.

Makita Warranties and Repairability

Makita provides strong warranty coverage to back up their tool quality:

  • 3-year limited warranty covering parts and service
  • 1-year or longer limited warranty on LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • 30-day money back guarantee if not fully satisfied with performance

While under warranty, Makita will repair any manufacturing defects free of charge. Makitaalso has hundreds of factory authorized service centers that can provide affordable repairs even after the warranty expires. Individual parts are readily available for many years so tools can be kept operational.

Overall, Makita stands behind their products and makes it feasible to maintain and repair them as needed. This contributes to the long lifespan typical of Makita tools.

Reviews of Top Makita Tools

Here are reviews of some of Makita’s highest rated and most recommended individual tool models:

Makita XDT131 18V LXT Brushless Impact Driver Kit

  • Compact and ergonomic cordless impact driver
  • Brushless motor delivers up to 1500 in-lbs of maximum torque
  • Weighs only 2.8 lbs with battery for reduced fatigue
  • Variable 2-speed settings for precision control
  • Mode settings for driving screws or lag bolts
  • Star protection computer controls for battery longevity
  • Rapid optimum charging system ready in 30 minutes
  • Convenient belt clip and built-in LED light

Overall, Makita’s 18V Brushless Impact Driver Kit is a perfect compact cordless impact driver for professional use. It has outstanding power in a small size along with great runtime and fast charging.

Makita 5377MG 7-1/4″ Magnesium Hypoid Saw

  • Powerful 15 amp direct drive motor
  • Magnesium components for reduced weight
  • Lower noise hypoid gearing (only 89 db)
  • Increased capacity cuts 5-3/4″ depth at 90 degrees
  • Onboard blade wrench storage for convenience
  • Through-the-blade dust port with vacuum adapter
  • Large trigger switch with soft start for smooth cuts

Makita’s Magnesium Hypoid Saw has best-in-class power cutting capacity in a more compact and portable size. The magnesium reduces fatigue from extended use. Overall an outstanding corded circular saw for professionals.

Makita XRH05ZB 18V LXT Brushless Cordless Reciprocating Saw

  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 14.6″ long
  • Brushless motor increases efficiency and runtime
  • Variable speed control from 0 – 2,900 SPM
  • 1-1/8″ stroke length and tool-less blade changes
  • Protective bumper guards against impact damage
  • Built-in LED illumination of cut line
  • Anti-vibration technology for low fatigue operation

This Makita cordless reciprocating saw is perfect for plumbers, HVAC contractors, and remodelers needing a rugged saw for tight spots. It has great features while remaining lightweight and ergonomic.

Makita 9557PBX1 4-1/2″ Angle Grinder Kit

  • Powerful 7.5 amp corded angle grinder
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 5.4 lbs
  • Supports both threaded and lock-on abrasive wheels
  • Constant speed electronics maintain 11,000 RPM under load
  • Zig-zag varnish seals the armature from dust & debris
  • Through-hole dust ejection system for cleaner work
  • Paddle switch with lock-on for continuous operation

Makita’s 4-1/2″ corded angle grinder still delivers full size grinding performance in a more compact and comfortable size. It’s a great choice for professional metalworkers, fabricators, and construction crews.

Summary – Makita Makes Great Professional Power Tools

In summary, Makita thoroughly deserves their reputation for making some of the best performing, most innovative, and most durable power tools available. Their constant innovation ensures their tools stay up-to-date with the latest technology to enhance professional productivity.

While Makita tools have a higher price, most contractors find them a wise investment due to their quality, capabilities, and reliability for daily professional work. For anyone who depends on their tools to make a living, Makita consistently delivers the power, precision, features, and durability needed to get the job done right.