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Milwaukee vs Makita – Which Brand Makes the Best Saw?

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There’s a bit of excitement that comes with purchasing a new saw. It gleams as it sits in the box. And, it has all the power and features you need to complete your next woodworking project.

Unless, of course, you buy the wrong brand. We’ve been there too!

To make sure you don’t make the mistake of buying the wrong brand of saw, we’ve compared Milwaukee vs Makita to help. Find out what differentiates these competing brands and which one we favor for saws.

​Brand Background

History of Milwaukee

​The roots of Milwaukee Tool run deep with a rich history that dates all the way back to 1924. This company with the same namesake as its hometown got its start by launching the Hole-Shooter the same year it was founded.

The Hole-Shooter, as you might imagine, is a ¼ inch capacity drill that was designed to be lightweight for the era and portable so you could use it with one hand.

Over time, Milwaukee added to its product line and today has an extensive collection of more than 500 tools and 3500 accessories. It has incorporated Lithium-Ion batteries in its cordless models and continues to be a top contender in the industry with its power tools.

Milwaukee circular saw Milwaukee vs Makita

The emphasis at Milwaukee Tool is on heavy-duty. It produces tools which are designed to withstand the demands of the job without fail.

And, if they do fail, Milwaukee offers a solid warranty program to repair or replace your tool as needed.

The tools in Milwaukee’s product line are geared towards the construction industry mainly with models for virtually every application you can think of. It is a well-established brand that is recognized by homeowners as well.

History of Makita

​Makita has an even longer history than Milwaukee that dates back as far as 1915. The company’s first product to market was an electric motor which was sold by the motor and sales repair company at the time.

Today, Makita is a global company selling in 40 countries with manufacturing done in eight countries. The company places a big focus on research and development.

They have introduced some stellar products which show the initiative it takes to innovate its tools. The first tool the company launched was a portable electric plane, in 1958.

It followed this up with a portable groove cutter in 1962.

The tools Makita sells are targeted toward professionals and designed to work on the jobsite with plenty of power and capability to back it up. The company’s U.S. location is based in La Mirada, California.

Here, the company hosts its distribution network as well as some manufacturing and warehouse locations. Global headquarters for the company is in Anjo, Japan.

Makita also uses Lithium-Ion battery technology as well as a host of top-notch features such as anti-vibration, cutting accuracy, and magnesium construction for lighter weight. It also offers a one- to three-year warranty program, depending on the product, to cover your tools should there be a defect.

​Milwaukee vs Makita

We had the opportunity to compare Makita vs Milwaukee head-to-head in the cordless jigsaw category. This was a nice opportunity to see how two tools of similar caliber would perform against each other.

This also helped us make our decision on which brand reigned supreme in our minds.

One of the major noticeable factors of the cordless jigsaws from Makita and Milwaukee is the total body weight. Makita weighs in at an impressive 5.5 pounds while the Milwaukee models are 7.75 pounds.

It may not seem like much difference. But, when you are working long hours and cutting an exorbitant amount of wood, 2.25 pounds can help you reduce fatigue.

For this, we appreciate the extra effort Makita has taken with the jigsaw’s body construction.

When you look at Milwaukee vs Makita, there are major differences in the design of their tool products, especially their saw models. Both companies update their tools with enthusiasm by incorporating the latest technology available into their design.

Makita does it with such a fury that it certainly worked to impress upon us the durability and strength of its tools.

Milwaukee track saw milwaukee vs makita

Makita offers a serious (and we mean serious) list of features that go into the design of their tools to make them that much better. We found that ​their saws work as you want them to and don’t let you down when you need them the most. 

Plus, they provide nuance features such as anti-vibration. You might not give much thought to that until you use the tool for an extended period of time.

The accuracy and exactness of Makita saws are just a step above Milwaukee’s. Makita makes sure of it.

Even with Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel generation saws, the Makita line still outperforms. Makita’s saws utilize a direct-drive gearbox that transfers power directly to the blade without slipping or vibrating unnecessarily.

This provides a more accurate cut in its miter saw models, giving you that perfect cut every single time.

Milwaukee Saw Recommendations

​The Milwaukee lineup of saws includes circular saws, a line of reciprocating saws, miter saws, table saws, and tile saws. Even if there are a lot of other competitors out there such as Bosch, this brand still promises great performance with its tools.

At the top of our list of saws from the company is this powerful jigsaw performer. We also have a comparison guide on MIlwaukee and Ridgid tools you might want to check out.

Our Top Pick from ​Milwaukee

Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2645-20 18-Volt M18 Jig Saw
  • The product is easy to use
  • The product is durable
  • The product is manufactured in China
  • Tool free shoe bevel with positive stops allows for quick and accurate shoe adjustment

​Makita Saw Recommendations

When it comes to the saw offering from Makita, the line is extensive with circular saws, fiber cement saws, jigsaws, miter saws, tile saws, and reciprocating saws. We recommend these top models from its saw family and are sure you will be pleased with their performance as well.

Our Top Picks from ​Makita

Makita JV0600K Top Handle Jig Saw, with Tool...
  • 6.5 amp motor and 3 Orbital settings plus straight cutting deliver faster and more accurate cuts in...
  • Variable speed control dial (500-3, 100 SPM) enables user to March the speed to the application
  • Through-the-body dust port for use with a vacuum provides efficient dust management
  • Counterbalance system for reduced vibration
Makita XVJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig...
  • Makita built variable speed motor delivers 0 to 2, 600 strokes per minute for fast and efficient...
  • 3 Orbital settings plus straight cutting for use in a wide range of materials
  • "Tool less" Blade change system allows for faster blade installation and removal for increased...
  • Large 2 finger variable speed trigger for added convenience
Makita CC02R1 12V MAX CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless...
  • Makita-built motor delivers 1,600 RPM for faster and powerful cutting
  • 3-3/8" blade delivers a maximum cutting depth of 1" for a wide range of cutting applications
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 12-3/8" long
  • Weighs only 4.0 lbs. with battery for reduced operator fatigue

Conclusion

​As we compared Milwaukee vs Makita, we found an obvious winner in our minds with the Makita saw line. Not only are these saws built to last but their cutting performance hands down outperforms Milwaukee in every category we examined.

We think highly of the Makita label and recommend you make your saw purchase with this manufacturer. You won’t regret it!

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.