With more than a dozen good power tool brands on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. However, if you are reading this, chances are that for one reason or another, you narrowed your choice down to two options – Bosch and Makita.
In this article, I will briefly look at the two brands’ histories before diving into how they compare in terms of quality and product portfolios. When you finish reading, you should have a better idea about which of the two you want to go with.
A Brief History of Bosch and Makita
Makita has a long history which started in 1915 when Mosaburo Makita founded Makita Electric Works in Nagoya, Japan. Starting out by selling and repairing lighting equipment, motors, and transformers, Makita began making power tools in 1959.
Today, Makita is based in Anjō, Japan, and operates factories in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Dubai, Thailand, and the United States. In 2012, Makita made around $2.9 billion in sales.
Meanwhile, Bosch has an even longer history, the company can trace its roots back to 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany, where Robert Bosch founded the Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.
Bosch started making power tools in 1932 with their first tool being a hammer drill. Today, Bosch is a leading manufacturer of power tools, rotary and oscillating tools, power tool accessories, and many other tools.
Bosch vs. Makita: Which Offers Better Quality?
Makita is known for its Star Protection system, its excellent motors, and efficient tools. Makita’s cordless tools have a longer battery life than some similar power tools from competitors, perhaps due to more efficient motors.
While Makita has factories in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Dubai, Thailand, and the United States, most of its tools are made in China.
Bosch is well regarded in the power tools industry, both for its quality workmanship and its innovation. However, their after-sales support and customer service is not as good as it could be according to some customer reviews.
Most of Bosch products are made in Mexico, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China but some products are still manufactured in Switzerland and Germany.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Bosch only offers a one-year limited warranty for its power tools. In addition, Bosch tools come with a one-year service protection plan, which covers “free of charge electrical, safety and performance checks, lubrication and replacement of parts worn under normal use.”
Just keep in mind that the user has to get the tool to the service center at their own cost.
Meanwhile, Makita offers a three-year limited warranty. If a tool fails due to faulty materials or craftsmanship you’ll get a repair or a replacement free of charge.
While both Bosch and Makita tools will outlast the warranty in the vast majority of cases, Makita is clearly the winner in terms of the warranty period.
Bosch vs. Makita: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Bosch has a large range of power tools as well, with 12V, 8V, and 36V cordless power offerings including drills, drivers, and saws. Bosch has an especially large offering in the 8V and 12V categories and has a particularly large offering of drill/drivers, rotary hammers, and impact drivers.
Makita offers one of the largest lineups in the power tool industry.
They have 12V, 18V, 36V, and 7.2 V products in categories ranging from lighting and lawnmowers to radios and planers.
Besides power tools, they offer outdoor power equipment and many other tools. This becomes particularly important if you wish to stick to one manufacturer as you expand your tool lineup. By sticking to Makita you can avoid owning two separate battery platforms.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills?
Bosch has eight driver/drill options in the 18V category, while Makita has five 18V driver drills in its product line. Bosch has four 12V driver-drills while Makita also has four 12V driver-drills in their line-up.
Bosch’s latest hammer drill has an option to support Bluetooth that allows the tool to be tracked/managed through Bluehound, Bosch’s asset tracking and management system. It outputs up to 755 inch-pounds of torque and up to 31,500 beats per minute.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Routers?
Makita has a large collection of woodworking tools, including a selection of routers ranging from plunge routers to fixed-base routers and several kits. The routers range in power from 1 horsepower to 3.25 horsepower and are suitable for a range of woodworking tasks.
Bosh has an equally impressive catalog of woodworking products in its lineup and has fixed-base routers and plunge routers ranging in power from 2 to 2.5 horsepower.
Both brands also offer router tables as well as routing accessories.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
Since both Makita and Bosch have large product catalogs, good workmanship, and a large market presence, you can’t go wrong with choosing either of them. Personally, I would tend to lean towards Makita over Bosch.
The reason for picking Makita over Bosch is that Makita power tools typically have some of the best motors in the industry, a long battery life, and they can take a beating. Their portfolio is generally wider across different tools, but Bosch does have the advantage within specific tool types.
When it comes to warranties, Makita trumps Bosch, plus they have a higher rating overall for customer service and after-sales support. When you buy a power tool, consider it an investment and ensure that the manufacturer stands behind their product.
On the other hand, if you are looking for 12V tools, then Bosch or Makita are equally matched and you may safely go with either one. If you are looking for corded tools, then you should simply decide on a tool-by-tool basis as there is no need to stick with one brand in that case.
As you can see, both Bosch and Makita are quality brands. While their histories couldn’t be more different, their present is very similar.
While you can’t go wrong with either of them, personally I would recommend Makita since that is the brand that I use the most and it is also the brand that has a slightly better selection of tools.