With more than a dozen good power tool brands on the market, it can be difficult to choose the one that’s right 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, we’ll briefly look at the two brands’ histories before diving into how they compare in terms of quality and product portfolios. By the end of this article, 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, the manufacturer 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, as 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, the company is a leading manufacturer of power tools, rotary and oscillating tools, and tool accessories.
Bosch vs. Makita: Which Offers Better Quality?
Makita is known for its Star Protection system, its excellent motors, and its efficient tools. Their 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 are not as good as they could be according to some customer reviews.
Most 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, they 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: Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, it seems as though Makita is the clear winner. According to the consensus of online customer reviews, Bosch’s customer service is often accompanied by long wait times and unsatisfactory resolutions.
On the other hand, Makita customers seem to be very pleased with the manufacturer’s quick response time and swift honoring of tool warranties, as many customers went to the internet just to commend the company.
Of course, it’s important to note that customer service experiences can vary greatly between representatives, although the general consensus makes Makita the clear winner.
Bosch vs. Makita: Pricing
In order to create an accurate depiction of the pricing between these competitors, our team assembled the Handyman’s World Power Tool Brand Price Index, which takes the costs of three basic tools – a cordless drill, angle grinder, and circular saw – and indexes them against the average of the brands that we consider to be the 15 best power tool manufacturers.
As you can see below, Makita scored 0.82, making it lower than the average in terms of pricing. Bosch, on the other hand, scored 1.18, making it considerably more expensive, and placing it above the average for power tool pricing.
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. They have an especially large offering in the 8V and 12V categories and have a particularly wide variety of drill/drivers, rotary hammers, and impact drivers.
On the other hand, 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 pieces of equipment. 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 Has Better Design
Makita tools feature a more typical, rugged design with a color palette that is quite unique, making their tools easily recognizable.
On the other hand, Bosch tools tend to have a much more sleek profile, with a more typical dark blue and red color palette. The rounded bodies of a lot of Bosch tools make them quite eye-catching, although the colors are quite ordinary.
If you’re more concerned about the color of your tools and you want something unique, Makita is probably the brand for you. However, if you’re more interested in the profile and body design of the tool, Bosch has some really interesting options. Of course, this all really comes down to personal preference at the end of the day.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills?
Bosch has eight driver/drill options in the 18V category, while Makita has five in its product line. Additionally, both manufacturers have four 12V driver drills in their lineup.
Bosch’s latest hammer drill has the option to support Bluetooth which 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.
If you’re looking for a great drill with that Bluetooth compatibility, check out the Bosch 18V Brushless Connected-Ready 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit. However, if you have a bigger budget and are looking for a tool with a more efficient motor and extended battery life, consider the Makita 18V Brushless Cordless 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit.
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. These range in power from 1 horsepower to 3.25 horsepower and are suitable for a variety of woodworking tasks.
Bosch 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.
The two brands also offer router tables as well as routing accessories.
If you’re keen on Makita’s Star Protection System, consider checking out their 18V Brushless Cordless Compact Router. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fixed-base router that gets a bit more horsepower, you may be interested in the Bosch 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Circular Saws?
In terms of circular saw selection, it’s clear that Makita is the better of the two brands. While both offer a
While Bosch does offer a decent selection of 18V saws with blade diameters ranging from 5-3/8″ to 7-1/4″, they just don’t really stack up to Makita’s selection.
Makita has a much wider array of tools to choose from, with the company’s blade diameter selection ranging from 5-3/8″ to 9-1/4″. Additionally, the brand offers both 18V and 36V options, giving customers more choices in terms of power.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Angle Grinders?
When it comes to angle grinders, Makita once again comes out as the clear winner. While both brands offer a good selection of grinders, Makita’s selection is more vast, with wheel diameters ranging from 4-1/2″ to 9″. Additionally, as was the case with circular saws, the manufacturer also offers 18V and 36V options.
Makita also offers more in the way of kits, meaning that if you’re looking to get your tool with batteries and accessories included, you’re probably better off going with Makita.
However, Bosch does offer a small 12V 3″ grinder, which is great for anyone who’s looking for a very compact tool that doesn’t require a lot of power.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Lawn and Garden Tools?
When it comes to lawn and garden tools, we’d have to say that Makita comes out on top. While Bosch does offer a good variety of tools from lawnmowers to leaf blowers, Makita simply has more options in basically every category. Additionally, it seems as though Makita’s outdoor equipment is more readily available for purchase, and can be found at a larger variety of retailers.
This isn’t to say that Bosch’s outdoor tools are bad, but if you’re looking for a wide selection of quality tools, Makita is the brand to go with.
If you’re looking for a quality electric lawn mower, consider checking out the Makita 36V Brushless 18″ Lawn Mower Kit. However, if you’re looking for something considerably cheaper, you may be interested in the Bosch Easy Mower 18V-32-200 Cordless Rotary Lawn Mower.
Bosch vs. Makita: Latest Developments
To stay on top of these two brands, we wanted to go over some of their latest developments as of 2023. In early 2023, Makita continued to expand its concrete tool selection, releasing the 18V Brushless Deep Capacity Rebar Tying Tool Kit, as well as a 40V max Rotary Hammer with Dust Extractor.
Bosch started the year off by buckling down on their commitment to the 18V battery-powered tool lineup, announcing new concrete tools like the PROFACTOR 18V 5-6″ Angle Grinder, as well as new metal cutting tools such as the 18V Metal Circular Saw with Chip Collector.
The brand also showcased new woodworking tools at the start of 2023 with products such as the PROFACTOR 18V 8-1/4″ Portable Table Saw.
Bosch vs. Makita: Which Is Better?
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. However, at the end of the day, we would tend to lean towards Makita over Bosch.
The reason for this 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.
However, whichever brand you choose, make sure you’re certain of your decision, as the companies’ batteries are incompatible with each other, making it quite difficult to switch over.
Regarding warranties, Makita trumps Bosch, plus they have a higher overall rating 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 both brands are equally matched and you may safely go with either one.
Finally, 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.