Makita vs. Porter-Cable: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

Makita vs. Porter-Cable: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

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Power tools really are great, and if you are interested in them, whether for home use, for DIY purposes, or for professional use, you probably want the biggest bang for your buck.

Two of the many popular brands you may currently be checking out include Makita and Porter-Cable. So, between these two, which one should you choose? Continue reading to come closer to a decision.

A Brief History of Makita and Porter-Cable

Makita is a Japanese manufacturer of power tools. This company was first founded in 1915 by Mosabura Makita in Aichi, Japan, but in the beginning, it was known as the Makita Electric Works company. The company started by selling lighting equipment, motors, and transformers, but by 1960 had migrated over into the world of power tools.

What is cool about Makita is that it was the first company to bring a nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery tool to the market in 1978, a rechargeable cordless drill. Makita also has some other notable milestones under its belt. At this time, the primary focus of the company is power tools. It also makes outdoor lawn and garden equipment, though.

Makita is a fairly large company, with massive revenues compared to the number of employees it has. It currently has in the neighborhood of 17,000 employees with estimated annual revenues totaling about 4.5 billion dollars.

The company has a massive global presence, selling its products in over 40 countries, with over 10 production facilities located in 8 countries worldwide.


Long Story Short…


A Japanese brand with more than a hundred year history and an excellent selection of power tools. Recommended for serious amateurs and even professionals.


On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, which is an American producer of power tools. Porter-Cable as a company is slightly older than Makita, as it was founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York, USA. The company was started by three men, R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, which is of course why the company name is what it is.

Keep in mind that the company is currently headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee, USA.

As a company, Porter-Cable is not huge and it focuses exclusively on power tools and power tool accessories. Although it may not be too large, the brand does have some notable milestones. Mainly, Porter-Cable was the first company to invent and introduce to the market the first portable belt sander, the portable band saw, and the helical drive circular saw.

What is important to note is that for a long time, Porter-Cable was owned by the Pentair Tools Group, up until 2004. However, in 2004, Stanley Black & Decker purchased the Porter-Cable brand and still owns it to this day.

At this time, Porter-Cable has roughly 3,000 employees with estimated annual revenues totaling somewhere around 100 million dollars.


Long Story Short…


Porter-Cable is a popular entry- to mid-level power tool brand headquartered in Tennessee. It’s owned by Stanley Black & Decker.


Makita vs. Porter-Cable: Which Offers Better Quality?

When it comes to the quality level of Makita tools, most would agree that it is quite high, very high in fact. The general consensus about them is that they are durable, long-lasting, functional, and comfortable. Overall, people seem to be very pleased with Makita tools, particularly their cordless tools, and there are really not many complaints across the board.

For the most part, while Makita tools are seen as being fine for everyday and occasional use, they are seen as being best for professional, heavy-duty, and daily use. No, Makita tools are not exactly cheap, and can actually be rather expensive, but you get what you pay for, and with Makita, you get a high level of quality.

At this time Makita operates a variety of factories in various locations including Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Dubai, Thailand, and the United States. People seem to be especially happy with the UK-, USA-, Dubai-, and German-made products.

Makita Grinder

On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, which, in all fairness, is the much less expensive of the two brands, which is why so many homeowners and DIY enthusiasts love it. For the most part, Porter-Cable tools are seen as being comfortable, functional, and lightweight, although the level of durability and overall longevity may be a bit limited.

In other words, Porter-Cable tools, are seen as being fine for occasional use, DIY jobs, and light home repairs, but they are not seen as being ideal for professional or heavy-duty use.

However, due to the low prices that Porter-Cable tools come in at, they are often chosen by homeowners and by people who just don’t want to spend too much money on tools. Porter-Cable tools are made in China and Mexico, which partially explains their entry- to mid-level quality.

Porter-Cable Drywall Sander

Which Offers a Better Warranty?

Makita does offer some pretty good warranties on its products. All Makita products come with a 30-day replacement guarantee, all tools have a one-year general product warranty for defects, all emissions-related (gas-powered) tools have a one-year warranty, and lithium-ion tools come with a three-year limited warranty.

On the other hand, the warranties offered by Porter-Cable are much more limited in scope, as it offers a one-year limited warranty, with some select tools coming with a three-year limited warranty.

As you can see, Makita definitely has better warranties overall, by far.

Makita vs. Porter-Cable: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?

As you can tell from our history section, Makita is the far larger company when compared to Porter-Cable, and yes, the selection of products it offers is much more diverse.

Of course, one aspect here is that Makita makes a wide variety of outdoor lawn and garden, and woodcutting equipment, whereas Porter-Cable does not. Across the board, Makita does have a larger selection, and this applies to all categories, including power tools.

Makita Power Tools

Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills and Impact Drivers?

When it comes to drills, Porter-Cable currently has six available for sale on the website, and in terms of impact drivers, it currently has four for sale. On the other hand, between drills and impact drivers, Makita has just under 100 options to choose from.

Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Sanders?

At this time, the Porter-Cable website has 11 sanders available for purchase, whereas the Makita website has 40 products listed.

Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?

Which of these two brands you choose depends on what your needs are.

If you are looking for high-quality tools, you need them for constant and professional use, you want comprehensive warranties, and don’t mind spending a good amount of money, then Makita is the clear winner.

However, if you need affordable tools for basic use, Porter-Cable is the way to go.

Porter-Cable Power Tools


At the end of the day, both Makita and Porter-Cable are great brands, just with some differences.

One of the brands, Makita, is high quality and high-cost brand, whereas Porter-Cable offers products of reasonable quality at reasonable prices.

How Do Makita and Porter-Cable Compare with Other Brands?

See how Makita compares with: Black & Decker | Bosch | Craftsman | DeWalt | Dremel | Festool | Hilti | Metabo HPT | Milwaukee | Ridgid | Ryobi | StanleyWorx

See how Porter-Cable compares with: Black & Decker | Bosch | Craftsman | DeWalt | Kobalt | Milwaukee | Ridgid | Ryobi