Stanley vs. Makita: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

Stanley vs. Makita: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

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If you are looking for a new brand of tools to make your purchases from, then you have come to the right place. Two of the most popular tool brands at this time include Stanley and Makita. These American and Japanese manufacturers, respectively, are some of the most highly reputed in the world.

What we are here to figure out today is which of these two tool brands is the ideal choice for you.

A Brief History of Stanley and Makita

The first company that we want to take a look at is Stanley, a company that was first started by Frederick Stanley in 1843 in New Britain, USA. This officially makes it one of the absolutely oldest tool brands in the world. The company first started out by manufacturing various pieces of hardware out of iron – bolts, hinges, and other such items. Moreover, Henry Stanley, the cousin of Frederick, founded the Stanley Rule and Level in 1857.

Then, in 1920, these two companies merged together and continued to be known as Stanley works. The company then absorbed JA Chapman, British producer of carpentry tools, in 1937, at which point it also entered the British and European markets.

This helped bring Stanley to the next level and made it quite successful. Although it is not the largest company in the world, it is a reputable producer of hand tools and other similar products. Do keep in mind that in 2010, Stanley Works merged with Black & Decker to form Stanley Black & Decker, which is currently its parent company.


Long Story Short…


Being part of the Stanley Black & Decker group, Stanley is one of the world’s best-known hand tool makers.


On the other hand, we have Makita, a Japanese manufacturer of power tools that was first founded in 1915. It was first founded by Mosaburo Makita and it was first called the Makita Electric Works Company.

This company started by selling various pieces of lighting equipment, transformers, and motors. However, by 1960, Makita had become a very large manufacturer of power tools in the Japanese market. On an interesting side note, this was the first company to produce a nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery tool in 1978, and this was a rechargeable cordless drill.

Makita focuses mainly on power tools and lawn and garden equipment. At this time it has over 17,000 employees with estimated annual revenues of $4.5 billion. It has ten different production plans that operate in eight countries worldwide, and it has a presence in over 40 countries.


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.


Stanley vs. Makita: Which Offers Better Quality?

Let’s get to it and figure out which of these two companies offers the better quality. When it comes to Stanley, these tools are seen as being fairly high in quality, especially as far as the hand tools are concerned. For those of you who don’t know, Stanley is seen as being the highest quality budget brand of hand tools in the world.

So, while it is seen as the best budget brand in the world in terms of hand tools, it is still a budget brand. Although this company may not make all that many tools, the hand tools are seen as being pretty good, more than good enough for constant use for light-duty work.

With that being said, although Stanley hand tools may be used on a job site, it is not recommended that they be used for vigorous or heavy-duty tasks. While they are durable enough to last, they may not be able to handle very rough punishment.

What you do also need to know here is that many of the hand tools produced by Stanley are made in the USA, or at least they are assembled in the USA using foreign-made materials. This includes mostly things such as hand tools, tool storage, utility knives, and tape measures. Overall, if you are looking for affordable hand tools that will get the job done and should last for quite some time, then Stanley is a good option to keep in mind.

Stanley Brace Drill

On the other hand, we have Makita, which is generally seen as being one of the best tool brands in the world, especially when it comes to power tools. Generally speaking, people really only have good things to say about Makita tools, especially in terms of quality, durability, functionality, and comfort. Makita tools are generally seen as being more than ideal for heavy-duty and daily use and are more than good enough for professional purposes.

While they can of course also be used for DIY tasks and light-duty work, due to their relatively high prices, Makita tools usually won’t be the first choice for people who just need simple tools for work around the house. Yes, with high quality also comes a high price.

Makita tools are made in many countries around the world, including China, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, Romania, Dubai, Germany, Thailand, and even the USA.

Makita Sander

Which Offers a Better Warranty?

Stanley has full lifetime warranties for all of its mechanic’s tools, as well as limited lifetime warranties for all hand tools and garden tools. Everything else features either a two-year limited warranty or a three-year limited warranty.

Exactly what kind of warranty you get with Makita does depend on the exact product, but the vast majority of them do come with 30-day replacement guarantees, and all tools have a one-year general product warranty for defects. Moreover, all emissions-related tools have a two-year warranty, and all tools that use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have three-year limited warranties.

In this case, it does appear as though Stanley has the better warranties.

Stanley vs. Makita: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?

The other thing that we want to take a look at now is which of these two brands has the better product selection. What we do need to make clear is that Stanley generally only focuses on hand tools, as well as a very select variety of power tools and lawn and garden equipment, although not very many of them.

Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Hand Tools?

If it is hand tools that you are looking for, Stanley is the brand to go with. As far as we are concerned, Makita does not make any hand tools at all, which makes the decision between the two extremely simple.

Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Power Tools?

On the other side of the equation, Stanley barely makes any power tools at all, whereas Makita has one of the best selections of power tools across the board in the world. Therefore, if you need power tools, it is Makita that you need to go with.

Makita Power Tools

Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?

The decision here is really quite simple, because if you need affordable hand tools, then Stanley is the brand to go with, but if you need high-quality power tools, then Makita is the brand to go with.


As you can see, although both of these brands are quite different from one another, the fact is that they do both excel in terms of their focus. In other words, Makita is a great brand to go with if you need good power tools, and Stanley is a good brand to go with if you need good hand tools.

How Do Stanley and Makita Compare with Other Brands?

See how Stanley compares with: Black & Decker | Bosch | Craftsman | DeWalt | Husky | Kobalt

See how Makita compares with: Black & Decker | Bosch | Craftsman | DeWalt | Dremel | Festool | Hilti | Metabo HPT | MilwaukeePorter-Cable | Ridgid | Ryobi | Worx