Driven By Innovative Excellence
Makita Power Tools
Backed by over a century of proud innovation and experience — Makita Tools is often the go-to brand for the trade user and serious DIYer.
Renowned for reliability, efficiency, and excellent customer service, Makita’s vast range addresses the construction, demolition, engineering, and gardening spheres — whether cordless, corded, or petrol-powered units.
Yet, behind the premium image and concomitant price point — are Makita’s products as impressive as their excellent reputation suggests?
Consider this your ultimate Makita 101 — providing everything you need to know about the company and its tools, and exposing the concerning downsides of this brand.
In 1915, the 22-year-old Mosaburo Makita was becoming increasingly frustrated.
An aspiring innovator, engineer and entrepreneur, his long nights spent slaving away in his workshop to create the next great invention were marred by unreliable and inefficient lighting.
Unable to work in such a dark and frustrating environment, he resolved to take positive action. Instead of simply accepting the situation — or indeed just purchasing a new lamp — he instead founded Makita Electric Works, located in Nagoya, Japan.
Initially focusing on the repair, improvement, and retail of high-quality reliable incandescent bulbs — Mosaburo’s company then addressed similar performance issues in erratic and inconsistent motors and transformers.
From Bulbs to Planers
Over the next 40 years, Makita Electric Works rapidly expanded — not just serving the businesses and factories of Japan, but exporting worldwide. As a result of this continuing success, and obviously feeling unbeatable, the Makita company took a left-field decision — to make an electric wood planer.
Far removed from the retail of lightbulbs, despite this new direction, the Model 1000 tool proved to be an immense success — especially in Australia, which received a delivery of over 1300 units.
And, not just praised at the time for its considerable grunt and reliability — this machine has since been considered the first-ever consumer electric power tool.
Seeing a new, and indeed profitable, direction, the Makita Electric Works moniker was abandoned and became Makita Power Tools — and consequently expanded its catalogue to include drills, saws, and grinders.
Real Science Fiction
In 1969, the boffins at NASA made science fiction a reality by landing Neil Armstrong on the moon. However, at the newly-named Makita Power Tools, the scientists and engineers were creating their own futuristic technology.
While the Americans applauded themselves for putting a man on basically a lump of boring space rock, Makita achieved the actual giant leap for man — inventing and retailing the world’s first-ever rechargeable battery power tool.
Known as the Makita 6500D, this drill revolutionised the consumer tool market — starting a cell-powered trend that continues to this day.
That said, despite it being an actual milestone in history, some naysayers still treat it with a little contempt — as, although a rechargeable battery-driven unit, it wasn’t truly cordless.
The drill was connected via a 0.3-metre cable to a cell, which, in turn, was connected to a mains cord. Naturally, by attaching the cord to a power socket, the battery was replenished, you unplug the cord, and can then use the drill directly from the battery.
However, all the cables remained attached to the machine — leaving you to wield a portable tool with a lengthy and cumbersome cord/cell combo dangling behind it.
From the 1970s onward, Makita Power Tools followed a continual path of innovation and expansion.
Its unique products included the first ever:
- Rechargeable nickel-cadmium cell drill — the 6010D (1978).
- Nickel-hydride battery tool — the 6213D drill driver (1997).
- Four-stroke chainsaw (2000).
- Super-rapid acceleration power cutter (2004).
Creating machines for the professional and prosumer, Makita has become the choice of many trade experts across the world.
Today, operating in over 40 countries, Makita has a workforce of over 18 thousand employees and boasts an annual turnover in excess of $6.3 billion.
Not a bad result for the humble and visionary Mosaburo Makita.
Who Makes the Makita Power Tool Range?
All Makita products are made in-house — by their own craftsmen, engineers, and to be fair, mainly robots. There are no OEM manufacturers, rebranding, or subcontractors. Therefore, by controlling every stage of the innovation and building process, Makita can maintain its high reputation for reliability and quality assurance.
However, don’t expect your tool to hail from Mr Mosaburo Makita’s original Nagoya workshop — as ninety percent of the brand’s units are made outside of Japan.
Makita boasts manufacturing facilities in eight countries:
- Makita Tools United Kingdom.
- Makita Tools United States.
- Makita Tools Romania.
- Makita Tools China.
- Makita Tools Brazil.
- Makita Tools Germany.
- Makita Tools Thailand.
- Makita Tools Japan.
There is obviously a glaring omission here — where is Makita Power Tools Australia
Despite tool-loving Australians and New Zealanders spending over US $464M on power tools — Makita, so far, has chosen not to set up a manufacturing base in our great nation.
As Thailand, China, and Japan’s plants are relatively close, it’s traditionally been considered unnecessary to create a factory here. That said, Makita (Australia) Pty Limited exists — although it’s purely concerned with the distribution and import of foreign-made units.
Wherever your machine hails from, all Makita employees worldwide have to adhere to Mosaburo Makita’s original working standards. So, if you can’t stick to these rules, I’d suggest not applying for a job.
- Don’t be angry.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t mope.
- Don’t be arrogant.
- Don’t give up.
Quality of Makita Power Tools
Star Rating: ★★★★★
It’s the robust, durable, and thoughtfully engineered nature of Makita tools — backed by innovative research and development — that have made the brand the go-to choice for the professional.
Makita has a singular ethos behind every unit (the Japanese are big on ethos) — an excellent tool requires an excellent motor.
As the heart of virtually every machine, Makita considers if the powerhouse is solid, the reliability of the tool will follow. This has resulted in the brand adhering to these rules in every machine:
- Only using premium components and raw materials.
- Focusing on energy efficiency without compromising power output.
- Premium quality steel for gears and armatures.
- High-grade copper wiring for unparalleled current flow.
- Ability to withstand elevated operating temperatures.
- Rigorous quality control — 19 separate tests on every single motor produced.
This ensures professional and prosumer owners of Makita tools have the reassurance of a unit that boasts longevity, the ability to deliver brawn under pressure, and withstand the knocks of trade use.
Furthermore, with manufacturing and distribution centres worldwide, should a component fail — you have easy access to genuine replacement parts.
Due to the care and attention paid to building the brand’s tools — Makita can offer lengthy warranties with the peace of mind breakdowns and failures are unlikely.
That said, there are some crucial exclusions and product-type dependent guarantees — so it’s not exactly straightforward. Additionally, if you’re outside of Australia, it’s worth checking how the warranties apply in your country.
The terms, conditions, and guarantee length have some strange geographical differences — for the same product. Whether Makita considers some nationalities more likely to abuse their tools than others, or simpler climate conditions to affect the function of their machines, I don’t know.
Anyway, here in Australia, Makita’s warranties are as follows:
- Spare parts.
- Power adaptors.
- Battery chargers.
- Petrol-driven machines.
- 240-volt tools.
- Pneumatic tools.
- Gas-powered tools.
- Laser tools.
Three and Five Years
(Five years if registered online within 30 days of purchase, three years if unregistered or registered after 30 days).
- Tool-only lithium-ion machines (known by Makita as Cordless Skin Li-Ion).
As part of their warranty, Makita will either repair or replace malfunctioning equipment free of charge — although you’re responsible for returning the product to Makita or an authorised service centre, and any costs for postage.
Bear in mind, while expansive, their guarantees do not cover neglect, misuse, accidents, or normal wear and tear.
In some cases, a simple phone call to the service centre may resolve any tool issues without the need for a return.
Makita Range of Power Tools
While Makita started life as a straightforward lighting supplier and repairer — it’s now grown into a mighty tool behemoth. Manufacturing every machine, from lawnmowers to robotic cleaners — there are few consumer machines that don’t feature in its catalogue.
While not exhaustive, its most popular ranges include:
Construction, Building, and Industrial
- Drills — hammer, rotary, and drivers.
- Impact drivers and wrenches.
- Screwdrivers, staplers, riveters, and nailers.
- Plunge saws.
- Mitre and compound saws.
- Reciprocating and jigsaws.
- Power and multi-cutters.
- Concreting machines.
- Grinders, sanders, and polishers.
- Multitools and measurers.
- Dust extractors.
- Heat guns.
- Corded, cordless, petrol, and gas-driven machines.
- Leaf blowers.
- Water pumps.
- Power pruners.
- Pressure washers.
- Upright and canister vacuums.
- Backpack and stick vacuums.
- Wet and dry vacuums.
- Robotic cleaners.
Accessories and Sundries
- Batteries and chargers.
- Lights and fans.
- Music speakers.
- Drill bits and saw blades.
- Angle grinder discs.
- Bags, braces, belts, pouches and cases.
- Hand tools.
Makita Battery Types and Sizes
Generally speaking, rechargeable tool batteries are not cross-brand compatible — so, if you have a Makita tool, you need a Makita battery. Admittedly, you could use a third-party clone — but when it blows up and burns the internal components, your machine warranty will be void.
Much of Makita’s advertising blurb for its cordless units centres on the ability to run hundreds of different tool types from a single-cell format. Which, for the large part, is true.
Except, that is, for when it isn’t.
The issue is, there is indeed a plethora of Makita machines that can utilise a sole battery type — but the brand retails three cell formats, each running particular machines. Furthermore, each of the battery types has sub-varieties, offering differing Ah’s (ampere-hours).
Thus meaning, the battery required for your tool isn’t immediately obvious — so always check before purchase.
Makita LXT Cell
The brand claims the LXT format is the world’s largest 18-volt single-sliding battery cordless tool system — promising to power over 300 tool models.
These cells include Makita’s trademarked Star Protection Computer Controls — technology that increases communication between battery and machine to safeguard against overheating, over-discharging, and overloading.
Furthermore, the LXT batteries possess an incorporated smart chip that optimises voltage, current, power drain, and temperature — and an internal fan to keep heat down.
The LXT cells arrive in three formats designed for LXT tools. Reassuringly, they’re cross-compatible and will not harm your machines if you use a non-ideal battery — it just means that performance isn’t optimum.
Note: LXT cells are not compatible with XGT tools.
Makita LXT X2 Cell Tools
As the name suggests, these machines require two LXT batteries — for high speeds, significant power output, and longer running times. Therefore, if you purchase as ‘tool-only,’ remember you also need to buy a couple of batteries, otherwise the unit will not operate.
LXT X2 power tools are identifiable by their half-blue, half-black skin design.
2 x Makita LXT 18-volt 6.0 Ah — 55-minute charging time
2 x Makita LXT 18-volt 5.0 Ah — 45-minute charging time
Makita LXT Premium Tools
Using a single battery, the premium tools are designed to offer the maximum in operational efficiency and brawn — while remaining sufficiently light to permit long run times.
LXT Premium Makita tools can be recognized by their blue skin design.
1 x Makita LXT 18-volt 4.0 Ah — 40-minute charging time
1 x Makita LXT 18-volt 3.0 Ah — 30-minute charging time
Makita LXT Sub-Compact Tools
Identifiable by their black skin, the sub-compact line-up focuses on the lightest handheld weight combined with reduced tool scale — including the small size of the cell.
1 x Makita LXT 18-volt 2.0 Ah — 25-minute charging time
Makita XGT Max Cell
The XGT cell from Makita is designed for heavy-load tools — those that deliver immense grunt and draw significantly on the battery. A single cell knocks out 40 volts, which can on some machines, be utilised in tandem for 80 volts of output.
Like the LXT batteries, the XGT incorporates smart technology to protect the integrity of the tool, and ensure steady and efficient power drain.
Typical machines that use the XGT format include rotary hammer drills, circular saws, and grinders.
Note: XGT cells are not compatible with LXT machines.
Makita XGT 40-volt 5.0 Ah — 50-minute charging time
Makita XGT 40-volt 4.0 Ah — 45-minute charging time
Makita XGT 40-volt 2.5 Ah — 28-minute charging time
In addition to Makita’s ‘traditional’ cell formats — the LXT and XGT — the brand also offers a ConnectX high-performance battery.
This system is in backpack format, required for moving the hefty 1200Wh power unit. A cable leads from the rear-mounted cell to attach to exceptionally high-demand tools — such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and strimmers.
You can also purchase an adaptor, which permits you to connect the mighty battery to LXT and XGT tools.
Makita has different website addresses for differing geographical locations. While they all follow a virtually identical format for navigation — there are dissimilarities in the products available in each region.
In Australia, you need to head to makita.com.au.
The website has an efficient search feature, which permits you to find the correct page through product name, type, power source, model number, or component number. Furthermore, dropdown menus allow you to select the most relevant categories to narrow results.
The Downsides of Makita Power Tools
Reassuringly, there are few negatives associated with the Makita brand.
Experts, trade professionals, and prosumers praise the units for their excellent build quality, reliability, and ability to withstand hardcore use.
Perhaps the main disadvantage is the premium price of the tools and accessories — but excellence and durability come at a cost, and is comparable to high-end manufacturers such as Milwaukee, Metabo, and DeWalt.
And, while for some, the plethora of battery types may be initially a confusing concept — once understood, it’s fairly straightforward, as outlined above.
Makita Power Tools Conclusion
Impressive reliability combined with a robust build that can handle the extremes of trade and on-site use — Makita power tools are ideal for the professional user or seriously dedicated amateur.
Providing a comprehensive range that covers engineering, demolition, construction, and gardening sectors — there’s a tool suitable for every application. And, boasting lengthy warranties — especially when registered — they provide powerful reassurance for the trade and prosumer operative.
Sure, they come in at a premium price, but considering the lifespan and durability of Makita’s machines, it’s the cost-effective option for the savvy user. And, although the battery selection may be initially overwhelming — once understood, it’s pleasingly straightforward.
So, for durable machines backed by over a century of innovation and experience — consider Makita Tools.
Makita Tools FAQs
What Is Makita Tools Best Known For?
Perhaps best known as a professional drill manufacturer, Makita Tools is renowned for reliable, efficient, and warranty-backed trade machines.
Who Makes Makita Tools
All Makita’s products are manufactured in-house — spread across eight factories around the world.
Who Should Buy Makita Tools?
Makita power tools focus on the trade professional, boasting the durability, brawn, and energy efficiency demanded by intense on-site use. However, they’re also popular within the prosumer market — experienced DIYers, craftspersons, and hobbyists that require high performance and accuracy from their machines.
Are Makita Tools High Quality?
Yes! Makita only uses the highest-grade components in their machines, focusing on delivering long-lasting motors that withstand hardcore operation. Each machine undergoes strict quality assurance — with 19 separate tests checking that the machine is suitable for retail.
Where Are Makita Tools Made?
Makita tools are manufactured in eight Makita factories across the globe, including:
- United Kingdom.
- United States.
What Does the Makita Range of Power Tools Include
The Makita catalogue includes hundreds of machines covering the gardening, construction, engineering, and demolition spheres. The range delivers a plethora of tools, from lawnmowers and impact wrenches through to angle grinders and leaf blowers.
What Are the Makita Battery Types and Sizes?
Makita’s tools run off three battery formats:
- Makita LXT 18-volt — also coupled in X2 models for 36 volts.
- Makita XGT 40-volt — also coupled in some models for 80 volts.
- ConnectX — 1200Wh backpack for high-draw gardening tools.
Who Sells Makita Tools in Australia?
Makita tools are available in most major home improvement and trade stores in Australia — including Bunnings, Mitre10, and Home Hardware. Additionally, numerous private retailers also sell the machines as well as being available on a plethora of online sites.
To find an authorised retailer near you, here is a map of recognised Makita sellers.
What Does Makita LXT Mean?
LXT refers to the battery — standing for Lithium-Ion Extreme Technology.
Used as a suffix on its 18-volt and 36-volt cordless machines, it was introduced in 2005 and boasts a smart chip that prevents overdischarge, overheating, and overloading.
What Does Makita XGT Mean?
The XGT suffix indicates the machine uses Next Generation Technology lithium batteries.
Makita indicates that these 40-volt cells have elevated durability and water resistance when measured against their LXT counterparts. These cells are utilised in high-draw cordless Makita Tools.