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Are DeWalt or Makita drills best? 

Having the right tool for the job is just as important as having the skills to do it. Modern electric drills are vital for every professional and DIY enthusiast. People all over the world trust two brands for their extensive range of power tools: DeWalt and Makita. They both offer a high standard of quality with innovative design features and a comprehensive list of attachments. The main difference is how each model delivers power. Makita has a long tradition of building battery-powered tools, while DeWalt started making smaller cordless units about 30 years ago.

Makita drills

right-angled drills

Professional tradespeople consider Makita products the gold standard of power tools. The company was founded in Japan in 1958 and started by designing and building power planes with electric motors. In 1969 it offered the first nickel-cadmium battery-powered tool and in 1996, the first rechargeable drill. Makita drills are hard-wearing and reliable. Makita has a large selection of drills ranging in price from $80-$480. You’ll pay less for a simple unit and more for specialist tools such as right-angled drills

Makita drills pros

Modern Makita drills come with fast-charging battery packs or power cables.  They typically come with two power units, so you can reduce downtime between tasks to a minimum. The batteries are fast charging with a long life, too. 

All Makita tools are dust and water-resistant, so you can use them for almost any project knowing that the motor will not clog or spark. Makita designed the clutch to disengage when it reaches its max tolerance, so you won’t strip the head from screws or burn out the motor. 

It’s also fitted with a rubber grip and an LED light on the tip to ensure accuracy in low-light environments.

Makita drills cons

The main downside of  Makita drills is that they come at a pretty high price. DIY enthusiasts can get a drill with all the same features and attachments as the Makita for less than half the cost, so if you are not a professional you could consider another brand of drill. 

However, cheaper brands will not last as long. You need to ask yourself which jobs you want your tool to do, how hard you will ask it to work and plan accordingly. 

Makita also provides battery packs with a longer life than their competition, so this should be considered when discussing price.

Best Makita Drill

Makita XPH12Z 18VLXT

Makita XPH12Z 18VLXT

This compact, lightweight machine has a two-speed brushless motor that delivers 2,000 revolutions per minute with 530 pounds of torque. Despite its small size, it incorporates a hammer action for drilling into masonry and can tackle most tasks on a job site and around the home. 

DeWalt drills

DeWalt drills are a popular American-made brand that started making high-quality machines and tools in 1924. DeWalt began as a manufacturer of woodworking machines for factories and farms, saw huge expansion during World War II and continues to shine today, supplying hard-wearing quality tools to contractors and home-builders worldwide. Its extensive range includes pneumatic tools, battery-powered routers, planers and joiners. 

You can expect to pay $60-$280 for a DeWalt drill. Simple bare drills like the 20-volt drill without a charger or battery are the more affordable option. Expect to pay more for a comprehensive hammer drill kit with everything you need to start the job. 

DeWalt drills pros

DeWalt has an extensive range of drills, and while you can choose between cordless and corded, battery-powered tools are the better option. Most drills come with two lithium-ion power packs which provide a day’s use of power, negating the need for a cable. The chucks, which hold drill bits in place, are made of metal ratcheting with carbide inserts, meaning you should have enough grip to drill through hardwoods and metal without slipping. 

DeWalts feature brushless motors, which have three-speed settings for increased accuracy and control. DeWalt constructs its casings from high-impact plastic and steel to provide ultimate longevity.

DeWalt drills cons

While DeWalt clearly offers a premium product, some of its more recent models suffer from batteries that fit poorly or overheat. These sizable power units also contribute to the tool’s overall weight, which can be heavy for all-day use. However, these drills have considerable brand loyalty and are popular worldwide.

Best DeWalt drill

DeWalt 20V MAX XR

DeWalt 20V Max XR

This DeWalt drill comes with a tough case for protection at work or at home, and is equipped with a three-speed transmission for better control. The unit also features a powerful LED light for working in the dark and has 300 watts of power at 2,000 rpm. It will tackle most tasks in or around the home, and the two supplied batteries charge in 90 minutes.

Should you get a Makita drill or a DeWalt drill?

Makita and DeWalt both offer a high standard in design, manufacturing and after-sales care for their electric drills. Professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike use both brands regularly.They come with a similar list of attachments and incorporate innovative features like LEDs, fast-charging batteries and strong clutches. While DeWalt drills often have three speeds as opposed to Makita’s two, the power output is similar in torque and wattage. 

To make a meaningful distinction between the two, you must consider the batteries on the cordless models. Makita is more experienced in battery manufacturing, and it has a longer-lasting, faster-charging product as a result. 

If you want to be able to move about freely and work for long periods, you’ll want a reliable battery. In that instance, it’s best to opt for the Makita drill. 


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Tom Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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