A reader wrote in with an interesting question. Which power tool brand would we choose, between Bosch and Makita?
Very briefly or even one word…
If you were small self employed professional builder, which brand would you go for. Assuming EU/UK prices (no import fees), and buying a number of wired tools (so somewhat avoids the battery debate).
Makita or Bosch?
For corded tools? I would go with a mix. There’s no reason to stick with one brand when you can mix and match corded tools such as jig saws, routers, and sanders.
But for cordless? Unfortunately, you can’t really avoid the battery debate these days. How many corded tools have either brand come out with in the past 10 years? There haven’t been too many innovations, and even where they are, older predecessor models are still available and often more recommendable even.
I feel that Makita offers more solutions for individual users. If pricing isn’t a factor, consider all of these types of tools that Bosch doesn’t offer:
Cordless outdoor power tools.
Sub-compact brushless power tools.
X2 higher-power cordless power tools.
Wireless tools and dust vac activation.
Oil impulse driver.
Class-leading impact drivers.
This is all in Makita’s 18V cordless power tool system, and they also have the XGT 40V Max system coming soon – hopefully in early 2021 as originally planned.
What advantages does Bosch offer in their cordless system that Makita doesn’t?
Wireless battery charging system.
Larger form factor batteries.
Is that it?
Bosch still has some decent 18V cordless power tool offerings, but Makita has been innovating faster and harder. Makita has greater breadth.
The one downside is in how Makita does not come out with next-gen batteries, but they have a new next-gen platform. While Bosch has next-gen batteries, they don’t yet have a lot of tools that take advantage of the greater power delivery potential. Meanwhile, Makita has their 18V X2 higher-powered tools.
My leanings could change completely, depending on what you’re looking for.
But for the individual pro user that wants to stick with one brand, Makita seems like the clearly better choice, as far as cordless power tools are concerned.
Mix in corded tools, and things can get difficult, as Bosch has some very good corded tools in their lineup. Neither brand has done much to innovate in the corded tool space in recent years. I have much more experience with corded Bosch tools, because they were simply the best options or best for-the-money choices for quite a few of my purchasing decisions.
Makita also has some good corded power tools, and unique offerings as well, and so if I had to recommend just one brand for everything, I could still point to Makita. But, that’s if corded-cordless contributed evenly to the decision, or if there was a focus on cordless power tools.
If corded power tools were to more strongly influence the decision than cordless, I’d lean more favorably towards Bosch. Barring that, I’d say Makita.
Both brands have decent quality all around. My affinity towards Bosch corded power tools stems from my personal and professional experiences with the brand. When it came time to buy tools for my own needs, I went with Bosch.
A few years back I remarked about a certain tool that I didn’t really see Makita as a fine woodworking tool brand, and that really hasn’t changed since then. Makita has their fans, but when it comes time to buy sanders, routers, or saws, Bosch dominates my preferences and seemingly the market as well.
Keep in mind that this is a Bosch vs. Makita discussion, generalizing the pros and cons of both brands, and also ignoring all other brand options.
To sum it up:
- Cordless Emphasis: Makita
- Balanced Cordless and Corded Considerations: Makita
- Corded Emphasis: Bosch
Would you choose or recommend differently?