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When shopping for a track saw, both Makita and Dewalt bring good offerings to the table. Both companies have a long history and a sizable market share. If you’re trying to make sense of it all, you’ve come to the right place. You don’t have to make a trip to the hardware store, or talk to a clerk at a dealer. Here, we’ll talk about the Makita vs Dewalt track saws and how each company stacks up. By the end, you should be able to make an educated and informed purchasing decision.
Makita and Dewalt are both giants of the power tool world. They have been in the business a long time and offer a wide variety of tools. They each have their own “fan base” of repeat customers who swear by the brand. When comparing track saws, it’s important to not only look at the features and specifications of each saw, but to also consider the company who makes it. Makita has factories all over the world, but is headquartered in Anjo, Japan. In a world of confusing company ownership, Makita stands on its own. Dewalt is owned by its parent company Stanley Black and Decker, and is exclusively manufactured in the United states.
Comparing Dewalt and Makita is a bit like comparing the car manufacturers Toyota and Chevrolet. Makita has been consistently offering quality and innovative products, year after year. Generally speaking, they tend to offer a higher quality product than Dewalt, but at a higher price. This is largely true for most of their power tool lineup. Makita is a professional grade brand that positions itself as a manufacturer you can rely on to deliver. They’ve been around forever and have built a reputation on quality, reliability and value.
Dewalt, on the other hand, is the American standard. They deliver a solid product, offering a competitive choice with generally lower prices when compared to Makita. The market speaks and demand has been strong for Dewalt products. Stanley Black and Decker market Dewalt as a more up-market pro brand, in contrast to its consumer grade Black and Decker brand. Dewalt has a larger market share and is the more popular option in North America. The balance of quality to price makes them tough to beat.
Track saws are essentially a circular saw on a guided rail. They are intended to cut large size sheet material precisely, with straight or angled cuts. This ensures an accurate and consistent cut each and every time. If you use a conventional circular saw, you could risk errors and have to do guesswork. A track saw solves this problem by having the saw move down a guide rail. You can accurately move and preposition without the worry of a free-moving circular saw.
Two similar track saws from each manufacturer are the Dewalt DWS520 and the Makita SP6000J. The general trend of Makita offering a better tool is partially true here. The Makita track saw’s powerplant spins faster than the Dewalt’s. The Makita is about 25% percent faster, at 2000-5200rpm vs 1750-4000rpm for the Dewalt. This comes from the fact that the Makita’s electric motor is 1800 watts in contrast the Dewalt’s 1300.
That being said, the Dewalt is powerful enough and will get through what you throw at it. What the Dewalt lacks in power, it makes up with its track guide rail. The Dewalt’s track can be used with either side of the saw, which could be useful in certain workspace setups. It’s also longer at 59 inches compared to the Makita’s 55-inch. A few owners of the Makita report that they had some difficulty with the track holding onto the material, but Dewalt owners did not, and report strong traction.
In addition, the Dewalt track saw provides superior grip and ergonomics when compared to the Makita. It’s a few pounds lighter also, which is a minor thing, but could be important for long work sessions. It feels natural to hold and the research of the Dewalt into ergonomics shows. The Dewalt track saw also offers an anti-kickback system that integrated into the base plate of the saw.
They’re priced similar and marketed as competitive options to each other. Owners of both saws are satisfied with their purchase afterwords. Both saws are easy to use and offer great dust-collection.
The Makita’s reliability and power make it a tool that would be the better long-term investment. If you want a tool that you can see yourself using in 7-10 years and want the stronger motor, the Makita would be the better choice.
We would recommend the Dewalt track saw if you want the best balance of quality, performance, price, and the confidence in buying American. The longer and more versatile track rail, anti-kickback safety feature makes and great ergonomics makes it a high-value purchase.