Company longevity is something anyone starting a business aims for, but to last for 100 years is an incredible achievement in anyone’s books.
And this year marks 100 years of Makita’s existence in our lives. From humble beginnings in Japan, Makita has evolved, adapted, grown and ultimately survived to become the company that supplies the tools and accessories that keep many of you working – and earning – every day of the week.
We want to celebrate that 100 year history with you, and Makita has kick started the party by launching special anniversary tools that’ll allow you to show your loyalty to the brand on the jobsite! More on that below.
A Brief History of Makita Tools
Beginning as a humble repair shop in Nagoya, Japan in 1915, Makita started its life as a business selling and repairing lighting equipment, motors and transformers. As time progressed and the Great War ended, the company began manufacturing electric generators and motors, exporting their wares to the Soviet Union.
Surviving Japan’s involvement in World War II was in part achieved by moving the plant to Sumiyoshi-Cho, Anjo-City, which remains the company’s headquarters to this day. By the 1950s Makita was diversifying into the tool market, as witnessed by the production of the world’s first one-man operated chainsaw.
However, by 1958 Makita was making the sort of tools you guys use every day starting with Japan’s first portable electric planer, showing clear signs of being the sort of company that was prepared to invest in research and development. This certainly played a part in Makita reinventing itself as a power tool manufacturer and by the 1960s they’d built a brand new main plant to spearhead this new direction. By now they were exporting the portable planers to Australia.
The First Rechargeable Power Tool
By the time the summer of love was coming to an end Makita was applying it’s knowledge, wisdom and experience making power tools to the new challenge of portability. And of course portability often means cordless.
We take the ability to recharge our power tools for granted in 2015, but in 1969 they were still a rarity. However, Makita in that year launched the 6500D, the first rechargeable power tool. It just so happened to be a drill, a tool Makita is synonymous with almost 50 years later. Now, let’s be clear, it still had a cord, but you weren’t tethered to the mains.
This opened up a whole new way for construction workers to operate; it was completely revolutionary for the time, and cemented Makita’s place in the annals of power tool history as pioneers and innovators.
The First Cordless Power Tool
True cordless capabilities didn’t appear until 1978 when Makita launched the 6010D. Packing a ni-cad battery, the future was now; a world of cordless tools was now being born with the now global Japanese tool company spearheading the way.
Makita in the UK
As the 70s rolled into the 80s Makita continue to grow and diversify, and by the early 90s had opened a UK headquarters where the manufacturing of tools for Europe would take place.
Global expansion continued through the 90s, but so also did the innovation and the desire to provide power tool users with reliable cordless tools. Hence, in 2005 Makita launched their first lithium-ion battery powered tool, the TD130D.
And since then Makita has seemed determine to launch the widest possible range of 18v tools, powered by lithium-ion batteries. The list grows and grows each year, and we now have a lithium-ion cordless planer, bringing us almost full circle back to 1958…
How Is Makita Celebrating 100 Years in Business?
Well, we’re sure they’ll be throwing a couple of parties at corporate HQ, but we’re most interested in any new tools that’ll be launched to mark the occasion.
And they haven’t disappointed. While there aren’t any new power tools to celebrate the 100 year anniversary, we do have some re-imagined versions of some of their best cordless tools.
What sets these tools apart – and by extension will set you apart when you pull them out of the special black MakPac boxes – is the colour. Have a look…
Yes, these tools have a new "coat of paint". Metallic, to be precise. And we think they look stunning.
The example in our video above is the DLX2040SPE 2-piece kit, packaged up in the commemorative black boxes (which we think look fantastic), and bundled with two 5Ah batteries and the new DC18RD twin charger which charges the packs in 45 minutes, and benefits from a USB charging port!
What a brilliant way for you – and Makita – to celebrate 100 years of power tool invention, innovation, diversity and dependability.
Share your stories of using Makita tools throughout your career in the comments section below!