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Makita Has Stopped Making Gas Engine Products

On October 30th, 2020, Makita Corporation issued a notice that it would stop the production of gas engine products on March 31, 2022. It’s been over a year since that date has passed. We haven’t seen any new gas-powered tools since the announcement. We also haven’t had any additional updates from the company countering the claim that they have ceased production of gas engine tools.

Honda exited the lawn mower market as of September 2023. This announcement from Makita comes in a similar vein. Makita has all manner of gas-powered two-cycle and 4-cycle tools for both landscapers and construction professionals.

Content of the Makita Notice

Let’s check out the actual contents of the Makita Corporation October 30th “Notice of Production Discontinuation of Engine Products” issued by Munetoshi Goto, President, Representative Director (bold emphasis ours):

Makita Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “Makita”) will discontinue the production of engine products on March 31, 2022.

I. Reasons for Discontinuation
Makita is a global supplier of a comprehensive range of tools for creating comfortable homes and living environments, including cordless power tools, battery-operated outdoor power equipment and pneumatic tools. In the field of outdoor power equipment, Makita is dedicated to supplying a broad range of engine products such as brushcutters and chainsaws. However, in response to the heightened awareness of global environmental issues and increasing needs for highly convenient, cordless products, Makita has recently been enhancing development, production, and sales of cordless products that are environment-friendly and will gain popularity.
Makita now plans to focus management resources on development, production, and sales of cordless products while leveraging its motor, and battery charging/discharging technologies, and accelerate the departure from engine products and the application of cordless solutions to power tools and outdoor power equipment. Accordingly, Makita will discontinue the production of engine products at the entire group level.

II. Date of Discontinuation
March 31, 2022

Ⅲ. Future Prospects
This will only have minor impact on the consolidated earnings of Makita.

Adding to confusion, Makita does indeed still sell tools with gas engines. You can find, for example, two different power cutters on their website in addition to over 20 chainsaws. They have an MM4 powerhead and two different string trimmers. You can buy these at authorized Makita dealers, including Acme Tools and Home Depot.

This seems to indicate Makita manufactured a reasonable number of products prior to their internal cut-off date. Eventually, this inventory should run out. Will that drive up the cost of Makita gas-powered tools? Who knows. It will, however, speel the beginning of the end for anyone wishing to use these tools.

Which begs the question: Are you ready to make the switch from gas to battery?

Final Thoughts in Makita Stopping Gas Engine Products

The big question people tend to ask is: Does Makita stopping the production of gas engines really matter? Or, perhaps: How does this affect me? It may, depending upon whether or not you relied on Makita MM4 or similar technology for your work. For the outdoor power equipment market, Makita has steadily provided battery-powered solutions to compete with gas.

Back when Makita acquired Dolmar chainsaws in 1991, we figured they were expanding their gas tool offerings in a big way. That turned out to be true. In fact, Makita doubled-down in 2016 by fully rolling the Dolmar brand into Makita. Fast forward seven years and Makita seems to be indicating they are done with gas forever.

In the end, practicality, trends, and economics may create a necessity for even professionals to switch to battery/electric tools. While some brands, like Milwaukee Tool, haven’t announced many (any?) corded tools in recent memory*, they also don’t manufacture gas products. The same goes for DeWalt and other manufacturers.

With Makita ditching all of its gas tools, we wonder if brands like Ryobi, Craftsman—and eventually even Echo or Stihl will be following. If so, will it be a few years or twenty? Leave your thoughts in the comments below—we’d love to hear from you.

*We found one.