Quality Power-Tool Brands

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
mlh46
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:16 am

Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by mlh46 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:49 am

I plan to purchase some new power tools when the sales commence after the holidays. Both Home Depot and Lowe's have an assortment of brands. Does anyone have a recommendation on good quality power tools? I don't mind paying more for a brand that will last and be free from repairs. I've seen the following brands frequently: Dewalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Black + Decker, Makita, Hitachi, Ryobi. I'm sure there are many more. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 21733
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:54 am

Porter Cable.

Ironically, many of these "quality" power tools are all made by the same parent corporation - Stanley Black and Decker
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

snailderby
Posts: 661
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by snailderby » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:57 am

Milwaukee
Makita
Dewalt
Bosch
Hitachi

Porter & Cable

Ryobi
Black + Decker

My impression is that brands like Milwaukee and Dewalt tend to target the higher end of the market (professional contractors) while brands like Black + Decker tend to target the lower-end of the market (homeowners, occasional DIYers). I'm not sure to what extent this is reflected in the actual quality or durability of the tools.

flarf
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by flarf » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:09 am

Which tools do you have in mind?

Corded or cordless?

What's your skill level?

There is a "hot deals" board at garagejournal.com that tracks good prices on power tools; you may find it useful.

I would advise against buying one of the "six tools in one" type packages unless you really want all six tools -- there is a robust market for all of the individual components and no need to spend money and space on things you won't use.

If you want to go cordless, which you should, I would suggest you pick one brand and stick with it. In my case I've built a collection of Milwaukee tools, mostly using their M18 batteries. The same battery runs everything from a drill to a circular saw to a hedge trimmer.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 4431
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by lthenderson » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am

In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10768
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:28 am

The last power tool I bought was a DeWalt lithium ion drill. It has been excellent. I happened to be in the store when the DeWalt rep was in the tool area. He pointed me to a value pack with the drill, charger and 2 batteries. I would not hesitate to buy another DeWalt tool if I needed one.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Vanguard Fan 1367
Posts: 1238
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:09 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:34 am

I kind of wanted to try Black and Decker when I was shopping at Lowes for their 4 to 6 pack of cordless power tools. The Lowes employee I asked about that said that he would recommend Porter Cable over Black and Decker for the budget shopper. I have really enjoyed my Porter Cable tools.

I wouldn't necessarily mind myself trying some of the more expensive brands but I wanted to report my satisfaction with Porter Cable.

User avatar
WWJBDo
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:43 am
Location: California

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by WWJBDo » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:35 am

I am a weekend user and have found Ryobi to be reliable and durable for my home project uses. I have had for years now, 9 tools for home and garden all using the same 18v batteries and not one tool has broken, although I did have to replaced one battery (I have 3 now) that I had for many years. Now, I am not using them every day, but they have been solid for my home use.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 6997
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by bertilak » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:37 am

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
Never heard of Festool. Looked them up on Amazon. Very expensive! from your post I assume they are worth the price.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet

Sconie
Posts: 795
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:23 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Sconie » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:40 am

I would add Fein to the Festool listing, above, in terms of "professional grade." That said, the range of power tools available from either of these manufacturers is sometimes quite limited, requiring an individual to go with a different brand, etc. Personally, I'm a fan of both Milwaukee and Makita.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Alan Greenspan

hicabob
Posts: 2908
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by hicabob » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:43 am

Hilti's are some of the the best but expensive. My German associates used to buy them and scoff at others. Sometimes buying a cheap tool at Harbor Freight then upgrading if you find you use it extensively works out well.

Shallowpockets
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:44 am

I have bought brand names in the past. In the past that is all there were. Now my philosophy is to buy the tools at Harbor Freight. Truth is that I am a home user of the tools and not commercial. I don’t need a lifetime of use at a commercial level. So far the Harbor Freight tools I have are all running fine.
If I have a project and I need any tool I go there and get it. Not a big deal at those prices, even if I am only using it for a one time project.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8629
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:46 am

Depending on your needs.

Contractor grade:
Dewalt (cordless lithium ion)
Porter Cable (corded)
Milwaukee, Makita, Porter Cable (corded industrial level, heavy equipment)

Plug in worm drive saw if you want to build a house or a shopping center.
Skil

There are fad brands and no name brands. And then there are tools seen on construction jobsites that run all day, every day.
High level models of any of the above brands should last a homeowner for a very very long time.
There are low level models in all brands.

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

TLB
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by TLB » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:11 am

The Milwaukee cordless hand tools have done well for our construction workers. There is a lot of variety of tools you can use with the Fuel M18 battery.

Housedoc
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 4:25 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Housedoc » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:18 am

My son works for parent company of Milwaukee. They own Ridgid, Ryobi, Empire also. Milwaukee 18V Fuel brushless is the favorite of the contractors. He got me a LED headband light that after using I find indespensible. Bright with tilting lamp. 2 hands free to work.

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by alfaspider » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:20 am

I have a mix of Milwaukee and Ryobi. For what it's worth, both brands have the same parent company, and Milwaukee is the higher end of the two. While a lot of Ryobi stuff works well, there's a clear difference in quality. Which one I buy depend on what I need the tool for. If I will be using it regularly, I will buy Milwakuee. Ryobi is for occasional use stuff and where there is no Milwaukee equivalent (for example, Lawnmowers).

I've had a Ryobi string trimmer conk out on me and two of their 18v battery packs fail. I've never had anything from Milwaukee fail. I've also never regretted spending the extra money for Milwaukee when there was a choice between the two, but I regretted buying a Ryobi circular saw even though I rarely need a circular saw- it's just junk.

I don't have as much experience with other brands, but the brand that stands out is often the one that makes the most tools for what you like to do. Milwaukee has some really cool tools for people who work on cars (the M12 ratchets and M18 Fuel impact stand out).

Point
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Point » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:23 am

I’ve had malignant, craftsman, and others at the same time. Battery replacements were a pain and expensive.

I standardized on Milwaukee because they are very good tools, have a solid offering of many types of tools, offer great startup
Packages, and most importantly- allow me to have 2 different batteries that cover the whole range of tools I own.

Batteries are the most expensive component of power tools. Standardize and you will save $$$$

illumination
Posts: 328
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:13 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by illumination » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:29 am

Milwaukee is probably the best. I have DeWalt and Milwaukee cordless tools, the Milwaukee stuff is better. I have some of the "Fuel" line, I think for most casual users it's probably overkill and the standard Milwaukee Lithium line is fine.

Bosch makes a great small impact driver that I use all of the time. Maybe my favorite tool. Just a really handy cordless screwdriver and can also drive a screw into just abut any material. Also pretty inexpensive.

Black and Decker and Ryobi are largely junk in my opinion. I know a lot of these brands are owned by the same company.

My advice is spend the few extra dollars and get the "good" stuff right off the bat rather than upgrade later. I basically had to throw away by junky power tools, so it didn't save me any money. Tools are cheap in the scheme of things, one DIY project can easily pay for them. The cordless stuff is so good now, my corded stuff just collects dust now.

renue74
Posts: 1799
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by renue74 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:53 am

I own rental houses and do the occasional flip house. I use power tools about 5 or 6 days per week depending on projects.

About 8 years ago, I had a business partner...nice older guy in his 60s. He turned me onto Milwaukee tools. Before then, I used whatever was cheap and easy.

Over the years, I've bought Miwaukee tools, batteries, etc. and love them. The M12 for homeowner stuff is fine. I also have the M18 tools and the red "Packout" boxes for storage.

Xmas is always a great time of year to buy new tools for yourself.

I've never had a Milwaukee tool fail and I'm pretty rough on them. (Batteries do fail. Lithium batteries have a life. You can recycle them at any big box store)

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 18034
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Watty » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:38 pm

One trick that I do when buying things like power tools(power washers, BBQ grills, etc) is that I will check the manufacturer's web site to see how complete the list of replacement parts is that you can order from the manufacturer.

I started doing that after I had to scrap an off brand "Dremel" type tool just because I could not get a replacement bit chuck for it.

This may not tell you which brands are best but it will help rule out the "disposable" brands.

Bigger brands that sell a lot of that model of power tool may also be more likely to have the replacement parts in stock in ten+ years.

Also be sure to price what replacement batteries will cost. It may vary with the type of battery but you might expect to need to replace those every five years or so even if you don't use the tool a lot. In ten or fifteen years if may be difficult or expensive to find some odd old style battery so that is a risk too.

With the cost of replacement batteries I stopped using them years ago and just use corded tools and run an extension cord when I need to. I do have some extension cords with multiple outlets which makes this easier. One nice thing about corded power tools is that they tend to be more powerful.

One other trick to consider is for your power drill it may make sense to have two of them. A good one and a lightweight one for using as a power screwdriver. That way when you are drilling a series of holes and screwing something in you do not need to keep switching bits. You may already have a power drill that you could keep for your second drill.

If you buy the tools with a Costco Credit card they will extend the warranty for two years even if you do not buy it at Costco. Some stores like Home Depot may still offer a 10% discount on your first purchase if you get their credit card.

Mr. Rumples
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:16 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:01 pm

Different people have different preferences. One thing to consider is your skill level, your strength and how they feel in your hand. The other, if you choose battery power, is if the batteries can be used across a spectrum of their products.

I've borrowed my neighbor's "switch driver" for work. I used it to build a trellis with decking boards, it drilled through them like they were butter. I'm not a big fan of Worx but this tool is great:

https://www.worx.com/power-tools/power- ... x176l.html

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 5591
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:12 pm

Once the OP figures out / states whether he is looking for corded or cordless, then it's a matter of usage, and warranties. If cordless, make sure you pick a platform that sells what you might need in the future, and very carefully look over the warranties, especially on the batteries. Then, buy with a credit card like the Costco Visa, which adds 2 years to the warranty.

After having one cordless tool for decades, a Sears Craftsman portable drill, after my batteries died and the replacements would cost much more than a new tool, I did a bunch of research. Guess what I found out.

- Ryobi is an exclusive brand of Home Depot. Who makes it? Techtronic Industries, out of Hong Kong. They also make other brands including Milwaukee and Homelite, plus multiple brands of vacuum cleaners.

I ended up spending more than I had planned and bought a set of 4 Milwaukee tools, in a kit, with a 20 amp battery (actually 2), which has a 3 year battery warranty (so 5 years with my Costco Visa).

I just bought some 40 volt yard tools, and bought Ryobi. 5 year warranty on the tools, plus 2 on my Visa.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

squirm
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by squirm » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm

Friends was over with his new Milwaukee fuel drill. I had an older nicad PC. I challenge him to a test. Drill into pressure treated 4x4 with 2" boring.
My PC went through.
His fuel started to smoke, then smoke a lot. It was toast.

hicabob
Posts: 2908
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by hicabob » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:38 pm

squirm wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm
Friends was over with his new Milwaukee fuel drill. I had an older nicad PC. I challenge him to a test. Drill into pressure treated 4x4 with 2" boring.
My PC went through.
His fuel started to smoke, then smoke a lot. It was toast.
I was using my bil's very large milwaukee M18 hammer drill for driving self tapping concrete screws into concrete, (correct size holes pre-drilled) and it also started smoking. I let it cool down - seemed fine after and finished the job but I was surprised.

z0r
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:50 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by z0r » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:38 pm

Milwaukee. it gets deeply discounted in combo deals at home depot and through gray market sellers on eBay. after discounts it's easily the best value and greatest range. any brand you might name that's "better" is going to have some range limitation

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 4431
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by lthenderson » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:31 pm

bertilak wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:37 am
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
Never heard of Festool. Looked them up on Amazon. Very expensive! from your post I assume they are worth the price.
Festool is a German brand and I know quite a few people that own some of their drill/drivers, tracked saws and sanders and swear by them. They also build cabinetry or do carpentry for a living. I myself own a mixture of Dewalt, Bosch and Porter Cable and build furniture as a side gig and don't use my power tools daily. If they were to someday die, I might consider upgrading to Festool but for now, they have held up remarkably well. I wouldn't recommend Festool for the average weekend warrior person.

Hanksmoney
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:04 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Hanksmoney » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:46 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
I take issue with where you placed Hitachi - it's definitely good weekend warrior stuff. Superior in some ways - as they all have +/-

squirm
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by squirm » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:52 pm

hicabob wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:38 pm
squirm wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm
Friends was over with his new Milwaukee fuel drill. I had an older nicad PC. I challenge him to a test. Drill into pressure treated 4x4 with 2" boring.
My PC went through.
His fuel started to smoke, then smoke a lot. It was toast.
I was using my bil's very large milwaukee M18 hammer drill for driving self tapping concrete screws into concrete, (correct size holes pre-drilled) and it also started smoking. I let it cool down - seemed fine after and finished the job but I was surprised.
That is surprising.
His drill stopped working
I'm sure some windings or power conductors got toasted

squirm
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by squirm » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:52 pm

Rigid has lifetime battery replacement.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 4431
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by lthenderson » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:00 pm

Hanksmoney wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:46 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
I take issue with where you placed Hitachi - it's definitely good weekend warrior stuff. Superior in some ways - as they all have +/-
Hitachi used to make great power tools and especially pnuematic nailers. It wasn't uncommon to see a Hitachi tool in a contractor's kit. I can't say I've seen that in the last decade or so and most reviews say they've been slipping in quality. But since they purchased German based Metabo last year and will be making things under that name brand in the future, perhaps their quality will start to improve. However, I wouldn't buy a Hitachi power tool right now for that alone until the kinks of merging companies and brands are worked out. But as I said, that is just my opinion only.

Saving$
Posts: 1838
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Saving$ » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:08 pm

WWJBDo wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:35 am
I am a weekend user and have found Ryobi to be reliable and durable for my home project uses. I have had for years now, 9 tools for home and garden all using the same 18v batteries and not one tool has broken, although I did have to replaced one battery (I have 3 now) that I had for many years. Now, I am not using them every day, but they have been solid for my home use.
Heavy ww user, and agree with this. Previously had only Makita, then Dewalt and Porter Cable, then settled on Hitachi. They were all great tools. I found one of two thing occurred - tools need repair or they don't:
-
  • Tools that need repair: After 10-15 years, repair parts were not available, very expensive or undesirable because the tool was so old - ie I have a Porter Cable Bammer that was the envy of my friends when I got it - lightweight, cordless, affordable nail gun. But I can no longer get the gas cartridges for it, nor replacement seals. So I had to replace the nailer, and bought the most affordable cordless one I could find, which was a Ryobi. It or any other currently available cordless nailer will meet the same fate in 15 years, so no reason to spend more money than needed to get the job done.

    - Tools that don't need repair: The tool lasts forever without needing repairs - ie I have a 30 year old Makita Palm sander going like the day it was new. The newer ones are so much easier to use as they have vibration isolation and other newer features. Since I have a perfectly good palm sander I'm loathe to replace it, especially since I spent alot of money on it.
The Ryobi line is really quite good. I had one tool go out on me and Home Depot just exchanged it for a brand new (better) one on the spot in the store. There is probably no other tool that has the number of options the Ryobi has all with the same batteries. It is very popular so you can find many sales, factory seconds, to affordably add tools to your collection, including a few you might not even need... and can often pick up batteries at great deals. Since my investment in each tool is not exorbitant, I'm hoping that will help me decide to upgrade a perfectly good working tool when I really want the newer, lighter, improved version with more features. I'm also hoping the popularity of Ryobi will make it possible to easily sell the working tool on Craigslist when I want to upgrade.

I would not buy a Ryobi for something like a table saw or miter saw, because every one I've used seems to be impossible to calibrate to get exact cuts. Been very happy with my Hitachi miter saw that I got a great deal on at BlueSky Tools (years ago when it had a different name). Mine is going strong so not ready for replacement but every time I use it I'm tempted to replace it with one that has the digital angle readout ....
Last edited by Saving$ on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 4 times in total.

renue74
Posts: 1799
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by renue74 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:08 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:00 pm
Hanksmoney wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:46 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
I take issue with where you placed Hitachi - it's definitely good weekend warrior stuff. Superior in some ways - as they all have +/-
Hitachi used to make great power tools and especially pnuematic nailers. It wasn't uncommon to see a Hitachi tool in a contractor's kit. I can't say I've seen that in the last decade or so and most reviews say they've been slipping in quality. But since they purchased German based Metabo last year and will be making things under that name brand in the future, perhaps their quality will start to improve. However, I wouldn't buy a Hitachi power tool right now for that alone until the kinks of merging companies and brands are worked out. But as I said, that is just my opinion only.
I have 4 Hitachi pneumatic nail guns (framing, 16ga, 18ga, and 23ga pinner). No issues with any of them in 8 years and I've a heavy/frequent user.

Most pro framers use Paslode guns. While finish carpentry, the options are more open.

OP...you can't go wrong with Dewalt or Milwaukee for most instances. Just pick one eco-system and stick with it for battery charging purposes.

squirm
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by squirm » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:11 pm

The Lowe's by us reminds me of Sears. They're really pushing the Craftsman brand big time (yes, I know it's Stanley B&D). Honestly when I think of Craftsman I think of it as a dying brand that should have been laid to rest.

hicabob
Posts: 2908
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by hicabob » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:21 pm

squirm wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:52 pm
hicabob wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:38 pm
squirm wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm
Friends was over with his new Milwaukee fuel drill. I had an older nicad PC. I challenge him to a test. Drill into pressure treated 4x4 with 2" boring.
My PC went through.
His fuel started to smoke, then smoke a lot. It was toast.
I was using my bil's very large milwaukee M18 hammer drill for driving self tapping concrete screws into concrete, (correct size holes pre-drilled) and it also started smoking. I let it cool down - seemed fine after and finished the job but I was surprised.
That is surprising.
His drill stopped working
I'm sure some windings or power conductors got toasted
I've made a few electric motors smoke in my day. :twisted: As you said it would seem to be the winding insulation burning. Stopping after the first whiff of that lovely burning odor and letting it cool down usually allows it to survive.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:22 pm

My opinion only:

Put your money where it matters in the big ticket tools that do the heavy work...mitre saw, table saw, reciprocating saw and skill saw (DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee).

Drills, impact drivers, finesse type tools (finish nailers, jigsaws, routers) can be mid grade (Ryobi, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, Hitachi)

Harbor freight for everything else. Their multi-tool is better than all of the mid-grade options in my opinion and is so cheap you can buy another one without shedding a single tear. I am prone to dropping mine from heights and it still works.

I worked for 6 years in residential construction and am partial to my Porter Cable finish nailers (never had a jam), DeWalt dual-bevel compound miter, Ryobi impact driver (cheap but works fine) and my Skil worm-drive circular saw. The worm drive is nice if you are right handed and it keeps the plywood splinters from your eyes. I also prefer Bostitch framing guns. These are just personal preference. If I had to buy a contractor's job site table saw today it would be the Bosch one that folds up into the wheeled stand. That's a nice saw.
Last edited by FI4LIFE on Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by alfaspider » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:25 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:22 pm


Drills, impact drivers, finesse type tools (finish nailers, jigsaws, routers) can be mid grade (Ryobi, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, Hitachi)
I had a Black and Decker drill once. It lasted about 10 holes through wood :oops: I would probably trust the cheapest Harbor Freight drill over one of those.

On a separate note... Harbor Freight is a bit of an interesting proposition with tools. Some of their stuff is a phenomenal value. Other stuff isn't really fit for any purpose. You really have to research your specific item before pulling the trigger. Their U.S. General tool boxes are an excellent value. They are also in the process of offering some more upmarket tools, some of which present a pretty decent value proposition, although their "Icon" tool boxes seem rather overpriced.

megabad
Posts: 2565
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by megabad » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:58 pm

What are you using them for?

For any normal homeowner, I would think cheapo Ryobi stuff is fine. I use my little ryobi cordless set around the house for small maintenance tasks.

For light construction I use Milwaukee and Dewalt corded only. The cordless stuff burns up on steel and concrete for me so I would have to go super slow when I used them. Only problem is I tend to trip breakers with my tools so I throw them on a generator most times. I have seen some of my contractors use Dewalt cordless and it looks like they work ok ...but... they go through tons of batteries in a day. The last guy had a whole toolbox just for batteries so I just assumed it was too expensive to go that route. All my impacts and nailers are pneumatic dewalts. They work fine I guess.

BobStrauss
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by BobStrauss » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:42 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:22 pm
My opinion only:

Put your money where it matters in the big ticket tools that do the heavy work...mitre saw, table saw, reciprocating saw and skill saw (DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee).

Drills, impact drivers, finesse type tools (finish nailers, jigsaws, routers) can be mid grade (Ryobi, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, Hitachi)

Harbor freight for everything else. Their multi-tool is better than all of the mid-grade options in my opinion and is so cheap you can buy another one without shedding a single tear. I am prone to dropping mine from heights and it still works.

I worked for 6 years in residential construction and am partial to my Porter Cable finish nailers (never had a jam), DeWalt dual-bevel compound miter, Ryobi impact driver (cheap but works fine) and my Skil worm-drive circular saw. The worm drive is nice if you are right handed and keeps the plywood splinters from your eyes. I also prefer Bostitch framing guns. These are just personal preference. If I had to buy a contractor's job site table saw today it would be the Bosch one that folds up into the wheeled stand. That's a nice saw.
I’m with you - I think it makes a lot of sense to alter the budget based on tool type (table or miter saw vs 18v cordless tools, for instance).

FWIW, I’ve been itching to “trade up” for years from my collection of Ryobi 18V tools to Milwaukee. Yet all my stuff keeps going and going. I’m a weekend warrior, but have taken on many larger projects (by my standards) over the years - multiple decks, a bath reno, kitchen reno, fence rebuild, tongue and groove ceilings - all sorts of stuff. Even the old Ryobi drill/driver that was my first purchase, and has been used and abused all along, is still working just fine. The idea that these are “disposable” to me is akin to calling a Hyundai disposable cause it’s not on the level of a Honda or a Lexus.

smalliebigs
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:48 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by smalliebigs » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:51 pm

Milwaukee all the way for me. I've had colleagues and relatives working in the HVAC industry. They recommend Milwaukee for all their applications.

That said, I pretty much agree with that tier list posted by snailderby. At the top of the list, there's not much separating the brands other than preference.

TallBoy29er
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by TallBoy29er » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:05 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
In my very, very limited experience, I disagree with the Hitachi sentiments. I would put them in the second tier. Own a Hitachi compound mitre saw. It's been around for 12+ years of solid use. It is a great piece of equipment I would buy again. However, I have not used any other Hitachi power tools, so cannot speak to them.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:08 pm

BobStrauss wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:42 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:22 pm
My opinion only:

Put your money where it matters in the big ticket tools that do the heavy work...mitre saw, table saw, reciprocating saw and skill saw (DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee).

Drills, impact drivers, finesse type tools (finish nailers, jigsaws, routers) can be mid grade (Ryobi, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, Hitachi)

Harbor freight for everything else. Their multi-tool is better than all of the mid-grade options in my opinion and is so cheap you can buy another one without shedding a single tear. I am prone to dropping mine from heights and it still works.

I worked for 6 years in residential construction and am partial to my Porter Cable finish nailers (never had a jam), DeWalt dual-bevel compound miter, Ryobi impact driver (cheap but works fine) and my Skil worm-drive circular saw. The worm drive is nice if you are right handed and keeps the plywood splinters from your eyes. I also prefer Bostitch framing guns. These are just personal preference. If I had to buy a contractor's job site table saw today it would be the Bosch one that folds up into the wheeled stand. That's a nice saw.
I’m with you - I think it makes a lot of sense to alter the budget based on tool type (table or miter saw vs 18v cordless tools, for instance).

FWIW, I’ve been itching to “trade up” for years from my collection of Ryobi 18V tools to Milwaukee. Yet all my stuff keeps going and going. I’m a weekend warrior, but have taken on many larger projects (by my standards) over the years - multiple decks, a bath reno, kitchen reno, fence rebuild, tongue and groove ceilings - all sorts of stuff. Even the old Ryobi drill/driver that was my first purchase, and has been used and abused all along, is still working just fine. The idea that these are “disposable” to me is akin to calling a Hyundai disposable cause it’s not on the level of a Honda or a Lexus.
Ryobi is pretty good stuff. I still have my original impact driver that I used daily. I bought another one because I needed a battery and they were running a special where the battery and driver together were basically the same price as a single battery. I'm not sure I would buy a big Ryobi table or chop saw but the reviews are decent on some of them. A coworker had a cheap Ryobi table saw going back 10 years now and it was junk but was crazy inexpensive...the new stuff is likely better judging on the price points. The battery powered lawn equipment is supposed to be nice as well. I'm sticking with Ryobi.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:13 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:05 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:24 am
In my opinion only:

Festool - Professional Grade

Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt - Weekend Warrior

Ryobi, Black and Decker, Hitachi - Disposable
In my very, very limited experience, I disagree with the Hitachi sentiments. I would put them in the second tier. Own a Hitachi compound mitre saw. It's been around for 12+ years of solid use. It is a great piece of equipment I would buy again. However, I have not used any other Hitachi power tools, so cannot speak to them.
I have several carpenter friends who really like the Hitachi chop saws as well. They are good quality.

Yooper
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am
Location: Nothern Michigan

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by Yooper » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:04 pm

I'd say figure out what tools you'd like (entirely new item or replace something you presently have), and then research that particular tool, comparing brand reviews. Once you've done that, get something that's mid to upper range of your budget (upper range if you think you'll be using it a lot, mid range if you don't). Buying strictly based on a brand name doesn't always work. I.e. I've got a 15 year old Ryobi electric wood splitter (low end) that I absolutely CAN NOT BREAK. And trust me, it's been used in ways the manufacturer never intended. But I also had a Ryobi drill that I threw away because it was useless. Every brand makes mistakes, you just need to find the mistakes before you purchase it. Also, treat your tools well and they last longer....

But to answer your question, I like Milwaukee/DeWalt/Porter Cable. I've got Bosch as well and haven't been disappointed.

User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

Quality

Post by Bogle7 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:14 pm

mlh46 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:49 am
Does anyone have a recommendation on good quality power tools?
Festool
Stihl

iamlucky13
Posts: 1573
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:35 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:25 pm

I had a Black and Decker drill once. It lasted about 10 holes through wood :oops: I would probably trust the cheapest Harbor Freight drill over one of those.
That makes it 10 times better than the Harbor Freight drill I had at one point. It stalled and started spewing smoke removing a screw.

iamlucky13
Posts: 1573
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:48 pm

I use the Ryobi 18V tools regularly for household projects as we gradually fix up our home. They work pretty decently, but there's actually two levels of Ryobi power tools. There's a lighter duty line mostly pushed in kits with simpler motors and lighter quality build, and there's a heavier duty line that they seem to be transitioning to brushless motors. The latter seems to be very nearly as good as Ridgid, which Techtronic/Home Depot market as a step up from Ryobi.

If I were building or doing a major remodel of a house, I'd stick with 18V tools, and would lean towards paying for one of the higher end brands, although I think the better Ryobi tools would suffice.

If I were just doing occasional repairs and small projects, I'd probably get either the Bosch or Milwaukee 12V systems for the smaller size and weight.

bikesandbeers
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:08 am

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by bikesandbeers » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:58 am

I personally have been a Makita guy for quite a while, but I have been very impressed by the Milwaukee 12V system.
With modern lithium batteries the 12v still puts out plenty of power for almost any job and the compact tools are easier for tight stops like inside cabinets.

User avatar
czeckers
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by czeckers » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:46 am

Whatever brand tool you buy, you are buying into their entire lineup. Because batteries are so expensive and not too nterchangeable between brands, people will stick with the same brand and swap a couple of batteries between all their tools.

Festool is the top of the heap but super expensive

Then Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Porter Cable are all professional grade

Then Ryobi and the rest are for hobbyists.

Plenty of reviews online.


Look at all the tools that the brand offers and consider what you may want in the future. Makita has a very broad selection.
The Espresso portfolio: | | 20% US Total Mkt, 20% Small Cap Value, 10% US REIT, 10% Developed Int'l, 10% EM, 30% Inter-term US Treas | | "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

LifeIsGood
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by LifeIsGood » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:53 am

I've only seen the Ridgid brand mention in passing in this thread. I've got a cordless drill I purchased in the early '90s that I've used a bunch. I'm on my 4th set of batteries that have been replaced under warranty. Cordless tools rarely break but inevitably all batteries will eventually fail. Battery replacement costs are almost equal the cost of a new tool. The Ridgid Lifetime Service Agreement avoids that problem. There are very specific hoops that you must jump through so pay attention to the fine print.

carolinaman
Posts: 3936
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Post by carolinaman » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:46 am

LifeIsGood wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:53 am
I've only seen the Ridgid brand mention in passing in this thread. I've got a cordless drill I purchased in the early '90s that I've used a bunch. I'm on my 4th set of batteries that have been replaced under warranty. Cordless tools rarely break but inevitably all batteries will eventually fail. Battery replacement costs are almost equal the cost of a new tool. The Ridgid Lifetime Service Agreement avoids that problem. There are very specific hoops that you must jump through so pay attention to the fine print.
My son is a remodeling contractor and he uses a lot of Ridgid power tools. They must be good for him to have used them for so many years.

Post Reply